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

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


  1. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes. Buy a good attenuator. 1000%
     
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  2. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    ^^^ right there. @IceT
    Go to youtube, look up 1/4 tube amp. Watch the video where they crank them (there is one with a mashall clone that sounds killer). Yea, it isn't baby sleeping in the next room quiet.
    From one of the AC4TVH reviews on MF -
    "Any hopes of using this amp turned up high on the 1/4 watt setting to get a normal blues or rock sound at living room volume must be abandoned. 1/4 watt turns out to be very loud, say about the loudness of a trumpet played fortissimo. Amp manufacturers need to realize that guitar players need a practice amp they can actually use and make something that's more like 1/8 watt. The only sound this amp will do at low volume is clean."
    The dif between a 1 watt and a 25 watt amp isn't as great as you would think.

    You could Get an attenuator, but if you need one to go way down quiet, power station. I can run it whisper quiet without any real loss of tone, which I can't get with any other attenuator I have tried. But that is about twice your budget.

    If you want tube, you are going to need an amp with a master volume, to get the pre gain distortion. Something like a used Crate club 30 (which is actually a good sounding amp), stuff like that.
     
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  3. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Just curious in the order, since I have a V1. Seems like maybe you have had both? Other than the hi/lo on the volume, any other advantage of the V2?
     
  4. Sloppyfingers

    Sloppyfingers Member

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    Another vote here for attenuator..
    I posed this same question last week, and ultimately picked up the Rivera Rock Crusher..I wanted a duel purpose attenuator and load box to get my signal down to line level for going direct into my PC and if I chose to, and got it with this unit.
    Depending, on your wants/needs you may want to look for something that does both as well. Yes, an amp's master volume does the trick..Ditto for lower wattage amps, but there's just something sweet sounding when hearing a larger amp's power tubes working harder at attenuated lower volumes.
     
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  5. ledzep618

    ledzep618 Supporting Member

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    Lots of attenuator options on the market for pretty cheap - I'd say just give one a try, though I can't help but feel that your situation is probably more suited for a modeler. A 4 watt cranked amp is still incredibly loud, really not a noticeable difference from a 25 watt amp. I've played LOUD jams with an AC4HW dimed and had no issues keeping up with a heavy hitting drummer (except in the clean headroom department of course). And if you're doing heavy attenuation down to TV volume, which is what it sounds like you're going for, I suspect you are unlikely to be satisfied with the feel of the heavily attenuated amp.
     
  6. BadHiwatt

    BadHiwatt Member

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    Not being able to blow it up by plugging it in backwards.
     
  7. muchXS

    muchXS Member

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    Belt and suspenders. Buy an attenuator.

    This, from a guy who has a whole herd of low powered amps.

    Here's the thing:

    Buy one attenuator, it's an extra tool in your toolbox. Buy the right attenuator, it will work with anything you throw at it.

    Blows my mind when I see guys with fifty pedals who waffle on an attenuator.

    My favorite "small amp" attenuator is the Weber MiniMASS, It gives me a headphone output and a line out, features I'm never going to see on small vintage amps. If I want to re- amp which is what a Fryette does, I can use the line out on the MiniMASS.

    Sure you're going to compromise when it comes to tone if you squash a loud amp down to bedroom levels. The laws of physics can be bent but they can't be broken. It's like playing a JCM800 with the master volume barely cracked. It's a slightly different means to the same end.
     
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  8. IceT

    IceT Member

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    I have been wondering if something like a Katana would be better suited for home use, but I do like being able to practice at home with the amp I'll be gigging with...maybe that's just not realistic!
     
  9. muchXS

    muchXS Member

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    Padding a 25 watt amp down to home levels isn't unrealistic. Only minor snafu is you might compromise your tone. Better I say to compromise your tone in the living room where you're competing with the TeeVee and blow everyone's minds yours included at your show.

    Unless you're cranking into acoustic feedback your amp should retain most of its feel, attenuated. Even if you are cranking into acoustic feedback, it's good to work on holding a note and then have "more" available on stage.
     
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  10. grendel

    grendel Member

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    Attenuator.. Buy a good one. I like my SPL reducer with anything from a 5e3 - 100 Watt Plexi.
    Or... Perhaps move to solid state. But my SPL Attenuator is good enough for me and really has alleviated any volume concerns for he most part.
     
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  11. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Oh, interesting, I did not know that. I never had an issue with the V1, I am usually pretty careful about that kind of stuff, but yea, I could see it happening at a gig, on a dark stage, .
    So, yea, that is a good idea.
     
  12. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Buying a low-power amp because it makes the sounds you like is always a great idea. Buying a low-power amp because you have very restrictive volume constraints is almost always a terrible idea.
     
  13. calfzilla

    calfzilla Cynical Hack Silver Supporting Member

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  14. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    XLR out.
    Low pass filter switch.
    Depending on your serial of V1 - the ability to silently record without a load.
     
  15. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Balanced out would be nice but the out hasn't been an issue, so far.

    I took out the LPF cap. It really made a dif on the recordings, I thought. Not sure why they didn't have that switchable in the original version.

    I can record silently. Supposedly, you can just turn it down and use a shorted jack, but I have an 8 ohm 25 watt resistor I can use as a dummy load anyway, so I use that.

    Though I do like the updates they did. Nice, but not nice enough to sell the V1 for a V2
     
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  16. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Agree with you.

    I have an early V1 so it doesn't have the silent recording mod.

    I'm getting a tech to do the silent recording mod and remove the LPF.
     
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  17. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Didn’t they have a mod of some kind available that brought the early versions to the same silent recording ability as the later ones, without the shorted jack? I seem to remember they did, but vaguely.

    I got one of first of the later versions, and that was a point of confusion. Read one place that you could another that you couldn’t without the load. I went to the Fryette HQ to buy it, saved waiting and shipping and it’s not real far from me, and asked. They brought out the man himself, he said I didn’t need the load and as it turned out they had just updated it.
     
  18. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    There's a certain point in the serial numbers of the V1 where it has the internal mod to allow for silent recording.

    I can't recall what that point is, but I know mine doesn't have it.
     
  19. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, but I was saying I thought you can mod the earlier ones. Not sure if you have to send it in to Fryette for that.

    I’m a fountain of information! Incomplete information, but information nonetheless.
     
  20. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    You don't have to send it in.

    You just need a shorted jack. There's the proper details in the massive Power Station thread.
     

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