More Gain for DrZ Maz 18

JoeP

Member
Messages
1,783
Does anyone know what you can do to get more preamp gain out of a Z 18? I've changed to the hottest preamp 12ax7 I could find, but it's just didn't do what i am looking for.

Any ideas?
 

HeeHaw

Senior Member
Messages
4,963
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JoeP

Member
Messages
1,783
I generally try to use a pedal to enhance what the amp is doing, not actually create the tone. :RoCkIn
 

Dave

Member
Messages
3,547
Try a clean boost at the end of your chain. I use the Barber Launch Pad, but there's lots to choose from out there as I'm sure you're aware.
 

mcgriff420

Member
Messages
1,547
I've had several 38's and an 18, I used an attenuator with all of them. The sweet spot gain-wise on the 18 was pre volume between 2 and 3 o'clock never past three or it got too fizzy/splattery for me.

Regardless of where I had the pre volume the master was always sitting at 2 o'clock.

have you tried increasing all the tone knobs the same amount?

I know I disconnected the reverb in a 38 for a while but I don't remember if there was a gain increase.

+1 for a booster, maz's love pedals.

..
 

HeeHaw

Senior Member
Messages
4,963
I generally try to use a pedal to enhance what the amp is doing, not actually create the tone. :RoCkIn

Then you need a clean boost. I use a cheap Seymour Duncan pickup booster and it does wonders for my strat with it's weaker pickups.

Also, the pedal I put up there doesn't color your tone a whole lot.
 

Jason Myers

Member
Messages
279
I just got my 38 yesterday but it seems to love my OCD set for more of a slightly dirty boost. This thing smokes!:D
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,703
Then you need a clean boost. I use a cheap Seymour Duncan pickup booster and it does wonders for my strat with it's weaker pickups.

Also, the pedal I put up there doesn't color your tone a whole lot.


+1 An inexpensive clean boost that also has a resonance switch that works well with bright guitars. Great for pushing the front end of an amp.
Bob
 

calieng

Member
Messages
803
I did a mod once by putting a switch in line with the ground wire on the Mid control. When you break the ground connection it effectively takes the tone stack out of the circuit and bumps up the gain. It is similar to the RAW control David Allen uses on his amps except he uses a variable resistor.

Let me tell you the amp sounds amazing with the mod but you loose tone control with the switch open. The nice thing is when you flick the switch back you have the amp back to the original condition so it is a reversible mod in a way. I mounted the switch on the back panel as there are a number of extra punchouts in the chassis. You just need to drill a small hole through the plastic back panel.

You can also run the preamp tubes a little hotter but that involves changing some resistors and caps on the board.
 

chriscoleman

Member
Messages
6
i use the maz 18 112 combo. i set me volume on about 2 oclock and then my master on 11ish. What helps me is having my z brake attenuator to keep that volume down while running the amp so hot. I also use an mxr microamp boost at the end of my chain when i need some more umph. just dont use the ocd on our amps, it sounds like duece (ive got one thats collecting dust as we speak). let me know if you find anything cool about our amps you think i should know. thanks!

-chris
 

aztwang

Member
Messages
96
I use a Creation Audio Labs Mk4.23 on my Z Jr.....spanks the hell out of the preamp...24 db of boost..incredably quiet and will not color your tone!!
 

Taller

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,066
What kind of pre-amp gain are you looking for - like Mesa or Marshall fuzz gain? The Maz won't get you there on its own, as you know. It's not that type of amp. You'd probably do well to sell it and get something else.
 

stoob0t

Member
Messages
471
If you're looking for more pre-amp gain, have a look for something made by Soldano called the "hot-mod" it fits straight into a 12AX7 space in your V1 slot. Never tried one in a Z before, but when i had one it turned a JTM-45 into a high gain monster!
 

mojoslide

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,153
Th key to gain with the Maz is cranking the Master up. It is not a preamp gain heavy amp. It does have a good bit o' hair, but the real magic happens when you crank the master past noon.
 

CharlieNC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
659
Th key to gain with the Maz is cranking the Master up. It is not a preamp gain heavy amp. It does have a good bit o' hair, but the real magic happens when you crank the master past noon.

+1...you'll get a lot more balls if you crank the master up to the max, and dial up your gain to about noon, then hit it with a FD2 in comp cut mode. that is one fat sound. if you're looking for mesa style squishiness then you're playing the wrong amp.
 

michaelscott

Member
Messages
78
i have found that regardless of the pedal, for it me it sounds better with a little less gain than i might want, but edging up the volume on the pedal a bit more. if the Z is already cooking, this can be really good stuff. so maybe crank + low-med gain? personal favorites: super hard on boost, fulldrive 2, RAT, bad monkey...
 




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