Tips & Tricks: Be brave – use the pots

PotisLooking at the pedalboards of other guitarists, I frequently find the effect pedal pots at 12 o’clock position or even varying marginal from that standard position.
Although even overdrive pedals with only three knobs offer various options – if you are willing to use them.
The range of a pot is mostly chosen in a way that creates even in extreme positions pretty good sounds.
It is worth it to be brave and turn the pot to full clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

First example: Fuzz effects

Concerning the Fuzz Face it is known to be common to max the fuzz pot  because this offers the possibility to adjust the degree of distortion via the volume pot of the guitar.
And you can also set a beautiful clean sound by this.

But also tone pots can be used in a heroically.

Second example: Delays

In my honest opinion, the digital delay sound of the Source Audio Nemesis is much better subdued highs.
The sound stays clear and defined but it also looses its sharpness.
For the tape sound however, I turn the tone pot to full clockwise position to emulate the sound of an Echoplex.

The first presets are only examples how to adjust the sound of a pedal and can mostly be improved.

Third example: Amplifiers

It is the same with the pots of your amplifier.
Not infrequently the sound of an amplifier has been adjusted right after it has been bought and then the setting stays that way for all time.
Later you start searching for an amplifier with more bass and less highs instead of changing the tuning of the one you have got.
It is worth it to apply yourself to your amplifier and try out different (maybe even extreme) setting options.

Fourth example: Guitars

The pots of a guitar also prevail several nuances.
There is an enormous interaction between the volume pot and the tone pot and in conjunction with varying pickups you can create a wide range of different sounds.
Recently, I read in a forum that a guy thought the sound of his Jazzmaster too shrill and thin.
The other users proposed numerous modifications: different pickups, alteration of the pots values and so on.
I would recommend to wind down the volume and the tone pot a little bit while you turn on a booster.
If the amp already overdrives this won’t cause a difference of volume but leads the amp even more into saturation.

Be brave and use the pots!