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  1. #1
    Eruption DaleT's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 07:47 AM
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    Default Marshall Power Brake

    Anybody have any experience with one of these. I understand Eddie used a variac to lower the voltage to his amp while maintaining a good current, in order to have a good quality brown sound at a lower volume in the studio. Wouldn't this help do the same, but be a safer way?http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/.../base_id/37239


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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    No, it doesn't work at all like a variac, although if your amp needs to be driven hard to get a better or more overdriven tone the power brake will allow you to do that by running the amp at a higher volume setting while decreasing overall volume coming out of the speakers. It will change your amp's tone however, sometimes drastically, the higher the power brake's settings are.
    That's why players look for attenuators(power brakes) from different manufacturers that don't affect your overall tone too much.

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    02.26.17 @ 05:10 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tribb
    No, it doesn't work at all like a variac, although if your amp needs to be driven hard to get a better or more overdriven tone the power brake will allow you to do that by running the amp at a higher volume setting while decreasing overall volume coming out of the speakers. It will change your amp's tone however, sometimes drastically, the higher the power brake's settings are.
    That's why players look for attenuators(power brakes) from different manufacturers that don't affect your overall tone too much.
    what tribb said...
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    02.14.17 @ 07:28 PM
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    this thing has been out for a while, too.
    i was in a store yesterday and saw one.
    i can't believe it costs $600 or something ridiculous like that.
    i thought maybe it had the wrong price tag on it.

    the thing is, my marshall is only a 50-watt jcm800 and that mofo blows the roof off my house.
    i just can't ever put the thing near 1 on the volume dial or the room starts to shake.
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I think the price for the power brake is around 320 or something like that.
    I used to use one when I played 800 series combos years ago. I know what you mean. Those things have some serious volume. I couldn't use mine at rehearsal without a power brake on it. They're rated for 50 watts but in truth some of them could put out 70-80 watts.
    I switched to THD hot plates later. They sound better, but are more expensive, around 400.

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    12.19.16 @ 05:15 PM
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    Yep, JCM800s are not for the faint-hearted!

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    Eruption DaleT's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 07:47 AM
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    Default

    I don't really want to start another thread for a similiar question, so I'll ask it here. Have any of you actually used a Variac power transformer with your amps; What was your results if so?

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Yea Dale, I sold my variac to a buddy but I've used it a number of times with different amps. The lowest I ever dropped it was 90 volts and it didn't make that much difference to me. It sounded alright but not much better than that.
    I never tried it through any of my plexi's or old fenders cause I didn't want to take a chance on tranny damage.
    I lent it to a buddy who used it through his old fender super reverb. He turned it up to 130 volts and it made the amp scream. It was his amp so I wasn't concerned. It sounded great but cooked his tubes to the point where he got 2 gigs out of them and had to replace them. I didn't think it was worth all the hassle and didn't make enough of a difference to have to keep replacing tubes so I offed it.

  9. #9
    Little Dreamer PV Wolfgang's Avatar
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    07.05.05 @ 02:35 AM
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    Default

    I would take the THD Hotplate over the Powerbrake, it has more options on it and sucks less tone. The Powerbrake works well on Master Volume amps but on my old 50 watt metal panel non master Marshall it sounded pretty bad.

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by PV Wolfgang
    I would take the THD Hotplate over the Powerbrake, it has more options on it and sucks less tone. The Powerbrake works well on Master Volume amps but on my old 50 watt metal panel non master Marshall it sounded pretty bad.
    I 2nd that. the THD hotplate cost a bit more but tonewise it's a better unit and it has a bass and treble boost switch you can flip if you think your tone is affected that way.
    Neither unit will hurt your amp the way the old Scholz power soaks did. I'd recommend you stay away from those if you run across one.

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    On Fire Neuroop's Avatar
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    01.06.12 @ 12:38 AM
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    I copied this from guitargearheads.com (am i allowed to do that? oh well)

    Title: Marshall Power Brake views:272
    I bought my Power Brake new at a local music shop for $399.00. I use it with a Genz Benz El Diablo 100 watt head, and Peavy 4x12 cab.

    Basically, this products lets you get "cranked amp" tone at a lower volume level.

    After cleaning up my effects loop, where I found a significant problem, the Power Brake sounds great. I can crank my amp up to the point where the output tubes are distorting to get that "cranked amp" sound, and use the Brake to reduce the volume to a reasonable level. I am impressed with this unit. It doesn't seem to color the tone much at all. The dynamic and lovely sounds of a fully cranked amp are still there but at a lower volume. The Brake also allows you to kill all sound from the speakers, and you can run your amp at this setting with no speakers attached. This is good for me, because my amp has a post-output section balanced line out that I can run into a mixer or recorder, so I can record my cranked amp without noise from the speakers.

    Overall I am happy with the Power Brake and plan to keep it.

  12. #12
    Unchained VHfanOU812's Avatar
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    12.31.06 @ 08:50 PM
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    Default

    I had a Rockman "power soak" which you can get all day on E_bay for less than $100. It does the same thing as a Power Brake or THD hotplate and did not affect the tone at all IMO. I could crank my 5150 up to full power with no problems.

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I've got to say, the Scholz power soak, while being an attenuator, does not work like the marshall power brake, THD hotplate, weber mass, or other "new" models.
    It's known as a tranny killer by a lot of techs, and I would advise players not to use that particular model of attenuator. If it works for you fine, but it's real hard on the your trannies, and is responsible for a lot of burnt out amps.
    Newer models have overload features and the circuits are designed to avoid the problems of the old units.

 

 

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