Weber Mass Attenuator - Which One!?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by StratStringSlinger, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Supporting Member

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    Weber makes a ton of different model Mass attenuators. They seem to be made for different wattages. I would be mainly using it for a JTM45 and Orange Rockerverb 50. So I was thinking of the Mass Lite 100w, Mass III 150w or Mass 200? Does it matter which one I get? Are you suppose to get the one that matches as close as possible to the intended wattage? Any down side to just getting the bigger one just in case? Do they all attenuate the same amount and totally the same transparency? Thanks!
     
  2. i3oosted

    i3oosted Member

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    "IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HIGH GAIN AMPS: High gain amps such as Marshall or clones are hard on attenuators. Unfortunately, an amp's volume dial is not a good indicator of how much power is being produced. Many amps can reach full power at 3 or 4 on the volume dial, so it is a good suggestion to get an attenuator with 4x the power handling. For example, if you have a 50w high gain amp, you should opt for the MASS 200. If you have a 100w amp, you should still go wtih the MASS 200 but you should not crank the amp."

    I have a MASS Lite 100w I've been debating on selling, let me know.
     
  3. playthecray

    playthecray Member

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    Find a different attenuator. I had a Mass 100 that I used with a handwired JTM45 clone head. It completely sucked the life out of my amp. I use a THD Hot Plate now which is so much better.
     
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  4. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Supporting Member

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    That’s so funny their recommendation contradicts their product descriptions!? So basically they want you to buy the Mass 200 for any amp over 50 watts?
     
  5. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Supporting Member

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    i read so many good reviews of the Mass, so weird; maybe we need to use the Mass 200 for the JTM45???
     
  6. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    Have you researched using a JTM45 with an attenuator? My opinion is that its not the right circuit to really benefit sufficiently to justify an attenuator. That style of amp is what all the late 60s guitarists modded that ultimately became the pkexi and ultimately the Superlead - which is worth attenuating - because you aren't pushing all that bass and low mid through the amp.

    For a tenth of the price you can have a tech install a PPIMV which in its simplest form is one 10$ pot. There are better versions of PPIMV - though and the parts might hit $15.

    On another note - I found a Mass Lite (100w) at a pawn shop for $50. It helps marginally in some situations but holy eff.. an attenuator ever hard on power tubes and the rest of the components .

    Another reason to go PPIMV.

    Imo the JTM45 sounds best around rated power.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  7. louis

    louis Member

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    How about a Marshall Power Brake ?......just curious.
     
  8. easyed

    easyed Silver Supporting Member

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    Another for consideration http://drzamps.com/product/z-air-brake/ good for amps up to 100 W and dials down to "bedroom level". Designed by the late Ken Fisher in collaboration with Mike Zaite (Dr. Z).
     
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  9. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    [​IMG]

    Most of the Weber Mass units seem to be a combination of L-pads, speaker motor and some power resistors. I am no tech but that is not necessarily the most reliable setup for high power amps and Weber's website reflects that where they subtly cover their asses by saying that you probably shouldn't crank your high gain amp all the way.

    In theory the speaker motor seems like a good idea to make the Mass a reactive load, but in practice they seem to perform no better than resistive attenuators like the THD Hotplate or the Dr. Z Airbrake mentioned. Any idea why they don't perform as well as say a Suhr Reactive Load which uses a pair of inductors for the reactive component?
     
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  10. Evil Z06

    Evil Z06 Member

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    I have a Weber Mini Mass 50 that I use on my 20 watt JJ.Jr with no detrimental effect on tone at all at least to me so I am very satisfied with it
     
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  11. DRS

    DRS Member

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    I have a MASS 50. It handles 50 watts. Problem is a tube amp will always put out 2-3 times its rated watts. So my MASS worked fine for a DRRI but got very warm with a Traynor YCV 40 when turned up.
    As far as tone goes, it worked great for bumping the amp down 6db so I could hit the sweet spot on a stage without blasting the audience but not to get down to home levels. I personally don't think any attenuator does that well due to the way the human ear works. If that is want you want, good luck.
     
  12. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    A real speaker is not restricted, it's in a cabinet. Is there a question behind the question? It's the impedance curve that is important.
     
  13. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Wouldn't the speaker motor be the component that adds that impedance curve or would it just be an impedance curve that matches some speaker but maybe not the one you are using?

    I'm trying to learn more about loadboxes and attenuators and my experience has been that the reactive component is quite important for replicating the response/sound you have without the attenuator.
     
  14. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    If it is not in the same cabinet and not allowed to move the exact same way it would in a cabinet then the coil would not behave the same or produce the same curve. Yes the impedance curve is important IF it follows an actual curve.
    Back in the 80's we would take an EVM12L and put it in a sealed box so we couldn't hear it. That was the reactive load, only problem was the Plexi amps sounded not right because it wasn't the same as a 4x12 greenback curve. Sealing the box changes the impedance curve. Is there an end game to the questions? Are you looking for a product or trying to learn how to make your own?
     
    BluesBUSTER and nowhere like this.
  15. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Thanks for the info! I'm considering my options on what's available (Suhr RL and the upcoming Torpedo Captor X are on my radar) and also thinking of maybe making my own to tinker with, made a resistive kit back in the day that worked quite alright for what it was. But mostly just learning what makes these things tick and why the different designs are the way they are.
     
  16. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    Just be careful, if you make something the inductors can't be allowed to saturate and the load impedance should not be too high or there is a risk of fly back voltages and damage to the amp. Kind of like would you attempt your own root canal? Also most of the important parts needed you will not find off the shelf.
    If you want to learn more about speakers and impedance curves being able to look at them first hand really helps. But, this is not an area I'd advise messing with unless you are an EE. There are great internet articles talking about the effects of a speaker impedance on tube amplifiers frequency response out there. It's a discussion in the hi fi world too
     
  17. jhuse

    jhuse Member

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    funny, I was a running a Hot Playe with my tweed twin and switch to a Mass Lite 100. I like the Weber better in every way - tone, feel, etc. The Weber actually reminds me of my Alex Attenuator. To each their own, I guess?
     
  18. caspergomez

    caspergomez Member

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    I have a mass lite 150 that works pretty well on my amps. Not perfect by any means, but pretty darned good. I might be a little jaded about this after so long, but to me you cant completely get the magic without the synergy of the amp compressing a bit AND the speakers compressing a bit because BOTH are being pushed. take away either side of the recipe and the outcome changes some, and where it is most noticeable is to the actual musician who is playing the amp and standing in front of it. that said, some really cool recordings have been made using attenuators, models, IR etc..
     
  19. playthecray

    playthecray Member

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    I could not stand the Weber at all. I recently purchased a Ceriatone Plexi 50 with a PPIMV and 1/2 power switch. I fully agree with the previous mention of the PPIMV. I like it better than any attenuator I have tried. I still do have the Hot Plate which I use with other amps as needed.


     
  20. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    We’ve got a Mass 200 in the shop that gets used for testing the really loud amps (50-100w RMS), and it sounds pretty great... only extreme attenuation requires a little treble compensation. That said, it’s bulky, heavy, and I wouldn’t take it to gigs for those reasons, but I know others who tour with them.

    we make a simple resistive attenuator for combo amps under 50w, matched for our OTs and speaker impedance, and limited to only attenuate to the point where it doesn’t suck. We have no plans to get into the fancier boxes as guys like Suhr & Fryette are killing it on that front!
     

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