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Helix as an attenuator! ??


adagosto
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I use my Stomp XL with a Mesa Boogie Express 5 or 50 watts) and a Vox AC30 (30 watts) and I've got to say, the Stomp seems to act as an attenuator. I can get both amps cranked up pretty good but use the volume control of the Stomp to keep things acceptably comfortable on the ears without loosing a lot of tone.

 

Is this a thing? Line 6 doesn't seem to market this as a "feature". I imagine many of you already know this and use your Helix/Stomp this way.

 

But any thoughts on this? Do "real" attenuators do a better job or does the Line 6 really suck more tone out than I think it does?

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, adagosto said:

I use my Stomp XL with a Mesa Boogie Express 5 or 50 watts) and a Vox AC30 (30 watts) and I've got to say, the Stomp seems to act as an attenuator. I can get both amps cranked up pretty good but use the volume control of the Stomp to keep things acceptably comfortable on the ears without loosing a lot of tone.

 

Is this a thing? Line 6 doesn't seem to market this as a "feature". I imagine many of you already know this and use your Helix/Stomp this way.

 

But any thoughts on this? Do "real" attenuators do a better job or does the Line 6 really suck more tone out than I think it does?

 

 

 

 

I don't see how that would work.  Aren't you starving the amp input by lowering Stomp output volumes ?

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1 hour ago, pianoguyy said:

But you won't find anyone promoting these units as attenuators.

 

I'm not suggesting Line 6 should. I just asking the question if other effectively use it this way. I imagine this wouldn't make sense for those not using their Helix with a tube amp.

 

 

34 minutes ago, coachz said:

I don't see how that would work.  Aren't you starving the amp input by lowering Stomp output volumes ?

 

Well exactly! That's what I would expect, but when trying this out in a variety of 'real' amp settings, it doesn't seem to have a huge impact on the tone. Key word is huge. Where in fact it does, but in no way is it unusable or a turn off. I think the real application is in home use. But I guess in a gig setting if you're being told to turn down for any reason. 

 

And fwiw, the amp opened up with the Helix wide open does in fact sound the best, but that's also freaken loud. Also, and this probably goes without saying, but here I go....the cleaner the amp settings, the less impact the Helix volume control has on impacting the tone.

 

This was a very pleasant surprise to me. When I use my Mesa Boogie, I almost always have it in 5 watt mode, so my Stomp volume control is only reducing the overall sound by about 20-30% if that. When my wife is not around I have it louder. But with the AC30, I cut it back to 50-60% (I'm just guessing based on the needle position) and the tone is still there.

 

Anyway, like the other guy said...we are free to do what we want. It seems to work!!!

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Helix as (power) attenuator = BANG

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_attenuator_(guitar)

 

You are attenuating the input levels. Its an apples and oranges comparison to 'real attenuators' and will sound substantially different (what ever the lowered level input source).

 

You will not be getting output stage distortion which is the intent of (power) attenuators and why they are used to allow the amp to work harder with lowered volume.

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You could accomplish that with a BOSS LS-2 or just about anything with a buffer or even a 10k pot in the loop...Attenuation is not an improper term, but usually with tube amps the meaning is using resistors or motors to bleed off output power which in turn attenuates the output power lower with the color of the amplifier running at a high level. If your amp has a sensitive master that ramps up fast, a buffer in the loop is nice way to loosen in up. So what you found is not really unique but can be very useful and can be accomplished a variety of ways.

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