Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#1471051 - 12/22/04 04:04 PM Hot Plate for Solid State
mstreck Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 876
Loc: MD
Does anyone know of a Hot Plate that works for solid-state amps? The THD model only works for tube amps.

I've got this Cyber-Twin contraption here and it only sounds good on 4 or above... but that's WAY too loud for my ears!!!

Thanks,

Mike
_________________________
Petting Hendrix

Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked in the head by an iron boot? Of course you don't--no one does--that never happens.

Top
GP Island
#1471052 - 12/22/04 04:36 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
doc taz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/02/02
Posts: 5125
Loc: NYC area (U.S.A.)
What you're asking for is called a power attenuator . They can work with solid state amps, including the model you mentioned. Just match the attenuator's ohm rating with the amp and speakers you wish to use. Additionally, you can take the signal to a separate power amp and speakers, if you wish to process the sound outside of the actual amp you're using.

Holdsworth used one of his own design for years with various tube amps to easily achieve his lead tone. He'd take the amp with the lead tone, plug the amp's speaker out into the attenuator, then send the signal (line level output, to be exact) to his effects rig, and finally, to some solid state power amps, and speaker cabs.

Marshall made something called the SE100 in the early 1990's, and they still make the Power Brake. Caevan uses one that attenuates and also does some speaker emulation. A Palmer model, I think. He can elaborate more on that.
_________________________
sevenstring.org profile
my flickr page

Top
#1471053 - 12/22/04 04:52 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
strat0124 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 5056
Loc: ,VA,UNITED STATES
I don't know why you'd ever need an attenuator for a solid state amp. In that the tone does not necessarily improve with the amount of gain out of the power transistors, to me its asking for trouble. The reason tube amp guys and gals use them is that tube amps do indeed improve when you crank it, problem being the loudness factor to get there.
I'd say set your amp on the floor rather than on an amp stand, that would give you a little less in your face volume.
I'm not exactly sure, but I think you might kill your solid state amp with an attenuator. I could be wrong, but given the lesser voltages, and output transformers, may be bad juju.
_________________________
Down like a dollar comin up against a yen, doin pretty good for the shape I'm in

Top
#1471054 - 12/22/04 04:59 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
Darklava Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 5207
Loc: Flint,Mi
Quote:
bad juju.
OOOOh a great name for a band...thanks man
_________________________
The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.

Top
#1471055 - 12/22/04 05:06 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
Darklava Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 5207
Loc: Flint,Mi
Quote:
Originally posted by Darklava:
Quote:
bad juju.
OOOOh a great name for a band...thanks man
Thats me with bands Bad Luck lenny \:\(
_________________________
The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.

Top
#1471056 - 12/22/04 06:13 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
mstreck Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 876
Loc: MD
Quote:
Originally posted by Geenard:
I don't know why you'd ever need an attenuator for a solid state amp.
The Cyber-Twin has a tube pre-amp. And the amp usually sounds like crap... UNTIL I turn it up! But then my ears start to bleed.

If I could run it at the volume level that gives "the good tone" without blasting out my eardrums, I'd be in heaven.

Mike
_________________________
Petting Hendrix

Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked in the head by an iron boot? Of course you don't--no one does--that never happens.

Top
#1471057 - 12/22/04 06:19 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
doc taz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/02/02
Posts: 5125
Loc: NYC area (U.S.A.)
Quote:
Originally posted by Geenard:

I'd say set your amp on the floor rather than on an amp stand, that would give you a little less in your face volume.
I'm not exactly sure, but I think you might kill your solid state amp with an attenuator. I could be wrong, but given the lesser voltages, and output transformers, may be bad juju.
Good point here. Also, you could try changing the tubes and speakers. At least try some different preamp tubes. That may change the overall sound enough.
_________________________
sevenstring.org profile
my flickr page

Top
#1471058 - 12/22/04 06:27 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
mstreck Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 876
Loc: MD
Yeah. I changed out the pre-amp tubes last night. It took some of the typical Fender "brittleness" out of it. The speakers will definitely be next.

It just seems that the sweet spot is at a volume that I can't stand. And no one else can, either.

Mike
_________________________
Petting Hendrix

Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked in the head by an iron boot? Of course you don't--no one does--that never happens.

Top
#1471059 - 12/22/04 06:41 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24882
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Strange...

Does it have a preamp-out or anything like that? An effects-loop, a recording out, a slave-output, anything?

If so, you might try using an outboard amp or PA or something instead of the amp's output and speakers...

I don't know if attenuating the output from the amp to its speakers will help you there; it sounds like either the speakers being pushed harder, or the effect of overall volume loudness on your ear's perception of the tone- known as the "Fletcher/Munson Effect"- is at the root of things there, as all of the overdrive and most of the tonal characteristics come from the preamp circuitry in that amp. The power-section just amplifies the pre-shaped sound from the preamp-section and drives the speakers. A "power soak" there would pretty much act as an additional, external master-volume control, and I'd guess that it would pretty much still sound the same as when your amp is set to sound that loud without the "soak".

A cheap alternative to many more expensive "power soak" units would be the old Scholtz Power Soak, which was made to work with either tube or solid-state amps, and had a switch for either mode of operation. But again, I doubt it would really do very much for you!

The thing would be to figure out why it sounds less pleasing to you when it's turned down to a more livable volume, and/or just find another amp that does what you want at the levels you want. (Yeah, simple, right?) ;\) Maybe one of many preamps out there, along with a tube stereo power-amp, would work for you? Carvin's new preamp has gotten some good PR lately...
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#1471060 - 12/22/04 10:35 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
miroslav Offline
Cosmic Cowboy
10k Club

Registered: 05/23/00
Posts: 14215
Loc: NY Hudson Valley, USA
I would double check the sepcs on any attenuators before using with a solid state amp.

If you tried using one of the THD Hotplates with a SS amp...you would blow up the amp.

I have a couple of tube amps and one Kustom solid state 100w amp that is just so damn loud as soon as you get past 2 with the Volume knob!
I asked the manufacturer if there was any recommended way to attenuate it...and the tech guy basically said...just turn the guitar down if I want more play in the amp's Volume knob...
...which was not my idea of a good solution.

At this point...I may get rid of the Kustom...which I just bought a few months ago.
It was a Limited Edition Quad 100DFX that came with a vanilla colored tolex instead of the usual black...and it's got a pair of Celestion Super 65's in it...which sound real nice!

But...now that I just bought a new 40w tube Traynor combo w/extension cab...and I have my old Traynor Mark III 100w tube amp w/412 cab...
...I think I'm going to just stay exclusively with tube amps...and if I sell the Kustom...I might just go and get a third, low-watt tube amp.
The Kustom has less than 10 hours of studio use...and now, I'm trying to figure out how/why (if at all) it's going to get used...???

Hell...if anyone is really interested in the Kustom...let me know.
Still have the box for it and a cover! Here it is, but mine is vanilla colored: Kustom Quad 100DFX

OK...sorry...didn't mean for this to turn into a "For Sale" thread... \:D
_________________________
miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

Top
#1471061 - 12/23/04 08:13 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
jetboy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 158
I would check with Myles but I remember specifically that attenuators with a SS power amp was a no no!

doesn’t the cyber twin have a master volume? that should allow you to crank the preamp tumes and hold down the volume.

Top
#1471062 - 12/24/04 02:21 AM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
Dennyf Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/17/03
Posts: 1231
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
If there's a serial effects loop, you can just stick a volume control (passive) in there. Standing leg to the output from the pre, other standing leg to ground, tap to your output stage. That's basically what a master vol. does, so if you've got master vol., I doubt that'll help.

Uhh, totally NOT what you're thinking of, but maybe a graphic EQ w/vol. in the loop is what you really need to duplicate what you perceive at hi vs. lo vol.
_________________________
band link: bluepearlband.com
music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.
Get yours.

Top
#1471063 - 12/24/04 12:32 PM Re: Hot Plate for Solid State
daddyelmis Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 704
Loc: USA
I believe the issue is as the Right Hon. Rev. O'Shite summarized . . . the perceived effect of high SPL. For a ss amp (even with a tube preamp), the attenuator should have no greater effect than the master volume of the amp -- the ss power amplifier not color the sound based on volume. If the tone you seek is being caused by the SPL of the amp cranked, or by the breakup of the speakers at that volume, an attenuator will not solve the problem as it will reduce the signal to the speakers just like the master volume will.
_________________________
http://www.ruleradio.com
"Fame is like death: We will never know what it looks like until we've reached the other side. Then it will be impossible to describe and no one will believe you if you try."
- Sloane Crosley, Village Voice

Top


Moderator:  A String, Bluesape, myles_rose