There are two approaches to solving this problem: Active or Passive. We like the passive approach.
Active electronics, by design, alter your signal path. All too often, this alters your tone, as well. There are other potential issues, as well, such as the signal-to-noise ratio. If your goal is only to raise your volume for a lead solo, a passive solution is likely to be superior. A passive approach takes a backwards approach. Instead of boosting volume for solos, you reduce your volume when you aren’t soloing. No active electronics are involved and your signal is not at all altered—it is simply reduced.
How can you achieve this? Here are three ideas:
- Volume control on your guitar. This works great for a clean signal solo. Keep your volume a little lower when you aren’t soloing, turn it up when you are. Because of the preamp electronics, turning down the volume on your guitar while playing high gain actually has little impact on your volume—it has more impact on the cleanliness of your sound.
- Volume Pedal. This works well if it is in the effects loop (and thus between the preamp and the power amp). This allows you to alter your volume for both a high gain and a clean sound. It takes a little work to master the subtleties of the effect, but you can get nice swells and additional effects.
- Soldano Soundman Eliminator. This is a passive device that acts as an additional volume control placed in the effects loop. It allows the guitar player to preset two volume levels (solo or rhythm) and choose between them by just stepping on the button to alter the volume. For normal playing, it reduces the signal without altering the guitar’s tone. For a solo, it let’s the signal fly. Simple. (NOTE: We’ve only made a few of these. If you are interested, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)