Operating a Guitar Amp


2003-06-27 9:13 am
I am a beginner of electric guitar, and I don't know how to operate the guitar amp to get the sound I want.

I have a Roland - Cube 30, 34W.

How do I set the gain and volume on the amp and the guitar with different effects (Acoustic, Black Panel, Brit Combo, Tweed, Classic Stack, Metal, R-Fier.)? And what do thye mean?

How do I set the volume on the amp and the guitar with JC Clean ?

The 6th String sounds weird, and not neutral. I had tried to lower the bass all the way down in the equalizer but the sound still unneutral compare to my classical guitar.

How to use EFX? Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, and Tremold. What do they mean?

Finally what will Reverb do? and what is Aux in for?
Personally,. I''d just play with the amp to familiarize myself with it. You can't really damage anything by misusing it. I'm not familiar with the type of amp you have, but I assume it's a solid state model with clean and dirt (distortion) channels with different "voiceings", along with digital DSP effects like reverb and chorus. Reverb is kinda similar to echo - it's more of a thickening effect, like being in a large hall.
tremolo, this is a rhythmic variation in the VOLUME of the signal. typically has speed and intensity.
vibrato is a rhythmic variation in the pitch. usually has speed and intensity. Fender confused many people since the "whamy bar" on the guitar is called a tremolo (technically a vibrato) and the tremolo on the amps is called a "vibrato"
chorous takes the signal you feed it, and adds some other signals that are slightly higher and lower in pitch. it's like there are a few other guitars playing along with you.
phaser is a weird effect (70's) that sounds kind of like a "wash". very electronic sounding and hard to describe. Flanger is somewhat similar.
Reverb is an effect that is used almost all the time. I sometimes add a tiny bit if I'm playing in a small dry sounding room, or through headphones. It doesn't soiund like an effect, it just sounds "fuller" and less like I'm in some tiny *** box. The other effects should be used sparingly.

the effects refe to the different tones - this is similar to the "amp emulations" on a cheap DigiTech box. It tries to simulate different kinds of amplifiers. again, play with it to get the feel of each one.

Acoustic - probabally tried to make an electric axe sound like an acoustic guitar. These simulations usually sound nasally, at least on my Digitech box
Black Panel - not soure, might sound like a Fender Twin Reverb. These amps have a huge, powerful sparkling clean tone. great with telecasters and stratocasters
Brit Combo - ether a Marshal 18 watter or a VOX AC-30, probabally the VOX. These amps are either clean or light crunch, and they have a nice bright chimey tone with some "honk" to them in the midrage.
Tweed - This is a Fender Tweed (early fenders were called tweed since they were covered in this yellow tweed material instead of black tolex like later models,and had very simple circuits that oozed tone), probabally modeled after the 5E3 Tweed Deluxe. Mostly clean to light crunch.
Classic Stack - Marshal Stack. probabally the "plexi" Crunchy. Big powerful distorted tone. Think AC-DC. use a gibson
Metal - Very heavily distorted tone with "scooped mids" (trebble and bass up, midrange at zero). probabally 80's heavey metal.
R-Fier. - The Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier (also single and tripple versions....). This is annother heavey metal tone - probabally more "modern" and intense than the "metal" setting.
JC clean - this turns off the distortion. This might emulate the sound of the famous Roland Jazz-Chorous 120 amplifier. This is one of the few famous transistor amplifiers.

FOr the gains, when using distortion, you typically use the "gain" to set how much distortion you want, and the "volume" or "master volume" to set how loud the amp is. For clean, you generally turn the gain down (if the clean channel/mode has a gain control) and turn up the volume control. On some amps, the volume is all the way up for clean, and then you use the gain to set how loud it is. again, experiment.
The volume on the guitar is usually all the way up. Sometimes, you might turn it down if you want less distortion in one part of a song, and then turn it back up when you want more.

The weirdness of the low E string might be normal. it could just be the difference between an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar.
almost forgot....
the AUx in (if it's a pair of RCA jacks) is usually for connecting a CD player to play along with a song.

Your ears should learn the sounds of different amplifiers eventually. WHen I first started out, I couldn't tell the difference between different amplifiers and guitars, and now I can.

The Rocker

2004-10-18 12:16 pm
It is relevant to understand that an electric guitar & amp is NOT the same as a louder version of a Classical guitar. The main difference, IMHO, is the amount of distortion used. At least 99% of guitar sounds are distorted - this gives character to the sound. I cannot prove it but I think that even 'clean electric' guitar, such as Luther Perkins on any Johnny Cash record, has a significant element of distortion. Amplifiers tend to have cascading [multiplying] gain stages which drive the power amp section into distortion. The drive, tone controls etc. tame this cascading effect to modify the sound. The 'master volume' control controls how loud your choices sound.

When faced with a 'new' amp, I first set all the controls of my guitar at '10'. Then the amp. master volume at '2', and all the channel controls at '5'. Advance the master volume to taste. It is surprising what a great sound that simple setup can produce. Fine tune to taste, perhaps a little less reverb or gain. As another post suggested, play it with the these settings and see/hear what your kit is capable of. It is cool to know that a distorted sound can be cleaned up by the use of your guitar volume control. Useful to know that.

Enjoy and have fun.