Thread: Tube saturation
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Old 2007-03-05, 08:01
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Soeru Soeru is offline
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They're attenuators. They bog down the signal coming out of your poweramp to make it quieter, letting you push the master volume of your amp without blowing the windows out. They go in between your amp head and cab/speaker, or they can act as a dummy load for direct recording or testing purposes.

Most conventional attenuators like the Weber Load Dump, THD Hotplate, Dr. Z Airbrake, or Marshall Powerbrake use capacitors, just a bunch of small electrical components that take part of the signal from your amp and convert it into heat energy(hence they can get very hot!) so not all the power gets to the speaker cab, therefore it makes your amp quieter.

However at moderate to high attenuation levels, capacitors start to eat away the tone coming out of your amp a LOT. The Weber Mass has a real speaker motor inside, so the amp interacts with it like if it was a real speaker, so it actually vibrates inside of the mass instead of using capacitors to turn everything into heat energy, and you don't lose any of the tone. Plus they have treble adjustments, which are crucial to maintaning the integrity of the signal going into the cab.
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