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> Power Attenuator, the secret to tube amp tone at low volumes
FrankW
post May 21 2008, 05:44 PM
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I've been reading alot of threads asking how to achieve a good tone from a tube amp without having to crank it to unacceptable levels, like at home while practicing. The solution to this problem is to buy an attenuator...period. If the power tubes are not cooking, the tone will suffer, because all the distortion is coming from the preamp tubes alone, which is the only way to keep the overall volume down while trying to practice quietly. There's only two ways to get the true, singing tone from a tube amp, either crank it with, or without, an attenuator. The use of an attenuator will solve the 'muddiness' problem, and the ringing ears problem. There are a number of attenuators on the market, like the THD Hotplate, the Marshall Powerbrake, and a few others I can't think of. You must realize that another important component to true amp tone is the speaker(s). An attenuator does not address that issue, to utilize the speaker component, the amp must be truly cranked, obviously. But, I've used attenuators in the past, and I'm telling you that is the way to go...not distortion devices. Hope this helps!
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Hisham Al-Sanea
post May 21 2008, 08:55 PM
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thanks for the information


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 21 2008, 10:39 PM
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I couldn't agree more. (Quality) speaker is a very important component in the chain, and if the speaker don't get enough power, it cannot overdrive the sound naturally


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blindwillie
post May 22 2008, 06:54 AM
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Someone mentioned these: http://www.tedweber.com/atten.htm
I'm ordering a MicroMASS. Unfortunatly they are not available here and I have to pay an additional $60 shipping on a price of $70 :/


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Juan M. Valero
post May 22 2008, 11:46 AM
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mmm sounds really interesting... sometimes it's difficult to record at high volume tongue.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 22 2008, 12:20 PM
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An alternative for recording an amp at high volume Juan would be a speaker/amp isolation cabinet. Some, not all, studios have them - sort of a soundproof box that you put your amp in and the box is mic'ed and the feed goes to the control room desk and then a line back to you to hear.

Generally though I use a THD Hotplate and it's great for attenuation - but it does suck a bit of treble/high mid so you need to eq for that and you get through tubes quite quickly.

Cheers,
Tony


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