Hi everyone. I have seen 2 rig rundown videos where the artists tech's (Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana) say they dial back their volume knobs on their guitars (prs & stray) to get a clean tone and crank it to get distortion and sustain. I have a code which I have only been playing in my apartment so not to loud. I haven't been able to replicate this kind of technique. I have my code set to plexi through 100 watt Marshall. I'm playing a epiphone sg. Not an expensive one. So my question is what exactly is the hang up? Is it because it's not a tube amp? Is it because the pots or pickups in my sg are not super high level? Is it because I have to keep the volume down in my apartment? Is it all of these things? I'm asking because I'm considering changing the pots and or pickups but I wanted to run this by you guys and get your opinions.
In general the lower the input level of the guitar, the less distotion you will get, therefore turning the guitar down will "reduce" the level of distortion.
2 points I would dare to suggest.
1st point, most importantly, it you have an extremely distorted patch with a LOT of gain you will virtually have to turn the volume almost completely off on the guitar to make a difference. Most people have way too much gain on thier patches anyway. What I would do is turn the guitar full up and reduce the gain on the patch the the level you need, it will probably be a lot less gain than you think. Then turning the guitar down 30%-50% should make a noticable change to the gain.
2nd point I would suggest is, when you turn the guitar down, be gentle when playing the guitar, this will also make a big difference, then when you turn up the volume you can go for it to get your fully distortion.
In general the above should work with most amps and certainly I can do it with my Marshall code 25.
If you want more info check out the excelent youtube video from That Pedal Show titled "How to set overdrive and distortion pedals in a band". This makes it all clear.