Power attenuators

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Re: Power attenuators

Postby texas blues » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:05 am

grady wrote:I don't use Attenuators. They're a waste of money IMO.
There are so many other ways you can get that "cranked" sound that are much less expensive.
For the price of a Attenuator, you can buy,

1- a small amp
2- Guitar Amp Software that'll do ANYTHING (My AmpliTube Soundclip proves that you can get great tone from software)
3- a FullTone Fat Boost that'll give you a very full cranked sound at any volume

There are so many other options.

Also, whenever someone says they have to turn it up to a certain volume level or they have to have a 4-12 cabinet in order to get "their" sound, it always makes me laugh.


Grady, I agree but I disagree. My two Clarks, 5w & 12w respectively do, it all for me, especially the 12w Deluxe clone...think early ZZ "Brown Sugar". I have played and owned Marshall heads and 4x12 cabs and there is a reason why people try and get "their sound".
A cranked Marshall whether Plexi or JCM 2204 through a half or full stack with a LP or V...for blues or rock, pure tone heaven. It is the sound of rock and I do believe you could take the aforementioned rig and have a dozen guys play through it and you would get a dozen different sounds without straying from the Marshall sound. I have my reasons for selling my last Marshall but not because it didn't sound like a sonic killing machine. It simply was too loud. Attenuators? Bah. I'm with you there. Smaller is better and I can still get that sex in wooden box killer tone. I'm pretty much straight into the amp and use the guitar as my MV.

Ya'll would have to go and give me Marshall gas again...thanks.

Cheers, TB.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Little Tina » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:32 am

texas blues wrote:I can still get that sex in wooden box killer tone


Probably just my poor understanding of english...what is "sex in wooden box" tone? I'm already regretting...
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Troubleman » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:00 pm

grady wrote:I don't use Attenuators. They're a waste of money IMO.
There are so many other ways you can get that "cranked" sound that are much less expensive.
For the price of a Attenuator, you can buy,

1- a small amp
2- Guitar Amp Software that'll do ANYTHING (My AmpliTube Soundclip proves that you can get great tone from software)
3- a FullTone Fat Boost that'll give you a very full cranked sound at any volume

There are so many other options.

Also, whenever someone says they have to turn it up to a certain volume level or they have to have a 4-12 cabinet in order to get "their" sound, it always makes me laugh.


I'm hearin' ya.... to a degree.
I use stompboxes as well as an attenuator. I even use an attenuator on a small amp so that I can "crank it" in really small venues.
I like attenuators because I can take those screaming beast amps that I love and make them behave and get their schweet sounds I so love at reasonable volume levels, AND on those opportunities to open them up I can - and anything in between. It's all at the twist of a knob - same sound with a bit more (or less) thump. It comes in handy for turning up as a club starts to fill up with (sound-absorbing) people. I can keep my sound and the relationships between pedals and amp the same, yet increase (or decrease) the volume without (within limits) wrecking the sound I'm getting. What I really love about them - fully reactive with the amp. There's something wonderful to the "feel" of playing through a big rig that pedals just don't do. If you get a Marshall JTM45 right at the point of breakup, dig into the strings and the power tubes will compress and sing, back off your attack and they just crunch. Biggest difference for me - a 1x12 amp and a stompbox will never be a 4x10 or 4x12 closed-back cabinet (admittedly - 4x12s is just plain overkill unless you're outdoors or on a huge stage). The thump and drive of a great tube amp pushing 48 inches of speaker (or 40) at your back is a thing to behold. Unless you've a way to tame it... you're gonna get booted out of the club. Gimme a Hot-Plate or AirBrake. I can maintain that "thump & drive" without getting tossed. Yeah - it's more of a pain to lug and set up than a small combo and stompbox, but for the added fun of getting to play through "my rig", I'll put up with it. It's worth it to me. Sure you "can" sorta mimic the sound with a 1x12 amp and a stomp box or two (i'm well-versed with mike fuller's products - there's a fulldrive2 and one of his original deja vibe units on my pedalboard), but that's sorta like experiencing an F-16 Falcon via a flight simulator - a taste, but not the real thing. I've used AmpiTude in the studio. Great software (truly), but again - it's software. It lacks "the feel". That said - have you tried Fractal Audio's Axe-FX? THAT's a different beast. It might even convert a tube-head like me.... :mrgreen:

pEAce,
jb

ps - one thing i absolutely can't argue: taking only a small combo amp with a couple stompboxes in the back, a guitar stand and a guitar in a gig-bag to gig. i filled in for a friend a few weeks ago and did just that. THAT part beats the living heck out of gigging a 4x12 or 4x10 cab.... okay, okay - you got me there.. :lol:
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Bournio » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:52 pm

Troubleman wrote:
ps - one thing i absolutely can't argue: taking only a small combo amp with a couple stompboxes in the back, a guitar stand and a guitar in a gig-bag to gig. i filled in for a friend a few weeks ago and did just that. THAT part beats the living heck out of gigging a 4x12 or 4x10 cab.... okay, okay - you got me there.. :lol:


I've got a Crate 15R, and a pedal. And my electric guitar, and slide.
That's literally all I'm taking to play with the band i'm in now.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:25 pm

Bournio, I'm guessing thats a 15w amp? Do you guys have a drummer? I could never use a 15w amp to jam with the drummer I used to jam with in Washington. My Classic 50 is just right when cranked to about 12 on the clean channel and about 7 on the master volume. :lol:
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby ricochet » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:30 pm

Little Tina wrote:
texas blues wrote:I can still get that sex in wooden box killer tone


Probably just my poor understanding of english...what is "sex in wooden box" tone? I'm already regretting...

I think it's a little smoother than the "sex in a metal cage" tone we heard about recently.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby grady » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:15 pm

A big part of cranking an amp is the "push" that comes thru the speakers.
Driving the speakers hard is a big part of that sound.
A Attenuator takes that part out of the equation.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby rustyslide » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:53 pm

ricochet wrote:
Little Tina wrote:
texas blues wrote:I can still get that sex in wooden box killer tone


Probably just my poor understanding of english...what is "sex in wooden box" tone? I'm already regretting...

I think it's a little smoother than the "sex in a metal cage" tone we heard about recently.


Metal might be cold but it's harder to get splinters.

I have no idea what "sex in wooden box killer" tone is, either (though I think it's definitely weirder where I put the quotes).
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby texas blues » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:35 am

The "wooden box" would be a speaker cabinet. What is the sound of sex you hear in your head when you dream? Take that sound and make it with your guitar and it comes out of the speaker...then you have...."sound of sex in a wooden box". I use that analogy because most people can identify with that particular feeling. Take that and apply to anything...best meal you ever ate for example..."like pure sex on a plate!" Now you got it. Talk amongst yourselves......

Cheers, ya'll, Doctor Ruth.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Little Tina » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:47 am

ricochet wrote:
Little Tina wrote:
texas blues wrote:I can still get that sex in wooden box killer tone


Probably just my poor understanding of english...what is "sex in wooden box" tone? I'm already regretting...

I think it's a little smoother than the "sex in a metal cage" tone we heard about recently.


I would prefer a metal cage. Haven't tried yet, though :?
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Troubleman » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:07 pm

grady wrote:A big part of cranking an amp is the "push" that comes thru the speakers.
Driving the speakers hard is a big part of that sound.
A Attenuator takes that part out of the equation.


That's why I tend to favor inefficient speakers - especially lower wattage Celestions Blue Alnico and GM12 Greenbacks (12") or G10L-35 (10"). One trade off is clean headroom, but I've found that running a compressor with it's volume up while dialing back the volume from my guitar gets me around that.. mostly. :mrgreen:
With a Hot-plate or AirBrake it's possible to dial in the exact spot where the speakers start to break up, *and* choose how much scorch you're getting from your amp as well. Essentially dial in how much of your sound is coming from the speaker squaring up and how much is coming from your amp over-driving. There's a feedback/interplay between the two, so a bit of tweaking is necessary. Once you find the sweet spot, you really can dial in that cranked tone (and FEEL!) and reasonable volume levels. Yeah, it's a pain in the biscuits, but I LOVE it when it's dialed in right.

pEAcE,
jb
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby rockonpapa » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:43 am

Ref. Mastwr Vol.
I had been using an old Peavey Classic 100 head and a 1960 1/2 stack. My son has taken it to his place now that he back in the states.

I retubed it twith JJ's Blues option for that amp.
With pre-gain, post-gain and a Master Vol. I could get a nice overdriven (to full amp distortion) even at levels that kept the better half happy. This is an amp that the Master Vol. woks real well to obtain that goal.
Of course if you also like a lot of speaker break up, that is a different story.

Enjoy life...Play More!
Ken A.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Troubleman » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:17 pm

rockonpapa wrote:Ref. Mastwr Vol.
Of course if you also like a lot of speaker break up, that is a different story.
Ken A.


Mia culpa... :mrgreen:

pEAcE,
jb
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby ricochet » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:31 pm

Troubleman wrote:Mia culpa...

I think I know her.
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Re: Power attenuators

Postby Slim » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:14 pm

I had my little valve standard that I just bought CRANKED the other day when my wife came home from work. Now mind you this is a little amp, but that little baby was screaming (along with rattling the tubes, the speaker enclosure and the wall behind it...My wife came upstairs with earplugs in! LOL! I then proceeded to plug it in to the speakers on my old twin reverb...now that was interesting. NEedless to say, I turned it down shortly after the wifes arrival but it sure was fun. maybe I need a attenua...oh hell I cant even spell it!
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