THD Hotplate

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
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Birdman
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THD Hotplate

#1 Post by Birdman » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:32 pm

I just got a THD hotplate for my JCM800 coz it's just too loud or you don't get the sound from it that you do when it is too loud (lol) and let me say, for people gigging and doing small to medium venues etc, if you have a valve head and wanna get the best tone from it without the bleeding ears, GET ONE. Very cool.

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#2 Post by jmchambers5 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:48 pm

Speaking of attenuators, My friend was at a music store the other day where the salesperson was telling him about the Fender MetalHead amp. It's a solidstate amp, but the salesperson didn't seem to really know what that meant. He proceeded to tell my friend that the MetalHead amp "would sound great with one of those Gibson Attenuators."

I was amused.

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#3 Post by Real_Confusions » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:49 pm

jmchambers5 wrote:Speaking of attenuators, My friend was at a music store the other day where the salesperson was telling him about the Fender MetalHead amp. It's a solidstate amp, but the salesperson didn't seem to really know what that meant. He proceeded to tell my friend that the MetalHead amp "would sound great with one of those Gibson Attenuators."

I was amused.
Was it a GuitarCenter? :P

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haha

#4 Post by Birdman » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:53 pm

That is gold right there.

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#5 Post by jmchambers5 » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:24 am

It wasn't a guitar center, but I'm sure that kind of thing happens at Guitar Center all the time.

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#6 Post by Alien » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:26 am

Does it affect your Tone at all?

Can i use one on a Rectifier and keep my sound just at a lower volume?

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#7 Post by fyrie » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:33 am

At really low volumes (-12db and less) it has a large effect on your tone. However, I still prefer this affected tone with the vol at 5 rather then the volume at 0.5 without a hotplate.

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Nup

#8 Post by Birdman » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:01 pm

The one I got doesn't. I cranked my JCM head to 8, had the THD on 16db cut and went from nothing to damn loud with the volume control on the Hotplate It also has a bass and high cut switch, apparently at BIG volumes, your sensitivity to those freq's is higher, so you can cut them to make it less harsh etc. Pretty trick thing. As for your sound at low vol's , that is what the Hotplate is for, getting the most from your amp (valve) but controlling your volume.

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#9 Post by Melodic Dreamer » Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:02 am

-16db you lose the original tone. It still isn't a bad tone, but it isn't your original tone either. I like -8 db my self, but the -12 is fine too. I have had a Hotplate for a long time.

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Re: Nup

#10 Post by fyrie » Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:46 am

Birdman wrote:The one I got doesn't.
A lot of the difference in tone at very low volumes may have to do with the speakers themselves not changing the tone via getting pushed. I can only speak for myself but at -8db and -16 db the eq profile on the tone is drastically different. (8ohm thd / legace 2x12)

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#11 Post by realgreenfire » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:46 pm

i am interested in hot plates and Attenuators, but i have a solid state amp, is there anyway to get a hot plate type device for a solid state? or would i have to get a tube amp to use something of the sort?

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#12 Post by RAR! » Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:17 pm

LOL! :lol:

The point of a power attenuator is so you can crank a tube amp for that overdriven tube amp sound without blowing your ears off.

Theres no point on a solid state. In fact, solid states sound very bad when fully cranked.

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Yep

#13 Post by Birdman » Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:14 pm

and will damage it from what it says in the thd destructions. and yep, I'd say it's got more to do with the speakers not being pushed than the tone of the amp too. But I didn't play with it for long, so I'll check it out more at the next gig and see from there.

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#14 Post by Drew the Magnificent » Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:34 am

The hotplate is a very good option but I don't like the fact that you NEED (not required though) to match ohm load with hotplate model. I know you can use different ohm loads with mis matched hotplate models but the way the hotplates work is that they use frequency compensation with the varying levels of attenuation, to match the way the human ear percives diffrent frequencies at diffrent volume levels.

The human ear hears more of certain frequencies at low volumes and hears more of other frequencies at high volume, which is one of the main reasons I think alot of people get an attenuator and complain that it sucks tone, they should blame thier ears and not the attenuator. The frequency compensation makes up for some of that, in my opininon.

There is only so much attenuation that can be done though and still preserve the natural tone. The attenuator is absorbing an unimaginable amount of power and there has to be some sacrifice. Unfortunately at very low volume (very very high levels of attenuation) the sacrifice is some of your clarity and presence.

Now, that being said, I opted for something different with my amp. I went with an ultimate attenuator from www.ultimateattenuator.com

If you do decide to get one be prepared to wait around 5 months to get it though because 1 dude hand builds each one. I absolutely love mine and even at late night bedroom jamming with the volume knob wrapped all the way around to 7 or 8, the UA still manages to have increidble clarity and presence but once you start to turn up the volume on the attenuator, it becomes quite obvious that no matter what, you're going to lose tone. It just sounds LESS bad with the UA than with other attenuators because the UA can adjust it's frequency compensation on the fly, meaning you can use any speaker cab with any ohm load on the amp. In fact, the instructions for it suggest that you run the amp on 16 ohms regardless of cab impedence and let the UA take care of things.

I've tried the Weber 50 watt low power load dump attenuator and alhtough very very affordable, don't even try to play at very low volumes with it. It was bad.

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#15 Post by Logic » Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:33 am

Alien wrote:Does it affect your Tone at all?

Can i use one on a Rectifier and keep my sound just at a lower volume?
Thats what they are for. Keeping tone at lower volumnes on tube amps.
Great hardware. a must have. For me anyway... :)

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