Attenuators

Alnus Rubra

Loving nature’s wonders
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
19,985
Location
Scotland
The other guitarist from the band and I had an attenuator “geek out” day today. He bought a Harley Benton one.

We A/B’d them as best we could. What we learnt was that the Bugera has more consistent treble across the board as you reduce the volume.

However the biggest difference is obviously the amps, my Mesa and his Blackstar. But the two worked very nicely together.

Can’t wait for rehearsals and gigs.

We both are getting sounds that we could only imagine before the load boxes.
 

Aahzz

Bluebeard Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
6,206
The other guitarist from the band and I had an attenuator “geek out” day today. He bought a Harley Benton one.

We A/B’d them as best we could. What we learnt was that the Bugera has more consistent treble across the board as you reduce the volume.

However the biggest difference is obviously the amps, my Mesa and his Blackstar. But the two worked very nicely together.

Can’t wait for rehearsals and gigs.

We both are getting sounds that we could only imagine before the load boxes.

I've been looking at the Bugera - what I haven't been able to tell is if it's just a straight through as far as impedance is concerned - obviously you set the input impedance, but does the impedance of the cabs have to match?
 

Alnus Rubra

Loving nature’s wonders
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
19,985
Location
Scotland
I've been looking at the Bugera - what I haven't been able to tell is if it's just a straight through as far as impedance is concerned - obviously you set the input impedance, but does the impedance of the cabs have to match?

It has three amp inputs 4, 8 & 16 ohms. I haven’t worked out if you can incorporate extra speakers/cabs.

It’s a decent piece of kit for the money.
 

Alnus Rubra

Loving nature’s wonders
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
19,985
Location
Scotland
It sounds like the Bugera PS-1 is definitely good enough? I found a good-is deal on a Fryette PS2 on CL, but even a good deal is 6 or 7 times the Bugera.

Yeah, Phil McKnight made the same observation in his video about the PS1 costing 20% of the price of the rock crusher.

Its certainly enough for my uses.
 

Aahzz

Bluebeard Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
6,206
That's actually pretty cool, but not needed unless your cabs don't have dual jacks.

Except that my cabs are both 16 ohms - with dual jacks if I chain them, wouldn't that be series and thus a 32 ohm load? Impedance kind of frustrates me....
 

DreamTheaterRules

The guys in my car club call me The Cruiser
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
12,374
Location
Cincinnati area
Except that my cabs are both 16 ohms - with dual jacks if I chain them, wouldn't that be series and thus a 32 ohm load? Impedance kind of frustrates me....
Most speaker cabs that have dual jacks are wired in parallel, so using two would cut the ohms in half. Daisy chain 2 16 ohm cabs, plugged into the 8 ohm tap on the amp, and you should be good.
2x8ohm-1x4ohmFILLEDweb.png
 

Alnus Rubra

Loving nature’s wonders
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
19,985
Location
Scotland
Dang, I thought they were the same thing? Good to know. I guess I’m glad I went with the Bugera.

The Harley Benton wasn’t bad, just different. The Bugera is more compact, and I prefer the large volume knob (ooer, sounds rude).

The Bugera is more consistent tonally as you reduce the volume of the guitar. The Harley Benton seemed to have a treble boost when the guitar volume was at 9-10, but as you reduced the volume it lost a little edge.

The Bugera seems a little better made as well.
 

FunkyFreeman

Moo Panuwat
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Messages
314
Location
Bangkok, Thailand
This might be late to the party but I'd like to share my experience as it maybe useful to others.

I used Bugera PS-1 as my first tube amp volume-taming device, which, after first couple of hours of initial use I sold it right away as this thing sucked my amp tone drastically - loss of highs, loss of definition, loss of joy. Simply put, it's like you cover your amp cabinet with a thick blanket. Worst attenuator ever. But I didn't expected much from it knowing it's a cheap resistive type of attenuator from the start.

After selling the PS-1, I made a DIY volume box using hi-end parts inside. This device must be placed in effects loop of the amp. The tone quality is obviously far better than the previous device - I would rate it 8 out of 10 transparency wise - very natural and for most users. I think this method is good enough without breaking the bank too. Unfortunately this method isn't for you since your HXDA doesn't have the loop. However I've found the weak point of using this kind of device; the output of all other pedals dropped a lot - the more I dimmed the volume box, the more it affected the signal level of my delay, reverb, mod, etc. So I decided to try the next one.

My lastest attempt is this Weber Mass 200 with custom built-in Phones out. It's very, very transparent. The Treble Compensation knob is very useful for me as it helps bring up some highs when I turn the amp volume down too far. But surprisingly I can never turn the attenuation knob beyond 1 to tame my Archon which is working in 25W mode. The amp would still too loud beyond that point. I don't know why, but it'd be much better if I had up to 3-4 comfortable area on its attenuation scale. Another thing to note is that the craftmanship isn't spoton; the attenuation pot has incredible amount of play/free-turn (sorry for my English). But apart from those minor blamishes - it's a great attenuator for its price and I'd give the Weber 9 out of 10 tone wise. Oh I must add that it's a reactive load type too.

Edited: Just uploaded a quick demo clip recently. Hope this might help though.

D2KbXhn.jpeg


9NaWLig.jpeg


 
Last edited:

LSchefman

Historical Entity
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
30,531
Location
Michigan
This might be late to the party but I'd like to share my experience as it maybe useful to others.

I used Bugare PS-1 as my first tube amp volume-taming device, which, after first couple of hours of initial use I sold it right away as this thing sucked my amp tone drastically - loss of highs, loss of definition, loss of joy. Simply put, it's like you cover your amp cabinet with a thick blanket. Worst attenuator ever. But I didn't expected much from it knowing it's a cheap resistive type of attenuator from the start.

After selling the PS-1 I made my DIY volume box using hi-end parts inside. This device must be placed in effects loop of the amp. The tone quality is obviously far better than the previous device - I would rate it 8 out of 10 transparency wise - very natural and for most users. I think this method is good enough without breaking the bank too. Unfortunately this method isn't for you since your HXDA doesn't have the loop. However I've found the weak point of using this kind of device; the output of all other pedals dropped a lot - the more I dimmed the volume box, the more it affected the signal level of my delay, reverb, mod, etc. So I decided to try the next one.

My lastest attempt is this Weber Mass 200 with custom built-in Phones out. It's very, very transparent. The Treble Compensation knob is very useful for me as it helps bring up some highs when I turn the amp volume down too far. But surprisingly I can never turn the attenuation knob beyond 1 to tame my Archon which is working in 25W mode. The amp would still too loud beyond that point. I don't know why, but it'd be much better if I had up to 3-4 comfortable area on its attenuation scale. Another thing to note is that the craftmanship isn't spoton; the attenuation pot has incredible amount of play/free-turn (sorry for my English). But apart from those minor blamishes - it's a great attenuator for its price and I'd give the Weber 9 out of 10 tone wise. Oh I must add that it's a reactive load type too.

D2KbXhn.jpeg


9NaWLig.jpeg


QD8Fepk.jpeg
I just want some of whatever it was you were on when you put the dots all over your monitor!

;)

I kid. Rock on!
 

Sonic Blue 55

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
91
I've been looking at the Rivera.
A friend gave me a 60+ year old cabinet with a 12" Jensen MOD and a three way switch with a resistor. It cuts the gain about 20 % and then 50%. It works well with my H head. So far, it hasn't started any fires.
 

Smobrien987

New Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
4
I know a lot of people on here use attenuators. I am looking into getting one, and while I know most of you use the Ox Box, I can’t swing that kind of bank. Does anyone have any recommendations for other attenuators that would be in a cheaper range and work for amplifiers primarily 30 watts and down? I am looking to use it with an HXDA 30, Archon 25, or Custom 20 amp. I have looked at the Dr. Z Z break-lite, and Tone King Ironman II mini but don’t know anything about them any help is appreciated.
Thank you!
I use a fryette power station because its all analog with a tube power section. Just make sure you stay away from resistor attenuator and get a reactive load if you want to keep your dynamics.
 
Top