so, just how good is the Dr Z Mini Z??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AJ Love, May 28, 2005.


  1. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    I'm thinking about buying a Mini Z... I've read the rave reviews

    My question is: is it a great amp FOR A SMALL SIZE AMP?? Or is it a great amp, period?

    I like the fact that its only 22 pounds. I like the fact that it can break up and get into screaming mode at a lower volume than most amps. And I trust Dr Z's quality.

    I am wondering whether my tone will suffer as compared to, say, a Dr Z Maz?

    let me know...thanks in advance!
     
  2. erksin

    erksin Member

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    A buddy of mine is one of the guys who posted a review at Harmony Central. He loved the Mini, but ultimately sold it - to get a Carmen Ghia. He LOVES the Z sound, but needed more headroom than the Mini has on tap - which ain't much from his description. However - the Mini impressed him so much that he dumped a few prized vintage combos to fund the Ghia.
     
  3. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Thanks erksin... a few people have told me that the Mini Z is an incredible recording amp that sounds huge in the studio, which appeals to me greatly...

    I suppose the lack of clean headroom would prevent it from being a "do anything amp", which isn't suprising, I'm just trying to figure out just how good it is as what it does...
     
  4. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    I have not heard the Mini-Z. But I have a lot of experience with amps. A lot of the small amps that work great for recording are not real impressive when compared to larger wattage amps. The bigger amps sound "bigger", which is great for playing with a band, or even by yourself, if you want a fat sound. I have an OLD National/Valco amp with a field coil speaker, and it sounds great recorded, but kind of "small" when I play it in my living room. I have had similar experiences with other small amps, i.e., Champs, old Gibsons, etc. The limited frequency range of a low wattage amp with a small speaker is a great tool in a recording environment.
     
  5. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    That 8" speaker in the Z scares me. Check out the Bad Cat Mini II- it has a 12" speaker.
     
  6. Amp Nut

    Amp Nut Member

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    I don't buy any combos without a 12" speaker.

    Have had too many good sounding combos with smaller speakers but when plugged into a 12" cab would always sound much better, even a low volumes.
     
  7. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    the Mini Z has an output that you can plug into another cab...
     
  8. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Which is what my buddy did - although he said the stock 8" sounded amazing, the biggest 8" he'd ever heard. The cab is a bit oversized as well to lend some depth.

    I think the description on the Z site is probably pretty accurate - basically sounds like an overdrive pedal with a speaker attached.
     
  9. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    I wonder how it would sound with a Cornish P-2 going into it? Sustain for days I would imagine...

    Sounds to me like it might be an ideal recording amp, which is what I need right now...
     
  10. erksin

    erksin Member

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    My buddy said the Mini needs no help from pedals to get a fat singing sustain - but they might help to add some additional tone shaping since the Mini is pretty limited in that area...
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    depends what you want to use the amp for.

    recording? might be a cool tool

    live with the band? my guess is that you'd need to mic the amp. for live I'd get the Maz
     
  12. Amp Nut

    Amp Nut Member

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    Plug into another cab? Kinda defeats the purpose of a combo.
     
  13. PerryR

    PerryR Member

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    Dr Z tried all kinds of speakers.. he did not plan to use the 8", the 8" just sounded best and he optimized the cab to get a bit more bigness. Now Z is a diehard 12" Celestion guy, so beleive me speaker choice was a big issue in the Mini Z, and the Weber 8" delivered the tone Z wanted to hear.

    There is always the option of using a different cab if the situation arises, but I'm certain the masses will be very pleased with the tone of the combo speaker. Its like a greenback in package thats not much bigger then a greenback.
     
  14. Pappy

    Pappy Supporting Member

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    Have you ever played a gig with a champ? Would it work for you? While the Mini Z is very different than the '59 tweed champ I used to own, it's a good question to ask yourself before you proceed.

    I have to say that it's the biggest sounding 1-8" amp I've ever heard. It really filled the room at the store I tried it in and had a lot of gain on tap (way more than a tweed champ). I've said this in other posts, but I felt that the distorted tones were awesome. The clean tones were so-so IMHO (too many mids for my taste). It's clear that the amp was designed to be cranked, though, so it really delivers on what it intends to be. The only problem for me was that the cranked volume is too loud for home use (at least at my house). It would be awesome for recording or small gigs that needed "that" tone.

    It's very different than a Maz series amp or a Carmen Ghia (which I currently own). It really depends on what "your" needs are. For me, I love the clean and distorted tones of my Ghia and find it to be a very versatile amp despite it's simple controls. I also find that 12" speakers works best for me. There are some smaller gigs where the Mini Z would be perfect. It couldn't be my only amp, though. I like it WAY better than any other champ style amp I've ever tried and I will probably pick one up at some point.
     
  15. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Lots of great feedback here and I appreciate it...

    Yeah I don't think this would be a "do anything" amp for me. I do play alot of small venues (coffeehouses, very small clubs) with just a drummer and bass player (and sometimes with a sax player as a Quartet) and its VERY difficult to get great screaming sustained guitar tones in such small rooms without being WAT TOO LOUD.... I've also been doing alot of recording... and there are times when I have to travel out of town for gigs using mass transportation (train, bus)

    For all those reasons it seems like a 22 pound amp that can get great screaming tones would be good for me, in multiple applications... I'll still need another amp in addition to a Mini-Z, but I think it can get lots of usage
     
    CliffyG likes this.
  16. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool! :cool:

    Z makes great sounding amps! Let us know what you think when it arrives.
     
  17. kaseri

    kaseri Member

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    The Mini-Z is a great amp. I use mine mostly @ home. The mini sounds a little thin for my taste @ lower volume but when you turn it up past noon it really comes alive.

    These clips are VERY accurate as to what the Mini-Z sounds like.

    http://www.willcuttguitars.com/sounds/scclean.mp3
    http://www.willcuttguitars.com/sounds/scod1.mp3
    http://www.willcuttguitars.com/sounds/scod2.mp3
    http://www.willcuttguitars.com/sounds/scneckod.mp3
    http://www.willcuttguitars.com/sounds/hbclean.mp3
    http://www.willcuttguitars.com/sounds/hbdirty.mp3
     
  18. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    after careful consideration, I decided to go with a Dr Z Carmen Ghia instead. Not as portable, but more volume for small club gigs and loud as F drummers
     
  19. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    so what guitar are you gonna be using if not the grosh retroclassic? how about a grosh setneck?
     
  20. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    The Mini Z is a good amp, but for the same money you can get a great amp in the Bad Cat Mini Cat. Same speaker size, except the Mini Cat is available in a 5 watt head as well as a combo with a 10" speaker. Better sound, better construction and higher resale value.
     

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