DR Z Route 66 Owners Help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jamar, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. Jamar

    Jamar Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,019
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    South Carolina
    So im thinking of pulling the trigger on a Dr Z route 66. I currently own a VOX AD60VTX and Reissue '65 Twin. Im selling the twin b/c its too loud and heavy. I play blues and and jazz with a Brent Mason style Tele, and a Reissue '72 Custom Tele. I like a JTM-45 kind of sound for my dirty sound and a Fender for my clean. The best amp ive ever played was an early 90's Matchless Clubman, but i dont have that much cash to spend. The overdriven tones that im hearing from the 66 are exactly to my taste. I also like the portablity of a small head and small cab. so here are my questions:

    Does the amp have a good clean sound?

    Do you have to change the EQ to get the optimum overdrive and clean sounds? A buddy of mine has a Prescription ES, and i find that i have to fiddle with the EQ to get the best clean and dirty sounds from the amp. I've never owned a single channel amp before. (Then again ive never owned a dual/triple channel amp that ive liked all the channels on) but the EQ part is the main thing that makes me nervous...

    I really hate loud amps would you say that i should get an attenuator to deal with it or just look at another amp all together?

    Any reccomendations of other small amps anyone?

    And does anyone just wanna give me their Route 66?!
     
  2. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

    Messages:
    853
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    US
    And does anyone just wanna give me their Route 66?![/quote]

    No but I'll sell you mine for $1000 shipped CONUS.:p
     
  3. Jamar

    Jamar Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,019
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    South Carolina
    tell me your opinion of the amp. why are you selling it? ya never know.
     
  4. Bluewail

    Bluewail Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,542
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    The Route 66 is a great amp that has it's own unique voice, so when you say "does it sound like...?" the answer's probably no.
    Does it do Fender clean? No. Does it have a good clean sound? Hell yes but it has it's own clean which is less about relying on high end sparkle to cut through the mix and more on punch and dynamics. You'll ever get an icepick-in-the-ear tone out of it.
    Is it loud? Yes, if you want that breakup you are hearing on the clips and don't use an attenuator.
    Do you need to mess with the tone controls for clean vs overdriven tones? Probably, but it depends how you are using the amp. A lot of folks have commented that the EQ controls on the Rt.66 are more like frequency dependent gain controls above about 11-12 o'clock. I find that to be true so if you crank them up to hasten the onset of overdrive, the amp of course won't cleanup as well.
    When you talk about the Rt.66 you've got to mention pedal use. It loves pedals like no other amp. That's the way to get the best of both worlds. I've used a Timmy, Zendrive, and Barber Direct Drive & Ltd's with it and they all sound excellent. It's hard to describe but it let's pedals breathe. The amp has lot's of headroom if you bias it in the 55% range of the KT66's . Using a Timmy for example I can easily dial in the right amount of gain so that I have great clean and lead tones at the turn of the guitar volume control.
    The bottom line is it's a pretty unique amp and you'll need to spend some time with it to see if it's right for you like it's turning out to be for me.
     
  5. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,338
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    Kt66's are usually a little darker sounding then 6L6's or so they say, and having owned a Route 66 I agree the amp will not do Fender clean. It has a nice clean sound but it's more like a tweed amp. The controls will not drive the amp into distortion. The controls are useful through most of the range which is nice but the amp I owned wouldn't break up until it was real loud. If you want the same basic topology with less output you should be looking at the Z28. This amp is a 6V6 version of the Route 66.
     
  6. johnny5

    johnny5 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    887
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    i love my RT66 but i didn't buy it for clean tones. it really excells at the semi-dirty to dirty to VERY sweet lead tones with just about anything you put in front of it. it's not blackface-ish at all. it's big and fury. standing in front of that amp playing at a venue where i can crank it is so freakin fun. it sounds so cool. pair the RT66 with a 4x12 loaded with greenbacks and look out, youv'e got one sweet classic rock / blues rock machine.

    yeah, you have to move the tone controls to get "the best" clean as opposed to the "best OD" but what don't you have to? i generally set with everything at about 1:00 - 3:00 and go from there. my tele gets real nice clean and bluesy sounds. my Hamer P90 gets really rockin.

    Iv'e told my self that i would never sell this amp. i'll see if i live up to it. it's been the go to amp for over a year now.

    as far as the Z28 goes, it's a real nice amp but different from the 66. i am positive the UltraLiniar KT66 output section contributes to the feel and headroom of this amp. the ef86 can really dish it out, but you need a power section that can handle it. the RT66 has got it.
     
  7. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,341
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Location:
    Remulon V Beta Colony
    I used to own a Dr Z Route66. It is a great sounding amp. It is its own beast - there was no attempt to clone anything. It'll do the Clapton-esque Bluesbreaker thing, but it's not a Marshall Bluesbreaker clone at all. It had pretty decent clean tones, but they are warm and organic - not at all glassy or full of sparkle, not at all Fender. Its EQ doesn't really change the fundamental character of the amp, just adds spice... until you get around 12:00 on the dial. At that point they do wonderfully odd things, especially the treble control, which is (above 12 oclock) for all intent and purpose a second gain control. I agree with the post about the amount of clean headroom depending upon tubes and how they're biased. Very much so. One thing it can't do - give you a thin sound. Tele bridge pickups refuse to sound thin through that amp. Wonderful overtones once the overdrive starts too. I'd also agree that it really likes pedals in the front end. One thing I'd definitely do - play with it before taking it out and gigging with it. You'll get wondeful results, just not when and how you'd expect if you've grown up with say Fenders or the like.

    Tasty amp to say the least

    Peace,

    jb
     
  8. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    What everyone else says is true. Something no one has pointed out is that the amp is really designed for you to simply set the controls for the amount of breakup you want with the volume full up on your guitar. If you want a nice clean tone or any other degree of clean or breakup, you simply lower your guitar volume. No pedals or knob fiddling needed. If you have any nice dirt or fuzz boxes, they won't sound any better than through a RT 66. It just incorporates any pedal I've ever owned as if it was part of the amp or circuit. AMAZING. It won't do squeaky clean or heavy overdrive. It rides the fence on fat, gritty clean and nice, warm overdrive. Speaker cabinets come into play with this amp as well. I think it sounds best through a nice closed back cab. The amp is not extremely loud. My Germino Lead 55 is much, much louder. My 30 Watt Mojave Sidewinder is not quite as loud. From the DR Z website, it's truly just like what David Grissom states 'The Route 66 fits perfect between my Vintage AC-30 and my 50 watt Marshall in my tone arsenal' ". FWIW, I did not like the amp with the Dr Z Airbrake. I don't like attenuators at all though. At least half the tone you're hearing on those clips is the Z Best speaker cabinet remember.
     
  9. Jamar

    Jamar Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,019
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Makes sense what you guys are saying. I really like the overdriven tones of that im hearing from the amp, but i would like the ability to have a really good clean tone too. any other amplifer recomendations?! anybody?
     
  10. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I don't know what you're price range is, but my Mojave Sidewinder is another great amp. It's 30 watts, but has the power dampening that can take it down to 2 watts. This is light years better than any attenuator out there. It has a fantastic clean tone and is wonderful for leads as well. Might be a good choice if you're into that Voxy clean into Marshally crunch kinda thing. They have great clips of it on their website. Expensive, but built as good if not better than an old Hiwatt.
     
  11. john b

    john b Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    I had a Rt.66 and changed to a Z-28. The 66 was a little too "thick" for me and way too loud. The cleans were too wooly and I was looking for something a little more articulate. The '28 is a clearer and cleaner sounding amp, doesn't go as thick as the '66, but is cut from the same cloth. I think the '66 does better power tube distortion than the '28 but that's a kt66 vs. 6v6 thing. The '28 takes pedals so well that it doesn't really matter to me. Still, the '28 is pretty darn loud and an airbrake is very helpful.
     
  12. Bluewail

    Bluewail Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,542
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    Try a Carr Slant 6V. One of the best clean tones in the world and a very nice od channel as well. The clean side is Fender inspired for sure but with a 3D quality I rarely hear out only the 1 in a 100 old BFDR. Don't let the 6V6's fool you, it's got headroom to spare. The od side is Marshall inspired and has a lot of colors of od available through the od channels Volume (actually a gain) control. Both sides are excellent but the clean channel is superb.
    Anothe option is a VHT Pitbull 45. Different tone fo sure. The PB 45's EL84 based cleans are throaty vs sparkling but still very good. Here your kinda' movin' toward the AC-30 sound. The od channel is awesome. Medium gain with endless sustain, never muddy and retains the tone of your axe. It's an exceptionally amp versatile too with every bell and whistle you could ask for.
     
  13. Jamar

    Jamar Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,019
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    South Carolina
    guitar brent, the mojave sidewinder sounds very very good. im impressed with its versatility. thanks for the suggestion! i really like the power dampening concept too.
     
  14. Chuck Snider

    Chuck Snider Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,886
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Limbo
    I loved my old 66... Great rock & blues amp.. Attenuates real good if that's a issue.. The thing about a 66 is, you don't really get it's full potential and feel till it's good and heated up.. Big difference from when it's just started up.. Takes it a while to get heated...
     
  15. john b

    john b Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    That's a good suggestion from Bluewail.

    I've got a Carr Slant 6V, as well as a MAZ jr and the Z-28. The Carr has tremendous cleans and great reverb. The power switching is also handy. The o.d chanel is a little buzzy, imo. I've never really dug it.

    All that being said, it's not a Z. The Z's have some kind of vibe, mojo, soul, for lack of a better word that I haven't heard in many other amps. Maybe it's the touch response, the cool and unique tone stack, I don't know, they just work for me. If I was going for a really clean sound at this point, I'd probably go for a MAZ sr over the Carr. The jr. does a nice clean at lower volume also. Really depends on power and headroom needs.
     
  16. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    I agree....more so than any other amp I've owned or played! The first time I ever played through a Route 66 I turned it on and actually could not for the life of me figure out what all the fuss was about :confused: . It sounded one dimensional and honky through the midrange.

    The second time was at my buddies studio where he had been jamming through his Rt 66 for awhile before I showed up. I plugged in and couldn't believe it was the same amp! Big and fat old school Marshall tones with just the right amount of compression. It sounded killer!

    The Route 66 I currently own sounds good when I first turn it on but I notice a dramatic difference in the tone and feel of the amp after it's been played for a good hour. Not sitting on standby mind you....it has to actually be played through at a decent volume....that is when it gets good! Really gets fat and juicy and the midrange opens up.
     
  17. dave-o

    dave-o Member

    Messages:
    774
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Mercersburg PA
    I have a 66. Ill agree with what everyone else has said about it being fat, furry, chewy and all those other funny words. Its a great amp but no sparkle, but still cuts through great. But, if you get one you HAVE TO, MUST ABSOLUTELY get a xotic RC booster to go with it. It takes the fat and leaves it there and when you up the treble on the RC, it will get nice and chimey sort of bright without getting thin or icepicky. I use my RC with the gain off with my les paul and up it a bit for the strat, have the volume cranked and ride the guitar volume for overdrive or clean. Works like a charm. THe RC leaves the sound of the amp there but adds a nice edgy jangle. Im also using a 2x12 closed back marshall cab with a weber bluedog and silverbell (ceramic).
     
  18. Elliott Damage

    Elliott Damage Member

    Messages:
    225
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    if you were looking for sparkle i would suggest maybe trying some 10 inch speakers with the 66. I use 2 Emi Ramrods in a detuned Mad Sound cab and I get a good amount of sparkle when playing clean even with humbuckers.
     
  19. myles111

    myles111 Member

    Messages:
    2,955
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
  20. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I use a Pro Analog Dual Drive to add a touch of top end sparkle and more gain to my 66. SWEET! :BEER
     

Share This Page