>Whatever happened to power soaks? They basically were soaking power,
>so that you had the amp pushed, but had control over how loud it
They work. Some people claim that inductive loads work better than purely resistive soaks. There is the Tom Sholtz Power Soak, I think it was called, and the Marshall Power Brake, and the THD Hot Plate. They all work and everyone should have one. But the more you attenuate, the worse the tone. Power tubes and speakers don't really like inductive loads. You get the best tone from:
o Power tubes
o Power tubes directly driving the speakers hard
Thus, a speaker isolation cabinet can get better tone at headphone levels than an attenuator set to very heavy attenuation. This conclusion is based on my limited experience combined with reports from others on the Net.
For most guitarists, a power attenuator is a convenient, effective complement for a tube amp. In fact, I look forward to the day when amps have an inductive load built right in. But there is better tone from a blaring speaker. And a speaker isolation cabinet is a natural partner for post-amp effects unit to control not only post-amp effects, but post-amp "cabinet and speaker" eq.
A speaker isolation cabinet is a more serious and complicated solution than a power attenuator. Power attenuators are really cool, but don't give top-notch *speaker* sound when you attenuate heavily. Great Tone requires *both* hard-driven power tubes and hard-driven speakers.
[Please remove rec.audio.tubes from your newsgroups circulation list for this thread.]
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