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Author Topic: attenuators for tube amps  (Read 3313 times)

Brendon Bass

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attenuators for tube amps
« on: August 03, 2007, 03:31:31 pm »

I have an old (1976) 100W Marshall MKII head that, needless to say, is way too loud for most of the situations I use it in.  I wanted to be able to get that cranked tube sound, so I purchased a Marshall Powerbrake off of Ebay.  It works fine for a while, but then will randomly cut my amp off for a few seconds and then cut back on again.  It seems to me that it may be overheating.  A few people I talked to said they don't recommend using attenuators, but I'm hoping I can get mine examined and the problem can be fixed.  Any suggestions?
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Tom faderjockey Brandis

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 03:33:45 pm »

Before the powers that be get to you, you better go and put your full name in your profile. They'll lock your post if you don't. It's stated in the rules.

Tom
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Tom faderjockey Brandis

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 03:34:36 pm »

Sorry, I thought I PM'd you. Oh, well.
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Mark Coward

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 05:07:07 pm »

If the sound is cutting out like that with the Powerbrake, I'd definitely not use it anymore until you get it checked out. Not sure about that unit, but most of these type units are designed for a specific load, 4 ohm, 8 ohm etc. which your amp & speakers need to match. You don't want to fry the output tubes or transformers.

The Ted Weber stuff is pretty highly recommended, he has some based on passive resistors and also some with an actual speaker motor assembly http://www.tedweber.com/atten.htm

I'd suggest that you check out the ampage guitar amp forum http://music-electronics-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=10
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Byron Marsh

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 05:23:54 pm »

Brendon,
About a year and a half ago I was looking for an attenuator for my amp(s).  I read several places where there were some problems with the PowerBrake so I looked elsewhere.  Of course, other people gave positively glowing reviews.  At least one of them said they had a problem with overheating, but I don't remember any actually saying that it cut out completely.

I ended up going with the Weber Mass 100w because it generally got good reviews and has a reactive load as opposed to a purely resistive load.  I have used it on my 50w Marshall head and my Fender SuperSonic head and it sounded great on both.  I have occasionally found seen them on eBay.  http://www.tedweber.com/

Don't know if this helps.
B-)
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Byron Marsh

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Mark Meagher

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007, 11:06:18 am »

+1 on the WeberMass.



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David Buckley

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2007, 04:25:41 pm »

Definite -1 on the powerbrake; as a load they alegedly look quite nasty, and some amps disaprove.

My recommendation goes to the THD HotPlate.

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Bob Leonard

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2007, 04:27:44 pm »

The Marshall Power Brake is junk and the Weber is not to far behind it. The best attenuators made are from THD, or the Gibson branded THD Power Stealth. Your choice, they cost the same, but are light years ahead of anything else on the market and do the job perfectly.

http://www.thdelectronics.com/products/hotplate.htm

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Amplifiers/Gibson%20Amplifier s/Power%20Stealth/
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Andy Peters

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 12:03:46 pm »

Brendon Bass wrote on Fri, 03 August 2007 12:31

I have an old (1976) 100W Marshall MKII head that, needless to say, is way too loud for most of the situations I use it in.


Ah, the electronic solution to the acoustic problem, which as we all know, never works.

Get a much smaller amplifer.  Spend $400 on a recent-vintage Fender Deluxe, or look around for an old Ampeg Reverberocket or something.  Lighter and not all that loud and sounds better than the Marshall.

-a
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Marsellus Fariss

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Re: attenuators for tube amps
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2007, 02:55:02 pm »

Bob Leonard wrote on Sat, 04 August 2007 15:27

The Marshall Power Brake is junk and the Weber is not to far behind it. The best attenuators made are from THD, or the Gibson branded THD Power Stealth. Your choice, they cost the same, but are light years ahead of anything else on the market and do the job perfectly.

http://www.thdelectronics.com/products/hotplate.htm

  http://www.gibson.com/Products/Amplifiers/Gibson%20Amplifier s/Power%20Stealth/





I completely disagree with you. I've had the THD Hotplate and I have the Webber Mini Mass and they sound pretty much the same. There's some slight variations but it's not night and day. I don't see spending over twice as much on the THD. Both will change your tone somewhat especially if you attenuate a great amount. The left hand side of the dial is pretty much uselsess from 12:00 counterclockwise to off. It adds a buzzing fizzy sound depending on what amp your using. I find attenuators to be very amp specific.



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