Best $19 I ever spent.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by XTC Blue, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. XTC Blue

    XTC Blue Silver Supporting Member

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    This should come as standard on any amp with a serial effects loop. Works stupidly well and makes the amp's master volume so much easier to dial in for getting your favorite cranked amp tones without waking a soul. So much money wasted on power soaks through the years when a simple line level audio pot was all I needed. :(

    [​IMG]

    I got this via an Ebay link that Andy Fuchs posted in a thread I dug up for an entirely different reason. Wish I'd saved the link.
     
    scolfax, lifeson1, Rumble5 and 3 others like this.
  2. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    Looks interesting - but your description is vague. Are you phishing for sales of this product? Not being snarky - but it sure sounds like it.
     
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  3. XTC Blue

    XTC Blue Silver Supporting Member

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    @Papanate Not at all otherwise I would have saved and posted the Ebay link. It's a simple volume pot that you place after your last effect in the amp's loop. Dial in a good late night tone and then as the hours progress just twist the knob. Reduces volume without changing the tone from full on down to zero. It's almost so easy that I'm waiting for someone to post a 'catch'.
     
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  4. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    Considering he doesn't name the product or provide a link to purchase, that's some weak phishing...

    JHS makes a version called the Little Black Amp Box FWIW
     
  5. GuitarInnovations

    GuitarInnovations Member

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    Can you send me a link to this thing? Thanks
     
  6. J-Flanders

    J-Flanders Member

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  7. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    The catch is that all it is is a volume reduction before the power amp stage. You could accomplish basically the same thing with any pedal that has a transparent "on" setting with volume adjustment, like any sort of clean boost pedal.

    Very likely, the power amp isn't getting pushed even if you turn up the MV on the amp all the way, as you'll have to turn the box far down. You are reducing the amount of signal the power section sees and as such you will not be pushing it into compression. Reducing the amount of signal the power section sees is also a function of the MV. How exactly the MV does that is dependent upon the amp, so YMMV.

    The benefit of power soaks is that they allow the amp to run basically normal up to the speaker output. The preamp tubes drive the poweramp section hard, which normally sends a lot of power to the speakers, but the power soak "soaks" up the power to produce reasonable volume levels.
     
  8. XTC Blue

    XTC Blue Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that. Hits all the points.
    1. This is not a power attenuator. It can NOT be used between the amp and speaker. It's
    meant to be placed in the effects loop.
    2. You DO NOT need this if your master volume already works great at really low volumes.
    3. If not, then this is like having a dual concentric master volume control. Set the master volume,
    and then the second knob goes from that setting down to zero - with a SERIAL FX loop.
    4. Fortunately my Friedman has a serial loop. It will not work the same way with a parallel loop.

    Anyone marketing this as an 'attenuator' is being dishonest. It certainly could replace an attenuator
    in some cases though.

    In the article he's right - to build your own (and have it nice looking) would cost just as much as buying from someone who's building in bulk.
     
    GCDEF likes this.
  9. XTC Blue

    XTC Blue Silver Supporting Member

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    100% accurate. In most cases this will NOT replace your power soak if you already need one for pretty hefty volume reduction. I'm using an Ironman II mini to tame most of the PT-20 at night. Works fine up until about 7:30PM. After that I adjust the box in small increments. By the time I shut down 2 hours later I'm at about 60-75% full - so I'm not reducing the power to the EL84s enough to hear any differences since my ears are toast by 9:00 anyway.
     
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  10. NatGardner

    NatGardner Member

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    I have a Supersonic 22. The vintage channel which is a DRRI has no master volume. Even with the Fat switch engaged to get this channel to breakup nice you need to crank her to 5 or 6 which is way loud. I stuck one of these in the FX loop to attenuate the volume so I can crank the pre amp to get some breakup. It worked, but it sucked tone big time. I then did the same with an EQ pedal. It worked the same, but it allowed me to put back some of the frequencies that were lost. $19 for that potentiometer or $29 for a Fish and Chips eq. I suggest the Fish and Chips.
     
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  11. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Scott Henderson uses something like this but it’s out on the floor so he can control overall volume with his foot.
     
    Wyzard likes this.
  12. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    I have one of these. Great unit.
     
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  13. Page of Cups

    Page of Cups Member

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    Yeah, my Rockaway Archer works great as I can either attenuate or slam the power section harder like Jim "K"elley or BadCat's "K";)Master. If anyone reading this has a JHS Colorbox though, try that in your effects loop. OMG, one of the best setups I use is the Colorbox in the effects loop of my Matchless 30/15!
     
  14. NB_Terry

    NB_Terry Member

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    A volume pedal works as well in the FX loop.
     
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  15. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    People have been putting different types of volume controls in effects loops for many, many years. It usually works very well, depending on the amp and the effects loop.
     
  16. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    I've spent $19 on something way better.
     
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  17. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

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    I've been using one of those volume boxes for about 15 years in a Blues Deville. I crank everything up on the Deville- volume and master- to max capacity, roll back the knob on the volume box, and use it like a single channel amp. Sounds way better than any blend of the two volume controls on their own. I'd absolutely use one with my vintage amps if I could, but they were built before effects loops so I've got a PPIMV on the Marshall JMP and an attenuator on the Pro Reverb. They all do the trick for the particular amp they're paired with.
     
    Figaro likes this.
  18. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    #trojan
     
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  19. madhermit

    madhermit Supporting Member

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  20. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

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    On a Mesa amp with a parallel effects loop with a level control you can modify a patch cable (or 2 jacks) and put it (or them) in the send and return jacks and use the amp's own effects level control as a master. I did this with a DC3 and it worked very well.

    I just bought a Dr. Z Cure which has both a pre-phase inverter master and a post-phase inverter master and it works really, really well.

    My Mesa Express has decent pre-phase inverter masters and a 5 watt mode and works even better at very low volume levels. It'd be interesting trying this in it's series fx loop.

    It seems like mixing types of attenuation/masters works better than overdoing one type.
     
    Tommy_G likes this.

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