Ultimate & Faustine Attenuator comparison sound check...

Discussion in 'Builder's & Retailer's Forum' started by Scumback Speakers, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    No such thing as a stupid question.;)

    Even though it is a reactive load, the Phantom has a "nominal" impedance just like a speaker does. It's designed to appear like a speaker to the amp. There will be a few different models of the Phantom available. The "Dx" version has a selectable impedance switch which can be set for 4, 8, or 16 ohms. The "Z" versions have no impedance selector and are fixed at a single impedance. They can be ordered with 4, 8 , or 16 ohms impedance.

    It looks like you need the "Dx" version. You can use the Phantom Dx on your BF Super at the 4 ohm setting. Fender amps can handle a 100% mismatch and at that low of an impedance, it wouldn't be an issue.

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  2. hogy

    hogy Supporting Member

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    Correct on both points. That passage in the K19 manual is going to be modified to avoid confusion.

    Here's the official Komet statement:

    We warranty use of the Komet Airbrake with all Komet amps except for the K80. Using any other attenuator not built by Komet Amplification voids your amp's warranty.

    To be perfectly clear, I am not saying that other attenuators are generally unsafe, they might be perfectly fine. However, if they damage your amp, you're not covered.

    I use different attenuators for different applications myself, so I don't want this to be perceived as a knock on any other manufacturer's product.

    Hope this clears it up.


    Carry on gentlemen!

    Hogy, Komet Amplification

    (Where can I try a Faustine attenuator?)
     
  3. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    Hi Hogy,

    Thank you sir! Kinda what I figured and it makes good sense. As for where you can try a Phantom, production on the first dozen or so is just beginning to ramp up and they're all spoken for. I would love to send you one to try out, though. I'll follow up with you when I've got an extra one on hand and we'll discuss the particulars.

    Love your amps, by the way!

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  4. dayn

    dayn Supporting Member

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    Hogy and Tim,

    Thanks for the follow-up to my questions. The Komet 19 is INCREDIBLE and the Phantom looks to be great too.

    I would love to hear Hogy's response to the Phantom if he gets to try it, as I could then get a response of how it sounds with the K19!

    -Dayn
     
  5. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    Thanks Tim. Still very interested. I agree that there is no one size fits all attenuator. If I'm playing live at full power and just want to take off a few db to help with balance on stage I prefer something like a Komet Airbrake for ease of use and stellar sound. At home when trying to get my big amps down to "family home" level the Airbrake just won't get there. A re-amping device such as the UA works perfectly with "my" amps. I also agree that they are apples and oranges and it strikes me odd to pair these two different devices for a shootout. The "UA" name is a bit of a misnomer as it is a reamping device more so than what we think of when we say "attenuator". I will no doubt buy a Faustine and hopefully find a good use for it. Looking forward to hearing it.
     
  6. 85db

    85db Member

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    Will the design differences between the "Dx" and the fixed-impedance model not result in the two sounding slightly differently? Wondering if buying a universal "Dx" model will not compromize tone... or even the other way around.
     
  7. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    Nope, no difference in tone whatsoever. Actually, I should say there is no difference in their "tone-less-ness". Hmmm.... cool word.... gotta use that in my advertising!:cool:

    A z16 model is identical to a Dx set to 16 ohms. A z8, identical to a Dx set for 8 ohms, etc.

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  8. 85db

    85db Member

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    Exactly what I wanted to hear :). When is it shipping and where to buy?
     
  9. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    They are just beginning to ship now but unfortunately, there is a waiting list. I'm working on the first production run now... I hope to be shipping about 5 a week until I can get caught up with orders, that is... IF I can get caught up with orders!

    I have around thirty orders to fill right now, and I'm just finishing up the first five (actually two have been delivered to customers already), so they are just starting to roll off the "production line".

    If you want to place an order, get in touch with Tone Merchants in Orange, California. The waiting list for the second production run of twenty-five is filling up. You can find their contact info at www.tonemerchants.com.

    Let me know if you have ay more questions. Back to the soldering iron!

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  10. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Getting excited!!!
     
  11. muddy

    muddy Member

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  12. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    Interesting... I wonder if they're putting an adjustable electro-magnet "brake" around the voice coil to limit the travel of the speaker cone and reduce SPL. Just a wild guess. I'd love to see how that thing works myself!

    I can't imagine that it will replace the need for a transparent attenuator. Lots of folks are quite happy with their speakers and wouldn't be eager to replace them.

    Regards,
    Tim Gregoire
     
  13. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    The Flux-tone speakers are basically field coils from what I gather, just the efficiency changes thus lowering the volume. They need a few more models to round out the line in my opinion, but they work well, I tried them at the NY Amp Show with an Ark Amp.
     
  14. mmorse

    mmorse Member

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    Particularly when it's an $850 V30. Interesting idea though.
     
  15. muddy

    muddy Member

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    that was a concern for me too.


    ml

     
  16. Dave_C

    Dave_C Member

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    I tried them at the 2007 NYC Amp Show and was not impressed, but they may have improved since then.

     
  17. Dave_C

    Dave_C Member

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    No high-end attenuator shootout would be complete without including this one.
    http://www.aracom-amps.com/products/prx150.html

    Clips here:
    http://www.aracom-amps.com/products/audio-prx150.html

    This technology is the only one I'm aware of that addresses the attenuator as a two-port network instead of a one-port load. In other words, Jeff addresses what the speaker "sees" as well as what the amp "sees". The volume-leveled clips of the PRX150 are totally transparent to the best of my ability to discern such things. However, I did hear some low-end/low-mid loss on the Faustine Badger clips when going from unattenuated to attenuated, which was also confirmed by Tim himself. That said, I did not hear that loss (or to the same degree) on the other amplifiers in the Faustine demos, so it could be something peculiar about the Badger or maybe even the post-production on that particular clip

    Point is, most critical comparisons have already determined that the UA colors the tone quite noticeably (including the one I did myself years ago when it first hit the shelves). So, why not perform a comparison of the three latest and most promising units, i.e., the Faustine Phantom, Aracom PRX150 and Jeff's Attenuator?

    Personally, I got on the list for the Aracom unit. While all of these attenuators are getting rave reviews and while their creators are all really good people, I like the approach that Jeff took with the two-port matching. Technically, it seems like the only way to achieve true transparency and, practically, the clips demonstrate it convincingly (although it'd be nice to hear some different amps go through the clip process). It has a full suite of features, including both input and output impedance matching (which no other unit has), it can handle 150W and it comes in at $100 less than the Faustine.
     
  18. Faustine Amps

    Faustine Amps Member

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    Hey Dave,

    The attenuator shootout referenced in this thread already took place back in May. You can find the review on my website. If you don't mind the eye fatigue and the bickering over results, you can read the thread right here on TGP: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/547616.

    This particular review generated a lot of controversy when Jim gave the UA a less than stellar review. So much so that MAGUS and other UA/Ho users accused Jim of being biased against the UA, in collusion with Faustine and Tone Merchants, and MAGUS demanded he redo his review using their new and improved "deluxe" model UA (the one not made in China). Jim Seavall, cool guy that he is, re-did and updated his review, which you can read above.

    But, the controversy wasn't limited to the Gear Page. Several other Forums that he posted to (metroamp.com and vintageamps.com are the two that come to mind) had their own controversies and flame wars over his review. Jim and I were villified, threads were locked, people were banned, etc. It got ugly. Go to those other forums and type in "Faustine Phantom Attenuator Review" to witness what I'm talking about. All of this over a very thorough and un-biased review by a well respected member of the music equipment industry who had no agenda to push. Jim did it solely for the benefit of the folks on the forums, he certainly didn't benefit from it (in fact the opposite). I spent a good portion of my life for a couple of weeks going to different forums and defending myself against lies, slander and mud-slinging. It was absolutely ridiculous!

    I'm always up for reviews and so-called "shootouts" if I've got something on the shelf that I can spare, which I rarely do. But, after the last experience, I'm not so thrilled about doing it on a forum like this. I'm finished with on-line "open forum" shootouts. I don't need the aggravation. Shootouts are a cool idea (I love reading them in Guitar Player), though I'm not sure they can work on forums. All it takes is one protaganist and it turns ugly very quickly! One troll starts a flame-war, thread is locked, discussion over!

    If Guitar Player, Premier Guitar, or some other respectable publication wanted to do it, I'd jump all over it.

    Regards,
    Tim
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  19. donbarzini

    donbarzini Supporting Member

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    The only thing that concerns me is that it is almost twenty pounds and looks like the size of an amp itself, you may have to actually sit the amp on top of the unit depending on what you are using.
     
  20. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd need to renew my Bally's membership, and get a padded bag or something for this one, sir.

    Weights and Dimensions:
    - Weight: 18 lbs (8.2kg)
    - Dimensions: 13"w x 7"h x 8"d (33cm x 17.8cm x 20.3cm)
    8" tall including feet and handle

    Is there going to be one at the LA AMP Show?

    I'll have the Faustine Phantom and the Alex Attenuator at my room, #185, if the makers can bring one by, I'll demo it there and compare, and even update the attenuator thread previously mentioned.

    While I'm friends with Alex Ortner and Tim Gregoire, I won't disparage against a similar attenuator if it delivers.

    Be advised, though, I'm brutally honest, unbiased and I don't care if the maker's feelings get hurt if it has issues. Seriously.
     

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