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Question - Gain on 10 behaviour


Hey guys,

so I was working on my lead tone after the Q2 update and I was watching JP video where he says he sets his gain on Mark IIC to max to get his lead tone. So I thought I'd give it a try too :)

not bad, but not exactly the tone I wanted so I started changing the amps. First I reset the block and then I backed down the bass a little and max out the gain and starting going through the amps.

Strange thing happened - for some reason I find most of the tones very usable - which is weird - before when I tried extreme settings like that, most of the time the amp was pretty much uncontrollable - I also turned the gate off, to see how noisy the amps are. And again, not as bad as I remember. Then I found couple class A amps and mainly fenders where the tones were not even that much distorted as I would expect. And that is something that is weird to me too - before they were distorting like on 2 or 3 but now on 10 they were kinda like crunchy but nowhere to being gainy. :) Also not as many amps were clipping the red clip LEDs on AXE as I expected and overall they were not as loud too.

Of course I was not messing with any other parameters just flipping through the amps, so the master volume was set automatically to default.

So now I am wondering - is it how it is supposed to be?

It is not bad, just made me think about it, so I though I'd ask here if anyone can confirm that or educate me, that yes it is normal :) I know that on the real amp I would be probably blowing all the tubes etc., but this is simply different from the behavior I remember from previous firmwares.

Also my guitars have fairly moderate to high output, so I don't think it is the guitars. My input settings tickle the red once in a while, so I think it is not low input signal.

Any thoughts on this? Am I just ignorant of something? did something escape my attention in the release notes? :)

As I said, though, it still sounds good, I mean REAL good. Q2 is great sounding.


I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at. Turning the gain to 10 and the bass to zero wouldn't blow tubes in a real amp or make them all uncontrolled noise machines. It may not lead to the best tone but it wouldn't be bad for the amp.

Running the master volume at 10 might reduce tube life a but on a real amp but obviously not the Axe.

Turning up the amp block output to max would be what would cause output clipping which wouldn't be good for tone or I imagine, the Axe.

You want to be tickling red on the input, though not essential. You don't want to be close to tickling red on the output. Ramping up gain on master volume should not do that, only the output level would do that.

Of course, if you had a patch that used an amp that generally sounds quiet, like an Atomica and you had turned the output level up to compensate, then switched to something like the Ecstasy, then you could conceivably clip the output just by changing amps - all depends on the starting point of the output level on the amp block in a given preset. It wouldn't be impacted by gain, might be impacted by master volume a bit in that situation.


hmm, I see that I am not communicating clearly what I meant :). I thought if I include all the information about my input that it would eliminate the need for answers like - aren't you clipping your input? or isn't your input gain too low? But apparently I haven't communicated it clearly.

I have no real experience with real tube amps so I did not know what would happen if you maxed the gain out, but that is not my point. in previous firmwares my experience was that turning the gain (input drive) to 10 was generally a bad idea for most of the amps. Not so much now, so I was wondering if that was ok, but I guess it is ok.

So maybe just forget I asked and move the thread somewhere down the line :). Maybe I should delete it so that I am not taking other people's time. Even though, I don't know whether I can. :)


Yes, turning amp gain to 10 is OK. It maybe won't sound as good as setting it to a lower value, but you can still get useful tones.
Just as an aside here, I just finished making a preset with the Mesa Mk IIC+ Brt/Dp amp block and setting both the Master Volume and the Input Drive to 10 and the overdrive to 0.36...BMT to 3.80, 6.64 and 5.42 respectively. Into factory cab 055 or 056.

I thought turning things to 10 on that amp would be a mess but it really sounds great when you open it up and let the bottom get a touch loose like that. Add some saturation and it is sublime!


Fractal Fanatic
I think the op is wondering if perhaps we lost gain in the quantum. It seems to me as well Ive had to turn gain up on a few models, including 6160, and fryette, thus for him necessitating or at least experimenting with higher 'to 10' settings.


I think the op is wondering if perhaps we lost gain in the quantum. It seems to me as well Ive had to turn gain up on a few models, including 6160, and fryette, thus for him necessitating or at least experimenting with higher 'to 10' settings.
yes, that is actually what I meant, even though I did not know how to put it in words ... :)

Thanks, man.
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