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Will an attenuator make me happy?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by David Meiland, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Holic

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    I have been using attenuators for around 13 years. I think that if you are wanting the sound of a cranked amp (with power.tube overdrive), then an attenuator is your ticket. You can still get the THDs for pretty cheap, and they sound very good to me. It's definitely a cool option in place of an OD pedal.
     
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  2. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    Never liked them...none of them. Just makes no sense stifling the tone of an amp when the real problem is that it is the wrong amp for your needs. Sure, you can grind down a wrench to make a screwdriver, but you are better off buying a screwdriver.

    If you are like me and prefer cleans, find a Twin and be happy. Mine is running at 2.5 volume and it sounds great. It is one of those amps that sound great all the way down instead of needing to push it to a sweet spot...it is all a sweet spot. If you require amp break up...then wrong amp again.
     
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  3. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    That's why I'm considering replacing the 16 ohm with a 33 and the 12 ohm 50w with a 10, based on local availability. Maybe a couple switchable values. At least I can get that into the chassis & back panel. Haven't done the power calcs yet...
     
  4. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

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    My attenuator (airbrake clone) killed the OT of my Pro Jr. Stick with master volume amps is my advice. Or buy a proper reactive load attenuator. I'm amazed at the sound I get out of my 50w 2204 clone with a 2x12 cab. MV on 2. Big, full and rich, and family-friendly. It's made me wonder what's the point 'bedroom' amps. I used to think my Marshall SL5 and Yamaha THR5 were decent little amps but now they sound like toys.
     
  5. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Agreed. You have the wrong amp. A Chump, er uh, I mean Champ might sound really good through the 12" speaker in your Deluxe.

    There are lot of great sounding solid state amps too. When you're not playing a solid state amp loud, they really sound great. And they're a lot cheaper than a Chump. Uh, I mean Champ. LOL. Never liked those little squawk box amps.
     
  6. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

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    I've been playing valve amps all my life and love 'em.

    It's heresy but I just spent a week running my pedal board into a Two Note Torpedo C.A.B. M and then into my studio monitors (modestly priced one's too).

    I've been A-B ing with a 5 watt Tone King Gremlin and i am starting to get better tones through the C.A.B. M (especially at low volume). While both sound better with the volume cranked the C.A.B. M set up allows me to run in ears and keep playing in the wee hours.

    My amp collection is looking decidedly nervous.
     
  7. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    It's well-established that increased volume is perceived as an improvement in tone. Given the capacity of amps to inflict hurt, sometimes permanent, and to annoy the hell out of people, I believe in making a conscious effort to absolutely limit volume and seek other ways to create a great sound. Most peopkle overlook the basics, like playing through one speaker instead of 4, or going with 10 inchers, which can be fantastic, instead of 12s, as using less efficient speakers. Tilt your amp back. These basics make a huge difference. Stop relying on tube breakup, which demans volume; use a pedal. I rely on pedals, as many do, and today you can get great sounding designs that were not available back in the day when stacks ruled. If you need an attenuator, you have the wrong amp. The problem with volume is usually a problem with the guitarist's inability to resist using volume as a crutch.
     
  8. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve owned a Air Brake Attenuator and a Rock-crusher Attenuator and was not happy with either. Neither cut the volume enough for bedroom use and at higher volumes the seemed destroy tone.

    I’ve gone to OD pedals for low volume drive been fairly happy with my low volume sounds.
     
  9. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    that’s a fact. Between the 30w fender and the 5w Champ, I owned a $2200 100w Mesa and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t make it sound like what I wanted to. I think when you hear your heroes playing, you figure if you get what they have, it’ll do the same thing. A lot of those people are playing $100k rigs in a multi-million dollar studio and took months of editing and crafting to get that sound. If you played the same thing in your house, it would tear the paint off the walls and sound like ass. For house playing through a tube amp, you want 5-12 watts and a couple decent pedals. Granted, if you’re playing metal, you probably don’t want a Champ or Princeton. But if you’re playing metal, you probably wouldn’t have been on a Telecaster forum to begin with.
     
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  10. Roman4405

    Roman4405 Tele-Meister

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    As much as I did love my DR even with the power soak my new Mesa Lonestar Special sounds amazing at any volume. There’s something to be said about a good amp with a good Master Volume.
     
  11. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    Happiness is turning an amp up loud, so every note hits you in the chest, and shakes the strings giving that nice feedback-sustain.

    So, no, an attenuator will definitely not make you happy...
     
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  12. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a bugera power soak too, but for a very odd reason. My music room in my old Spanish house has wall two feet thick, ideal for no sound leakage you say, indeed but that the problem.
    Even playing my Origin 20 head on the one watt setting at any volume is just deafing inside the room, so with attenuator I can get a reasonable volume and still use gain without rapidly deafening myself. (Literally)
     
  13. PoorNoodle

    PoorNoodle Tele-Meister

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  14. saleake

    saleake TDPRI Member

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    I’ve had a bunch of them, but never found one that made me happy. I concluded that I just don’t know how to use one effectively. If you figure it out, please post your findings.
     
  15. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Looking forward to after Christmas happiness. I hope. If I'm good.
    20201120_121616.jpg
     
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  16. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    The attenuator will be cheaper than an amp so try that first. If you’re not happy, you’ll need an amp that works at low volume. Vox AC4, Vox AC10, Vox MV50 AC, Vox Pathfinder would be my suggestions.
     
  17. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    No. Happiness comes from inside.
     
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  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Happy until the cops knock on your door anyway.
     
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  19. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    I have a Trinity TC-15 which is based on the AC-15 and I use it with a Weber Minimass attenuator. Weber attenuators are basically speakers without a cone, so the amp behaves just as if it's pushing the speakers harder - a "reactive load."

    It definitely gives the power tube overdrive sound which for crunch or dirt tones sounds better to my ear than using the PPI master volume to rein in the loudness.

    But there are still effects of driving the speakers and sheer loudness that you don't get at lower volumes no matter how you limit the volume. To my ear smaller amps are no better in this regard.

    The other thing you can use is a Universal Audio Ox (or similar). These are reactive load attenuators that also have digital speaker modeling built in. These sound great but too pricey for my budget. And still you don't get the visceral sensations of playing loud.
     
  20. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Afflicted

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    YEP!

    I have the recent '57 Custom RI and have not considered another amp since! Sold my Swart AST!

    IME Champs can vary. I had a SF years ago and was not impressed in the least. Probably needed some service but....I've tried others and not till this Tweed....and man oh man!

    Favorite amp I've ever owned but I'm a home player...actually RV player and have mine at my feet and turned on right now!

    :D
     
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