#1
My question is how can I drive my power tubes more at the bedroom levels that I play at I know there is attenuators but for some reason they run 300-400$ and I have a combo amp so that's out of the question unless you guys know of one under 200 in that case I can get someone to add an input for one if I need to. IV also heard of DIY atten. But IV never worked on an amp so that seems dangerous, but maybe one of yall have had some luck with one and I could pay you. Or are there any alternatives? I just really wanna use the full power of my amp but I'm not a touring musician I just love trying to get better tone thnx.
#2
Also a side note has anyone ever used euro tube tube damper rings or something similar to good effect to get rid of tube rattle?
#3
Keep in mind that you'll also need to push your speaker(s) in order to get the most out of your amp, so just attenuating the output wont magically make things sound amazing.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
#4
small tube amps. I recently bought a Vox AC4TV because I was having a similar issue, and even at a 1/4 watt it's loud enough that you won't get away with playing it at midnight in an apartment. It's slightly more than 200$.
#5
Pushing the power section means more volume. You can't do it quietly unless you have something to soak up the signal (whilst still giving the amp the right load to work with), i.e. an attenuator.

Using a smaller speaker gets you lower volume. A <1w amp with an 8" speaker can get reasonably pushed without pissing off the neighbours too much, if you have thick walls/ceiling/floors. Bear in mind that unplugged, unamplified electric guitar strings can usually be heard through one wall/ceiling/floor so if you're turning your amp up loud eough to not hear your own strings then everyone next door will be hearing you, too.

Amplifiers amplify, they are not meant to sound full quietly.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#6
So could I maybe downsize my speaker then from my 15"? Or would putting a smaller speaker in have a chance of blowing it?
#7
What amp do you have, and what tone are you trying to get? Low volume power tube distortion just isn't going to happen in most cases, even with attenuation.
#9
Not all attenuators cost 300-400. Weber make some great attenuators in various sizes with different features for around $150 depending on the model.

EDIT: Is your speaker hard-wired into the amp, just re-read the post and noticed it doesn't have an input you mentioned?
Last edited by ibanart300 at May 21, 2013,
#10
What I meant is it is a combo amp so I'd have to install an input so that the attenuator could go in between the speaker and the amp stages,
#11
I understand that it is a combo amp just wasn't sure if you meant it had an input or not but never mind I get what you mean now. Anyway I found this over on the Weber's attenuator page that should let you use an attenuator with the stock included speaker.

https://taweber.powweb.com/store/pvmh.htm

EDIT: They are $15 dollars:

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/acc.htm
Last edited by ibanart300 at May 22, 2013,
#12
What you need is a new home.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
Quote by Cathbard
What you need is a new home.


Finally, the right advice.
'It takes 100 guitar players to change a light. One to change the light and 99 to stand around pointing, saying..."Yeah man, look...I can do that too"...'

My gear is in my Profile

Builds & Refurbs
Hondo 780 Deluxe
Gibson Studio
Epi LP100
#14
Quote by Cathbard
What you need is a new home.


Nah, what he needs is a desert island.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#15
its NOT just a small POWERED amp.

i bought a DV Mark lil 40 watt head. it attentuated down to 0.5 watts. ive also tested an egnater rebel series which goes down to 1 watt. anyone will tell you it makes a negligible difference at low volume.

the DV mark did break up, but it was enough to call the cops. for those 10 minutes i may have been a clone of angus young, but the amp was not suiting.

design is key. and tubes are key. i am starting to conclude that 6l6s for example (dv mark) are just not going to break up well at any reasonable volume. they are just too big and too clean. compare that to an el84 amp or an amp so small it uses a preamp tube as a power tube (vox lil night train), you can drive that into distortion very easily at bedroom volumes.

so be careful. what your going to need is a SMALL amp like vox ac4, vox lil night train. the biggest you can get is a blues junior or fender excelsior maybe, but that will give you breakup, not full on saturation at reasonable volumes.

i have given up on the power tube breakup in my room. the only way to do it is invest in an expensive attentuator, or a new amp like a lil night train, either way costs me about $400.00.

i have learned to get a darn good natural tone from my preamp, and try to keep the power as hot as possible (and push it with boosts, etc).
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#16
I've been a big fan of power tube break up since I 'discovered' how awesome the clean channel of a Laney VC30 sounds when pushed.

I started out with a home made attenuator using an L-pad for about £15. It's basically a big chunky potentiometer (like a guitar volume control) that is capable of handling 50 watts or so. All I had to do was wire in the appropriate connections to connect the amp speaker. It worked pretty well, but you lose a lot of top end.

The more expensive attenuators are supposed to give better results, with less top-end loss. I wouldn't say they're very expensive. I got a weber mini-mass for £110(GBP) new. So second hand will be a lot cheaper. Check out the weber stuff, or THD hot plate. Marshall power brake normally goes for fairly cheap, though I'm not sure how good they are.

Just make sure when using attenuators that you match the impedance of the amp output, and that the attenuator has a power rating at least that of the amp. Also note that you should use proper speaker wires, rather than guitar cables, to make the connection.

The other issue is how to connect it. The peavey is a pretty open casing so should be pretty easy. If the amp chassis is wired directly to the speaker (rather than via a 'speaker out' connection) you just need to get the appropriate connectors from your local electronics store.

I love power tube breakup, more than preamp breakup, or speaker breakup. At the end of the day, the classic sound of valve amps is classic because of the awesome sound it makes when CRANKED. So crank it!
#17
Quote by ibanart300
I understand that it is a combo amp just wasn't sure if you meant it had an input or not but never mind I get what you mean now. Anyway I found this over on the Weber's attenuator page that should let you use an attenuator with the stock included speaker.

https://taweber.powweb.com/store/pvmh.htm

EDIT: They are $15 dollars:

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/acc.htm


Damn thats really cool yea that will work perfect for my amp thanks alot!
and that further cements that im going to get me a mini mass. hope its not a waste of money Ill post my results when i get it
#18
Quote by DannyV783
Damn thats really cool yea that will work perfect for my amp thanks alot!
and that further cements that im going to get me a mini mass. hope its not a waste of money Ill post my results when i get it


No worries, I love my Mini Mass. I have one for my Deluxe Reverb, as the loudest I can get away with at home is about 4. Hope it all works out!
#19
ho...ly sh**********t.

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/masslite.htm

why did i knot know of this before? this may be an impulse buy...now. need to do mucho research on these things.

even cheaper for the less good type in 50 watts, but it says for lots of attentuation get 2x wattage, and i would the foot switch, line out, good model all that jazz.

i may be able to swing 200ish for this unit.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#20
The best way to get saturated tube power amp tone is using a re-amp rig like Van Halen's original rig. Crank main amp to 10 w/ a load box instead of a cab. Line out from main amp to separate power amp which drives the speaker cab. The cranked main amp acts like a pre-amp in the signal chain. With this setup, you get the full sound, tone, & dynamic response of your main amp fully cranked, & it sounds virtually the same at any volume, even at whisper volume-which is all controlled by the separate power amp (I use a cheap $99 Crate Power Block).
There is not any other setup that will come even close to this for supreme performance & tone. That's why EVH used it for the first 20 yrs of his career.
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Riffhog for President


Quote by Cathbard
There's no point apologising for your feet smelling when there's a 300lb gorilla in the room taking a crap on the couch.


Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2011
#21
Well im not talking about buying a new amp and speaker in just trying to get the most out of the amp I have which I love and is a combo amp
#22
Quote by riffhog
The best way to get saturated tube power amp tone is using a re-amp rig like Van Halen's original rig. Crank main amp to 10 w/ a load box instead of a cab. Line out from main amp to separate power amp which drives the speaker cab. The cranked main amp acts like a pre-amp in the signal chain. With this setup, you get the full sound, tone, & dynamic response of your main amp fully cranked, & it sounds virtually the same at any volume, even at whisper volume-which is all controlled by the separate power amp (I use a cheap $99 Crate Power Block).
There is not any other setup that will come even close to this for supreme performance & tone. That's why EVH used it for the first 20 yrs of his career.


You forgot to mention that Eddie was changing power tubes every other day because how hard his power tubes got pushed everyday.
Quote by Blompcube
it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

( )( )
( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
C('')('') signature to help him gain world domination.
#23
Quote by ragingkitty
You forgot to mention that Eddie was changing power tubes every other day because how hard his power tubes got pushed everyday.


I've run my Mojave Scorpion wide open into a load all the time for several years, & have not replaced a single tube on it yet, but it has a power scaling feature also. Yes, it would be hard on the tubes for most amps, but no more so than a power attenuator.

To DannyV783- Yeah, I know it's a bit more expensive to build this type of rig, but it can be done with your combo as well. You could have a separate power amp drive your combo's cab. Unfortunately, most amps don't have a guitar level signal line out jack after the power stage, so that would have to be modded by an amp tech, but it's not very expensive. Also, a load box/attenuator costs a lot, but remember that a load box & extra power amp are long term investments that can be used for other purposes also.
I just threw this out here so people are aware of how cool a sound you can get at any volume if you invest in some extra gear, esp for people who are investing in an attenuator already-then it's just a small step to add a power amp & line out. You can use almost any power amp to drive the cabs. I used to use an old home stereo receiver for a power amp (that I got at a garage sale for $10).
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Riffhog for President


Quote by Cathbard
There's no point apologising for your feet smelling when there's a 300lb gorilla in the room taking a crap on the couch.


Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2011