Dr Z as pedal platform?

Gasp100

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I've always just assumed Blackface amps are the best pedal platforms, but I am now thinking to change things up a bit.
I currently have a modest pedalboard and at the same time a Fractal FM3. I may move the FM3 and invest more heavily in booteek pedals (Greer Lightspeed on the way).
But, I'm looking to get back to more of an "earthy" organic tone with a little bit more character then scooped Blackface Fender.
I had a very old Maz 18 Jr, Reverb and I didn't jive with it. Actually I did not give it enough time, but willing to try again.
I had the Jetta which was damn good and might try again, but it was pretty close to Fender clean tones.
I'm wondering thoughts on Maz 18 NR?
 

Joe M

Member
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204
If your looking for the Fender sound in a Dr Z, IMHO, you need a 6v6 based amp. Two of the best, are Cure and Z-Plus. Not a coincidence that I own both. :) Both take pedals very well.

Oops, just re-read your post, looks like you’re trying to get away from a Fender sound. Forget what I said. :rolleyes:
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
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9,843
The Maz Jr NR is amazing with pedals! First of all, the Maz is my favorite amp ever. Just inhaled just about any pedal I put in front of it. My personal favorites were the Wampler Paisley and the Pinnacle.

The only reason I don't have the Maz anymore is because it's too loud for my current needs. However, the Mk. II version with the PPIMV has me rethinking that.
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
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21,747
The Maz Jr NR is amazing with pedals! First of all, the Maz is my favorite amp ever. Just inhaled just about any pedal I put in front of it. My personal favorites were the Wampler Paisley and the Pinnacle.

The only reason I don't have the Maz anymore is because it's too loud for my current needs. However, the Mk. II version with the PPIMV has me rethinking that.
The old ones normally have a Master Volume as well. I guess my thought is start with an older used Maz for a fair price, see how I get on with it then consider sending in for Mark II upgrades.
 

paddywhack

Gold Supporting Member
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1,270
I’ve had more than dozen Z’s and they have all handled my pedalboards just fine....but the truth is I’ve never owned any amp that didn’t....I don’t really get the “pedal platform” thing....
 

Blue Strat

Member
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30,151
Kind of depends on WHAT pedals. Delay pedals are usually "best liked" with clean amps. Overdrive pedals can work well with clean OR dirty amps.
 

ProfRhino

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7,114
I'm absolutely not a fan of stack-in-a-box pedals, but if they ever make borderline sense to me, it's in front of my old MAZ38 Reverb set clean. :aok
I'm in the minority of those who actually think BF is not a good pedal platform at all, the lushness in their clean tone makes them suck with higher gain pedals, ime. :dunno
boosting on the other hand is an entirely different story.
The MAZ excels at both.
ymmv,
Rhino
 

whateverdude

Gold Supporting Member
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1,425
My Route 66 is a beast if an amp that takes pedals like a champ. With that being said, just like paddywhack stated, I haven’t owned amp that doesn’t take pedals well, lol
 
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Bigtone

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1,428
I just tried a Z Wreck junior, at home for a good solid test,
I can say it would be a great pedal platform, nice solid clean or edge of break up , whatever you prefer, it took my pedals well.
The thing that overshadowed the great clean though, was the master volumn overdrive tones, they were
Just superb, in a very vintage way,
I didn’t buy the amp, I just don’t need another amp at my age, but it was one of the funnest amps I’ve played in a long time,
My old Maz 18 took pedals really well , but the Z wreck IMO is even more fun.
Bt
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
21,747
The only reason I'm not looking at a higher gain amp is because I play a variety of music and although I'm OK with using the volume knob to "clean up" I don't get "very clean" that way. I have started to play more of edge of breakup tones, hence considering the Maz 18 again.
I owned the Jetta for a short time as well and that was a very cool amp. A little to pingy/bell like with the Ampeg vibe for what I'm looking at now.
But honestly, if I had that amp now it would probably get great for gigs - loud enough, very robust full cleans in a 35lb package.
I think overall the Maz has a little more "character"?
 

aaronblues

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,701
The Maz takes pedals better than anything else I've owned.
That includes other Z's with the ef86 front end, Hiwatt, Marshall, tweeds and Silverface Fenders. (And others also.)
 

PerryR

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,185
I love my Jetta’s, they do just fine with my OD’s, Fuzz and time based fx. But I really like the Jetta tone in general for what I play.

I also have MAZ18’s, both an original and the newer MKII.. and the MKII MAZ18 is really something special. the years of small tweaks, voicing updates and the new PPI master volume take the amp to a new level. Still MAZ at the core, but added versatility and range of OD that sounds stellar at any level. I would never update my original MKI, I love it, but no denying the MKII is further evolved.
View media item 242384
 
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PaulHudgins

Member
Messages
549
I have an EZG50 and it works great as a pedal platform, but it has to be cranked to get an edge of breakup sound. Definitely a Blackface style amp. Probably not what you are looking for, but it does sound great with pedals.
 

easyed

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,561
I think the Z-Luxe would be just right for you. Great Fender 6V6 tone but a much better preamp for greater versatility.

Dr. Z's amps are are a bargain IMO. Hand wired in the USA with top quality components and quality control as good as any other amp on the market.
 

rhinocaster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23,236
You know, the M12 was designed as an amp specifically for pedal board players...according to doc.

I had one and played a bunch of shows with it. Sounded really great. Strong and clear and more balanced to my ear than many EL84 amps.
 

ProfRhino

Member
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7,114
The Maz takes pedals better than anything else I've owned.
there is a reason why they get used on so many pedal demos. :dunno
that said, I typically use the natural power amp drive on mine - master full, dial in gain to taste, use a Klon or Timmy as lead boost.
great tones, whatever concept you prefer ! :love:
Rhino
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
21,747
You know, the M12 was designed as an amp specifically for pedal board players...according to doc.

I had one and played a bunch of shows with it. Sounded really great. Strong and clear and more balanced to my ear than many EL84 amps.
I'm considering one, but as suggested right above I love the option to bring in some natural overdrive from the amp and then boost it as well.
I guess the truth is I'm looking for slightly more then a clean pedal platform, but primarily use it clean/cleanish (which is still very clean by many people's standards).
I do remember my last Maz 18 (2x10) was very loud, I think I put the master on 9:00 even at gigs. But perhaps I wasn't running it right, even then it did take pedals well. Probably let that amp go way too soon... what's new???
 

rhinocaster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23,236
I'm considering one, but as suggested right above I love the option to bring in some natural overdrive from the amp and then boost it as well.
I guess the truth is I'm looking for slightly more then a clean pedal platform, but primarily use it clean/cleanish (which is still very clean by many people's standards).
I do remember my last Maz 18 (2x10) was very loud, I think I put the master on 9:00 even at gigs. But perhaps I wasn't running it right, even then it did take pedals well. Probably let that amp go way too soon... what's new???
I do remember that the M12 did that Z thing where the tone knobs set past 12 O'clock did increase gain....but the amp was getting pretty loud for clubs for me at that point. The Cure was a truly awesome amp that I found to be more complex than blackface Fender but it might be too close to that sound for what you're after. The one that I think would be great for you sonically is the Z28 but it's loud too...that's the voice I'd think you're after however.
 
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Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
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21,747
I do remember that the M12 did that Z thing where the tone knobs set past 12 O'clock did increase gain....but the amp was getting pretty loud for clubs for me at that point. The Cure was a truly awesome amp that I found to be more complex than blackface Fender but it might be too close to that sound for what you're after. The one that I think would be great for you sonically is the Z28 but it's loud too...that's the voice I'd think you after however.
Right now I have the Synergy SYN-30 combo (modular system) and I ordered the T/DLX module (Twin / Deluxe) so I have to at least give that a chance and test it out. On paper that was the smartest move for Fender based clean/cleanish pedal platform and the amp has a ton of really great and useful features.
So if I'm still looking at another amp it would be a different flavor, or compliment too that rig. Unless I find something so magical I just move the Synergy rig.
Selling / shipping amps these days SUCKS as you know.
Almost easier to become a collector LOL.
But overall I "think" the Maz 18 has a big more "jingle/jangle" with the EL84's and gets closer to Vox meets Fender vs. straight up Fender with just a touch of Vox?
Maybe I should consider a different Z for this quest?
But, budget is a huge concern and it would have to be a tried and true used formula. Maybe a Ghia?
 




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