-10 dB option on amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by decadence, Jan 13, 2001.

  1. I have seen a few amps that have buttons which you can push in or out which give either -15dB or -10 dB. I was wondering what their purpose is. Is it just to make the sound not so loud for practicing? Is it to protect the cabinet? Does it make the sound cleaner? Do you personally use this setting while gigging, or do you find that it's not loud enough while this setting is enabled?
    Should I aim for an amp that will be loud enough even when this feature is on, or is it fine if I always have it off?
    I'm just wondering if it is more of a safety feature having to do with overpowering the cabinet, or if it's just so that you're not so loud for practicing, and when you need the sound, you take it off.
    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, and anything you want to add would be as well.
    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Oh yeah, btw, on my first post, the first line is a little ambiguous. I don't mean the option is between -15 dB or -10 dB, I mean that I see some that have -10, and some that's -15. The option would be between having either of the negatives, or no negative at all. Sorry about that.
  3. kcm


    Jun 17, 2000
    Woking, Surrey.
    If you have an active bass it usually has a higher output signal to the pre-amp, so you have a minus button to bring the signal down to a more manageable level. In effect the active electrics act like a pre-amp so you find that unless you use the -pad you overdrive the pre-amp on the amp. Of course you might find that this is the sound you want. I have a Status with 18v active electrics and find unless I put the button in it starts to distort and try to kill the speakers.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    What kcm said.

    One thing to keep in mind... try both inputs and see which works best for that particular bass/amp combination. Sometimes an active will work fine in the 0dB mode.