Hot Plate review by THD

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.7 (3 votes)
THD: Hot Plate

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: eBay - used

Sound — 10
I play in a cover band that gigs regularly. I use a Gibson SG Standard, Fender VG Strat and a Fernandes Monterey Elite Sustainer (for drop D tunes) through a Marshall JCM 2000 TSL 100 (on the 50 watt setting) and Marshall 1960AX cabinet. I was pretty happy and thought that I was churning out some pretty thick tone - until I got the Hot Plate. Now, I'm ecstatic. The break-up I now get out of my amp makes it sound like it was meant to sound - buttery lows and piercing highs. Distortion that is crunchy and powerful. The clean channel is full and bright. It also includes an onboard noise reducer which limits hiss from the amp. It really is incredible.

Overall Impression — 9
Anyone that gigs in bars knows that the folks there to drink and have a good time don't care about your guitar tone. However, I've had a few guitarists come up to me between sets to compliment my sound and ask me how I'm getting it. My band mates are impressed as well. I used to use a bunch of effects on a pedalboard, including a noise suppressor, prior to buying the Hot Plate. Now, one distortion, one wah and a tuning pedal is all I need. My tone is that good. As I mentioned before, you will go through some tubes so it will cost you some money. But I couldn't be happier with my tone. One of the better pieces of equipment I've purchased.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Thus far, I've used the Hot Plate for 5 or 6 gigs and I've had no problems. Constructed of diecast metal, it seems pretty rugged although I certainly wouldn't recommend dropping it. It does get hot and has a small onboard fan to help it cool. It will also cause you to burn through tubes in your amp quicker so know that using it will cost you some money.

Features — 8
The THD Hot Plate power attenuator is a must for any serious player looking for the rich tone breakup achieved only from playing his tube amp at high volume. The Hot Plate limits the amount of power sent from the amp to the speakers and allows the user to crank up the amp's volume without forcing patrons out of the bar with their hands covering their ears during the gig. The Hot Plate comes in several Ohms ratings (mine is 16 Ohms) so make sure you purchase the correct impedence for your rig. It also includes a load setting that allows you to manually adjust the power reaching your cabinet and thus the volume hitting the crowd. The Hot Plate has bright and deep switches to affect your signal/tone if desired and has two lines out if you choose to run two cabinets. It is small - weighing maybe two pounds - and is really simple to use. It takes a little period of feeling out (at band practice) to get comfortable with the volume settings but, once you do, it's on!

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i had the marshall power brake which i really liked because it switched from 16ohms and 8ohms. these are great ideas but i still think the huge new wave of low wattage amps is going to be breaking through. 20watts and under. glad you enjoy this though. very good tool for those of us who play out at gigs regularly and arent allowed to crank our 40watt+ amps.
    Great review. I have the 8ohm version (purple) and it works great. You can definitely tell a tonal difference up to -8db; however, the -16db setting does seem like it sucks some tone and "bigness" out of your sound... so just dont use that setting for live performing haha!
    Shor-T Zero
    I've had good experiences with my 16ohm version. Play it with a 6505+ when we gig. I figured out a way to also lower the volume of everything within my GT-10, so I'm able to really crank it. But the Hot Plate really helps get me my sound. For those interested, do not underestimate the bright and deep switches. They will be your friends after you hit -12db and lower.
    I just purchased the hot plate, have previously owned a Marshall power brake, and notice a difference than say the Rivera rockcrusher. The Marshall power brake caused some problems with my previous tube head but had a gradual change from one click to the other, the hot plate seems to jump a little more drastic in volume from one to the other. Works pretty good, but kind of wish they had the potentiometer on the right could be used with all the attenuation settings versus just the -16 db.