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Univalve or Supersonic?? Need help deciding between 2 heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ROTHNROLL, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. ROTHNROLL

    ROTHNROLL Member

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    Univalve or Supersonic?? Need help deciding between 2 heads. I have played a shitload of amps in the last month and I have narrowed my search down to 2 amps..

    1. Univalve

    2. Fender Supersonic.


    I have tried both and loved both of them.
    I like the self biasing feature on the univalve and the ability to change tubes at random.

    I love the diversity of the Supersonic and found some great tones out of it as well.

    I play mainly single coil strats and classic rock (Led Zep, Tom Petty , Who)

    I do not gig.. and have no plans on doing so.
    I live in a house so I can crank it up.. but I am a little worried about the volume level on the supersonic. I don't want to have to crank it up all the time to get the tone I want.


    Price is not an issue.. but the univalve is cheaper.
    I want something I can enjoy for years and not something cheap as a bandaid effect.

    I currently use a Traynor YCV80.. which I do not like. (read some of my posts here about it)

    Nice cleans are important to me.
    I would also like something with soem raunch.. for when i want to play some Sabbath, Priest
    I have toyed with the idea of getting a DRRI and putting a tube screamer in front of it...


    Both of these amps are versatile... which is what I am looking for.



    Well I can only have one...
    What is your pick?
     
  2. ROTHNROLL

    ROTHNROLL Member

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    I will even take suggestions on other amps (sub 2000 bucks)

    I would prefer it to be something I could try out first...
     
  3. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a Univalve and I love it. I have not tried a prosonic though. I also have a Fender custom vibrolux reverb( this works out great for gong out of hte Univalve and adding more power and a Class AB sound). I have gone through many amps before getting to the UV. It will change with different power tubes and diferent preamp tubes. i am loving the KT77 I have in atthe moment.
     
  4. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh yeah, you will find it hard to get a really great clean and a really great dirty sound at the same volume or at the same time. The UV is very flexible but only does one sound at a time. What I mean to say is the quality of each of the sounds is so good it hrts to not set it up to sound that good. Like anything you can compromise and have an in between settting, and there are some great settings that give a little clean and a little dirt, but it just seems a shame to not set it up and get the aswesome clean or singing distortion. I am actually thnking about buying another just to have both available.
     
  5. crazy4blues

    crazy4blues Member

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    Have you looked at a used Dr. Z. Carmen Ghia head? They are about $700 used, and they would do about what you're looking for. Check the Dr Z website; there's a very nice demonstration video of that amp.
     
  6. stump

    stump Member

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    Depends if you need multi channel or not. Flexibility of the Fender vs. Absolutely killer tones on the Uni. Do you like to tinker with tubes to pursue the Ultimate tone? Just be prepared to spend money on tubes and speakers and cabs if you are. To me it's worth it for the sound that I get from the Uni. On any given day I'm able to get the sound that's in my head. It's my go to amp in a pretty healthy herd of amps. Oh ya, THD's customer service is absolutely fantastic. Good Luck.
     
  7. ROTHNROLL

    ROTHNROLL Member

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    Never played one. I played a Prescription ES. Which DR Z would you recommend?
     
  8. ROTHNROLL

    ROTHNROLL Member

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    I have a few nice cabs....
    I am thinking the uni might be my wise choice...
     
  9. onemind

    onemind Member

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    I was fond of my uni, but don't own it any more, it is capable of some great sounds, but Clean is not its forte. Also too much attenuation robs it of dynamics.
     
  10. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Too much attenutation robs ANY amp of dynamics (and frequency response), so that's going to be more of a problem with the Fender.

    You know you just can't own 1 amp, you're on the Gear Page! Any amp you buy will have compromises and won't be able to do everything. Case in point, the Univalve is an incredibly deep amp, with a lot of flavors on tap, especially if you invest in some good tubes BUT it won't do spot on classic rock tones because those were generated with push/pull, class AB amps. A closer to the "do it all" amp would be a London Power amp, with the power amp configureable to single ended/PP, cathode or fixed bias, pentode or triode-but I don't think Kevin is currently building and they're rare as hen's teeth to find used. Here's what I'd do (actually, what I've done ;)): buy an Emery Superbaby or used Univalve to play with tubes and moderate to high gain tones (about $600 for either option). Take the other $1400 and buy an early SF Vibrolux Reverb, Super Reverb or Twin Reverb (depending how strong your back is and how loud you need your sparkling, iconic clean to be). Take whatevers left over from that and buy a couple of cool drive pedals to add flavor to what you've got, and a good quality AB pedal so you can run into both amps.... Done!
     
  11. crazy4blues

    crazy4blues Member

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    It would depend on your application and the sound you're looking for. The great thing about the Ghia is that it has very simple controls, and it takes peddals very well. Don't be fooled by the simple "Tone" knob; it has an extremely wide range. Overall, it's a very well rounded amp, and you can cover a lot of terrritory.

    If you like Brad Paisley's tele sound, I believe he was using a Prescription and a Prescription ES for awhile. Now, there's the Stang Ray, which is the newest Z amp. All of the Z's have a "house" sound, but it's a very big house! If you are playing just at home or smaller venues, you'll have a lot of fun with the Ghia. If you are playing bigger places and have a loud band, the Rx Es, is certainly the ticket.

    BTW, I don't own either one; I currently have a Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr, and I just think it's the cat's meow. I think that my next Z will be a Ghia, though.

    A final thought: As Onemind suggests, you might enjoy playing around with the Uni for awhile, but I suspect you'll want to move on. Not to take anything away from the 'valve, but many guys who buy Zs become pretty hard converts. Obviously, if you can try before you buy, that would be best.

     
  12. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice cleans are important to me.
    I think that line alone suggests the Fender might be the one. As already mentioned, the UV doesn't do clean so well. Although the UV is a fantastic amp and you should own one or two regardless.
     
  13. Chevelle

    Chevelle Member

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    I own an Univalve as well. It's got great cleans if you're not trying to be heard over a drummer. It's got big swirly cleans. Nice cleans are important to me as well, but 90% of the time I'm letting the UV roar its single-ended heart out. But yes, if we had to reduce it down, cleans are not its forte.
     
  14. ROTHNROLL

    ROTHNROLL Member

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    Why would you pick the Ghia over the Maz 18?

    The Maz 18 looks superior on paper...
     
  15. crazy4blues

    crazy4blues Member

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    Admittedly, the Maz has more features, but it does have a different overall sound. It really boils down to what you are going to be doing and what kind of sound you want.

    Initially, when I choose the Maz, I was all caught up in the must-have-a-master volume syndrome. Now, I find myself often cranking the master volume and rolling off the gain volume--so I can get more power tube distortion.

    That's what the Ghia is all about. Just plug in and go. It's just a pure grab and go amp. Now, again, if you are doing a lot of live playing in places larger than your average bar, then the Ghia mightn't be the the thing. IT breaks up, but it doesn't fart out. The Mazerati is the more powerful version of the Ghia, and it'll provide about as much headroom as you could possibly need.

    Again, the main reason I'm suggesting the Z's is that a lot of guys will try the latest Fender amp or something like a Univalve, only to wonder about something like a Z or a TopHat--you know, boutique.

     

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