The tone knob does nothing

Literally. My tone knob does nothing. I have an Ibanez GRX40 and I just noticed that when I adjust the tone knob from 1 to 10 it makes zero difference to the sound that comes out. My girlfriend has verified this.

Is there anything I should do? I’m relatively new to getting to know the insides of my guitar and I’m not sure where to start.


I noticed that, on most guitar, the tone know does nothing to little.
when it does something, it’s often a change from open/clear to muffled on one specific spot, while the rest of the range is either muffled or open :smiley:

Tone knobs are, to me, the longest and most widely supported scam in guitar land :stuck_out_tongue:

The only guitar where it works, is my custom electric, where I asked for a tone knob that WORKS :smiley:
Yes, it’s effect isn’t really wow.
I just turn them all open by default :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t bother messing with it, just set it in one position and compensate on your amp if you want to change the tone, it’s quite common on low end guitars to be like that.
What’s happened with the PRS SE Silversky you asked about before?

Won’t be in until April 5th, I’m pumped for it though. Thanks for the advice!

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My experience on cheaper guitars ( and more expensive ones) is that the tone knob does little. I expect it’s a throwback to times when amps etc were simpler and stomp pedals were few and far between. No doubt it was one of the few FX available. The volume knob on the other hand is useful even today.

The tone knob on my G&L Tribute Fallout goes from sweet and pure to gnarly and nasty, with every increment in between.

Just like me :angel: :japanese_ogre:


Oh what an Angel Maggie and you are then very lucky!

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No, don’t believe that you could be gnarly and nasty………….could you……:innocent:………….:triumph: :grinning::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::grin::laughing::joy:

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Oh yes Darrell there is a Maggie Bad :rofl: She’s there in my head, I let her out when I’m in the gym or playing guitar.


I look forward to seeing the Maggie Bad rocking the OM one day


@Socio she has to be kept on a tight leash James and I don’t encourage her :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


You could get a variety of capacitors and try some different values. Or could be a bad solder connection on the cap.


Budget guitars reveal the cost cutting nature of their manufacture in the hardware, pickups, electrics etc.
That is why people see them as modding platforms.
If you get a decent body and neck you can remove and replace everything else.

Yes, the G&L tone knobs are better than most IME.



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I have a G&L also and my tone knob is very good. Not that I touch it really as when it’s down I don’t like the sound of it. :smiley:

2 fenders 2 washburns 3 Gibsons tone knob works fine on all of them. Sounds more like a connection problem or bad pot or cap component. Recommend visit to Luther :sunglasses:

That’s because you’re not a jazzer :wink: :smiley:




I think it’s strange if you hear no change at all - all my tone knobs does a lot! Take the tone all the way from bright to dark and wooly,

I tend to dial in my gear so the “normal” is with the guitar tone all the way open. But I do roll it back for some songs - for example, my default clean tone that I use 95% of the time is too bright when I need to be a little “jazzy”. Also nice for certain distorted solo sounds.

It can also be useful to dial back the tone knob if your playing rhythm guitar over a keyboard solo. Opens up some “tonal space” for the keyboard guy to be heard clearly… much like how you would, as a guitarist, often bump the mids a bit when taking a solo to be hear better (not a coincidence that the popular tube screamer pedal does that :wink: )

Being heard is not always about volume, frequency of your tone plays an equally important role (perhaps more than volume). Tone knob helps you achieve all those things…


Like others have said, I hear a similar shift from bright to dark without clarity. I’m playing an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro, not the cheapest but quite an 'affordable; guitar.

I find rolling off a little tone and volume when playing rhythm on neck pup to record in my looper plus using the coil-split helps create a suitable contrast with the lead tone on the bridge pup when the signal chain is guitar → looper → amp (no fx loop on my amp)

No sir! Don’t brush off high-value guitars to justify that some folks probably over paid for theirs. There is a world of tonal options with the pickup/volume/tone selections even on my sub $300 guitars.

Set it and forget it? Not me, not even after a bender. Get to know the sweep and interaction of all these tone shaping elements. They came free with your guitar.

There is an interaction between the volume level, the pickup and tone setting. Add to that your attack with the strings and you should see all kinds of tonal nuance. Factor in effects, amp settings such as gain, and the options expand into infinity. Go back and try again. :slight_smile: