The Difference Between Gain and Volume

- Sep 19, 2018-

Gain: Explained in the simplest way, the gain is used to enhance the signal input into the speaker circuit. Usually we debug the gain parameters by debugging the strength of the input signal in the pre-stage. That is, the gain control is the "input" end of the device.

Volume: The volume affects the loudness of the final output of the rear stage. It's the same for the guitar case or the bass box. Whether the speaker is connected to the effect loop or has AUX transmission, the volume/volume parameter of the final control output will affect it.

Gain and volume relationship

The gain is more related to "sensitivity". For example: Does your microphone need to be more "sensitive"? Then turn the gain bigger. However, if the gain is too large, the signal-to-noise ratio will decrease and the noise floor will be more noticeable. Clipping distortion is also caused by current output limitations. This is the real source of what we call the "overload" effect. It is also the reason why many friends want to create overload by opening the volume of the clean channel.

If the gain is turned on and the volume is turned off, the effect of overloading can be obtained. Many of the sounds can be heard in the music works of the 60s and 70s; if the small gain is turned on, the notes will be clear and the graininess will be good.

About gain and volume settings

When adjusting the speaker, you should start from the gain knob. If the gain knob does not work, it means that the signal has been input too much before, and the gain function has been blocked. And if the "Peak" light is always on, it will cause the malfunction of the speaker. When using a vacuum tube speaker, if the value of the gain is too large, a distorted tone can be emitted. Some guitarists or bass players like this sound, but the burden on the speaker is too large, which is not conducive to the maintenance of the speaker. And some speakers with a small output power, if you want to input a huge signal, will cause the malfunction of the speaker.



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