Attenuator Advice Needed for Peavey JSX 120W head!

EVH~5150

Silver Supporting Member
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285
Looking to buy my first attenuator device. The amount of options and features seem limitless and a bit daunting for someone who has never ventured into this area of gear before.

I have a Peavey JSX half stack, which is a 120W head. It has a cabinet impedance switch for selecting 4, 8, or 16 ohm cabinets. Those seem to be the most relevant specs for choosing a proper device. When I look at the items on Sweetwater's "Attenuator" page (all 45 of them), several choices are automatically ruled out because they can only handle up to 100W.

My primary reason for wanting to buy an attentuator is to be able to play a "cranked amp" at bedroom volumes. Many of these choices like the Torpedo products or the Boss Waza Tube Amp Expander have built in IR's and such for recording. I think that might be overkill for now. I just want a basic attenuator that will sit between the amp head and my speaker cabinet to allow me to get full saturation at lower volumes.

Which products would you recommend? New or used...doesn't matter.

BTW, this amp has a master volume. Do I even need to bother with an attenuator??? The way I understand it is the Master Volume still doesn't allow the power tube section to really do "it's thing?" Is that correct? ...and I really want the EL34 characteristics to shine through.
 
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4,526
The JSX has a sound that is quite preamp based. I doubt you would notice any positive changes moving to attenuation, as opposed to just using the volume control on the amp.

A 120W amp is ridiculous overkill for bedroom use, but in this instance I’d just save your money and continue to use the amp as it sits.
 

Bucksears

Gold Supporting Member
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8,626
Yeah, my take on it is that the JSX is designed to pretty much get THAT SOUND at different volume levels.
I’ve had the JSX combo for about six years now. The only benefit that has over the head version (IMO) is the 1/2 power switch. (In fact, I’d like to sell the combo for the head because the combo outweighs a Twin Reverb, and I’d prefer a closed-back cab.)
If you love the head and don’t want to consider something else, you could check out some folks that specialize in modding that model.
 

EVH~5150

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
285
The JSX has a sound that is quite preamp based. I doubt you would notice any positive changes moving to attenuation, as opposed to just using the volume control on the amp.

A 120W amp is ridiculous overkill for bedroom use, but in this instance I’d just save your money and continue to use the amp as it sits.
I agree now...but the 15 year younger version of myself would have disagreed! LOL. :D So, I still have the amp even though it's totally overkill.
 

cosmic_ape

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,601
Suhr Reactive Load IR. Use headphones to practice at home!

I have the same amp. Yes, it is as heavy as a dead body.
 

EVH~5150

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
285
Suhr Reactive Load IR. Use headphones to practice at home!

I have the same amp. Yes, it is as heavy as a dead body.
Ok, thanks! I thought the Suhr products only handled 100W...so you haven't noticed any issues?
 

Maltese Fan

Member
Messages
2,812
If you get an attenuator you don't need to dime the amp FWIW.
Try turning the channel volumes down a bit, and using the master volume.
I've had a few JSX's over the years and never had a problem getting a good tone at lower volumes.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,264
I agree that an attenuator is not going to help with that amp. It has tons of preamp gain and really neither needs or benefits from cranking it.

Use channel, master and maybe fx loop send/return knobs if it has any to get the volumes to a level that works for you.
 

cosmic_ape

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,601
Ok, thanks! I thought the Suhr products only handled 100W...so you haven't noticed any issues?
Well, for starters, no need to crank that sucker up to 11. Even at my loudest, open air gigs, I never turned the master past 7. That’s where it cooks, anyway.

Keep it at around 5-7 on the Master and you’ll get plenty of tube goodness.
 

Axe-Man

Member
Messages
6,269
A high gain Peavey is a preamp based amp. Clean power section with lots of headroom, lots of preamp gain and a great MV. No attenuator needed (unless you actively want a more loose, smeared high gain tone - better to get an amp designed for power amp dirt IMPO).

They are perfect home amps 'as is' and sound great without much volume. Some of the best lower volume tones around especially if you compare them to smaller amps. ;)
 

cosmic_ape

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,601
A high gain Peavey is a preamp based amp. Clean power section with lots of headroom, lots of preamp gain and a great MV. No attenuator needed (unless you actively want a more loose, smeared high gain tone - better to get an amp designed for power amp dirt IMPO).

They are perfect home amps 'as is' and sound great without much volume. Some of the best lower volume tones around especially if you compare them to smaller amps. ;)
Speaking from experience, as an owner of a JSX, that Master Volume is something else!

I have had it on 0.5 (not even on 1) and the sound guy has asked me to turn down! Not even kidding.
 

david(j)

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,676
Can’t you engage the fx loop and use that as a final leveling knob? The combo I used to have could do that. I imagine that the head is the same.

I definitely want another one, btw. Awesome amps.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
11,929
Ok, thanks! I thought the Suhr products only handled 100W...so you haven't noticed any issues?
At 100W RMS it barely breaks a sweat with a Plexi dimed for a whole day. Not an issue but I wouldn't run the amp at any louder settings than you normally would with a speaker for your tubes sake. Most MV amps were never designed to be dimed
 
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GT100

Member
Messages
3,783
If I was you I’d not bother with the attenuator. As others have said and I fully agree that it won’t help.
Instead just turn the preamp gain down a bit and boost the front with a Tube screamer, SD-1 (level up and gain down) or similar that sounds the best with it.
Other than that have half fresh tubes in it and have the power tubes biased properly.
Finally break in the speakers.
Lloyd
 




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