I need an attenuator with more volume control than my hotplate.Any ideas??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by riffpowers, Jan 7, 2006.


  1. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    I've been using the hotplate with my main rig, its a great sounding unit but the stepped attenuation is getting to be a real pain.I'm finding that with the stepped attenuation control its either not quite loud enough or too loud.
    What I need is a decent attenuator that has a gradual volume knob or something with a stepped attenuation knob that has smaller increments.
    Obviously I'm after bang for buck, but it'll be in my main rig so I'm looking for quality too.The hotplate will get sold to finance the next attenuator, so something around that kind of price would be ideal.
     
  2. Timster

    Timster Member

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  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    exactly what I've found, too, with live work.

    Dr. Z Airbrake solved that problem....great sounding attenuator, and the increments of attenuation are adjustable.
     
  4. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    The UA is out of my price range, the airbrake sounds ok (but I'd have to source from USA) anyone tried the weber mass??
     
  5. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I know the UA is expensive, but I've had every attenuator there is and the UA is killer. The tone absolutely does not change and the volume is completely variable. Mine has two footswitchable volumes which is great for solo volume boosts. It is more but I've bought and sold many others because of deficiencies and with the UA I can't find one, except the price.
     
  6. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    I have an Ultimate and either had or have most of the others and the Richter is better then all of them. It has rheostat type volume control so you have a lot of control from 3db down. It does have 100 watt limit and 8 ohm in and out. It is not cheap but you get what you pay for.
     
  7. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi, what's a "Richter" Alex?

    ERIC
     
  8. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    One thing you can try before you look elsewhere...

    Use your Hotplate as a 'dummy cab', by setting it to 'load', from one speaker out on your amp, then run the other speaker out to your cab, which is the same impedence as the Hotplate. Then set the amp's imp. the half (i.e.: 8 ohms if you have a 16 ohm HP and cab).

    Voila! Roughly halfway between the first attenuation setting on the HP and bypassing it altogether. Transparent too!

    [this was suggested to me by Ed DG]
     
  9. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Another option would be get a small power amp, like the Crate Powerblock and run from the DI out of the Hot Plate to it.

    This is basically what the UA does.
     
  10. Jemlite

    Jemlite Member

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    Cool. I haven't heard anything about this until now. Please, tell us more...

    Is what they use a new idea, or does it do something similar to what's already out there?

    Does it get you to bedroom levels without any loss?

    How big is it?

    Many thanks!
     
  11. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Like I posted on your thread on Harmony-Central, try the Hotplate set to dummy load and then the line-out connected to a separate poweramp.

    Tube amp -> Hotplate (dummy load setting), Hotplate line-out -> separate poweramp -> cab

    To me this is the next best thing to Power Scaling. Much less compressed and less high end loss compared to attenuating with just the attenuator. Plus the added benefit of post-tube amp effects meaning you don't need an effects loop. I was really surprised how well it worked. The tube amp volume control, second poweramp and Hotplate line-out level knob give exact control over volume and how much the powersection is pushed. IMO this worked for bedroom levels quite nicely too, certainly a lot better than using an attenuator at high attenuation settings.
     
  12. ivan275

    ivan275 Member

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    Hmmm... So I have a Palmer PGA-04. I should have thought of this :jo, but I can now run my Diezel 100 W Einstein into the Palmer, use the XLR out into a mixer, BOSE PS1 or computer, and also run the unbalanced line outs into my DCM150 for an attenuated volume into my Bogner 2x12, correct?

    If this is correct, then AWESOME -- I'm dumb but lucky!!!
     
  13. nondeplume

    nondeplume Puppet For Prophet

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    +1 (+3chars)
     
  14. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    I'll second the option of trying a Dr. Z (Trainwreck) Airbrake.

    It has 4 steps of 1.8db each, then a reostat setting. Each of the steps can be individually tweaked internally. Also the reostat setting is quite loud actually starting sooner than the THD. Usually when I use my 100 watt plexi at a gig the Airbrake is past the click positions and down in the continuously variable reostat positions. When I gig with my 1974x, I use the Airbrake, maybe just one click (1.8db) down. As I mentioned, each of the click positions can be trimmed internally something you can't do with the THD. On the downside the Airbrake doesn't go down as far as a THD and will still be too loud for 3am in an apartment even set as quiet as it will go. On a plus side the unit is a little clearer sounding. I thought mine was a little too bright in the reostat setting, so I unhooked the internal orange bypass cap which helped somewhat. I still like the Airbrake tone better then the THD, unless I'm going for a darker and more compressed tone than the amp usually delivers on it's own.
     
  15. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    I won't be needing to bring it right down to home levels, I just want to be able to trim down the volume at practice/on stage.At the moment -12 is too quiet and -8 is too loud on the hotplate at practice.
     
  16. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    yup, me too. Airbrake solved the problem.
     
  17. kevin hart

    kevin hart Supporting Member

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    +1 for the Airbrake. I had the same problem with the Hotplate set adjustments being 4db apart are just not enough control for me out live.
    And with my รท13 9/15 I like the tone of the Airbrake better than the Hotplate.
     
  18. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Weber MASS has a pot for power adjustment. Very reasonably priced and good. Do a search here.
     
  19. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    I never really understand the bedroom level thing. I think the speakers and your ears effect the tone change at levels low enough to be called bedroom levels.

    What I do notice is that even a -3db load changes the sound and that is still loud. At -12db sound it is very noticeable highs get rolled off and lows do flatten out. Here is a picture I stole from Aiken's web site you can see the frequency response change do to a parallel load.

    [​IMG]

    If you do further reading on Aiken's site he describes a load that simulates the loading of a speaker he calls it a "reactive load". The Richter uses this reactive load to fool the amp into thinking that there are only speakers hooked up so it doesn't alter the natural frequency response of the amp into a speaker. The Weber is supposed to do this as well but mine sounded bad when turned down to a usable volume. A little flattening of the frequency response can be a good thing and can be compensated for my tweaking your amp. But as you turn down it gets worse and worse but not with the Richter or the Ultimate. The reason the Ultimate doesn't get worse is the entire load is sent to a 32ohm resistor and what you hear is created by an amp contained in the unit. 32ohms is actually very close to the load an amp sees in the upper frequencies. The Richter is an 8 ohm load at 400hz and it changes just like a speaker going up and down just like a speaker, reactive load. It has no re-amping needs no power cord or fan. So far it sounds better to me then any of the others.
     

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