Budget Noise Gate Pedal (and attenuator)

radtz

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Hello friends... I just got my Orange Micro Dark amp for messing around at home. I love the heavy gain, but my god that amp is loud. I can't turn it it past 2 or my ears ring. I wouldn't mind advice on an attenuator to go between the amp and speaker, but I digress....

I'm used to modeling amps with their built in noise gates and such. I am looking for a budget noise gate to put in my effects loop to kill all of the noise. There are so many choices. It won't be leaving my living room, but I don't want to kill the amp tone. I prefer the micro size but it not a deal killer. Any suggestions?
 

Rich_S

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Have you tried just turning the amp down?

The Orange Micro series have class D (solid-state) output sections to make their formidable wattage. Unlike all-tube amps, those output stages don't contribute to the overdrive or distortion the amp is making. All the dirt comes from the preamp stage. So, turned down, it should sound pretty much the same as it does turned up, just quieter. (Okay, yes... I'm ignoring the possibility of speaker breakup, not to mention the Fletcher-Munson curve, which is beyond the scope of this post.)

Not only would turning it down obviate the need for an attenuator, is would also turn down the noise, which is presumably entering the signal chain either in front of the amp (from the guitar or pedals) or in the loop (more pedals).

If you have so much noise that you need a gate on that amp, I suspect there's something wrong earlier in your signal chain. I've been playing 50 years and have never had a noise problem that needed a gate to fix it. (Granted, I don't play modern metal.)
 

radtz

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Thanks for responding. I have the volume right around 2, with the gain waaaay up. Its tends to go from awesome tone and really loud to quiet and dead between 1 and 2 on the volume control. I can't quite find a sweet spot, but the too loud sound is awesome. The noise is really what I would expect from tube preamp with the gain high, mostly a loud hiss. Because my eyes are getting old, I'm sitting on the floor so I can see my pedals better and the speaker is right in my face. I'm used to modeling amps that get rid of the noise. With gain down to a clean tone, the noise is fine.

I put a Les Paul studio straight in and with the gain up, its' still hissy. If I had $600 to spend i would have got a Terror 15 so I could bring the power down to less than 1 watt.

Considering this is a $175 amp its fun. I'll post after trying the noise gate.

Even more amusing, I tried running the effect loop return in to my Kustom 5H which is all tube (with no preamp settings, just a volume knob). That seems to be a little more forgiving and setting the volume down and keeping the gain.
 

Tim S

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Put a volume pedal or volume box in the effects loop to make your amp’s volume knob more useable.
 

radtz

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I never thought of that. I have to try messing with something that has an output level I can turn down to see if that's easier to control.
 

radtz

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It turns out the main issue is my Les Paul. At high gain it is REALLY noisy. I switched to a Jackson with a SD lil 59 in the bridge and it's fine with high gain. Is it normal for Les Paul's (with humbuckers) to be really noisy?
 

Beebe

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If you're still looking, the MXR M195 Noise Clamp is going for $50-$60 used.

If you play heavy stuff, you might like it as an effect. Gating was a big part of Dimebag's sound... but his set up was so noisy it needed it as well.
 

radiocaster

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You don't want an attenuator, It's a solid-state power amp and sounds like crap turned up to 9-10 (max), maybe lower. Haven't turned it up all the way lots of times because it's super loud.

I have the Micro Terror and had the Micro Dark. The problem with the Micro Terror is that they use a linear pot for the master volume, so it goes from quiet to super loud very fast. I don't remember the Micro Dark being as bad, in fact I remember it being more manageable.

I found it much more manageable with a Vox 8" cab, haven't tried the Orange one.

You might look into changing the tube, although I've tried a whole bunch and the stock one sounded the best. Could be worn.

You could also put in an eq and set it flat but lower the volume. You can put it in the loop as well.
 
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Len058

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It turns out the main issue is my Les Paul. At high gain it is REALLY noisy. I switched to a Jackson with a SD lil 59 in the bridge and it's fine with high gain. Is it normal for Les Paul's (with humbuckers) to be really noisy?
I don't have a Les Paul but I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be extra noisy. Maybe something wrong with the grounding. Noise should get les when you touch the strings. If it doesn't you can try touching the metal of the jack or a pot (remove the knob).
 

VintageSG

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Leave the attenuators for the valve amps. Solid state doesn't sound much different between 1% output and ( say ) 85% output, and above that?, all bets are off. Valve amps do, because the transformer interacts with the speaker and the valve and magic happens when they get loud. Solid state?, not so much. There's the reaction from the speaker motor, but no lovely output transformer to saturate.
What does change though, is the perception.
Fletcher-Munson effects affect our hearing, speaker cone compression affects the sound, room sound affects the sound.
An EQ pedal in the loop will alow you to alter the tone 'shape' quite accurately and reduce the level. They cut as well as boost. Set an overall 10dB cut with your desired shape, and rock out.
Character pedals such the Joyo American sound with a three band EQ and output level are good for this, as are overdrives with a decent tone stack. Set the gain to unity and drop the output level.
What all the above do is allow you compensate for the tonal shift with the volume reduction.
 

wulfenganck

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An attenuator doesn't make any sense wtih a solidstate amp. Just don't waste money on that..
I used a Rocktron Hush for years, but have now implemented a TC Electronics Sentry. You should check some youtube instruction videos on how to use it, it needs some effort - but it's worth it.
 

radtz

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I built a volume "pedal" and it does the trick for turning the volume down. I put it at the end of the effect return. It doesn't effect tone so that's cool.

But, back to the Les Paul. I am not exaggerating when I say the noise it bad with high preamp gain. I put an EHX Silencer on the pedal board and I can control the noise better. However, when I put on the Jackson with the Seymour Duncan Little 59 humbucker in the bridge position and there is NO noise even when I turn off the Silencer. So the issue is the Les Paul.

I don't believe it is a grounding issue because I can hear a slight noise reduction when I touch the strings.

This is the guitar: https://reverb.com/item/3189625-gibson-les-paul-studio-guitar-center-exclusive-2010-silverburst

Gibson pickups 498 and 490

I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to change pickups or foil line the control and PU cavities.
 




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