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How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby RickNPHX » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:24 pm

Can anyone suggest how I can reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille amp, but not to get over-drive, just to make the volume easier to manage? I play clean all the time, and the amp's volume is a bit too hard to control. I can't afford to change amps. I'm adding a Fender enclosure, and want the volume pot to gain volume more gradually, so i can have better volume control. I'm thinking about having a guy wire in a different (and better) volume pot if possible.
Any ideas?
Many thanks,
Richard
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Re: How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:40 pm

Sounds to me like you need to modify the power amp gain structure, which will most likely need a mod to the amp.
If you're looking at resale value, that might not be a good. This amp is quite popular and the scheme is not too complex so it should be easy to mod, but you'd have to talk to a tech.

Without doing a hard mod, you might be able to alter the tube bias or look for lower rated tubes that break up later at higher volume. Your breakup might be coming from the preamp though so in that case don't know what to suggest, besides bypassing the preamp if possible through the fx loop if there is one.
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Re: How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby Billum » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:44 am

Yes the volume pots on these Hot Rods are notorious for being uncontrollable, since a linear potentiometer is used for the volume, which means that most of the volume is achieved in the first quarter-turn of the knob!

Many users have replaced the pot with a more useful logarithmic potentiometer and found this to be much more controllable. You can search the web for Hot Rod volume pot mod and find lots of people who have fixed this. If you're not familiar with soldering and working on electronics, especially valve gear which uses very high (lethal!) voltages which even persist for a while once the unit is switched off, then get an experienced amp tech to do it for you. Some of the disassembly and soldering to remove the original pot is quite tricky too if you're not too experienced.

Another alternative to try, since Hot Rods have an effect loop send/receive between the pre-amp and power amp, is to simply plug a 'volume box' into the effect loop. This is just a 'knob in a box' with inputs and outputs on 1/4" jacks which you plug between the effect send and return, and then you can use that as your volume control. Or a foot-pedal 'swell' control would be worth a try in the same way. This is a totally non-intrusive way to experiment with volume fiddling, which can get you some different overdriven sounds at lower volumes too, but it's not exactly the same as using the on-board volume control, so ultimately you'd probably want to get that pot replaced!
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Re: How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:40 am

I used to have a Pro Junior which was, for me, too loud, too distorted etc at anything above very low settings on the volume, and of course it doesn't have a master vol. I solved the issue by replacing one of the preamp valves with a lower power equivalent. Can't remember the numbers off the top of my head. But this sorted it completely, it became much more Fender Twin etc like, clean and clear until you really cranked it right up. Perhaps you could do the same?
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Re: How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby Goddard » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:09 am

Maybe subbing a 5751 for a 12ax7? Pretty common sub with Fenders ime.
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Re: How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:03 pm

I think it was an ECC82 I put in, is that the same valve? Huge difference, much nicer all round. Still sold the amp and got an AC15 though!
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Re: How can I reduce gain of volume pot on Fender DeVille

Postby ef37a » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:31 pm

I am not a fan of the add hoc swopping of valve types.
It is rare but it can result in damage to the circuitry, notably marginally rated anode loads. But yes, the ECC82 will drop the gain quite a bit having only about one fifth of the amplification factor of the 83 (yes! I know it isn't quite that simple!).

Best bet is to get that silly pot replaced, but the loop attenuator is the next best option IMHO.

Dave.
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