NAD: Dr. Z Mazerati GT - speaker opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ickywoods, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    I know some of you guys have experience with this amp and I wanted to get some speaker recommendations. What worked for you? In the trade for the head, I also got a 2X10 with Weber Blue Pups (20W) that sounds like dog ass. The amp violently overpowers the speakers past about 9:00 on the volume and the breakup the speakers get is horribly distorted and metallic, totally unmusical.

    What I'm looking for is that EL84 Vox flavor from the amp, to be able to ride the volume on my guitars for the clean-to-dirty tones and avoid that clanging metallic speaker distortion when the amp starts to wind up.

    I dug back through some old threads here and from what I gather this amp is supposed to have a Liverpool 30/TW vibe which I'm really excited about but these speakers gotta go....
     
  2. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    I'm not one of these guys with a bunch of cabs, who is constantly experimenting with exotic speaker combinations, but I have tried a few different cabs with mine. The stock Z-Best cab works quite well, but I ended up installing two G12-65s in series in mine and like it even better.

    I haven't tried anything like Golds, but these amps cover a lot of ground and I suspect really chimy speakers won't work all that well when you turn the gain up. You will probably want a speaker that will take the edge off a bit.

    I would suggest that you research the Express and Liverpool threads to see what people are using with those amps.
     
  3. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    Are you using yours with any kind of attenuator?
     
  4. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Yes, that's pretty much essential. These amps are pure gain. I hadn't noticed that these had been discontinued.
     
  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    A few years ago, I played an Rx Jr through Z Best with one G12H30 and one Celestion Blue. I was floored... once it got to a certain volume level. It impressed me so much that I did something similar but went a bit cheaper. An Avatar cab with one G12H30 and one Weber Blue Dog.

    Don't let your experience with the under-performing Blue Pups scare you away from other Webers. I'd owned a Celestion Blue and another Blue Dog and compared them both in two different Vox amps and came away with the general impression that the Weber stacks up pretty well, but is definitely not identical.

    The Blue Dog has the chime, but more bottom end, sounds thicker and more robust and sounds good at a variety of volume levels whereas the Celestion really wants to be driven to a certain point to really 'bloom'.
     
  6. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Member

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    The Zs I've played/owned all love the G12H-30, V30, or combo of both. I had both in my Z-best 2x12 and it sounded killer with my Rt. 66.
     
  7. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    The Mazerati GT is a monster of an amp. By far the loudest I've ever owned. I had to attenuate the hell outta mine.

    But to answer your question, I thought G12M greenbacks sounded the best with it. I was always worried though that I'd blow them up.
     
  8. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    Wow, you're not joking strat...what did you go with as far as an attenuator? Did you have a chance to try a few for comparison or did you go with the Airbrake?
     
  9. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    None of that hellish rattle like the cabinet was just going to shrapnel? The Blue Pups that are in there sound like a lawnmower with a bad bearing about to come apart at the seams.

    I have other amps with Weber speakers and I've always been happy with them so I think this is just a pure mismatch.

    What kind of attenuator are you running Trotter?
     
  10. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Not to disparage the Airbrake, but it just isn't up to the same standard as the latest reactive-load attenuators. I have tried the Z Airbrake, Komet Airbrake, UA, Aracom and Phantom. Those last three, which are all reactive load attenuators, are all in the same ballbark. Each has its pros and cons, but I kept the Phantom. Unfortunately the Phantom is no longer available, but it seems like alternatives are popping up every week.
     
  11. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    I had a Badcat Leash at that time. It really just choked too much of the dynamics though and it was impossible for me to use that amp in my house without heavy attenuation.

    I would look at getting an Aracom attenuator to use with that amp.
     
  12. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    Here's my quandry. The Dr. Z is the only amp in my collection that I'd need an attenuator for, so I'm really on the fence about ponying up $700-$900 for an Aracom. The Airbrake is under $200 new, and that I could spend without feeling like I bought an amp that in my circumstances is unusable (and yes, my fault for buying an amp that loud :bonk but I really wanted to try the TW/Liverpool 30 thing).

    So, is the Aracom $500-$700 better than the Airbrake in your opinion?
     
  13. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Is the Mazerati really that much more gainy than the Carmen Ghia?

    I have the Ghia and have never played the Mazerati, but I would have thought they'd be in the same general sonic ballpark.
     
  14. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    Hopefully one of the other guys will chime in since I have no other point of reference...this is the one and only Dr. Z I've ever played.
     
  15. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    We're talking about the Mazerati GT, not the Mazerati. I would guess that the GT is Z's take on the Liverpool. I seem to remember hearing that Ken designed the transformer(s) for the GT. At any rate, it's pretty much balls-to-the-wall right from the starting blocks. It does clean up with the guitar volume, but clean ain't the GT's thang.
     
  16. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Right right. I didn't realize there was a Mazerati and a Mazerati GT. :bonk
     
  17. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Member

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    Go with a Rivera RockCrusher for $499. How much is the Airbrake, $300? The RC is absolutely worth the price difference as it performs exactly as advertised and there are countless recordings, including my own, that prove it. Plus, you can do as I did and try it for 45 days risk free. If you decide you don't like it, send it back. No harm, no foul. :)
     
  18. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    A good attenuator is an investment you'll get a lot of use from, sooner or later.
     
  19. ickywoods

    ickywoods Member

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    I had some time to spend with the Dr. Z yesterday and play through a handful of cabinet and speaker combinations with my Tele and this is what I came up with so far:

    1. The original cab was a pine 2X10 convertible back with 20W Weber Blue Pups wired for 4 ohm. As previously stated, above 8:00 on the amps volume the cabinet was totally unusable, metallic, shreiking and unmuscial.

    2. 2X12 Avatar 3/4 closed back, 1 V30 and 1 G12H, 8 ohm. Huge improvement and took away all that metallic rattling that the 2X10 produced. Still insanely loud but made the amp usable and adjustments to the volume on the guitar went from fairly clean and articulate to high gain, but not what I would decribe as "compressed". Overall, not bad, but a little flat sounding.

    3. Ampeg 2X12 closed back, 1 V30 and 1 Scumback M55 wired for 16 ohm. The closed back cabinet didn't do anything for the amp and that metallic rattling speaker distortion reappeared. Not as bad as the first 2X10 cab, but pretty bad overall.

    4. Marshall 4X10 with Marshall Black Gold speakers, closed back, wired for 16 ohm. This one was a significant improvement over all the others and the 16 ohm cab seemed to tame a little of the volume and had a full sound without the horrific speaker distortion but was still a little dull sounding. Better, but not great overall.

    5. 2X10 pine open back cabinet, 2 Jensen Alnico speakers wired for 4 ohm. This was the clear, clear winner overall. It was the first cabinet that the "blanket" really came off the amp and it sounded crystal clear and defined. The low notes had a bounce to them and all the muddiness was gone. The highs were clear and really finally had that EL84 tone. This cabinet was the winner hands down. The next move is rewire it for 16 ohm to tame the volume some more and make the amp usable, maybe even without an attenuator.
     

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