Best portable Blues rig? Dr.Z Maz 18Jr NR or Ghia?? Head or Combo? Any other Sugg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dewman, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    hey- playing blues (SRV, Freddy King, Clapton, BB, etc.) and rock (Crowes, Stones). I have a Germino Club 40 for the other stuff- Hendrix, etc. and was looking for a nice potentially portable blues rig that could still keep up with a band in a band context but wasn't rediculously loud. I was looking at the Dr Z Maz 18 Jr Non reverb with a 1x12 combo or a head with my 2x12 greenback loaded Marshall 1936 cab; the Carmen Ghia head or 2x10 combo; or something like a Z Z28 or a Fender silverface deluxe reverb. Not opposed to tweed amps either, just don't have enough cash to buy them all...ANy suggestions for the Z amps? How about other alternatives like a Fender Tweed delux or handwired low power Tweed Twin? It would be great if I could get 90% of the SRV amped up blues and still be able to play some Keith Richards or Black Crowes licks too w/ a pedal adjustment or two. Wattage is key- I am not looking for the absolute loudest amp out there since I already have that covered with an Ampeg VT-40, loud and clean. I thought the Z amps were good and relatively cheap and welcome your opinions! Thanks-

    D
     
  2. m1911

    m1911 Member

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    IMHO.....The most versatile and portable grab-n-go combo Z makes is the MAZ Junior 1x12.
    Most would opt for a G12H-30 I guess, but I put Alinico Hemp Cone Tone Tubbies in a couple of those Combos.
    Between your Master and Gain settings....along with the full EQ (including "Cut")....you can go from clean to screamin if you like.
    Reverb or Non-Reverb is your choice. Many people it seems like the NR but the Reverb in the 1x12 is gorgeous!
    This truely sounds good from low volume on up. It takes pedal well, but you'll find you won't need em'.
    Mark
     
  3. Blues Wail

    Blues Wail Member

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    i'll second the MAZ jr. terrific amp!
     
  4. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I have been doing the same search for a number of years. I was hauling around a '66 Super Reverb with a hotplate, but I just bought a Clark Beaufort and I am loving it. It is very loud for 18 watts. I may still need to mic it for many gigs, but no big deal cause I'm hauling around a PA anyway, right? The tone is unbelievable. I no longer use any of my pedals, except the Clark Gainster that mates perfectly with this amp. The pedals just don't add anything to the already rich tone. I may still use the OCD for an early Marshall sound because it also paired very well with the Clark.
    The tweed deluxe is a very cool blues sound and very portable. Granted it does not have a ton of tonal variations, but what it does it does exceptionally well. Great, natural compression and it goes from a little grit to all out crunchy grind.
     
  5. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    Maz Jr is always a good choice, or something of the Tweed Deluxe type (Victoria 20112, Clark Beuford, etc.) would be great too.
     
  6. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    I own the Maz 18 2x10 w/reverb. It's not the lightest amp to carry around - but it's a great amp with single coils. It's a pretty loud amp; louder than my Carr Rambler, which is rated 28watts. The Maz Jr. is a very punchy and versatile amp that begs to be tweaked and thrashed with pedals. There's many colors to dial in and the options are daunting because the Jr. can cop a lot of tones {make sure you try both inputs}.
     
  7. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    For something light, check out the Top Hat Club Deluxe. It's voiced a little more earthy than the Maz 18 ( a great amp for sure). I believe it's based on a Vox preamp, and tweed deluxe output section. I love mine, and it hangs pretty well with the band.
     
  8. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

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    Z.'s stuff is great, the Maz 38 combo might be considered, too. i use an old Ampeg Reverberocket w/an Emi Private Jack; would love to have a Heritage Victory (22w), or a Juke 112 or 210 (about the size of my Reverberocket) (35w). someone here is selling a VHT Pittbull combo that'd be great, too.

    :cool:
     
  9. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    Well who didn't know that I was suggest a Goodsell Super 17...lol...I don't own a Strat, but I think it could do the SRV thang, and with my ASAT Classic (Tele) it does an "EL84 with a bad attitude" Stones...the amp is very light (40-ish?) with a Heritage G12H and also available in a head version...lots of good posts on the same subject so be sure to do some thread huntin'...good luck and let us know where you come out.....
    BT
     
  10. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    I've got two go-to portable rigs I can recommend:

    Top Hat Club Royale (one 12") - more vox/marshall sounding (probably much like the Z you are looking at).

    Bruno CT22 - in the Fender zone, but better.

    The Top Hat is probably more in your price range, but the Bruno is probably more what you are looking for. Both are usually used with a Strat, and both sound very good in their own way.
     
  11. john b

    john b Supporting Member

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    If you're thinking of the MAZ jr. I'd suggest going with the NR version. It has a little more gain to it and you can easily run a Holy Grail through the effects loop for 'verb. The holy grail through the loop sounds great, very close to an internal tank.
     
  12. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    You might want to consider a Gries 20. 20 watts 1x12 or 2x10, reverb, bright switch, vol, treble mid, bass, master. I have the model 35 and play SRV, EC etc also. The amp is great and dave is a pleasure to work with.
     
  13. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    No offense, John, but {when discussing the Maz 18} I hear this statement all the time and I just don't get this thinking. The Z's internal verb blows the Holy Grail {an arguably messy, noisy unpredictable effects box} out of the water. The savings isn't there if one intends to use Reverb, anyway. Why spend the $$$ on an outboard effect and have to carry another pedal around? If reverb isn't important than I'd agree bag it and save $200.

    Having said that, the Maz Jr.'s verb is nothing like a Fender. It's more out front and obtrusive sounding if turned up too much. Still, it's tube driven amplifier delish if you only use a splash. I like it better than any effects pedal I've heard.
     
  14. tga-3

    tga-3 Supporting Member

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    I've been looking for pretty much the same thing......I have a Dr Z 1X12 open back cab with a G12H100 and I'm thinking about pairing it up with a matching Dr Z Delta 88. Yeah it can get loud, but from what I've read and heard, it sounds great at any volume, takes pedals well, and the cleans are good and aggressive for blues and rock. It isn't about the watts, but about getting your tone at any volume in a small package and this amp does it. The Delta 88 covers Freddie King and SRV (Marshall Major) really well. Michael Burkes uses them, Brad Paisley has one, any other insight from Delta 88 users would really be appeciated.
    Thanks,
    Rick
     
  15. lcjc800

    lcjc800 Member

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    I second the Maz reverb, good, in small doses. The amp has all the character needed to play Blues in any situation,I love mine and even in the road case, it is very portable. Mine is a 2x10 and at close to 6 yrs. old has no signs of wear. Replaced a 800 half stack unbelievably well.:dude
    [​IMG]
     
  16. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    I love Dr. Z amps. If this 2 Rock I just got hadn't worked out so well I'd have bought a a few of them.

    My vote for a nice low wattage Blues application is a Route 66 32 watts. Killer blues.
     
  17. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    Considered a Carr Rambler?
     
  18. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    Except they are too loud for most small-med size clubs.
     
  19. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    I think a Fuchs SLX ODS would fit the bill really well in either 30w or 50w 1x12 configuration. People think of it as as just a 'Robben/Larry' type amp, but its so much more.
    Spectacularly good Master Volume that doesn't suck tone combined with the best natural overdrive for the $$ makes it worth checking out.
    Not a knock on the Z stuff- just another thought in a killer blues amp for what you describe as your needs
     
  20. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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