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Thread: Speaker cab with a volume knob

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    Tazo is offline New Member
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    Speaker cab with a volume knob

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    I've got a question for the electronics gurus out there. I have an old Traynor all tube head that sounds killer in it's sweet spot. Unfortunately for it to reach that sound it is very loud and my current accommodations wouldn't allow for that. The best information I can find from Traynor is that it's a 45 watt head. There aren't much in the way of distinguishing markings on it. What I would like to do is build a 2x12 speaker cab and insert some type of volume knob between the output of the head and the speakers so I can drive the tubes enough to achieve the sound I'm looking for and control the overall volume at an acceptable level. Can it be done? I would imagine I that would need a high power variable resistor, possibly a diode, and a way to dissipate heat in a way that would be quiet enough to not render it useless for recording purposes. I don't want to melt the transformer in the process. Any info you could give me or point me in the direction of some good resources would greatly be appreciated.
    Thanks!!

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    Lt. Bob's Avatar
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    all you're talking about is a power soak or attenuator.
    Yes, you could build one of your own but they can be fiddly things .... best to just buy one.
    Search for guitar amp attenuators or power soaks.
    If you know the secret codes you can get by the mastering boss on level 8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob View Post
    you could build one of your own but they can be fiddly things ....
    They get pretty hot as well.
    My home studio ---> www.nerolstudio.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitargodgt View Post
    They get pretty hot as well.
    hadn't thought of that but that's true. Inside a cab might not be the best place for one.
    If you know the secret codes you can get by the mastering boss on level 8.

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    ranjam's Avatar
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    This has been the Holy Grail for 912 years. How do you make your amplifier sound like 'that' but at a lower volume? You can't. If you have a hankering for chasing your own tail, spend the rest of your life doing just that, but you'll never catch up to it. Sorry. However, the chase sure is fun.
    Power Soak devices are not the answer. They have so many flaws, but they still sell them because people still buy them. Then people started looking for 5-watt amplifiers that sounded just like their 50-watt amplifiers.
    It's kinda sorta like expecting a Honda Civic to drive just like an Iso Grifo (or whatever). People have pulled tubes from their Twin Reverb or 100-watt Marshall, installed Master Volume controls, had all sorts of mods, bought the latest 'most transparent overdrive pedal' (whatever the f*ck that means), and it's all well and good, but nothing replaces the physical feeling of a speaker cone pushing air. You can't make a 4-cylinder engine perform like an 8-cylinder, no matter what anyone tells you. 1-watt trying to push a speaker cone will never, ever, ever sound like 100-watts pushing that speaker cone. Period. Until science comes up with a different speaker, or God redesigns our ears, it ain't gonna happen.
    Your Traynor will have a tag board, making it easy to mod, and you can get some great overdrive tones, but it still won't sound like amplifier cranked up. So, if you'll accept a different, albeit great, tone, mod the amp slightly, and look for a decent 'boost' pedal. That's probably as good as you can get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ranjam View Post
    You can't make a 4-cylinder engine perform like an 8-cylinder, no matter what anyone tells you. .
    Yes you can. Pound for pound, an 8 cyl will always make more torque and horsepower than a 4 cyl, but you can make a 4 cyl perform like an 8. A properly turbo'd 4 can run away from a stock 8 all day long.

    How that applies to amps and speakers....I have no idea.
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    It means since day two people have tried to 'cheat' physics, in all areas of life. It's like inventing a perpetual motion machine.
    Granted, Volkswagen brought out their forced induction V6, which does match up torque and HP with an 8-cylinder relying on intake produced strictly by atmospheric pressure. But my bitching was more about..... bitching. Why do people always want a shortcut? It reminds me of my son; one second after he gets home with a new video game, he's online looking for cheat codes. Why not play the game and learn? It's too difficult, apparently.
    Why try and make a 50-watt amplifier try and behave like a 5-watt amplifier? Even a Yellow Jacket can't take into account the speaker not moving the cone as much (and this is where bass response comes from), so any power attenuation always sounds thin and lacks low end 'oomph'. You only get that when you are moving some air.

    1x15" = 225 cu. inches
    2x15" = 450 cu. inches
    1x12" = 144 cu. inches
    1x10" = 100 cu. inches
    2x10" = 200 cu. inches
    4x10" = 400 cu. inches


    You can't fight physics. A 15" speaker just has more low end response than an 8" speaker, so that Vox Pathfinder will always sound thin. The 7L Iso Grifo engine made 435 HP. The 1.2L Honda D12 engine produced a whopping 72HP. The 80-whatever Lbs-ft torque wouldn't win much against the 435 Lbs-ft of the Chevy 427. But those are almost extremes. You can have a great V6 like I said, and it does rate favorably against a lot of V8's. And there are many 15-watt amplifiers that sound great, and when recorded rate as good as any 'stack'. But it's a loaded question. A huge can of worms.

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    The Chevy 427 was the best V8 ever made.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_L View Post
    A properly turbo'd 4 can run away from a stock 8 all day long.

    How that applies to amps and speakers....I have no idea.
    When the guy in his turbo'd 4 cyl is flying down the road with his Hip-Hop cranking --- THUMP-THUMP-THUMP...
    ...he'll drive away from you that much quicker than if he was in a stock 8 cyl...
    ...so less chance of you getting a headache.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    When the guy in his turbo'd 4 cyl is flying down the road with his Hip-Hop cranking --- THUMP-THUMP-THUMP...
    ...he'll drive away from you that much quicker than if he was in a stock 8 cyl...
    ...so less chance of you getting a headache.
    That's racism and cylinderism.
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