#1
I will be buying a tube amp shortly, and I want to make sure I get the best sound out of it possible, without going deaf. Thus, I need to crank the tubes yet somehow keep the volume low. I found two possible solutions:

Crank the tubes using an OD pedal
Crank the tubes naturally, but lower the volume using an attenuator

I did a little googling, and discovered attenuators go for around $300 bucks, whereas an OD pedal would only be $100.

Now, which of these two would be the better solution? I have no idea, which is why i am asking you guys, the good folks of UG.
WTLTL 2011
#3
Well the OD pedal will make the amp louder and add it's own gain (it'll drive the amp a little, but no where near like an attenuator does)
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#4
Quote by R_H_C_P
Well the OD pedal will make the amp louder and add it's own gain


That depends on how you use it: as a booster or just for drive. You can get 'overdrive' at low volumes with the latter, but it won't sound as good as cranking.
#5
it depends, if you like the amps natural sound then get either a clean booster or an attenuator, if you want to color the amps sound and have more tonal options get an OD.
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#6
Quote by mr_hankey
That depends on how you use it: as a booster or just for drive. You can get 'overdrive' at low volumes with the latter, but it won't sound as good as cranking.

That's the point, it's just making the amp louder as a boost, driving the valves a tiny bit more, but you might aswell just turn up the amp.
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

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#7
an od pedal doesn't really come close to 'cranking' the amp. it more or less acts like an extra preamp, adding a dialed in amount of gain and colour -not pushing the valves to do so (although they can serve as a boost, but the problem you have is you dont want to increase the volume.
i reckon you should wait and see what the valve amp sounds like.

p.s. if its a late 80s onwards made marshall they usually have a selector giving you the option to half the wattage whether or not.

R.H.C.P the attenuator doesnt drive the amp it lowers the wattage between the head and the cabinet, thus making it possible to crank the amp at a controlled volume.
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Last edited by ArcherTheVMan at Mar 13, 2007,
#8
Quote by ArcherTheVMan

R.H.C.P the attenuator doesnt drive the amp it lowers the wattage between the head and the cabinet, thus making it possible to crank the amp at a controlled volume.



He knows; read his post.
#9
Well, since my budget is only about 600 bucks for an amp, I don't really excpect a great metal tone. It's not gonna be the mesa dual rectifier lets say lol. I want to get a versatile tube amp, but for my price range I realise it might lack in the gain department for heavier metal. (think kataklysm, children of bodom, devil driver)

I am looking into the Peavey XXX, Peavey VK 212, B-52 212 At combo, and a few others.

I am now also looking into an EQ pedal, but that might be completely different I'm not sure yet.

My question basically boils down to this: I will buy a tube amp, and tube amps sound better/have more distortion when cranked. But I do not want to dammage my hearing. I want to be able to get a cranked tube sound, in order to achieve the best tone and have a great thick chunky metal distortion. Do I need an attenuator, an OD pedal, an EQ pedal, a combination, or would simple biasing and a tube/speaker change do the trick...

once I figure out what to do, I suppose I would need to no which OD/attenuator etc. to get out of the bazillion options.

ps. you from the Netherlands? alles goed kerel?
WTLTL 2011
Last edited by Mark G at Mar 13, 2007,
#10
Get ear plugs.

And look for a Peavey 5150 used combo.

And you'll still get the gain you'll need at lower volumes, just won't sound as good as it will loud.
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#11
Quote by Mark G

ps. you from the Netherlands? alles goed kerel?


Nee, ik kom uit Zweden, maar ik woon hier nu al vijftien jaar. Ik woon in Den Haag trouwens. Jij?
#12
Ik woon in Washington DC, zit hier nu drie jaar.

Quote by R_H_C_P
Get ear plugs.

And look for a Peavey 5150 used combo.

And you'll still get the gain you'll need at lower volumes, just won't sound as good as it will loud.


ear plugs? I have my poor family to concider lol. I will look into that combo though, thanks.
WTLTL 2011
#13
Buy them earplugs too, everyone's happy
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#14
Quote by R_H_C_P
Buy them earplugs too, everyone's happy


I'll give that a shot with my family as well.
#15
Buy earplugs for them aswell, then. Should be within your budget.

EDIT: Damn R_H_C_P to beat me to that insanely obvious joke.

Seriously though, get the amp and try it out for awhile before you decide to spend that extra cash on an attenuator (which will be best for what you want), chances are you'll realize the amp sounds good on it's own even at low volumes.
The 5150 in particular is supposed to sound great distorted even at low volumes, because most (all?) of it's gain comes from the preamp (don't quote me on this though, I'm by no means an expert).
#16
Why don't you look for a smaller tube amp that sounds how you want but at the right volume? I'm sure there are smaller high-gain combos.
#17
Quote by smb
Why don't you look for a smaller tube amp that sounds how you want but at the right volume? I'm sure there are smaller high-gain combos.

Actually, I wouldn't be too sure about that. Atleast I've yet to come across one myself.
#18
yeah, I haven't seen any high gain combos with low wattage. Which is why im hoping for an OD pedal to boost my signal. (screw attenuators, 300 bucks omg)

ps. I can't seem to find that peavey 5150. Only the 6150, which is $1000+
WTLTL 2011
#19
quick question, and i'm sorry to hijack the thread...
but is the VPR switch on the tube marshalls an attenuator...or something else?

...and by using it how much is it affecting the tone of my amp?

i.e. would it be noticably better to leave the VPR unselected and buy an attenuator?
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