• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


Lowest price route to attenuation

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,543
So, I've noticed that on my Bad Cat Cougar 50, "0" is silent, ".5" sounds kind of crappy, and "1" sound ok but is too loud for home use. But...."4" sound REALLY good. So, I want to turn the thing up to 4 or so in my own house, and I need an attenuator to do so.

The wife supports this idea. But, she doesn't support me spending $200 or more on it.

I am pretty handy, and I could do the DIY Lpad route, but I've heard mixed reviews. I don't want to buy the parts, and spend the time making the thing if its not going to solve the problem or suck,

So, what is the best, low cost option for an amp attenuator?
 

Jason_77

Senior Member
Messages
7,209
Get a Weber Mass with a reactive load. It's the best low-cost solution. I use a Mass 200 with my Super Lead and it works great. Just remember you need to double the wattage because your amp is rated at 50 watts clean.
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,029
You can buy a pre-assembled L-pad attenuator from Ebay or Reverb. A bunch of small time builders make them.

Carls Custom Speaker Soak is around $40

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carls-Custo...789?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f4a81deb5

https://reverb.com/item/8282-speake...ator-for-vox-ac-30-ac-15-ac30-ac15-guitar-amp

The Juicebox is a similar device for ~$75
https://reverb.com/item/280720-tubular-mods-juice-box-50-8-tube-amp-attenuator

The reviews on L-pad attenuators are mixed at best. personally i think the best attenuator under $100 is the Phaez Brink. Its a fixed passive inductive load that is wired in parallel to your speaker. This means speaker is always directly connected to your amp unlike the weber mass which is in line.

Anyway the brink comes in various wattage reductions which is different than volume reduction. Half power is about -3db reduction in volume. Half volume is around -10db. The 50% brink will only reduce the output by 3-4 db. You'd want the 75%, 85% or 90% version for home use.

http://www.phaezamp.com/ampshop/en/brink-79/77-brink-attenuator.html
 
Last edited:

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,543
Get a Weber Mass with a reactive load. It's the best low-cost solution. I use a Mass 200 with my Super Lead and it works great. Just remember you need to double the wattage because your amp is rated at 50 watts clean.
Right, but its also over $200.

I'm looking to spend like $50 or less if possible.
 

LPVM

Member
Messages
2,514
The Mini-Mass 50 is $95. I had the remote switching feature added to mine and it was $125 out the door with footswitch. It's a nice unit with user selectable impedance and a line out which is very handy.
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
After having owned the full range of attenuator options on the market, from cheapest to most expensive, I don't think you're gonna be happy with the cheap solutions and you may find yourself spending way more than the difference working your way up the chain over time to something you actually enjoy playing. IMO, you really need to pony up at least $350 to get anything worth using, with current best-in-class (Fryette Power Station) clocking in at $599. In the scheme of life, the difference between your $200 limit and the $600 PS is not really that significant. I'd save up for something you'll really enjoy.
 

mlj_gear

Member
Messages
3,087
Right, but its also over $200.

I'm looking to spend like $50 or less if possible.
You're probably not going to get anything that sounds decent for $50 or less.

You could get a 50-watt Weber Load Dump for $85.00 (http://www.tedweber.com/load-dump) Personally I think it sounds as good as many much more expensive attenuators (although not as good as some really nice ones). Just be very careful if you get one: you really should get the 100-watt model if your amp is a 50-watt amp. I don't know what kind of power spikes the Cougar 50 is putting out when it's at 4 on the dial.

Also be aware that at the price range you're looking at, an attenuator setup is going to yield a tone that may or may not be preferable to what you can get with your amp's built-in master volume.
 

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,543
After having owned the full range of attenuator options on the market, from cheapest to most expensive, I don't think you're gonna be happy with the cheap solutions and you may find yourself spending way more than the difference working your way up the chain over time to something you actually enjoy playing. IMO, you really need to pony up at least $350 to get anything worth using, with current best-in-class (Fryette Power Station) clocking in at $599. In the scheme of life, the difference between your $200 limit and the $600 PS is not really that significant. I'd save up for something you'll really enjoy.

Not really a question of saving. I could afford a $600 attenuator. Its a question of whether or not we'd rather put that money somewhere else. Theres only so much money that I can divert to guitar things without the wife getting cranky.
 

garret

Member
Messages
1,037
Not really a question of saving. I could afford a $600 attenuator. Its a question of whether or not we'd rather put that money somewhere else. Theres only so much money that I can divert to guitar things without the wife getting cranky.
Totally understand your situation.

I have a Weber Mass Lite. It's ok for the price. Lots of tone suck when heavily attenuated. Little less tone suck when lightly attenuated.

Get the best attenuator you can afford. Going cheap in this case is not the best choice for retaining the characteristics of the amp.
 
Last edited:

ArtDecade

Member
Messages
2,340
You are going to pay a whole lot more money to repair your amp when a 50 dollar attenuation device fries it.
Protect your amp first - purchase quality.
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,238
Also be aware that at the price range you're looking at, an attenuator setup is going to yield a tone that may or may not be preferable to what you can get with your amp's built-in master volume.
I find attenuators great for knocking down a few decibels at live shows, like situations where your amp is too powerful to naturally break up at the volume that's comfortable in the room. They're not really good at making a gigging amp sound good at bedroom volumes. A good master volume does a better job of this.

Also, keep in mind that there's more to the sound of an amp than just watts. If you find the tone thin and wimpy at bedroom volumes it could just be the way that speaker sounds at that volume and you'd be better off getting a good EQ pedal to give it a fuller sound at lower volumes. Our ears hear different frequencies differently at different volume levels. Using an attenuator in that circumstance would likely leave you with the same tone, but reduce the lifespan of your tubes.
 

J M Fahey

Member
Messages
2,663
This one does the job:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...n-a-budget-help-please.1581895/#post-20067236

Mind you, this attenuator IS flat, but our ears are not , so you may find sound "weak" ... or acceptable ......
EDIT: silentsound said the same :)

Try it, it definitely won't break the bank, you can build it on the kitchen table and test it; then if happy you pack it in a chassis or enclosure.

One big point is that it is **safe** , you are loading the OT with the proper impedance, not like some which load any output with fixed 30 ohms, no matter what, you can control speaker damping with the third resistor which shapes sound, and mainly there are no switches or connectors which might fail and endanger your OT.
The least attenuation which I guess is what you want is given by a proper load impedance main resistor, in series with a 0.5 or 1 ohm speaker bypass/shunt , the third resistor may go from 5 to 20 ohms for a wide range of damping factors,from Fendery (higher NFB) to almost non NFB feel.
 

superdave2001

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
Here's a very different answer: Eminence Maverick/Reignmaker FDM speaker. For the ~$140, you get excellent attenuation and a fantastic speaker to boot. It won't go down to whisper volumes...but you'll get more of your tone using this than pretty much ALL dedicated attenuators in the sub-$200 range. I can't recommend these enough.
 




Trending Topics

Top