Need help from current/former Dr. Z owners...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jec, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. jec

    jec Member

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    Here's the deal. I love the clean sounds from my Maz 18. I think it's the best clean sound I've ever heard. BUT, I really am not liking the cranked overdrive sounds. The top end fizzes out really bad, and the notes are still really focused and "in your face" for lack of a better term (I know that sounds like a contradiction, but the focused note hits, and then the fizz kinda trails off). This is probably great for country or blues, but I need a rock amp. I have been using a TIM with good effect most of the time, but I've been thinking more and more about something with more natural grind to it.

    Current owners: Anyone have ideas on making more of a smooth overdrive by cranking the amp? Tubes???

    Former owners: Has anyone switched from a Z and found another amp with comparable cleans and better overdrive? I'm looking into amps like the Bogner Metropolis and the Aiken amps.

    :dude
     
  2. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    You are describing the Z sound perfectly. It sounds like to me it isn't for you. You can change tubes and so forth but it sounds like it is not for you. I have the Carmen Ghia and like it very much.

    What is you first 12ax7 tube? That would be the one to change to get a different overdriven sound.

    I would also check out the DR. Z forum on the Dr. Z web site and ask the same question over there about the Maz 18. I am sure someone could help you that has your amp. They could suggest the right tube for you. I would think something like a JJ or GT Mullard copy for new tubes and a Telefunken, GE or Mullard for NOS tubes.
     
  3. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    I think the clean from the Matchless Clubman is about the most harmonically complex and beautiful clean I have ever heard. I played the Maz 18 the other day, and I really liked it, as it reminded me of a smaller version of the Clubman (for cleans that is).
     
  4. jec

    jec Member

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    I haven't tried NOS tubes yet, but I have used both a JJ and the New Sensor 12AX7's that the Doc now recommends. I'm curious about the new production Mullards though...
     
  5. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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  6. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    What speaker configuration is your Maz Jr? Head/cab, 1x12, 2x10, 2x12? My bandmate has a Mas Jr combo 2x12, and his doesn't seem to have the same high frequency issues as yours. If it's a tube issue, try some JAN5751s in the V2 position. Higher on the gain and tend to emphasize the low end more than 12Ax7s. It may be too hot for you in the V1 slot though. Just a thought. On another note the Bogner Metropolis is a great amp. I love it, especially with a green tolex covering. The overdrive has some serious cream to it.
     
  7. jec

    jec Member

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    Yeah, I have the 2x12 also. I definitely would not have liked a 1x12. I will look into your tube recommendations. Thanks!
     
  8. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    Grab a good NOS 5751 from Mike at www.kcanostubes.com and try it first in V1 and then in the phase inverter position.

    If that does not get you where you are happy then another amp as mentioned above would be a thought.
     
  9. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

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    As a new Z owner (Maz 18jr), I've gone with the one sound from the amp - clean - and pedals to get a variety of overdrives and distortions. So far a Klon, FD2 anni, SansAmp GT2 and probably a Menatone KOTB. A good clean sound in an amp that takes pedals well, gives me all the sound variatys I need.
    My DC-30 is still way more complex, but I needed a smaller amp and the Maz fit the bill perfectly. It has it's own vibe going as well.
     
  10. jec

    jec Member

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    Well, the saga continues...

    First, a little background. When I first got this amp (from a pretty well known outlet), it kept blowing fuses left and right. I finally figured out it was a bad rectifier (I'm not an amp expert by any means). Anyway, I thought it was weird considering the people who sold it to me had "fired it up and everything sounded great" just before they sent it to me.

    Fast forward to today...Why did it not surprise me that when I popped off the phase inverter tube cover, that the wrong tube was in there??? Apparently, ever since I have had the amp, I have been playing with the 12At7 in the PI position (V5), and the 12AX7LPS was in V4. I've only ever messed with V1 and V2. I guess I should have looked at the other ones! I was actually kind of excited since I have been having reverb hum issues, but when I switched them back, it really didn't sound that much different!?!

    Does anyone know if I hurt my amp by running it for several months with the tubes in the wrong slot???

    But back to the topic of the thread. I really do love this amp (clean). If I could just get more gain, and possible lose the high end fizziness, I would be very happy. I guess I'll order a 5751 to try in the PI spot and maybe in V1.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions!
     
  11. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    If the Z is older, it NEEDS to have a reverb update. I would e mail Mike Z and set up the fix with him. You will be glad you did. He is very cool about working on his amps even if you are 2nd or 3rd owner. I had my first Mazz jr back in a week! IMHO Mike Z is the best there is for Customer service.
     
  12. kaseri

    kaseri Member

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    jec...

    I currently play & have owned my fair share of Z amps including a Maz 18 Jr, Carmen Ghia, KT45, Mini-Z, RT66 & a 6545. In addition I have owned three Bogner amps, Shiva (6L6), Shiva (EL34) & Metropolis. I have played and A/B tested all of the above mentioned amps extensively.

    I am a rock player and in my opinion the Maz 18 is not best suited for that genre of music. My Z amp recommendation for a rock player is the 6545. It is by far one of the best sounding rock amplifiers that I have ever had the pleasure of playing & owning. The Bogners were also good amps but they lacked the clarity & definition that I was looking for. I was also not overly impressed with any of the Bogners voicing.

    After all of the time, energy & money that I have spent while searching for "my tone" I have found it in two amps....

    The 6545 & the Mini-Z

    The 6545 is one of the most versatile amps that I've ever heard. It has two very distinctively voiced channels & will give you very, very thick rock tones. I use the Mini-Z in many applications. Home practicing, recording & I have been known to run it in an A/B as well as an A+B live rig.

    Bottom line is let your ears guide you. I would at least give the 6545 a listen. Even if the 6545 doesn't give you what you are looking for tonally, it's an amazing amp that deserves a test play.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  13. jec

    jec Member

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    I've been thinking about sending it in for the reverb upgrade and maybe a check-up. But if that is ONLY going to help the reverb noise, then I don't know if I want to pay for it. It's not enough noise that I would notice on stage. Also, I thought the reverb problem was with the pre-2001 models. My serial number is 08981, which I thought was 2001??? Anyway, if the Doc could help smooth out the overdrive, I may send it in anyway.
     
  14. jec

    jec Member

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    Good to know about your experience with the bogners. I actually have been very intrigued about the 6545. I saw a used one go for pretty cheap not too long ago. If I see another one, it may be too tempting.
     
  15. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    I am not sure about most guys, but I shipped my Jr chassis to him, he not only fixed the reverb, but retubed the entire amp and shipped it back for free. YMMV.....
     
  16. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Try a couple of GE 12ax7's. The 5751's are lower gain an will make the amp sound even cleaner. There's a guy on ebay selling Ge 12ax7wa's for $15.ea.I've had good luck with them and they thicken up the tone and give a bit more push to the signal.
     
  17. jec

    jec Member

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    Well,
    I've decided to give another amp a try... Thanks for all of your help/responses! Check out the amp emporium if you are interested.

    jim
     
  18. mlynn02

    mlynn02 Member

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    not sure why no one has said this yet, but have you tried plugging into the other input? i find the right one (if you're looking at the front of the amp) is lower output and delivers a smoother cleaner signal. doing this helps avoid that fizzyness and will give a little fuller/less compressed tone.
     
  19. jec

    jec Member

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    UPDATE!!!!

    Well, I am now the proud owner of a Bad Cat Hot Cat 15. It's an absolute beast. It's actually somewhat frightening how much volume this 15 watter puts out.

    BUT...I wanted to set the record straight. I think all the high-end fuzziness issues I described in this thread were the result of having the master volume too low. The bad cat does the same thing (duh), but I can get the gain I need from the cat at a much lower volume than the Maz.

    I would say the clean channels are both stellar, with the difference being that the Maz stays very focused and has better note definition, while the Bad Cat (cranked clean channel) is more juicy/swirly and "gives" a little more.

    I think the Cat will suit my band's style more, and having the switchable "channels" is nice also. But I would still highly recommend the Maz to anyone.

    And once again, thanks for everyone's input. This is such a cool forum!
     

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