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.
you need quality tones at lower levels, or you need to match impedance between different amps and cabs.
you have a low-power amp that already provides the tone and volume levels you require.
Street $660 - Aracom Amplifiers - aracom-amps.com