Hi All,

I am thinking of making a solid body electric baritone uke in a cigar box style. I would like to keep it simple and control the volume at the amp. Would this be the equivalent of having the volume all the way up and turning it down at the amp or would the total available volume be increased if a volume knob is installed on the instrument???

Thanks in advance,


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"Would this be the equivalent of having the volume all the way up and turning it down at the amp"?

Yes. The presence or absence of a volume control on the uke won't change the max loudness you'll get out of the amp.

Because most guitar circuits are PASSIVE (they have no power source) any element in that circuit can only remove/filter current, no voltage can actually be added beyond the tiny amounts which are created at the pickups. So yes, the short answer is that omitting a volume control (or any other control) might be just like putting one which is installed on ten or flat out. It is not entirely the same because a volume control, even on flat out, will still introduce some small amount of resistance and send some small amount of current to ground however the difference here is not significant.

The bigger difference is that the volume control on the amplifier is not a passive control but directly controls the voltage feeding an amplification stage. So cranking a big amp to 10 so it's screaming and then backing the guitar down to 4 so it cleans up but still has the creamy sustain is sadly not the same thing as leaving the guitar on 10 and backing the amp down to 4.. If you watch a very skilled solid body guitar player you'll probably see him contsantly using his controls and particularly the volume. He's getting something from those controls that can't be had at the amp alone.

I don't want to discourage you at all, I've done plenty with no controls. And there are passive volume pedals that can be inserted before the amp of you decide you need it. All of that said the answer to your question is that a volume control on a guitar, being passive, will not deliver more juice to the amp, or we'd all double up on the bastards eh ;)


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