Hi, I am surprised no one has answered this yet. I hate to see questions go unanswered, so I’ll have a go for fun and maybe start the ball rolling, especially if I’m incorrect, ha-ha.
I would say that the controls on the guitar give the guitar the tone that the guitar sends to the amp. If the tone pots on the amp are set ‘flat,” that guitar tone goes to the speaker, and is of course that is what we hear.
If the tone controls on the amp are modified, bass/treble response increased or reduced for example, then that guitar sound will sound different out of the speaker.
Different rooms often affect the desired sound from the amp, playing in the bathroom as compared to the bedroom for instance, so amp controls will help maintain your desired guitar tone. I think.
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The Guitar Volume does vary the Gain when dialed back if your Amp is turned up loud enough to distort? Also, dialing the Guitar Volume back when you’re playing through some distortion boxes will Attenuate the Gain so you can get more definition, especially on single note runs? As for the Tone, higher levels of Bass can induce clipping in tube amps & higher levels of Treble add headroom for a clearer more open sound? I worked as a Stagehand & Guitar tech, so I can probably go on for days, but it would probably confuse the hell out of you, so I’ll stop there :)
Thanks BrianQ, slightly more informed, but you’re right, any more and I’d be dazed and confused.
I personally prefer to have the volume up and the gain just below the point of breaking up. Also the treble up and bass low. This seems to make the amp take pedals better. But hey you do you, play around with the controls to find out what you like.
I use B/Linear pots for both volume and Tone because the sweep of the pot goes up or down in equal increments while A/Log pots have a large exaggerated increase/decrease sweep.
The reason I use the B pots is to tailor the tone of each pickup in a 2 pickup - 4 pots setup.
I always set my guitar controls on 8 and my amp controls on 5. Then I play the guitar and do a final adjustment of the amp so it all sounds good. All guitars sound different from one another, so adjustment to the amp is necessary.
I keep the the guitar set on 8 so I can add a little volume/tone for lead parts and go right back to 8 for the rhythm.
Most people today have few controls and have them turned all the way up. Problem with that is not being able to go higher when you need to.
I usually add a 3-way tone switch that allows the tone of 2 different capacitors and a volume only choice which comes in handy for some guitars.