#1
So on my quest for a new amp... I've learned that it is tough to get metal levels of distortion in quality tube tone at practice levels. So far correct?

Now, if I were to get say... a Mesa Mark III or F-30 or something like that with the gain levels needed to get some metal / heavy rock tones (do not need EXTREME metal) and pair it with an attenuator, would I get that at lower levels? (ie, not making the apartment neighbors complain)

If so, what attenuator? Am I on target with one of those Mesa amps?

If not, wtf do I need to do?!

I will be moving back to house in a few months (sold current house in course of move to new state) so something I can rock out with later on is fine.

Budget = under $1000

tone = smashing pumpkins (siamese dream / MCIS), metallica, disturbed, linkin park, other 90's alt. rock...
#2
You can also get a low wattage/ high gain amp and have quality distortion at practice sound levels.
#3
my mesa triple rectifier sounds fine at bedroom level (which is all the way down lol)

not to the amps potential, but it sounds good enough for ur bedroom lol

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#5
My Vox AD30VT (which isn't likely suited for your needs, I'm not sure) has a Volume, Master Volume, and an Attenuator on the back. Comes in very handy for overdriving it at regular volumes. Though I'm not sure why I would ever take the master off max and just use the attenuator knob on the back to adjust volume, which is what I do. Maybe some can explain that to me...
#6
well i play through an f30 occasionally and you definitely dont need to turn it up loud for lots of distortion it has that in buckets. i can see no need for an attenuator just turn the volume down
Shut up and play your guitar!
#7
Quote by plbrynt
well i play through an f30 occasionally and you definitely dont need to turn it up loud for lots of distortion it has that in buckets. i can see no need for an attenuator just turn the volume down


Distortion =/= overdrive. At least natural overdrive, you can only get that crunch by cranking the volume to, well, overdrive it.
#8
You could get an amp that has a decent amount of gain (Peavey Classic 30 maybe), and get an OD pedal to push it to higher gain levels. Maybe getting an all-tube Randall would be a good idea, and then maybe putting an OD in front of it.
#9
lets not forget that great crunch requires moving lots of air lets see if we cant find/invent a pedal to imitate that.
Shut up and play your guitar!
#10
Quote by plbrynt
lets not forget that great crunch requires moving lots of air lets see if we cant find/invent a pedal to imitate that.


I imagine you could create some sort of mic'd, soundproof, sealed unit with a 1x12 and a power amp or something and add that to the signal chain somehow. Haha, I need to stop imagining.
#11
Quote by rhettro
You can also get a low wattage/ high gain amp and have quality distortion at practice sound levels.


Such as?
#12
Quote by Aron81
Such as?

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#13
Quote by Aron81
Such as?


I've heard the Blackheart is pretty good for that as well.
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#14
Quote by aznrockerdude
Krank Rev. Jr...


Hey, you weren't supposed to tell him. I'm still waiting for them to come back in stock. LOL
#15
In general, an attenuator will not help a lot for most modern high gain amps as their distortion comes mainly from the pre amp valves. Depends on what you find to be a decent tone, but speaker movement may be important here which is related to volume. I don't have experience with the Mesa though, maybe someone can tell us here.
#16
I can get plenty of gain at bedroom levels, the problem is, it sounds terrible.

If you're attenuating down to very quiet volumes, chances are it'll still sound bad.
A dwarf might hear you. What then?

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#17
If you're going to be moving back into a house, that you can crank your amp up at, in a few months I would say it would be a waste to buy an attenuator for such a short amount of time.
#18
The Blackheart & the Classic 30 I have already been looking at; what pedal would you recommend I pair with either? Something like a Jekyll & Hyde or...?

I don't have a store around here that stocks either of these, so I won't be able to test in person... you tube and word of mouth is about all I have to go off unless I get a Fender amp (nothing against Fender amps at all, just have read they aren't as well geared for heavier stuff as others... )
#19
Quote by TheProducer
My Vox AD30VT (which isn't likely suited for your needs, I'm not sure) has a Volume, Master Volume, and an Attenuator on the back. Comes in very handy for overdriving it at regular volumes. Though I'm not sure why I would ever take the master off max and just use the attenuator knob on the back to adjust volume, which is what I do. Maybe some can explain that to me...


An Attenuator and a Master Volume do totally different things.

An attenuator sits between the Power amp and the Speakers. It allows your to turn up your levels on the preamp and the power amp to increase tube saturation in the tone. The attenuator then absorbs and dissipates the excess energy in some form or fashion(dissipates the energy in heat on the Hot Plate).

It is true that the speakers have a lot to do with the sound of your amp too, but attenuators are great for hitting the sweet spots on your amp without bringing down the walls... There is tone loss with any attenuator at extreme attenuation settings though.

Here's an example of how it works with my amp...

In order to get the gain tone I want, I need the dirt channel volume set to 8 or 9 and the sweet spot on my master isn't until about 5 and up, but I get complaints and the cops called on me for playing just at 1 on my 100 watter. The attenuator fixed that problem for me and I can get a very even medium.

Also, some of us were in the market for a specific amp when bought ours, so settling for a 30 watt amp of another brand wasn't an option.

Also, attenuators are great for recording to moderate levels when close micing a cab.
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Last edited by Reildeal at May 29, 2008,
#21
ENGLs are meant to be really good at quieter volume. Dont sound lacking
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#22
usually using an attenuator voids the warranty of an amp, so lets say you got a new triple rec, using one might not be the smartest idea. the peavey jsx mini colossal will do metal easily.
#23
Quote by lilchimp818
usually using an attenuator voids the warranty of an amp, so lets say you got a new triple rec, using one might not be the smartest idea. the peavey jsx mini colossal will do metal easily.


Is something to consider for sure.. It happened to be a rep from B-52 that recomended the Hot Plate to me though.
Washburn D-12
Ibanez RG
Ibanez RG 7321
Epiphone Les Paul / EMG 81 85
Fender MIM Ash Stratocaster
Digitech Whammy
Small Stone Phaser
Boss SD-1-Modded
Boss MT-2-Modded
Boss CE-5
Boss DD-3-Modded
ISP Decimator
B-52 AT-212
#24
Hmm. I've been looking at an attenuator. To get great gain sounds from my amp, it needs a bit of volume. Not enough to make anyone go deaf, but a bit more than I would like for the house. If it is too low, the gain sounds harsh and sizzy to my ears. Crank it even a little and it is smooth and wonderful. Think I may get one now just to cut the volume a bit while keeping the tone.
#25
Mesa F-30 or Peavey Classic 30 so far... I do want to have a couple channels w/ footswitch if possible.

I guess with the Blackheart if I get a pedal, that'd work too...

I want to say that if I got a bigger amp (the mesa or peavey) I wouldn't have to look at buying another one when I get back in a house... but then I get to thinking that the Blackheart is going to be loud enough anyway since I'm not going to be gigging or playing in a band... not yet anyway.

Damnit, why can't this be easier?

Maybe I'd be better off getting a little SS amp for now and then switch to tube?
#26
i feel you bro, took me AGES and a lot of sleepless nights to decide. Ended up with the C30 and I love it. (Hint, hint)