#1
I've recently been looking at getting a Peavey 6505+ Combo. One of my initial concerns was that a 60 watt tube amp would be way too loud to use in my room and squeeze a nice tone out of.

A few people on the thread I started recommended I get an overdrive pedal to push the amp a little closer to how it would sound at higher volumes. I've also read that an attenuator can do the same thing, so which one is better? While I would love to jam/gig one day, I'm still playing in a small bedroom under my parents roof, so it really does have to be very quiet most of the time.
#2
The 6505+ has a master volume; you don't need an overdrive to push the preamp to sound like it would at higher volumes. You just turn the Pre gain up and the Post down. Same thing. An OD for a different tone, or to add gain before the preamp, fine, but preamp volume does not translate into amp volume here; that's exactly what the MV is for. I guess if you have to be super, super quiet you might need extra distortion in front of the amp so you could keep the Pre and the Post low, but at that point why even get the amp? If you have to be that quiet you're better off with a headphone setup. Lots of great modelers out there these days.

An attenuator is pointless, the 6505 is all preamp distortion. Attenuators are for NMV amps and/or amps where you need to knock down the volume after the power tubes start to saturate. Neither of that is the case with the 6505. You're not getting power tube saturation and the master volume lets you reduce the volume without touching the preamp gain.

Your amp was designed specifically to eliminate both of the issues you're talking about; it does a great job of it. Use the master volume, and maybe a pedal in front if you want a some tone shaping. Good tone with distortion at low volumes is completely possible; it's not 1968 any more.

If you have to be so quiet that you can't get the amp moving some air, the amp isn't your problem, and you need a POD or Axe-FX setup.
#3
60w is about 100x too much for a bedroom use. I don't think attenuators will get you down that much without killing tone. - I have a 5w Epi VJ with a 12dB L-pad that brings it down to about 0.5w, but I still refer to use it as unpadded clean plus pedals because of the tone loss. IOW, I think you will get better tone from clean plus pedals than you will from attenuated OD.
Last edited by Tony Done at Mar 6, 2015,
#4
Well "very quiet" and "amp" might be a problem. I think an amp with a good master volume circuit that preserves the tone while cutting the volume offers the best hope from a guitar amp.. An attenuator will cut the volume down some but more than about 12 db and the tone is seriously lost. They are useful for bring a full tilt Marshall down to Pub gig levels but not really bedroom quiet. A Digital Multi Effects is probably a better way to go if you need "very quiet" and solid guitar tone.
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#5
Quote by Roc8995
...

An attenuator is pointless, the 6505 is all preamp distortion. Attenuators are for NMV amps and/or amps where you need to knock down the volume after the power tubes start to saturate. Neither of that is the case with the 6505. You're not getting power tube saturation and the master volume lets you reduce the volume without touching the preamp gain.

Your amp was designed specifically to eliminate both of the issues you're talking about; it does a great job of it. Use the master volume, and maybe a pedal in front if you want a some tone shaping. Good tone with distortion at low volumes is completely possible; it's not 1968 any more.

If you have to be so quiet that you can't get the amp moving some air, the amp isn't your problem, and you need a POD or Axe-FX setup.


attenuators are very misunderstood. as roc said, the 6505's are preamp distortion, as well as most newer amps geared toward heavy genres. if you were running a jtm45 (i built one), i could understand wanting an attenuator to keep it tamed, i can just turn it way up and enjoy it. you wouldn't want poweramp distortion on the 6505+, it would take away from the sound.

the MV on the 6505's are workable for mid to loud tv volumes.
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#6
Quote by Tony Done
60w is about 100x too much for a bedroom use. I don't think attenuators will get you down that much without killing tone. - I have a 5w Epi VJ with a 12dB L-pad that brings it down to about 0.5w, but I still refer to use it as unpadded clean plus pedals because of the tone loss. IOW, I think you will get better tone from clean plus pedals than you will from attenuated OD.

Depends completely on the amp. The VJ has no master volume or pre gain control (or any controls at all, really) so it's a different ballgame entirely.

People use amps of all wattages for bedroom playing, the idea that you can only use amps with fractions of a watt of output for practicing is just not right. It works for some people and it keeps costs down but you can absolutely use a 120W amp with a good MV (or just clean!) just like you can use a 1/2 watt amp. Wattage is grossly over-regarded as a requirement for bedroom amps.
#7
I apologize, that last sentence was worded incorrectly, by very quiet I meant my ears can't be ringing afterwards or anything like that. I only worded it like that because I know how much some people like to crank up their practice amps.

That aside I am glad to know that this particular amp does a good job of providing decent tones at lower volumes. Thanks so much for the replies everyone!
#8
Quote by Cheeseshark
I've recently been looking at getting a Peavey 6505+ Combo. One of my initial concerns was that a 60 watt tube amp would be way too loud to use in my room and squeeze a nice tone out of.

A few people on the thread I started recommended I get an overdrive pedal to push the amp a little closer to how it would sound at higher volumes. I've also read that an attenuator can do the same thing, so which one is better? While I would love to jam/gig one day, I'm still playing in a small bedroom under my parents roof, so it really does have to be very quiet most of the time.


Two completely different things, and unrelated. An overdrive pedal is designed to push the preamp (gain stage) tubes. An attenuator soaks up the power of overdriven POWER tubes and reduces the amount that actually gets to the speaker, thus reducing the speaker volume. An overdrive pedal will do nothing whatsoever to reduce the volume of the amp.

Here's one more option (and a pricey one): a Fluxtone speaker. You'll want to do some research in that regard, but essentially a Fluxtone speaker does NOT attenuate anything (attenuators generally turn amplifier power into heat or motion (see the MASS attenuators)) while the fluxtone doesn't interfere at all with the output transformer/voice coil circuit, but will still drop the volume as much as 25 dB.
#9
Quote by Roc8995
Depends completely on the amp. The VJ has no master volume or pre gain control (or any controls at all, really) so it's a different ballgame entirely.

People use amps of all wattages for bedroom playing, the idea that you can only use amps with fractions of a watt of output for practicing is just not right. It works for some people and it keeps costs down but you can absolutely use a 120W amp with a good MV (or just clean!) just like you can use a 1/2 watt amp. Wattage is grossly over-regarded as a requirement for bedroom amps.



You hear so much about power tube distortion being the thing to have that I haven't really thought about just using preamp distortion. I can do it on my H&K, which is supposed to have been designed for preamp distortion, but the result isn't as good, IMO, as clean plus pedals. The other thing about pedals is that you get to choose the kind of OD you want. But each to his own
#10
Just get an OD pedal and be done with it. At very low volumes, 6505s can sound a little muddy. An OD can take that mud away earlier on the volume spectrum. If you really crank one, they are far from muddy with or without an OD. But I like the sound better with an od no matter what volume. But really, they sound good at low volumes...and extreme volumes too.
#11
Quote by Tony Done
You hear so much about power tube distortion being the thing to have that I haven't really thought about just using preamp distortion. I can do it on my H&K, which is supposed to have been designed for preamp distortion, but the result isn't as good, IMO, as clean plus pedals. The other thing about pedals is that you get to choose the kind of OD you want. But each to his own


Most modern amps besides the micro-minis are designed for preamp distortion almost exclusively, with little if any from the power section. You hear about power tube distortion from the vintage & recording crowd but those guys aren't diming Plexis for bedroom practice. You hear a lot about speaker breakup too but I don't think anyone seriously considers that you're going to get that at bedroom volumes. Same thing with power amp distortion.

This is like hearing from the Formula One guys that 1200 pounds of downforce is ideal and then assuming that it's also a good model for designing a minivan. Totally different uses, requirements, and desires. You can get power amp distortion at bedroom volumes but I don't think it's reasonable to say that it's the goal for most people. I don't want to make up a number but I'd be pretty confident in saying that most people (especially bedroom players) get their distortion almost exclusively, and certainly primarily, from the preamp.

You're not going to hear power amp distortion from a 6505 anyway, not at anything even close to resembling bedroom volume.
#13
what colin said- however, I will say that for very low volumes I find using an OD as a boost often gets you better saturation and makes the pinches etc. jump out better than just turning up the amp's preamp gain control. It's not *quite* doing the same thing, the od as a boost is hitting V1 really hard whereas turning the gain up is saturating the preamp tubes downwind a bit. in practice it sounds less muddy and basically better. IMO. EDIT: It's a little bit (but not exactly) like the difference between using lower and higher output pickups.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Mar 7, 2015,
#14
Well it looks like I completely misunderstood what an attenuator does, thanks for clarifying that. Looks like I don't really have much reason to hesitate to buy the amp now. Quick question though, is it better to buy it in a store, or would I be fine ordering it online?
#15
If you have any opportunity you should certainly try it in a store, to make sure it's what you want. The product itself will be the same in-store or online.
#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
what colin said- however, I will say that for very low volumes I find using an OD as a boost often gets you better saturation and makes the pinches etc. jump out better than just turning up the amp's preamp gain control. It's not *quite* doing the same thing, the od as a boost is hitting V1 really hard whereas turning the gain up is saturating the preamp tubes downwind a bit. in practice it sounds less muddy and basically better. IMO. EDIT: It's a little bit (but not exactly) like the difference between using lower and higher output pickups.


agree and that's what i do as well. an overdrive wil give you added control over the gain structure and that helps get you a better sound at any volume really. you also have to keep in mind that you need to adjust your tone controls. to many guys have them set for band volume and then complain that it doesn't sound good at a lower volume. this of course goes the other way as well.

when it comes down to it if you have to play at volumes that are super low you won't get great results no matter which way you go. having said that if the volume is that low you really can't hear the "tonz" anyways and it makes little difference. high gain at really low volumes can get rather fizzy no matter what.
#17
Attenuator - Aside from what has already been posted, the attenuator also makes the amp work harder, and if used to bring a high powered amp down to bedroom volume it's really hard on transformers. I tried my Shultz Power Soak on the Peavey MX and a Classic 77 combo, seemed to work pretty well but got hot enough to fry eggs on, and the sound wasn't all that great except for bringing a full tilt amp down to tolerable stage volume. I wouldn't use it for getting a 60 watt amp down to bedroom volume, and as already noted, your Master Volume does a better job of it.

Overdrive - Don't think I could live without mine...I got a Marshall Bluesbreaker at a yard sale for about 5 bucks over 20 years ago, I still use it with my Fender Champ for bedroom practice volume levels all the time, even if I don't set it to actually play louder, just add some grit. Not quite the same as a dimed tube amp, which the Champ does extremely well, but with the volume at 4 or 5 it sounds good, hit the OD pedal and it's a very good overdriven sound, without rattling the neighbors' windows...Through the clean channel of a 6505 a good OD should do really well. And of course just the gain channel turned down by master volume knob should do OK...Both of my Peavey master volume amps have done pretty well at bedroom volume. (MX and 1977 Classic, both solid state preamp into tube power amp.)

Power amp distortion - that's what makes a tube amp really sing at high volume. It's not the same thing as preamp distortion, it's where that sag and compression come from. I start hearing my Super Reverb sustain and respond better at around 7 on the volume knob, which is way too loud for a bedroom, loud enough for most bands onstage. It also starts to get a little preamp distortion just before that volume level, 5 or so, so if I use it at home, which I do a lot, it's usually completely clean at about 3 on the volume knob. Sounds great, but no power amp distortion...but power amp distortion is not that gritty, raunchy sound of a cranked tube amp that we all know and love, that's 90% preamp distortion.

Bottom line, don't expect to get a killer overdriven sound out of anything at bedroom volume, I've never found anything but a cranked tube amp that will do it. And even the 6 watt Champ is louder than I want most of the time for bedroom practice...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#18
Quote by monwobobbo
agree and that's what i do as well. an overdrive wil give you added control over the gain structure and that helps get you a better sound at any volume really. you also have to keep in mind that you need to adjust your tone controls. to many guys have them set for band volume and then complain that it doesn't sound good at a lower volume. this of course goes the other way as well.

when it comes down to it if you have to play at volumes that are super low you won't get great results no matter which way you go. having said that if the volume is that low you really can't hear the "tonz" anyways and it makes little difference. high gain at really low volumes can get rather fizzy no matter what.




(Also in addition to what i said above, a tubescreamer or similar cuts the bass etc. too so helps to sculpt the overall tone as well.)
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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?
#19
An option in the "clean+pedals" choice is something like the Tech 21 Character pedals, that might get closer to the amp sound than a basic OD pedal. These are analog emulators of specific makes, and they have a huge range of tonal options in each version. I have the "British", the Marshall emulator. It is the older model, and it works very well through headphones, less so through an amp. However, the newer ones have a speaker emulation bypass switch, so should work OK through an amp.
Last edited by Tony Done at Mar 7, 2015,