DrWatson’s Lion Tamer

DrWatson Lion Tamer

DrWatson’s Lion Tamer came to me by accident at a time that helped me avert great personal tragedy.  No, it doesn’t treat any serious illness or brace a sprained wrist.  It saves your personal relationship with my coveted amp, which I love to hate.

My Fender ‘57 Blues Deluxe reissue roars like a lion.  You might think this is a quality for an amp, but not quite.  You see, this amp roars like a lion all time.  But everyone knows this.

Probably 90% of the time this amp’s volume know doesn’t go past 4.  Given that this amp’s dials max out at 12, forget about diming it.

Let me illustrate a point:  When I place the amp in the living room, for a Saturday afternoon jam and dial in the Master Volume to 7, my neighbor will usually compliment me in the evening, “Oh, I like that jazz stuff you play.”

“Thanks, but did you actually hear me?

“Yeah, I thought you brought your amp outside, it was so loud.”

Here’s another recent anecdote.  Over the Christmas holidays, my eldest son acquired a fabulous Gretsch Limited Edition G5227T Electromatic .  He was desperate for a Vox AC30, but eventually settled on a Fender Blues Junior III.  You see, in the Montreal area, you can find many Blues Juniors and Blues Deluxes for sale.  Given my technical background, I helped my son ask the right questions about why the amp is for sale.  At least a dozen sellers complained that they couldn’t play their amp in a small apartment, but I digress.

Previous Attempts At Taming the Output

I’ve tried various volume pedals and just about every setting on my ME-25, but I can’t play adequately with the amp volume at 1 while everyone is sleeping.  I even considered a hot-plate; I’ve placed the amp face down or facing the wall.  I refuse to play through headphones.

Furthermore, my amp is of the later “Made in Mexico” era and has some lower quality components wave-soldered to a crappy printed circuit board.  When I noticed that the PCB is almost charred because of 470 ohm, 5W ceramic power resistors R78, and R79, I was determined to replace them by better quality, metal oxide type that I could offset off the board.

In looking for replacement components, my Google searches kept suggesting that I might want this….”Lion Tamer.”

Playing a Ferrari Racing Game While Your Real Ferrari Sits in Your Garage

After perusing eBay and Amazon, I decided upon Etsy, where I located Danny’s shop, wrote to him, and immediately hit it off with him, my new UK contact.

Danny’s little gadget is very reasonably priced and does the job well.  It provides a much more fluid volume transition that the amp’s volume circuitry does.

I received my Lion Tamers a few days ago and can’t get over the fact that I can crank up the amp to 12 yet play very comfortably without causing ears to bleed.

The design is perfect.  Small and tight fit in the amp’s preamp in and power output jacks, evoke a smile.  This is snug.  

The volume pot is actually equipped with a log (Logarithmic) pot intended for volume control rather than a linear pot on the amp (Fender has no excuse for some of their design issues.)

The Lion Tamer sells for around $30CAD and is worth every penny.  It comes with very simple instructions for use with the Fender Blues Deluxe, Blues Deville, Hot Rod Deluxe, and even Peavey’s Classic 30.

From the included sheet:

“This product is intended to help make the volume more controllable at low levels, such as when these amplifiers are used at home…”

A link to Dr. Watson’s YouTube channel is included, which you may follow here.

Thank you Danny for bringing us DrWatson’s Lion Tamer.

About Grasshopper James 28 Articles
Hi I'm Grasshopper James from Montreal. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. I've been rocking it here since 2007 with my Fender Stratocaster American Standard, Fender Telecaster American Standard, Fender Blues Deluxe '57 Reissue, Ibanez TS9, Boss TU-3, Boss ME-25, Boss GT-3, Boss OD-1, Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46, Jim Dunlop Jazz III Pick, and a Parkwood PW-510.

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