Dr. Z Brake Lite Bangor ME

Dr. Z Brake Lite's open-back construction emphasizes the necessity of attaching it directly to the inside wall of an amp’s cabinet —the Brake Lite cannot be used as a stand-alone unit—and it comes with double-adhesive-backed side tabs and two sturdy mountings screws specifically for this purpose. If you want to have a clear view of this product, this article is right for you.

Knapps Music Store
(207) 947-8888
51B Main St
Bangor, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Northern Kingdom Music
(207) 947-6450
349 Harlow St
Bangor, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment

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Marks Music
(207) 989-6658
203 Penobscot St
Brewer, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, DJ Equipment

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Robitailles Piano Sales
(207) 224-7840
65 Mason Rd
Turner, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano

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Al Corey Music Center
(207) 872-5622
99 Main St
Waterville, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Rdl Strings
(207) 941-0291
31 Central St
Bangor, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Guitars & Fretted Instruments

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Northern Kingdom Music
(207) 352-2263
378 Harlow St
Bangor, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Kaler Street Music
(207) 223-5459
Po Box 259
Winterport, ME

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My Favorite Things
(207) 454-1179
311 Main St
Calais, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment

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Riversounds
(603) 447-2711
16 Fair St
Fryeburg, ME
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Dr. Z Brake Lite

Dr. Z Brake Lite

The Dr. Z Air Brake, which was designed in conjunction with the late Ken Fischer of Train wreck amps, has been a popular attenuator since its introduction around 2003. Now Dr. Z’s new Brake Lite puts similar thinking in a smaller package—with a shrunken price tag to match—in an attenuator that’s intended to be mounted inside the cabinet of any tube combo of less than 45 watts. Its white aluminum housing contains the two large resistors that do all the dirty work, as well as a 5-position rotary switch for selecting four attenuation levels of –11dB down to –2dB plus bypass (the same thing contained in the Mini-Z Head, in fact).

Its open-back construction emphasizes the necessity of attaching it directly to the inside wall of an amp’s cabinet —the Brake Lite cannot be used as a stand-alone unit—and it comes with double-adhesive-backed side tabs and two sturdy mountings screws specifically for this purpose. Once mounted, unplug your combo’s speaker and jack it into the Brake Lite’s “To Speaker” output, and plug the unit’s hard-wired “To Amp” cable into your amp’s output. Viola – your combo now has its own internal attenuator.

I tried the Brake Lite with a range of small and medium-sized combos, and found it cooperated well with all of them, allowing me to do anything from knocking off a few decibels to make a cooking 15-watter less decapitating in a small pub, to—at full attenuation— achieving fully saturated output-tube overdrive for recording in my attic studio while the kids still slept undisturbed just one floor below. Although attenuators are designed to allow you to maintain your ideal “sweet spot” amp settings while reducing overall output levels as desired, their alteration of the interaction between amp, speaker, and the human ear does still change the perceived tone of your amp somewhat.

Higher attenuation settings induce a rounder, more compressed feel, with greater perceived attenuations of lows and, in particular, highs, but this is the case with all units that I have tried, and can be compensated for somewhat by making adjustments in amp EQ and gain settings. This caveat noted, the Brake Lite does its job extremely well and is an extremely useful tool for any guitarists who need to make his or her favorite smaller combo sit right, volume-wise, in a range of venues.–Dave Hunter

Specs
Contact Dr. Z Amplifiers (216) 475-1444, drzamps.com
Model Brake Lite
Price $169 retail/street price N/A
Controls Attenuator (level) 0-4
Ratings For amps of 45 watts or less, with 4Ω, 8Ω, and 16Ω outputs
Kudos
Handy in-cab mounting means you’ll never forget your attenuator again. Solid and reliable output attenuation
Concerns
None.

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