NAD: Tyler Amps PT-14

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by playguitar6789, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. playguitar6789

    playguitar6789 Supporting Member

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    I've been looking for an American-style amp to compliment my Morgan AC20 Deluxe for quite sometime. I've been very close to settling on a DRRI (which, I'm sure would be great), but I was hoping to get something hand-wired and well-built like the Morgan that will last for 50 years.

    So, my friend told me about Tyler amps and their PT-14 awhile back. I had been interested, but also frustrated because there was so little information on these amps. I still think they need to get more demos out there and put more info on their site, but I eventually heard enough about them through word of mouth and decided to order one. I got it approximately 3 weeks ago, but waited a few weeks to get used to it and use it live before posting my thoughts.

    It's based on a Fender Princeton, but with a 12" speaker instead of a 10". It's all hand-wired, of course, and I opened it up to verify that it was in fact wired point to point (see pictures below). Mine has 6V6s and an Eminence Texas Heat speaker which is standard, though I believe they offer EL34s and a Jensen Electric Lightning as an option as well. Tolex and grill cloth combinations are customizable, but I picked mine because it had already been built (and it looks awesome). Mine also has the "fat boost" mod, which is a switch on the rear panel of the amp that operates in a similar fashion to the fat switch on my Blues Jr. III.

    Overall, my first impressions are that it sounds great. I'm mainly comparing it to my AC20, which I realize is on the opposite spectrum (and across the pond). I've played it at home with my strat and Tennesee Rose, and this weekend I ran it at about 1/4 volume (clean) with the Gretsch. I noticed the amp seemed extra bright when I first got it, but now the highs seem to have tamed just a bit. Highs and lows seem well-balanced and clear for both single coils and humbuckers. Now, I'm new to DR/Princeton style amps, but I did notice a few negatives. First, the tremolo doesn't really become audible until the intensity control is at about noon. I'm guessing this is the nature of the circuit, and past noon it sounds great. Also, the reverb control and the fat boost switch increase the noise floor of the amp. It could just be the crappy power in my apartment, but it was noticeable for me in a home practice environment. You'll notice in the pictures, the rear panel is labeled for a tremolo and reverb footswitch, but the are no jacks there. I asked John (who I believe may be the owner) about why there were no jacks, and he said he offers that as an extra upon request. I think it should be standard, but it's honestly not a huge deal for me as I have a Strymon Flint on my board and usually run my amp off stage.

    Anyway, it's a great amp and very well built. I'm excited to keep playing it and spending more time getting familiar with a 6V6 amp. Hopefully I'll have the chance to A/B it with a DRRI or Princeton in the near future!

    Here are some pictures:

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    In action backstage at church this weekend:
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  2. PGLive

    PGLive True Tone will only be achieved in Heaven Silver Supporting Member

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    Mine had a Jensen Lighting and it sounded great. Congrats on a killer amp..
     
  3. UrbanHymns

    UrbanHymns Supporting Member

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    The tremolo on a Princeton isn't noticeable either until past noon. So it's the circuit. And I have the same problem with the reverb on my PRRI - it increases the noise. So I think this is just how these amps work.
     
  4. playguitar6789

    playguitar6789 Supporting Member

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    Good to know! It sounds great regardless.
     
  5. kingdavidy2k

    kingdavidy2k Member

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    Looking at the Power Transformer model, it seems like that it only takes 6V6 but not 6L6 does it?
     
  6. fusionbear

    fusionbear exquirentibus veritatem Gold Supporting Member

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    Wrong tubes in that amp. Put a pair of 6V6's and I bet the amp will sound much better...
     
  7. davidespinosa

    davidespinosa Supporting Member

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    You got it straight from Tyler with the wrong tubes? That doesn't make sense.
     
  8. kingdavidy2k

    kingdavidy2k Member

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    My mistake everyone. I was assuming that it was offered as changeable 6L6/6V6.
    The OP said it can be requested with EL34.
    My point was, judging from the transformers, they're not big enough for 6L6.
    The OP has 6V6 in his.
     
  9. playguitar6789

    playguitar6789 Supporting Member

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    Actually no, I got it with 6V6s! Sounds killer.

    No? 6V6s as I requested...

    Im not sure about the 6L6s, but I know for sure 6V6 or EL34s, which John says are swappable without having to rebias (I believe it's fixed bias).
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  10. BBender

    BBender Member

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    According to John (owner), you can pop 6L6, 6V6, and EL34 in this amp.

     
  11. playguitar6789

    playguitar6789 Supporting Member

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    Oh, interesting! I edited my post to reflect my uncertainty about the 6L6s. But I can say I have physically seen and heard both 6V6 and EL34s in the PT-14.
     
  12. s360guitarist

    s360guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    A quick recap of what you thought about the tone of the two different tubes?
     
  13. playguitar6789

    playguitar6789 Supporting Member

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    I liked both of them, but it's hard to give an accurate description, as the EL34 amp I played had a Jensen Electric lightning. Overall, the 6V6/Texas Heat (the one I have) had more of the Fender clean tone sparkle I was looking for. I also opted for the 6V6s because it is classic Princeton.
     
  14. s360guitarist

    s360guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    Care to share what tweaks you requested @Vedt ?
     
  15. natebernstein

    natebernstein Member

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    I recently played one of these and it is flat-out awesome. Tons of clean headroom. Barely breaks up when you dime it. Takes pedals very well. And it is LOUD for a Princeton (my guess is it's the high-powered 12" speaker). I found the fat switch and mid control not particularly useful, as the whole point of the amp seems to be shimmering highs and tight lows, in keeping with the tradition of the circuit. Wasn't what I'm looking for at the moment but sounded really fantastic. If I were in the market for this style of amp and had to choose between the Fender 65 RI and a few hundred dollars more for this, it would be the Tyler without blinking an eye.
     
  16. Gallery

    Gallery Supporting Member

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    Beautiful amp playguitar6789. John has a great cabinet builder who does beautiful work.

    Glad to see these Tylers are getting more attention here on TGP. I've had my JT46 for 6 months now and it's my go-to blues amp. I had him install KT-66's, but it can take just about any tube (6L6, EL34, KT66, KT77, KT88, and 6550). The cosmetics were customized to my request. With the master volume cranked up to 2/3 or higher it's full blown JTM45 tone. When you drop the master down it gets very Fenderish (brownish to my ears). Takes pedals like a champ. This makes it very flexible for getting a variety of different sounds.

    My local shop has a PT-14 in stock with the fawn tolex like yours. My wife actually told me if I bought that amp I could keep it in the living room she liked the tolex so much.

    Here's my JT46

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  17. UrbanHymns

    UrbanHymns Supporting Member

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    Slower tremolo and a TRS footswitch jack in the back. Also, these are stock options, but I liked that I could customize the cab color (tweed) and that it had a Fat switch and Mid knob in the back. I like the blackface circuit, so I'm not sure if I will use the Fat boost or Mid knob, but it's nice to have some extra functionality. The Mid knob could come in handy when switching between guitars, as my semi-hollowbody is heavy in the midrange compared to my Tele, which is much brighter.
     
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  18. Veritas

    Veritas Silver Supporting Member

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    These really are great amps. I have a couple friends who tour with this amp and it sounds really good. As a matter of fact, I went to a concert at one of the Nashville hot spots last weekend and both acts used a PT-14 that was in the back line. Sounded fantastic out front.
     
  19. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    My main gigging am for a few years, and I actually love the fat switch... Posted this esrlier, but WTH... Love pimping the nicest guy on the planet's amps...

    My baby with purple pilot light
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    The Man himself...
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  20. UrbanHymns

    UrbanHymns Supporting Member

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    I went to a show in Minneapolis last year and the guitarist had some of the best tone I'd ever heard live. His amps? A PT-14 and HM-30 running stereo.
     

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