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Old 01-25-2018, 11:25 PM   #1
St.Fill
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Default High/Low amp inputs

In all the time I've been playing guitar, when plugging into an amp that has both "High" and "Low" gain inputs, I dont think I've ever plugged into the Low input, regardless of what guitar Im using, how hot the pickups are, etc. Plugging into the High input is sort of a 'default mode' thing for me to do, and I've always done that.

So yesterday, I was playing thru one of my favorite amps, a Fryette Memphis 30/18. It was set pretty loud, and was noticing that the whole rig was kind of out of control... the bass was overpowering the mids and highs (even when the bass control on the amp was turned down), the guitar was feeding back when I really didnt want it to, I was getting some microphonic feedback from the pickups, etc. It was actually becoming fatiguing to play.

I was gonna unplug and turn the amp off, when on a whim, I plugged into the "Low" input, just cause I never do that.
Voila!! Whole different story. The frequencies were more balanced from top to bottom, the rig was very controllable even when the guitar was feeding back, I was finding tones and response that I havent heard from that amp, and I wasnt getting hearing fatigue even when playing loud.
I was still able to get as much gain as I wanted, since I never turn the gain full up on that amp anyway, but the response from the amp was much more controllable.

I found this whole thing very interesting because the outcome was not insignificant... it was very noticeable.
Does anyone with an amp that has both High and Low inputs use one or the other input exclusively, or do you plug into a specific input based on need, etc?
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:05 AM   #2
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I'm the exact opposite. Whenever I have a choice of hi or low inputs, I always go into the low input first and if I don't get the punch I want, I then try the high input. If there are 2 inputs and they aren't marked, I always try the left one first because most that I've seen have a resistor between the left one and the right one. I've always assumed that the second input was only supposed to be used if the left one is already being used and the resistor is some kind of balancing act. I've never seen any information about why that resistor is usually there.
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:25 AM   #3
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I have 2 amps with a high and low: my Blues Deluxe, and Peavey Envoy.

I've read many reasons for this- plug into Low, if you have high gain pups you want to tame, or, if you want to get a 10db decrease in volume as you normally would, with the same master/volume settings.

The BD has such massive headroom, and is LOUD AF- I just went to low, hoping to push the amp more, while at a lower overall volume. 5 is too loud.

The Envoy is easier to deal with in terms of volume, and has switches for Classic/Modern High & Classic/Warm.

All my guitars have low output pups, so, aside from volume, I can't say I heard the same difference as you. Still, I've never had either amp wide open; I'd need a 50 foot cord.

I may install the pups you gave me- the highest output pups I have- by this weekend. I've just been too caught up with stuff, after recovering from my dental abscess. But I doubt I'll come near playing past 4 on the Blues Deluxe. The Peavey can pretty much be tweaked to taste.

Actually, for home playing, I like my Katana. The sound/tone is tweakable at any volume.

I have read what you described, as one use for the Low input. It just never seemed to apply to me.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:43 PM   #4
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"High" is a high sensitivity input for normal single-coils and low to medium output humbuckers and has a brighter tone.

"Low" is a low sensitivity input for hot single-coils and medium to high output humbuckers and has a slightly darker tone.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Fill View Post
In all the time I've been playing guitar, when plugging into an amp that has both "High" and "Low" gain inputs, I dont think I've ever plugged into the Low input, regardless of what guitar Im using, how hot the pickups are, etc. Plugging into the High input is sort of a 'default mode' thing for me to do, and I've always done that.

So yesterday, I was playing thru one of my favorite amps, a Fryette Memphis 30/18. It was set pretty loud, and was noticing that the whole rig was kind of out of control... the bass was overpowering the mids and highs (even when the bass control on the amp was turned down), the guitar was feeding back when I really didnt want it to, I was getting some microphonic feedback from the pickups, etc. It was actually becoming fatiguing to play.

I was gonna unplug and turn the amp off, when on a whim, I plugged into the "Low" input, just cause I never do that.
Voila!! Whole different story. The frequencies were more balanced from top to bottom, the rig was very controllable even when the guitar was feeding back, I was finding tones and response that I havent heard from that amp, and I wasnt getting hearing fatigue even when playing loud.
I was still able to get as much gain as I wanted, since I never turn the gain full up on that amp anyway, but the response from the amp was much more controllable.

I found this whole thing very interesting because the outcome was not insignificant... it was very noticeable.
Does anyone with an amp that has both High and Low inputs use one or the other input exclusively, or do you plug into a specific input based on need, etc?
I'm like you, I have NEVER plugged into the low input. Man, why haven't I ever thought to do that?!!!!
Very interesting!!
Someday I'll have to plug my amp in and try that!
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:54 PM   #6
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My Bass amps have had inputs marked like high and low, many bass amps have them, sometimes they are marked active and passive. The active jack generally will lower the input signal compared to the passive jack. This is just to "balance" basses have a higher output.

On many amps the active input can cut the highs a little bit, and some folks like using their passive bass in the active jack for that effect.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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All my amps have high/ low and rarely do I plug into the high side. Even with a loud drummer, the low side handles it the best. I'm not sure if all high/low amps work the same but it sounds way better on low.
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