First day with the Ultimate Attenuator

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
USPS and Canada Post picked a great time to set the record for a cross border shipment and to my shock, Mr. Postman showed up with it today.

I play relatively low volume. I have a 68 50 watter that works wonderfully for gigging but even then I never had it open enough to really drive it. I used an OD pedal for that. But the 50 watts is overkill when the boys come over to jam at the house. In the small room in the basement, it's a limiting situation. I was looking at getting an 18 watter and then some ad for an attenuator got me thinking maybe I should go that route with the plexi. Did some research and when a used UA came up, I went for it.

While I didn't use it with the band today, I did get kinda close to band volume at times.

Mine has two volume controls and a footswitch to toogle but at this point it's much too early in the learning curve to start guessing the best levels for each. I just kept them relatively low as I wanted to get a reasonable amount of the overall effect of the unit.

The amount of gain on tap at "moderate" volumes is hugely increased. I can get huge stuff at lower volumes that was never there before. HUGE difference. How does it compare to the tone at natural high volume? I can't say because I never play at those volumes. The only comparison I can make is how the amp used to sound at a certain volume and how it can sound now.

The 2 volumes is a very neat feature. The two are not identical, one is louder at the same volumes. Someone might use that as a boost. I'm sure I'm much more likely to match the volumes and use the footpedal to switch gain structure rather than volume.

Is it the Ultimate? No idea but it certainly does what it's supposed to do. At my playing volume, it gives me a level of gain from the amp I never had before.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,718
With my brief exposure to attenuators I found cranking to high OD levels completely destroyed my headroom for clean playing. I can't accept that and it is quite logical that taiking a 120db amp down to sub-80db will kill the dynamic range, so, multi channel attenuation sounds like a great idea to me.
 

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
so, multi channel attenuation sounds like a great idea to me.
I hadn't thought about it that much before buying the unit but now that I have it, I don't know if I would use a unit without it. Cleans are important and this option gives me both worlds at the same volumes. Extremely cool feature.
 

HeeHaw

Member
Messages
4,960
My amp is pretty dynamic in that after it's fully cranked and saturated I can roll back on my strat's volume and get a nice clean tone realatively quickly. It still behaves that way with the THD hotplate I use. I'd love to try the ultimate attenuator with my rig.
 

tybone

Member
Messages
1,076
This sounds like that unit that was up on the Bay a week or so ago. Looked like it had some great features. I have had a UA for a year or two. I love it.
 

Cokemachine

Member
Messages
138
FYI for prospective Canadians looking to buy an UA...

All of the 'Ultimate' products, including the Ultimate Attenuator, are actually rebranded products made by Ho Electronics in Vancouver.
 

zekmoe

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,994
My problem with any attenuator is that they only seem good for the overdriven hard rock tone. My DC-30 sounds best when it's on the edge of that. Turn the volume down and it's a little thinner. But when I used an attenuator( BC Leash), it lost much of the mid ground, but still could do the over the top sound, which, while accurate, wasn't what I was looking for. Does the ultimate work on those mid driven sounds?
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,708
oh boy, just got the word that the cables for my attenuator are sitting in my mailbox. can't wait to get home and crank my amp up for the first time (for a prolonged period)!
 

56_Special

Member
Messages
2,007
The Ultimate Attenuator and Ho's attenuator aren't really like traditional attenuators. They are really an all-in-one-box reamping solution. I have an attenuator from Ho and it works exceptionally well with none of the artifacts that I associate with traditional attenuators.
 

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
Does the ultimate work on those mid driven sounds?
I'm useless for info because

1) I don't know my amp at real volume. I did 4 gigs with it a year ago and that's all the experience I have with it at any significant volume. And even then, it was the clean platform with an OD pedal for dirt

2) I don't play very loud to begin with

So my tonal evaluation will land of being a clean slate kinda thing. Does the UA give me usable higher gain tones than I could get before while still offering the wonderful cleans I get today? My bet is that with the footswitchable levels, I will get what I want. The boys are coming over tonight so it will get it's first real tryout.
 

The Whiz

Member
Messages
5,966
The Ultimate Attenuator and Ho's attenuator aren't really like traditional attenuators. They are really an all-in-one-box reamping solution. I have an attenuator from Ho and it works exceptionally well with none of the artifacts that I associate with traditional attenuators.
Me too. I love mine.
 




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