#1
Hey there, I got myself a fine paying job ( ?1200) so I'm in the market for a tube amp, but the problem is I want to use it at home ( in my very small room) and for a band practice and gigs.

So it stumpled apon a few attenuators or how you spell it ,

-THD Hotplate ( 300 ? )
-Powerkiller PK-100 ( only 50 ? or so )

I was wondering why the powerkiller is so cheap, does the sound quality suck, or is it unsave ( I don't wanna blow up my brand new marshall you know).

I hope that anyone has experience with it ( maybe the german members on this board, since it's a german item)


Greets , Tom
Orange Enthousiast.
#2
Everyone I know who've used the THD love it and say its better than other attenuators.
And what Marshall did you buy?
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#3
Weber attenuators get the same reactions as the THD, and they are only half of the price!
#4
I haven't bought one yet, but I'm planning to go test out these amps :
Marshall DSL401
ENGL Thunder 50 combo
Laney LC-50 II
Orange Enthousiast.
#6
Another thing to consider is Groove Tubes GT 928PR. Its a power reducer and turns class A/B amps to class A. I used it for recording and practicing. It turns your 50 watt class A/B EL34 or 6L6 amp into a 20 watt class A EL84 amp and allows you to play at full volume and get that saturated tube sound from your higher powered amp.

Click on the link in my sig to find out a little more information. Your local guitar store might even have these in stock......
Dual Rec
Dual Rec Tremoverb
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Avatar 2x12 w/ V30s

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Washburn EA14MR
#7
Isn't the DSL401 already powered by EL84 tubes?
and I do need the 40watt for little gigs and rehearsals.
Orange Enthousiast.
#8
Quote by TTC
Isn't the DSL401 already powered by EL84 tubes?
and I do need the 40watt for little gigs and rehearsals.


Yes, the DSL401 is 2 EL84 tubes. I didnt read down far enough to see the amps you had listed in your next post and I responded only from the 1st post.

The DSL401 is EL84
The Thunder 50 combo I believe is 5881
The Laney I believe is EL34

The PR only applies to class A/B tube amps so it wouldnt work on the DSL401.
Dual Rec
Dual Rec Tremoverb
F-50 1x12
Nomad 55 1x12
Mesa 4x12 Slant w/ Black shadows
Avatar 2x12 w/ V30s

Gibson LP Special
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Washburn EA14MR
#10
Bear in mind that all attenuators suck away your tone noticeably. Unfortunately i have no experience with one first hand though.
#11
For reliability and sound, you're best off to go with the Hotplate. They have a very good reputation, and there is a reason for that. Amp wise, I'm not so sure that a Marshall DSL401 combo is a good choice. I've heard that the combos don't sound anywhere's near as good as the DSL50 head. Although, I'm sure that you'll try the amp for yourself before buying it anyways.
#4 member of UG's gain \/\/hores-pm gpderek09 to join
#12
sure I'm gonna try a few combo's and even compare them to there head versions, that's gonna be a long day in the biggest shop in belgium , after that ,I'll go buy the amp in a way cheaper shop.
Orange Enthousiast.
#13
^Good idea.

What sort of stuff do you want to play?
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#14
Quote by nic_2090
Amp wise, I'm not so sure that a Marshall DSL401 combo is a good choice. I've heard that the combos don't sound anywhere's near as good as the DSL50 head.


They should sound different because they have different circuitry and power tubes in them. The DSL401 combo has EL84s and the DSL50 and 100 have EL34s. You are going to get a slightly different sound from the amps.
Dual Rec
Dual Rec Tremoverb
F-50 1x12
Nomad 55 1x12
Mesa 4x12 Slant w/ Black shadows
Avatar 2x12 w/ V30s

Gibson LP Special
Gibson LP Custom
Washburn EA14MR
#15
I play all sorts of stuff, mainly 80's rock.

but also newer stuff like RHCP and also some trash metal .
I currently have this setup :
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Boss GT8
Roland Cube 60

I think that the GT8 is gonna do amazing stuff with a quality amp .
Orange Enthousiast.
#16
Go with the Marshall head and the hotplate. The head is easier to move and you can mate whatever speaker cabinet you want to it. The hotplate is expensive for a reason...it works. You get what you pay for.
#17
What you should do is ask to try some attenuators with a few amps at the shop if you can, that should get you the idea of what some amps sound like really cranked.
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#18
I can't buy a head , I need a combo because of the easy transportation, the lower price , and it fits into my room ( my mother wont allow me either so )

Combo's people, combos in a price range of +-1200 ? ( on the european mainland )

oh and RHCP : that's the problem, people don't sell those here, the only place you can get them is ebay.
Orange Enthousiast.
#19
Quote by codybcool
Bear in mind that all attenuators suck away your tone noticeably. Unfortunately i have no experience with one first hand though.


This is true to an extent. There is a tradeoff between tone and volume. The only 2 attenuators I've had personal experience with are the Hotplate and Marshall Powerbrake. The Marshall is a piece of crap, IMO. Totally sucks the tone to death.

The Hotplate is a big improvement over the Marshall. At -4 and -8 dB, the tone isn't affected a whole lot. Then again, even -8 dB isn't much of a volume attentuation if the amp is cranked. With my old stock tubes, I was diming the master volume on my El Diablo at band practice and using the -8 dB setting, and it was still insanely loud. I was getting massive crunch and chunkiness, but it was still loud.

At -12 and -16 dB, you really hear the high and lows getting sucked out of the signal. You can engage the bass and treble boost switches, and that helps a lot. It won't sound as good as at lower attentuation levels, but it will be decent.

IMO, it was worth the tradeoff to be able to use my amp at home for practice and recording. In the end though, it turned out that a full set of new JJ tubes (with high gain preamp tubes) was a much better option for my amp, and I ended up selling the Hotplate.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#20
Quote by Crunchmeister
This is true to an extent. There is a tradeoff between tone and volume. The only 2 attenuators I've had personal experience with are the Hotplate and Marshall Powerbrake. The Marshall is a piece of crap, IMO. Totally sucks the tone to death.

The Hotplate is a big improvement over the Marshall. At -4 and -8 dB, the tone isn't affected a whole lot. Then again, even -8 dB isn't much of a volume attentuation if the amp is cranked. With my old stock tubes, I was diming the master volume on my El Diablo at band practice and using the -8 dB setting, and it was still insanely loud. I was getting massive crunch and chunkiness, but it was still loud.

At -12 and -16 dB, you really hear the high and lows getting sucked out of the signal. You can engage the bass and treble boost switches, and that helps a lot. It won't sound as good as at lower attentuation levels, but it will be decent.

IMO, it was worth the tradeoff to be able to use my amp at home for practice and recording. In the end though, it turned out that a full set of new JJ tubes (with high gain preamp tubes) was a much better option for my amp, and I ended up selling the Hotplate.


Agreed. I had the Powerbreak awhile ago. It sounded horrible so I ended up using the Groove Tubes GT 928PRs on my 50 watt combo's. Made practicing at home and recording sound wonderful.
Dual Rec
Dual Rec Tremoverb
F-50 1x12
Nomad 55 1x12
Mesa 4x12 Slant w/ Black shadows
Avatar 2x12 w/ V30s

Gibson LP Special
Gibson LP Custom
Washburn EA14MR
#21
Quote by TTC
I can't buy a head , I need a combo because of the easy transportation, the lower price , and it fits into my room ( my mother wont allow me either so )



You can buy a head and a 1x12 cabinet...two very small pieces if you think about it. It's easier to carry around this arrangement (even though it's 2 pieces) because of the reduced weight.

If you can't buy a head because of your mom, then reverse engineer it...buy the combo, buy some plywood, gut the combo amp and build a head. Then use the original cabinet to house the speaker.
#22
Quote by TwoString

If you can't buy a head because of your mom, then reverse engineer it...buy the combo, buy some plywood, gut the combo amp and build a head. Then use the original cabinet to house the speaker.


I'm debating on whether or not to do that to my El Diablo. I'm, about to start building a 2 x 12 cab (based on Mesa Recto specs). Once I get that build, I'm considering converting my combo into a head either by hacking the combo's box down, or building a new one altogether. Then I'll have a nice 1/4 stack.

But the other option is to keep my combo as-is so I can use the closed back 2 x 12, AND have the open back 1 x 12 in the combo, giving me effectively a 3/8 stack
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#23
You could buy a head and a 2x12 cabinet, and tell your mum it's a combo...?
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#24
This thread is getting ridiculous......
Dual Rec
Dual Rec Tremoverb
F-50 1x12
Nomad 55 1x12
Mesa 4x12 Slant w/ Black shadows
Avatar 2x12 w/ V30s

Gibson LP Special
Gibson LP Custom
Washburn EA14MR
#25
+1 Crunchmeister

the amp I fell in love with doesn't have a combo version, or anything less than a 100W head, so an attenuator was perfect for me. I have the THD Hotplate too, and I've been really happy with it. Obviously it's not going to sound as good as when it's driving the cab hard, but the tradeoff in tone gained for what you lose was worth it to me personally. Also, like Crunch said, the less attenuation you use, the less tone it takes away. I made some amp clips recently, and all the clips I made of my 100W head were using the Hotplate on the -12dB setting. Without the Hotplate, the levels I recorded at would have been unbearable in my tiny little room(10ftx10ftx8ft), I would probably have permanent hearing damage where the amp levels were set. I haven't replaced the stock tubes in my 100W head yet, so I can't say whether a new set of JJ's would change my mind about using an attenuator, but Crunch knows his ****, so it probably helps a lot.

As for alternatives, I've also heard good things about the Weber attenuators, which are a lot cheaper from what I've seen. I haven't used one personally, but a guy here who I trust(Powerfreak) said they were good units, so I would take his word for it.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#26
K people, I just want a freaking combo , I don't need all the power that a half stack would give me, and I might just buy another 1x12 cab in the future if I really do need some extra.
Orange Enthousiast.