attenuators

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mrfjones, May 11, 2005.

  1. mrfjones

    mrfjones Member

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    okay so my route 66 is a little bigger than i need. i like the way it sounds even when it is not cranked but i would like to get some overdrive at more usable levels. which atenuator is the most transparent? i have thought about just getting a dr.z airbrake but i don't know anything about it. so guys please tell me what kind you are using and why. this way i can make a really informed decision when i spend money i probably don't have, yet.

    thanks

    SA
     
  2. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    The THD Hotplates are my favorite, and they are the most
    widely used attenuators out there. They have some nice
    options such as a bright and deep boost switches that are very
    helpful when you are using greater amounts of attenuation.
    They also have a noise reduction circuit that can be bypassed
    if you choose not to use it. Some other good features are
    the adjustable line out which is handy for alot of applications
    such as running a wet & dry rig etc and it also is the only
    attenuator that compensates for the perception of sound, by
    the human ear, at different volume levels. A lot of very useful
    features that you won't find on most of the others on the market.
    I just added another 16, 8, and 2 ohm units to my studio recently.

    I've used others with favorable results but the Hotplates work
    the best for me as I primarily use them for recording and those
    extra features that I mentioned above get used quite a bit.

    Also, THD's customer support is incredible.
     
  3. tillerusa

    tillerusa Member

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    THD is, in my experience, a great company and the Hotplate is an outstanding product. The Hotplate, if I remember correctly, can also be used as a dummy-load when you bias your amp.

    But, for my purposes the Airbrake is my preferred attenuator. This is primarily because it can use a number of different Ohm ratings. I tend to change amps and cabs frequently and the adaptability of the Dr. Z is a major plus. It sounds pretty good too.
     
  4. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    My opinion on attenuators is also based on the type of amp. You may think I'm crazy, but I think the Weber MASS sounds the best on smaller bottle amps (EL84s), but I like the THD on the EL34, and 6L6 amps. I'm not sure why this is, but to my ears, it just worked out that way.
     
  5. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Member

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    Another vote for the THD.....but in answer to your question....there is no best....different amps react differently.....I have found the different attenuators work "best" depending on the amp it is plugged into...sorry, I know its not the answer you would want but thats the way it is.....that said I now only have a hotplate
     
  6. mrfjones

    mrfjones Member

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    thanks for all the information. hopefully i can find a couple of these soon and try them out. i don't live far from a thd dealer or the weber factory so hopefully i can try one or both of them out. keep the replies coming guys the more info i have the better i feel about buying if i don't get to use one first.
     
  7. JES1680

    JES1680 Silver Supporting Member

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    I use a 16ohm Hotplate with my RT66. Works great. I usually use fairly high attenuation and it sounds really good without haveing to resort to the high and low switches. It's also dead quiet. Let's me get those big bottles cooking which really makes this amp shine.
     
  8. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    just a observation and not a flame........but if everyone just used the search option........wouldn't be much of a forum anymore. Plus (and I use the function quite a bit) most searches especially something as vague as attenuators could be a mile long. Don't know about you but, after a few million brunos rule and I love my Z28........I'd just ask

    think I'll go search under "search function".......bet that produces a long list
     
  9. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    like I said 1 of 58
     
  10. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    I hear ya and that how I usually research stuff........my comment was more toward the old tired "use the search function" comment tho I also get tired of the same ol stuff being brought up every week and certainly have felt like saying it but, ya gotta realize (and I'm sure you do) most of these questions are by new guys who just don' know the ropes yet. Your first response sounded cold, the second sounded like you really wanted to help the guy.....JMHO
     
  11. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Hey, is that some kind of crack against Tag and Big Mike??? Do you want a piece of me, man? Don't be dissing Big Mike and his Z28 love, you hear? Or I'll get you. Big time.















    I kid.
    ;)

    By the way I LOVE MY Z28 TOO.
    :p
     
  12. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    who Tag and Big Mike?

    and PS- I love your Z28 also.....
     
  13. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I have the same view. Usually I like THD Hotplate but some amps like the Airbrake better.
     
  14. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    I'm glad you said "Z28" and not "wife."
    ;)
     
  15. slide man

    slide man Member

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    I think with the Dr, Z Trainwreck design would work really well with the Route 66. I find most of these attenuators work really well for the first two clicks but the third click is the one that really tells. Actually the Dr.Z moves in smaller increments after the first click which would be really nice in my opinion. By the way I own a Kendrick Attenuator that is basically the same as the Dr. Z. and have been very happy with it I have borrowed a hotplate to use with a divided by 13 and the two didn't match up very well but I know they work well in a lot of applications.

    Slide Man
     
  16. philster

    philster Member

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    I really prefer the original Komet airbrake. I do not think the resistors in those are available anymore.

    OTOH, if you only need a modest attenuation, any attenuator used in parallel should provide excellent results. Expect about a 3db drop using it this way. The nice thing is no tonal effects. Just remember to adjust the output impedance on your amp to half. i.e. 16 to 8ohms or 8 to 4 ohms.

    IMHO, all attenuators sound like **** if you attenuate a cranked high wattage amp to bedroom volumes.
     
  17. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Actually it isn't the attenuator that sounds crap but the amp used that way!!! :)
     
  18. big hair

    big hair Member

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    yes and no imo.
    if you take a 100w amp, turn everything to 10, then attenuate to talking volume, yes it may sound ****

    however if you have a MV amp it is worth balancing the MV & attenuator to get more power valve break up. I quite like a moderately cranked amp attenuated down to TV vol - adds a bit of fat sizzle :)
     
  19. philster

    philster Member

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    OK. Lets split some hairs.
    It is the results that are bad.
     

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