Built-In Attenuators Vs External Attenuators

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by MichaelAndrew3435, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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    What are your thoughts and opinions on the two? I have a fancy load box (UAD OX) I use mostly for silent practice, but I don't really use it to attenuate any of my amps. I've tried using it with my amps at full power and it sounds okay (could probably use proper/better tweaking), but I prefer built-in attenuation and consider it a must for all my current and future amps.

    I don't know much about the technologies used in either or, but I imagine a built-in unit is designed to work with the amplifier vs an external unit. Not all forms of attenuation are created equal of course. I've always been curious about power scaling:hmm:
     
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  2. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    ...............after an intensive weekend with lots of noise & a BE100 I'm getting a Volume Pedal.

    All the rest are a waste of time & money IMHO...............unless you want to hook up Cans.

    :cheers2:
     

  3. jw3571

    jw3571 Senior Member

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    How do volume pedals work? Do you crank the amp and then turn the volume pedal down, or how does it work?
     
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  4. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    Basically a volume pot in a pedal.
     

  5. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

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    My .02 (and probably worth less) is that the best attenuation is incorporated into the design of the amp by the builder. @V2 really turned me on to this idea.

    Carr's attenuation on the Mercury is just WICKED.

    V2 also taught me about power scaling and dialing back the volume when increasing the amount of power scaling. My Reeves HG10 delivers superb ultra-low volume as does @bulletproof 's Phaez SIBLY Green Meanie
     
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  6. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    Personal opinion: The built-in attenuators probably aren't as good as the externals (depending on the external, of course).

    I understand that you would think that specificity would benefit the built-in unit, but I think that most are done on the cheap to have a bullet point in the marketing sheets.
     
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  7. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Senior Member

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    Volume pedal? You might as well turn down at the guitar, it’s the same technology. After using several brands of attenuators and amps with power scaling I’ve decided that a good master volume knob works best for me. I’ve also given up on expecting that one single amp will sound good in all situations. My needs may be different than yours, I can make as much noise as I want at home and other places and I never record. So, I have amps of all sizes, they call it GAS for a reason. I have certain amps for practice and other amps for gigging, it depends on my mood or what type of music I’m playing. Just my opinion......
     

  8. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    You must be a pretty awesome player if you can use your Volume Pot WHILE you’re playing. ;)

    The Volume Pedal works better for some Amps than others but cranking the BE100 & trimming the Volume with the Pedal is definitely better than using a Guitar’s Volume Pot.........which I do all the time because I hardly use Pedals.

    I’m going to buy a Lehle & run that. That’s not the only option. You can use the Level on your Send Return or MV etc.

    https://lehle.com/PL/Lehle-Mono-Volume
    :cheers2:
     
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  9. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Senior Member

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    Yes, totally awesome :dude: The real reason I don’t use a volume pedal is that I can’t really rely on my foot to work well enough to set the pedal in the right spot and leave it there.

    That Lehle pedal looks like futuristic technology,you’ll have to let us know how that works.
     
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  10. bgh

    bgh Senior Member

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    I have never played through an amp with a built in attenuator. I have seen a Peavey Windsor combo (years ago) but did not get a chance to try it. For attenuation, I use a Weber. But I prefer re-amping with my Power Station.

    I used to use volume pedals to control the volume going into my amp. But, I had a lot of trouble not so much in getting the right volume, but in keeping it there. I know this sounds kind of weird, but when ever I would pick up my foot, it would change the volume a bit. And, when I put my foot back on it (getting ready to change it again), more often than not it would change it.

    I had (and still have) issues getting my feet to the same angle as the pedal. For example, I set the volume where I want it, and the pedal is at a 37 degree angle. When I put my foot back down on it, I have to match that same 37 degrees, or I am going to change the volume a bit. I had real trouble doing that. Especially when it was semi-dark and I could not see a black pedal too well.

    Now, I use it either full on/off or volume swells.

    Anybody else have an issue like this?
     

  11. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Man,as I get older, I have become quite the knob fiddler!:laugh2: (That just sounds funny as hell)
    Anyhow, I love the Power Scaling in my Phaez SIBLY,just as much as I love my volume pedal.
    Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. I’m actually looking at the OX as I do intend to acquire a Friedman BE Deluxe and a Dirty Shirley (not to mention the Germino Classic45,I am hopelessly addicted lol).
    If I am just straight out playing,I use the vol/tone controls,I like that. However,if I am playing clean....and I am talking bare-baby-ass-squeaky, I like that volume pedal....I love to leave the guitar volume wide open and turn down with the pedal. I learned this trick aways back from one of the ole boys on here. Just seems to make the tone fatter....
    I personally don’t think one way is better than another....it’s all in what we like to hear and what we are trying to accomplish.
    With all this gear and stuff right now,man,what a great time to be alive!!!!:dude::cheers2::dude:
     

  12. Stuff

    Stuff Senior Member

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    The OX is about as good as it gets for external attenuators. Maybe the Fryette Power Station 2 is the best alternative, because it has its own power tubes to offset the tone suck?
     

  13. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Looking at the Fryette gear as well....nothing but good stuff out there,man!
     
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  14. jam81

    jam81 Member

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    I have the UA OX and it is worth every penny. Perfect for silent recording and to attenuate a tube amp without tone loss.
     
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  15. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    Bad Cat Unleash user here. Works well for attenuation, but I’ve mostly used it for reamping. Doesn’t do much for a clean amp, but I can get my Tiny Terror sounding better for private practice with it. Nothing I’d call ‘bedroom levels’.
     

  16. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    I have not used the OX as yet but a close friend has been testing one extensively for the last month.

    We have the same ear & tastes in music / tone.

    He said the OX, as an attenuator is a tone sucker.............& a big pass.

    He also said using Cans with the OX was like using a Cab right under your nose..........& awesome.

    :cheers2:
     
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  17. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Fat is an understatement John. It sounded awesome.

    Bottom RHC of the Board...........2nd Pedal from the right. It is a Dunlop Volume Pedal.

    The BE100 is hooked up to an older rear loaded Bogner Uberschall Cab & the Board is running through the Loop.

    IMG_4279.JPG

    Cheers, Rudi
     
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  18. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Well, I just learned something & now I now why the Volume Pedal sounds better than turning down the Volume Pot on my Guitar.

    It is actually not the same thing because in this case the Volume Pedal sits between the Preamp & the Power Amp.

    The Volume Pot on your Guitar doesn't..............obviously.

    You need to use a good Volume Pedal in to a good Loop not the front end of the Amp.

    :cheers2:
     

  19. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    ............& the winner is?

    IMG_4344.JPG

    The OX.............for Cans & in to a Desk / Interface...............provided you have a great Amp.

    For attenuating, it sucks tone. A Torpedo Reload has aso been tested against these but it is not n the pic.

    Interesting to see the AxeFx III is a big improvement over the II, which many were obviously hoping for.

    :cheers2:

    P.S. Any modelling fans please note this is not a Amp vs. Modelling discussion. It is the result of today's testing & one person's opinion.
     

  20. MichaelAndrew3435

    MichaelAndrew3435 Premium Member

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    Agreed, it’s a great time to be an at home player. Especially in the amp world. There’s so many great low watt amp options and it keeps getting better.
     

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