There is only the best gear regarding attenuators and speaker/mic simulators in The Guitar Channel showroom in Paris for recording gear reviews, for Guitar in Hand interviews and for live broadcasts every Friday night.
Reminder on attenuators and simulators
The gear presented in this article has two distinct functions:
- Attenuator: to reduce the electrical power sent to the speaker
- Simulator: for silent sound recording
The signal path is then this case: the attenuator / simulator is inserted between the output of the power amp and the speaker or baffle.
Placed at this point, the attenuator can then absorb all or part of the electrical power of the amp before it is sent to the loudspeaker to be transformed into audio energy.
In the picture above, the output of the power amp is connected (speaker cable at the bottom right of the picture). An XLR cable (top left) picks up the simulated output of the Koch LB-120II loadbox. Note that in this case, no speaker is connected so 100% of the power is absorbed by the loadbox and the amp only generates sound via the simulated output.
The main idea is to reduce the sound volume of tube amps which can be very noisy, especially for high power levels of 50 or 100W. This principle also makes it possible to make the power tubes work harder without becoming deaf.
Attenuator models and simulators in the showroom
From top to bottom, here are the equipment used in La Chaîne Guitare's showroom and available to paying subscribers for a trial by appointment :
Enough to make a Marshall 100W roar at full blast, in the most complete calm and with a little onion sound recording!
On the rear panel of the Koch loadbox, you can see all the connection possibilities, in particular the percentage of power transmitted to the cab, which can be selected by choosing the desired output from 1% to 100%:
The sober front panel of the Ox Box Universal Audio with the notched Speaker Volume button that allows you to choose the sound volume from 0 (silent mode) to 5 (100% of the power sent to the speaker):
The front panel of the Ultimate Cab of LNA Guitar Effects gathers all the controls. On the far left you can see the knob that allows you to select the desired attenuation:
Note that among these 3 pieces of gear, only the Ox Box is digital with the well known power of the Universal Audio plugin (see picture of the iPad control application below). The two other solutions from Koch and LNA Guitar Effects are 100% analog.
Prices range from about €300 for the Koch LB-120II to €1200 for the Ox Box or the Ultimate Cab.
Ultimate Cab live demo
For reference, watch the video of the live weekly Friday May 15, 2020 for a quick demo of the Ultimate Cab. The video is in French but you can still listen to the piece of gear:
Reference articles on attenuators
- Universal Audio Ox Box : theguitarchannel.biz/tag/ox/
- Loadbox Koch : theguitarchannel.biz/tag/koch
- Comparison of microphone recording versus attenuator
Want to try these attenuators and simulators?
Subscribe to The Guitar Channel!
Subscribers to the full package (access to the video catalogue and the private forum) can come by appointment to the showroom located in Paris, France to try out this kind of gear.
Until the next gear review, keep on playing the guitar!