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Dot: limited volume range


papaschtroumpf

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I go to jam sessions where we take turn soloing and playing rhythm.

We use house amps and no pedals.

I find that I have a hard time finding a way to quickly swap from rhythm to solo volume/tone with my Epiphone Dot Black Royale (2012 made in China).

Most other people either quickly turn up their volume knob or use their pickup switch to get a higher volume for solo, I'm guessing by setting volume higher on one of the pickups.

I'm still new to guitars, so maybe it's me not knowing what to do but I find that I don't have much useful range on my Dot. Even going from 5 to 10 doesn't boost me in solo territory. This is starting to get to me, I have to pick my solos really hard and my tone suffers. I'm starting to feel "handicapped".

 

Any advice? Asking on another guitar forum, people told me "that's what you get for buying an Epi the electronics suck". Would upgrading the harness fix the problem?

 

For reference the other people i jam with often have a Gibson LP, a Gibson explorer,a squier tele, a fender start and an ibanez strat-like guitar.

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I am currently using an overdrive pedal as a boost, but I'm the only one that seems to need the crutch.

 

It's rather disappointing to learn that Epiphone wiring and parts are low enough quality that they need to be replaced to get decent performance.

The Buy link is broken on the Jonesy site so I can't see the price, but I'm guessing that's adding about $100 to the cost of my guitar, and I here installing the harness can be a PITA. I'm willing to give it a try if it'll solve my volume problem.

I see some harnesses come in 50's wiring. Would either flavor of wiring help with getting more dynamic range out of my volume pot?

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Before I spent money on a pedal or a new harness, I'd look at maybe moving the bridge pickup closer to the strings - that should make it a little hotter. Generally the bridge is used for soloing and the neck for rhythm so you want the bridge hotter. I'd also look into spending a few bucks at a luthier and checking the setup and getting the pots and switch cleaned.

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Spent $100 on setup and fret work already

I'm not sure how a setup helps the range of the volume knob though.

For comparison I also own a nighthawk reissue and the volume knob has nice range to go from background to solo.

 

The amps at the jam are a hodge lodge, including a number of Mustang III which is also what I known. We plug in and play, no fussing over the amp except for.balancing overall master volume for rhythm.

 

I've been playing about a year, people I play with 1 to 5 years. If it's a matter of inexperience, I'd love some pointers. In the meantime I use my overdrive pedal to carry me through, but it's kind of annoying to have to bring another piece of gear.

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I've been playing about a year, people I play with 1 to 5 years. If it's a matter of inexperience, I'd love some pointers. In the meantime I use my overdrive pedal to carry me through, but it's kind of annoying to have to bring another piece of gear.

 

It is a matter of inexperience, and only lots more experience of playing out with others in a variety of places is going to help you figure out how to best balance the various volumes and dynamics of the people playing.

 

If carrying a pedal is kind of annoying, my only pointer would be that if you were thinking of going any further than this with guitar playing, you might want to have a coffee and consider golf maybe.

 

rct

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Spent $100 on setup and fret work already

I'm not sure how a setup helps the range of the volume knob though.

For comparison I also own a nighthawk reissue and the volume knob has nice range to go from background to solo.

 

The amps at the jam are a hodge lodge, including a number of Mustang III which is also what I known. We plug in and play, no fussing over the amp except for.balancing overall master volume for rhythm.

 

I've been playing about a year, people I play with 1 to 5 years. If it's a matter of inexperience, I'd love some pointers. In the meantime I use my overdrive pedal to carry me through, but it's kind of annoying to have to bring another piece of gear.

 

 

Setup could affect volume if the pickup was ridiculously low and not adjusted properly. Did you talk it through with your tech?

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I've never had a problem with any epi I've owned regarding volume or general electrics, any mods done have been for an upgrade or change. Surely adjusting the volume on the amp is the solution, I've played with many people who just turn up so they stand out and say f you to everyone else!

It's also likely you will find yourself carrying 5-10 pedals around when you get deeper in and find your sound!

I did own a mustang amp once and on mine the different channels volumes can vary so maybe look at that

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I know you said "no pedals." I have a Mustang IV at home to practice with. I play live at church through a Vox AC30 with a bunch of pedals. I have used a volume pedal for years to adjust from rhythm to lead. I also use an NPN boost pedal. I have both on my pedal boards.

 

NPN boost build:

 

I have made 3 of these. I still use 2 of them and I gave one away to a friend.

 

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=941.0 (scroll down and you will see how to wire the board once it is done.)

http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/build/npnboostbuild.htm

http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/build/npnboostbuild.htm

 

This pedal works with a 9V battery. I changed mine to use a 9V power source, but you don't need to. I hate using batteries in pedals.

 

NPNBoost016_zpsef8be209.jpg

 

NPNBoost029_zpsc9dc2cd0.jpg

 

If you don't have a source for parts:

 

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=76272.0

 

If you go with a volume pedal, you will need a low frequency pedal. Hook it into the loop and you don't effect the tone, only the overall volume.

 

This is what I use:

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/boss-fv-500l-stereo-volume-pedal?rNtt=boss%20volume%20pedal&index=4

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I'm obviously not expressimg my issue very well since people are saying "turn the amp up". The problem is switching between rhythm and lead during the same song. My solos get lost. I can't reach do to the amp right before my solo, I'm not close enough to it.

 

When I play my nighthawk, I can play rhythm on 5 or so then turn the volume to 10/for soloing ( it necessarily exact numbers).

 

On my Dot, the difference in volume between 5 and 10/is pretty small and my solo doesn't cut through.

 

A boost pedal would work but I'm trying to understand if this is a limitation of my dot, any dit, or if there is something I can do.

 

If you're not interested in helping out constructively, gpnhave a cup of coffee or play some golf.

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I believe your problem with the DOT is related to the cheap pots (volume/tone) controls Epi uses. Not to disrespect Epi but this is just one way they are able to cut cost make these guitars so affordable. I recently bought a used Sheraton and noticed the same thing, not much range of tone or volume with the controls. I know from experience it is because of the cheap pots. Just last week I replaced all the pots, jacks and switches (as well as the pickups). Total cost $180. I put a set of Duncan Whole Lotta Humbuckers on. The harness replacement was a major PIA and I have a lot of experience with guitars. But it was worth it.

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In an effort to help, here is a few things to consider:

 

IF your guitar really does have an issue, it is going to be a lot easier for someone to find the issue in person, rather than over the 'net. You might have your guitar playing buddies look at it at the next jam. You also mentioned you have a "tech" whom you paid to do work at one point. Have him check it out.

 

Regarding your experience with the guitar: I don't know how it's wired, but you might fiddle and learn what controls what and what INTERACTS with what. If it has 50's wiring, for example, the volume will control both pups if both pups are selected. There are different "tapers" for volume pots, so don't assume because one guitar reacts one way to volume knob position they all will be the same.

 

Regarding the "not loud enough from 5 to 10": Stating the obvious, you go to 3 to 10 or whatever. IF you are going to use the volume control on the guitar for lead/rhythm, it is a good idea to give yourself a little more headroom on the amp volume and turn down from there. You don't HAVE to turn it up to 10 every time. But if you are having issues with not being loud enough for leads when you turn the guitar volume up, it's obvious you don't have the amp loud enough.

 

Regarding your playing with others: That takes practice. You are on the right road. I have read your post, and I get the impression you are playing with 3 or 5 guitarist at once? If that's the case, and you actually DO have more than 1 guitar playing full out behind you, chances of your leads being heard are slim to none regardless. That's an experience thing for not just you, but everyone. I can imagine what 3 or 5 "inexperienced" guitarist might sound like, all playing at once.

 

And a tip for the last, and this might be the BEST tip, it's better to be told to turn up than to be told to turn down.

 

When you get up to play, get yourself close to the amp you are playing and make sure YOU can hear yourself even when others can't.

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I'm obviously not expressimg my issue very well since people are saying "turn the amp up". The problem is switching between rhythm and lead during the same song. My solos get lost. I can't reach do to the amp right before my solo, I'm not close enough to it.

 

When I play my nighthawk, I can play rhythm on 5 or so then turn the volume to 10/for soloing ( it necessarily exact numbers).

 

On my Dot, the difference in volume between 5 and 10/is pretty small and my solo doesn't cut through.

 

A boost pedal would work but I'm trying to understand if this is a limitation of my dot, any dit, or if there is something I can do.

 

If you're not interested in helping out constructively, gpnhave a cup of coffee or play some golf.

 

Oh.

 

It's the taper of the pot, it isn't very good. I'm not sure there is anything you can do short of replacing it, and yes, it's probably a pretty crappy pot.

 

Most of us over amp for what we need, so you'd have yer amp up quite a bit, yer guitar down for the rhythm stuff and up for the solo stuff. No amp, for the most part, sits at the same digits for each of your guitars, most of the time it has to be altered to suit. Once you are out and about for a while, you'll know where to set it based on how each guitar is.

 

If you aren't interested in expressing your issue very well, be prepared to receive no constructive help from golf playing coffee drinkers.

 

rct

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And a tip for the last, and this might be the BEST tip, it's better to be told to turn up than to be told to turn down.

 

My god man what are you telling this grim neophyte? Those willing to sacrifice a lot of volume in the name of freedom deserve neither.

 

rct

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I mean turn the amp louder then the guitar more for rhythm, then when you turn up for lead it's louder.

You say one of the others uses a squire tele, if it's stock I seriously doubt his electronics are any better than yours so maybe he's worked out how to set the amp for the guitar, ask him.

It's too easy to just think because it's a 'cheap' guitar that the wiring will be crap, they have improved a lot over the years and are currently quite good, to me anyway.

The amps go up to 10 for a reason!

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Welcome papas. Lots of good advice above. I'm going to suggest something different to try alongside the previous advice.

 

When we plug our guitar in on our own, we usually pick a rich, meaty tone with lots of low end because that's what's sounds good. If we like a Hendrix tone, or modern metal crunch, we might even take some of the 'middle' out. But this type of tone can get lost when you mix it with other guitars or bass.

 

There is a great guitar cliche which you might have heard, but like most cliches it's a cliche for a reason: "cutting through the mix". Your guitar tone, not just volume, needs to be able to cut through the mix. I suggest when you set up to jam, set your amp up like this:

 

[Edit to add;] With your guitar pickup selector to 'bridge' if that is how you like to play lead,

Set amp's bass, middle and treble controls to about 3.

Play some open strings while you turn up the bass control till you hear a "sweet spot". Just a place that sounds good to you. Do the same with the middle control, then the treble control. If you have never done this before you might be surprised how good your amp and guitar now sound. Sometimes we get there by chance, but this is a good reliable method of getting the most from your tone controls. Usually most settings will end up somewhere between 4 & 7. And you can do this with presence and gain settings as well.

 

So, **and this is the important bit**, to compensate for playing with others, turn your 'bass' down by 2-3, and your middle up by 2-3. And tweak treble and presence if you need to but don't go OTT.

 

Have any reverb set lower than you think you need it, better still, none.

 

Similar with gain. One of the biggest problems with beginning guitar is that we hear huge driven sounds and then feel that to be heard, we have to emulate those overdrive tones. The opposite can in fact be true, because more gain or overdrive tends to be a more compressed signal, which means that it doesn't have the dynamic range.

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My god man what are you telling this grim neophyte? Those willing to sacrifice a lot of volume in the name of freedom deserve neither.

rct

 

I was just having some coffee trying to figure out why in the f#(k I might want to play golf.

 

 

It's about time they gave us our like button back.

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OP, if this helps, it's what I do to cut through the mix when I solo.

Frist the majority of my amps have a boost feature. I look for this specifically when I buy an amp. It's like a 2nd master volume and is controlled via foot switch.

Second, I always have a volume pedal in the effects loop. This allows me to "throttle" my overall sound, and I always keep a little extra volume on hand for solos.

Third, I use a boost effect pedal. Usually an overdrive or in some cases a compressor or eq. Most of the gain on these pedals is set low or off, I just use the pedals volume to "push" the front end of my amp's preamp for soloing.

Using one or more of these options always puts me on top in the mix for solo's.

.

But in the case of the OP, I still think it's his volume pot and needing a combination of what I mentioned above.

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If carrying a pedal is kind of annoying, my only pointer would be that if you were thinking of going any further than this with guitar playing, you might want to have a coffee and consider golf maybe.

 

rct

 

 

Oh.

 

constructive help from golf playing coffee drinkers.

 

rct

In between getting a boost pedal and taking up golf, I might suggest taking up the bass.

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It COULD be an issue with the guitar, but I doubt it.

 

I don't think it's so much a matter of trying to guess what it is, but rather, giving pointers so one could figure it out.

 

Nearly every idea I have heard is, in my opinion, correct. It's actually a useful thread.

 

I hope it all doesn't sound condescending, but it is a matter of experience, and lack of. Learning what is posted here WILL solve the problem, I can guarantee.

 

And truly, as a pat on the back, dealing with volume, and being concerned about it, and USING the volume on the guitar even after one year is a very good sign.

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