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First Impressions with Dr Z Maz 18 MKII Reverb. Speaker Suggestions?

Adamclayton

Member
Messages
1,234
I’ve been wanting a Maz 18 ever since my old band mate had one and raved about it. I wasn’t playing with him at the time, but he was pretty insistent I check it out for the perfect gigging amp, and he’s a picky bastard as well.

I went for a new Maz 18 Jr Reverb head, because I use the Ox Box more and more, but also want to use this Alnico Cream speaker I have laying around. The first impressions are.. What a very balanced amp. Most amps either have too much bass, or can’t dial out this or that, not this amp, its super versatile with all the knobs giving and taking away just the right frequencies. It’s VERY quit, hardly any noise cranked, and no hum, even with the volume dimed. It has the most headroom and best clean tone of any EL84 amp I’ve played. This 18 watts seems like 50 watts, but the master volume is the best I’ve heard also. The reverb is really lush and blends well with the dry amp tone. It was a little hot at first, but I changed the JJ ECC81 with a NOS JAN GE 12AT7 and it’s much better and very natural sounding 3 spring tube reverb.

Anyway, just wanted to share what stood out the most with the amp on the first day. Also this is a very well built amp with so much attention to details. They even put hot glue in the tube shield tops to keep the springs forever inside. Everything feels super solid and high quality, very impressed. Anyone that watches them Dr Z videos knows how dedicated and passionate Mike Z, Dr. Z, is about his products and craft, and it shows. Thanks Dr Z.

Speakers: I think the Maz 18 will sound good with the Alnico Cream speaker I have. My friend also has an Alnico Gold 50w for sale. Anybody have cab and speaker suggestions they have used and like with a Dr Z and Maz 18 series amps?
 
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Adamclayton

Member
Messages
1,234
I put an Avatar Fane UK made M65 in my Maz combo. I really like it. The G12H30 was too bright and scooped.
Yea usually the M65 would be too dark and muffled but The Maz is a bright strident amp. Generally I do like the Creamback H75 much better, but can probably get more creamy highs with the Alnico Cream. Can’t imagine an H30 or V30, I’d have to roll way back on the treble.
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
8,819
2x Golds (open back) or a 1960 with Pulsonic Greenbacks (any type) for my 38. :idea
two really distinct characters ...

ymmv,
Rhino
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
789
I’ve been wanting a Maz 18 ever since my old band mate had one and raved about it. I wasn’t playing with him at the time, but he was pretty insistent I check it out for the perfect gigging amp, and he’s a picky bastard as well.

I went for a new Maz 18 Jr Reverb head, because I use the Ox Box more and more, but also want to use this Alnico Cream speaker I have laying around. The first impressions are.. What a very balanced amp. Most amps either have too much bass, or can’t dial out this or that, not this amp, its super versatile with all the knobs giving and taking away just the right frequencies. It’s VERY quit, hardly any noise cranked, and no hum, even with the volume dimed. It has the most headroom and best clean tone of any EL84 amp I’ve played. This 18 watts seems like 50 watts, but the master volume is the best I’ve heard also. The reverb is really lush and blends well with the dry amp tone. It was a little hot at first, but I changed the JJ ECC81 with a NOS JAN GE 12AT7 and it’s much better and very natural sounding 3 spring tube reverb.

Anyway, just wanted to share what stood out the most with the amp on the first day. Also this is a very well built amp with so much attention to details. They even put hot glue in the tube shield tops to keep the springs forever inside. Everything feels super solid and high quality, very impressed. Anyone that watches them Dr Z videos knows how dedicated and passionate Mike Z, Dr. Z, is about his products and craft, and it shows. Thanks Dr Z.

Speakers: I think the Maz 18 will sound good with the Alnico Cream speaker I have. My friend also has an Alnico Gold 50w for sale. Anybody have cab and speaker suggestions they have used and like with a Dr Z and Maz 18 series amps?

It's funny you noticed the glue! Not only does it keep the springs in place but is just another dampener for any sort of mechanical rattling that could potentially occur.

Many people enjoy the Creamback 65 with their Maz amps if they play mainly dirty. The H30 is recommended for folks who use a clean or edge of breakup tone predominantly. Don't be afraid of the H30 with the MK II amps. They are different than the MK I amps in that they are less bright. H30s sit very well in a mix with a drummer and another guitar going. If you predominantly play at home, or are the sole guitarist in a band, you will benefit from the Creamback. A Gold sounds similar to an H30, but with more compression and that alnico chime, and perhaps slightly less top and bottom compared to the H30.
 

PerryR

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,219
Yea usually the M65 would be too dark and muffled but The Maz is a bright strident amp. Generally I do like the Creamback H75 much better, but can probably get more creamy highs with the Alnico Cream. Can’t imagine an H30 or V30, I’d have to roll way back on the treble.
The H30 is BIG and versatile with the MAZ18. Brilliant cleans, ballsy lows and sounds good with overdrives and fuzz. Dont be afraid to turn the cut back to 9-10am and run the treble low, the H30 is a beast in that amp IMO.

of course other speakers sound great to, everyone is chasing a tone in their head and whichever speaker gets you there is the one! But in my 20+ years of owning a MAZ 18 (both MKI and MKII) I have tried god knows how many speakers and many sound great, but everytime I re-install the H30 70th its like whoa, theres that big bad MAZ18 Tone… lots of everything!
 

Adamclayton

Member
Messages
1,234
The H30 is BIG and versatile with the MAZ18. Brilliant cleans, ballsy lows and sounds good with overdrives and fuzz. Dont be afraid to turn the cut back to 9-10am and run the treble low, the H30 is a beast in that amp IMO.

of course other speakers sound great to, everyone is chasing a tone in their head and whichever speaker gets you there is the one! But in my 20+ years of owning a MAZ 18 (both MKI and MKII) I have tried god knows how many speakers and many sound great, but everytime I re-install the H30 70th its like whoa, theres that big bad MAZ18 Tone… lots of everything!
Thanks for that man. I really do want to try an H30 as well as this Alnico Gold I’m getting in a couple days. Still have a brand new Alnico Cream in the box, so between those 3 speakers I’m sure I’ll find “the tone”.
I’ve played the Maz with the master at 75% through my OX for 2 weeks and it’s sounding better and better. Was hot off the press made 2 months ago. I’ve heard there is a break in period because it seems to sound better and better (probably just me). Only played in through my Friedman 4x12 so far but I’ll be getting a 1x12 hopefully Friday, and want to sell my 4x12 for a Z Best 2x12 and load it with H30 and another.
The real test will be using this live with the band of course, and I’ll use a 1x12 Alnico Gold or Alnico Cream for the one speaker. I’ll shootout this weekend and let y’all know. I’ll say I’m really digging my Les Paul with this amp, as well as my Strat, but really my Les Paul with some drive pedals right now.
 

JLR

Member
Messages
376
I've been pushing my Maz 18 NR MKI head with a Weber Mass 150 attenuator. I push the master up to 3/4 with the gain up about 2/3 and it yields great tone through a pair of greenbacks. I do need to roll back the treble and cut knobs to about 1/3 to get rid of any ice pick. I use it for band practice ,never gigged with it but would not hesitate to play out with it. I've been in Friedman and Marshall modes lately.
 

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,833
I've had MANY Dr. Z amps over the past 16 years, well.... All of his EL84 offerings, except the Z-Wreck Jr. Some of them I had multiple times during this period.

I would have to say, the Maz 18 Mk.II is one of my all time favorite amps I've ever owned....Even beating out the Z-Wreck, for me (which I owned for 4 years).

It is the perfect blend of Vox, meets Fender with a touch of 18w Marshall (with a smidge more Vox than the others).....But still maintaining 100% Dr. Z tone at the same time. The Mk.II update really stepped up a GREAT sounding amp to make it even better. Added some nice depth and low-mids, while keeping the great chime that Dr. Z is known for. I've never really been a huge fan of reverb, but I have it on my Maz and use it from time to time (to fit a song) and it sounds really good.

It's also the best pedal amp I've ever owned.... Everything from mid-hum to transparent drive pedals sound like they're part of the amp, including the heavier pedals (Friedman BE-OD, Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe, ect...). Even my little POD GO, using the 4 cable method, sounds great and is my go-to "small stage" setup.

If I were to have to get rid of every amp, past and present, and only keep one..... The Maz 18 Mk.II would be the amp I'd choose to keep.....It's that good!

As for speakers, I've had many different speakers with the different iterations of the Maz 18/38 that I've owned. My favorite has always been the Celestion Blue (or a pair of them with the 38). I feel it complements the amps circuitry the best. But, I've also used the G12H30, a Vintage 30 and a Greenback....They all sound really good and I would have no problem using any of those with the amp, but I tend to gravitate towards Alnico speakers.

Alnico Blue with my band:
Some 80s rock:

Some Blues (when my Maz was a combo):

Some rockin' country:

Some hard rock:
 
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Irreversal

Member
Messages
643
The Maz MKII's are some of the best amps Dr Z has put out. So versatile, great cleans, crunchy OD, take pedals well, guitar agnostic, etc.

If you like to play dirty, I'd recommend the Ruby. It adds some nice raunch to the amp. All of the tunes on my last EP were recorded using the Maz 38 NR MKII with the Ruby and also a Dr Z Therapy with the Ruby. It's a beautiful speaker. The Cream is also a good choice...

I'm in the process of recording a new album using the Maz and a Nova paired with the Ruby and an ASW KTS70 (G12H30 variant). Tones for days!!!
 

BadHat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,643
I just got mine about a month back. I put my EVM 12L in it and it sounded fantastic, but it seems to have a little buzz in it. So, I went with a G12H75 I had, and that sounds very good, too. I tried a Gold, but didn't like it. I seem to like ceramics better, as a general rule with all my amps.
 




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