What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?
SPL Reducer [power attenuator].
How did you come across this particular item?
Totally by accident, actually. We were on tour in Europe, and having issues with the stage volume of the guitars. We run two Hiwatt Custom 100s simultaneously and the way we typically have them set was simply too loud for some of the smaller clubs we were playing on this particular tour. We had no choice but to significantly lower the volumes, which unfortunately also significantly reduces the quality of the tones. So we decided to bite the bullet, and buy a couple of attenuators, which we had never used before, and try them out. We bought the SPL Reducer specifically because it was the only attenuator we could find easily on our day off in Berlin.
What is it that you like about it so much?
Everything, it works wonders. It allows us to drive the Hiwatt amps really hard, and then reduce the volume afterwards via the attenuator – meaning that we can play a relatively small club where we need to reduce the stage volumes, but without sacrificing the tone that typically comes from deafening volumes. Our sound guy Valentino, in particular, is a big fan.
How do you use it?
We use it to reduce the power output between a Hiwatt Custom 100 and an Orange 4×12 cabinet, so that we run the Hiwatt as hot as possible, but reducing that power before it reaches the cabinet. We are currently running them on -5dB, which I believe is the maximum setting.
Tell us a little about what you have coming up?
We are currently wrapping up a tour of Europe, and will perform at Primavera Sound in Barcelona this weekend. Then it is off to Australia and New Zealand in July, back to Europe in August, then a big tour of North America with Cloud Nothings in October/November.