Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

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NorCal-Mesa
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Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by NorCal-Mesa » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:35 pm

Ok don't get me wrong Im loving this amp for sure.. I play in 50/100 watt modes, but when I use the power soak on the Hi gain Vintage mode red channel it just steals my tone. Is this standard? Do I have a problem with this amp? Even when I drop just to -4db it totally changes the tone?
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by Sukodil » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:04 pm

I play with a hard hitting drummer in 50 watt mode; and this seems to be the perfect volume for my situation. When I attenuate below 50 watts I get buried in the mix. I don't notice a drasstic change in tone, but I do notice more compression and a looser feel. I really haven't had the need to experiment with the attenuator with my band; but I do use it at home. I find it useful for approximating my band tone, without pissing off my neighbors.

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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by NorCal-Mesa » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:18 pm

Does anyone's tone change when using the power soak ? Is there something wrong with my amp? I watched a video on hagerty music on YouTube royal Atlantic review it sounded great with the soak features.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by JamminJoe » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:35 am

I'm not sure if the the tone of the amp changes much when the power soak is turned on, but the feel of the amp changes a lot. At increased settings of attenuation, the feel and response of the the amp is one of high compression and less headroom and dynamics. If the volume difference is great, then the tone changes too I think, since the amp's tone has a lot more "teeth" to it at higher volumes, so you may have to adjust the tone controls to compensate.

In the Haggerty videos, he notes in the comments section that the recording volume is adjusted so that the playback volume is normalized across all settings. The Andertons Music review of the Royal Atlantic is more accurate since they don't adjust the recording volume and you can hear that the volume is drastically affected with each change of setting of the power soak.

I really don't like the loose feeling of power amp distortion at lower volumes, so I keep the power soak off. The master volume of the RA works very well so I use this along with the preamp gain. I do notice that turning up the pre-gain in either channel really lowers the treble response though, so I turn up the treble as the gain goes up. But this effect is less prominent at higher volumes.

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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by screamingdaisy » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:02 am

As you increase the attenuation you decrease how hard the speakers are being driven. The differences as you increase attenuation should be as dramatic as turning your master volume from full blast down to barely on... a loss of dynamics, a thinning of the tone, buzzy preamp gain, boxy midrange, etc.

It's the Achilles heal of attenuators. Everyone thinks that with an attenuator they're going to be able to drive the piss out of their power tubes and the tone will be so awesome... only to learn that the real magic is those 12" speakers pounding your head in.

Generally, the best results are with really low levels of attenuation. Knock a few dB off so you can drive the power tubes a bit harder, then adjust the volume back up to a level where the speakers start to pump.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by knotts » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:54 pm

I think Daisy's right. I just bought a Rivera Rock Crusher and used it for the first time tonight. I think it's great to drive the tubes and get the tone with the master and output up to 12:00 (Roadster). It tone sounds good attenuated to -16DB, but I think if I lower the output and decrease the attenuation it would sound a little better. When I hit the bypass it's loud as hell. Maybe I can find a happy medium that way.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by knotts » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:54 pm

Just to follow up. This was a great recommendation. I lowered the total output to about 1/3 and decreased the attenuation to -3db. It made all the difference in the world. A healthy balance between tone and punch. So far I am very happy with the rock crusher.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by danyeo1 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:15 am

I find the power soak on this amp useless IMHO. But the master volume is good enough where I find the power soak was never necessary for this amp.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by guitarrhinoceros » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:15 pm

danyeo1 wrote:I find the power soak on this amp useless IMHO. But the master volume is good enough where I find the power soak was never necessary for this amp.
Why?

I thought the soak was a great feature on the RA that I owned. It added some nice low mids and low end to the sound, while giving things a more compressed feel overall. I much preferred the amp with some soak happening than without. On all channels!

To each their own ...

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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by danyeo1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:01 am

guitarrhinoceros wrote:
danyeo1 wrote:I find the power soak on this amp useless IMHO. But the master volume is good enough where I find the power soak was never necessary for this amp.
Why?

I thought the soak was a great feature on the RA that I owned. It added some nice low mids and low end to the sound, while giving things a more compressed feel overall. I much preferred the amp with some soak happening than without. On all channels!

To each their own ...
No matter where the amp is set on it sounds better with the soak off. And the master volume is good enough to play at loud volumes. Doesn't matter to me since I got the head version in brand new shape for $999. But so far in a battle "royal" no pun intended, with the Electra Dyne, the Ed is winning.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by babow2 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:47 pm

I have used a variety of attenuators over the years, including now my RA100. The fact is that attenuators (1) change the volume, which is not perceived by our ears as linear, so we hear a perceived difference in highs and lows as the volume changes, and (2) affects how the preamp and power amp tubes do their thing. So, the status quo of the electronics does change. It isn't realistic to expect that the settings you have with 0db attenuation will produce the identical tone but quieter as you increase attenuation. What has always worked for me is to find the combination of attenuation and master volume that suits my overall volume needs and feel, and then redial in my settings to get my desired tone at that volume.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by danyeo1 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:12 pm

Ok I take it back. I actually like using the first or 2nd setting on the soak, seems to tame some of the high end at low volumes.
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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by guitarmanmm » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:35 pm

In our band, I've tried several settings. I'm now using the Lo at the -8 and the Hi at -4 (or none). Attenuated settings definitely affect the tone to my ear- take off some of the high end (and make it a bit more "squishy") which helps with the Lo channel especially. YMMV.

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Re: Royal Atlantic RA 100 Head Power Soak

Post by shimmilou » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:11 am

Using a typical power soak (attenuator), between the OT and speakers, and cranking the amp, actually does drive the tubes harder with much less output volume. So, of course you lose a bit in tone/feel because the speakers aren't putting out as much volume, but you can get the driven tube tone at lower output volume. Unless anyone has the schematic for the RA, or someone examines the inside of their RA amp, we don't know exactly what MB means by "power soak". Is it an attenuator between OT and speakers, or some other circuit addition that simulates an attenuator? If it is an attenuator, the tubes will be driven harder, that is the whole point of an attenuator.

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