Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

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Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by bluesstar on Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:03 pm

Hi, I want to know, which one is better, buy guitar attenuator or buy other smaller guitar amp?
I practicing in home. But 6550 is too larger.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by hendrik on Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:12 am

Hi,

I use an attentuator with a balanced DI output and go straight into the mixing desk, an ALESIS IO26.
So I can play my Orange Rocker 30 at the full level, without disturbing the neighbours.
There are a few new amps out, with build in DI outputs.

Smaller amps, maybe the new Vox AC4, a small tube amp, where you can switch from 4 W down to 1/4 W.
Tried it recently in a shop, sounds actually quite good.

Anything else is to loud for my flat.

BR

H.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Racing on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:02 am

Me iīm a tube taliban.
I find that most anything digital or transistor,with VERY few exceptions,fall flat on their face in comparsion.

Many claim various reasons for being tube guys and in my case itīs a matter of two things mainly.
Dynamics and distortion.
Dynamics in that a transistor or digital unit IMO can not "answer" to string attack with the same warmth as a tube amp can.
Distortion in as much that well....a transistor just go into hardclipping.
The newest era digitals like AxeFX aso in its own rights...
Then thereīs the emotional side of it...and i simply like tubes and know how to play around with tubeamps and modify them at marginal cost.

That said.
You own a 6550. The newer version of the 5150.
Basicaly a higain unit.
All good.

Iīve lost count of how many of the current era low wattage tubeamps iīve tried,and while indeed some ARE "true" tube amps most are not.
Take the fabled Blackstar HT-5 for instance...tube and tube...whatever,cause itīs so full of OPs and transistors to reach a given sound AT A GIVEN LEVEL it isnīt even funny.

IMO a good tube amp for club asf use onstage should hoover between 30 and 50 watts nominal approx.
This way we can load the tubes within to get that lovely tube character.

Simple truth to ME is that i for one completely fail to see the point of a for instance 4W.
The nightrain has been mentioned...yeah yeah...Vox has had issues with them you wouldnīt BELIEVE...just google...
Further,anyone out there that believes that you can go full blast with a 4 watter within the confinements of an apartment...good luck cause 4 watts of tube driven power is LOUD from that respect.
In short...donīt fool yourself..
On the other hand IMO anything less than 30W is useless beyond those walls you call home....
IOW a one trick pony if there ever was one-as a concept.

Attenuators then.
Yeah.I own a Weber mass and have tried MANY of them.
Everything from Marshalls to THD to KLD asf asf asf.
They DO work.
However most people abuse them.
An attentuator is NOT designed to have the amp at full blast and then the unit dialed to get a whisper out of the speakers.
Itīs designed to reduce output volumes WITHIN REASON.

What does all my rambling add up to then?
Well.
IMO get another amp,of 20-30W or so AND a cheap,used,attentuator.
THAT is the ticket.

Using a 100W at home....well...that was not what god intended was it... Suspect What a Face

Combo or cab n top....take your pick.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by hendrik on Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:04 pm

Had my hands also on an EGNATER REBEL 30.
That's probably the thing you need.
All in, DI out, attentuator, Tube Mix.....

H.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Frenchy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:19 pm

I say let her rip!... cheers

P. :joker:

Get a smaller tube amp for home, they also use less energy! Be green! :alien:

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Racing on Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:33 pm

Agreed on the Rebel.
Truly a good piece of equipment.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by danagos on Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:02 am

For what it's worth, just last night I played around with a similar concept.

Using a 90's Peavey Bravo 112, 30 Watt tube amp (tubes, speaker & 'verb tank replaced) with the volume WAY up, run the signal through a Rocktron Chameleon pre-amp with both the input and output levels WAY down.

Used the Electra X140 with SCN pups (center of pic).

Result was a nice FAT sound that didn't shake the walls of the room.



Dan


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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by umpdv5000 on Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:56 pm

I suppose I will throw my two penny worth in on this one... :arrow:

I have a wall of amplifiers in my home (honestly). The reason for this is that I not only use them but buy and sell them. For stage use I have always used all valve amps such as Vox AC 30, Park, Marshall and I have always had a Hot Box (attenuator) to clip the volume (slightly) when in a situation that needed it, which is not very often I may add. The most use I have ever had for the Hot Box was when I was with a guitar and keyboard duo, where I was miked up to keep the on stage volume low. An attenuator will give you a sound in a house but it won't do your amp any favours in the long run and it won't give you the best sound at house volume levels.

Now this wall of amplifiers that I spoke about are all small practice (house sized) amplifiers and I can tell you that when it comes to the best sound at low levels, a modern state of the art tranny amp wipes the floor with small or big valve amps for home playing. I am now talking of the likes of the Fender Frontman (at entry level), Line 6 (with built in FX), the Roland Cube (ooh now were talking), to name but a few. The tone controls on these units are much more responsive and if you set the gain level tastefully and balance the tones well, these amps sound more like an on stage valve amp in flight than an actual valve amp does when its volume is cut down. One small amp I have is a Laney LC15 which is a 15w all valve combo and at house volume its ok, but crank its output up and it gets dramatically better. However, cranking the output up is no good in a house and it is because of this that the good tranny amps win the contest.

Most guitar players seek the growl of a valve or the smooth singing sustain of one driven to excess and FX manufacturers have been striving to give us just that in a convenient stomp box. I tell you, they are beginning to succeed! I have used a distortion pedal for some years made by Dod called "Classic Tube". I like this pedal because I can get some very convincing valve sounds from it. Unfortunately it went on the blink and this week I bought a Marshall Jackhammer JH-1. This pedal is really convincing when you set it up properly. It has two types of user settings, Overdrive and Distortion and a host of tone controls consisting of Bass, Treble, frequency sweepable Middle, gain and master volume control. Its capabilities are very wide and plugged into a decent amp, I would challenge anyone to close their eyes and tell me that it doesn't sound like a valve amp on heat. Just another type of option for low level playing. :!:

Martin.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by danagos on Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:11 pm

Ooooh, Thanks Martin, I'm looking for a Marshall Jackhammer JH-1 now. I like my TS9, but for the money I gotta give it a try.

Now of course, I need the right amp. I should strangle the "friend" who started me on the electric git path last November, 'cept I love him & the "path".

Dan

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by colt933 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:59 pm

For practice, how about a used POD and some headphones. Cheap and sounds great through headphones for practice.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by danagos on Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:22 pm

Hey Colt,

I'm so new (9 mos.) to elec. guit. that I'm ignorant of things that are probably basic to you. The POD like a pedal board? Laughing

I bought the Behringer GTX30 amp for headphone output & cd input but outgrew it fast. Next a Peavey Bravo 112 (30W, I replaced tubes, speaker & 'verb tank) but no headphone out. Can I run the Bravo thru the Behr for 'phones? Never thought of that.

The POD, decent FX? Do you recommend a certain model or is it whichever? scratch

Soooo many questions, sooooo little time.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Dan

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by colt933 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:21 pm

danagos wrote:Hey Colt,

I'm so new (9 mos.) to elec. guit. that I'm ignorant of things that are probably basic to you. The POD like a pedal board? Laughing

I bought the Behringer GTX30 amp for headphone output & cd input but outgrew it fast. Next a Peavey Bravo 112 (30W, I replaced tubes, speaker & 'verb tank) but no headphone out. Can I run the Bravo thru the Behr for 'phones? Never thought of that.

The POD, decent FX? Do you recommend a certain model or is it whichever? scratch

Soooo many questions, sooooo little time.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Dan

The tube purists will crucify me for saying this, but all of the PODs sound pretty good IMHO. PODs and other similar products are modelers - they use computer software and hardware to simulate the signal path through analog circuits. They model many different types of amps, speaker cabinets, and effects pedals, all modeled in one unit. They are not perfect, but pretty good really.

The metal heads out there will probably chime in here and say that they think the Digitech modelers sound better. Honestly, any of the more expensive modelers from just about any company sound pretty good. I had a Digitech RP50 or 80 - I forget - and the effects on this cheap (<$80 retail) unit were great, but the amp models sucked completely. The big Digitech pedal boards sound great though. I just happen to have a POD. BOSS/Roland and VOX make some pretty good modelers too.

There are many new models of POD and I am not up-to-date on them. The original POD is pretty good and would be very cheap used on Ebay or Craigslist. The POD 2.0 is better still. Neither of these are pedals - they are like a table top kidney-bean shaped thing.

There are some POD pedals/pedalboards as well. I have the POD XT Live. It is a pedal board. It is big and overkill for practice, but it works well for me for both live and recording. There are new models that have many more bells and whistles - like you can run different patches/models through the left and right outputs - like playing through two discrete amps and effects chains at the same time. I need to get one of those.

Live, I play through the POD XT Live into the effects return of a Peavey Classic 30. The little Peavey is a decent, cheap tube amp. Its clean sound is pretty good and Fender-like but the dirty channel sounds like crap IMHO. My signal path is guitar - POD - Peavey effects return. I am not plugged into the Peavey's preamp. My POD is going directly to the amp's power tubes. The combination of the tubes and the guitar amp speaker both help to warm the tone of the POD. None of the knobs on the amp have any affect in this configuration. My master volume is the output gain on the POD.

My Boogie and Marshall tones are killer with this set-up and I occasionally get compliments on my tone. The 30 watt amp is plenty loud most of the time.

There is no substitute for playing through a 50 or 100 watt tube head and a 4x12 cabinet - NONE. But my set-up works well and is easy to transport.

So look on Craigslist or Ebay and I bet you can get an original POD for less than $100. Plug your guitar in and some decent headphones - and blow you ears out while not disturbing the neighbors. You can plug also plug the pod into your amp on a clean channel and use the POD for your tube overdrive sound and keep the amp's volume low. Not perfect but pretty good.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Racing on Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:15 pm

colt933 wrote:
danagos wrote:Hey Colt,

I'm so new (9 mos.) to elec. guit. that I'm ignorant of things that are probably basic to you. The POD like a pedal board? Laughing

I bought the Behringer GTX30 amp for headphone output & cd input but outgrew it fast. Next a Peavey Bravo 112 (30W, I replaced tubes, speaker & 'verb tank) but no headphone out. Can I run the Bravo thru the Behr for 'phones? Never thought of that.

The POD, decent FX? Do you recommend a certain model or is it whichever? scratch

Soooo many questions, sooooo little time.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Dan

The tube purists will crucify me for saying this, but all of the PODs sound pretty good IMHO. PODs and other similar products are modelers - they use computer software and hardware to simulate the signal path through analog circuits. They model many different types of amps, speaker cabinets, and effects pedals, all modeled in one unit. They are not perfect, but pretty good really.

The metal heads out there will probably chime in here and say that they think the Digitech modelers sound better. Honestly, any of the more expensive modelers from just about any company sound pretty good. I had a Digitech RP50 or 80 - I forget - and the effects on this cheap (<$80 retail) unit were great, but the amp models sucked completely. The big Digitech pedal boards sound great though. I just happen to have a POD. BOSS/Roland and VOX make some pretty good modelers too.

There are many new models of POD and I am not up-to-date on them. The original POD is pretty good and would be very cheap used on Ebay or Craigslist. The POD 2.0 is better still. Neither of these are pedals - they are like a table top kidney-bean shaped thing.

There are some POD pedals/pedalboards as well. I have the POD XT Live. It is a pedal board. It is big and overkill for practice, but it works well for me for both live and recording. There are new models that have many more bells and whistles - like you can run different patches/models through the left and right outputs - like playing through two discrete amps and effects chains at the same time. I need to get one of those.

Live, I play through the POD XT Live into the effects return of a Peavey Classic 30. The little Peavey is a decent, cheap tube amp. Its clean sound is pretty good and Fender-like but the dirty channel sounds like crap IMHO. My signal path is guitar - POD - Peavey effects return. I am not plugged into the Peavey's preamp. My POD is going directly to the amp's power tubes. The combination of the tubes and the guitar amp speaker both help to warm the tone of the POD. None of the knobs on the amp have any affect in this configuration. My master volume is the output gain on the POD.

My Boogie and Marshall tones are killer with this set-up and I occasionally get compliments on my tone. The 30 watt amp is plenty loud most of the time.

There is no substitute for playing through a 50 or 100 watt tube head and a 4x12 cabinet - NONE. But my set-up works well and is easy to transport.

So look on Craigslist or Ebay and I bet you can get an original POD for less than $100. Plug your guitar in and some decent headphones - and blow you ears out while not disturbing the neighbors. You can plug also plug the pod into your amp on a clean channel and use the POD for your tube overdrive sound and keep the amp's volume low. Not perfect but pretty good.
No.
No i wont.
Iīll simply say
No.
Weīre not even on the same page.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Frenchy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:25 am

get a decent 5 to 15 Watt (max) tube amp for home pratice.... 15 for bass, 5 is great for guitar...

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by corsair on Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:03 am

Because of limited space and because I don't want to have to cart amplifiers around the world, I'm playing with digital stuff here at the moment, and while it's "not the same" as a high gain valve rig, I've got to say it's pretty bloody good! In fact, I'd go so far to say that onstage, with a competent soundman, you'd be pushed to be able to tell the difference between modeled sound and real amps at anything approaching live levels. Really!

And I would further say, that in a studio, why the hell would anyone play through an amp when you can DI and get any damn sound you want outboard?

After all the years I've spent lugging filthy great amplifiers, cabs and combo amps in and out of vans and cars around NZ and Australia, I say DIGITAL FOREVER!! Laughing

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Barry on Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:39 am

corsair wrote:...After all the years I've spent lugging filthy great amplifiers, cabs and combo amps in and out of vans and cars around NZ and Australia, I say DIGITAL FOREVER!!
My back would stand in applause of that statement, but it's still bent from years of lifting and lugging heavy bloody amplifiers and speaker cabinets! clown

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Westbone on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:14 am

wimp, get a fan Very Happy

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Barry on Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:44 pm

Westbone wrote:wimp, get a fan Very Happy
A mechanical air mover, or a groupy? In any event, too late for either.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by corsair on Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:45 am

Had swags of them - groupies and mechanical air movers - but none of them wanted to cart amplifiers about (a groupies' talents lie elsewhere, anyway!!), and in latter years only did I ever have a roadie; my eldest son served admirably for long enough!!

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Racing on Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:11 am

Well John i for one beg to differ.

True that the mainstay of a listening audience wouldnīt know one thing from the other if their lives depended on it,however..that is sooooooo secondary as it is an egoistic aspect that should reign this.
It comes down to how the amp sound affects YOU.

What the real deal brings,at least to me,is life.
What a digital sampler or whatever along the lines lack is...life.
When iīm hooked up to an honest to god tube amp that amp will affect how i play in a MAJOR way as i for one at least play "against" what comes out of the cab.
The tube amp will in a more lifelike manner respond to how i strike the guitar in a way that nothing digital can match for any reasonable amount of money.
Further,even as it distorts it will do so in a lifelike manner all things compared IMO.
Tubes will do what is know as sature as you push them and true...this can be reasoably duplicated by digitals these days but CERTAINLY not by a pod.
There ARE companies out there that try though,but their finished products are vastly more expensive than any tube amp to this day.
Like in....add a zero to the tab more expensive.
Then...PODs,Line 6s,Tonelabs and what have you not...most of the distorted sounds come off like a bumlebee on crack thatīs been locked up in a jar IMO.

Iīve for instance tried the fabled Axe Fx and altho a good unit IMO(and expensive)...it STILL doesnīt rival what a good tube amp will produce.

Next up is....that a tube amp i can modify,repair and service at will.
All it really takes is a basic understanding,some cheap components and a soldering gun.
When one of them digital units go awol...itīs part bin time...
For instance..i know a thing or two of electronics.Iīve had all in all 3 tonelabs cut out on me and although not especialy advanced from an electric POW...iīve seen no reason to even mess with them.Iīve dowloaded the schematics for them...taken a look at it and simple thrown the Tonelabs in the bin.

In this case...letīs agree on that we disagree.
I for one find that any and all digitals that are within reach economicaly fail miserably vs a real tubeamp.
Dynamics alone will take care of that,and as we record we ALWAYS do so via microphones infront of a cab.
Difference is like night n day.
(Mark my use of "real" tubeamps cause many today are NOT altho advertised as such)

Damn...just look at any old recordning studio worth its own name...
Sure.
Good thing that Cubase et al are available,but for more serious work weīre talking studios with OLD mixers and controls-just to bring "life" to the recordning.
Some of the sound undoubtably resides in said equipment.
To the point where old studio tables are downright money in the bank today,and most of them are insanely expensive.
More so than digitals even as it isnīt uncommon for an old -70s or early -80s control board to fetch like 10-30 000 euros.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by umpdv5000 on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:27 am

Before we all get our knickers in a twist, it would be fair to say that there are valid points in both arguments (if I dare call it that).

Firstly let me say, that I have indulged myself into examining the cause of this "Perfect Sound" thing over many years. I've been through the era when everybody had a valve amp, into the "oooh look new transistor amps", back into the "well that was a sh*t buy that I won't do again, where's me valve amp?" But still gradually recognising advancement in amplifier and FX technology to the present day.

As I said ealier, I do still perform with a Marshall valve amp and I love the way it responds at stage volume. But its a ruddy great weight and the cabs even heavier. It would be fair to say that it's for my own gratification as a guitar player and not necessarily the be all and end all for this purpose. One point that racing makes is a key factor in the sound was, that he said he plays to his cab. I have always said that all the techno distortions in pre-amps, FX pedals, Pods and the like are great as a low level emulation of a valve amp kicking arse on stage, but part of "The Sound" that people seek is created by the volume of a speaker cab at stage level that is reacting on the guitar and its strings. That is to say that the shear volume re-vibrates the guitar and strings and creates a regeneration of signal back to the amplifier. It is this that you can't reproduce in a low volume effect and turning up the distortion level to feedback proportions still does not compensate for this.

But the tranny amps really have come a long way from their unfavourable beginnings. I took a small 50w transistor Fender Princeton Chorus to a jam night that we where holding in a local pub and used it instead of my valve head and heavy cabs. This is pretty modern amp technology (although not cutting edge) and at stage volume level it was just as much fun to play with as my Marshall. Didn't quite have the same guts in reserve as it was only a 50w so I stuck a mic on it, but hey, it was really good! The idea of a pod or some other similar unit stuck into a desk for stage use is great for light weight carrying, but you would miss out on that all important regeneration of sound that really does add to the tone and response. I suppose you could use a good monitor to throw it back at you, but all the rest of the band would get it thrown back at them at the same level, which they may find upsetting. A back line amp for every player helps them monitor their personal sound as it is louder to themselves being stuck in front of it.

As for recording, well, I have my own bedroom studio and some state of the art FX processors for recording. They do all the amp and speaker simulations etc, but direct injection of a guitar using these is always second rate. A mic in front of a cab with a suitable amp is a must for a true sound.

In conclusion, I would say that there is no right and wrongs, only what you are prepared to live with. Easy carrying and fizzy guitar or great sounds and a broken back.

Martin.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by hendrik on Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:05 am

I'm still supporting RACING, the smallest tube amp is always better as all these modelers.

I've tried a a few, at least the VOX TONE LAB LE stays with me. All the Line 6 ... , I never like the sound out of them.

But for the main use at home I have two Hughes & Kettner TUBEMAN I. Not the TUBEMAN II, this one doesn't sound so good.
A few pedals in front, then straight into the mixer, some nice monitor speakers are connected to the mixer.
Sound is brilliant, and the neighbours are happy: " Are you playing guitar, we never really hear you". Cool
And I play a lot, mostly in the evening....

There are some other small PRE AMPS like the TUBEMAN, e.g. one from MESA Boogie, which are terrific.
I also had a HUGHES & KETTNER CREAM (BLUES) MASTER and a HUGHES & KETTNER METAL MASTER.
Perfect into CAB or straight into the mixer...

For the Bass I have a similar setup, using a TECH21 SANSAMP.


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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by umpdv5000 on Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:04 pm

hendrik wrote:I'm still supporting RACING, the smallest tube amp is always better as all these modelers.

If only we had live space in which to test that statement, I would have taken you on to prove the contrary. I assure you that everything is not so cut and dried.

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by Barry on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:19 pm

It occurs to me that "hearing" is as much a psychological phenomenon as "seeing" is. You can quantify and measure all you wish, but in the end, it boils down to how the brain interprets it all. As we used to say back in Psychology 101, "perception is reality", and it has as much if not more to do with how you relate to the source, as to the source itself.

And what of the tube pre-amp/solid state hybrids out there? Seems like the best of both worlds for many.
Right now, I'd prefer to have nice lil' modern tube amp, but the world will not end if I plug into my solid state Roland or VOX. Besides, just last night I stripped and thoroughly cleaned up my '65 Danelectro all tube 25 watt amp, so I'm good to go, either way. cheers

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

Post by corsair on Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:30 pm

Most points mentioned are valid, and I, too, used a 100W tube amp right till the end, but I'm convinced that was, as has been stated, simply for my benefit, not the people listening. It is a simple premise, really; we all hear things differently and I'm not convinced that I'd've carried around all of that heavy equipment if there was a decent digital equivalent - there wasn't; the stuff available was not very good at all, but the stuff I'm piddling around with now is great for what I'm doing, and I'd be happy enough recording with it!! Very Happy

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Re: Hi, using guitar attenuator or buy smaller amp

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