The most transparent Attenuator is????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by SteveVHT, Mar 16, 2006.


  1. SteveVHT

    SteveVHT Member

    Messages:
    1,347
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island,NY
    Just wondering what everyone thought.
    I have a hotplate, but it has a real harsh effect on the sound of an amp.
    I like to use it in several different applications, but more extreme settings makes for some crappy tone.
    I'd like to hear peoples comments on others they have used like the Weber, Power Soak, etc...
    I'm trying to find something that will tame the beast without killing it's natural tone.
    I just got a Splawn QR, and the Hotplate doesn't jive with it very well. It gets very brittle and thin sounding.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    And I do like the Hotplate for other amps and for my VHT Deliverance...just not the Splawn.
    Thanks in advance.
    Steve
     
  2. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    Flip a coin. My hotplate sounds great with my amp (Zinky).

    My impression after reading a thousand of these attenuator posts is that amps *like* different attenuators. My HP may be a piece of crap with a Marshall head.

    Although I have heard ALOT of good things about the Ultimate. But, pricey.
     
  3. steve10358

    steve10358 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    981
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Attenuater RARELY work with master volume amps. Thats why it sounds thin and ******. THD is the quietest that I know of, and I actually like the EQ switches and what it does to the tone at lower levels.

    S.
     
  4. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,616
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Malibu
    Really? Must be something wrong with my Soldano, VHT, Rivera, and Mesa then.
    In an ideal world I'd use distance as an attenuator becuase the thing that bothers me about turning anything down any which way is that the whole interaction goes. And I'm not talking just speaker I'm talking about the room.
    That said I've been using Hot Plates for long before working for THD and the ability of actually using the amp was always worth it to me.
    But the rarely working with mastervolume amps statement is just silly.
     
  5. SteveVHT

    SteveVHT Member

    Messages:
    1,347
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island,NY
    Plus the Quick Rod is not a MV amp...
    I have no problem using the hotplate with my VHT's, Marshall or boogies either...Just the QR.
    I get a great tone at 8db, but I'd like to be able to hit the sweetspot in the power section and have bedroom levels. I like recording low.
    Steve
     
  6. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,122
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Disagree. I use a Weber Mini-Mass with my Peavey Classic 50 and it sounds great. On the drive channel at low volumes, it doesn't sound *much* better than the master volume itself, but open up that master & use the attenuator for louder-than-bedroom levels or gig levels, and it's dreamy.

    For the clean channel, the attenuator works WAY better than the master volume, even for bedroom levels. Crank the normal vol to max, crank the master up to 8 or so (we're talking extremely loud here), and crank that attenuator down = pre AND power tube saturation at low levels. Maybe not bedroom levels, but certainly quiet enough to not piss of the neighbors. Works like a charm.
     
  7. markp

    markp Member

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ephrata Wa.
    I am a one click Hot plate guy with50 watt amps and 2 clicks with 100 watters,for in the room sounds it works great.

    Now When I am miced up in the back room I can attenuate and then compensate with the trim knob on the board ,and it sounds pretty transperent to me,it is the room thing that tricks the ear(IMO)I think when people say they want transperent sound when attenuated,what they really want is the sound they had pre attenuation.

    Saturday mornings when volume is a issue is when I use alot of Hotplate and by the Time I crank the trim on the board up ,you couldnt tell the differance.Some where on the web I heard clips of someone demoing this very thing(compensating for the Att. and bringing the volume up to the same level ,I am betting that if Ed did some clips like this most could not pick the most att.from the least)

    If you need masive attenuation in the room you are in,you may have the wrong amp for the job.

    Another thing to try with huge attunuation settings is to aim the speaker at your head(instead of away from your head.this is what I used to do with the Univalve for some latenight playing)off to the side it didnt sound right.
    Hotplates rule!
     
  8. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops

    Messages:
    2,436
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    City of Big Shoulders
    I'll have to disagree that Hotplates sound thin with a Master Volume amp as well.

    I couldn't imagine playing my Mesa any other way than with my HP. It *does* take a bit of the high end out but that's what the bright switch is for.
     
  9. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,616
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Malibu
    Done it. Recorded the same clip unattenuated, at -4, -8, -12, and -16, then brought the levels up on the mixer so everything was the same volume and nobody couldn't get it right.
    Guess it's time to do that again...
     
  10. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,956
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Playing pile-on...

    I like my Flexi-50 MORE with a Hot Plate set at -4db and the MV dialed down just a touch than I do with the MV disengaged and no Hot Plate. And I'm talking tone, regardless of volume.
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

    Messages:
    1,624
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I use to use a Rivera Research attenuator from about 1980 or so with my 100 watt Mark I Boogie. That had a master volume! I never had a problem, didn't destroy the OT, and the Rivera was the only unit at that time that sounded good at all. Marshall's Power Brake was out, as was the Scholtz Power Soak. I didn't like either.

    :D
     
  12. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    ATX
    My Dr.Z AirBrake works great with all my amps: Matchless C-30, Sewell Texaplex, Boogie Nomad, BF Deluxe, Bassman, and Twin. As mentioned above, just make sure you don't attenuate so much that you lose the speaker and room interaction.
     
  13. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Messages:
    2,924
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Planet X
    In my experience attenuators often work better with master volume amps than with non master volume amps. The reason is that if you get your sound with the master and then attenuate it, you don't need as much attenuation.

    As to the original question - most amps we have sound better with the Hotplate than our other attenuators, but some of them like the Z Airbrake better. None of them like the Marshall Powerbrake the best.
     
  14. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

    Messages:
    2,066
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Another vote for the Z Airbrake- amazingly transparent. The difference between that and the Hotplate on my Bad Cat is ridiculous.
     
  15. datguytim

    datguytim Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    Me no likey attenuators. Crank it up, it's your birthright.
     
  16. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

    Messages:
    5,794
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have tried 6 attenuators had five here at one time and none could hold a candle to the Richter for transparency of the sound. I sold all of them and would buy another Richter in a heart beat it makes it possible for me to even own the amps I do. I am not willing to loose my hearing so playing loud is not an option. The Richter lets everything that the amp has to deliver through you will notice your speakers failing to deliver not the Richter.
    www.motherloadusa.com
     
  17. Slygo

    Slygo Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Location:
    Bama
    I also have tried a bunch of them - THD, MASS, Dr Z, Komet AirBrake, Ultimate, etc. Out of this bunch, the Ultimate sounded the best (but man is it $$$$).

    The best attenuator I have experienced is Randall Aiken's built in attenuator (Invader & TomCat)! I hope that someday Randall will make a stand alone version.
     
  18. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

    Messages:
    5,711
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    t-dot
    yes, there's several links to that website on this board.
    it really is pretty conclusive to how transparent the hotplate is when used moderately.
    i tend to prefer the airbrake for EL84 amps.
    i'm curious about the richter.
    908SSP, does the richter have a volume knob at the front that is continuously variable from 0 to half power (-3dB)?
    and...
    is it primarily just an 8? device?
     
  19. sdgvintage

    sdgvintage Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Bristow, VA
    Anyone compare attenuators to a PPIMV amp? Granted you reduce the signal to the power tubes so you won't get power tube drive, but you still get full signal across all the preamp tubes.
     
  20. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

    Messages:
    5,794
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan

    It goes from no sound to -6db in a smooth volume control. It needs to be run on your amps 8 ohm output but can be run into either an 8 or 16 ohm cab.

    I never use it full up that is too loud for me most attenuators I have tried sound decent from no attenuation to -6 or -9 but less then that they not only sound bad you can tell the amp responds differently. The Richter sounds the same from -6 to -60. The amp responds the same the volume drops to a point that the speakers are incapable of delivering enough bass and treble because of the Fletcher Munson (spelling) effect and the speaker themselves aren't designed to be run that quiet, after all it is called an amplifier :AOK

    By the way I heard from a guy on another board that Richters are out of stock at the moment and are due into the country in April. They are made in England but they might move production to this side of the pond. (I love saying that) :D
     

Share This Page