You really have to try and see for yourself. Basically, it will allow more power tube sound, without ear damaging volume.
Have a listen to some of the clips at this site, a great player demonstrating a power tube sound, with and without preamp distortion. An attenuator is used but not the airbrake. Can't get that sound with master volume. Simon uses a lot of slaving techniques also to get great power tube sound.
It's definitely a different dimension. I played through a Marshall 50 watt master volume for 20 or more years and always used the master volume. I play rock & blues and the Marshall's preamp always provided plenty of gain and gave me whatever level of distortion and sustain that I wanted.
My Maz Jr has much less preamp gain and it took me a while to get used to the new amp. Once I got the air brake, it just gave me an entire new tone and crunch to work with and I recognized this sound in a number of tunes.
The opening licks of Brown Sugar is pushing the power amp. And there is an opening lick in Bruce Springsteen's Kitty's Back (from the 70s) that is probably coming out of some old fender who's power amp is opened up wide. If you like some crunch, you get a whole new texture with the air brake.
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2006 18:05:33 GMT -7 by GuitarZ
West Chester, PA Maz Jr Combo & Ghia Head American Deluxe Strat, '68 Gold Top P90 Les Paul, & Martin HD-28V named Bear
The Bad Poodle: rutabay-ayga... rutabay-ayga
Oct 2, 2019 12:33:25 GMT -7
"Z" Steve: I'm losing status at the high school - I used to think that is was MY school
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The Bad Poodle: A bunch of pom-pom girls, Looked down their nose at me. They had painted tons of posters, I had painted three. I hear the secret whispers Everywhere I go, My school spirit is at an All time low...
Oct 8, 2019 17:11:32 GMT -7
"Z" Steve: Oh Look! My hair is getting good in the back!
Oct 10, 2019 20:48:05 GMT -7
GuitarZ: Argghh! ETA for power is Sunday midnight. Thank you for giving us all a place to vent. At least we have a generator and our house suffered zero damage from the storms.
Nov 1, 2019 13:25:37 GMT -7
Ed M.: Yup generator is humming along.....
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GuitarZ: Yea! Our power's back on. They beat their estimate by two days! Yea!!!!!! Let's hope you're right behind Ed M.
Nov 1, 2019 18:15:14 GMT -7
roscoenyc: Almost every piece of gear I have except for my tuner has at least one knob. Those are for adjusting. PSA for the "too much bass" crowd.
Nov 14, 2019 9:10:34 GMT -7
The Bad Poodle: cause we all know Too much bass increases "tube rattle"....
Nov 14, 2019 11:23:20 GMT -7
roscoenyc: Oh my goodness!!!
Nov 14, 2019 11:24:11 GMT -7
GuitarZ: They say you should be on the same page about kids before you get married. I really think you ought to talk about expectations on outdoor Christmas/Holiday lights. That could have been a game changer.
Dec 7, 2019 13:38:37 GMT -7