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Author Topic:  Question about volume pedals through Tube amps
Tab Tabscott


From:
Somewhere between Vashon and Vancouver
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 1:41 pm    
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I just got a '65 reissue Super Reverb and started playing through it. I've noticed that every volume pedal I try through it (Emmons original, Goodrich, and two Ernie Balls)doesn't respond the same way it does through a solid state amp like a Steelaire. The taper "moves" on the Tube amp such that I have to push the volume pedal farther down to get it to behave the same way it does on a SS amp (the taper is higher up, closer to the "off" foot position.

Is this inherent in tube amps?
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Will Johnson


From:
Nashville Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 2:21 pm    
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Without knowing specific pot or input impedance values-- it's reasonable to think that the Steelaire has a wildly high input z, the tube amp would be something lower lower, and this could affect the way the volume pot reacts.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 2:58 pm    
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While the input impedance would make a difference, I suspect that most of the difference you're experiencing is in the pre and post gain differences (read: capabilities) of the amps. More total or preamp gain from one vs. the other means you're having to use less volume pedal to attain the same sound output.
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Tucker Jackson


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 7:51 pm     Re: Question about volume pedals through Tube amps
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Tab Tabscott wrote:

Is this inherent in tube amps?

Yes it is. Tubes compress the signal in a way that solid state circuitry does not.

I've experienced the same thing you have when switching between solid state and tube amps. You have to goose the volume pedal slightly more on a tube amp to get to a given output level. It's especially noticeable when you're toward the top end of the pedal and pushing the amp hard... you're moving the pedal but not hearing the volume go up very much. Nature of the beast.
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Peter Harris


From:
South Australia, Australia
Post  Posted 30 Aug 2019 3:57 am     Re: Question about volume pedals through Tube amps
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Tucker Jackson wrote:
Tab Tabscott wrote:

Is this inherent in tube amps?

Yes it is. Tubes compress the signal in a way that solid state circuitry does not.

I've experienced the same thing you have when switching between solid state and tube amps. You have to goose the volume pedal slightly more on a tube amp to get to a given output level. It's especially noticeable when you're toward the top end of the pedal and pushing the amp hard... you're moving the pedal but not hearing the volume go up very much. Nature of the beast.



...in much the same way as putting a Solid-State rectifier in a '59 RI Fender Tweed
Bassman jacks the output by almost 10%..... .....but then, that's sacrilege...right?
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 7 Sep 2019 10:26 am    
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Except that a mere 10% increase in power or volume would not likely be noticeable. However, the lack of sag or compression might be! Winking
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 7 Sep 2019 10:50 am    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
Except that a mere 10% increase in power or volume would not likely be noticeable. However, the lack of sag or compression might be! Winking

Adding or subtracting around 50% (+/-3db) in actual volume, will be noticed by most. Much less than that and it will go unnoticed.
As tubes "round off" and "shift" the peaks in any curve when volume is pushed near max of what the circuit can handle, one is dealing with a more complex "event" than volume alone when listening for loudness through tube-amps compared to the (usually) more true amplification in Solid State amps. Tube-amps sound great, but the "compressive" effect they add to the signal is anything but true to the original signal Smile
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