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Best 'Hot Plate' type device?

Cheebatone

Member
Messages
1,819
With twins on the way, I'm going to have to start playing a LOT quieter, pretty soon! There seems to be a lot of these products on the market; Hot Plate, Variac, Power Brake and - a new one to me - Power Scaling, but I'm not going to be in a position to try any of them before I have to buy one. Help! Any experiences/recommendations gladly accepted!

Cheers,

Charly :)
 

HeeHaw

Member
Messages
4,958
I'm fixin' to get a hotplate myself. I'll post whether or not it works well with el84 type amps or not.
 
Messages
2,916
Originally posted by Cheebatone
With twins on the way, I'm going to have to start playing a LOT quieter, pretty soon! There seems to be a lot of these products on the market; Hot Plate, Variac, Power Brake and - a new one to me - Power Scaling, but I'm not going to be in a position to try any of them before I have to buy one. Help! Any experiences/recommendations gladly accepted!
The THD HotPlate works really well. It depends on the amp a little bit - for some amps the Dr. Z Airbrake sounds a little better. Power scaling is definitely good, but I don't know how to compare it to attenuators since I've never done power scaling on amps except the one that has it, and I never used an attenuator on that amp.
 
Messages
2,931
Another for the hotplate...

But I haven't really tried some of the others that people really like: weber, ultimate att.

Twins! Really? Me too. Wife's fixing to pop in about 2 months, gonna have to soundproof my playing room! Congrats tho!

EP.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,239
I have a Hotplate and a Mini MASS. Each seems to prefer different amps.
 

grantster

Member
Messages
356
If you are really wanting to get the volume down as low as TV volume and still get good tone and save your power tubes then power scaling works and sounds awesome. Having said that;

1. I would reserve it for an amp that you really like and intend on keeping.

2. You can't unplug it and use it with another amp.

3. Get a good tech to install it for you.

It is the best sounding way in my experience to tame the volume on an amplifier. I have played fenders and marshalls that have been scaled and loved the sound. I also will repeat that I would only install it on an amp that is up to snuff, sounds great already but needs the flexibility of bringing the volume down to living room/coffee house/small club volume. I was amazed to play a powerscaled 100 watt marshall cranked, but at the volume of a loud television. Power scaling is not hard on tubes. It will actually prolong the life of your tubes so you can splurge on good tubes as well, knowing that they should live longer.

Attenuators also have their place. I have an original ultimate attenuator built by Ho in Vancouver. Also a cool device.

Grant
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,975
I use a Komet Airbrake and a Dr. Z Airbrake, both with great results.
 

Riscchip

Member
Messages
2,047
Another vote for the THD hotplate.

When I have to be super quiet, I run my amps into the hotplate, then send the direct out on the hotplate to the fx return of a Tech 21 TM60. Sounds great for super low volume playing.
 

Timster

Member
Messages
1,127
I have an Ultimate attenuator coming soon so I'll be A/Bing the webber mass to it. I'll post my results
 

Patch

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,190
The hotplate is a great attenuator. But if you have multiple amps and cabs with different impedances, you will have to buy more than one. That's what I dislike about Hotplate.

I have a Weber MASS 100W. I'm very pleased with it and it works with all impedances as long as you match them (amp and cab).

Regards,

:)
 

Power Freak

Member
Messages
207
My personal favourite is the Koch loadbox, it also doubles as a DI due to the decent speaker simulation.

:)
 

Rusty G.

Member
Messages
3,143
Another vote here for the Dr. Z airbrake. I've used it a on the clean channel on my Bad Cat Hot Cat 15, and it sounds sooooo good. Crank that puppy up and let 'er rip. . .only, it won't rip your ears off in the process, nor wake up the wife and kids.

With that said, even bedroom level is pretty loud. . .you've got to have a well prepared room or be on the other side of a big house to be completely quite. You might also think of adding some ambient noise if you play late at night. . .like something in your bedroom that makes wave sounds or crickets, things like that. I've got one that runs water so you have the raining sound and you can pick between desert noises, tropics, etc. It's loud enough that my amps usually aren't even heard by my wife.

Good luck!
 

6789

Member
Messages
2,854
I've got a Hotplate for my 12 or 15 watt Victoria Regal and I like it but i was surprised that when volume is lowered in 4db increments just how little change in volume 4db is. if you just want to quiet down a bit the Hotplate is great. If you really want to get down to a quiet baby-proof volume, I'd just turn down the amp and use an overdrive pedal. When the hot plate is set for very low volumes the sound is compromised enough that a pedal will sound as good or better.
 
Messages
494
Ultimate attenuator.

Sold my Z Airbrake when I got my U.A. Really preserves your tone down to a much quiter level than the airbrake did.
 




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