Dr Z Jetta

doctorice

Member
Messages
22
I'm a big fan of Dr Z amps, so I decided to buy his latest one, the Jetta, based on a few clips posted on the Z Talk forum. The amp arrived yesterday.

It's like Z's Carmen Ghia as far as controls: volume and tone, plus master volume. There's an effects loop; I believe it's the Metropoulos zero-loss board. Amp puts out 30 watts from a pair of 7591s, a tube Z has not previously used in his amps.

Anyway, I got lost for a couple hours plugged straight in with a Tele. With that guitar the amp stays pretty clean even with the amp's volume control up high. I did plug a PRS with humbuckers in and got more crunch.

Tone knob on the amp goes from darker to brighter and seems to increase gain as it's turned up.

Sound is very detailed and "transparent", reacting to pickup changes and guitar volume and tone knob movements. I didn't miss having more amp eq knobs.

There's plenty of headroom, so I think it will be quite pedal-friendly. (That's a project for today.) Low end is solid too.

Anyone else getting one or considering it?
 

Greentone

Member
Messages
2,903
I’m very curious about this amp. I might bite and try one. I’ve been looking for a new amp to retire my old Deluxe from road work.
 

glumlord

Member
Messages
609
working on selling a couple other amps to fund the Jetta. It's kind of a dream amp for me. I gigged with a mid 60's Ampeg Gemini I for a few years and it was pretty much perfect. My only 2 complaints about the amp were that it was just a little bit under-powered at ~20 watts and that it was just a little too big and bulky for it's output(although Ampeg is well known for their well designed and constructed cabs being part of their great sound). I was also always a bit worried about gigging an amp like that as hard as I did.

From what I can tell, the Jetta solves both of those concerns and adds some modern reliability and functionality. I can't wait to try one out.
 

doctorice

Member
Messages
22
working on selling a couple other amps to fund the Jetta. It's kind of a dream amp for me. I gigged with a mid 60's Ampeg Gemini I for a few years and it was pretty much perfect. My only 2 complaints about the amp were that it was just a little bit under-powered at ~20 watts and that it was just a little too big and bulky for it's output(although Ampeg is well known for their well designed and constructed cabs being part of their great sound). I was also always a bit worried about gigging an amp like that as hard as I did.

From what I can tell, the Jetta solves both of those concerns and adds some modern reliability and functionality. I can't wait to try one out.

The Jetta is pretty compact and weighs 36 lbs. In my experience with Dr Z amps, the power ratings are, if anything, conservative. Seems to have more than enough volume and punch for the small-venue gigs I play.

Speaking of Ampegs, I still have a mid-60s Gemini with a 15" speaker. (It's not working at present.)
 

dukeh62

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,481
Been very intrigued by these. How well does the master volume work at preserving rich tones at lower volumes?
 

glumlord

Member
Messages
609
The Jetta is pretty compact and weighs 36 lbs. In my experience with Dr Z amps, the power ratings are, if anything, conservative. Seems to have more than enough volume and punch for the small-venue gigs I play.

Speaking of Ampegs, I still have a mid-60s Gemini with a 15" speaker. (It's not working at present.)

Thanks for the heads up on the Jetta, that's exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. Wattage can be deceiving, and these days I'm happy with the sounds and movement I get from a smaller combo. If i need more I'll just bring a second amp and run Wet/Dry or Stereo.

I'm assuming you have a Gemini II or a 6? I would guess that because of the higher wattage of those models it would be more in the power range of the Jetta. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the similarities or differences of the Jetta vs Gemini.

My Gemini I also had a 15" JBL but it was a modification done by the previous owner, and it sounded glorious. I recently got a '64 Jet J-12a and will be excited to run it next to the Jetta to see how close they can get in sound. I know it's not a very good comparison as the circuits are pretty different, I will be interested to hear how the 7591's sound in both amps.
 

doctorice

Member
Messages
22
I'm assuming you have a Gemini II or a 6? I would guess that because of the higher wattage of those models it would be more in the power range of the Jetta. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the similarities or differences of the Jetta vs Gemini.

My Gemini -- it is a VI -- hasn't worked for quite a while so I can't share any impressions of similarities and differences.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,309
I am pretty interested in checking this amp out. I feel like once in a blue moon a product comes along that just seems perfect for me and that's the Jetta. My main amp is the Carr Sportsman and I love it but I often need a bit more clean headroom and volume. The Jetta has the 30 watt rating, can sound good at any volume, can overdrive at lower volumes if needed, is only 34lbs, is all handwired with quality parts, looks awesome, takes pedals like a champ and comes in at a killer price.

I was at one time really interested in the Cure but felt it would be tonally too close to my Sportsman. I had also heard that the bass was there but people did wish it had more. Apparently the Jetta has a much larger low end so I feel like I am sold.

I also own a Fender Excelsior and although that's a cheap amp and I love it, it has taught me that simplistic controls are all I need.
 

Smacky the Frog

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,519
I really like mine. Excellent clean sound and the dirt can come on strong and works well with humbuckers and single coils.

To my ears, it is easier to get a sound I like more than the Cure, Maz 18 Mk1, Maz 8 and Monza. Obviously those amps are very different but the Jetta hits a sweet spot and is exceptional with pedals.
 

artimus667

Member
Messages
48
It’s a short matter of time before I pick this up. It’s definitely in my wheelhouse with its simplicity, clarity, headroom, and midrange. The most complex amps I own now are my ‘76 Bassman 50 and ‘75 V4. Everything else are 2 and 3 knob wonders. I’m definitely enjoying hand wired amps these day as well. I’ve been playing a Supro Tremoverb and Comet up against a Tungsten Mosaic 2 and Crema Wheat. While the Supros are fine amps with great reverbs and tremolos, they lose against the Tungstens when it comes to clarity, complexity, and definition. The hand wired tungstens are a different league. This will be my first Z and I hope it brings the same life that the Tungstens bring.

Regarding the vintage Ampegs that seem to me a sub topic here.... I’ve got a ’66 Reverberocket 2 that is just amazing. I don’t play it tons because it’s big for what is, but it’s definitely a hard keeper.
 

rburkard

Double Platinum Member
Messages
3,689
Awesome amp. I have two of them and use them mainly in combination with my Kemper Profiler Stage. Run the monitor out without speaker sim into the returns of the Jettas. Best amps I have tried for this purpose. Can get very musical harmonic feedback when required which I didn't easily get with any other solutions like FRFR, guitar speakers and solid state amps or with any other tube amp or solid state amp. The Jettas are taking the Kemper and the profiles I am using like they are integral parts of the amp. Don't feel that there is a blanket in between them that is so often the case. Very immediate and direct. Beautiful. The amp also sounds great on its own and takes pedals like no other. Can do very low volume and high volume. Much better than the typical 15-20 watt amp in terms of headroom and with around 33-36 lbs it is very managable in terms of weight depending on the speaker you are using. The Celestion G12H Anniversary, while never been a favorite of mine is a great match for this amp.
 




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