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Who makes a good attenuator for guiar amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by BluezyBruce, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. BluezyBruce

    BluezyBruce Tele-Holic

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    I have been fighting amp volume and loss of articulation from having the amp volume to low.

    I have considered cab size open and closed back cab...Perhaps I need to look into an attenuator.

    Who makes a quality, non tone robbing attenuator?

    I don't need much but this may be the answer for now.

    Let me know what you think, I have never used one so I know nothing about one.

    Thank you,

    Bruce
     
  2. CajunPicker316

    CajunPicker316 Tele-Holic

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    No first hand experience, but all accounts I've heard say the Dr. Z is a winner.
     
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Yikes..yea, loads of attenuators, power reducers, soaks, out there.
    HIgh end (Bad Cat, Tone King, etc)..

    Even DR Z has 2 kinds. I heard his air brake before..did not like....from my reading
    the 'lite' appears best...can be bought to attach inside amp or external..
     
  4. PlunderDog

    PlunderDog TDPRI Member

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    Just bought a Dr. Z Brake Lite for my DRRI a couple of weeks ago. It works but it does not reduce the volume of the amp as much as I had hoped. It has 4 levels of reduction. Even on 4, it reduces the volume about the equivalent of about 1 on the volume knob. Very easy to install but more of a help to reduce gig volumes than helping out to practice at bedroom levels. I'd love to play with the amp on 5 but even with the Dr Z, it's way too loud for home practice. Since I practice at home 95% of the time, I'm looking around for another amp since the DR has just too much power for me. Even when playing with a drummer, setting the amp on 4 or 5 is plenty.
     
  5. jkrischan

    jkrischan Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a weber mini mass for a while, worked pretty good for mild attenuation, my experience has been that the more you try to attenuate the worse it sounds. Used in moderation it can be effective.
     
  6. sbolt

    sbolt Tele-Meister

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    Hi,

    I currently use a THD Hot PLate for my amp. The THD attenuators are load specific which some feel is safer for your amp vs. the 1 size fits all types. I have used it for about 3 years with no problems at all with my amp.

    I also tried the Marshall Power Brake switchable for 8 or 16 ohms. It has more adjustability than the Hot Plate, and it sounds great but it doesn't match my amp load so I am going to ebay it soon.

    The thing with most (if not all) attenuators is that the more you attenuate, the more "fizziness" and loss of dynamics you receive. The Hot Plate has 0db, -4db, -8db, -12db, and finally a knob where you can run it whisper quiet. That setting really doesn't sound good. Anything below -8db and you will really notice it. However, for a live situation -8db is significant. I can run my Bassman head full-on in a smaller club at that setting and sometimes that's too quiet.

    Be carefull of the hype out there regarding attenuators. Every time a new (often way expensive) one comes out, a trainload of people jump on board and say how much better it is than all the others.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I used Webers for a long time. They sucked some highs and used a rheostat pot, which felt scratchy and sort of jumped between levels when turned down low. I just got a Bad Cat Unleash, which is a whole different ball game. It sounds fantastic, has smooth pots, no tone loss that I can determine, sounds great low, and has two settings which can be changed with a footswitch (think rhythm and lead). It also boosts your volume by up to 100 watts. It is pricey, however. The biggest drawback is a fan, which is quite noticeable, depending on where the unit sits.
     
  8. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    thx for update
     
  9. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    Bernie at Vintage Electronics...he's in Richland, WA. It's a great shop.
     
  10. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Any of them will work well if you're just looking to knock 4-8dB off of the top. If you're looking to get cranked Marshall tones at bedroom volumes, that's a whole different game.
     
  11. Dave_O

    Dave_O Friend of Leo's

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    OP--- What amp are you using?
     
  12. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

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    Ive always dug my weber mini mass.
    You can add a bit of treble which sounds good at low volumes, and it has a line out.
     
  13. Rhomco

    Rhomco Friend of Leo's

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    The "Ultimate" Attenuator

    I have one of the "Ultimate" attenuators and I want to sell it. It works perfectly to do want you want for 100 watt or less amps. Check them out if you want and PM me if interested in spending $200.00 to get what you want:eek:

    Rob
     
  14. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    This:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. tele_jas

    tele_jas Tele-Afflicted

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    Dr. Z makes my favorite.... I've tried THD, Weber Mass and Mass Lite and I currently have a Brake Lite installed in my 1x12 cab. The others killed the tone, but the Z seems the most transparent.
     
  16. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I'm from Richland, but left in 1970. When I go back, I always stop at his shop. Are you from the area? (That is actually a little bit of a pun. If you understand the pun, then you are probably from there.)
     
  17. LaExpatriot

    LaExpatriot Tele-Meister

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    I have a Weber mini mass that I really like. I have used it with my Bassman Head and DRRI with great results. The price is pretty comparable with the Dr. Z also.
     
  18. grinchmonkey

    grinchmonkey Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I have the Dr. Z Air Brake - not the lite model. The only 2 differences are that the big one (and it IS big) can handle up to 100W whereas the little one is only for 45W or less, and secondly, there is the bedroom knob that will take it down to ridiculous levels. If, like PlunderDog, you want to play cranked in your bedroom at low volumes, you might need this model instead of the Lite version.
     
  19. a.miller

    a.miller Tele-Meister

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    I used the THD Hotplate for years. It sucks a little tone, but nothing to write home about. I would buy it again, but &%#$ is that an expensive gizmo!
     
  20. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Tone King makes a great one. I had one, but ended up selling it because I didn't need it for most of my gigs.
     
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