The Ultimate Attenuator, manufactured by Mark Gregg of Magus Innovations LLC, is an electronic device used for controlling the volume of an amplifier in a guitar. The device is directly mounted on the amplifier's input jacks to achieve the best and most transparent sound. This attenuator functions similarly with other attenuators such as the fiber attenuator, Weber attenuator, and digital attenuator. The Ultimate Attenuator lessens the amplitude or power of a signal in a manner that the waveform is not distorted.
According to its basic schematic, this attenuator has a fixed resistor that is in series with the signal and switchable variable resistance to ground. The attenuator provides signal load in an easy way for the amplifier's output transformer circuit. This loaded signal will serve as an input to an active-powered amplification circuit. The powered signal is then transferred by the attenuator to the speaker.
The following are some of the features of the electronic device: 100 watt maximum output, non-stepped continuous volume controller, bedroom switch, true bypass switching, dual speaker output jacks, plexi switch,100 volts tap fixed alternating current (AC) output, quiet cooling fan, variable line level output, and an all-steel construction. The 100 volts fixed AC tap protects the amplifier's components and tubes. Meanwhile, the bedroom switch is utilized in settings where low volume is required. The plexi switch is designed to modify top end response. One benefit of this kind of attenuator is that it can be switched from 120 volts to 240 volts, meaning it can be utilized anywhere in the world.
Based on several product reviews, this attenuator is safe and reliable. Because it uses a load resistor with 30 ohm, the Ultimate Attenuator can receive signal loads of 4, 8, 16 ohms from the guitar's amplifier. The company even offers a 2 ohm version of the product. The attenuator's built-in low impedance power amplifier helps to achieve strong and high frequency response. The product also delivers low volume sound with least impact. There will be no changes in resistance even if the user turns the device down. This attenuator is even compatible with older and non-master volume versions of Marshall Amplifiers. The attenuator is also compatible with Mullard power tubes. However, one negative aspect of the product is its use of the 30 ohm load. According to critics, using a 30 ohm load will reduce the power regardless of the amplifier being used. Some users even suggest enhancing the product's features such as the addition of switch to improve the bass or treble frequencies. Furthermore, many users find the attenuator very expensive. This is because there are other good devices found in the market sold for lower prices.
The latest version of the Ultimate Attenuator is the Nude 24 position model. This nude unbalanced attenuator model is more transparent and cheaper because it has no chassis. However, one downside of this model is that it will not properly fit on any component having an input jack closer together than.75 inch center to center.