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Big decision to make (Z content)

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
I've just been blessed with the opportunity to purchase several pieces of beautiful Dr. Z equipment. It's beautiful stuff, a very good friend sold it to me who is making lots of changes in his life, so it was a mutual benefit transaction. I now own 5 pieces of Dr. Z gear, in addition to the amps I already owned.
I can't keep everything. I have to sell something to recoup some of the household budget money.
Here's the Z stuff I bought:

*Maz 18 Jr. Reverb 20th Anniversary head, red with S&P grill
*Maz 38 Sr. Reverb in beige or cream tolex.
*Carmen Ghia head, red with black grill
*Z Best cab (not even broken in yet) red with black grill, english made G12H and V30 inside
*Z 1x12 cab, English made V30, matches the Maz 38 Sr. head

Here's the stuff I already own:

*Mesa Maverick head, near mint, cream tolex, tan leather handle and corners
*MIM Pro Junior w/Weber Legacy 10"
*MIA tweed Pro Junior, stock
*Yamaha G50-112 w/ Weber hemp Silver Bell
*Egnater Tweaker cab w/ Weber Reinhardt 1265 clone

As far as what I already owned, here's where I stand:
I've been totally ready for the Maverick to be outclassed, but not so, it's a great amp that offers something the Zs don't, believe it or not. The Yamaha is set to go, but won't bring a lot of cash, thinking of hanging on to it just to leave at rehearsal hall. Clearly I don't need two Pro Juniors (even though I want them both lol). The Tweaker cab is a great lightweight 1x12 and with no E logo, is great to look at too. It's a keeper regardless.

As far as Z stuff, here's where I stand:

Z Best is mint and just an incredible 2x12, best I've ever heard, but at 60 lbs. and with the places I play, I probably should sell. The Ghia is an amp I cannot paint into a corner. It surprises me every time I'm ready to decide that it's the one to go. The Maz 18 is hard to describe. Most harmonically interesting amp, has so many overtones, headroom is not as high as I thought, but higher than the Ghia. Just screams and whispers with the best of them. Maz 38 is the most impressive of the bunch, has more low guts than the rest and more complex mids than the 18. The 38 is the one that's closest to being a keeper.

Bottom line, I need to raise approximately $1300 to $1500 to keep Momma happy with my hobby expenditures. That shouldn't be too hard, but I'm wanting to make the perfect choice.

Can anyone help me get clarity here?
Honestly, this is the best problem I've had in a long time!!
 

redgold

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,880
Keep the Ghia and Z-best because red gear sounds the best.

Seriously, I've owned all the Z amps you list and they are all great. But there is something about the feel of the Ghia and the perfect simplicity of the tone control that made it the keeper for me. Would an attenuator or Power Station allow you to find the sweet spot for the Ghia when gigging? Attenuation might also make it possible for you to let go of the Pro Jr's. I actually am thinking about selling my Pro Jr when the new Badcat Unleash comes out.
 

lakesider

Member
Messages
4,376
I have quite a few Z's myself.

I'd sell the MAZ 38 (really, really loud) and the Z-Best (as you mentioned really, really heavy)

Carmen Ghia is one of the best pure tone machines out there.
The Z 1 x 12" cab is a nice size and sounds great.
MAZ 18 is Doc's most popular amp and can really do a lot of different things.
 

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
Good advice, I'm listening closely. Question: Why am I getting more grind out of the 38 at acceptable jam volume than the 18? The 18 tops out faster, but I'm getting Marshally woody complex mids in the 38 at the same volume level that the 18 is sounding voxy, airy, and less dense, with the tone controls set the same.
I did not mention this, but please know that I'm a "Z" virgin, I've never owned or even had the chance to play a Z until now, so my learning curve is steep, and I'm struggling with ranking these given that there are no bad tones in any of them!!
 

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
Wow....well.....I know what it's like to need to keep the peace out the house..

Bring the wifey in, have it setup so everything looks awesome, and ask her to help you choose.

Play through all of them, making sure to elaborate on how each one is awesome and make her believe it and like am to...

Who knows...maybe you end up selling only one thing because she couldn't decide what to sell either!

it's worked for me in the past! :)
 

la noise

Senior Member
Messages
21,161
Oh... and my two cents:

I'd keep the Ghia and the 38 with the
2 x 12 cab. Sell the 18 and the 1 x 12 cab
as well as the Yamaha, Pro Junior, and Tweaker cab.

That way you have low-headroom
and low-wattage options (Ghia) with
high-wattage and higher-headroom option.
This allows for the possibility of growth as
a player---as you never know what kinds of
opportunities will present themselves. You'll
have your bases covered on both ends. :aok
 

redgold

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,880
Question: Why am I getting more grind out of the 38 at acceptable jam volume than the 18? The 18 tops out faster, but I'm getting Marshally woody complex mids in the 38 at the same volume level that the 18 is sounding voxy, airy, and less dense, with the tone controls set the same.
I never thought the 38 or 18 really sounded or responded the same. The 38 is really it's own thing not just a higher wattage version of the 18.

That being said, I've found Z's to be very sensitive to tubes, both brands and longevity. Are there more hours on the 18 by any chance?
 

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
la noise, good thoughts, I'm pretty close to that, except I'm leaning toward using the Tweaker cab with the Mesa Maverick, which I would obviously be keeping. The 2x12 is the clear winner in tone, but moving 60 lbs with all else I have to carry with me to a gig is a daunting task.
 

DeaconBlues

Member
Messages
2,975
I'd sell the MAZ 38 (really, really loud) and the Z-Best (as you mentioned really, really heavy)
That's probably what I'd do, too, for the same reasons. I've owned the Ghia twice. I've also owned two Pro Jr's. I still have one of the Jr's and the Ghias are gone. So, I might be tempted to just get that collection down the the Maz Jr.. I've never owned one of those.
 

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
Everywhere I turn, there's this undeniable quality that makes none of these amps expendable. In a shootout between the Maz Jr. and the Carmen Ghia, the Ghia keeps coming up a winner despite having less headroom. It's just the biggest sound from a low powered amp I've ever heard.
The Maz Jr. is a lighter, more airy, less dense tone, less lower mids than either the Maz 38 and the Ghia.

The one test I'm going to have to come back to is the low volume sounds from the Maz Jr. vs. the Maz Sr. So far, it seems like the 38 Sr. does low volume very well with the use of pedals, and it even seems like I'm getting a better overdrive using the master volume, at low volume, than the 18 Jr.
Maybe checking the tubes in the Jr. is something I do tonight.
 

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
And definitely, a Pro Jr. is the most bang for buck for vintage tone/pedal platform guys. Plenty loud, sort of boutique-y with the right tubes and speaker, very touch sensitive, loves pedals, mics well. Hard to argue with holding on to at least one of these.
 

redgold

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,880
It's a tough call. You have some really fine amps there. Myself, I would let go of either the 38 or 18, the Z best and one of the Pro Jr's. It would be a tough call between the 38 and 18. The 38 can do this nice steely blackface thing with American voiced speakers. But the 18 sounds so cool and airy with a touch of Vox with a strat. Difficult decision, but good choices either way!

How soon do you have to decide? Sometimes when I'm debating a gear choice, I just give it a few months...whatever gets played less, goes. It's the behavioral approach.
 

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
The 38 and 1x12 are matched set. I think I must sell the Z Best. From there, it's a matter of avoiding duplication. The Mesa Maverick is probably just as loud as the 38, for outdoor gigs. And then........ I feel the room spinning. . . ...
 

dictio

Member
Messages
66
My 2 cents: I had a 38 head/Z-Best and a 18 head/1x12 at the same time. For me the 18 breaks up too soon in loud situations, and the Z-best is way too heavy (I also prefer open back, which I only found out afterwards. . .). So I kept the 38 with the 1x12.
 

humblepie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
429
Love this feedback guys. I've gotten lots of good ideas.
I'm leaning toward using the Ghia as my lower volume tone machine, sacrificing the more acceptably powered Maz 18 in favor of the tonal variations of the Maz 38, with my absolute sleeper Mesa Maverick taking me to all points in between. Probably will sell one of the Pro Juniors and the Yamaha as well.
Soon I'll be putting a beautiful like new 20th Anniversary Red tolex with salt and pepper grille Maz 18 Jr. Reverb (with cover) up for sale, along with a not yet broken in Z Best cabinet red with black grille, also with a cover.
 




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