Guitar Amp Attenuator Roundup
We all love the sound of a cranked tube amp, but it can be too loud in many situations.
With these power attenuators, you can get the gritty sound of cranked tubes at any volume level - without having to modify the circuit of your beloved tube amps. This makes even your big and loud amplifiers work for smaller venues and studio recording.
Rivera RockCrusher Power Attenuator
The RockCrusher is considered by many as the best guitar amp attenuator, and we agree. It is an invaluable tool for tube amp users, adjusting volume without affecting tube drive and it comes with nifty tone shaping options. Instead of the usual resistive load network design used on other power attenuators, Rivera used a hybrid "reactive" load network, giving it its great response and improved speaker-to-amplifier interaction. This unit employs inductive and capacitive resistance to deliver the biting tone of a full-on tube amp as transparently as possible, whatever the volume maybe. If transparent tone is not enough, RockCrusher even comes with Edge and Warm switches for further tweaking. To protect your tube amp, Rivera also ensured impedance matching by providing an 8/16 ohm selector for matching multiple cabinets. Finally all these features are grafted inside a solid bullet-proof exterior, a thick wielded steel chassis that will give you reliable performance for yours to come. Retail Price: $499. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Bad Cat The Leash Power Attenuator
Bad Cat's "The Leash" is a very transparent power attenuator, instead of focusing on flexibility and added features, it zeroes in on what matters most - getting your tone through in all volume levels without any form of tampering or masking. Although some might prefer the choked midrage and tamed highs or lows that older attenuators provide, the Leash goes for a modern true-bypass sound whether engaged or switch on. The unit is true its description of being virtually invisible to your ears at any volume level, adding and taking nothing away from your signal. Control is as straightforward as it gets, with just one knob that controls the volume. With "The Leash" engaged, you can utilize your amp's full potential without the distraction caused by noise, pops, clicks and uneven volume changes. And finally, with its one knob intuitive operation, you can get get inspiring tones quickly for practice and for studio recording. Highly recommend. Retail Price: $350. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Carl's Custom Speaker Soak
Carl's Custom Speaker Soak is a portable and cost-effective power attenuator that will get the job done without burning a hole in your pocket. It does away with bells and whistles and adds basic master volume functionality to your amplifier. The Speaker Soak is designed using basic resistive load circuitry, which reduces the volume by transforming some of the energy into heat. This means that the unit may get warm while engaged, and warmer depending on how hot you set the amp. Although it lacks versatility, Carl's Custom produces two models to accommodate the most common speaker configurations - one for 8 ohm and one for 16 ohm. Note that the Speaker Soak is only applicable for 50Watt amplifiers, so anything above that you'll need something else. With its cheap price, the Speaker Soak is a great entry-level unit for those that want to try taming their loud amps. If you want to get harmonic overtone rich overdrive at bedroom levels without without breaking your bank, then you should get this. Retail Price: $40. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Suhr Jim Kelley Power Attenuator
The recently released Jim Kelley Power Attenuator is a new comer, but is has all the makings to dominate in this market in the near future. Being newly designed, it benefits from the latest available technology that allows for improved compatibility and tone quality. This attenuator provides an all-in-one solution for owners of multiple amps - it works well with amps that go up to 100 watts, and can work with 4 and 8 ohm loads. Aside from providing great sounding attenuation, the Jim Kelley Power Attenuator comes with a nifty treble Boost Switch, which preserves the high-end dynamics of your tone. The exterior and shape of the unit is well built, ensuring reliable operation for musicians that are always on the move. Another nifty feature of this unit is its footswitch control compatibility, allowing for handsfree operation. Although not as widely available as the other guitar amp attenuators in this list, those that are wise and thrifty enough to invest on the Jim Kelley Power Attenuator will be rewarded handsomely. Retail Price: $599. You can visit Suhr to order.
Share This Article