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~Attenuator History~. The First Attenuator - The Altair PW-5. First Attenuator marketed was the Altair It used wavy tungsten elements to dissipate the load; similar to toaster elements. These were reported to cause amp or tube damage. .

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The first attenuator the altair pw 5 l.jpg
The First Attenuator - The Altair PW-5

  • First Attenuator marketed was the Altair

  • It used wavy tungsten elements to dissipate the load; similar to toaster elements. These were reported to cause amp or tube damage.


Slide3 l.jpg
The 2nd Generation Attenuator was the Scholz Power Soak (designed by Tom Scholz the guitarist of Boston, he designed RockMan gear)

  • This unit was a little better than the Altair. It uses banks of graduated resistors to dissipate load. This is identical to modern attenuator circuit design.It works better than the Altair, but users reported liability issues such as:

  • Not very road worthy, solder would melt from heat, the load would become disconnected, thus damaging the amp.

  • Tone and feel were diminished. The higher the attenuation, the worse the effect.

    3. 4db stepped attenuation - nearly impossible to set exact desired volume.


All attenuators to come will use the same basic circuit design used in the scholz power soak l.jpg
All attenuators to come will use the same basic circuit design used in the Scholz Power Soak!


Next came the trainwreck airbreak l.jpg
Next came the Trainwreck Airbreak design used in the Scholz Power Soak!

  • Ken Fisher worked for Ampeg. In the 80’s he designed his own line of amps called Trainwreck Amps. These amps are regarded as some of the best in the world. Mr. Fisher passed away on 12/23/06 and is truly missed. His legacy lives on and some of his amps fetch around $30,000 each today.

  • He also designed an attenuator called the Trainwreck Airbreak.

  • It uses the same basic circuit design as the Scholz Power Soak.




Dr z amplifiers for the dr z air break l.jpg
Dr. Z Amplifiers for the was then licensed to:Dr. Z Air Break


Komet amplifiers for the komet airbrake l.jpg
Komet Amplifiers for the was then licensed to:Komet Airbrake

  • Unable to locate a photo of the Komet Airbreak Attenuator

  • Very Limited Availability


Then came thd hotplate l.jpg
Then came THD Hotplate. was then licensed to:

  • It uses the same basic circuit design as the Scholz Power Soak.

  • It is the best selling Attenuator on the market.

  • Tone and dynamics are about the same as the Scholz Power Soak.

  • THD case is used as the heat sync. Very cleaver design and this makes it smaller in size.


Then came the marshall power brake l.jpg
Then came the was then licensed to:Marshall Power Brake

  • It uses the same basic circuit design for the Scholz Power Soak.

  • Tone and dynamics are about the same as the Scholz Power Soak.

  • It is huge in size and weight.


Then came the weber mass line l.jpg
Then came the Weber Mass line was then licensed to:

  • It uses the same circuitry design as the Scholz Power Soak

  • One difference is it uses a Speaker Motor to dissipate load instead of resistors. The speaker motor moves like a speaker and is a good idea; But it still has similar tone and dynamic issues.


Then came the bad cat leash l.jpg
Then came the Bad Cat Leash was then licensed to:

  • It is the latest attenuator of the same basic circuit design as the Scholz Power Soak.

  • Instead of using a fixed resistor to dissipate load, they use rheostats. This is great idea, but it still has the same inherent tone and feel problems of the other attenuators.


Remember the inherent problem with most sps type design attenuators is l.jpg
Remember the Inherent Problem with most SPS type design attenuators is:

  • Poor Sound Quality – Diminished Tone & Feel.

  • Supports only one or two Ohm ratings.

  • Stepped Attenuation – Each step moves the signal thru another resistor bank in 4db steps thus degrading the original tone. The more Attenuation applied, the further degraded the tone sounds.

The Solution to these

Tone Problems?


The ultimate attenuator l.jpg
The Ultimate Attenuator attenuators is:

  • Continuous hi-fidelity smooth taper attenuation from 0 to –64db

  • Total preservation of amp’s actual feel – no frequency roll off

  • Supports any Ohm rating – You can safely mix and match head & cab impedance!


Ultimate attenuator options include l.jpg
Ultimate Attenuator Options Include: attenuators is:

  • 100 Volt Tap – Runs the Amp with Less Heat thus greatly preserving tube and component life.

  • Bedroom Switch - Changes the volume pot to a higher impedance that allows you dial in a lower volume with no loss of tone & feel – Just Listen for Yourself!

  • Plexi Switch - This boosts Presence and creates Bite that cuts through without changing original tone & feel.

  • Variable Line Out - The variable line level output is great for running a wet/dry rig setup, and/or line out to a board. It is voiced to sound excellent - many customers say it is the best sounding line out they have heard!

  • 200 Watt Load Upgrade - This upgrade increases the maximum input load from 100watts to 200watts.

    • Recommend for use with 6550 type output tubes or (4) or more EL34 output tubes.

    • The 100 watt Marshall’s run 4 EL34 output tubes and actually output 120+ watts.


The ultimate attenuator17 l.jpg
The Ultimate Attenuator attenuators is:

  • THE BEST SOUNDING ATTENUATOR AVAILIBLE TODAY!

  • TRULY HEAR YOUR AMP’S ACTUAL TONE FOR THE FIRST TIME GUARANTEED!


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