Attenuating rectifiers without an attenuator

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Thread: Attenuating rectifiers without an attenuator

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Arizona
    ME: Ibanez
    Rig: Mesa Triple Rectifier

    iTrader: 0

    Attenuating rectifiers without an attenuator

    Use the FX loop

    I'm not sure if this works for all rectos, mine has a series mod FX loop so maybe it's just me, and this is probably not news to anyone but I found it to be pretty awesome. I run the 4 cable method with my HD500, and I'm able to get crunchy, badass sounds at relatively low volumes. We're not talking bedroom levels, but I can play guitar at 2 am without waking the neighborhood. I run the FX send volume at about half from the head, then adjust the master volume on the HD500. Keeping the HD500 at about half volume and the Mesa output volume at around 9 o'clock, I'm getting quality sounds at half the volume I'd normally need. Any lower than 9 o'clock on the head's output knob though, and it begins to sound bad.

    Is this as good as a hotplate? No. Those things are outstanding. But running the FX loop and probably even a volume pedal you could accomplish some basic volume reduction without degrading the tone much at all.

    Oh, and running Vintage instead of Modern late at night helps too. Yeah it's not the same sound, but this mode IMO turns the recto into a practice amp and it's nice at low volumes.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    The problem with this approach is it means you're not running the power tubes as hard, but if you're not doing it for extra power amp saturation and you just want to knock it back a few db, I could see that working nicely.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: KxK ProtoVii-7
    MA: Martin D-28
    Rig: Mesa/Boobies Stiletto

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

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    You have a different approach to your rhythm tone, Drew. Most guys want super tight, so power tube break up is not all that desirable.
    Division: American Metal without the suck.

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  4. #4

    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: Sulphur, LA
    ME: MIJ Ibanez RG's
    Rig: CraxFX-II

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    If you are good with a soldering iron, you can build yourself a Hotplate for around $40-60.

    Taken from here.

    This should be enough to get you all going. This configuration is for a 50 watt 8 ohm attenuator with settings at Bypass, -4db, -6db, -8db. Just make sure to heatsink the resistors and use a thin layer of heatsink compound between the surfaces.
    If your planning on using a 100 watt amp with this, double the rating of the resistors and maybe improve the heatsinking method. I dont own a 100watt head so I havent tried anything more powerfull than my 50watt plexi.
    Only difference is, and this is if you really crank your amp, is you would need to triple the resistor values for 150 watts instead of double them. You could probably get away with using double values because I seriously doubt you even get close to what the Triple has to offer on output.

    My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

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