#1
Hey All,

My problem may be simple to some, but damn complicated for me. I've had a Sunn Beta Lead 2x12 for the past few years, and I can honestly tell you that tone wise - it's perfect for me. It nails the tone and vibe I've been after.

My problem is the volume. And it's a BIG problem.

Before anyone goes on the whole 'Dude, it's one of the loudest amps ever made' rant. Trust me, I know! I love jamming with it in my friend's basement, where I can let loose volume-wise. (at least a bit) I took it back to my apartment a few months ago to see if I could find a way to use it at 'practice' volumes. Needless to say, I couldn't. As I said in another thread, 0.5 on the master volume was muffled and faint, and 0.8 was like a sonic boom going off! The master volume is THAT sensitive! I could only imagine what would happen it I mistakenly nudged the volume in the wrong direction! I'd probably blow the bloody roof off!

So I've now been told that if I had a new volume pot installed that would modify the taper of the master volume, that should solve the problem. I'm skeptical, but obviously you guys know better than I do. What I'd like to achieve is simple: 0.5 to 1 achieves quiet/practice levels suitable for my apartment, and the sonic boom territory around 3 to 4 and upwards.

I'd really like some help here, guys. Some direction. Do you think this is doable? And if anyone here is familiar with the Beta Lead technically speaking, how difficult would it be to get at the volume pot in the first place?

Hey Cathbard, I'd REALLY appreciate your input. PM me if you can.

-Major Bludd
#2
Quote by Major Bludd
Hey All,


My problem is the volume. And it's a BIG problem.

Needless to say,

I'd really like some direction to get at the pot

Hey Cathbard, I'd REALLY appreciate your input. PM me if you can.

-Major Bludd

Sounds suspicious if you ask me
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#3
HAHA nice edit there, Lucky! Makes things sound improper, no?

The volume pot is what I'm interested in, not the pot you smoke.
#4
Quote by Major Bludd
HAHA nice edit there, Lucky! Makes things sound improper, no?

The volume pot is what I'm interested in, not the pot you smoke.

I have a lot of downtime at work.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#6
I don't know that a new pot is going to solve your problem. I think an easier solution is to get yourself a power attenuator to tame the roar of the dragon. You won't find a lot of people using attenuators on a solid-state amp, but as far as I know, you can do it and it will bring the volume level down considerably.

Good luck! Sunn amps were criminally underrated back in the day. It is a shame that no one has tried to bring them back.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#7
Quote by Major Bludd

So I've now been told that if I had a new volume pot installed that would modify the taper of the master volume, that should solve the problem. I'm skeptical, but obviously you guys know better than I do. What I'd like to achieve is simple: 0.5 to 1 achieves quiet/practice levels suitable for my apartment, and the sonic boom territory around 3 to 4 and upwards.

I'd really like some help here, guys. Some direction. Do you think this is doable? And if anyone here is familiar with the Beta Lead technically speaking, how difficult would it be to get at the volume pot in the first place?


a different pot could help, but i don't know if it is even your problem to begin with. there are two basic types of tapers to potentiometers, linear and logarithmic. if you amp has a linear pot instead of a logarithmic than switching it out can give you more usable range on you volume knob.

it's easy to find and replace a volume pot if you have some experience, it'd be a great starter project for someone looking to get into this sort of thing.

that being said you are going to be fighting one major problem. guitar amplifiers 'amplify' the signal sent to them, that is their main purpose. the guitar amplifier uses quite a number of tricks to get as loud as possible (limited amplification range, high sensitivity speakers, etc).

now i know this seems obvious, and it kinda is, but when you want a guitar amplifier to be 'quiet' then you going against everything a guitar amplifier is designed to be. something that takes a guitar signal and doesn't really make it any louder but changes the way it sounds is called an 'effect' or 'effects processor'. if you want guitar tone at reasonable bedroom volumes, then the best thing to do is to use some kinda effect to do what you want instead of trying to make a guitar amplifier sound quiet.

when i go on the road and stay in motel rooms, i don't bring even a little practice amp with me (or even one of my battery powered amps). instead i use my computer, plug my guitar in there, fire up some software and use some computer speakers to amplify the signal. this easily keeps things around TV set volume and doesn't disturb my neighbors, if you put even a crappy 10 watt practice amp in that situation and you can easily get complaints after 'cranking' it to 2 on the dial.

in other words, i wouldn't use a guitar amp for 'quiet' applications. instead i would use something that is not designed to be as loud as possible.

Quote by FatalGear41
Good luck! Sunn amps were criminally underrated back in the day. It is a shame that no one has tried to bring them back.


fender owns the sunn name now, and they actually did try to bring them back briefly in the 90's. it was a failure, the amp designs weren't similar and the quality was not nearly what it was back in the 60's and 70's
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#9
Hmmm...

I just adore the tone of the Beta Lead so much, I can't think of any application/pedal/practice amp that will give me that tone..
#10
Quote by Major Bludd
Hmmm...

I just adore the tone of the Beta Lead so much, I can't think of any application/pedal/practice amp that will give me that tone..


well it's not gonna sound the same at such a low volume in your house either. maybe it is just me, i find it really annoying to play under an amp's potential. i dislike playing guitar amps at really low volumes cuz frankly it doesn't sound sexy, and i can control my volume easier with smaller/less sensitivity powered speakers setups.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#11
Quote by FatalGear41
I don't know that a new pot is going to solve your problem. I think an easier solution is to get yourself a power attenuator to tame the roar of the dragon. You won't find a lot of people using attenuators on a solid-state amp, but as far as I know, you can do it and it will bring the volume level down considerably.

Good luck! Sunn amps were criminally underrated back in the day. It is a shame that no one has tried to bring them back.



Say WHAT????????

Man I hope that's sarcasm.
Sunn amps are now sought after more than ever, and are pretty much par for the course in doom, post-rock, post-metal, drone etc

There's a reason the prices for Original Model Ts are now up around the $2200-$2400 mark. Everyone who wants one is hoarding them. A beta Lead Pre-amp will now run you like $800 instead of $300 5 years ago man. People are trying to get $700 for 412s!

They are back in a big way man. I wish I could turn back time and buy 5 for the price of 2 today


And the Fender Reissues weren't bad amps. Very different for sure but nice in their own way. Not a patch on a 1972 Model T or anything though, of course.


OT: I reckon just grab an attenuator man. Seems like the best option. and then you will absolutely relish every opportunity you get to open right up
I would love to own your amp btw
#12
Quote by T7E
Say WHAT????????

Man I hope that's sarcasm.
Sunn amps are now sought after more than ever, and are pretty much par for the course in doom, post-rock, post-metal, drone etc

There's a reason the prices for Original Model Ts are now up around the $2200-$2400 mark. Everyone who wants one is hoarding them. A beta Lead Pre-amp will now run you like $800 instead of $300 5 years ago man. People are trying to get $700 for 412s!

They are back in a big way man. I wish I could turn back time and buy 5 for the price of 2 today


And the Fender Reissues weren't bad amps. Very different for sure but nice in their own way. Not a patch on a 1972 Model T or anything though, of course.


OT: I reckon just grab an attenuator man. Seems like the best option. and then you will absolutely relish every opportunity you get to open right up
I would love to own your amp btw


i think he just meant "it's a shame no one is rereleasing them or cloning them on mass scale" i don't think he was necessarily clueless about Sunn's contemporary popularity.

i feel like showing off a pic of my sunn now.

punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#13
Quote by gumbilicious
i think he just meant "it's a shame no one is rereleasing them or cloning them on mass scale" i don't think he was necessarily clueless about Sunn's contemporary popularity.

i feel like showing off a pic of my sunn now.




Ah fair enough man, i wasn't trying to start anything or whatever.

If we are talking about clones however, have a look at Anatonium amps. They make a 130w(?) JCM800/Model T Bastard child thing. It's dead sexy. More people should get on to it. I definitely support Sunn Clones!!!!!!


That's a damn sexy Sunn man. Jelly as
I wish you could find them in Australia
#15
I've been told that you can use an attenuator with solid-state amps, but there seems to be no advantage to it because you aren't getting the benefits of power tube overdrive. But if the TS needs to knock the volume level down, it should work. I would not want to change the specs on the amp itself, as that would lower its value and it might lead to problems down the line.

Yes, I know how popular Sunn amps are, which is a shame because I remember the days when they couldn't give those amps away. Would that I had bought a bunch of them and kept them in storage until now. I just don't understand why the brand has not been revived, given the current enthusiasm for them. Fender has all of the rights to them, and they've already branched out their amplifier line by building the EVH amps, so there seems to be no reason why they could not re-introduce the Sunn amps. I can't believe that there is anything about the amps that would make that difficult to do.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#16
Quote by FatalGear41
I've been told that you can use an attenuator with solid-state amps, but there seems to be no advantage to it because you aren't getting the benefits of power tube overdrive. But if the TS needs to knock the volume level down, it should work. I would not want to change the specs on the amp itself, as that would lower its value and it might lead to problems down the line.


yeah, who would want power amp distortion on a solid state amp? but it should lower the volume for you alright. it's just a 100 dollar solution when there are cheaper ones out there.

Quote by FatalGear41
Yes, I know how popular Sunn amps are, which is a shame because I remember the days when they couldn't give those amps away. Would that I had bought a bunch of them and kept them in storage until now. I just don't understand why the brand has not been revived, given the current enthusiasm for them. Fender has all of the rights to them, and they've already branched out their amplifier line by building the EVH amps, so there seems to be no reason why they could not re-introduce the Sunn amps. I can't believe that there is anything about the amps that would make that difficult to do.


i can share my opinions on this, but that is all it is: opinions. old sunn amps were pretty much based on old dynaco designs which were pretty much all clean headroom and people just don't really want that now-a-days. today people want master volume amps with gain knobs to give them lots of preamp distortion at low volumes and old sunn amps won't give you that.

fender did reintroduce some 'sunn' amps in the 90's and they were done in a modern style: multi channel/high gain style amps. these amps had little to do with original 'conrad' amps sunn put out.

beyond all that, sunns were made with quite nice parts. the huge output transformers and the british/american tubes they ran would just not be copied in newer versions of the amp and imo that would rob much of the 'sunn' tone people crave today. i just don't think they could make an amp at a reasonable price that was anything like the sunns of old.

Quote by T7E

That's a damn sexy Sunn man. Jelly as
I wish you could find them in Australia


they are actually fairly hard to find even here. this particular sunn is in incredible shape with original tubes, making it even harder to find.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 31, 2013,
#17
Does your amp have an FX loop?
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

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#20
Quote by Major Bludd
It does, yes. In fact, I think it has a master loop and at least one other!


Put an EQ with a level slider in the loop. I don't know why I didn't think of this before, since it's exactly what I do with my 6505 for bedroom use.

Look at the Danelectro Fish & Chips. It's dirt cheap, and it's actually a good pedal.

Putting the level slider on the EQ down will make the volume knob on your amp a lot more usable. You should have absolutely no problem dialing in bedroom volumes that way.

I feel really stupid for not thinking of it before.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#21
Quote by Offworld92
Put an EQ with a level slider in the loop. I don't know why I didn't think of this before, since it's exactly what I do with my 6505 for bedroom use.

Look at the Danelectro Fish & Chips. It's dirt cheap, and it's actually a good pedal.

Putting the level slider on the EQ down will make the volume knob on your amp a lot more usable. You should have absolutely no problem dialing in bedroom volumes that way.

I feel really stupid for not thinking of it before.


i was actually gonna recommend him using one in front of the amp, but it can end up starving too much tone. i had no idea the beta leads have an effects loop.

well i'll give a big +1 to that, much cheaper than an attenuator and should sound better.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#22
Yeah, it's just safer to put it in the loop to make sure you don't get any clipping behind it. You can use it in front if all of your gain is coming from pedals though. IMO it's still not as affective as a volume controller as just putting it in the loop though.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#23
Quote by Offworld92
Yeah, it's just safer to put it in the loop to make sure you don't get any clipping behind it. You can use it in front if all of your gain is coming from pedals though. IMO it's still not as affective as a volume controller as just putting it in the loop though.


agreed. putting it up front should work very much like the volume knob on the guitar... so it'd be the same thing as saying 'turn the guitar down', which could end up robbing to much high end and sound muddy.

but if you are using pedals, then you could throw it after the pedals. but the volume control on the pedals should also suffice anyway so...
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#24
i would look into the pot. could be a very simple solution.

here you go. your welcome. despite the rag tag site, weber is actually a very old and respected speaker brand. scroll down.

http://www.tedweber.com/atten.htm
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#26
Quote by Major Bludd
Well, I asked about this on the Sunn forum. Someone told me to use this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Volume-Box-guitar-amp-effect-loop-audio-taper-master-volume-attenuator-/200925904844?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec81dffcc#ht_1841wt_747

Interesting to say the least. Anyone know of this?


It will do the exact same thing that putting an EQ in the loop will do. Except that it doesn't give you an actual effect like an EQ would.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#27
Quote by Major Bludd
Well, I asked about this on the Sunn forum. Someone told me to use this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Volume-Box-guitar-amp-effect-loop-audio-taper-master-volume-attenuator-/200925904844?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec81dffcc#ht_1841wt_747

Interesting to say the least. Anyone know of this?


it's a "Pot-In-A-Box Attenuator".

it's literally just a knob and 2 jacks. you throw it in the effects loop and it acts just like a master volume would. i mentioned earlier i was gonna say something about using something like this in front of you amp cuz i didn't know it had an effects loop.

this is a cheap and easy solution if your amp has an effects loop. using the EQ pedal in the effects loop is just a more flexible version of the same solution.

edit: this is mainly a superior solution to moding the volume pot on your amp cuz this effectively does the same thing without having to mod anything on the amp. probably will come in quite a bit cheaper too as it'll save you a bench fee.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 31, 2013,
#28
I'm leaning towards this. If this thing goes in the effects loop, can I run a few pedals there as well? I have a delay and a flanger.

You guys are a huge help. Seriously.
#29
Quote by Major Bludd
I'm leaning towards this. If this thing goes in the effects loop, can I run a few pedals there as well? I have a delay and a flanger.


yeah, you can run other pedals in there too with your volume knob. just put the volume controller as the last thing in the effects loop chain.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae