#1
So, Eddie plugged his Marshall into a Variac, which brought down it's voltage to give him his epic tone, right? Less voltage means tubes clip quicker, etc., etc.

Would it work the same way if I were to plug an amp into an electrical outlet connected to a dimmer switch, and brought the voltage down using it? Or would this be a fire hazard more hazardous than a wall of Bugera full stacks?

Of course, I don't plan to try this with my Jet City, if I do try it I might experiment with my old Fender Champ 12 (10w, one 6l6gc). I'm not huge into Van Halen tones but it would be fun to fuck around with.
#3
lolwut? but seriously don't do that. you need an attenuator. it's not the lack of watts going to the amp that made the tone. you want the amp at high power and lower the output(loudness) of the amp. i'm not the best explainer in the world, but hope you get something out of my ramblings.
#4
Not a good idea. Even the heavy duty dimmers in this house are only rated for 600 watts. If your amp is drawing anything over that, you're looking for problems... and it may be more than your amp that goes up in smoke. Also, your light dimmer is looking for a specific load - plugging that amp into the outlet MAY present the wrong type of load and cause the same result as already mentioned.

I wouldn't try it.

If it was safe, everyone would be using light dimmers for this purpose. There's a reason why they don't. Do you really want to find out why?
#5
Quote by cannerwrestling
lolwut? but seriously don't do that. you need an attenuator. it's not the lack of watts going to the amp that made the tone. you want the amp at high power and lower the output(loudness) of the amp. i'm not the best explainer in the world, but hope you get something out of my ramblings.



An attentuator and variac are two different things. The variac allows you to reduce the amount of voltage going to an item. Some amps have a Tweed setting that does the same thing - my Mesa has it. It produces the same result as a brown out. The reduced voltage causes a sag in the power supplied to the tubes and causes them to clip sooner.
#6
lol @ the replies in this thread

The variac IS an attenuator (variable Alternating Current) but it goes in between the amp and the load (speaker). Long story short plugging it into a dimmer outlet wouldn't make it sound good.

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#7
Quote by jthm_guitarist
lol @ the replies in this thread

The variac IS an attenuator (variable Alternating Current) but it goes in between the amp and the load (speaker). Long story short plugging it into a dimmer outlet wouldn't make it sound good.



You best be laughing at yourself.

Sorry, but you're wrong. A VARIAC does not go in between the amp and the speaker. A VARIAC goes between the AC outlet and the amplifier. An attenuator goes between the amp and speaker. Don't believe me? Google 'em.

My Mesa has a built-in fixed VARIAC. It's called the Tweed setting. It drops the AC voltage being supplied to the amp. It does not contain an attentuator. Furthermore, an attentuator is meant to allow the amp to be played at a high volume level and clip, while keeping the output volume low. The VARIAC is meant to cause the amp to clip at lower output levels while not reducing the volume level all that much. Big difference.
#8
Quote by jthm_guitarist
lol @ the replies in this thread

The variac IS an attenuator (variable Alternating Current) but it goes in between the amp and the load (speaker). Long story short plugging it into a dimmer outlet wouldn't make it sound good.
#9
Quote by jthm_guitarist
lol @ the replies in this thread

The variac IS an attenuator (variable Alternating Current) but it goes in between the amp and the load (speaker). Long story short plugging it into a dimmer outlet wouldn't make it sound good.


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#10
Quote by jthm_guitarist
lol @ the replies in this thread

The variac IS an attenuator (variable Alternating Current) but it goes in between the amp and the load (speaker). Long story short plugging it into a dimmer outlet wouldn't make it sound good.


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#11
we won't know for sure until ian tries it right?
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#12
Quote by jthm_guitarist
lol @ the replies in this thread

The variac IS an attenuator (variable Alternating Current) but it goes in between the amp and the load (speaker). Long story short plugging it into a dimmer outlet wouldn't make it sound good.

Are you stupid, or just plain retarded?
#13
I believe the Variac was used so he could get his sound, but didn't blast the face off the audience in the old club days. Which, he clearly did anyway Happy Bday, Ed.
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#14
Not to mention, if you're amp has any solid state parts (power supply, channel switching, etc.) then lowering the voltage too much may cause them to not work.
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#15
I heard if you replace your tubes with light bulbs (100w ones, not those weak ass 60W) it has the same effect.

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#16
Quote by jpatan
I heard if you replace your tubes with light bulbs (100w ones, not those weak ass 60W) it has the same effect.



Do you use the soft white, or the clear ones?
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#17
Quote by Ian_the_fox
So, Eddie plugged his Marshall into a Variac, which brought down it's voltage to give him his epic tone, right? Less voltage means tubes clip quicker, etc., etc.

Would it work the same way if I were to plug an amp into an electrical outlet connected to a dimmer switch, and brought the voltage down using it? Or would this be a fire hazard more hazardous than a wall of Bugera full stacks?

Of course, I don't plan to try this with my Jet City, if I do try it I might experiment with my old Fender Champ 12 (10w, one 6l6gc). I'm not huge into Van Halen tones but it would be fun to fuck around with.


Given that the Champ only draws about 1 amp @120v, as long as the dimmer in question is sufficiently robust (and most are) it should work fine. I'd put a voltmeter on the line so you can record different voltages and get an idea of what works and what doesn't.

It's a pretty good idea, let us know how it works out.
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Last edited by Arby911 at Jan 26, 2012,
#18
look until we see a video of the results we don't know.

this is pointless without a video example with slo-mo recap.
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#19
Quote by zeek7pc
Do you use the soft white, or the clear ones?


Soft white are great for jazz, but you want clear for high gain.


And I heard black light bulbs sound amazing for bues...
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#20
Quote by jpatan


And I heard black light bulbs sound amazing for bues...


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“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#21
the purple gem light is better for blues on a fender amp.

imagine how the blue gem light felt.
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