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“The THD Hot Plates are great-sounding, elegantly designed, and versatile tone tools... The reactive nature of the Hot Plate gives it a smoother, more refined quality that simple resistive attenuators can’t match.”

     Guitar Player Magazine

Brand-New 8 Ohm THD Hot Plate Dynamic Reactive Power Attenuator/Load Box, straight from the THD Workshop in Snohomish, Washington, in Black with a Gold wrap-around.

Find out why the THD Hot Plate is the best-selling power attenuator in the world.

If you don’t know which impedance you need, please send us a message, and we will help you select the correct version for your amplifier.

THD Hot Plates have been in production since 1993, and are STILL hand-made in the US, using US-subcontractors, US assemblers, and almost entirely US-made parts.

At US$495, plus shipping, they are the best deal in the attenuator world, and are the standard by which ALL other attenuators are judged.

We ship direct to customers, everywhere in the world that the Post Office, UPS, FedEx and DHL go.

What is the THD Hot Plate?

THD's Hot Plate is a dynamic reactive power attenuator that lets you play your tube amp with full output distortion at quiet volumes. Do you love the sound of your amp wide open, but don’t want to be deaf in 2 years? The THD Hot Plate is what you need. With over 100,000 units sold since its introduction in 1993, it's the best-selling power attenuator ever made.

What is a power attenuator?

A power attenuator is a device to be connected between the amp’s speaker output and the speaker cabinet. It permits the amp to be turned up most or all the way, while absorbing a portion of the power generated by the amplifier and turning some of this power into heat. It passes a small part of the power to the speaker.

Why do I want one?

We all know that power tube distortion and output transformer saturation give your guitar a classic sound and “feel” that no pedal or preamp overdrive can match. The problem is that this usually happens at a volume that is WAY too loud for the gig, for rehearsal, for the neighbors, etc… You know the drill. Hot Plates are also used in recording studios for better separation between the instruments, and for use when the speakers (or microphones) sound better at low levels, or when they can’t safely handle the amplifier's full power output. The Hot Plate also makes a perfect dummy load for direct recording, driving effects for a wet/dry rig, or for use on the test bench.

Back in the 1980s, we needed a very good-sounding attenuator for our own in-house testing of THD amplifiers. Our amps are always tested at a wide range of volumes and tones, from clean and pure to serious distortion, and we were tired of our ears hurting. We tried all the attenuators on the market, but they muffled the sound and made even THD amps sound dull. Now our design engineers and quality-control testers don’t have to worry as much about hearing loss, and neither do you.

How does a Hot Plate work?

A THD Hot Plate is a tuned network of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, which adjusts the overall EQ as the volume is turned down, to compensate for the human ear’s frequency response. Your ear perceives sounds differently at dif‍ferent volumes: the louder the sound, the more sensitive your ears are to highs and lows. As the volume drops, your ear becomes more sensitive to the mid-range, and less so for highs and lows. The Hot Plate compensates for this.

How do I use it?

The THD Hot Plate is designed for use ONLY with vacuum tube guitar and bass amplifiers rated up to 100 Watts RMS, and each version is optimized for a specific impedance (2Ω, 2.7Ω, 4Ω, 8Ω, or 16Ω.) Every resistor, every capacitor, and every inductor, in each version, is selected for that exact impedance, which is why our attenuators are safer, better-sounding, and longer-lasting than any other attenuator ever made. We don’t cut corners, and we don’t assume that our customers won’t hear the difference between a proper match and a compromise.

To use one, simply connect the speaker output of your amp to the input of the Hot Plate, then connect your speaker cabinet(s) to the speaker output(s) of the Hot Plate. The amp thinks the Hot Plate is a speaker, so the sound stays true, even when you turn the volume down. An important feature is that the Hot Plate presents the amplifier with a constant impedance, regardless of the amount of attenuation the Hot Plate is set to.

Built-in Noise Reduction

The THD Hot Plate is the only attenuator on the market with built-in noise reduction to reduce the hiss and hum between notes. We designed a passive, single-ended noise reduction system, which provides approximately 10dB of broad band noise reduction without gating or pumping. A by-product of the noise reduction circuit is that it generates light as you play. The harder you play, the brighter it glows.

Tone Controls

The Hot Plate has Bright and Deep switches for tailoring your sound. The Bright switch gives you two different high frequency levels so you can compensate for an overly bright, or dull speaker cabinet or room. The Deep switch offers two distinct bass settings to help you fill out the bottom end, or reduce the bass in a cabinet or room with too much low end.

Adjustable Line Out

THD Hot Plates also feature a Line Out, which is adjustable by its own level control, giving it a wide range of applications. At higher settings, it can provide enough signal to drive the input of a separate power amp for slaving. The middle range of settings is useful for most rack mount effects. And turned most of the way down, the Hot Plate’s Line Out will drive the instrument input of another guitar amplifier for extra power and volume or drive effects for a wet/dry multi-amp rig. Additionally, the Line Out is great for direct recording, when used with a hardware or software speaker emulator.

Will it hurt my amp?

The THD Hot Plate will not damage your amplifier. When you play continuously at full output, you cause your tubes to age more quickly than they would at lower volumes. Using a Hot Plate will maintain the life of your tubes at exactly the same rate, no more or less, as when you play straight into the speaker.

Using a Hot Plate will also not hurt your amp’s transformer any more than playing into a speaker, as long as the impedances are matched (i.e. 8Ω setting on the amp, 8Ω speakers and an 8Ω attenuator). If you are using a well-made amp, then the transformer should last indefinitely, regardless of whether you are driving a speaker or attenuator. If you are using an inferior quality amplifier, and the transformer blows, it would have done this whether you played through a speaker or an attenuator. The Hot Plate puts the same load on the transformer as a speaker (which is why it also makes such a good dummy load).

How do I get one?

First, figure out the impedance of your amp and cabinet (call us or the amp’s manufacturer if you’re not sure.) Then contact us here at the factory to place your order. We sell direct only, eliminating expensive dealer and distributor mark-ups. We ship anywhere!

Who uses THD Products? Here's a partial list of our customers:

Eric Ambel (Steve Earle)

Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam, Blue Rodeo)

Saleem Azam (Born Naked)

Rob Bailey (Anastacia, Echoboy, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Lisa)

Barenaked Ladies

Terry Blankenship (Robert Fripp)

Blue Rodeo

Tommy Bolin (Tommy Bolin Band)

Ross Bolton (Al Jarreau)

Joe Bonamassa

Bruce Bouton (Asleep at the Wheel, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Olivia Newton-John, Ricky Skaggs, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, and many other)

Doyle Bramhall II (Arc Angels, Sheryl Crow, Double Trouble)

Peter Buck (R.E.M.)

Tom Bukovac (Nelson, Keith Urban)

Kevin Cadogan (Third Eye Blind)

Vivian Campbell (Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Dio, Whitesnake)

The Cardigans

Eric Clapton

Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)

Van Conner (Screaming Trees)

Jimmy Crespo (Aerosmith)

Tad Doyle (Tad)

Pete Droge

Bob Dylan

Kevin Eubanks (Tonight Show Band)

John Fogerty (Credence Clearwater Revival)

Mark Ford (Black Crowes, The Mark Ford Band)

Bill Frisell

Rory Gallagher

Brett Garsed (John Farnham, Nelson)

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)

Don Gilmore (Tracy Bonham, Eve 6, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, The Rockinghams, Michael Shrieve, Sugar Ray, Sweet Water, X, Rob Zombie)

Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Brad)

John Goux (Christina Aguilera, Randy Newman, Dwight Yoakam)

Amy Grant Band

Kirk Hammett (Metallica)

Ben Harper

Ron Heathman (Supersuckers)


Scott Henderson (Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty, Tribal Tech, The Zawinul Syndicate)

Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Gov't Mule, Phil Lesh, Derek Trucks)

John Hiatt

Keith Howland (Chicago)

Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones)

Eric Johnson

Henry Kaiser

Steve Kimock (Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, Zero)

Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)

Wayne Krantz

Michael Landau (Christina Aguilera, Anastacia, Laura Branigan, Mariah Carey, Cher, Chicago, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills & Nash, Miles Davis, Julio Iglesias, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Ricky Martin, Joni Mitchell, *NSYNC, New Kids on the Block, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Pink Floyd, Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, basically everybody)

Shawn Lane (Jonas Hellborg)

Greg Leisz (Fiona Apple, Beck, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman, Melissa Etheridge, Amy Grant, Keb' Mo', k.d. lang, Matchbox Twenty, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, The Wallflowers, Dwight Yoakam, and hundreds more)

Michael Lennon (Venice, Stevie Nicks Band)

Matt Mangano (John Mayer)

George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt)

Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters)

Reba McEntire Band

Nate Mendel (Foofighters)

Steve Miller

Tim Mitchell (Shakira)

Bob Mould (Sugar, Hüsker Dü)

Prescott Niles (The Knack)

Krist Novaselic (Nirvana)

Bill Owsley (Amy Grant, Owsley, Judson Spence, Shania Twain)

Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin, The Firm, etc…)

Dean Parks (America, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Natalie Cole, The Coors, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, BB King, Lyle Lovett, Madonna, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, David Lee Roth, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Uncle Cracker, Stevie Wonder, and hundreds more)

James Pennebaker (Lee Roy Parnell, Delbert McClinton)


Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth)

Vernon Reid (Living Color)

Michael Rhodes (Brooks & Dunn, J.J. Cale, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, and hundreds more)

Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)

Jimmy Rip (Mariah Carey, Hall & Oates, Mick Jagger, & Rod Stewart)

Rich Robinson (Black Crowes)

Eddie "King" Roeser (Urge Overkill)

Gavin Rossdale (Bush)

Brian Setzer

Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Peter Green, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks)

Chad Taylor (Live)

Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

George Thorogood

Andy Timmons (Paula Abdul, Beach Boys, Danger Danger, Olivia Newton-John, Kip Winger & many more)

David Torn

Chris Traynor (Bush)

Steve Turner (Mudhoney)


Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)

Jimmy Vaughn (Fabulous Thunderbirds)

Stevie Ray Vaughn

Carl Verheyen (Supertramp, Joe Jackson)

Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna)

Garth Webber (The Ford Blues Band)

Brad Whitford (Aerosmith)

Chas Williams (Nanci Griffith)

Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones)



All THD Attenuators are hand-made in the USA.


ConditionBrand New (New)
Brand New items are sold by an authorized dealer or original builder and include all original packaging.learn more
  • Hot Plate Power Attenuator - 8 Ohm
  • Black / Gold
  • 2022
Made In
  • United States

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