For questions relating to electrical sub-systems of many common musical instruments, as well as to aspects of professional audio amplification.

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8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are Tone Pots / Potentiometers?

Can someone please explain to me what tone pots are, and how they affect the sound of a guitar? Thanks very much :)
10
votes
1answer
770 views

Balanced triodes. Gimmick, or worth the money?

When purchasing tubes from some reputable dealers, I have noticed that you are given the option for balanced triodes--sometimes at a much higher price. How does a tube with balanced a triode effect ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

When should I be concerned about calibrating the bias of vacuum tubes in an amplifier?

I think it would be useful to discuss the concept of bias as it pertains to guitar amplifiers. I have read some articles saying that you should always rebias your amplifier when you change the power ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a covering on a humbucker pickup make a difference?

I have seen a number of different pickup designs, like the ones in the image: Notice how some humbuckers have a covering, and what look like screw heads. Is this just style or do these different ...
3
votes
2answers
894 views

Visual Sound 1 Spot Power Supply Hum

I am using a Visual Sound 1 Spot power supply to power my pedal board. Every time I plug in my BOSS RC-2 to the power supply I get a hum. If I power the RC-2 with a battery the hum goes away. I have ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

What do the different tubes in an amplifier do?

Preamp vs Phase Inverter vs Reverb vs Power vs Rectifier. Many people get really, really confused when they try to understand anything about tubes. I spent a very long time myself trying to ...
28
votes
7answers
66k views

How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?

I think this would be a wonderfully instructive question to people who are new to tube amplifiers. In short, how do I know that it's time to change a tube, and what's a good strategy for figuring out ...
8
votes
4answers
795 views

Hot guitar pickup

What does it mean when a guitar pickup is deemed "hot"?
5
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a piezo pickup and how does it differ to a common pickup?

I have heard of a piezo pickup used in some guitars, like John Petrucci's signature Music Man. What is a piezo pickup and how does it differ to a common pickup?
14
votes
1answer
6k views

What changes in the amp when I adjust its presence?

The tone controls on a guitar amp are pretty obvious, but what does the presence knob affect? It's a subtle effect but can sure make or break a sound. It doesn't seem to be treble or midrange boost, ...
11
votes
2answers
262 views

Is anyone able to outline the purpose of these controls?

I have an Aria MAC57/7 (7 string). Excuse the dust (the flash on the camera shows it up...) It has a dual humbucker setup and a set of controls that I never fully got to grips with. I assume the ...