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Master Volume Question

jw3571

Inspired
Stupid question on master volume. Why does increasing the master volume increase the actual volume of the patch? It seems like it only happens on some amps and not others. I thought you'd actually have to increase the output level to increase the actual volume? School me please?
 

chris

Legend!
Stupid question on master volume. Why does increasing the master volume increase the actual volume of the patch? It seems like it only happens on some amps and not others. I thought you'd actually have to increase the output level to increase the actual volume? School me please?
Master Volume does indeed raise the level of the preset. It also - and more importantly - sets the amount of power amp distortion. However some amps don’t have an MV control in the real amp, so these default to 10 when you load that amp.

Compensate for your MV change with the Level parameter.
 

Rex

Legend!
Master Volume behaves differently on different amps at different settings because, if you're already driving the power amp hard, there's no room for further volume increase. Instead, you're just adding more power amp distortion.
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
Many of the controls will increase the volume - drive being the biggest example, Master Volume as well. And turning up the BMT will also increase volume.

The point of Output Level is to increase the volume without there being any tone changes.
 

Triaxis75

Inspired
Correct me someone if I'm off or misleading...

Level just increases the actual volume. The increase shows the effects of the sound that you have when loudness is increased...i.e. pronounced mids, piercing frequencies not noticed before, lagging or bulging lows. Not to sound negative, but, the overall experienced sound is what you get when you really push the volume barrier. Things act erratically or at least not how you think they should.

Master volume (MV) -and it's saturation effect- is a feature, attribute, or characteristic that happens when more voltage/wattage is sent through the tube/circuitry schematic. If it's tight distortion, it becomes more hairy. If it's clean, it becomes overdriven.. Because it loses it's definition and punch by way of adding more virtual muscle, attention has to be kept as it is easy to over do it. If using a MV based amp and your sound seems a bit soulless or a bit lifeless....add more MV and lower the level. MV too drastic, add a little input trim. Too woofy, do a filter into the amp then dial it in, in the amp section.

Iunno...it works ... but knowing what MV does to your overall sound is crucial. Try it out.
 

StickMan

Experienced
And turning up the BMT will also increase volume.
Is this universally true? My understanding was that this depended on the design of the tone stack, but I'm not sure how this maps to the implementation of the various tone stacks in the amp block.
 

Rex

Legend!
Correct me someone if I'm off or misleading...

Level just increases the actual volume. The increase shows the effects of the sound that you have when loudness is increased...i.e. pronounced mids, piercing frequencies not noticed before, lagging or bulging lows. Not to sound negative, but, the overall experienced sound is what you get when you really push the volume barrier. Things act erratically or at least not how you think they should.

Master volume (MV) -and it's saturation effect- is a feature, attribute, or characteristic that happens when more voltage/wattage is sent through the tube/circuitry schematic. If it's tight distortion, it becomes more hairy. If it's clean, it becomes overdriven.. Because it loses it's definition and punch by way of adding more virtual muscle, attention has to be kept as it is easy to over do it. If using a MV based amp and your sound seems a bit soulless or a bit lifeless....add more MV and lower the level. MV too drastic, add a little input trim. Too woofy, do a filter into the amp then dial it in, in the amp section.

Iunno...it works ... but knowing what MV does to your overall sound is crucial. Try it out.
Yes, Level increases your actual volume...except when you use it to decrease your volume. ;)

It's intended more as a way to change Level without altering your tone. But changing volume will make things sound different because of the way human ears work (google Fletcher-Munson).

Master Volume is an amp feature that when combining Ned with preamp gain, determines how much distortion you get from the power amp section of the amplifier. For a given set of amp settings, there is a sweet spot between too little power amp distortion and too much.


MV too drastic, add a little input trim.
No...MV too drastic, reduce MV.
 

Pettymusic

Inspired
Is this universally true? My understanding was that this depended on the design of the tone stack, but I'm not sure how this maps to the implementation of the various tone stacks in the amp block.
I think you're right. It depends on the type of EQ of the amp. Active EQ will +/- B,M,and T. Passive, which is the majority, is simply a variable resister sending a specific frequency to ground thereby, allowing the other frequencies to be more prominent so, no real volume change or maybe a slight reduction. Then you have other EQ stacks like on some Orange amps and AC30 amps that are something else, can't recall, maybe like a tilt EQ or something?
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
Once the circuit fed by the volume/gain control in question reaches saturation, the signal level cannot really get any higher. Turning the volume up higher past that point will only cause more compression and or more clipping. Different amps reach that saturation point at different places on their controls.
 

Rex

Legend!
Is this universally true? My understanding was that this depended on the design of the tone stack, but I'm not sure how this maps to the implementation of the various tone stacks in the amp block.
Whenever you increase the level of a band of frequencies, you increase the overall level.

Let's say you have a glass containing a mixture of coffee, milk and grape juice. If you add more grape juice, there will be more liquid in your glass.
 

StickMan

Experienced
Whenever you increase the level of a band of frequencies, you increase the overall level.

Let's say you have a glass containing a mixture of coffee, milk and grape juice. If you add more grape juice, there will be more liquid in your glass.
You're assuming that is the way that all tone stacks work. Take the simplest possible (from a user point of view) configuration: A single tone knob. In my experience, turning such a knob will never have an impact on volume.

Also, and perhaps excessively nit-picky, most passive tone stacks don't add more grape juice, they can only take away grape juice.
 

Rex

Legend!
You're assuming that is the way that all tone stacks work. Take the simplest possible (from a user point of view) configuration: A single tone knob. In my experience, turning such a knob will never have an impact on volume.
Most simple tone knobs just cut the treble. If you cut the treble, you reduce the overall energy passed by the circuit, changing the volume. If it were a bass cut instead of a treble cut, you'd notice a bigger difference.


Also, and perhaps excessively nit-picky, most passive tone stacks don't add more grape juice, they can only take away grape juice.
Semantics. It depends on which way you turn the knob. If you turn up the treble knob, you take away less treble, which means you add more treble than you had before.
 

StickMan

Experienced
Semantics. It depends on which way you turn the knob. If you turn up the treble knob, you take away less treble, which means you add more treble than you had before.
Not even remotely. With a passive tone stack you can never get more than what went in. 10, 10, 10 is essentially zero taken away, but nothing added. As a matter of fact, the "Boost" on a Dumble style ODS is just a bypass of the tone stack resulting in no signal taken away.
 

StickMan

Experienced
Most simple tone knobs just cut the treble.
You made me go check. But this is simply not true. Most one knob tone circuits cut both bass and treble, and the knob essentially blends them. As a practical point, I've never noticed a volume increase from turning the knob marked "Tone" on any device.
 

Rex

Legend!
Not even remotely. With a passive tone stack you can never get more than what went in. 10, 10, 10 is essentially zero taken away, but nothing added.
Exactly my point. On a passive tone stack:
If you turn up the treble knob, you take away less treble, which means you add more treble than you had before.
-3 is greater than -5.
 
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