Dr. Z Maz 18 Combo and trem pedals???

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Flatscan, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    I am a huge fan of tremolo [all eras/types].

    I have tried a number of tremolo pedals in my stock Dr. Z Maz 18 NR 1x12 combo and they all seem to lack warmth and richness with this amp.

    Running the trem pedals in the loop after a reverb pedal [i.e. last] helps substantially as does rolling back my guitar's tone knob and the amp's cut and treble knobs.

    Despite this, the trem still sounds sterile.

    These pedals frequently sound warm, rich, and some even hypnotic [e.g. the Menatone] in my Swart amps.

    Any tips/thoughts? Is there something about a Maz 18 that doesn't like trem [tubes or cabinet or something?]?

    I love the amp overall and it eats up fuzz, distortion, drive, compression, delay, reverb, phase, and ring. A Magnavibe Vibrato sounds very good to my ears [!?!?]. Chorus is a bit sterile but not as bad as trem.

    Trem pedals that I've tried so far:

    Cusack Tap a Whirl
    Moog MF Tremolo
    Menatone Pleasure Trem 5000
    Individual builder's [David Rolo] harmonic Trem from Europe ("Twin Peaks", like it a lot with other amps, best of these with the Z)
    Note: Jon's Cardinal is permanently attached to my Swart amps ;P. It is killer.

    If relevant/helpful, I mainly play low-output single coils and P-90s.

    Your thoughts/ideas are much appreciated.


    While I'm not sure that this is a "pedal problem," other pedals that I'm considering include:

    Kingsley Bard [expensive bleh but sounds great]
    Greer Arbuckle [sounds very warm/rich in a Lance Seymour demo where he plays a T-style guitar with single-coils through a Dr. Z Carmen Ghia - this caught my attention]
    Menatone El Pulso Caliente
    Basic Audio Throbby
    modded Boss trem


    Ruled out based on demos only: Tremolessence
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  2. logang

    logang Member

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    Well what kind of trem are you going after?

    Vibey trem?
    Wiggly pitchy trem?
    Smooth Subtle Trem?
    Choppy Trem?
    Need lots of features, control, big sweeps, etc?

    To really get the best of all the above I'd say you need more than one pedal. If you're not running you eq section on the z in a way that pronounces some of the same eq curves, and pushes the tubes and the speakers in the ways that you do on a lot of more "classic" voiced amps I can see how the Z would be sterile. It could very well be that what you like best on your other pedals just doesn't mesh as well with some types.

    Regardless, a key player you seem to have left out of your consideration that's very liked lately is the Strymon Flint. It has both great recreations of classic amp trems and reverbs and might be exactly what you need at the end of your chain to bring some life into the equation.
     
  3. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    I mainly want a bias-style trem.

    The Flint has lots of features of interest (verbs, assorted trems including harmonic, exp pedal control). My concern is that the honeymoon seems to wear off fast for many reviewers.

    I know many are happy with the pedal, however.
     
  4. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    To your first point, I do think that something has to be going on tube/cab/eq-wise. I'm just not sure how to "dial it in" and preferably cost-effectively ;).
     
  5. nateco

    nateco Member

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    Really hard to beat a flint. I just traded mine off and miss it already.
     
  6. hamerman55

    hamerman55 Silver Supporting Member

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    I like the Fulltone black tremolo, the first one he did. I haven't tried the new tap tempo yellow one. The black one is opto. Your should be able to find that used for a pretty good price, as well as new.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  7. Prince

    Prince Supporting Member

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    I'm still honeymoon'in with my Flint a year later :)

    Perfect pedal for me.
     
  8. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    Flint is the usually choice.
    Voodoo Lab Trem is also handy.
    TR-2 with volume mod.

    Really any Trem that has the ability to bump the level a bit will probably solve the issue. Tremolo has a perceived volume loss by nature, so boosting the level by 2-3db makes it sound like unity.
     
  9. jordane93

    jordane93 Member

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    Line 6 M5 has lots of tremolo options
     
  10. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Member

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    My Empress Tremolo sounds great with a Maz set to "Tube". Maybe give it a try.
     
  11. bluflames

    bluflames Member

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    My GGG EA trem sounds great through my 1974x lite iib clone (I imagine the maz 18 is a 2x el84 amp in the Marshall vein of things?)

    But the preamp on it brightens the sound somewhat... Which I quite enjoy but you might not seeing as you prefer a warmer sound.

    It seems to me that you'd like the EA if it had a tone knob but alas it does not - maybe you could custom order something like that from someone?
     
  12. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I would agree with this. I am a trem nut and many of my trems sound great with my cleaner amps, but not with my tweed Deluxe. It is very picky about what trem sounds good in front of it. I use the Basic Audio Throbby with my Fargen, but the Empress has been my main trem for my tweed Deluxe for the last 7 years. On tube mode, it is fat, warm, and throbby.
     
  13. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    Very helpful - thanks to all.

    Rhoydotp have you tried any others with your Maz? Do you run the Empress in the loop?

    Any other Maz-players that also love trem?
     
  14. midwayfair

    midwayfair Member

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    The Twin Peaks should have a trim inside to adjust the tone. It's primarily used to affect the level crossover of the two bands in harmonic mode, but if you turn it so that the treble mode is deemphasized, you should be able to get what you're going for with needing the tone control turned down -- it'll work like a shelf filter, which is pretty much exactly the way a typical amp's treble control works. Given the amount of control over the waveform (so you can use harder or softer waveforms depending on how hot you're running the Z) and prefer that one most of all with the amp already, this seems like the best solution.
     
  15. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    I play through Maz 18 and 38 amps regularly in rehearsals. I use an old Catalinbread Valcoder Straight into the front end with great results.
     
  16. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Member

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    I've tried a Diamond Tremolo as well ... let's just say I love Canadian-made trems :aok

    I've used the Empress on the loop but mostly I use it on the front-end. Sounds great either way.
     
  17. Magnum Z.I.

    Magnum Z.I. Member

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    I also play through a Maz 18 head (w/Tele). I just recently switched my TR-2 for the Moog MF Trem and really like it. While both sound great, the Moog is way more tweakable. It has a Tone knob which adds warmth and also seems to act as a volume control.
     
  18. otherone

    otherone Supporting Member

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    don't have the maz 18, but have the Dr Z EZG 50...use the Kingsley Bard and the Demeter Tremulator in front...both sound great with the Dr Z...maybe it is the volume boost (demeter gives sl boost, and bard you can adjust volume to sl boost). Bard is the best tremelo I ever heard
     
  19. Smashies

    Smashies Supporting Member

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    OP, What speaker is in the Maz?
     
  20. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    Stock: 8 ohm Celestion G12H

    I play the amp at a variety of volume levels. It's "loud" even if it's turned "down" ["Z-watts" :)]. If I crank it I typically attenuate it somewhat [use an Airbrake]. I generally ride the Master Volume/Volume to avoid using the attenuator though. Maybe I should attenuate more and turn it up when using trem [will try]? Intuitively trem should work at all volumes?

    Thanks to all for their thoughts. Thinking hard here =).

    P.S. to Jon - the Twin Peaks let's you modulate the bass, treble, or both. I tried the bass-only option but it didn't sound as rich to me (muted the effect substantially). I'll work with the internal trim per your suggestion. The Twin Peaks sounds great through my DRRI though.

    The Z seems to blanket the harmonic trem sound more generally - even when both bass and trem are modulated.

    I'll pull the Cardinal off my Swart board just to try it. I suspect it will be going right back though =).

    P.P.S. - the Z is a great amp and these are great trem pedals which have worked very well for me in other contexts. Puzzling...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015

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