What Are Attenuators?

Attenuator, Universal Audio OX, Tone King Iron Man II, BOSS Waza Tube Expander

Here at AMS, we sell a lot of tube amps. guitar amps, bass amps, you name it we sell it. I’m sure it goes without saying, but tube amps are highly sought after by many players. When you push a tube amp to the edge of breakup it has a warm more musical sound.  So, the big question here is what are attenuators? How will they affect tone, volume, etc.? Look no further, we wrote this article to go over the specifics of three different attenuators we sell. But first, we will touch on some of the basics of what an attenuator is.

Attenuators Explained

What do attenuators do? Well, it allows you to push your tube amp harder without having to increase the volume. This can be especially useful in small venues or practice spaces. Why would you want one? It is common knowledge that the harder a tube amp is driven the better it sounds. Thanks to an attenuator you can produce the best sounding tones from your amp without having to crank it until your ears bleed. Thus, an attenuator reproduces the tone of an amp that is cranked. Now that we have gone into how they work, let’s look at some different options.

Universal Audio OX

Universal Audio OX, OX, Attenuator

Ultimate Tone, Anywhere, Any Volume! OX Amp Top Box is a premium reactive load box, allowing guitarists to play and record their tube amp in its ideal sweet spots — from the edge-of-breakup to fully cranked — at any volume level, and with instant album-quality mic, room, and speaker cabinet emulations at the turn of a knob. Featuring Universal Audio’s breakthrough Dynamic Speaker Modeling, OX emulates speaker breakup and cone cry like no other box on the market. It’s the world’s finest boutique speaker attenuator and guitar amp recording solution — overbuilt for years of home and studio use.

Tone King Iron Man

Tone King Iron Man, Iron Man II, Attenuator

The Tone King Ironman II is a 100w precision compensated reactive power attenuator with a sophisticated design that allows you to reduce the volume level at the speaker(s) while allowing the amplifier to operate at full output power. The 18 distinct attenuation settings let you choose the amount of output power that is being sent to the speakers, while the rest of the amplifier’s power dissipates within the Ironman II.

Boss Waza Tube Amp Expander

Boss Waza Tube Amp Expander, Attenuator

The Waza Tube Amp Expander elevates the tube amp experience to a new level of versatility for stage performing and studio recording. This amazing device does it all—it’s a variable reactive load box, active analog power stage, mic’d cab emulator, IR loader, and recording interface, all in one integrated unit that’s road-ready and easy to use. The Waza Tube Amp Expander brings together a diverse range of professional tone tools for the very first time.

Hopefully, this answers all your questions about attenuators and helps you to choose one if you are in the market. They are quite the handy addition to any guitarists rig, especially when practicing or playing in smaller venues. Just because the space is small doesn’t mean your tone needs to be!

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