New Harley Benton PA-250 Attenuator

Tatzmann

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I saw couple weeks ago that Thomann
is selling a new attenuator.

Its not available atm, but i guess it will be
back in stock sometime.

Its specd for 250watts input, has a lot of
bells and whistles that i personally dont need,
but others might, like DI Out, blinky LEDs and that kind of stuff.

I suspect that it is some kind of Rockcrusher
clone, the dials and features are kinda similar.

There are very little reviews available, but they
are positive, atleast the pure attenuator stuff
seems to work good without much influence
on tone, atleast not as much as the cheaper
Benton Attenuator, which is absolutely horrible
soundwise. My first Attenuator built out of a crusty russian rheostat worked better than this
thing, quite good actually.

So, does anyone has any experience with the new one? Maybe gutshots?

Its priced at 150 eurodollies, which would be
reasonable if it is a basic clone of a Rockcrusher.
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Maxbrothman

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I really hope it doesn't steal tone. If it isn't a thief then it will be worth it. If it steals tone, then you might as well just get their other cheaper version. I'm going to give their other one a go again soon and this time dial the EQ of the SC20h more to compensate. That older one is passive. This new one is powered. If it steals tone, you might as well just use low power on a Studio series amp and try to dial in as best you can. If you have a 50w or 100W head that requires more volume then obviously the more pricey attenuators are where it is at, unless this new one can do it. Sounds rated even for a Diezel Herbert, lol.
 

Tatzmann

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Dont bother with the cheaper Benton
Attenuator.

It instantly sucks the deep lows and
the upper highs out. As soon as it is connected
between amp and cab, no mather on what
attenuation setting!

If the new ones are a Rockcrusher clone they
should be considerably better.
 

Leonard Neemoil

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Pfft!

Benton attenuators make your setup sounds like cheap solid states distortion with the cheapest garbage humbuckers guitar. :p
 

Maxbrothman

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Dont bother with the cheaper Benton
Attenuator.

It instantly sucks the deep lows and
the upper highs out. As soon as it is connected
between amp and cab, no mather on what
attenuation setting!

If the new ones are a Rockcrusher clone they
should be considerably better.
Someone gave me the advice to dial down bass and EQ differently and I am doing that now and it sounds a lot better.
 

Maxbrothman

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I'd like it to sound better than this basically.



Phone camera audio. No mic. SD-1 in front boosting. Maxed out Master and Gain on amp. Bass dialed a way back with Mids and Highs below 12 o'clock. Presence back a bit also. Passive humbuckers and guitar volume on max. Attenuator on level 1. I am not dialing back to clean up mud. I want to hear it full on so you can also.

This is basically as far as I can go with the added attenuator in the bedroom.
 

Maxbrothman

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This is basically the same settings but dialed back a bit on Master and Gain and on Guitar. This is more like how I would play it but I never tried the lower bass response and EQ dialed back a bit before. Different song.

 

Tatzmann

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The PA-250 is available again in a couple
of weeks, i think im going to get one.

The description mentions explicitly that it
does not change the sound or feeling of the
amp/cab, cant imagine that it is entirely true,
atleast not at high attenuation, but its worth
a try. If its good enough to knock off couple
of decibels without changing the sound id
be happy, the older one didnt do this to my
satisfaction.
 

PelliX

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The PA-250 is available again in a couple
of weeks, i think im going to get one.

The description mentions explicitly that it
does not change the sound or feeling of the
amp/cab, cant imagine that it is entirely true,
atleast not at high attenuation, but its worth
a try. If its good enough to knock off couple
of decibels without changing the sound id
be happy, the older one didnt do this to my
satisfaction.

Probably right. The thing is, it's still just a high wattage resistor network, and there's plenty of nifty ways of compensating for tone change in circuit, but it still presents a static load to the amp. I would expect more or less the same results as with the PS1, give or take a little compensation here and there. The power supply just ensures the fan and lights stay operational at at all times (maybe the fan is hooked to a thermistor, not sure).

Have you ever considered going homebrew Weber style? So using an actual coil instead of only resistors for the load?

 

Dogs of Doom

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or, the JohnH DIY attenuator...

The problem w/ some cheap stuff (which HB are known for), is that it fails prematurely. Behringer got a bad reputation due to that, kind of like Radio Shack products of old...

The one place you do not want failure, is the speaker out. Especially in a tube amp, as that's what will take out a trans', or fry a board.

Still though, even if you DIY, you need to make sure that the components are good & that your soldering is good.

I'm just skeptical of companies that do mass production runs on the cheap, where bottom line is more important than quality control. They make a fine attenuator, but, QC might be all over the place & the one you get, might not be "fine". but... you have no control over that, except to buy, or not buy...
 

PelliX

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or, the JohnH DIY attenuator...

The problem w/ some cheap stuff (which HB are known for), is that it fails prematurely. Behringer got a bad reputation due to that, kind of like Radio Shack products of old...

The one place you do not want failure, is the speaker out. Especially in a tube amp, as that's what will take out a trans', or fry a board.

Still though, even if you DIY, you need to make sure that the components are good & that your soldering is good.

I'm just skeptical of companies that do mass production runs on the cheap, where bottom line is more important than quality control. They make a fine attenuator, but, QC might be all over the place & the one you get, might not be "fine". but... you have no control over that, except to buy, or not buy...

If I were rich/retired/bored I'd probably sit down and actually try to build the 'ultimate' attenuator for shits and giggles. I'd probably end up borrowing some of the circuitry from John H's design but almost certainly using a real voice coil. I'm not that crazy about attenuators, but it's a simple yet hard challenge to build a perfect one.
 

JohnH

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If I were rich/retired/bored I'd probably sit down and actually try to build the 'ultimate' attenuator for shits and giggles. I'd probably end up borrowing some of the circuitry from John H's design but almost certainly using a real voice coil. I'm not that crazy about attenuators, but it's a simple yet hard challenge to build a perfect one.
Yes you should do it! (but keep the day job!). You'll see how easy it is to build the perfect attenuator.

BTW, if you do, a voice coil is not the right thing to use in our design. A simple air-coil of the right value and low resistance is the go.
 

PelliX

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Yes you should do it! (but keep the day job!). You'll see how easy it is to build the perfect attenuator.

BTW, if you do, a voice coil is not the right thing to use in our design. A simple air-coil of the right value and low resistance is the go.

Well, it's easy enough to build a good attenuator (and I respect your efforts in this, plus those of the others who've built off your designs and taken inspiration from there), I think perfection is probably going to be hard. Perfection as in complete transparency, that is. Of course there's no way to 'simulate' the speaker's behavior at higher loads, so the result will always differ, not least due to the ears' perception of sound. I am intrigued as to how a voice coil or air coil compare to a resistive load, it's just not very high on my list at the moment. Quite a few electronics projects and some home improvement lined up to keep me busy for a while, plus a day job that isn't always confined to the day. Oh, and I play guitar, too. :D

If/when the time comes, I'll keep the forum posted, of course!
 

Moony

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That guy could drag out a 40 minute video on zipping up his fly.

I know some people have a hard time watching his talk...
But he works for Thomann and was pushing Harley Benton very hard on his channel, even got a Harley Benton Signature guitar.
So props to him that he's still pointing out flaws and don't act like most of the YT guitar influencers who get gear for free and praise everything.
 

jeffb

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I know some people have a hard time watching his talk...
But he works for Thomann and was pushing Harley Benton very hard on his channel, even got a Harley Benton Signature guitar.
So props to him that he's still pointing out flaws and don't act like most of the YT guitar influencers who get gear for free and praise everything.
His reviews are very thorough, but he often gets lost in his own commentary and ends up going on tangents (usually with a bit of arrogance sprinkled throughout). I think he could use some tact and work on his social skills- he's very hard to like, and thus his videos are not very enjoyable/fun to watch.
 

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