Attenuator or plexi shield?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by charlie chitlin, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Anybody gigging a plexi shield?
    Is it just for mic-ing or does the amp sound the same on the house side...just quieter?
    I sure like the idea of the simplicity of a piece of plexi!
    Actually...I'm not interested in hearing about attenuators...it would just be too damn hard to get one to work with my amp.
     
  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    OK, I won't tell you about my recent good experience with my Dr. Z Brake Lite or ask you why an attenuator wouldn't work with your specific amp(s).
     
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  3. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I use plexi baffle from time to time. I always mic my amp, and I like to play on the loud side. The mic is blended in as needed. The plexi takes the beaminess out of the amp and allows a little more mic to be added in to even the sound out. It seems to work for us. Many times I get lazy though and don't carry that "one more thing". I should probably use it all the time.
     
  4. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm not that crazy about the attenuator sound, but I could live with it. Although, I have a tweed Bassman with 4 RCA jacks for the speakers.
     
  5. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I've had good results from plexi shields in my studios. We had a bunch of sizes, and could handle drums as well as shields for amps.
     
  6. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Holic

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    Shane from In The Blues on YouTube did a review of one of those shields and it sounded awful.

    If you are using a resistive attenuator, the sound will be muffled and squishy. Reactive attenuators are much better but also cost more. YMMV.
     
  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    An attenuator makes the amp produce less sound. A piece of plastic in front of the amp just reflects the sound in other directions. Both have their uses and drawbacks. If you stick a plastic panel too close to the front of your amp and parallel with your speaker you can get phase problems from the reflections. The best thing would be to build an absorptive baffle out of insulation, but then nobody in the club could see your sweet amp.

    Or just give up and get a Kemper.
     
  8. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I use a shield with my '58 Twin when the stage is up off the ground. Not because I like blowing the doors off a joint, but because the amp can get beamy. Sitting up on a stage at audience ear height, anyone sitting in front of the amp would get hit with the highs a little harder than anyone not in line with the speakers. My acoustic partner would come to the shows, sit right in direct fire and complain to me later about how I was too loud. But, just about anywhere else in the venue, I was perfect in the mix.

    I made it myself from two pieces fo plexi from Home Depot, some hinges, bolts, nuts, etc.

    On stage, I could barely hear a difference. Hanging a mic in there I couldn't hear a difference at all. It helped disperse the sound a touch too.

    Next time my acoustic partner came back, she said I had turned my amp down perfectly.... Same settings, just added the plexi shield.
     
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  9. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I have both... depending on the place which one I use... no issues with either one.
     
  10. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon TDPRI Member

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    Attenuators are the devil.
     
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  11. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Holic

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    I prefer to face my amp sideways towards the wall and crank it - the direct treble icepick towards the audience/soundguy is completely avoided that way.
     
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  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't think the beam is much of a problem with a 4x10, I'm just chasing the age- old question of how to give 'er a little more corn without being too loud.
     
  13. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    Being too cheap to buy a plexi shield, I just made a baffle using two pieces of pine shelving and a piano hinge. Stand it on edge in a wide V-shape in use, fold flat for transport. I do feel it was beneficial to the folks in the direct rays from my amp, plus I feel it helped spread the sound around a bit, giving me a bigger "sweet spot" on the stage for hearing myself, which in turn meant I didn't have to play quite so loud.

    It doesn't work miracles, but it seems helpful.
     
  14. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Holic

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    Turning it sideways helps with volume too. It takes 10 seconds to try and you don't have to buy anything. It's up to you though, doesn't make any difference to me.
     
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  15. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If you angle the amp correctly, you get the bonus of irritating you bandmates! LOL

    Also owning a Bassman, I can see using the shield to soften the attack/perceived volume some. I have contemplated it, but not had the opportunity to experiment yet.
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I tend toward the plexi shield. Made my own. Any attenuator I tried was a tone killer. The shield is a bit too for the player though. Seems to make things a bit middy and a bit woofy. But the further you can put it away from the amp to block the beam the better it is. It does block the "direct beam" to the audience though. For a 12" speaker amp I just made my shield 12".
    When I saw Coco Montoya a couple times in a small venue, he had the full surround shield for his 4 x 10 cab. I was sitting center front about 6 seats back both times. It was definitely not good tone. muted and woofy. But if I went further back in the venue and heard him through the mic'd amp/PA it was fine.
     
  17. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    A plexi shield helps to reduce the guitar signal in the vocal mics, and reduces beaminess for those in the front row, but it doesn't attenuate or reduce your volume at all, at least in my experience. A good attenuator is much more effective at letting you open your amp to the sweet spot. The key is to use the attenuator to take the edge off, and not try to choke the amp down too far.
     
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  18. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    I dont have tons of attenuator experience. For years I read that they compress and suck tone, etc. I actually sold a Dr Z Z28 2x10 combo because it was too loud and I was scared to drop $200 on a Z Brake Lite only to end up disappointed. So I sold the amp. And I missed it. So I bought another one, this time WITH the Brake Lite.

    I ALWAYS use it! Sometimes even when I dont have to. To my ears, the 2dB and 5 dB settings dont affect the tone at all. 8dB starts to, 11 dB definitely does. But "kill the tone?" Nope, not to me. Roll off some bass, add some treble use a tad less pedal gain, no problem.

    It's a great piece of gear!
     
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  19. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I completely agree: the first two settings (-3dB and -5dB) don't really affect the tone much, if at all. The third setting is fine and usable, but beyond that I like it less and less. At any rate, you're right: it doesn't "kill the tone." A great piece of gear, in my opinion. Now I can play my 5e3 at home and crank it up without bringing down the house.
     
  20. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    In my experience some amps work really well with attenuators and some not so much. I have an early 65Amps London, which is somewhat similar to your Z, that I use a Weber MiniMass with and that amp sounds and plays great with the attenuator. I prefer to use the attenuator because I can push the amp into overdrive without my ears bleeding.

    I also had a hand wired (by me) 5e3 Deluxe clone, that I never could get to sound good with an attenuator, though to be honest I only ever tried the Weber. Anyway, an attenuator is a great tool to have in your tool box for clubs and other venues that might want you to reduce volume. I wouldn't be without one, and I have multiple shields and baffles for my amp so I actually sometimes use both.
     
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