#1
I've noticed that your tone gets really great when you push up the volume, but I have a fender...so even past 2 it's like ear-ringing loud. Is there some type of pedal or something that can actually lower the volume so I can get that great loud tube sound...but not loud?
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#3
Quote by Pac_man0123
You can get an attenuator


Explain more.

1) How does it work exactly?
2) Will it color the tone from effect pedals I'm using for an overdrive or distortion?
3) Cheapest price for best value?
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#5
It's not the same man we know. But you have to crank it up for that tone, there's nothing else to it. Don't waste your money on extra crap stuff, just play loud when you've got people listening and less loud when you're practicing. ^^
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#6
Just the way tube amps are. Only solution if you want the tone without the hearing damage is an attenuator. Some amps if they have 4 power tubes you can pull 2 so it doesnt have to be cranked. Or get a tube amp with less watts.
#7
Quote by Tackleberry
Just the way tube amps are. Only solution if you want the tone without the hearing damage is an attenuator. Some amps if they have 4 power tubes you can pull 2 so it doesnt have to be cranked. Or get a tube amp with less watts.


I don't want to go through the work of finding another amp that fills my stupidly high standards for very ceartin things and is somehow less loud. An accenuator is like $350 though and that's preposterous.

I need the loudness to play some gigs too, I'd just like an accenuator for home play, but $350 is stupid crazy. Anyone know a cheaper one that could get the job done?
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#9
The only way, then, is to have a box made out of soundproof material and put your amp in there and turn it up and then sit outside the box.
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#10
^lol
Quote by RetroGunslinger
this is like comparing a flushing toilet to a hole in the ground
#11
No, attenuators are the answer. They create a simulated load for the amp to push, so that only a fraction of the power goes to the speakers. You don't get speaker breakup like you do at normal high volume, but you still get tube amp break up and amazing tone.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#12
Quote by Thomme
No, attenuators are the answer. They create a simulated load for the amp to push, so that only a fraction of the power goes to the speakers. You don't get speaker breakup like you do at normal high volume, but you still get tube amp break up and amazing tone.


Well yea but he said he didn't want to get one of those
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#13
Quote by bornfidelity
Well yea but he said he didn't want to get one of those


It seems like I have no other choice but for that price I think I could deal with my rig not sounding great unless I'm in an area where I can crank it. I can't just keep blowing cash out the ass.
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#14
Maybe check into a Weber mini-mass.
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#15
Quote by bornfidelity
Well yea but he said he didn't want to get one of those

I know he said he didn't want to get one, but that's the only way.
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#16
Elliot tone dial FTW!

40 dollar little volume box that does the job of a 350 dollar name brand attenuator.Look it up on harmony central and you'll see that it has good reviews.I use one with my JSX and it does exactly what I want it to.You can buy them off Ebay.

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#17
Here are some cheaper Attenuators I found on Musicians Friend

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/SMPro-Audio-Nano-Patch-Passive-Volume-Attenuator?sku=180226

http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/ElectroHarmonix-Nano-Signal-Pad-Attenuator-Guitar-Effects-Pedal?sku=501647
^^This one is an Electro-Harmonix pedal. It only acts as a volume knob though.

Just a quick question: Where would you normally plug in an attenuator into your amp?
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Last edited by tmfiore at Feb 7, 2009,
#19
Quote by tmfiore
Here are some cheaper Attenuators I found on Musicians Friend

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/SMPro-Audio-Nano-Patch-Passive-Volume-Attenuator?sku=180226

http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/ElectroHarmonix-Nano-Signal-Pad-Attenuator-Guitar-Effects-Pedal?sku=501647
^^This one is an Electro-Harmonix pedal. It only acts as a volume knob though.

Just a quick question: Where would you normally plug in an attenuator into your amp?

he could use those... if he wanted to fry his output transformer. One is just a volume pot with a bypass and the other is designed for powered computer monitors.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#20
Quote by Thomme
he could use those... if he wanted to fry his output transformer. One is just a volume pot with a bypass and the other is designed for powered computer monitors.

Oh....

Anyway, once again, where would the attenuator be plugged in?
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#21
Quote by tmfiore
Oh....

Anyway, once again, where would the attenuator be plugged in?


Between the amp and speaker.

I personally feel a heavily attenuated amp sounds like complete shit, my opinion though. I really wouldn't recommend the Hot Plate either. Look into the Weber attenuators or if you got the money the Ultimate Attenuator. Google it or search The Gear Page about it.
#22
Quote by Whole Lotta Led
Between the amp and speaker.

I personally feel a heavily attenuated amp sounds like complete shit, my opinion though. I really wouldn't recommend the Hot Plate either. Look into the Weber attenuators or if you got the money the Ultimate Attenuator. Google it or search The Gear Page about it.

My understanding is that you don't suffer from tone loss until you're bleeding off about 90% of your amp's volume. I personally don't use an attenuator, as I go for chimmy-cleans from my Vox, instead of that huge, nasty overdrive that's so sweet.... plus, I just live with mediocre tone from my marshall until I'm with a band and playing. I'm not spending the extra money to get good tone in my apartment. If you're running 100watts into a 4x12 and you want absolute tube saturation, an attenuator is what you need.

Alternately, for a little more than the price of an attenuator, you can get a 5watt tube amp to practice with.

edit: TS - which Fender amp do you have?
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
Last edited by Thomme at Feb 7, 2009,
#23
Quote by Thomme
My understanding is that you don't suffer from tone loss until you're bleeding off about 90% of your amp's volume. I personally don't use an attenuator, as I go for chimmy-cleans from my Vox, instead of that huge, nasty overdrive that's so sweet.... plus, I just live with mediocre tone from my marshall until I'm with a band and playing. I'm not spending the extra money to get good tone in my apartment. If you're running 100watts into a 4x12 and you want absolute tube saturation, an attenuator is what you need.

Alternately, for a little more than the price of an attenuator, you can get a 5watt tube amp to practice with.

edit: TS - which Fender amp do you have?


I wouldn't put a percentage on when tone suckage starts to happen, it simply depends on the amp, attenuator, and how many dBs you are trying to attenuate.
#24
You get what you pay for with attenuators. Any of the volume knob set ups wont keep the tone but lose the volume. They just turn the amp down. Theres not really a cheap way to solve this problem, except turn the amp down.
#25
Quote by Tackleberry
You get what you pay for with attenuators. Any of the volume knob set ups wont keep the tone but lose the volume. They just turn the amp down. Theres not really a cheap way to solve this problem, except turn the amp down.

what are you talking about? Litterally the way an attenuator works: it diverts the signal from the amp to a false load to allow the amp to push a false load, while the other part of the signal to the speakers. If you push your power tubes to load, then divert part of that load to a dummy resistance and the other part to the speakers, you get the same tone out of the amp as if it were cranked. The differance lies in the speakers not being pushed as much.
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#26
^^^Hmmm thomme you really need to read what a person says. I never made any mention of the workings of an attenuator or how it affects tone. Others said that. TS asked about using some sort of cheap volume knob set up that would lower the volume of the amp. You know like a volume pedal or a vol pot in a box stuck in the FX loop. He had 2 links posted so I understand what hes asking about. But those methods do the same thing as the current volume knob on the amp. Hes trying to keep the tone of high volume without the high volume. Only way to do that is with an attenuator which he does not want to lay out the cash for.
#27
Quote by Tackleberry
^^^Hmmm thomme you really need to read what a person says. I never made any mention of the workings of an attenuator or how it affects tone. Others said that. TS asked about using some sort of cheap volume knob set up that would lower the volume of the amp. You know like a volume pedal or a vol pot in a box stuck in the FX loop. He had 2 links posted so I understand what hes asking about. But those methods do the same thing as the current volume knob on the amp. Hes trying to keep the tone of high volume without the high volume. Only way to do that is with an attenuator which he does not want to lay out the cash for.

no, it's my bad, I misread what you said. I thought that you meant that attenuators act the same as volume pedals in front of the amp, that was my bad, sorry many.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#29
Quote by Thomme
edit: TS - which Fender amp do you have?


Hot Rod DeVille 410
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#30
Quote by the fendernator
Has a volume pedal been mentioned yet? Cranking the amp to full but putting the pedal at a half way stage sounds like it could work - they're only about £20 for a basic volume pedal and some multieffects pedals have them built in. I can't see a problem...


A volume pedal in the FX loop then?

hmm

you'd only be bypassing the preamp tubes not the 'postamp' ones
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#31
I see glowing reviews for the Elliott Tone Dial and they say it's only around $20-$40 to. Anyone with experience?
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
#32
The problem with the volume pedal in the loop set up is your not really doing anything. If you turn the amp volume to 10 and turn the volume down with the pedal its still the same signal going to the power amp as if amp volume was on 2. The power amp still wont be working very hard and getting to that sweet spot. My little Vjr has to be past a certain point on volume knob (around 12:30) to get good tone. If I turn the volume on the amp down a little from the sweet spot the tone suffers. If I turn the amp back up and use my EQ to reduce overall volume the tone suffers. The speaker has to move to get that good tone only way to do it is with volume. Fortunately with a 5 watt amp cranked isnt that loud. Its why I got rid of my really nice 30 watt tube amp, no point in using it with the volume way down.
#33
Quote by Pr0gNut
Elliot tone dial FTW!

40 dollar little volume box that does the job of a 350 dollar name brand attenuator.Look it up on harmony central and you'll see that it has good reviews.I use one with my JSX and it does exactly what I want it to.You can buy them off Ebay.


You've been had.

Quote by Brian 1.0
I see glowing reviews for the Elliott Tone Dial and they say it's only around $20-$40 to. Anyone with experience?


DO NOT BUY IT. It won't solve the problem. Here's why.

There are two basic parts of your amp - the pre-amp and the power amp. At the most basic level, the pre-amp does the tone shaping and the power amp amplifies the pre-amp's output signal.

The reason that tube amps sound 'better' cranked is because there is more current in the POWER AMP of your amplifier - the tubes that produce the actual volume are saturated and overdriving. The only way to get this is to crank your master volume up, and the only way to do that is to play loud or get an attenuator that only sends part of the signal to the speaker and dissipates the rest as heat, thereby giving you 'hot' tubes at reasonable volumes.

The idea behind a series effects loop, on the other hand, is that it's after the pre-amp and before the power amp. Placing a volume box or 'tone dial' in the effects loop won't do jack shiznatty for the power amp since the output load will be the same - it'll merely alter the level of the signal going into the power amp. You could make it louder, but then the overall output will be even louder. Turning it down is the same as turning down your channel volume. If you have send and return volume knobs for your effects loop then buying a 'tone dial' is even more redundant.

Long story short... volume box lets you up the output of the preamp, does nothing for saturation of power tubes. Attenuator lets you crank power tubes. Get an attenuator.
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#34
Quote by Mo Jiggity
You've been had.


DO NOT BUY IT. It won't solve the problem. Here's why.

There are two basic parts of your amp - the pre-amp and the power amp. At the most basic level, the pre-amp does the tone shaping and the power amp amplifies the pre-amp's output signal.

The reason that tube amps sound 'better' cranked is because there is more current in the POWER AMP of your amplifier - the tubes that produce the actual volume are saturated and overdriving. The only way to get this is to crank your master volume up, and the only way to do that is to play loud or get an attenuator that only sends part of the signal to the speaker and dissipates the rest as heat, thereby giving you 'hot' tubes at reasonable volumes.

The idea behind a series effects loop, on the other hand, is that it's after the pre-amp and before the power amp. Placing a volume box or 'tone dial' in the effects loop won't do jack shiznatty for the power amp since the output load will be the same - it'll merely alter the level of the signal going into the power amp. You could make it louder, but then the overall output will be even louder. Turning it down is the same as turning down your channel volume. If you have send and return volume knobs for your effects loop then buying a 'tone dial' is even more redundant.

Long story short... volume box lets you up the output of the preamp, does nothing for saturation of power tubes. Attenuator lets you crank power tubes. Get an attenuator.

Don't understand though -- look at this.

http://cgi.ebay.com/VOLUME-BOX-for-Tube-Amp-Volume-attenuator-TONE-DIAL-b_W0QQitemZ160309810033QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar_Amp_Accessories?hash=item160309810033&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

It's clearly stated as an "Attenuator," so people buying a $350 version, aren't they the ones who've "been had?" Also there are GLOWING reviews stating it works...Are you going to tell me every single person who says this thing is a dream come true's tone deaf? It's clearly doing something right through the FX loop.
Quote by MooshMooshMarc
I didnt have anything planned out, and I didn't know **** about improvising, so it was like "OH SHI- SOLO TIME" so I kerry-kinged it.
Last edited by Brian 1.0 at Feb 8, 2009,
#35
Well, the way the Elliot Volume Box works is that it's a volume pedal that turns down your pre-amp volume, but your power amp gets the same signal and it doesn't get tube overdrive.

An attenuator and this are two different devices that have the same basic idea, but do completely different things.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#36
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't understand though -- look at this.

http://cgi.ebay.com/VOLUME-BOX-for-Tube-Amp-Volume-attenuator-TONE-DIAL-b_W0QQitemZ160309810033QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar_Amp_Accessories?hash=item160309810033&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

It's clearly stated as an "Attenuator," so people buying a $350 version, aren't they the ones who've "been had?" Also there are GLOWING reviews stating it works...Are you going to tell me every single person who says this thing is a dream come true's tone deaf? It's clearly doing something right through the FX loop.


It doesn't matter what it says in the title... the description is "attenuator-like" results, when in fact it won't deliver those at all.

In the most generic sense of the word yes, it is an attenuator, because it is attenuating the signal between the preamp and the power amp, but it is not an attenuator in the guitarists' sense of the word - it does NOTHING to the saturation of your power tubes.

NOTHING.

So yes, you have been had, along with everybody else that bought one. If your amp has send/return level knobs for the effects loop you have the same thing. If your amp has a channel volume knob in addition to gain and master volume knobs, then you have the same thing. This device does little to anything for your tone.

Sorry.

I'm not saying that it does nothing it all - depending upon your amp's structure it might alter the frequency response of the power amp if you lower the volume going into the power amp, but I can do this with my amplifier and achieve the same results. The majority of amps that have serial effects loops are high-end enough to have the controls I mentioned earlier, however, and so this thing is an absolute waste.

I might also add that it does not appear to require batteries or any sort of power, so it doesn't have any buffering ICs or anything. That hunk of crap costs five dollars in parts to make, tops.

**EDIT: http://studentweb.eku.edu/justin_holton/tooloud.html#powerampsaturation

If you had bothered to take two seconds and cruise the Google machine for this issue regarding your particular amplifier then you would have found this page and I wouldn't have to tell you about it. It says right there that that plinky volume box does nothing for your power section. There.
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Last edited by Mo Jiggity at Feb 8, 2009,