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Attenuators – Prototype Demo & Name Contest

The Prototype Attenuator

Over the Christmas quiet period we have been busy working away at a new attenuator prototype for guitar amps with Valve output stages. This pictured item is by no means finished, but we were so pleased with the results of the testing that we thought we should share it with you. The retail item will obviously look a lot more “finished”.

Valve amplifiers sound at their best when the volume dial is turned right up so the valves are working hard, this gives the harmonic distortion that so many guitarists love valve amps for. Unfortunately in real life situations it is rarely possible to turn the amplifier up to higher volume levels without the following happening; your ears bleeding, plaster falling from the ceiling or the neighbours phoning the police!

It is not just large wattage amplifiers that are “too loud” either, even a 15watt amp in a small venue or studio environment will be too much for comfort.

Our attenuator unit will allow you to turn the volume dial right up and achieve valve harmonic distortion without having the physical output of the amplifier so loud it is deafening.

This is done by placing our attenuator unit between the speaker output on the amplifier and the speaker and attenuating the signal. This requires NO modification to the amplifier, and will have no negative effect on your amplifier. The only thing you may notice is you will get through valves a little faster, but only as fast as you would if you played with the amp flat out all the time.

At the moment this is just a prototype, but within the coming weeks there will be a retail version of this available.

There will be several models of the attenuator up for sale soon, in 4Ω, 8Ω and  16Ω configurations to match the impedance of your amplifier. The unit will feature two stages of attenuation altered by the switches on the face, the attenuator will require no batteries or power supply making it easy to use and reliable.

The Demo:

The video below is of the attenuator being tested and demonstrated by our very own fixmyamp resident guitarist –  Loz. This model is an 8Ω variant and is being used with a 40Watt Fender USA Blues Deluxe.

We have not adjusted the gain of the microphone at all throughout any of the recordings, the physical DB output level of the amplifier remained very similar throughout all demo’s.

The Competition:

Well up until now this unit has been known to us as FMA1, but we need a name for the final product. So we thought we would have a little bit of a competition.

Please post your name suggestions for the final product on our facebook wall or our Contact Us page, the best name will receive a Fixmyamp T shirt in a Large size. (We all know baggy T-shirts are cool)