Palmer PDI06 – Product Review by Marc van de Graaf, rycooder.nl
Now here’s a piece of hardware that really solves practical issues! This little box enables you to use your stage-amp as a bedroom-/practice amp and, even better, let’s you use your favourite settings at all gigs and venues!
It’s a Power Attenuator. So what it does is the following:
The power of your amp needs to go somewhere. This power would normally be transformed into sound by the coil-movements of your speaker. This little box transforms a portion of this power into “heat”. It can even absorb all the power (Load Box). It works with the last stage of your amp, the Power Stage. This is where you push your amp into overdrive.
The way I use this little apparatus is the following:
I know what my favourite (Palmer Fat 50 watt) amp-settings are. (You can find these while on stage or in a large practice-facility if your amp is high-wattage.) Now all I have to do, when gigging, is choose the right percentage of power for the venue I’m playing in. The result is that I have my favourite sound available, no matter what the size of the venue is! The Power Pad offers me 5 stages (70%, 50%, 35%, 25% and 18%). These percentages tell what amount of load is left. Not what it’s reduced by. Less than 18% would be useless, because guitar speakers don’t work at their best at low-volumes. The Load Box setting mutes the amp completely, allowing you to use it for recording. And yes, there is a true bypass switch and you can couple it with two speakers (I have the 8 Ohm version, so I can connect 2x 16 Ohm or 1x 8 Ohm). It doesn’t need a power-supply.
Proper use. There are a couple of basic rules:
– A guitar-amp always needs to have the correct speaker load, so there’s a 4 Ohm, 8 Ohm and a 16 Ohm version of the Power Pad. Use the right one.
– Use speaker cables, not guitar cables! Typically, 2 or 3 short cables, depending on whether you connect one or two speakers.
– An attenuator can seriously test your amp, because it enables you to crank it to the max … So, keep your amp in good condition.
– Don’t cover the top of the attenuator, because it needs to get rid of warmth.
– A definite “need-to-have” for all you higher-wattage-amp users or those guitarists who accidentally have neighbours or room-mates.
For different versions, Amps and speaker-simulators that work well with the PDI-06, please visit the Palmer website:
Source: www.rycooder.nl/pages/palmer_PDI-06.htm, Netherlands, 2012