Dr Z MAZ 18 - Just how traditional does it sound?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by TGF, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. TGF

    TGF Member

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    Hello - I tried searching for something similar, but came up empty!

    I got a bag of cash I want to spend on a nice amp - I'm trading up from my Blues Deluxe Reissue, and as you can imagine, its a nice middle classed amp, but certainly not close to sounding perfect. I've laid my eyes on the Dr. Z MAZ Jr, but I'm wondering just how well it'll fit me.
    I'm basically looking for an amp that knows a good clean tone, but it also needs to be capable of a real real gritty bluesrock tone with a tubescreamer or fuzz for example.
    It needs to be relatively low wattage. We're talking 15-30 - Give or take a few.

    Will the MAZ Jr fit? Does it work for blues and bluesrock. Clean and gritty? If not, what would be a good choice? A tweed-based amp?
     
  2. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    My Maz JR definately knows a good clean tone. It can get nice and glassy if you want, but you can easily dial this out. All of the controls have a lot of range.


    The amp can also do this on it's own WITHOUT a pedal, but the it takes any pedal I've thrown at it VERY WELL.

    You can pm me any time if you ever have more questions as I own TWO JR's and ONE Maz SR.

    I use the JR a lot more at home, band practice and gigs. Trust me, 18 watts is plenty and this amp can get loud.


    I have all reverb versions but many say that the NR models get a little more gainy but I have had no problems getting a great bluesy cruch with the reverb models, and I don't have to play around with effects loops or reverb pedals.

    Give one a try!
     
  3. Ed Reed

    Ed Reed Senior Member

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    Great amp, with a strat I can set the tone controls pretty much at 12:00, dial back the cut to about 9:00 and use pedals in front for 99% of everything I need. For the money they are VERY hard to beat.
     
  4. jhumber

    jhumber Member

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    I played some of these yesterday (and ended up buying a Maz38).
    The Maz18 and Maz18NR are very different amps. The NR model has nowhere near the headroom, and breaks up alot earlier. Great tones, but something to be aware of. Both were amazing 18 watt amps, but even in the shop when I was maxing out the master control and riding the volume to get cleanish tones I was concerned about how much clean headroom was left.

    If you play with a loud band or bigger venues, the 38 would definitely be worth looking at.

    That said, I loved every Dr Z I played yesterday. The Rx-ES had amazing clean tones!

    Good luck with the search.

    Jordan.

    ps. If you want more of a comparison between models, I wrote a much longer review here: http://drzamplifiers.proboards41.com/index.cgi?board=Maz38&action=display&thread=16267
     
  5. BobbyRay

    BobbyRay Supporting Member

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    Agree with all of this!


    I had similar concerns with the Jr., but laid those concerns to rest when I went to a head, and a convertible 2X10 cab with the back opened up. Z's 10 inchers are huge sounding tens that are very effecient! Bold and Punchy!

    NEED MORE! I just got my hands on the Z 4X10 cabinet with the floating baffle. For comparison the Maz Jr. with the 4X10 cabinet buries my old Tweed Twin for headroom. I mean buries it. It closer to say, my old Super Reverb in reality.

    NEED MORE STILL! Try the ZBest with the 18. Lots of throw to get you heard.

    :dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude
     
  6. jhumber

    jhumber Member

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    BobbyRay, you're totally right there.....I was playing the heads through a 1x12 cab, but when we switched over and put it through a 2x12 Z-Best it sounded enormous. (However, I stated up front that a 2x12 wasn't in my plan, so we went back to 1x12 cabs).
     
  7. TGF

    TGF Member

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    Interesting - Everywhere I turn, I hear good things about Dr. Z. One small problem - NO dealer in Denmark.
    Anyway, what amp camp does it belong to? I realise it has a tone of its own, but is it a Fender'ish amp, Marshall or Vox? Is there any specific amp it comes close to?
     
  8. doyle o'brian

    doyle o'brian Supporting Member

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    I also have a Maz Jr. NR head and 4x10 cab. Crazy loud combination. I can't imagine ever needing anything louder. In fact, I would like to buy a less efficient 1x12 cab to cut down the volume for rehearsals and smaller gigs. The Dr. Z amps have the best all around tone I have ever heard. Fat but crisp is the best way I can think to describe it. I've seen it described as "Marshall lite" in that cranked up it will give you plexi - like tones, but not as raunchy as a Marshall.
     
  9. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    I have always been curious about these amps. How do they sound with HB's? Most players that use these amps seem to have single coil PUPs on thier guits.........

    ~Joe
     
  10. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    I am an old fender guy... and love my Maz Jr (NR). I play with hums/burst/P90's about 75% of the time.. I roll the bass all the way off, the middle at about 11 o'clock and the treble at about 4 o'clock... then I adjust for whatever pickups I am playing with the cut control.

    I have 2 cabinets... a 2x10 Z that I like with all my guitars, but I also have a 2x12 that really works well with the single coils of fender guitars. Not terribly convenient for small bars... but they sound really great.
     
  11. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    I play strictly with humbuckers through a Maz jr NR 18. Sounds great.
     
  12. BigJamesyBoy

    BigJamesyBoy Member

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    Maz Jr sounds like the perfect upgrade for what you want!
     
  13. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    What do you guys think about the 2/10 combo, would I be blowing it going that route or would it be better to go with a head and play throught my 2/12 cab loaded with 65's?

    ~Joe
     
  14. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    Maz 18's are wonderful amps. I use it more than any other amp I have, and I have quite a few, vintage and boutique. The only time it falls a little short is when my band plays outdoors or in a big indoor place, which is not that often.
     
  15. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    I personally am more of a head+cab guy. That way you are not bound to one configuration.

    I use Avatar 2x12's with the V30/G12H30 mix and it sounds spectacular with the Maz series.
     
  16. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    combos are easy and convenient if you already know exactly what you want and it will always be that way.

    personally, I love the flexibility of heads... I have several and a half dozen different cabinets... I can mix and match at will and love it.
     
  17. zdogma

    zdogma Member

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    Not really. Its a little bit of all three (Vox, Marshall and Fender), and definately has a vintage feel, but the tone is pretty unique. Its not really for everyone (nice to play before you buy) but I love it.
     
  18. strat56

    strat56 Supporting Member

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    Do you have Genz Benz dealer in Denmark? If you do, try out a Black Pearl 30. It can be played at 30, 15 or 8 watts and has a very versatile tone section and a built in boost. The Maz 18 and the Black Pearl are both EL84 amps.

    I have a Fender Twin, a Fender Bandmaster Reverb and Fender Blues Jr. and you're not going to get Fender chime from the Black Pearl but the clean is very usable, it mics well on gigs, the tone stack is so versatile it's easy to find your space in the mix and the 1X12 combo is fairly lightweight at around 50 lbs (23 kg).

    The only Z I've played is the Maz 38 head, which is a 4 EL84 amp, same power tube config and the Black Pearl, and it also did not do a real Fender chime, at least with the cabinet I was playing it thru at Guitar Center, some kind of closed back 4X12, don't remember the brand.

    A used Black Pearl can be purchased for much less than a used Maz also.

    Of course everything in this email is my opinion and someone else's may differ. That's the thing about tone, everyone has a different idea of what's good. :D

    It takes pedals well. The amp has good breakup and I use an OCD for overdrive and a BBE Boosta Grande for additional boost and it's great.
     
  19. mojoslide

    mojoslide Member

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    +1 for the Maz 18. Unless you need a lot of clean headroom, it is the amp to go for. It sounds best when cranked to a healthy level - meaning power tube grind. I use mine strictly with humbucker and it sounds great. I use a BB preamp to nudge it a bit at lower volumes, but at loud gig levels through my Zbest cab I really wouldn't need much else. This amp can do a great variety of tones from clean to mean; think vox and fender with a touch of 18 watt Marshall added in as well.
     
  20. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I saw a guy playing a 335 into one with a Fulltone OCD for dirt. His tone was really good. Good enough that I went up to take a look at what he was using. Really fat, but smooth classic 335 tone.
     

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