Looking for advice on an amp attenuator

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by Tenderfoot, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    TDPRI Members,

    I'm thinking about getting the attenuator listed on the following Reverb link: https://reverb.com/item/17577824-acorn-amplifiers-elevenuator-attenuator

    I have a Fender 64 Deluxe Reverb HW that I cannot push pass 2.5 without getting to loud for home use. I would like to push the tubes in the 4 to 5 range, but not necessarily into saturation, and be able to attenuate the volume between bedroom to living room level while enjoying the tube sound obtained at a 4 to 5 setting. Acorn says it will do what I want.

    Given the costs of the attenuator I would like advice from TDPRI members if this attenuator will do the job for me or if there are better choices at or below the Acorn asking price.

    Thanks,

    Tenderfoot
     
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  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    You can start cheap...switch out the first gain stage preamp tubes to something less robust. Many find this more than adequate to reduce the pain.

    As for attenuators, Weber makes an acceptable product, though be warned, attenuation isn't a cure all. Many, myself included, find the loss of fidelity to be too high a price to pay. They seem to suck the life out of the flavor.

    My personal opinion: Don't waste your money.
     
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  3. Informal

    Informal Tele-Holic

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    I dislike attenuators .. The brake lite on My Maz 18 made it sound like your dropped 4-5 wet blankets over the amp.


    You could get a used Mustang or Katana for less than the price of a "good" attenuator....And IMO either would sound 100% better at bedtime volume than the best amp with the best attenuator.
     
  4. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    A Bugera T5 Infinium head (5 watt) is less than a "good" attenuator...

    though I am compelled to mention that "friends don't let friends buy Behringer" fezz parka
     
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  5. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Behringer is like the book of matches you use to keep a table from wobbling; it's not the ideal fix for a given situation, but it works, and you'll upgrade later.
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went on an attenuator kick years ago. I have found attenuators to be tone sucking devices, but... at home... hmmm. I haven't tried one for a several years now though. Have you tried a volume pedal? Before or after any effects?
     
  7. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks rolandson, I have tried a 5157 and 12AY7 but didn't like the results. In my research for an attenuator I decided that it must be reactive vs. passive since (from what I have read and some YouTube videos) they are not as tone sucking.
     
  8. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Meister

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    JHS Little Black Amp Top Box. I’m running a hundred watt head into a 4x12. It’s relatively cheap and I have no complaints.
     
  9. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Informal on the heads up on the brake lite as I was looking at it but not sure how it would work since it was passive but Z-Amps have a good reputation so it got on my B list despite being passive - it's now off. As to a smaller amp, I have a Blues Jr. III which is my backup amp but I don't get the tone I want using it - my 64 DRHW give me what I want in tone, just need the volume down with the tubes being slightly pushed.
     
  10. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks ReverendRevolver you comments are well received but as you have noted there will be a want to upgrade later.
     
  11. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Festofish, I saw that amp top box during my research but ruled it out as more of a speaker volume control or speaker soak. What are you using guitar and amp wise with the JHS?
     
  12. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks schmee, honestly I could never get use to a volume pedal and my effects are the Sonicake Twiggy Blues 4 in 1 pedal.
     
  13. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    the operative word being 'as'...

    and I get it. I popped for the Weber Mass 100, an active attenuator using what Weber calls a "speaker motor" ...

    https://www.tedweber.com/mass

    ...and after trying it for a couple of days, sent it back. The degradation of fidelity and response was unacceptable.

    Before acquiring a 5 watt "living room" amp, I constructed an insulated, ventilated "amp box" large enough to accommodate a Super Reverb. It effectively contained the volume to levels suited to home use.

    It was...okay. Just.
     
  14. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  15. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    What are your specific needs in that house? Is this to avoid annoying others in the house? I play a Twin at 3.5 in my practice room and have no issues (just use the volume on my guitar to modulate from there). If it is to satisfy others in the house, then you might just be better off working out a playing schedule to not annoy people instead. Attenuators are a good tool, but I tried 2 of them and never liked them....not very transparent and sort of flattened the amp to a point. I can't recommend them.
     
  16. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wouldn't buy a Ferrari and disconnect eight sparkplugs because it's too fast ...
     
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  17. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the insight Milspec. My need is not so much with keeping my wife or neighbors happy, it's when I go to my friends house where we play at a lower volume than I would at home. I can't get the dynamics (twang) I want sitting on just over 2 on volume. Pushing the tubes to operate at 4 to 5 and attenuating the volume down should allow me to get some tube dynamics in my tone.
     
  18. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    That's a valid comment rangercaster but you could use the brakes:)
     
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  19. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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    Noted;)
     
  20. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Holic

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