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Old 10-23-2009, 12:48 PM   #1
Tom Winspear
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Volume attenuator? 6505+ volume and tone

Hi guys. I own a Peavey 6505+, currently totally stock running into an Orange 4x12. Ibanez 7 string, no other stuff in the chain, though getting a TS9 when I can afford it. When cranked, I love it!. However, I have an issue which I guess is fairly common with tube amps - it just doesn't sound good at low volume!
My practice amp is a Roland Cube 60, using several pedals to make it sound better. Sounds absolute crap compared ofcourse, but it does the job.
I would love to be able to practice at home with my Peavey. I find I have recently been lacking motivation to just sit and practice because I can't use it. Well I can, but it sounds like crap turned down imo.
I've never ran it higher than 3.5 Post. This was mega loud. Vibrate the house loud. I recorded a few songs at 3 Post at home for my band. My parents are fine with it, but my neighbours aren't. I live in a standard 4 bedroom house, fully detatched, and did this with all windows and doors closed. However, it was still loud enough for my neighbour, a loud guy himself, to come round and complain (REALLY COMPLAIN). I wouldn't even call him a neighbour - he lives at the BACK of my house. And my room is on the front side...My amp is as far away from that house as possible. And I have a fairly large back garden. I'd understand my close neighbours complaining - it IS damn loud. But really?
Anyway, you get the point.

I had it on 3 because this seemed just above where the tone started to get good. Has to be on atleast 2 it seems - and this is still too damn loud for practice. Still pretty house shaking. 3 is way loud enough to play with a band. My friend had to use ear plugs when we recorded. If I'd had some at the time I would have too. Honestly, what the HELL does this thing go up to 10 for?

Anyway, a friend told me about these volume attenuator things. From what I understand, it acts like a volume dial between the head and the cab, so you still got your tone coming from a cranked head, but not so much volume going into the cab. Makes sense how this works to me. I'm guessing it still wouldn't sound quite as good without pushing the speakers hard, but my questions are...
1) Where do you plug these things? Effects loop or before the cab?
2) Recommended models?
3) How good does it really sound?
4) I read somewhere that it can damage the amp..or cab..or something..in some way. Is this true?

Thanks for any advice
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:39 PM   #2
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Modern amps, such as 6505, generate the sound and distortion at the preamp section. The power amp dosen't have such a great deal of the sound, as it used to do.

The thing, why cranking the amp sounds so huge and great, is because the amp really starts to punnish the cab and the speakers. So the speakers really start to move, and the cab starts to "sing".

What I'm trying to say here is, that reducing the signal between cab and amp, and this way to crank more the tubes, will have a small effect on the sound. These things really eats some of the clarity of the sound, and really doesn't make any difference. The result is the same. The signal isn't powerful enough to get the cab to "crank", which makes the awesomeness. Why people recommend these things are because of the old days. Back in the days of Plexis etc. people actually needed to reduce the noise, so they could crank the amp more to get more distortion from the power amp.

My solution here would be to buy a decent combo for playing at home, or getting a cab with a speaker that isn't so loud. Really 120W tubeamps aren't made to be used at home, I can tell. I have had a complain from a neighbour for playing my Ultra Lead drunk, at a very loud. And I live in an apartment building.
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