#1
Im really not too worried about it, but what is a good way to get a 40 watt tube amp down to lower volume but keep a good sound running through it? I have heard talk of attenuators, but I dont know what they are. Anyone care to teach me a thing or two please? Thanks!
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#2
Attenuators are rather expensive and color the sound quite a bit. You lose some of the high end (shimmer/sparkle/whatever) and it just doesnt sound quite the same. Close but if you're like me not close enough.

I guess not all attenuators are created equal but I would think they would all do this to varying degrees.
#3
Is that an amp part? A pedal? I have tried to find out but am unsure.
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#4
I use the master volume knob, works wonders for me.
What amp is it? Unless you really need/want the power tubes working hard the master volume is all you need.
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#5
It's a piece of kit that sits between the power amplifier and the speaker. It therefore goes between your head and cab, or if you have a combo, you must have a "speaker out" socket that sends the amplified signal out to your attenuator, and then the output form the attenuator goes into the "speaker in" socket on your combo.

So you need the right sort of combo to use one.

They also shorten the life of your valves apparantly, because you are pushing the power valves much more than if you keep the volume low.
Last edited by deano_l at Jan 31, 2012,
#6
1) What amp?

EDIT: You are purchasing you first tube amp. An Egnater Tweaker. In addition to your thread about tube amps, read the following questions. Understanding even a little about where your tone is coming from can go a long way in getting a pleasing sound at a low volume from a tube amp.

2) Where is your desired tone coming from?

Pedals?

Preamp?

Power tubes?

Speaker break up?
Last edited by irnmadn88 at Jan 31, 2012,
#7
Pretty much im going for a total amp upgrade here, plan on buying new pedals over time. I was just asking a general question mostly, looking at my options, I dont intend to use it in my apartment much. Volum knob always works, I plan on playing with the settings to try to drive the tubes at a lower volume if i so desire. But I mostly want to use the amp for cleans (platform for later pedals), and Im sure I could get a nice clean at a low volume, but I have recently seen alot about different ways to get a bedroom volume with ok tone out of a high powered amp. I was curious and couldnt find the answers in the other threads that I have read about it. Thanks!
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#8
Attenuators are for lowering the volume from unreasonable to bearable - not from unreasonable to apartment reasonable.

Buy a practice amp instead.
#9
does it sound ok turned down?

if so you don't really have to do anything.

from what i hear (haven't really tried them) attenuators work better with slight attenuation (e.g. making your rig slightly quieter for a slightly smaller gig) rather than the amount of attenuation you'd need to get down to bedroom volume. also, depending on the tones you're after, one might be pointless, anyway. Plus, they're expensive.

an od pedal can work well too if you're trying to get a more saturated high gain tone at lower volumes.
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#10
You have a few options.

1) Use the master volume (if it has one) or just turn the volume down. You'll lose tone for sure -- no question about it -- but if you're just practicing with it then don't worry about it.

2) You can get an attenuator which is a decently expensive piece of equipment. It takes the full brunt of your cranked amp, bleeds off power by way of heat and then gives you a lesser volume of basically the same tone. Arguments abound about how effective each model/brand is.

3) You can put a cabinet (say a 1x12 or 2x12) into an insulated enclosure and mic it -- this is a REALLY good solution and will give you the best tone for recording, while keeping the volume super low for apartment use (there's a video on YT of Peter Thorne doing this in his apartment). This is less expensive than the attenuator (just need a mic, cables & some materials for the enclosure, but still a bit involved. You can then listen through headphones.

4) For less than the price of either of these last 2, you can get yourself an inexpensive SS practice amp that will give you just as good of tone as any of the first 2 options (and better tone than the 3th option too, other than recording/headphone tone).
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#11
It depends on what apartment you're living in, as well. Some, like mine, have really good sound proofing. Others have really BAD sound proofing. The thicker the walls, the better the insulation, etc. will improve the sound proofing.

How well can you hear your neighbors while they're doing mundane tasks (i.e. cooking, cleaning, watching TV, etc)? If you can hear them clearly through the walls while they're taking a piss, for example, then you know your apartment has sucky sound proofing, which means you won't be able to turn it up as much.

Personally, I can run my 50 watt tube amp loud enough to get tone that I'm happy with. You really DON'T need great tone in an apartment unless you're recording, in which case you might want to look into iso box setups, and run your amp in one of those.

If I REALLY want volume, for recording or whatever, I put my amp in the closet, put a ton of pillows around it, and close the closet door. It's not perfect, but the pillows do help to dampen the sound.

Of course, you're not going to be able to run your amp on 10 in an apartment without getting complaints, but do you really need to run your amp all out?
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#12
yeah

i mean i don't share any walls with neighbours (so i'm not sure how much this applies to apartments) but i can crank my amps up enough that they sound (and more importantly, feel) better than any solid state amp i've ever heard. And by "crank" i mean mid 80 decibels, which is the master below 1.

by way of comparison, i clocked my vht 6 watt tube amp at well over 100 decibels (106 i think?) and it wasn't even completely cranked.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?