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Suhr Reactive Load IR attenuator

Suhr Reactive Load IR attenuator  ·  Source: Suhr

The problem with attenuators, load boxes or power soaks is always speaker emulation. On a hardware basis, it somehow never really sounds like a real speaker cab. Suhr has introduced the Reactive Load IR, an enhanced version of the original, that should find some fans thanks to its cab/speaker emulation using IRs.

Suhr Reactive Load IR

“Everything you need, nothing you do not need.” That’s what Suhr says about its new Reactive Load IR. Basically, it’s a load box, which means you plug it into the amp head and go straight to your source (or your speaker cab). And everything stays quiet. You can also use headphones or go straight to your favourite DAW.

What makes this unit stand out is the “IR” part of the product’s name. Speaker cabinets are emulated via Impulse Responses. You can either you use one of the 16 in-built IRs from Celestion or connect to the box via USB and load up your own models on it to use either recording or playing live.

Suhr Reactive Load IR front panel

Suhr Reactive Load IR front panel


Otherwise, the structure is pretty much identical, with controls for DI level including a switch for PAD and Hi-Cut as well as jacks for headphones and AUX In. On the back you’ll find Input and Thru jacks, as well as the DI and Line Outs and the USB port.

Suhr Reactive Load IR rear panel

Suhr Reactive Load IR rear panel

It all sounds like a very well thought out design to me. If your amp outputs 8 ohms and a maximum of 100 watts, then the Suhr Reactive Load IR could be for you.

The price is certainly not a bargain, but still cheaper than some of the alternatives out there.

RRP – USD 599

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by Jef

7 responses to “Suhr Reactive Load IR: A neat box of amp tricks”

  1. limerot says:

    “…for guitarists that need flexible volume control when recording or using high wattage valve amps live”. How can this box control volume levels in a live situation?

    • Jef says:

      Because you can send your amp’s virtual speaker output to a front of house engineer and have them set the level to your monitor or in-ear monitoring. You don’t need to blast a cabinet on stage at full volume.

      • limerot says:

        Well, I can do that without this box. The headliner to this article is misleading. This box is all about speaker emulation, not controling volume.

        • Jef says:

          Opinions differ on how to achieve certain results and it would also depend on how you set up for live work. However, if you don’t want a 100-watt amp head blasting near you on the stage and would prefer to hear it at a reasonable level without damaging your ears (or the amp head) then this load box, with built-in IR function would work a treat. YMMV

          • limerot says:

            And if I want to use a speaker cabinet, too? No way to control the volume, then.

          • Jef says:

            Well just buy a more traditional attenuator instead you could get on with doing that. This is a load box though, so not the same thing. You could just have your main cabinet offstage and mic’d, or use a sealed cab. I would use this more for in-ear monitoring live or recording myself.

          • Jef says:

            I’d recommend either of the following attenuator boxes – One of the old Friedman ones or the Dr Z Air Brake. I’ve owned both and used them mainly with Plexi amp heads rated between 50-100 watts with both 2×12 and 4×12 cabs live. Not great for recording though, but good for getting a decent cranked amp tone without going deaf, whilst playing live.

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