How Does It Sound?
I tried this unit with several types of amps, using both Les Pauls and Strats, to get a good idea of the unit’s sonic capabilities. First, I used a 4-ohm Fender head with a 16-ohm Marshall cabinet. When I used this type of rig in the past, I had to rewire my Marshall cabinet to 4 ohms. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this setup with both amp and cabinet operating at their normal impedances. The sound on the least attenuated setting (A) was more open and a bit tighter in the low end than I was used to hearing.

As I reduced the levels by stepping through settings B-E, I detected little sonic difference until I got down to the Variable knob settings. It’s worth noting that when you lower the dB level on a high-powered amp—whether with a master volume or a power attenuator— the sound changes because you’re not pushing the speakers as hard. This is simply a mechanical issue. That said, the feel I got using the PRX 150-Pro at these lowered levels was great. And this made playing quietly a lot more enjoyable.

I tried other amp combinations, including a Marshall Super Lead head with a Marshall cabinet and a Vox AC50 with a 2x12 Vox cabinet. I had the Vox set to 8 ohms to match the cabinet’s 8-ohm impedance. With each rig, the results were very much the same: Tone and feel stayed consistent through the A-E ranges. Testing the Marshall head was especially fun, because I tried switching between transformer taps, which altered the amp’s tightness, overtones, and low-end response. In this application, the Aracom gives you another option for sculpting your tone. (By the way, the 8-ohm tap on the Marshall sounded best to me.)

The Final Mojo
Sonically, the Aracom PRX 150-Pro attenuator stayed very true to every amp I paired it with. My tone stayed stable as I lowered the dB level to its minimum amount (the variable control doesn’t turn the sound completely off). Even super-quiet bedroom settings sounded very good and responded to picking and touch extremely well. This attractive, sturdily built unit would be a great addition to any guitarist’s tone arsenal.
Buy if...
you need quality tones at lower levels, or you need to match impedance between different amps and cabs.
Skip if...
you have a low-power amp that already provides the tone and volume levels you require.

Street $660 - Aracom Amplifiers -