#1
Hey everyone,
apologies in advance these might be some basic questions but i can't seem to find an answer anywhere for them.

I'v recently heard about attenuators.
I have a Mesa Boogie 5:50 Express combo with a 1x12, celestion Black Shadow 8ohm speaker.
Im looking for an attenuator to accommodate the 5, 25 and 50 watt settings the amp has for near bedroom level volumes. My local shop has suggested a Palmer PD106 but theres 2 types an 8 and a 16 ohm version.

Im glad i didn't buy it because upon a little research it seems there's a bit to it that i don't know about.
- What resistance do i need? im guessing its going to match the ohm rating for the speaker?
- Is a passive or a powered attenuator your preferred if so why?

I understand that these units are not really there for bedroom use because it knackers the tubes in your amp.
With that statement aside, if i was to play it at bedroom volumes how quickly will the tubes break? and instead of playing at full volume will playing it on half volume save the tubes a bit longer or is that avoiding the point of getting an attenuator?

Thanks for taking the time to read and understand my needs.
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#2
What don't you like about setting the Master Volumes lower?
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#3
I'm trying to get the power tubes to work harder so that i can get that nice saturated tone at lower volumes. Or is some sort of pedal going to benefit me more as this amp has a killer clean tone on 5watts.
but to answer your question, 25 watts is the setting i want but the tone i like doesn't come through untill i get the master past 3 or 4.
I'v heard maybe a volume pedal would be an option but they don't do it quite as well as an attenuator from what i gather
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
Last edited by dobby240 at Feb 10, 2017,
#4
Quote by metalmingee
What don't you like about setting the Master Volumes lower?

Ps: i have a jackson kelly. yours is nicer though
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#5
dobby240

I think you're on the right track with an attenuator. You want the power tube interaction and some saturation/distortion it sounds like. To pull that off you need something that goes between the power tubes and the speaker - thus the attenuator.

I glanced at the Express manual and it says that the Master feeds the loop so putting a volume pedal in the loop will accomplish the same thing as turning the Master down.

Any idea how the speaker moving less air will affect the tone you're after? Maybe you're liking more of the speaker color than the power section at only 3 or 4.

This isn't apples to apples but my Laney IRT-Studio with EL84 tubes, the master doesn't start coloring the sound much until about 6 on the dial when they start to break up. No idea what the taper is on the Express and Mesa is very proud of their circuit in the manual.

Maybe changing the grade of EL84s to get them to break up earlier would help out a bit too? The low wattage thing is new to me. Until last week I've only had 60W or 100W monsters designed for no power tube distortion.

And Jackson Kellys kick ass!
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#7
Quote by metalmingee
dobby240

- I glanced at the Express manual and it says that the Master feeds the loop so putting a volume pedal in the loop will accomplish the same thing as turning the Master down.

-Any idea how the speaker moving less air will affect the tone you're after? Maybe you're liking more of the speaker color than the power section at only 3 or 4.

-Mesa is very proud of their circuit in the manual.



That first point is good to know, maybe i should refer back to my manual before i buy anything else. i didn't know that.

If im completly honest i have no idea, iv driven the amp up a few times but the last time i did the neighbours came round. ( i did have it on 7 which was ludicrous i couldnt hear what they were complaining about because of the tinnitus lol) Also im trying to achieve that saturation at lower volumes but without an attenuator handy or knowing anyone with one i think this could be a purchase ill make and then if it doesnt work out after some fiddling ill sell it on.

I am totally proud to own one, this is the best sounding amp i have ever heard. I demo'd it in a shop 3 hours from me and drove back up there 2 weeks later and bought it because i couldn't stop thinking about it.
But without the knowledge or being able to experiment at higher volumes for longer periods... if im honest iv not idea what ill get from an attenuator.
Iv been playing guitar for years but since i decided to get further in to my tone there seems to be a long road of cash slipping from my wallet.
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#8
Quote by Tony Done
Beware cheap attenuators. I have a basic 12dB L-pad power soak in one amp, and I never use it because it kills the top end. I planning on trying to liven it up with a treble bleed cap across the R1 resistor some time..


I totally hear you on that. I trust the guys at my local shop when they offer me a piece of gear to think about i have an excellent set of studio monitors, brilliantly set up guitars, and a new guitar they just pointed my way.

I've heard that you get what you pay for with attenuators though, so iv been looking to spend about 200 which seems to be the limit for a good one. and the next ones up are about 350 like the weber mass which just has glowing reviews for it but is a bit much for me
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#9
dobby240

Mesa is really good with their manuals. I suggest reading it through a few times.

You may want to check out the Mesa forum - http://www.grailtone.com/forum/index.php. Someone has had to try this before.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#10
Quote by metalmingee
dobby240

Mesa is really good with their manuals. I suggest reading it through a few times.

You may want to check out the Mesa forum - http://www.grailtone.com/forum/index.php. Someone has had to try this before.


Sorry man but that link comes up with a page with this on it

(none) 82.24.13.81 /forum/index.php.

its not found or something.
Im in the UK so if your somewhere else it might not let me through or something

I will read through it again, its been in my bedside table for a few weeks now i should totally crack it out again.

cheers
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#11
Just do a search for Mesa forum. It should come up. Good luck!
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#12
Quote by metalmingee
Just do a search for Mesa forum. It should come up. Good luck!


Solid
thanks for your help man.
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."