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AMP ATTENUATORS

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I want to get that full on tube overdriven sound from my Express 5:25+ and all the good stuff an amp on 10 produces but at a bedroom level. I've been doing some online research on attenuators and there's plenty out there with good & bad reviews. There's also articles on the use of a volume pot in the loop to control the amp volume.

 

The volume pot is the cheapest option but maybe I can use a volume pedal in the loop to do this i.e. use the pedal's volume pot to set the minimum level.

 

My quandary is this:

 

1. The loop sits between the pre and power amp stages

2. By introducing a volume control between these stages just reduces the preamp level into the power section

3. So even if the amp master volume is up driving the c#$p out of the power stage, wouldn't reducing the preamp signal into the power stage defeat this?

4. Or, is the power stage independent of the preamp signal i.e. it does not rely on what's coming into it, just drives based on the master volume setting? So if MV is set to 10, the power stage gives full output regardless.

5. But if that's the case, then....oh hell!

 

Appreciate some advice before buying a volume pedal and trying it out. Thanks all.

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Putting a volume limit in the loop. Whether it's a volume pedal or a pedal with a volume control on it will only give you preamp crunch.

Will do nothing to the power tubes.

 

Most if not all amp master volumes are before the power section as well also giving you only pre-amp crunch

 

your Mesa has a switch.. now 5w is deceptively loud (as many people do not think 5w as loud) but the Mesa should give you some crunchy tones with everything turned right down.

 

obviously the "best" solution is a VVR circuit or some sort of power scaling installed.. they brings the B+ main voltage to the tubes down (but keeps the heaters at proper voltage) this prevents the Eddie Van Halen syndrome of amp melt down.

 

next is an attenuator between the speaker and the amp. this will let you turn up the masters and push the output tubes as well, it will only be the speaker not giving you any distortion then..

 

with an outboard attenuator.. you won't kill the tubes any faster than any gigging musician on the road with their amp cranked every night. Tube mileage varies.

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There's a regular poster on here, surfpup, who makes attenuators and other pedals. He can give you some good advice about them. His business is Tubular Mods and they make Juice Box attenuators.

 

Juice Box 50

 

That's me. (Thanks for the mention, BBP).

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Looking at the specs on the 5:25 it should work well with any attenuator. You will want an 8Ω version.

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That's me. (Thanks for the mention, BBP).

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Looking at the specs on the 5:25 it should work well with any attenuator. You will want an 8Ω version.

 

Thanks surfpup. Your products look real good. I'm basically not going to do anything. I'll run it at 5W out back when the family's out. Next door neighbour's an A-Hole anyway so should right pi$$ him off. If it doesn't, then here's what 25W sounds like. Ha ha. Hell, you never know but we may get on afterwards.

 

Where my thinking was wrong to start with was attenuating the preamp output into the power section. It should have been between the power section output and speaker. Duh!

 

Reason I like this place - lot's of experience & helpful advice. Thanks again all.

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That's me. (Thanks for the mention, BBP).

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Looking at the specs on the 5:25 it should work well with any attenuator. You will want an 8Ω version.

 

I hope I am not hijacking the OP's thread by asking which one you recommend for my Marshall DSL40C that has a switch to drop the wattage from 40w to 20w and which of these two settings would best? Of course my amps sweet spot is crazy loud and I live in an apartment.

 

Thanks, Bill

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I hope I am not hijacking the OP's thread by asking which one you recommend for my Marshall DSL40C that has a switch to drop the wattage from 40w to 20w and which of these two settings would best? Of course my amps sweet spot is crazy loud and I live in an apartment.

 

Thanks, Bill

 

You'll need a 16Ω attenuator for that amp, Bill. My experience with triode/pentonde switchable amps is the higher powered (pentonde) option always sounds fuller. The triode setting seems to thin the gain structure out. I have not played the DSL40, however, so let your own ears be the guide there.

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You'll need a 16Ω attenuator for that amp, Bill. My experience with triode/pentonde switchable amps is the higher powered (pentonde) option always sounds fuller. The triode setting seems to thin the gain structure out. I have not played the DSL40, however, so let your own ears be the guide there.

Thanks! My guess would be that the 40w setting it was designed for would be best for the amp and I would think, the better sound.

 

Thanks again, Bill

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I really like my Weber Mass 100 (older style red one). Really works well on my Fender Blue Deluxe that blows the windows out of the house. But I don't play in a sound proof room and with mouse ears on either. [biggrin]

 

Aster

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