Harley Benton PA-250 Power Attenuator


Harley Benton PA-250 Power Attenuator (resistive) and load box for guitar tube-amps, play your tube-amp at high output level for optimal performance but at reduced volume, can be used as dummy load, useful tool for rehearsal, live performance and direct recording without compromising the original character and feel of the amplifier, 6 steps of power reduction, “Fine” adjustment control for the -15dB option, input wattage up to 250 watts, LED with overload function, onboard silent fan cooling, 8/16 Ohms option, speaker out, line output with adjustable level control, low impedance XLR DI out. Works without power supply, but the aux power option can be used in order to make the fan and light run stable, regardless of the power from the amp. Dimensions 235 x 178 x 88 mm, weight 2,67 kg

Impedance 8, 16
Noise Supression No
DI Interface No
Speaker Simulation Yes
Dummy Load (usable without cabinet) Yes
available since November 2021
Item number 510412
sales unit 1 piece(s)
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Brings a 100W Amplifier to bedroom levels with little loss in tone.
Zak Rahman 20.11.2021
In a nutshell:

I am extremely happy with the PA-250 and recommend it based on the details provided below:

This unit was suggested to me by the Thomann staff. I needed something because I was sick of looking at my favourite amp and not being able to use it to record or play. I don't do gigs much anymore.

For reference, here is the gear I used:
I have a Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 head. I have recently biased it and changed the power tubes to JJs. This goes into a 4x12 1960B cabinet with greenbacks. I use a Jackson soloist with Duncan Seymour JBs and Hot Rail passive pickups. I sometimes use a tube screamer. Not much of a pedal guy. For microphones, I use a SM57 and e906 combo to record my cabinet.


I have never been able to crank my amplifier above 3.5. Even when I did gigs with it at large venues, it is an insanely loud amplifier. It's a Marshall; more balls than brains. I cranked the poweramp and turned on the attenuator. I had to use the highest settings of attenuation, but it really brings it down to what I would call 'loud conversation level'. I could still have a conversation while playing.

The load box functionality and line out work very well too. I can now record a cranked JCM2000 at 2AM in the morning and everyone around me can sleep peacefully. This is a huge factor for me.

Regarding how it affects tone, in my opinion it does suck a bit of the highs away. So all I did was adjust my amp's EQ slightly and the problem was solved. I recorded the attenuated cabinet and was extremely pleased with the results. The recordings still had that 'oomf' that you get from recording a cabinet. But the volume was loud conversation level. The cranked poweramp section afforded great tones.

I tried layering the miced cab with the line out recordings (and IR-loading cabinet plugin). Once I factored in phase, the results were monstrous. I think I may prefer this to just recording the cabinet. I got a rich and powerful tone that needed very little in the way of EQ. Obviously, results here will vary wildly depending on the skill of the recording engineer.

The unit gets warm, but in my experience not hot. This is great. The fan is audible but not annoying and not loud at all. When you're recording the noise of the fan is a none-issue. If you need total silence to record something else, then you probably shouldn't have your amplifier on in the first place.


The unit requires a power supply and this is not provided. I didn't know I needed this and was only able to have it working out of the box because I have spares. I don't think it's good enough that this detail is omitted. I have deducted a star from features for this reason. The documentation is extremely basic - but accurate. It can be relied on.


This unit has increased my quality of work and has enabled me to do something I thought was impossible. This has given me a ton of freedom and a lot of confidence.

A bedroom player would not be able to use this very late at night if they wanted to play through the cab. But during the day and evening, it's probably fine - just check your local laws and your family/neighbours' situation. This does lead me to think that the PA-250 would be great for attenuating an amp for smaller venues in case you are a gigging musician.

I am extremely happy with this product and recommend it based on the details provided within the review.


Cheap and...
DoctorBlue 27.11.2021
I tested the attenuator with two different amps (Marshall JMP and ENGL E650), through the same cab (Marshall 4x12).

- it's built well, looks solid;
- it can support amps with higher power;
- it has a fan (but I don't think it is really necessary, during my test, the attenuator remained cool);
- it has a selectable impendance 8/16 ohms and a line out;
- it can go to zero.
Now, the cons:
- it drastically modifies the response of the amp - the punch is gone;
- you have to compensate with the eq of the amp;
- it robs any amp of its harmonics.

I had to return it. I also have another attenuator, which I borrowed from a friend. I won't say the name of the brand here. But it costs 6 times as much. That attenuator really makes a difference. If you care about your sound and how it feels when you are playing it, you have to look elsewhere. If you are on a budget, you can be happy with this Harley Benton. I really think this company has made big steps and improves constantly.


Great Attenuator
Hamlet HMT 14.12.2021
Very good for high power amps. Excellent workmanship and flawless functionality.


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Nickname6 21.12.2021
Anfangs war ich sehr skeptisch, bei solch einem preiß etwas wirklich brauchbares zu bekommen, was auch zu meinem musikstil passt!
Ich steckte echt in der Klemme, da ich umgezogen bin, und nun direkte Nachbarn mit überirdisch guten ohren habe...In meiner alten Wohnung konnte ich meinen 70er Jahre 50watt marquis röhrenamp bei Lust und Laune auch um Mitternacht noch bis in die Sättigung fahren, da ich in einer kneipenmeile gewohnt habe, und ich auch keine direkten Nachbarn hatte 😀
Die Zeiten sind wohl leider vorerst vorbei, da meine neuen Nachbarn sogar meine Schritte hören können...
Nun suchte ich auf schnelle und mit wenig Geld ,eine übergangslösung um meine geliebten röhrenamps weiterhin am sweetspot spielen zu können, und zusätzlich ab Ruhezeiten auch mit kopfhörern einen brauchbaren Sound auf die Ohren zu kriegen..

Nun zur Sache!
Gerät bestellt, plus harley benton Micro CAB..
Lieferung war wie immer super schnell und gut verpackt 🙂
Gerät ausgepackt, mein erster Eindruck war, dass der attenuator sehr solide und schwer ist, das gefällt mir! Wirkt wirklich vertrauenserweckend!..
Die Bedienungsanleitung ist etwas unausführlich beschrieben, aber ausreichend..
Ich hab als erstes meinen selbstgebauten fender deluxe orientierten amp angeschlossen, dann mit dem lineout vom attenuator in den Micro CAB, und vom Micro CAB direkt ins Mischpult, vom Pult in den kopfhörerverstärker zum Kopfhörer..
Anfangs musste ich viel rumprobieren um alles klanglich einzustellen, da es doch schon ziemlich "fremd" und kalt klang, aber nach ca. 2 Stunden spielen,einstellen, und auch mal Pause für die Ohren machen, gelang es mir tatsächlich den originalen Sound, den ich sonst in meinem Raum wahrnehme, fast 1 zu 1 über kopfhörer auf die Ohren zu bringen!!! MEGA!! Dafür schonmal einen riesigen Pluspunkt!
Als nächstes kam dann mein marquis mit 50 Watt Leistung zum Einsatz, und da hatte ich schon nach ein paar Minuten einen wirklich guten Sound auf den ohren🙂
Zusätzlich ist das auch ein kleiner härtetest, da der amp, bedingt ua. durch die riesigen alten Transformatoren, selbst bei voller lautstärke noch unglaublich straff und kraftvoll bleibt, und somit auch überdimensionierten Lautsprechern böse werden kann...
Doch der attenuator wird selbst nach einer halben stunde stonerrock Riffs auf Vollgas, nur handwarm, und verpufft die geballte Power in Form warmer Luft gemütlich in den Raum, als wär nichts los😁

Und ehrlich zur attenuator Funktion brauch ich kaum was sagen..einfach spitze!
Klar wenn man den attenuator sehr leise (unter zimmerlautstärke mit 50watt röhre auf fast rechtsanschlag) macht, klingt es doch etwas dünn und kalt, was aber meiner Meinung nach auch daran liegt, dass die Box bei der flüsterlautstärke nicht wirklich "atmet" und schwingt...
Aber auf zimmerlautstärke oder etwas drüber, klingt es fast 1 zu 1... nur das vibrieren im Magen und wandern der Gegenstände im Raum fehlt, genauso wie das verzweifelte klopfen des nachbarn 😆
Ich bin super zufrieden, und kann das Produkt nur weiterempfehlen!