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Power attenuators

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by prsnut, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. prsnut

    prsnut Active Member

    I am going to apologize in advance if this has already been covered, however, I have not seen anything while searching the forums.

    I am considering either a THD Hotplate or a Dr. Z airbrake to use with my AC15. I am looking to achieve the same high gain crunch this amp is known for at a volume that will not get me evicted from my apartment complex. My curiosity lies in the experiences of those of you that have used these products. I have read the reviews on harmony central and both appear to have mixed reviews.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback on these products.

    PRS nut
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I have mucho experience with the THD Hotplate (and some others, but not the Dr Z). It is imperative that the box used is properly matched to the amp's output impedance. You also need to understand that as you crank up the amp, the output tubes will be taxed and their lifespan will be shortened accordingly.
    I like the THD, it seems to sound more like the fully-cranked amp pushing the speakers as if it really isn't there...does that make sense? I say that because when you push the amp without a power attenuator, you are also pushing the speaker(s) as well. This adds a color to the sound that isn't duplicated when the box attenuates the power to them. The THD seems to make this tonal difference minimal. Plus their gear is built like a tank...:)
  3. prsnut

    prsnut Active Member


    Thanks for your response and feedback. The research continues
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I concur. There is a 'compression' that happens with an attenuator. But it will deliver the goods at the speaker.

    We had a THD in the band in the last three years and it did a good job, but was too compressed for live performance clarity. Solution....smaller amps....hand wired...turn em up...

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