1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Purchase an attenuator? Or just buy a low wattage tube amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by IceT, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. IceT

    IceT Supporting Member

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    So I've got a wonderful Supro 1600 Supreme. 25 watts of amazing tone coming through a 10" speaker.

    I use pedals, but I also like the amp to be at least be overdriving by itself when I dig in really hard.
    Do I save up for an attenuator (thinking Iron Man Mini from Tone King, or a THD hot plate), or do I purchase a very low-wattage tube amp (AC4TVH and cab or similar)?

    I really don't want to have to spend over $300.

    Any experiences shared/help would be much appreciated!
     
  2. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

    Messages:
    10,214
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    25 watts is too loud? I guess your in an apartment situation and to be honest even the 4 watt will be too loud.
     
  3. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,074
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
    Stony Point, NY
    I can't speak to that specific amp. But I have a 5 Watt NMV Alessandro Beagle (1X12 Blue). If I want the amp to start distorting, it is wayyyy to loud for kids sleeping upstairs or even wife watching TV upstairs. My master volume amp gets more playing time at home. If playing at home with low volume is the need, make sure it has a master volume no matter the wattage.
     
    BADHAK, brockmann and JustABluesGuy like this.
  4. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,505
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Fe New Mexico/Kittery Maine
    Get an attenuator... I bought a simple L pad in a vented box off of Reverb. $75..sounds great.. takes my 18 watter down to night levels
     
    IceT likes this.
  5. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,931
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    I am using the Jettenuator from Jet City and it works on keeping the 50 watter manageable. The Mark V:25 has a 10 watt mode that works REALLY well with the Master Volume control. The Reeves Custom 50, not so much, the tubes want to be cooking!
     
    IceT likes this.
  6. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,394
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Somerset County, NJ
    If you want to get good overdriven tone at talk over level get another amp. Perhaps a Crate V5 or a solid state amp. I have tried the attenuator option and none could take an overdriven 25 watt down to talkover volume without it sounding like mush. They are in my experience best for taking a few decibles off. The more you attenuate the lower the integrity of the initial tone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    ToneGrail and IceT like this.
  7. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Member

    Messages:
    1,216
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    I agree. I have a 2 watt NMV amp that won’t distort till it gets well into wake the baby volume.

    Even at just 2 watts, it requires a pedal for any real distortion at very low volumes.
     
    BADHAK likes this.
  8. slagg

    slagg Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Get the Ironman
     
  9. fareye

    fareye Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2014
    Location:
    Portlandia
    I have no attenuator experience but since you mentioned the Vox I thought I'd chime in...

    I got an AC10 about a week ago and it does everything you're looking for very well. Great edge of breakup tones and beyond at very reasonable levels. The master volume on mine is really good. You can pick one up new for $368 so if you can stretch your budget you'll be very happy. Highly recommend this amp over the AC4 (I've owned one).
     
    scott58 and IceT like this.
  10. Furilla

    Furilla Odd Bird Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    703
    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    I vote attenuator. I’ve used one pretty much full time for the last 5 or 6 years. My favorite normal attenuator was an older Iron Man. Currently I am using a Fryette Power Station and I love it. If you play shows it’s great to be able to dial in exactly the right volume w/o compromising the core sound on my non master volume amps. Also, playing at whisper volumes at home is a compromise anyways. Might as well also have a tool that serves a purpose in live settings is my thinking.
     
  11. suparsonic

    suparsonic Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    What I love about the Bogner ATMA is I switch it down to 1w at home and 5w or 18w in a band situation. It covers everything and only weighs 14 pounds.
     
  12. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

    Messages:
    10,187
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    Another vote for an attenuator.
     
    Furilla likes this.
  13. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    IceT likes this.
  14. bigfoamfinger

    bigfoamfinger Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Attenuator... Almost any tube amp, regardless of wattage, will be too loud for an apartment type setting if you want to get the ideal tone out of it
     
  15. toddincharlotte

    toddincharlotte Member

    Messages:
    1,295
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Im running a VHT 12/20 special head. I'm sure people are getting tired of hearing about it. It can run 6v6 or 6L6 with the flick of a bias switch. You can run pentode or triode to take the 12 watt down to 7ish. Finally in triode mode on the 6v6s you can use the vvr to take the wattage down and have it break up earlier, around half volume. I love the amp and at $299 used, you'd be hard pressed to find ANY handwired amp for the same.
     
  16. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,463
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Yup. Four-watts from any decently built tube amp can rattle the windows of the tenants upstairs. Unless there is one helluva master volume, if you're goosing the overall volume knob, most "low watt" tube amps are too loud for condos and apartments at settings higher than 1-watt, which I've personally found to be the sweet spot for most of these lunchbox, low-watt, condo commandos. 1/4-watt isn't enough and four watts is too much. Push a 1-watt H&K Tubemeister and things get righteously interesting.
     
    BADHAK and IceT like this.
  17. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,961
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Location:
    Australia
    I have a different experience.
     
  18. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,394
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Somerset County, NJ
    I edited my initial post to limit it to my experiences with a few attenuators.
     
  19. PRSAtomic

    PRSAtomic Member

    Messages:
    720
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2016
    Location:
    The swamp
  20. BadHiwatt

    BadHiwatt Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    I am a big fan of attenuators. I currently own 3. If money is a big limiting factor, get a whatever you can afford up to $300, but I would highly recommend going for a load/Re-amp vs a traditional passive attenuator if you want to really cut the volume down to 'sleeping baby' volumes.

    Here are my recommendations in order of awesomeness (IMO):
    1.) Buy a Suhr Reactive Load, a Tech-21 Q-strip, a Mesa 50/50 Power amp (or bigger if needed).
    2.) Buy a Power Station V2
    3.) Buy a Power Station V1 Used
    4.) Buy a Bad Cat Unleash V2 if you are using a 50 watt amp or less
    5.) Buy an earlier version of the Bad Cat Unleash
    6.) Buy a Jim Kelly Attenuator
    7.) Buy a Magus Ultimate Attenuator
    8.) Buy a Weber/THD/Swart/etc passive attenuator.
     
    Furilla likes this.

Share This Page