Silver Supporting Member
I used to have a Matrix GT1000FX a few years ago, it was good for the "wet" in a w/d/w rig, but didn't like it for being primary power with a preamp or slaved head.
The VHT 2/50/2 I have now sounds way better.
Love the 2:90. The clean headroom and huge sound stage make it stand out from many other power amps. You can record bass and extended range guitars with it no problem, which is something I’d never do with an EL84 based design. IMHO, modern and deep sound good with the modern metal preamps (Uber, Powerball, Savage, VH4, etc) not so much with the more traditionally voiced ones (SLO, Metro, Deliverance, OS, Morgan AC, etc). Haven’t tried it yet, but deep could sound good with BMan and T/Dlx for clean lead sounds... I don’t think I’ve ever used the half power setting.What about the Modern, 1/2 Drive and Deep voices of the 2:90? Do you have any favorite voice settings with specific Synergy modules? I am thinking that the 2:90 might be extra versitile with the Synergy modules.
I have a 20/20 and a Recto Recording preamp. The preamp has the same Modern circuit as the Triaxis so I've often wondered if I should have bought the 2:90 instead of the 20/20.
I am considering selling the 20/20 and replacing it with a 5:25 Express + and a 2:90. Then my studio would have amps with both types of tubes. And the possibility to mix and match preamps will add to my clients' available analog tones.
Engl makes a 20/20 power amp in a 1U rack.This is the thing- there aren't a ton of commercial tube poweramps even being made at this point as far as I know. Rack stuff is dead as disco.
Does anyone other than Synergy, Mesa or Fryette still make tube poweramps? Unless I'm missing someone, it looks like only Synergy and Fryette currently make 1U tube poweramps.
There are older EL84 based 1U poweramps from Mesa and Marshall that seem to have mixed reviews.
some of mine were a little difficult but putting downward or upward pressure as I also made sure it was level and straight sliding it in got it to go in
We noticed in the final production sample approval stage that the PCB width was at the maximum end of the tolerance range, which would make for a snug fit. It should still be OK as long as you’re inserting it straight.
Thanks for the update. Will try again today .. I just ordered 3 additional modules LOLWe noticed in the final production sample approval stage that the PCB width was at the maximum end of the tolerance range, which would make for a snug fit. It should still be OK as long as you’re inserting it straight.
If it’s not cooperating, slightly loosen the 4 screws on the bottom of the unit under that module slot and then try inserting the module. If that works, then tighten the screws with the module installed. This will reset the track alignment.
Another possibility is that the top cover may be pushed down a bit, causing a tight fit across the top of the module. If so, you can loosen the top middle front panel screw, push up on the top cover through the module slot and tighten the screw.
I have not tried the SYN5050, but a Mesa 50/50, Mesa 295 and a VHT 2/50/2, sounds very different with the same guitar, preamp and cab.Please don't take offense but it sounds like perhaps most of your experience is with dedicated amplifiers and not rack-mounted power amps. If it helps any, I've been using rack systems since the mid 90's and currently have an 18 space system that includes a pair of dedicated rackmount stereo power amps. I've never been happier with the sounds I'm getting, the system sounds great in the room and records well into my DAW. My days of gigging with a refrigerator rack are over so it's reserved solely for home use.
I tried the Syn5050 when it came out because it sounded like a great potential solution to free up 1RU of rack space compared to a 2:90. At that time I was also curious about what different types of rackmount power amps might sound like paired with different speaker cabs, so I tried an experiment with a few power amps I had lying around. I used a bunch of Synergy preamps to test them out.
I A/B'd the Syn5050 against some of my other power amps - a Mesa 2:90, a Marshall 20/20 and a Mesa 20/20 Dynawatt. The Syn5050 came in dead last. "Boxy" is a polite way of putting it, "compressed, lifeless, flat and dull" is probably a little more accurate. It also ran very hot, which can be problematic in rack systems with vintage TC units like my 2290, 1210 and 1128's. FWIW, I worked with Synergy tech support when I had it and we tried a few tests to confirm that it wasn't a faulty unit.
A straight comparison between the two 6L6 power amps (Syn5050 and Mesa 2:90) wasn't even close. Which is weird given that I love the Fryette Power Station (a killer sounding attenuator and mono 6L6-based power re-amplifier) I use when recording my other amps at home. I was hoping the Fryette-designed Syn5050 would sound like the Power Station but sadly that wasn't the case.
After my experiment was done I settled on using a Mesa 20/20 to power a pair of open back 2x12 cabs and a Mesa 2:90 to power a Coffee Cabs Lungo 4x12 wired in stereo. Audio is routed via a Switchblade to whatever power amp/speaker combo I think sounds the best.
FWIW, I didn't hear much difference between the two EL84 powered 20 watt amps but heard a little more overall brightness with the EL84 powered amps and a little more depth with the 6L6 powered 2:90, which I attribute to the types of tubes used and their respective output transformers.
Just my $0.02, YMMV.