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Newer Attenuators vs. my Weber Mass 150

bender

Member
Messages
1,143
I bought my Weber Mass 150 on eBay last year, and I use it here and there, mostly at home to tame my Marshall 2061x to 'not wake up the wife' volumes.

This is what it looks like:



Whenever I have tried it in a gigging or jam/practice situation, well it didn't sound quite right but then again I have not spent the time alone trying to fool around with it enough.

I am finding myself in a situation where my amps are just too much amp for live venues, and sometimes even for jamming/band practice (usually less of an issue). My go-to amp at the moment is a Dumble clone (100W). As far as I see it, I have the following options:

A. Get another amp, something around 20-30W (I have a 40W brownface clone, and that is freaking loud).

B. Use pedals for OD (perhaps with another amp just using a clean setting--I tried this, and prefer the tone of my Dumble clone).

C. Spend the time properly dialling in an attenuator.

There are other options, I am sure, such as digital modelling etc. but I really don't want to go down that path.

For reasons that seems obvious to me (financial, logic), I will start at option C.

I see that Weber has newer attenuators, and that there are a number of well regarded 'reactive load' attenuators around. If I understand the speaker motor design, I would assume mine is a reactive load as well. Is that correct?

Now, to the questions I have about attenuators.

1. Do other (reactive load) attenuators sound better?

2. Are the new ones (http://www.tedweber.com/mass-iii) a vast improvement on the one I have? I do like the foot-switch option, and it seems the tone controls are expanded.

3. (lol) Does anyone have the original instructions for the Weber Mass 150 that I own? Couldn't find anything on their site.

Thanks in advance.

--Bender
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
I bought my Weber Mass 150 on eBay last year, and I use it here and there, mostly at home to tame my Marshall 2061x to 'not wake up the wife' volumes.

This is what it looks like:



Whenever I have tried it in a gigging or jam/practice situation, well it didn't sound quite right but then again I have not spent the time alone trying to fool around with it enough.

I am finding myself in a situation where my amps are just too much amp for live venues, and sometimes even for jamming/band practice (usually less of an issue). My go-to amp at the moment is a Dumble clone (100W).
Surpised you try to attenuate this amp. I have two Dumble clones and have owned two others and I currently have 4 other NMV amps that I run attenuators with and always find that attenuators just get in the way with the Dumble style amps. They were really designed to get their OD tones from the preamp...if you're talking about the ODS style, that is.

I see that Weber has newer attenuators, and that there are a number of well regarded 'reactive load' attenuators around. If I understand the speaker motor design, I would assume mine is a reactive load as well. Is that correct?

Now, to the questions I have about attenuators.

1. Do other (reactive load) attenuators sound better?
YES! I still have a Weber MASS collecting dust and almost every other attenuator I own, whether reactive or resistive, sounds better than the Weber.

2. Are the new ones (http://www.tedweber.com/mass-iii) a vast improvement on the one I have? I do like the foot-switch option, and it seems the tone controls are expanded.
YES! Attenutaors like the Fryette Power Station, Two Notes Reload, Tone King Ironman, Faustine Phantom (out of production) and even the resistive Kelley are vast improvements over the Weber speaker motor design, IMO.
 

bender

Member
Messages
1,143
Surpised you try to attenuate this amp. I have two Dumble clones and have owned two others and I currently have 4 other NMV amps that I run attenuators with and always find that attenuators just get in the way with the Dumble style amps. They were really designed to get their OD tones from the preamp...if you're talking about the ODS style, that is.
.

Sorry should have been clearer--I have tried to attenuate my brownface clone in a live situation, and the Marshall 2061x. I don't recall that I have tried this with the ODS but rather ran into a problem on Saturday where I was running the master lower than I do in practice and . . . well I worried about TONE. Thought I would need the master up a bit.

So, with ODS I don't need to be concerned with the master level too much? I really don't know the circuit that well tbh--bought it used, and just asking the amp maker about the controls and their interaction, because I was only guessing/learning from experience.
 

jlinde

Member
Messages
1,625
I couldn't bond with any attenuator that I tried. They are ALL tone suckers. People swear by them...their ears must me different than mine. I stick with 20 watts or less when it comes to amps....no attenuator needed. Problem solved.
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
Sorry should have been clearer--I have tried to attenuate my brownface clone in a live situation, and the Marshall 2061x. I don't recall that I have tried this with the ODS but rather ran into a problem on Saturday where I was running the master lower than I do in practice and . . . well I worried about TONE. Thought I would need the master up a bit.

So, with ODS I don't need to be concerned with the master level too much? I really don't know the circuit that well tbh--bought it used, and just asking the amp maker about the controls and their interaction, because I was only guessing/learning from experience.
Hey, man, I'm still experimenting and finding new tones with my Dumble style amps! It never ends. But, even with the D-styles, they still sound better above a certain point because it takes some watts just to get the speaker(s) into the sweet spot.
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
I couldn't bond with any attenuator that I tried. They are ALL tone suckers. People swear by them...their ears must me different than mine. I stick with 20 watts or less when it comes to amps....no attenuator needed. Problem solved.
Which ones have you tried? I'll bet you a six pack of your favorite swill that you haven't tried any that really work as advertised.
 

bender

Member
Messages
1,143
I couldn't bond with any attenuator that I tried. They are ALL tone suckers. People swear by them...their ears must me different than mine. I stick with 20 watts or less when it comes to amps....no attenuator needed. Problem solved.
I have a Marshall 2061x -- 20W, loud outside of a band context. Thinking to give this a try at the next band practice (will bring Dumble clone as backup). Our drummer is LOUD. We play punk rock, so it tends to be loud anyway, but we are playing to small crowds (certainly venues that max out around 200, and we've only started playing live so it's more like 12-80 people lol).

Thing is, I need a clean channel and an overdrive, because I mix fuzz/wah through a clean channel, and otherwise will typically then play overdrive channel without pedals.

I worry the 20W won't be enough, but tbh I played my Prosonic for a while and at the second last gig, in 30W Class A mode, and it was at 2.5 (out of 10) on the clean volume and 3 on the gain channel. Just the gain channel on the Dumble clone is much better.

The other thing I haven't looked at is my cabinet . . . I have Weber Fane copies, ceramics in an open-back 2x12. They are very efficient and loud as well. I like their sound, though.

Maybe I just need to drop the master a bit and play around with the Dumble clone settings to dial in the right amount of clean. Probably need to drop the level of the fuzz a bit more and my Prunes and Custard a bit more, because I think I blew the ears off of some of the patrons (and really, it was too loud). We also blew the right hand PA speaker this last Saturday lol.
 

jlinde

Member
Messages
1,625
Which ones have you tried? I'll bet you a six pack of your favorite swill that you haven't tried any that really work as advertised.
Thd, Dr z and weber. None worked for me. I can get about the same results with a $10 volume pedal. Now this is strictly MY opinion only...I'm not trying to open a can of worms. I just don't like them. Period.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,397
Thd, Dr z and weber. None worked for me. I can get about the same results with a $10 volume pedal. Now this is strictly MY opinion only...I'm not trying to open a can of worms. I just don't like them. Period.
Those you have tried aren't remotely on the same level as those Dave mentioned, you'd be very surprised.
 

jlinde

Member
Messages
1,625
Those you have tried aren't remotely on the same level as those Dave mentioned, you'd be very surprised.
Yes, I agree...I haven't tried some of the high dollar ones. Maybe they are better. I'm not doubting it....but I will never spend as much on one as a nice tube practice amp, which will totally defeat the need for one in the first place....just my $.02
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
Thd, Dr z and weber. None worked for me. I can get about the same results with a $10 volume pedal. Now this is strictly MY opinion only...I'm not trying to open a can of worms. I just don't like them. Period.
This perfectly exemplifies exactly what I was saying. You tried three shite attenuators and then went on to proclaim that ALL attenuators suck tone. I have seen this a million times and predicted it here as well. LOL. You owe me a six of my fave brews...but, I'll split them with ya! :)

I have owned the THD and still own a Weber and Airbrake. They all suck tone and do not represent the state of the art. Try a Fryette Power Station or Two Notes Reload or tone King Ironman, to name just three, and then get back to me. In the meantime, break out the beer glasses and start pourin'!
:beer
 
Last edited:

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
Yes, I agree...I haven't tried some of the high dollar ones. Maybe they are better. I'm not doubting it....but I will never spend as much on one as a nice tube practice amp, which will totally defeat the need for one in the first place....just my $.02
But, you just spent MORE on those three crappy attenuators than you'd spend on one good one. That's my whole point.
 

RAR

Member
Messages
519
Agree with Dave_C... I would say it's been my experience that some speaker(s)/cab(s) sound better at low volume, and some of them don't sound good at all, and need some juice to get the magic.

For low volume "inspirational tones" (haha, subjective), in order of importance for me... is an excellent Master Volume control over any type of attenuation and/or re-amping, followed by a speaker/cab combination that sounds great at any volume level for the amp and style of music you play, and last would be an excellent attenuator/re-amper.... wattage would be the last of my concerns, as long as it's at least 100 watts. :aok:rockin
 




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