Gain Staging The Amp: What You Need To Know

Usually used in professional audio recordings, gain staging balances the signal chain to achieve maximum headroom and minimal total harmonic distortions (THD). Knowing techniques to gain staging the guitar to get the right amount of breakup for your playing styles that fit well to the songs you play.

You don’t want to get just a clean sound. You also want to keep that character in your play style. Buzz-saw distortions can be found in a cranked pre-amp tube, but if you want the chunky full-bodied crunch, experiment with the pre-amp by adjusting the gain, drive or the volume combined.

With a vintage amp, you have to decide on your unique approach when it comes to gain staging. These amps are limited to only having one volume control. You can either crank up the amp to get that crunchy tone or change the volume on your guitar to get that clean tone.

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