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looking for inputs on a hot plate or attenuator during live gigs-

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  • looking for inputs on a hot plate or attenuator during live gigs-

    i'm looking for suggestions on an attenator/hot plate that works well at gigging volumes to help hit the sweet spot, i don't really care about the `bedroom' volume as that will not be it's purpose. style would be clean/classic/psychedelia - no metalhead or thrash od. the thd seems pretty common, the motherload seems $$$$! inputs on weber or anything else anyones using? thanks...

  • #2
    How about a smaller amp?
    The Preacher

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    • #3
      i've never used one myself, but I've seen a local guitarist using a THD hotplate with a Marshall SLP and it sounded great, and not too loud.

      Avoid the old Scholz "power soak". It's a tone sucker
      GuitarsWolfgang Standard, Edwards E-LP-85CD, Wolf 540TM Amps Bogner XTC 101B, Blackstar HT5-H, Marshall 1960A, Marshall 1960B 'custom' EffectsG Major, Bad Horsie, DMC Ground Control
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      • #4
        I don't have any suggestions, but I would like to say I'm very interested in using an attenuator and would enjoy hearing about peoples experiences with them...

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        • #5

          Avoid the old Scholz "power soak". It's a tone sucker
          I have one. That isn't true.

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          • #6
            I have one. That isn't true.



            I do too, and it is true.

            Try a Weber MASS and hear the difference....
            Originally Posted by PHILL MOSSING


            Women's restrooms look like a place where chimpanzees are killed by hand.



            Member of the Eye Spy Community-Military Intelligence (All Three)

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            • #7
              iamtheblues - are you using the weber mass live now? i forgot about the power soak, seems like you mostly hear about the thd and weber these days - and most of that is how they suck the tone if you `squash' the volume too much, which is not how i want to use it.

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              • #8
                HotPlate = teh suck.

                Wait, I misspoke. What I meant to say was, "I have a mint quality 8 ohm purple HotPlate for sale at a significant savings. PM me for details...."

                I also have tried YellowJackets that convert my EL34 amp into a low powered EL84 amp. That doesn't sound quite so bad as a HotPlate, but it certainly doesn't sound much like the EL34s did. Those are for sale also, if anyone is interested.

                I now use a Motherload box. Closest thing I've found yet, but kinda pricey. I'd probably sell it if I got the right offer, because I've finally discovered that the best solution for getting overdriven amp tone at a low volume is to buy a little amp and let the PA do the heavy lifting, if needed.

                That was an expensive education!



                Terry D.
                Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

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                • #9
                  I never tried an attenuator that I liked until the Dr. Z Air Brake (and I tried the Hot Plate, Power Soak, Marshall Power Brake, etc). I don't doubt that some of the others work well for specific amps, and the Air Brake is pretty much that way too... it works great on Fenders, Voxes, etc. which is what I play. I don't know if Marshall lovers would be as enamored of it. But for your purposes, it should work great... doesn't color the tone much at all and I'm extremely picky about such things.
                  What The...?
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                  • #10
                    mr. knobs - thanks for visiting the thread here also (i had to give up on the poo folks...too hard to get them focused... ). that motherload is way $$$ - i'm just an old hippie hack. plus, lee might be onto something here with the fender thing - i want to drive my clean to `right before break up' - i like loud and punchy, thick/clean/clear/glassy/yet almost compressed...is that asking for too much? are there any online reviews doing a shootout between air brake, hot plate, and weber mass? oh wait, that's what i'm doing here. anyway - mr. knobs, what did you not like about the hot plate? and lee, are you using the air brake live now? thanks all...

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                    • #11
                      Well tunesdad, from the way you describe your tone I would guess we have pretty similar tastes, and yes, I use the Air Brake live quite often. It's great for recording too, so you you can use a sensitive mic without killing it.

                      I'm not MrKnobs, but I've tried the Hot Plate too and IMO it dulls the tone too much for my taste. 95% of the time I play a Les Paul with P90's, and P90's are really sensitive to anything that might muddy the tone, so I try to be as direct with the signal as possible... I don't use many effects or anything. But the Air Brake is pretty transparent.
                      What The...?
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                      • #12
                        thanks - i'm going to do a little more research into the air brake. i appreciate everyone taking the time to give me your thoughts...

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                        • #13
                          mr. knobs - thanks for visiting the thread here also (i had to give up on the poo folks...too hard to get them focused... ). that motherload is way $$$ - i'm just an old hippie hack. plus, lee might be onto something here with the fender thing - i want to drive my clean to `right before break up' - i like loud and punchy, thick/clean/clear/glassy/yet almost compressed...is that asking for too much? are there any online reviews doing a shootout between air brake, hot plate, and weber mass? oh wait, that's what i'm doing here. anyway - mr. knobs, what did you not like about the hot plate? and lee, are you using the air brake live now? thanks all...


                          The HotPlate has two switches to boost bass and treble. Due to the nature of human hearing, quieter sounds seem to lack bass and treble, so I guess those switches are intended to act like a LOUDNESS button on a stereo does, putting back that lost bass and treble.

                          They help some, but to me the treble boost is not enough even at slight attenuation, and the bass boost is enough but at the wrong frequency. Note that these settings might work better with a different amp than I use, my amps being combo amps rather than closed back cabinets.

                          I also found the quality of construction to be somewhat lacking. The attenuator knob came off the second time I turned it. Tightening the set screw wasn't of much use, because the flat part of the switch shaft doesn't line up with the set screw in the knob.

                          I thought this was very strange, so I emailed THD to ask if I had a defective unit. They told me they were all like that, they just couldn't find a knob with set screw on the correct side.

                          Basically, this box doesn't sound very good to me, not even on the lightest attenuation settings. It may be because I'm using combo amps, it may be because I'm only using 15 and 30 watt amps, or it just may be because I don't like the way it sounds. In any case, other than the two switches there aren't any controls to change the way it sounds.

                          By contrast, the Motherload box has lots and lots of switches, can act as a dummy load, or even a speaker simulator, in addition to the usual attenuation functions. Sounds much, much better - as it should for an additional $500.

                          Terry D.
                          Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

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                          • #14
                            You've never mentioned what kind of amp you play, but you seemed to respond when Lee brought up Fenders...

                            What about something out front, like a Crowther Hot Cake? I get really nice "slightly overdriven" tones with that pedal into my old Twin Reverb. I also run an overdrive and a fuzz into my Marshall...

                            Pedals are a great tool if you know how to use 'em...
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