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Attenuator/ Power Soak/ DI

Postby Von Junzt » Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:26 pm

Hi everyone,

I need a new-fangled power soak/ attenuator/ DI box. I am a bit undecided between the Radial Engineering Headload and the Two Notes Captor X.

Has anyone here been able to compare the two units? While the Two Notes Captor X does seem to be a bit more flexible, however I am a bit obsessed with audio quality and build quality.

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Re: Attenuator/ Power Soak/ DI

Postby JRC1 » Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:17 am

you have to be so careful running attenuators etc with tube amps. It is more likely to overheat and stuff.
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Re: Attenuator/ Power Soak/ DI

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:06 am

JRC1 wrote:you have to be so careful running attenuators etc with tube amps. It is more likely to overheat and stuff.

What evidence do you have for that statement friend? The main requirement for a load box on a valve amp is that it has well above rated power capability. Many "50W" valve amps can put out close to 100W if pushed very hard (and a decent design will not care a fig) and so the load must NOT open circuit!

Much is made of 'matching' the load resistance to the amplifier (you never do but thereis no other convenient way to say it) In fact it is said to be better to run a slightly higher resistance than nominal, e.g. for a 16 Ohm output, 20 R is said to give a better tone. Then there are 'reactive' power soaks. Bit suspicious of those, yer pays yer money....Some load types play better with some amp brands iit seems? Have look on <> chap there called ICBM who has extensive knowledge of what works with what.

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Re: Attenuator/ Power Soak/ DI

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:28 am

I think JRC1 probably meant that you'll wear out the amp's valves a lot quicker, and certainly any overly-hot biassing will strain the valves even more at full output.

I've got no idea about those two attenuators/DI units.

I recently bought myself the Bugera attenuator (it's not a full load box as you need the speaker plugged in, though the output will go whisper quiet) and that's very useful for being able to turn up an amp for drive at low volume. Is it neutral? Hell, no. Is it cheap (£70), yes. Definitely less dynamics with it plugged in. You always get some signal attenuation (-3dB), even with it turned up full, but once it's in line, the sound you get turning the volume down stays pretty much the same, and any tonal change is mainly down to your ear's volume hearing curves. Haven't tried its speaker emulated DI sound yet.

So I'd definitely be looking for something more sophisticated if I was looking to have an attenuator for recording, rather than just playing a non-master 50W amp at home.
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Re: Attenuator/ Power Soak/ DI

Postby TheLegit » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:13 pm

Two Notes are really good they have a lot of experience in the field, that said I have no idea about Radial's box. Also look at UA Ox, Sur Reactive Load IR
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Re: Attenuator/ Power Soak/ DI

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:15 pm

The best I've come across so far was from SPL. They call it 'The Reducer'.
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