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What attenuator to get for my amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by Strowbri86, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Strowbri86

    Strowbri86 Tele-Meister

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    I recently acquired an amazing early 60s Ampeg J-12 Jet 15 watt amp. It works great and sounds amazing.
    My issue is that even at just 15 watts it gets LOUD. And it doesn't start to break up until it gets well past appropriate levels for my tiny, thin-walled house in this packed neighborhood.

    So I was thinking about getting an attenuator so I can still utilize its natural crunch at home. But I have never gotten one. Do I need to buy one that matches my amp's wattage and ohms? Is there a price threshold where they tend to not sound great under a certain amount? I don't want to get one it it's going to take away from how great this amp sounds, and also not if I need to break the bank.

    Thanks!

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  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't get one that is 15W, you'll want at least 50W so you won't blow the attenuator.

    Those amps get a lot of speaker breakup with the original speakers when played without an attenuator.

    I played one once (6V6 version), but I'm not that familiar with those. Does it have a jack for the speaker? You might need some simple mods if it doesn't.
     
  3. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    As @radiocaster said, the speaker breakup will be missed at lower volumes, no matter how high you crank the dial pre-attenuator.

    As far as the hardware itself, I recommend a Two Notes Torpedo Captor. It's a flat -20db attenuator + reactive load box + 2 cab sims + DI. It also decouples the load the amp sees from the speaker load, so you can run any speaker with any amp using it. It's an excellent attenuator with a whole bunch of useful features added on.

    They also released the Captor X at NAMM which has dual channel output, reverb and compressor or some such other effect, an IR loader and a whole bunch of other gadgets, if you really like the bells and whistles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  4. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    What's the budget?

    At the low end of the scale are the Harley Benton unit from Thomann and the Behringer PS1. The Behringer is a 'tribute' to the next on the list, the Jet City Jettenuator.

    These are basic L-Pad + resistor networks. They work very well indeed. Resistors tend not to have 'tone' of their own, but you do miss out on the pushback from the speaker coil and varying impedance with frequency a little. Fletcher-Munson effects come in too. They're not too bad, and an EQ pedal dials out most of it.

    Inexpensive, useful, multiple input resistances, neutral sounding, with the above caveats. You will need a speaker jack.
     
  5. Jon Snell

    Jon Snell Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
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  6. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Man, I’m envious! Ive been hunting that exact amp and couldnt find one here!!!
     
  7. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I think some DrZ amps put their little baby lite in
    back of combo..for situations.
     
  8. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Eminence Maverick.
     
  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The L pad type speaker soaks Carls custom guitars sells would work fine. Or you could build your own for something like $10 bucks.
    I bought a fancy pants $25 buck 70watt speaker attenuator a few days ago but am waiting on an enclosure to install it in before wiring up.

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  10. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

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    Pillows and duct tape.
     
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