Talk to me about a Dr. Z Max 38 Sr.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by hurleysurf, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. hurleysurf

    hurleysurf Member

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    I've been kind of on a whirlwind amp hunt the past few days... Getting your wisdom teeth out gives you a LOT of down time and Internet search time. This one is catching my eye. I think a 2x12 Maz 38 Sr. with a Fender 63 Tube Reverb unit would be pretty sweet. Correct me if I am wrong, but it is more a Vox style amp correct? I listen to the clips and I'm digging the country tones. Slowly I'm kind of changing styles from blues to country (almost one in same really...) and I know Brad Paisley uses Dr. Z's. He gets some sick tone on that instrumental song 'Throttleneck.' How would it sound running next to a Fender Super Reverb? Any input on Dr. Z amps you guys have would be appreciated. I'm still in the baby stages of really deciding to buy one, and I would surely try before I buy, but I'm just looking for what to expect and from any current owners.
     
  2. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    i bought that amp based on reviews, and didnt try one before ordering. let me tell you, the amp delivered.

    its not really a vox vibe, or a marshall, or a fender, but rather all the best things from your favorite amps, all the while, still kind of being its own thing. very cool. not only that, but you can really "feel" the amp while you play...like i said...very cool!

    for some stupid reason, i traded it off a while back, and i do miss it. now i have a carmen ghia w/ a dr.z 1x12 convertable cab and even that is damn loud...but the maz SR is a beast all its own.

    mad props to the doc.
     
  3. jcv

    jcv Member

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    I had a Maz Sr 2x12 reverb combo and I could never bond with it. First off, IMO, the Dr's 2x12 combo's are too darn heavy... the thing was just unpleasant to haul. Next, don't let the 38 watts fool you - this amp is a monster. I wouldn't play one without an attenuator.

    I love Dr Z amps and my main amp right now is a Galaxie 1x12 combo. I could never bond with the Maz Sr. It lacked warmth and had a really dry sound to it. I struggled with it for awhile and eventually sold it off. I have a good friend with the identical amp and I check out his band from time to time. I always love his tone through the Sr... I just couldn't get it to work for me.

    Good luck
     
  4. Telephile

    Telephile Member

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    I giigged with a Maz Sr. 212 w reverb for about 5 years. Awesome amp. It is kind of a Vox meets blackface type of tone that takes on hints of Marshall when it's cranked. With the master wide open and the volume cranked to about 12 or so it had a nice big fat growl. The Reverb model seems to have more headroom than the NR and the reverb is awesome I wouldn't see the need for an outboard reverb. This amp also takes a pedal like a champ. Never found a pedal it didn'rt like. Next to a Super I think it may lack a ittle bit of the punch. But the tone and response and versatility exceeds a Super for me.
     
  5. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    1. Had one with the Z best 2 x 12 cab. Great amps, built well, great company. Sold mine. Here's why:

    a. Really tough with humbuckers.
    b. Obviously perfect for the Buddy Whittington strat tones. I call that tone "Marshall lite". Don't know an amp that can replicate that tone as well as the Z.
    c. Inherently bright.
    d. I also own a Boogie LSS 1 x 12 combo with a 1 x 12 ext cab (its also 4 EL-84's). I would advise, if possible, A/B' ing the two amps. I think the LSS is better based on the amazing flexibility that it provides. And it gets CLOSE to the Whittington tone. And its failry easy to dial in with a humbucker equipped guitar.
    e. Yeah, its loud and yeah, it sounds better louder.
    f. A 2 x12 combo would indeed weigh a ton.
    g. Next to a Super? Sounds like a good ying and yang combination to me as I don't think the Z will provide the "honk" that a Super does but the Super won't provide the "Marhsall lite" that the Z does.
    h. Not many think of it as comparable, but if you can try either the Victoria Victoriette or Victorilux with EL-84's, I think you'll be surprised, especially if you don't need tons of gain. Both retain the "sweetness" of EL-84 amps without the brightness that the Z has.

    Again, not trying to flame the Doc. Great amp, built like a tank, no trouble at all. I just might take a shot at a Galaxie if I can bump into one.
     
  6. m1911

    m1911 Member

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    The MAZ Senior is my favorite Amplifier...
    You can dial-in lots of Fendery and Voxish Tones and when you crank it up a bit, it will stay very tight throughout the volume range.

    Regarding brightness....they may be bright playing alone, but when in a mix, they somehow have a gorgeous way of cutting through....without taking your head off.
    As a side note....I've wired everything here with Tone Tubby Alnico Hemp Cone Speakers....in both tens and twelve inchers.

    They have a huge low-end also.

    If you are getting a Combo....simply get Z's onboard Reverb.
    In a Combo, it's a longer pan and actually sounds as good as any I've heard....not tinney, hollow, or sea-sickness.....very natural sounding.

    I'm amazed at how well (Falin PAF) Humbuckers sound plugged straight-in....and NOBODY has better Strat tone than BW.

    Any 2x12 Combo weighs a lot, so I'd get a 1x12 or 2x10 Combo....or simply Head and Cab.

    Hope this helps,
    Mark
     
  7. BobbyRay

    BobbyRay Supporting Member

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    First let me say that I find the description as being somewhere in bewtween all of the above as being spot on.

    After havng owne both a Sr and a Jr, I found that i preferred the Jr. for my tastes. Not for lower breakup volumes, but tonally they are not the same. The Jr is not just a smaller Sr. They sound slightly different to me. The Sr seemed a little more hi-fi, with more top and bottom and less mids. A bit more blackface in some ways. The junior seems to be a little more mids centered, and felt and sounded like it has the very slightest bit of tweed in there.

    Both the Sr, and the Jr were 2X10's and both have enough headroom for gigs in small to medium rooms. I preferred the tone of the Jr so I traded the Sr for another Jr so I can run two for outdoor shows.

    I'd recommend, if at all possible, trying before buying. The Junior sounds far bigger, especially in the 2X10 format, or even bigger with a Z-Best Cab, than the typical 18 watter. Much stouter, with higher headroom available than any other 18 I've played.
     
  8. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    I have a Maz18NR and will second BobbyRay, it's plenty loud and fat sounding. Mine is a head, the Z combos are pretty heavy and I already had a 1x12 cab. I'm not hearing the "inherent brightness" but maybe my speaker (Emi. C. Rex) tames it. I played my TCM Taurus through it at a jam for a couple of hours yesterday and it works just as well with that as it does my Tele. As always YMMV but I'm a Z convert!
     
  9. hurleysurf

    hurleysurf Member

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    Very very helpful responses everybody. Thanks a ton. Sure sounds like its versatile! Bobby Ray: You actually sold me on the 38 by calling it more blackface sounding. That's kind of my tonal center that I seem to always be coming back to. I'm thinking that the reverb version with a 1x12 is going to be best suited for me although I'd like to try out a 2x12. I'm mainly a Tele and Strat player as well so it really is starting to sound perfect.
     
  10. andrew1

    andrew1 Silver Supporting Member

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    The Maz 38 SR is a great amp, IMHO. The descriptions above are very good; I've lived with this amp for about 3 years now and gigged it a number of times. The tone is a Fender/Vox mix with a Marshall mid range when using the MID control. To me, the MAZ 38 is a single coil amp; I've used it mostly with teles and sometimes strats; I'm not too crazy about the way humbuckers sound through it.

    A couple of "secrets" I've found with this amp (I'm sure others have experienced this as well):

    1) cranking the MID control past 1:00 will get you into Marshall territory quickly; below 12:00 is Fender land; the MID control is very versatile. Start with the bass and treble at noon and adjust to taste.
    2) dime the Master volume!!; IMHO, the master volume just gets in the way of the tone -- dime this and start the volume at around 11:00 or so, which leads me into...
    3) use your guitar's vol and tone controls!! With the master volume dimed, start with your tone control on a tele about 1/4 of the way from full open. Then hit a G chord and start with the vol from off then increase to a comfortable level; adjust the tone control on the guitar from there 'till it sounds right.
    4) I keep the cut control at 10:00 or a little below; this can be a very bright amp if the cut control is about 12:00 or so.
    5) This thing eats EL84s for lunch -- a fresh set firms up the low end considerably. I've had good luck with both JJs and GTs.
    6) Experiment with V1 -- a stock JJ 12AX7 in V1 sounds rather good right out of the box, but using a NOS RCA 12AX7 is a good improvement. A balanced PI is a good idea. A NOS rectifier (GZ34/5AR4) is also an improvement.
    7) I like the reverb -- I know it gets mixed reviews, but I find it to be very musical and "analog" sounding; don't hear too much degradation in tone when using it, however, I only dial in a small amount.
    8) The stock Celestion G12 H 70th anniversary speaker is a very good match for this circuit.

    My simple two cents -- bottom line, for maximum tone, dime the master volume and experiment with your guitars vol and tone -- it's a great amp -- have fun!!
     
  11. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Supporting Member

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    i have a 2x12 and love it. that said, it DOES weigh a ton..... hauling it to gigs isn't fun, but once i hear the amp turned up, it' worth it...

    i agree with the above posts that it mixes the best of fender, marshall and vox but it's definitely it's own circuit. very versatile and sounds killer with single coils. my gretsch has filtertron humbbuckers that sound awesome, but i'd say filter'trons are much cleaner sounding than tradt'l humbuckers.... definitely sounds best with the master volume max'd and then adding in regular volume to taste..... fantastic clean and overdriven sounds are available with adjusting the gtr's vol knob....

    i run mind just on the verge of breaking up - clean with a little grit. i use pedals to get heavier OD sounds. the amp takes pedals very well.... good luck...
     
  12. BobbyRay

    BobbyRay Supporting Member

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    Well there you go!:BEER

    I also found tht because you can get a chimier type of clean out of the amp that OD pedals that sounded a little bland with some amps sounded pretty dang good with the Maz series amps. My Fulldrive II MOSFET has an extra edge to it that sounds great with most amps, but I found that with the Maz I was turning the tone knob on the pedal almost off, and then further lowering the highend on the amp. Then when I go back clean I'd find that I had dialed the liveliness out of my clean tone. When I got my cleans working with the amp I found that a Maxon OD808 that sounded kinda dull with other amps sounded fantastic with the Maz.

    The advice for diming the master works great with "vintage" style low output pickups. I found that standard strats with lower output pickups ala Lollar loved that setup, where as hot output singles, and beefy humbuckers liked the master set somewhere lower. Apparent volume was still the same to me, but with high output pickups the master dimed started to sound unpleasant. Kind of got ratty instead of driven.

    Fo refference I'm running an LP with WCR Fillmores, which are his hottest PAF offerings, and Clapton Strats where even without the mid-boost it's easily as hot as most humbuckers.

    Again, low output...Go with the Master way up, hot output, and I found the most clean headroom with the Master from 12 to 2 O'Clock.
     
  13. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I had an Invasion for a while. DR.Z's are built well but I can't ever seem to like them long term. The amp always sounding very thick in the midrange and as much as I wanted to dial that tone out I couldn't. You can make a Fender Super thicker by turning up the mids and reducing the treble but no matter what I did with the Z I couldn't change the basic sound of the thick mids.

    I agree with all the negatives posted above, also since mine was an early one I had the nasty reverb hum which basically rendered the reverb useless. Luckily I traded it for what I paid, it was one of those amps I should have never purchased. Lots of people like Z's, probably because they are inexpensive for what you get, I just don't seem to get the sonic footprint he's trying to create.
     

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