Why use an attenuator ?
A common problem with many great sounding valve amps is that they don’t begin to sound great until the volume reaches a certain level – and often that level is approaching ear-bleed level. It is certainly a problem in these days of noise restrictions and many venues requiring a level of restraint from live bands.
Enter the “power attenuator”, which is inserted between the amp’s output and the speakers. These devices allow the user to turn up an amp to utilize its harmonically rich output stage while reducing the signal sent to the speakers.
The guitarist can dial in the desired tone and attitude from an amp, and if it is then too loud, to simply insert the attenuator to “tame” the overall volume without compromising the actual tone and character of the amp.
Many Marshall owners back in the day utilised a good attenuator to achieve a big sound that didn’t kill people. The big amps could be dialled up, allowed to reach full bloom, and then turned down in overall volume without affecting the actual tone.
“Alex’s Attenuator” was acknowledged as one of the very best attenuators when they hit the market back in the 1990s. And they still are. Hand built to military grade standards by Alex Ortner in Michigan USA, this is a well made piece of sonic hardware designed to do one specific thing – which it does very well.
This unit is in excellent almost new condition. It was used regularly for the described purpose up until around 2015, but has not had much use in recent years. Comes in an aluminium roadcase with full detailed instructions from Alex Ortner. It ain’t rocket science to use the excellent device, and it certainly does the job.