Crackling volume control

I have a problem with all of the volume control knobs on my Gretsch semi hollow.

When I move the controls from zero, there is a crackling sound and the volume goes from nothing to very loud with less than a quarter turn.

I am using a Boss Katana amp with the master volume control at maximum and the volume control is at 9 oclock.


My suspicion is you have the Katana cranked really high and are using the small potentiometers in your guitar to then control that enormous gain and volume.

That may leave you with much less control than desired.

Depending on the potentiometer it may be logarithmic scaled (vs linear) and it may be a bit rough at the ends (nearly off or all the way on).

They also can be dirty.

Before cleaning or replacing them, try backing the master knobs in the Katana off such that you can ride the guitar volume pot closer to mid range and see if that helps. It will give you more control anyway.

So for what it’s worth I would NOT have Master Volume on the Kat cranked all the way. I’d set it somewhere in the middle and then use gain and volume to adjust the tone as I want it. Then Master Volume just increases/decreases the overall volume for you. However I know there is much discussion on this in different forums and some follow your approach.

It doesn’t sound like the amp is your issue (but easy to prove if you have another guitar). It seems more likely an issue on the guitar pots particularly if you’ve got a crackle and then it suddenly kicks in. Again best way to prove is by trying with another amp.

If you can’t try with another amp I’d find your nearest guitar shop/luthier and take it to them. Far easier for them to fault find and do it quickly.

Agreed. I tried it because of all of the claims it sounded better, and I couldn’t hear it. And it was a PITA to use.

This is worth a watch:

It is probably worth getting a can of electrical contact cleaner and giving the pots a small squirt (from the rear) and a bit of a manipulation to work the contact cleaner in, before going to guitar shop.

I did this on a cheap bass I was restoring and it worked wonders.




That stuff’s also great for cleaning gunk out of the charging socket on your phone

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I hate to ask…




Thanks for the tips everyone. I have dialled back the volume controls on the amp and that seems to have reduced the crackling. I also tried rolling the pots back and forth for a bit, which was a tip on google. I will also try the contact spray.

However the increase/decrease in volume is still a bit jumpy so if the contact spray suggestion doesn’t work its off to the guitar repairer.

If it’s just dirt caught up somewhere, it will work.
If it’s a loose wire, you’ll pay good money for an easy repair. Even if it is a pot replacement. Perhaps an oportunity to aquire a new skill? :wink:

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Where to control volume levels? In guitar, on pedal or amp. :thinking::thinking:??

This is not the right thread for that question.

Try looking here: Electric guitar question about volume and 'learning' sound - #15 by Majik



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I had a brief answer here

And a bit below that, @Majik had a longer answer saying it with more detail.

The answers are pointed at a different question but your answer is wrapped in in there.

– lol, i see Majik just beat me to the link. :slight_smile:

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