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New Addition to Your Musical Arsenal: Best Guitar Power Attenuator

  1. Bad Cat Unleash Guitar Power Attenuator
  2. Rivera RockCrusher Guitar Power Attenuator
  3. Two Notes Torpedo Captor Guitar Power Attenuator
  4. Radial Engineering ProAV2 Stereo Guitar Power Attenuator
  5. Suhr Jim Kelley Guitar Power Attentuator
  6. Buyer's Guide

There’s a good chance that you could poll a random selection of guitarists, and half of them are probably not entirely familiar with what a guitar power attenuator is and what it does. Yet the attenuator plays a very important role in any guitarist’s rig. The guitar power attenuator essentially plays the middleman between the amp and the speaker; this device diverts excess power that comes from the amplifier to control the volume of the speaker. It essentially allows your tone to remain intact, even when you lower the volume on your speaker. Here are the best guitar power attenuators in 2022, with each one we've chosen featuring a rugged, durable build that will allow you to take it on the road without worrying about causing any damage, they each provide a transparent effect on your signal in that it won’t alter or color your tone unfavorably, and they also feature additional controls to shape the frequency range and output of the guitar signal.

Compare The Best Guitar Power Attenuator Of 2022

Bad Cat Unleash Guitar Power Attenuator - Best Guitar Power Attenuator Overall

Bad Cat’s Unleash V2 guitar power attenuator doesn’t do anything to color your guitar’s natural tone, but it will help keep things under wraps for when you need to quiet down but don’t want to lose the character of a fully cranked amp. The Unleash V2 can also take in a second channel and an effects loop, thanks to its input points on the rear of the device. The unit itself is very tiny, and can be easily moved around with its metal handle. Unlike most attenuators, this thing also can work in the opposite direction thanks to its boost; conversely, now your tiny amp can get huge sounds that it could never achieve on its own. The DI element to the Bad Cat allows you to easily route your signal directly into a recording interface or soundboard, making it the perfect tool for studio sessions that run late into the night.

Rivera RockCrusher Guitar Power Attenuator - Runner Up

One thing that sets Rivera RockCrusher apart from its contemporaries is its internal reactive load network, as opposed to the more resistive load that is utilized by other attenuators. This setup provides a proper impedance and inductive/capacitive reactance between a guitar amplifier and speaker, which of course results in tone that goes without compromise in the attenuation process. Low and high frequency EQ selection also provides players with a more defined control over how their signal will sound. The RockCrusher can be installed in a road case, but its rubber feet also allow it to sit atop your amp. With its bright purple appearance and sturdy build, this unit not only looks great but serves to retain the feel and spirit that we love when we blare our amps into oblivion, only at a much more contained/subdued level.

Two Notes Torpedo Captor Guitar Power Attenuator - Honorable Mention

For the guitarist who wants to capture their performance through their amplifier yet keep things at low levels in the recording studio, the Two Notes Torpedo Reload guitar power attenuator is a must-have. This device allows you to play quietly yet capture a full-blown sound, and does so without coloring or negatively taking away from your natural tone. Re-amping, which is a popular process used in recording by guitarists who want to be able to tweak their amp sound in post-production, is also a feat that can be achieved using the Reload, thanks to its functionality as a re-amp unit. The Reload also comes equipped with a Wall of Sound III plug-in, which allows you to select multiple virtual microphones and cabinets to use in the re-amping process. You can mix up to 100 different cabs in a single plug-in instance.

Radial Engineering ProAV2 Stereo Guitar Power Attenuator - Consider

If you’ve ever played onstage with a band, you know that maintaining a controlled stage volume is absolutely essential for a performance to go well. The problem is that this often results in having to turn down your amplifier on your guitar, which can detrimentally affect your tone and individual performance. With the Radial Headload V8 guitar power attenuator, you can still maintain the sound you love, all while keeping your speaker volume under control. This piece of gear also doubles as a DI box – Radial’s JDX Reactor DI, to be precise. This DI has been used by a variety of acts, including Radiohead, Aerosmith, and Rascal Flatts. This function captures the signal coming from the guitar amp head and blends it with the reactive load from the cabinet’s speaker to create a more natural and realistic sound. The DI box can also blend the direct feed with a microphone signal.

best Suhr Jim Kelley Guitar Power Attentuator

Suhr Jim Kelley Guitar Power Attentuator - Best Guitar Power Attenuator

With its rugged looking, utilitarian design, the Suhr Jim Kelley guitar power attenuator clearly looks like it takes no nonsense when it comes to taking the signal of a guitar amplifier and taming its volume without neutering its sound. The unit itself is versatile, able to function with many different amplifiers up to 100 watts at four and eight ohm loads. A simple and prominent knob gives you a hands-on approach to dialing in the proper decibel dropping. Because music at lower volume can often lose some of its high-end, the Jim Kelley also features a treble boost switch that compensates for top-end dynamics when the signal is played at lower volumes. An activation footswitch allows you to easily activate the unit in a hands-free setting.

Buyer's Guide

Most people are unclear about the importance and function of guitar power attenuators. Our team has prepared this guide to help you choose the best guitar power attenuators in 2021 and understand why they are important for achieving that perfect volume and tone.

What Is A Guitar Power Attenuator?

A guitar power attenuator is a piece of equipment that is placed between a guitar tube amp and speaker to alleviate volume. Without attenuators, tube amps only sound best when the volume is turned up. This volume can be very loud a lot of times, and when it is lowered, that ‘sweet spot’ sound is lost. Some guitarists have to sacrifice this sweet spot due to a lower sound because they cannot raise the volume very high under some circumstances. A guitar power attenuator is the solution because it helps get that sweet spot sound even at a low volume.

Guitar power attenuators come in a lot of different styles, features, and price points. You can choose the best one according to your specific needs. Using an attenuator is not that difficult because usually it can just be plugged in between the speaker and amp by unplugging the cable between them.

What Are The Different Types Of Guitar Power Attenuators?

There are a few different types of attenuators available in the market, each with their own specific features. We have mentioned two of the most common types, but there are others available in the market as well.

Resistive Attenuators

Resistive attenuators have a network of resistors that absorb the power from the amp, give some of it to your speakers, and the rest is released as heat energy. These are one of the oldest and most cheapest attenuators you will find in the market. This is because they use a simple phenomenon to get you that sweet spot sound at the volume you like. If you do not want to color your tone at all, these are not for you.

Reactive Attenuators

Reactive attenuators have both resistors and capacitors that work more like the curve of a speaker. They work by lowering the volume, but do not impact the tone of your amp. These will be perfect for you if you want the tone to remain accurate, but they are more expensive than resistive attenuators.

What Are Some Things To Consider Before Buying A Guitar Power Attenuator?

Due to the wide variety of options and designs available in the market, it can get difficult to decide which is the right one for you. Once you know the main types, keeping these other factors in mind will help you pick the right attenuator for you.


Every attenuator will not be compatible with all kinds of amps. When buying an attenuator, make sure it matches the impedance of your amp. There is nothing worse than spending money on an attenuator only to find out it will not work with the amp you have. Some attenuators also come with an impedance switch. This will be helpful if you have several amps with different impedances.


You need to keep your budget in mind before you buy an attenuator. Figure out realistically how much you can spend, and keep that figure in mind. A lot of advanced attenuators cost more, but it is important to analyze if you really need the latest features. If the accuracy of your tone is not a major concern of yours, buying a resistive attenuator will be a good idea. However, if you really want to keep your tone intact, investing in a reactive one can be worth it.

How To Pick A Quality Guitar Power Attenuator?

There is no doubt about the fact that it is difficult to choose the right power attenuator for you among the ton of options available. Another concern is how do you know about the quality of an attenuator, especially when you are buying it online. We understand these concerns and there are a few things you can do to make sure that the attenuator you buy is good quality.


The best way to judge the quality of a product is by reading the reviews of customers. This is because these come from people who have purchased and used the product, and are now telling about their experience with it. So, when you are browsing for a power attenuator, make sure you go through the reviews of customers and pick one which mostly has positive reviews.


Some people are skeptical of buying from a brand that they have never heard of. You will be surprised at the quality of products that new brands are making. Do not pay more just because you know the brand, because you can get ripped off.


There is no simpler way to put this. Only buy a product if you think it will provide value for the price you are paying. Compare the features and prices of different brands and make sure that the price you pay is worth it. If the prices charged are too high and there is no significant difference in the features provided, avoid buying from that brand and seek alternate options.


Do guitar power attenuators damage the amp?

This is a misconception because power attenuators do not damage the amp when operated properly. Amps do get damaged when they are being used for hours on end with no breaks, and this damage is not related to attenuators.

Do guitar power attenuators get hot?

Guitar power attenuators can get hot, especially if they are resistive, because they essentially release excess energy as heat. A lot of attenuators have heat dissipating devices inside the unit, so this should not be much of an issue.

Will guitar power attenuators degrade the quality of sound?

A guitar power attenuator does not degrade sound quality per se. It may alter the sound or tone a bit depending on the type of attenuator you have. Some people like this alteration. If you do not, and want to keep the exact tone of your amp, you can choose a reactive attenuator and avoid a resistive one.

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