RSA23 + Airbrake = Match made in heaven

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gtrfinder, May 9, 2008.

  1. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    I've had my Divided by 13 RSA23 for a little over a week now and I feel like it is really coming together.
    As a little backstory I traded a fellow TGP forum member my old 65 Amps London head for his short box RSA23. I was initially concerned of the volume implications of such a change, but everything I read about the RSA indicated it was a great amp, so I decided to take my chances. With the London I was only using a fuzz pedal and a boost, and most of the gain was coming from cranking the amp up about 3/4. I don't use master volume amps generally, so with the gain comes volume.

    I got the RSA in, hooked it up to my speaker cab, and almost blew out the windows in my practice room. This amp is loud with a capital LOUD. It sounds incredible even at the lowest volume settings, but that volume comes on very fast. I decided I needed to do something about the volume for the sake of my wife. my dog, and my neighbors.

    After doing some research on everything from distortion pedals, to speaker and cab swaps, I decided I should try an attenuator. I've never used one before, and was kind of wary, but after reading up on the subject I had norrowed it down to the Ultimate Attenuator or the Dr Z Airbrake. I decided to try a Dr. Z Airbrake as another forum member was selling one at a good price. Got it in and hooked it up to my amp and speaker cab and it was nearly instant gratification.

    I want to be clear as to what I'm using the Airbrake for so as not to mince words or cause confusion. I play loud, even at home, but I dont play loud all the time. I generally crank the amp and control everything from the guitar's volume control. I needed something that would shave a little volume off the amp and preserve the interactivity of the guitar volume control, all while sounding good. The Airbrake does this wonderfully.
    Now it is not going to turn your big amp into a bedroom amp and still sound the same (I'm not sure if that can be done with any device), but it will help make things much more manageable. I can see using this thing and the RSA for nearly any gig except for small coffehouse type stuff or backing an acoustic, in which case I'll bring a Champ.

    I just got a Lovepedal Eternity and am looking forward to trying that with this setup. I think between the Airbrake, my fuzz, and the Eternity I should be set for nearly any situation I need to gig or practice.

    Hope you found this helpful and please ask if you have any questions.
     
  2. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    Nice...the Airbrake is a good one, and I've played telephile's RSA31...sweet amp.

    Greg
     
  3. StevenS

    StevenS Supporting Member

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    I've got an Airbrake as well and really like it.
    My AC30 is at the shop right now getting a longer speaker cable installed so I can use the Airbrake with it. That amp sounds so good with the volume at 2/3rds to full out, but it's too loud for practical purposes. I can't wait to get it back to try it.
     
  4. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    What speakers did you have with the London, and are they the same as you are using with the RSA? I asking as I'm wondering what you think of both amps. I use the London on stage turned up 1/2 way most shows, and maybe a bit more on a bigger stage. I used to go 3/4 volume, but now I'm mic'ed up most shows. I can't imagine a better sounding small wattage amp, but the RSA is THE amp I'm dyeing to try!
     
  5. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    I have an Avatar 2x12 open back with a Celestion G12H30 and Celestion Gold wired in series for 16 ohms.
    Sounded great with the London and sonds great with the RSA. With the London I actually preferred the tone of the Blue, but wanted the bass to stay together a bit better (that and I use a fuzz pedal 90% of the time). The Gold fixed that.
    When trying to figure out how to cut down the volume before purchasing an attenuator I went to a music store and tried out some different cabs and speakers. My favorite in the store was an older Marshall 4x12 with greenbacks (not sure of the year). Wish I had a real use for a 4x12, otherwise I'd have been all over it.
    I'm happy to field any questions about the London too as I gigged and played that one extensively for about a year.
     
  6. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    What kind of music did/do you do? I have never tried a fuzz with the London, but I like the more subtle fuzz tones. I had the PE Experience with a Maz Jr, and it was cool....


    I have to admit this.. The 2 Ch's on the London are cool. Some nights I love the Marshall side all night, and other the Vox. I use 3 guitars now, and my VOS LP Jr is killer with the Vox side!!!!!

    Would you say the RSA is more the Marshall side then?
     
  7. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    I played in 2 bands. One was an 8 piece blues rock band that played very loud and the other as a pop / chick rock band that played pretty quiet.
    Mostly then I was using a Fulltone '69 which I liked alot. Right now it is an MJM London Fuzz and the jury is still out on it.

    The RSA will not sparkle like the London's EF86 side thats for sure, but its bass response will top the London any day of the week. It is a big ballsy amp and gets pretty agressive pretty quick. Most of my playing has been done with the volume around 10:30 or 11:00. Higher than that and there is a large gain increase.

    Right now I've been playing it with and Edwards LP Jr. doublecut that someone put a 1957 Gibsion P90 and bumblebee cap in. It rocks.
     
  8. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Very Cool!

    It'd funny you mention chic bands as my last 'band' was a very loud chic band. My new band is %1000 better, and the drummer is Bonzo reborn! So I still play loud, but I can get some guitar in my stage mix.
     

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