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Attenuator question from a guy who's never used one


I have a offer for a Weber Mass attenuator 100 watt and it's a rackmount. I have never use an attenuator but I am hopeful. I like the sound of my Peavey Classic 30 combo when I crank the clean Channel up really loud and I'm hoping that the attenuator will allow me to get the exact same tone at a lower volume. Is that really what it does? Or does it just act like a stinking master volume?

Will it really sound the same as it does when it's cranked?

I'm looking at trading a pedal which I really like for it, I like the idea of my amp cranked but with a more manageable volume better than the pedal but if it doesn't actually do that I don't want to be screwed out of the pedal. And it's one of them things that I won't be able to check it out first.


Gold Supporting Member
I had a few attenuators and I prefer a good master volume. I did like the Suhr Badger I had with power scaling....for ME it didn't make much sense to use an outboard device for an amp with master volume...If I had am old Plexi or something it'd be different...

I think we know that all tube amps sound better as they get cooking, but it's just how to figure the best way to make them useable....I think master volumes have come a long way


IMHO all attenuators mess with the sound, and the more you attenuate the more the sound will suffer. So I find that if you just wanna nock some dBs of the sound it might work.

I have an 18 watt Marshall clone in a 1x12 Blues Jr cab. I just love the simplicity of that amp together with a good guitar and like one boost pedal for smaller gigs/rehersals, but that amp needs to be run fairly high to sound the best, and even 18 watts gets loud when cranked. I bought a VVR-kit witch acts like a master volume but it works on the voltage in the valves. It was super easy to install and it's much better than any master volume or attenuator I've ever tried. Highly recomended! I bought mine from Hall amps but ampmaker.com in the UK also sells them.


It's a trade off and I suppose whether it is worth it will depend on the amp. I prefer the Rivera rock crusher to either the master volume, or the half power switch on my ac30. There are other benefits though - the eq'd/emulated output from the rc is great.


Silver Supporting Member
When you need a lot of attenuation I suggest going with a re-amper (Unleash, Ultimate, or Power Station). Those can attenuate the signal a lot with less signal degradation than a passive attenuator like the Weber.


Silver Supporting Member
I had a Weber 100 watt mass to use with my Hiwatt that people kept bitching was "too loud".
Ok, here's a big knob controlling the overall volume, so that I can get the goods out of the amp and it can be backed down to whatever level was "appropriate" for the situation.
Seemed like the perfect solution, right?
Well, it made my Hiwatt sound like the worst overcompressed(not in a good way) Marshall with really bad tubes.
Tried a lot of different ways to use that thing, all sucked, got the boot.
lot's of people claim to get a great sound using them, I'm not one of them. Not a slag on Weber, they make great stuff, but this didn't work for me. I've tried and owned a few different brands over the years, all pretty much the same kind of suck.
Got a BadCat Unleash-hey-doesn't suck.
So now my 50 watt can have 4 watt volume, and thanks to the built in power amp, my 4 watt amp can be cranked to 100 watts.
Nice to not be tied down to an amps power now to get the best sound to me out of it and be able to knock it back, or kick it up, depending on the situation.
It's also nice to have that effects loop too.


Silver Supporting Member
What you describe (in the OP) is how an Attenuator is intended to function. The biggest functional difference in my experience is the efficiancy of the speaker. Parker of what you love of your cranked clean tone is the job of the speaker.

Ugly Bunny

Interested in this thread.

This is the only reason I haven't bought one yet. There's so many and I've heard that you can't buy just 'any old attenuator.' That each type/brand serves a specific purpose and it needs to be matched with the particular amp you're using it on... Frankly, I've had plenty of good luck just using the master volume. I understand, as @TheoDog stated, that a lot of what we love about cranked clean tone comes from the speaker, but frankly, I've NEVER played a guitar clean loud enough to get speaker distortion (or anything nearing such an effect). At MOST, i've gotten some power tube breakup in my low watt amp. So to a large extent, neither the power tube breakup NOR the speaker breakup are integral to what I love about my amps.

So at this point, it's not really worth dumping loads of cash into a product that may or may not even work better than the MV.

As an aside, I got the cab clone, which I thought was fine until I saw Glenn with SMG Studios on YouTube do a head-to-head comparison with a real SM57. Shameful, Mesa. lol


I have a Weber Mini-mass. It works. It just takes out the trebles/presence. There's a switch on it to add back 3db or 6db treble somehow.


Platinum Supporting Member
I bought a Juice Box and installed in the back of my Pro Jr cranked bedroom use. Worked nicely but it was a lower volume amp than yours. I also have a Weber Mass Lite and like that I can dial back in Treble or Bass once the volume gets rolled back.




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