An Aracom Attenuator and a Few Vintage Marshalls (Complete)

26 Nov An Aracom Attenuator and a Few Vintage Marshalls (Complete)

So… been meaning to shoot something like this for some time, here you have it.

It’s a long journey into what an attenuator can do for you, with powerful, loud tube amps (ONLY tube amps can be attenuated with an attenuator such as the Aracom).

Total of 6 videos, all being processed right now, here’s the one.

Thanks for viewing, yours,

Fil :)

1967 Gibson SG Standard on 1976 Marshall Super Lead through Aracom PRX150-DAG

1959 Lentz Conversion Les Paul on 1976 Marshall Super Lead through Aracom PRX150-DAG

1969 Gibson SG Custom, non original pickups (old Di Marzio) on 1976 Marshall Super Lead AND 1977 2204, through Aracom. Then, 1970 Gibson SG Standard on 1977 Marshall 2204 through Aracom.

1959 Lentz Conversion on 1977 Marshall 2204 through Aracom

What this Aracom PRX150-DAG looks like up close (it’s the one on the RIGHT 😛 ):

[singlepic id=417 w=1024 h=768 float=]

Technical notes:

While discussing with Jeff, Aracom Owner, Jeff told me

BTW:  With the PRX150 in the “F” (Variable) position, the output of an amp putting out 100 watts is between 0.07 to 1.5 watt entering the speaker cabinet, therefore only 25% of that per speaker, based on a 4×12 cab.


0.1 of a watt (entering the cab) can be considered above conversation level, have to talk loud above it.   It is amazing how “loud” less than a watt is.

Those buying low wattage amps to crank up and play in their homes without disturbing someone would still have to rely on the Master Volume control or an attenuator.

I see that someone asked about the price.  Our dealer sells the PRX150-DAG for $785

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

176 Comments
  • avatar
    Dave4433
    Posted at 15:32h, 26 November

    Now on the last video (the one with the Lentz coversion again) You were really rocking out ! And that’s what I really love to see.

  • avatar
    Angusrocks
    Posted at 13:06h, 26 November

    aaah yes Fil, now i know what you meant.
    The attenuater is a must. I could hear the difference between mastervolume on 2 and mastervolume on 5,6 or 8. On 2 the sound is very thin even if you turn up the preamp, but it becomes much more fuller rounder stronger if you turn the master on 6 or 7,8. Without an attenuator and the master on of 6 or 7,8 it would be veeery loud. Too loud for bedroom, neighbours and so on. Ok, i have a attenuator, but it is a THD powerbrake 16ohm. What do you think ? Do you think it is a good one as well ?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 13:30h, 26 November

      Seeing/hearing is always better than trying to describe by words, ain’t it mate? Danke, Fil :)

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 13:33h, 26 November

      Now onto your delicate question, which is better or, is the THD good enough? Do not know, because I do not own a THD. I “hate” bringing people to think “mine is better than yours”. But this you know already. What I can tell you – and I hope you can hear it – is that the Aracom really stays true to the amplifier own tone even when massively attenuating as in these videos above :)

      • avatar
        Angusrocks
        Posted at 14:07h, 26 November

        yes mate (-: Some things are better described by showing and listening !
        Ok, i thought you did have a THD powerbrake. A friend of mine who is making music since 40 years recommend me the THD powerbrake so i bought it years ago. To my ears it isn`t bad at all, but i had to compare it directly to yours what is not possible, of course. Yes, i know this “mine is better than yours” and yes, i hate it, too. This Aracom sounds really good, but is not unexpensive.

  • avatar
    Tyler
    Posted at 03:48h, 26 November

    This attenuator seems like the real deal Fil however it seems like it’s pretty expensive, how do you feel about the thd hotplates and the old marshall power brakes?

    • avatar
      Angusrocks
      Posted at 14:10h, 26 November

      Hi Tyler,
      i never had a marshall powerbrake, but i heard many times that the marshall powerbrake is “ok”, but not very good.

  • avatar
    john1997
    Posted at 03:41h, 26 November

    Will you please Fil, i say this with all my heart, PLEASEEEE make a lick tutorial video with licks that you know. I know your a busy guy but that would be a dream video ( am i right ?)

    Thanks, John

  • avatar
    Dobos Ádám
    Posted at 00:10h, 26 November

    Great video, Fil!
    btw … in your older videos, I saw a 20W marshall head. Is it the reissue (2061X), or is it original ? Do you still have it ? If you do, you should let us hear it :)

  • avatar
    jakesg61
    Posted at 22:33h, 25 November

    Can someone please, help me understand, I have seen the 1959 SLP and the 1959 super lead that you have Fil, both are non masters, but look different, the SLP does not have the white piping around, it has gold piping and a smller logo, toggle switchs rather than red and black switches, and corner bumpers. Is are they the same amp but cosmetically changed or is there a difference in the actually amp its self?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 23:38h, 25 November

      Yes mate. 1959 SLP and 1959 Super Lead are the same amp (same circuit), with the SLP being a reissue. I don’t have an SLP anymore, the only one I kept – as a reissues – is a 1987 (50 watts version of the 1959 SLP).

      • avatar
        jakesg61
        Posted at 00:08h, 26 November

        Thankyou for educating me on that Fil :), I often wondered now I know. Did you like the SLP? Would you ever get one again?

        • avatar
          LeroyKincaid
          Posted at 11:38h, 26 November

          Obviously the reissues aren’t quiet as good as the originals but I have one and I love it.

          I chose it because I’m a fan of AC/DC’s modern live sound.
          It sounds freaking huge and it’s amazingly clean.

          I highly recommend one too, they’re very affordable.

  • avatar
    Mick
    Posted at 22:09h, 25 November

    Ho una domanda Fil, se posso postare i video di YouTube di AC / DC copre, ma la sua su una base musicale sarà il mio canale ancora ottenere band?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 22:13h, 25 November

      lol Mick, that made me laugh. Was it google translate? 😛 From what I understand, you’re wondering if your youtube channel has to “hold” the videos you post of yours: yes. And no: you are free to post ANY video of relevance to you (but please make it relevant also to us at solodallas.net!)

  • avatar
    Ayakisg
    Posted at 21:43h, 25 November

    Hi Fil,

    Great!!!

    I find some information …. Your hobbi? :) Great! :)

    http://sites.google.com/site/solodallas/solo(dallas‘)airsoftcorner

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 22:15h, 25 November

      Heheh… yes! Many years ago though. It started as a sport, then I moved into “re-enactment” (sort of cinematographic thing) then I definitely found out for good that anything related to war was horrible. And I gave it up at once, and sold every single thing! 😛

  • avatar
    banane
    Posted at 21:14h, 25 November

    Very interesting video. Hm, now I’m thinking about buying such one. On the other side, the JMP sounds great now (and will maybe sound even better with the new EL34 I ordered).
    Hoewer, this seems to be one more step to the perfect AC/DC sound in the bedroom. Will keep this in mind. Thanks!

  • avatar
    deni91
    Posted at 20:43h, 25 November

    Of course not, I was just kidding. Nobody would feel claustrophobic with so great guitars and amps around 😉
    BTW, sorry for writing so much emails with the same question, but I was so impatient to fix the neck before I had to go back to the hostel without my guitar. You were busy, and I was impatient, sorry for that.
    Did you have some time to check the pictures?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 23:39h, 25 November

      Den never worry mate. I apologize, I had completely forgotten about your pics! Never worry and please remind me with emails at anytime. I will try and look into those pictures tonight as I keep on editing these videos

  • avatar
    deni91
    Posted at 20:01h, 25 November

    Don’t you feel a bit claustrophobic in this small room? 😀

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:25h, 25 November

      Hehe. Never. It’s a bit larger than shown, only, it’s full of things! But I like so much what I do in there, that dimensions really don’t count in this case lol

  • avatar
    06AngusSG
    Posted at 19:28h, 25 November

    I guess let me refrase. Do you think Brays vo;ume mod acts more like an attenuator or like a master volume?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 19:43h, 25 November

      Sorry Jon, was busy with the damn rendering of these videos. So, no. A master volume and an attenuator are two completely different things – technically. And will also deliver different “tone”. In my Bray, I have a master volume in fact, not a built in attenuator. I think it’s called – the circuit – PPIM something by the techs. There are several variations that people add to their amp circuits for modification. I asked as a matter of fact, both Bray and Geroge Metro to add one on each of my 1987 and the Metro JTM50. However, there is no comparison in tone at the same “decibel level” of output between the two. While a good attenuator retains the general character of the amp, the master volume circuit won’t.

      • avatar
        06AngusSG
        Posted at 19:58h, 25 November

        no thing. I just didn’t think I asked right. But the reason I asked is, as you might remember, I have a “solodallas” Bray mod in my 1987x and according to how he words things his “master vol.” mod is a built in attenuator. Mine only seems to have tone loss only at the lowest 1/4 of the dial. So my wonder was if the tone retention was compareable between David’s mod and the external attenuator.

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 22:18h, 25 November

          Ah… I got it now. Yes I was talking specifically about going super low. If you don’t need to go super low – just like me at the time of shooting videos at Studio58a, where I could almost blast it full power, then the built in master volume/attenuator (and you’re right, Bray calls it that way) works wonders Jon. I could almost not hear and loss in tone. But I was VERY loud already

  • avatar
    Angusrocks
    Posted at 19:19h, 25 November

    Did i understand you right ?
    Is it better to use an attenuator even for the mastervolume models ?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 19:20h, 25 November

      In my humble opinion, yes. But please judge with your own ears, more videos coming in this same post.

      • avatar
        Angusrocks
        Posted at 19:32h, 25 November

        ok, thank you Fil !!
        By the way, this 1967 SG is your best sounding SG to my ears. I love the sound of this guitar !!!

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 19:45h, 25 November

          Thanks buddy. Please consider that what we are talking here is basically, “album quality” differences, that is, what a professional probably would be thinking of choosing to use if he had to record an album to put for sale. As to say, tones are always great in any modes out of these amps, BUT there are of course additional options incoming with an Attenuator such as this one.

          • avatar
            Angusrocks
            Posted at 20:13h, 25 November

            haha, yeees, it`s like me, i always change my gear. Today i like this and tomorrow i like quiet different things. So it is….
            But it`s good to talk about a high level in creating sounds so everybody can decide for themselves if they want it as original as possible or not.
            The most musicians are looking for something perfect, for a perfect sound not the low level/sound. We all know how important a good sound for a guitarist is.
            I`m looking forward to your additional videos (-:

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 19:48h, 25 November

          Oh and about the SG: to tell you the plain, rough truth, I am starting to think these SGs all sound the same. I mean… *ahem* (clears voice again) they all sound different, but I am starting to think that i can get the same tone out of any of these ones I have here. More or less. What changes is the playability. Some is easier on some part of the fretboard, some other on some other part. I may change my mind though, one day I seem to find out one thing, the next day things change… ugh 😛

  • avatar
    SGACE
    Posted at 19:05h, 25 November

    This is a really nice and informative post. My friend I think that you can do a A/B the amps. The NMV with Aracom and MV alone, same settings in eq and lets hear and see the differences.

    • avatar
      ar2619Rob
      Posted at 19:15h, 25 November

      Excellent idea, I would like to hear the difference too.

      • avatar
        SoloDallas
        Posted at 19:21h, 25 November

        Done. It was also a purpose of this post. It’s in the next set of videos 😀

        • avatar
          SGACE
          Posted at 19:32h, 25 November

          I knew it, its like the jar with honey.. I am really excited about it… lets see..

  • avatar
    Kinglance
    Posted at 19:03h, 25 November

    Hey,
    Love those Marshall-sounds!! You’ve reached and got the AC/DC-tone!! I love my Marshall JMP 50 watt too, really AC/DC!! Keep the videos coming, cause we love it and we love you too!! Greetings, J-L

  • avatar
    ar2619Rob
    Posted at 18:48h, 25 November

    A simple explanation for all those interested.
    http://www.aracom-amps.com/info/attenuator.html

    and a very complicated one
    http://www.aracom-amps.com/info/PRX%20Advantages.html
    knowledge of electronics needed.

  • avatar
    06AngusSG
    Posted at 18:44h, 25 November

    Hey fil.

    How do you think David Brays attenuator he put into the 1987x compares to your Aracom? Is it in the ball park?

  • avatar
    dubsharayko
    Posted at 18:16h, 25 November

    Whenever I see that stack of heads I always get nervous that it’ll someday collapse from all the weight!

  • avatar
    deni91
    Posted at 17:52h, 25 November

    Very nice, as usual Fil!
    This is my favourite guitar I’ve ever seen. The most amazing tone for me :)
    Also love the tone of her neck pickup, it was so bluesy like Claptons licks 😉
    Keep on rockin’ !

    Denes

  • avatar
    ar2619Rob
    Posted at 17:26h, 25 November

    Thanks for sharing your experience, just the info I’ve been looking for at the moment. It appears that it’s actually much louder as the tone is so good, I can still hear the delicate pick touches and palm mutes e.t.c. I assumed that the MV was the same as an attenuator built in, but you’re saying the MV even is better cranked with the attenuator?
    How much is a new PRX 150 approx?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 17:34h, 25 November

      You know it Rob. Well, I need your ears too on the next few videos. I AM playing the 2204 with the Aracom, which is what I have been doing in all recent videos. So what you heard on the tutorials, all of them, and the last two AC/DC videos was all cranked up and attenuated down.
      Attenuators in my humble opinion are the way to go. And when it comes down to attenuator, a passive one at that, like this Aracom, I humbly think is the best one in existence right now. Cost: USD 600 circa. Maybe a little more. Hang on Rob, more videos and text incoming. Text will need your kind review.

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