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LSchefman
10-07-2012, 07:14 PM
I've pretty much settled in with this HX/DA. I realize I've posted a lot about it, so please forgive me if this all seems repetitive!

Here's what I love:

- The Master Volume works really well. With most amps, the master kinda works, or works within a small range. With this amp, it sounds good pretty much no matter where I set it. That's great, because lately I've been using a ribbon mic that doesn't need as much volume to sound saturated as my dynamics seem to require.

- The ability to blend the HX and DA gain, and to switch either certain parts of the circuit or all 3 of them to one or the other setting to change the tone of the amp, is very cool, and allows for nice customization of the sound. The tone controls sound great throughout their ranges.

- The amp sounds gorgeous, the tones are absolutely addicting. These are also incredible at the 'clean with some hair' sounds.

- The amp isn't fussy about ancillary gear. Every pedal I've tried in front of the amp sounds good with it. Even pedals that I sometimes think suck tone with other amps seem to work well. It's very flexible.

- It sounds good with Humbuckers and Single Coils. Some amps seem to prefer one or the other. This amp gets along with everything. I just love it. The folks at PRS really thought this through very carefully, and every detail simply works great. Couldn't ask for a better amp. It is a true instrument.

Twinfan
10-08-2012, 01:57 AM
I wish we could get them here in the UK, I'd love to try one.

LSchefman
10-08-2012, 11:00 AM
I wish we could get them here in the UK, I'd love to try one.

If I remember, Paul Smith says "you should be able to get these tones at home" in the video demo of the amp on the PRS website. He's exactly right. What you hear is what you get.

I think the HXDA would be a great match for the 408s you have.

Twinfan
10-08-2012, 11:04 AM
I'd need to back-to-back it with my Bogner XTC Classic and 65 Amps Empire, which would be a great test of how good it is to me :)

LSchefman
10-08-2012, 11:39 AM
I'd need to back-to-back it with my Bogner XTC Classic and 65 Amps Empire, which would be a great test of how good it is to me :)

I've had XTC Classics in the studio, brought in by friends and session guys from time to time. I'm very familiar with the amp, having played it and mixed tracks recorded with one. It's an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Despite its model designation, the XTC Classic still sounds and feels very much like a modern amp. Nothing wrong with that! I have a lot of respect for Bogner, and have owned a Bogner I liked a lot. The XTC is versatile.

But it's light years away from the HX/DA's truly vintage sound and feel. There's a bloom to the note of an HX/DA, and a feel to it, that doesn't come with the Classic. Also the buttery-smooth transition to breakup with the HX/DA is a thing of merriment and joy, and happens in a way that the Classic doesn't duplicate.

On the other hand, whether that's desirable to you will of course be a matter of preference! And the XTC switches channels, so one would expect huge differences resulting from the design, transformer builds, you name it. I would never claim that one person's preferred amp was somehow "better" than another player's favorite. What I can say is that it'd be worth playing the HX/DA if you get the chance. Both amps could live side by side and do different things without stepping on each other's toes.

I haven't played the Empire, only the London, so can't compare.

Twinfan
10-08-2012, 01:23 PM
Thanks!

If you like the vintage-ness of the HXDA, you should try the 65 Amps Empire. It's a Marshall JTM/Plexi/JMP in a 20w package with great tone!

LSchefman
10-08-2012, 05:16 PM
Thanks!

If you like the vintage-ness of the HXDA, you should try the 65 Amps Empire. It's a Marshall JTM/Plexi/JMP in a 20w package with great tone!

Sounds like a very interesting amp! A competitor that I'm very friendly with tells me he's getting the best guitar recordings he's ever gotten with a 65 Amp. Not sure of the model he has, though. I saw it in his recording booth a few months ago, sitting next to a Shiva and a bunch of other amps, but we were hanging out in his control room and I had to run before getting a chance to go look at it.

I ran into him Thursday night at an industry event, and he had the wonderful experience of producing and recording an orchestral score for an airline ad at Abbey Road. Was I ever excited for him! The pictures were wonderful.

Twinfan
10-09-2012, 04:13 AM
Sounds great! The Soho and London seem to be the 65's of choice formost people, but if you like the Marshall thing the Empire is the daddy. The London/Soho have a more Vox-y thing going on and work better with single coils to my ears. As a humbucker man, the Empire has a bit more bite and crunch.

LSchefman
10-09-2012, 10:22 AM
As a humbucker man, the Empire has a bit more bite and crunch.

That synergy is one of the main reasons I absolutely love the HX/DA. It works incredibly well with humbuckers. It's also great with single coils, but I've mostly played 'buckers for the last few years, too.

aristotle
10-09-2012, 10:39 PM
The empire really is an outstanding amp. It's sort of interesting to me though. Both 65 Amps with the empire, and PRS with theHX/DA and MDT started with what seems to be a similar philosophy of doing a take on the range of "M" amps from the 60's through 70s. They really are quite different though in my opinion. Both the MDT and HX/DA may be inspired by "M" amps, but they both have a certain something that has a strong PRS fingerprint. Likewise, the empire has a unique "65-ness" about it, where even though it's voiced different than...say...a Monterrey (which is more "V" like) they have that 65 fingerprint. And it's not a subtle difference between the PRS and 65Amps (again in my opinion....) Both are great though. Lots of good choices out there nowadays....

Twinfan
10-10-2012, 03:08 AM
Definitely some good stuf out there, and thanks for your insight into 65 vs PRS. Like I said, I'd love the HXDA to be available here in the UK...

LSchefman
10-11-2012, 12:14 AM
A pluck conjures Terpsichore
who asks for naught
but to hear one more
For the sake of her eternal bliss.
I give in, and pluck another
So to gaze upon her silvery dance
as Ozymandias commands,
'Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
For the HXDA is in my lair. ;)

Sekunda
10-22-2012, 01:58 PM
I just tried one of these out... I have to have it. This is the sound I have been chasing all of my adult life... and I just found it in one amp. I did my demo with my Custom 22 through a Blackstar 2x12 cab (the closest thing they had to the PRS cab) and it smoked! Wow... I was the 1st person to use it... turned it on, set all knobs to 12 noon and DA mode with switches. It was heaven! Then switched to HX mode for more gain... played with full guitar volume, then rolled back the volume knob and still got a beautiful, warm, clean tone that was simply amazing. The sales guy about lost it. So as of today, I am ordering a matching cab (with smoke gray plate to match the head) and putting money down on the head. I am sold. The online videos are awesome to hear what this amp sounds like, but you really need to plug into one to feel the magic. Hopefully I will be up and running with this amp within 2 weeks...

LSchefman
10-23-2012, 12:43 PM
This is the sound I have been chasing all of my adult life... and I just found it in one amp.

You just nailed exactly how I feel about it!

Sekunda
10-25-2012, 08:52 AM
I put the HX/DA head with smoke gray front plate in layaway yesterday... I also ordered a matching 2x12 Stealth cab to go with it. I have never been so excited about getting a new piece of gear before... This is a new beginning for me as I am moving away from high-gain amps and this is my first low-gain single channel amp ever... I can't wait to hear my Angry Larry Stripped 58 through it. Can you say 8 year old boy on Christmas morning excited? I knew you could :santa:

LSchefman
10-25-2012, 12:05 PM
I put the HX/DA head with smoke gray front plate in layaway yesterday... I also ordered a matching 2x12 Stealth cab to go with it. I have never been so excited about getting a new piece of gear before... This is a new beginning for me as I am moving away from high-gain amps and this is my first low-gain single channel amp ever... I can't wait to hear my Angry Larry Stripped 58 through it. Can you say 8 year old boy on Christmas morning excited? I knew you could :santa:

No wonder you're excited! It's a superb instrument! I love it with the SC-58 I have, but it'll be pretty cool with your CU22 as well.

Also...it can get pretty gainy; with both gains cranked and the volume up, you won't be disappointed if you need some higher gain sounds.

Sekunda
10-26-2012, 08:09 AM
Here is a great video from Wildwood Guitars for the HXDA with a Les Paul... this dude is nuts


http://youtu.be/XNQWKSLSxIs

LSchefman
10-26-2012, 10:54 AM
That's a really, really strange guy, but he can sure play!

It's a good demo of the amp, but honestly, I prefer the tones I get with my SC58 to the LP in that video.

Dirty Bob
10-26-2012, 11:10 AM
Greg Koch is a monster player!

Sekunda
10-26-2012, 11:52 AM
That's a really, really strange guy, but he can sure play!

It's a good demo of the amp, but honestly, I prefer the tones I get with my SC58 to the LP in that video.

Yeah... I thought he was a nut, but a great player. I like how my CU22 sounds like both a LP and a Strat through the HXDA. I have never heard my guitar so clearly before. All 5 positions are amazing... really.

This is also coming from someone who has never had this type of sound before... I've been all high-gain Mesa for about 15 years. This is a new playground for me - that sonic place I have searched for and never found. :)

LSchefman
10-26-2012, 05:05 PM
Yeah... I thought he was a nut, but a great player. I like how my CU22 sounds like both a LP and a Strat through the HXDA. I have never heard my guitar so clearly before. All 5 positions are amazing... really.

This is also coming from someone who has never had this type of sound before... I've been all high-gain Mesa for about 15 years. This is a new playground for me - that sonic place I have searched for and never found. :)

I'm coming from the world of Mesas and Two-Rocks, mostly, but also several other cool boutique amps, and I have to say that this amp is "more me." Completely changed my way of thinking about great amp sound.

In fact, one day I'll have a spare. It's that good.

Sekunda
10-29-2012, 10:45 AM
I'm hoping to pick mine up this week... I'm drooling all over my desk thinking about it. My poor new baby, sitting in that cold, dark room at the dealer all by itself... so lonely and quiet. :)

LSchefman
10-29-2012, 11:34 AM
I'm hoping to pick mine up this week... I'm drooling all over my desk thinking about it. My poor new baby, sitting in that cold, dark room at the dealer all by itself... so lonely and quiet. :)

You might have a very hard time turning it off and going to work for the first few days... ;)

Sekunda
10-29-2012, 12:48 PM
You might have a very hard time turning it off and going to work for the first few days... ;)

I am looking forward to it... Plus, it looks like... after a little more digging around that the head I have in layaway looks like a Limited Edition Experience 2012 HXDA... it has the gold eagle on the front along with the beautiful maple panel. Wow...

LSchefman
10-29-2012, 01:58 PM
I am looking forward to it... Plus, it looks like... after a little more digging around that the head I have in layaway looks like a Limited Edition Experience 2012 HXDA... it has the gold eagle on the front along with the beautiful maple panel. Wow...

Mine has the eagle and maple panel, too, and it's not the Experience model. I doubt there's much, if any, difference.

]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T !
10-29-2012, 02:06 PM
My 25th Annie #77/100 is heading back to Maryland for the HX/DA mod. Obviously not this week.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd272/hansomatic/Collection/25th_Anniversary_Amp/IMG_0002.jpg

LSchefman
10-29-2012, 02:15 PM
-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ;27462']My 25th Annie #77/100 is heading back to Maryland for the HX/DA mod. Obviously not this week.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd272/hansomatic/Collection/25th_Anniversary_Amp/IMG_0002.jpg

Hans, you won't regret it!

Serious Poo
10-30-2012, 12:56 AM
-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ;27462']My 25th Annie #77/100 is heading back to Maryland for the HX/DA mod. Obviously not this week.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd272/hansomatic/Collection/25th_Anniversary_Amp/IMG_0002.jpg

Very cool, Hans. Very cool. It's a library of vintage Marshall tones.

Sekunda
10-30-2012, 08:17 AM
-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ;27462']My 25th Annie #77/100 is heading back to Maryland for the HX/DA mod. Obviously not this week.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd272/hansomatic/Collection/25th_Anniversary_Amp/IMG_0002.jpg

NICE! Is that hand signed? :cheers:

Sekunda
10-31-2012, 01:35 PM
Do you guys know what the serial numbers on the amps mean? I assume they are like the guitars... start with year... but are the amps split up my make, or are they just by order of assembly? Just trying to get a little more info about the head I'm buying. Thanks guys!

LSchefman
11-02-2012, 01:44 PM
So here's some more stuff about the HX/DA I'm learning as I go along...

For many years I've advocated True Bypass pedals, or at least switchers that can take pedals out of an effects chain. And one of the biggest tone-suckers to me has been the Boss TU-2 tuner. I gave my old one away.

Fast forward to about a month ago. I needed a new tuner for a pedalboard I just finished, and figured I'd try a new Boss TU3, simply because in a pinch it could power another pedal, and sometimes I use up all the outputs on my Pedal Power box. Figuring it'd be a tone sucker, I put it in a separate loop in my switch box to be able to take it completely out of the tone chain.

The other day, I left it in the chain just to see what it sounded like. As expected, it did what Boss tuners do - had an effect on the tone. But with the HXDA, I kinda actually *liked* it. It rolled off a little of the low end, rolled off a little of the high end, and yet it gave me another tone color that worked with the amp.

In fact, it gave me a nice coloration!

Proving once again that a) one just never knows, and b) everything I put in the pedal chain, no matter what it is, seems to just work with this amp!

I have never, ever had an amp that sounds so "right" with everything I run through it. Guitars, pedals, what-have-you. Everything sounds good. The amp's not picky, it's like a big, friendly dog - it just wants to make you happy.

Sekunda
11-02-2012, 10:09 PM
And one of the biggest tone-suckers to me has been the Boss TU-2 tuner.

I use a Korg PitchBlack tuner. Very clean and very accurate as well (Although I still have a TU-2 in a box of crap somewhere). I can't wait to drop in my Keeley Tube Screamer in front of the new HXDA when my cab comes in. Guess it got slowed down with the storm... But, I can wait :)

Sekunda
11-02-2012, 10:50 PM
Here is a shot of my new HXDA head in layaway...

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g86/sekunda2003/Gear/hxda.jpg

Boogie
11-03-2012, 06:47 AM
I don't mean to derail the thought process here, but this seems to be a good group to ask...

Have any of you spent any time with a Super Dallas? In theory, with it's Cinemag tranny, design lineage, and EL34s, it should be fairly close to an HXDA. But how close? The comparison to the original Dallas wouldn't hold up, but with these mods, the overlap seems real.

Pedals afford me the flexibility needed in my current gig, and the Dallas seems to be made to accomodate my situation. The $20 question: could the Dallas be modded to have an HX and/or DA switchable option?

crgtr
11-03-2012, 07:37 AM
I don't mean to derail the thought process here, but this seems to be a good group to ask...

Have any of you spent any time with a Super Dallas? In theory, with it's Cinemag tranny, design lineage, and EL34s, it should be fairly close to an HXDA. But how close? The comparison to the original Dallas wouldn't hold up, but with these mods, the overlap seems real.

Pedals afford me the flexibility needed in my current gig, and the Dallas seems to be made to accomodate my situation. The $20 question: could the Dallas be modded to have an HX and/or DA switchable option?
That's a good $20 question. I don't think it would be the same, butI bet Doug could get you in the ballpark. My Dallas, the Super Duper "D", get's a very cool vintage Marshall meets Hiwatt with a little Blackface in the background now. Not the same as the 25th or the HXDA, but still vintage crunch. I'm picking up a 25th today & I will do a demo of it & the Dallas sometime very soon.

LSchefman
11-03-2012, 08:17 PM
Good looking amp, Sekunda!

Sekunda
11-05-2012, 04:00 PM
Good looking amp, Sekunda!

Thank you sir! I'm trying to wait patiently for the cab to come in... I did a new set up on my Stripped 58 last night back to standard tuning. I've been playing in e flat drop d for 2 years... it's strange being back in standard. I can't wait to plug it in and hear it on the HXDA. So far I've only played the CU22 on it. I'm also looking forward to picking up some cool stomp boxes that I have always wanted and try them out too...

LSchefman
11-05-2012, 05:37 PM
I'm also looking forward to picking up some cool stomp boxes that I have always wanted and try them out too...

I figured with a classic amp, I'd go with some classic effects, and it's turning out to be a sweet combination. Here's what I'm currently running:

Fulltone Clyde Deluxe wah, set to the traditional "Jimi" setting >> Deja Vibe (Univibe clone) >> Fulltone '69 fuzz (germanium fuzz-face style) >> Road Rage True Bypass looper >> TC Nova delay, Boss TU3 (the looper lets me switch the delay out of the signal chain, same with the tuner, which is good because the TC generates some digital hiss that gets kind of objectionable when the gain on the amp is cranked).

I'm planning to add a Trower overdrive (a pedal I really like) in order to get the signal chain he uses as I love that tone.

Sekunda
11-15-2012, 10:03 AM
:vroam:My cab was delivered to the music store yesterday.... hope to pick it up along with my head this Saturday... I think I might dehydrate from all the saliva and drool on my desk...

LSchefman
11-15-2012, 12:28 PM
:vroam:My cab was delivered to the music store yesterday.... hope to pick it up along with my head this Saturday... I think I might dehydrate from all the saliva and drool on my desk...

I hope you get to pick it up and really enjoy it this weekend! I'm interested to hear your reaction to putting your new rig through its paces. :)

Boogie
11-15-2012, 12:55 PM
:vroam:My cab was delivered to the music store yesterday.... hope to pick it up along with my head this Saturday... I think I might dehydrate from all the saliva and drool on my desk...

I just took delivery on my Stealth 2x12, too. You're gonna like it. :cool:

aristotle
11-15-2012, 01:40 PM
I'm coming from the world of Mesas and Two-Rocks, mostly, but also several other cool boutique amps, and I have to say that this amp is "more me." Completely changed my way of thinking about great amp sound.

In fact, one day I'll have a spare. It's that good.

Which Two Rocks did you have?

LSchefman
11-15-2012, 08:43 PM
Which Two Rocks did you have?

Onyx, Onyx Sig Prototype, Onyx Sig, Onyx Sig (second version with a couple of tweaks), Custom Reverb Sig 2, Custom Reverb Sig 3. Somewhere in there I had a Limited in the studio on loan from Bill and Joe during its development period. All superb amps.

aristotle
11-15-2012, 09:02 PM
Onyx, Onyx Sig Prototype, Onyx Sig, Onyx Sig (second version with a couple of tweaks), Custom Reverb Sig 2, Custom Reverb Sig 3. Somewhere in there I had a Limited in the studio on loan from Bill and Joe during its development period. All superb amps.

Man...that's something. I've only played two (still have them...) They are pricey to be sure, but they really are nice. It's interesting because I've been trying to figure out what part of the MDT is the "D" part. I definitely get the T and the M part, but the thing with D seems to be the cascaded gain stage. Not sure I see the resemblence with the MDT. In any case, I'm loving my HX/DA...just wanted to mention that so that I don't completely derrail the thread!

Dirty Bob
11-15-2012, 11:37 PM
Onyx, Onyx Sig Prototype, Onyx Sig, Onyx Sig (second version with a couple of tweaks), Custom Reverb Sig 2, Custom Reverb Sig 3. Somewhere in there I had a Limited in the studio on loan from Bill and Joe during its development period. All superb amps.

Holy heck Les!

LSchefman
11-16-2012, 09:39 AM
It's interesting because I've been trying to figure out what part of the MDT is the "D" part. I definitely get the T and the M part, but the thing with D seems to be the cascaded gain stage. Not sure I see the resemblence with the MDT.

Based on the clips I've heard, I tend to agree, though the whole original "D" thing seems to have been somewhat of a moving target, as each of the original Dumbles was different.

Then again, my TRs were different. While there was a distinct family resemblance between, say, the Onyx and the CR, the Onyx OD was more toward Marshall, with less midrange compression, and a more rock n roll sound. The clean tones were very close, however. I'm still a huge TR fan; it's definitely a very interesting voice, and a player can do an awful lot with it. My favorite TRs were set up by Bill with small-bottle NOS JAN Phillips 6L6 WGBs. They have a very smooth and fast breakup, and sounded great with TRs.

LSchefman
11-16-2012, 10:43 AM
Holy heck Les!

Here's my weak rationalization: I generally didn't have more than one at a time, it was over an 8 year period (2003-2011), I'm in the recording business, and yeah, I'm nuts.

Fantastic amps, no question about it. At the same time, as with any instruments, it's a question of fit. What most suits your playing style? How do the tones match up with what you want to hear? What works with your guitars?

So back to the topic of the thread:

Was I surprised after being a TR and Mesa guy that the HX/DA turned out to be the best fit for what I do? Absolutely.

I liked the clips of the amp on the PRS product site, but who knows what's going to happen once you get the amp in your own space and start working with it? I hadn't actually played one, and there wasn't one nearby to test. Still, I couldn't get the tones in the clips out of my head. So I called my son who's working in the biz in LA, and is a fantastic player, and said, "Please go to the PRS site, check out this amp, and tell me if you're hearing what I'm hearing."

He texted me back two words a few minutes later: "Get one."

When it arrived, I just couldn't believe how good it was for what I do. I can't think of a thing I'd want to change on this amp. I have no reservations about having it as my only amp in the studio. In fact, I worry about not having a backup in a vault somewhere!

LSchefman
11-16-2012, 11:07 AM
I know it's kind of bad form to reply three times in a row in one's own thread. Please forgive me. But I wanted to mention something else about the HX/DA.

For me, the term, "creamy" applies to the HX/DA. The sound, right down to the way the amp breaks up, is smooth, warm and rich. Almost buttery. From bottom to top, there's a certain ease to the way a note blooms that works extremely well with every pickup I've tried, single coil or 'bucker.

For me, the TRs (and this is also true of Mesas and certain other 6L6 amps) seem to float my boat more with single coils; in fact, when I had TRs I most often played P-90s or split the coils on my guitars. I can't explain why. That's just what worked best for me. Of course, I did use buckers for certain tracks when I needed to, we're talking preferences/opinions here.

Yet I love the "5x" series of PRS pickups. Having an amp that I think really works well with both 'buckers and single coils is a great thing, too.

Dirty Bob
11-16-2012, 11:12 AM
Don't sweat the Two Rock obsession. I get it. I have never owned one but I have played one (can't remember which one though)...the tactile experience was one I haven't forgotten. I'm kind of crazy with amps similarly to the way I am with guitars as I'm sure you've figured out by now. At the same point I have nowhere near the type of knowledge someone like Em7 brings to the table in terms of circuits, how they actually work, build quality, etc... Beyond tube changes I refuse to work on my own amps ( I don't want to be electrocuted) and I am not an expert. I find ways of justifying having multiple amps all of the time. I see people flip rigs left and right (many times when they tire of a sound) only to repurchase a similar rig six months later. I personally believe in having as wide of a tonal palette as possible in order to foster creativity. At the same point many times people do not take the time to explore all of the tones that one really special amp might have before flipping it. I do believe one needs to get to know the amps they are using fully (in terms of how to control it, dial in different sounds, not being afraid to experiment with the controls...{coming from Mesa amps as well although I am down to two} I remember with some amps freaking out if my knobs moved even a hair after I had my tone dialed in). And if you need an amp either for a live application or touring I think it's completely understandable to want a backup. The question becomes do you need the exact same amp for a backup.

I will tell you the first time I plugged in to the Recording Amp (see my post regarding an email from Matt King regarding the controls in the other thread) I immediately thought I'm going to have to get another one of these.

Since then I have been going through my rigs retweaking things trying to see if I can match its tones on my other amps. There is a very distinct texture? nuance? I can't seem to quite get with the other amps although I have been able to get pretty close...I am beginning to think the missing link may very well in fact be the cinemag transformer.

I could definitely see an HXDA in my future based on the tones I have heard from the Recording Amp...your reviews and the clips I have heard. I have to tell you though I am shocked at how much I am actually using the reverb feature on my amp...I would like to try the unaltered amp first but I wonder if CAD can add the same reverb circuit to the HXDA as is found on the Recording Amp without significantly altering the sound of the amp itself.

(on a side note...revisiting my Mesa Recto I was pleasantly surprised at the many vintage tones and cleans I could conjure from an amp that is constantly stereotyped and catagorized as a "Rectumfrier"...also another note (I know you know this but I think its important for other people to consider) cabinet and speaker choice can make or break how an amp sounds...I believe this is one of the most completely overlooked factors when choosing an amp and should be considered before deciding whether an amp is right for you)

LSchefman
11-16-2012, 03:43 PM
Bob, I completely agree with the points you made in your post - especially the one referring to really putting the controls through their paces and not just doing a "set and forget." Of course, different amps have varying ranges of useful settings. For example, I found that my Mesa tones usually had a smaller range of preferred knob settings for each channel than some of the other amps, and that's not a criticism, it's just what suited my ears with those amps.

The HX/DA is a very forgiving amp, and I find that wherever I set things it sounds darn good. More so than with *any* amp I've owned before.

I like to zero out the controls across the board on the amp when I'm done playing. I want to approach it fresh each time I play. I do the same with the guitars. I think it makes me a little more creative and adventurous to do that, as I tend to be lazy and do the same things over and over if I don't make an effort to force myself to think creatively.

I realize it isn't much of a creativity exercise to twiddle a few knobs, but it's sometimes the little things that spur us in new directions.

I may look old, but I have a young brain. Music helps. ;)

Dirty Bob
11-16-2012, 04:25 PM
Totally agree!!! I've been snapping pictures of my settings when I find one I really dig. Picture taking and labeling has worked wonders from me getting over my fear of losing magical settings. It's actually helped to set me free in terms of exploration.

Mesa's have a very wide range...they give you more than enough rope to hang yourself in terms of the range of each of the controls. I found the Boogie Board to be very helpful with overcoming my issues with Mesa's in general....haven't looked at that board in awhile but it was amazing in terms of the amount of knowledge you could find...not just limited to Mesa amps either. I learned a ton about eq from the site as well.

What I like about the PRS amps I have been able to test drive and the Recording Amp that I own is that the ranges you are provided with are all useable...and there is a tremendous amount of creative freedom in what is provided without being too overwhelming.

I can't wait to get home and get to playing tonight! (although it will be after the kids are in bed!)

LSchefman
11-16-2012, 08:07 PM
Mesa's have a very wide range...they give you more than enough rope to hang yourself in terms of the range of each of the controls.

Yes, I didn't mean to imply that they only work at one setting. My choice of wording wasn't very good. There are so many modes on something like my recent Mark V, or my old Tremoverb, that the amp was capable of great tones in every single mode.

What I mean is that each mode and setting did - for my tastes - have a fairly narrow sweet spot where to my ear the controls sound considerably better - in that mode. But there's room for TONS of tones with all the modes and combinations.

By way of contrast, the sweet spot of each control on a TR is much wider - for me - but there aren't choices of modes. So really, there are fewer tones. The ones that are there are great, there just aren't as many of them. So it's good that the sweep of each knob seems to be less oriented toward a sweet spot, and the amps also give you a wide range of tones because of that flexibility.

Of course, to my ear, the HX/DA has controls with huge useful ranges. But because there's only one channel, and one mode, that's really necessary.

It's a matter of how you want to skin the cat. Switching modes, switching channels, simply twisting knobs, etc.

Dirty Bob
11-16-2012, 09:38 PM
Les....I got what you meant...maybe I wasn't clear...you and I are in complete agreement with Mesa's....what I meant was with all of those possibilities if I finally found a tone I just loved....I wouldn't want anybody to touch the amp for fear of losing that one workable sound to the sea of all of those other potential choices...and I agree about the narrow sweet spots...yes you can get a ton of good sounds and not so good sounds but once I finally hit the sweet spot I wanted to cordon off the amp with that yellow police tape....ehh it's all good!!!


I want to try the HXDA very badly!

aristotle
11-16-2012, 10:03 PM
Les....I got what you meant...maybe I wasn't clear...you and I are in complete agreement with Mesa's....what I meant was with all of those possibilities if I finally found a tone I just loved....I wouldn't want anybody to touch the amp for fear of losing that one workable sound to the sea of all of those other potential choices...and I agree about the narrow sweet spots...yes you can get a ton of good sounds and not so good sounds but once I finally hit the sweet spot I wanted to cordon off the amp with that yellow police tape....ehh it's all good!!!


I want to try the HXDA very badly!

You may not know it, but you probably want the MDT very badly also. They're different amps for sure, and while the HX/DA is definitely more flexible, there is a certain magic to the MDT that just can't be duplicated. Neither of them seem to have a bad tone in them....

Dirty Bob
11-17-2012, 12:43 AM
You may not know it, but you probably want the MDT very badly also. They're different amps for sure, and while the HX/DA is definitely more flexible, there is a certain magic to the MDT that just can't be duplicated. Neither of them seem to have a bad tone in them....

Oh I do!....just played my Recording Amp for the last 3 hours...Doug Sewell and crew do some amazing work! I want it all...but I also want to get to know my current purchase inside and out before I jump and buy something else! Wish we could all get together and play em back to back! It would be a blast!

Sekunda
11-19-2012, 08:08 AM
So... got my rig home this weekend. Was really jazzed to get home and plug it in. Oh wait... I don't have a speaker cable here! Crap! SO I had to make another trip to local GC to pick up a cheap speaker cable until I can pick up my spare at the practice space... SO... it really took me a while to even get it plugged in. (sigh) I plugged in the Stripped 58 to mess around and see how it sounded... not sure I like the 58 through it. The CU22 has so much more tone and sweetness... guess I'll just have to play with it. But I'm blown away with the CU22 sound on it! Here is a pic before I loaded it in the car...

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g86/sekunda2003/Gear/4C417116-B3A1-48B2-8D81-EEF5026D57D3-9631-000004C693B68901.jpg

LSchefman
11-19-2012, 01:42 PM
Oddly enough, my SC58 is my favorite guitar through the HX/DA!

Of course, I don't know what style of music you play, but I'd say don't give up on finding great tones with your Stripped 58. The amp has a huge variety of settings that work really well with the SC/Str 58 models. As with any other great amp that has lots of options, you have to do a little experimenting to find them.

Also, it's very important to use the volume and tone controls on the guitar to get where you need to go.

Laguitarista
11-21-2012, 08:58 AM
Bought my HXDA from Wildwood Guitars in Louisville, CO in February 2012. At the store prior to purchase, I played through the Super Dallas, Two channel H, MDT, Recording Amp - and this one fit my tone the best - which is that of a Marshall plexi. I don't use pedals - and wanted a modern, reliable version of a 50w Marshall that I could depend on that also sounded like a vintage amp. And this is it. No frills, no reverb, just turn it up and play. Been VERY impressed at the different types of sounds you can get from this amp (toggling between the HX/DA gain and Bass gain knobs lends to this) - it is highly versatile and despite some reviews, has a nice clean sound as well. Did a sound check for a gig and my bass player turned towards the amp and responded "wow, that thing is crystal clear". I have the 2x12 Stealth cab, which seems to be well made with pine and has the Vintage 30s, which provides a nice collaboration with the amp. My only issue was that I had to replace the power tubes a month or so after purchasing the amp - but after contacting PRS customer service, new biased tubes arrived in a couple of days. Biasing is very easy on this amp. I play les pauls though the amp - though have also played a tele and strat - and the single coils sound equally good as compared to the PAFs.

Sekunda
11-21-2012, 09:06 AM
I spent some time with the 58 last night, I can get some really good Nugent, old Rush, and old AC/DC tones with the HX/DA gain cranked up about 5 o'clock and the BASS gain at about 9 o'clock... however it seems to get very thin when I back off the volume on the guitar. When I did the demo in the store I used my Custom 22 and every single adjustment I tried sounded amazing... Maybe I just need to stick with the CU22 with this amp until I get to know it a little better. I guess the main problem here is that I'm used to having so much high-gain with the Mesa Roadster that I just need to spend some time and get used to the amp... This is my first time with this type of amp and sound... I've always been a 6L6 guy so this is a new world. And don't take this as me being bummed, I am willing to experiment and give it some time. I have a 4 day weekend so I'm planning on breaking in those new tubes properly!

Sekunda
12-11-2012, 09:45 AM
Apparently the HX/DA sounds MUCH better when it's turned up at least 1/2 way... it sounds really bassy when it's not turned up, at least in my basement. I'm looking forward to getting it in a bigger room with some drums and a bass to see how it sounds opened up. I've also been looking at pedals... I think this Strymon Flint will be the first choice for the new sound. Anybody have one of these? Every clip I have found sounds amazing... check it out:


http://youtu.be/lUfzuxpC1RI

Dirty Bob
12-11-2012, 10:53 AM
What are you guys running for Reverb? Les I'm sure you are using some sort of studio magic...I'm specifically talking pedals though and for a live setting. Anybody found one that plays nicely with the HX/DA and actually sounds good?

docbennett
12-11-2012, 11:14 AM
What are you guys running for Reverb? Les I'm sure you are using some sort of studio magic...I'm specifically talking pedals though and for a live setting. Anybody found one that plays nicely with the HX/DA and actually sounds good?

I use the EHX Cathedral for reverb on my HX/DA with excellent results.

Dirty Bob
12-11-2012, 01:50 PM
I use the EHX Cathedral for reverb on my HX/DA with excellent results.

Thanks. Appreciate the answer. It's one of the things I have been hung up on about picking an HX/DA up. I've been thinking of a backup to my recording amp...I want it similar but not exactly the same. I figured the HX/DA was a good choice as long as it played well with a reverb pedal. I have plenty of amps in my arsenal I could use as a backup...however if the Recording Amp goes down in the middle of a gig I want to be able to go to a very similar sound rather than dramatically altering the mix.

My two amps that I have been going back and forth with lately are The Recording Amp and my Supro MoFo proto. I love them both but they are very different sounding. I guess I am probably being too picky...the audience I'm sure has no clue.

LSchefman
12-11-2012, 03:04 PM
Bob, you're right in my case; for reverb I generally use the Sonnox. But I've been taking a long look at the Strymon Flint for tremolo and reverb just to futz around with. What I don't know yet is how noisy it is when the gain is turned up on the amp. That will be the determining factor.

Sekunda
12-11-2012, 03:37 PM
From every review I have found on the Strymon Flint it seems it is very clear and crisp no matter how you use it... I will be finding out shortly as it is the next piece of gear I'm picking up for the new rig.

Here's a demo by Pete Thorn:


http://youtu.be/lUfzuxpC1RI

LSchefman
12-11-2012, 06:26 PM
From every review I have found on the Strymon Flint it seems it is very clear and crisp no matter how you use it... I will be finding out shortly as it is the next piece of gear I'm picking up for the new rig.

Yup, it's a great product. The only thing I need to find out is the noise floor. I've been saving a spot on the board for one!

Sekunda
12-12-2012, 09:41 PM
Picked up the Flint today... didn't get time to plug it up yet, I'm hoping to spend some time with it tomorrow after work. I also played an NF3 today... wow! those things sound amazing!

aristotle
12-12-2012, 10:27 PM
I may be tone deaf, but I've had a Boss FRV-1 forever, and I've never been motivated to look any farther. Do you guys find that the fancy-pants reverbs sound better? Maybe I need to re-think this. I'd hate to think that there was some aspect of tone that I could be spending more money on and I'm completely unaware of it ;)

Dirty Bob
12-12-2012, 10:43 PM
I may be tone deaf, but I've had a Boss FRV-1 forever, and I've never been motivated to look any farther. Do you guys find that the fancy-pants reverbs sound better? Maybe I need to re-think this. I'd hate to think that there was some aspect of tone that I could be spending more money on and I'm completely unaware of it ;)Don't forget the pixie dust!!! I always pay up for mine!

Sekunda
12-13-2012, 08:23 AM
I may be tone deaf, but I've had a Boss FRV-1 forever, and I've never been motivated to look any farther. Do you guys find that the fancy-pants reverbs sound better? Maybe I need to re-think this. I'd hate to think that there was some aspect of tone that I could be spending more money on and I'm completely unaware of it ;)

I think it's all about what YOU are looking for in a reverb... I went to several sales sites and made a list of available reverb pedals, then went to YouTube to see what they all sounded like and what else they did. I believe I found the pedal I was looking for to suit the type of music I will be using it for. (Blues and classic rock) Since the HX/DA does not have any reverb, I thought the Strymon Flint would be a great compliment to the amp as it is very clean and high quality, plus it is true bypass. It also gives me a great sounding tremolo at the same time.

In the end, it is all personal preference and choice. What one of us hears in a product, someone else may not. If it gets the job done... mission accomplished! And besides... in a gear junkie who just started over from scratch. I need a new collection of goodies :)

LSchefman
12-13-2012, 08:46 AM
I may be tone deaf, but I've had a Boss FRV-1 forever, and I've never been motivated to look any farther. Do you guys find that the fancy-pants reverbs sound better? Maybe I need to re-think this. I'd hate to think that there was some aspect of tone that I could be spending more money on and I'm completely unaware of it ;)

Nothing wrong with the FRV-1. Reverbs do tend to have different sounds, digital ones especially, since the algorithms programmed into them are different, take different factors into account, and everything from the chips used to the parameters the controls affect will vary quite a bit.

So it's often a question of what you want the reverb to do; do you want to emulate the metallic and somewhat compressed quality of an old spring reverb? Do you want the reverb to be spacious and simulate a large hall? etc. No reverb pedal is equally good at all things.

Frankly, I prefer a delay pedal to reverb. But with certain styles - say, blues and surf - a little reverb that sounds like it's part of the amp can add authenticity to a sound.

Peavey used to make a pretty good single-rackspace spring reverb that was completely analog; I had one for a while, and don't anymore, but it was authentic sounding at the time. This was in the 90s.

Of course, studio stuff used in a mix track can be awesome, but it's going to have a different vibe than something used ahead of the amp, or in a loop.

aristotle
12-13-2012, 11:45 AM
I think it's all about what YOU are looking for in a reverb... I went to several sales sites and made a list of available reverb pedals, then went to YouTube to see what they all sounded like and what else they did. I believe I found the pedal I was looking for to suit the type of music I will be using it for. (Blues and classic rock) Since the HX/DA does not have any reverb, I thought the Strymon Flint would be a great compliment to the amp as it is very clean and high quality, plus it is true bypass. It also gives me a great sounding tremolo at the same time.

In the end, it is all personal preference and choice. What one of us hears in a product, someone else may not. If it gets the job done... mission accomplished! And besides... in a gear junkie who just started over from scratch. I need a new collection of goodies :)

Oh, I wasn't being critical at all. I was just snarkily wondering if I was missing some boat regarding reverb. I'm as much a gear whore as anybody, but I just haven't thought about reverb very much, and now that I think about it, I guess I'm seriously asking about the differences that you guys hear in different reverbs. I'm sure that there is a whole set of arts and sciences on the subject. Off to look at demos now to see if I can educate myself......


Nothing wrong with the FRV-1. Reverbs do tend to have different sounds, digital ones especially, since the algorithms programmed into them are different, take different factors into account, and everything from the chips used to the parameters the controls affect will vary quite a bit.

So it's often a question of what you want the reverb to do; do you want to emulate the metallic and somewhat compressed quality of an old spring reverb? Do you want the reverb to be spacious and simulate a large hall? etc. No reverb pedal is equally good at all things.

Frankly, I prefer a delay pedal to reverb. But with certain styles - say, blues and surf - a little reverb that sounds like it's part of the amp can add authenticity to a sound.

Peavey used to make a pretty good single-rackspace spring reverb that was completely analog; I had one for a while, and don't anymore, but it was authentic sounding at the time. This was in the 90s.

Of course, studio stuff used in a mix track can be awesome, but it's going to have a different vibe than something used ahead of the amp, or in a loop.

Well then, that's my problem. When I think "reverb", I think of the sound that you get out of a Twin Reverb, so whatever that springy thing bolted on the bottom does is all I know. I do know that my cheapy Boss reverb sounds weird in front of the amp if there is any gain to speak of at the amp (which is often how I have the HX/DA set up...with decent amount of gain...) I have what is "supposedly" the "best" reverb on the planet built in to my Two Rocks Overdrive Signature. I don't know....sounds like my Boss reverb to me. The built-in reverb does sound great with gain tones in the Two Rock, but I've always just assumed that that's because it's at the right point in the chain (I'm usually too lazy to run the Boss through the loop on amps that have a loop...) I tend not to use reverb playing live anyway, mainly just because I'm hesitant to use anything that muddies the mix. Except for cheesey demo clips, I don't record much, so I guess it hasn't been top of mind.

In any case, I'm interested enough now that I'm going to look into it. Probably end up convincing myself that I need a new pedal. And I'll have you bums to thank for it...Thanks for nothing!!!!!:wink:

LSchefman
12-13-2012, 12:20 PM
The built-in reverb does sound great with gain tones in the Two Rock, but I've always just assumed that that's because it's at the right point in the chain (I'm usually too lazy to run the Boss through the loop on amps that have a loop...

I'd have to agree that the TRs have great reverbs. Partly its where it is in the chain, and partly it's a really good reverb circuit. But like you, I didn't use reverb much with my TRs, maybe just a touch here and there.

I'd honestly say that if you like the 'verb you get with the Boss, why re-invent the wheel?

Sekunda
12-13-2012, 12:48 PM
In any case, I'm interested enough now that I'm going to look into it. Probably end up convincing myself that I need a new pedal. And I'll have you bums to thank for it...Thanks for nothing!!!!!:wink:

Haha! Now you know how we feel!

The whole "YOU" just meant the individual user... I'm used to having a little reverb, so playing without kinda scares the hell out of me.

If anyone is interested, here is a review on said pedal from Premiere Guitar:

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2012/Oct/Strymon_Flint_Pedal_Review.aspx

Dirty Bob
12-13-2012, 05:52 PM
Yeah it's using reverb into the front of an amp that's all gained up that causes the concern for me...I have no problem using reverb in a loop...it's when I'm faced with an amp like the HX/DA or my Supro where I want to use the amp's gain and the reverb. I've had a Line6 Verbzilla and the TCE...they both sounded crappy into the front of a gained up amp. With the Recording Amp I have the built in reverb which is just amazing...I know I can order an HX/DA with a loop...Weiner's old one had it but I hate messing with a circuit if I don't have to. Loops in my experience seriously alter tone.

Sekunda
12-15-2012, 10:13 PM
So yeah... I forgot how to dial a new tube amp since I had the last one for so long. Der. You have to make the power tubes hot to get the grail tone. I think I found my happy place today with the HX/DA. I went back and watched the demo vids with Paul and remembered that they had the master all the way up for those tones. Now that's a little loud for the house, but I got it over 1/2 way up and backed off the guitar. Wow, what a big difference in tone quality... Yes, I believe I'm going to LOVE this amp.

LSchefman
12-15-2012, 10:19 PM
Yeah it's using reverb into the front of an amp that's all gained up that causes the concern for me...I have no problem using reverb in a loop...it's when I'm faced with an amp like the HX/DA or my Supro where I want to use the amp's gain and the reverb. I've had a Line6 Verbzilla and the TCE...they both sounded crappy into the front of a gained up amp. With the Recording Amp I have the built in reverb which is just amazing...I know I can order an HX/DA with a loop...Weiner's old one had it but I hate messing with a circuit if I don't have to. Loops in my experience seriously alter tone.

I honestly don't think gain and reverb go well together sonically, even when there's a loop. The higher the gain - to my ears - the tighter and more focused the sound becomes, and the less I want to hear the metallic clang of a spring reverb. All a digital reverb does is diffuse the sound, the opposite of what you're going for. If there's reverb to be heard, I want it to be the room, or a reverb unit on the mixer's send and return on a mixing desk if artificial reverb is necessary.

As the gain goes up, and the amp starts clipping, remember that you're creating square waves, like a saxophone. It's a tight, raw, bubbly sound. Saxes don't need reverbs. Neither do gained up amps. ;)

LSchefman
12-15-2012, 10:20 PM
So yeah... I forgot how to dial a new tube amp since I had the last one for so long. Der. You have to make the power tubes hot to get the grail tone. I think I found my happy place today with the HX/DA. I went back and watched the demo vids with Paul and remembered that they had the master all the way up for those tones. Now that's a little loud for the house, but I got it over 1/2 way up and backed off the guitar. Wow, what a big difference in tone quality... Yes, I believe I'm going to LOVE this amp.

Yeah. You got it now. Use the volume controls on the guitar, and you can control everything.

The HX/DA is a real, old school amp. The grail tones are in there. Keep experimenting, and the more you will love it.

Sekunda
12-27-2012, 08:29 AM
Question for you LSchefman, have you thought about using an attenuator to get a better sound out of your HX/DA without all the volume? I really like the sound of the cranked amp, but my neighbors might not appreciate the quality of it. I have never used one before but I'm thinking about at least trying one out to see if it gives me that great tone at a lower volume. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

docbennett
12-27-2012, 08:42 AM
Before Les gets a chance to chime in...let me say that with the HX/DA..... the master volume WORKS. You can get fantastic tone at bedroom volume with this amp, and you don't need an attenuator at all.

Sekunda
12-27-2012, 08:51 AM
Yes sir, it does work... but, it's just not the same as when it's cranked and the power section is throbbing with energy... There are some tones there that just don't appear when it's turned down. That's what I'm wanting... It's just so much warmer and full at high volume. I'm just looking for some ideas... I appreciate anyones input though!

Boogie
12-27-2012, 11:12 AM
Before Les gets a chance to chime in...let me say that with the HX/DA..... the master volume WORKS. You can get fantastic tone at bedroom volume with this amp, and you don't need an attenuator at all.

I agree, in general, but I completely understand what Sekunda is searching for. Some amps take an attenuator well, others don't. And it depends on the specific attenuator, too. The speaker response with that level of voltage hitting it also lends to the warmth, which dissipates when you cut the signal. So you're stuck in a catch 22. This is also why I really believe I need a small amp and a 50 watt. You can't get the same tone - depending on your music - if the master is engaged at all. The Super Dallas is in the same league but louder, however I'm lucky to get very good response from the master as long as it's above 2:00.

Serious Poo
12-27-2012, 11:45 AM
Before Les gets a chance to chime in...let me say that with the HX/DA..... the master volume WORKS. You can get fantastic tone at bedroom volume with this amp, and you don't need an attenuator at all.
+1

Agreed, it's a great circuit. Doug just nailed it with this design.

Les brought up a good point earlier, and that's the effect reverb has one a guitar tone at higher gain settings. I like some ambience, but greatly prefer using a delay in the effect loop for that, reverbs can sound "tinny" to my ears as well. I just got a Blue Sky for use with some clean stuff I'm writing, but who knows - that pedal might sound really musical on higher gain parts, I really don't know. Right now I'm just loving my El Cap for leads, I'll have to see how the Blue Sky sounds. Strymon has really impressed me with their stuff lately. Glad I asked Doug to put a loop in m HX/DA!

docbennett
12-27-2012, 11:47 AM
I agree, in general, but I completely understand what Sekunda is searching for. Some amps take an attenuator well, others don't. And it depends on the specific attenuator, too. The speaker response with that level of voltage hitting it also lends to the warmth, which dissipates when you cut the signal. So you're stuck in a catch 22. This is also why I really believe I need a small amp and a 50 watt. You can't get the same tone - depending on your music - if the master is engaged at all. The Super Dallas is in the same league but louder, however I'm lucky to get very good response from the master as long as it's above 2:00.

Agreed. I wound up selling my Soldano SLO 100, Cornford Hellcat and Elmwood 3100 all because they were all "timid" at volumes below 12 o'clock...and once you hit that midway point on the master volume....the walls started to literally shake. I never even dimed these amps (or in the Soldano's case, took it to "11"), as I would have rocked the house's foundation.
And all of them never really sounded "right" with an attenuator in front of them. So, I let them go in favor of less powerful amps that could be used at their full potential in my basement.

LSchefman
12-27-2012, 03:23 PM
Question for you LSchefman, have you thought about using an attenuator to get a better sound out of your HX/DA without all the volume? I really like the sound of the cranked amp, but my neighbors might not appreciate the quality of it. I have never used one before but I'm thinking about at least trying one out to see if it gives me that great tone at a lower volume. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Matt, I don't use an attenuator. For just practicing, I find the MV all I need, and for use in the studio, volume isn't really a big concern.

I usually run the amp at around 11:30 o'clock to noon for recording, and it isn't all that crazy loud with a closed-back 212 cab (currently a Mesa). For practicing, I am not as picky as some, because all I want to get is a listenable sound. After all, I'm practicing, not entertaining myself! ;)

Wish I could answer your question better!

LSchefman
12-27-2012, 03:40 PM
Let's talk volume/power differences for a moment...

Doubling the power theoretically provides only a 3 db increase in volume. If you realize that a decibel is the lowest volume difference the human ear can even hear, 3 db isn't all that much. That kind of thing should be well in the range of any amp's good-sounding volume range. And subjectively, some amps are louder than their wattage rating might imply, the AC-30 being legendary for being very, very loud.

My Roccaforte Rockie 30 watt is LOUD, certainly subjectively as loud as the HX/DA (though I realize that it should be about 2 db quieter in theory); maybe that's because it doesn't have a master volume, and you really need to crank it to get the goods, as with a good AC30. But probably its inherent brightness is part of what makes it seem so loud...

Point is, you can't really count on merely getting a lower volume amp to be able to get great tone at lower volumes. I don't really notice much difference in overall volume between most 30-50 watt amps; get down to around 15 watts, and sure, you're going to hear it clearly.

There are an awful lot of variables around this stuff...not a cut and dried answer in all cases.

Sekunda
12-27-2012, 03:48 PM
Matt, I don't use an attenuator. For just practicing, I find the MV all I need, and for use in the studio, volume isn't really a big concern.

I usually run the amp at around 11:30 o'clock to noon for recording, and it isn't all that crazy loud with a closed-back 212 cab (currently a Mesa). For practicing, I am not as picky as some, because all I want to get is a listenable sound. After all, I'm practicing, not entertaining myself! ;)

Wish I could answer your question better!

Thanks for the input! It's just that the really good sounds are with the master pegged at 10. If you check out the vids of Paul and Mike doing the demo, thats where it is to get that beautiful tone... I did this at home and opened it up, thats where I had my aha! moment. I just want to find that tone without the ear splitting volume. I'll just keep moving it around and find the best balance I guess.

Check out the video, you can see where Paul is setting the controls about :47 in, the master is cranked. That would surely place the best load on the power section. I just don't want to break my fish tank open :laugh:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew4QroazpyA&list=FL7aMt9hQby0BeXjR0YLXQ5Q

LSchefman
12-27-2012, 04:34 PM
Thanks for the input! It's just that the really good sounds are with the master pegged at 10. If you check out the vids of Paul and Mike doing the demo, thats where it is to get that beautiful tone... I did this at home and opened it up, thats where I had my aha! moment. I just want to find that tone without the ear splitting volume. I'll just keep moving it around and find the best balance I guess.

Check out the video, you can see where Paul is setting the controls about :47 in, the master is cranked. That would surely place the best load on the power section. I just don't want to break my fish tank open :laugh:


That's the very video that sold me on the amp. Very familiar with it.

You're going to get a top notch sound with the MV up...no question. I've tried it, and the last bit of rock and roll goodness is definitely achieved that way. Of course, Paul's got the speaker cab in another room in those videos!

Honestly, I am really happy with what I get using the Master. Just my own experience with the amp, and heck, we're all different! But my needs are met.

Boogie
12-27-2012, 05:35 PM
Point is, you can't really count on merely getting a lower volume amp to be able to get great tone at lower volumes. I don't really notice much difference in overall volume between most 30-50 watt amps; get down to around 15 watts, and sure, you're going to hear it clearly.

Exactly! This is where something like the Sweet 16 comes into play. Clearly a smaller amp and will achieve power stage meltdown at a noticeably lower SPL than a 50 watt. Your reasoning is also why I don't necessarily subscribe to the "use a smaller cab for lower output" line of thinking. A single driver pushed by the same amp is focusing all of that energy behind one point. Sure it's not moving as much air volume in comparison to multiple speakers but the focal point of output is perceived as louder. I'm happy to cover one of the speakers with my guitar case. ;)

LSchefman
12-27-2012, 06:24 PM
Exactly! This is where something like the Sweet 16 comes into play. Clearly a smaller amp and will achieve power stage meltdown at a noticeably lower SPL than a 50 watt. Your reasoning is also why I don't necessarily subscribe to the "use a smaller cab for lower output" line of thinking. A single driver pushed by the same amp is focusing all of that energy behind one point. Sure it's not moving as much air volume in comparison to multiple speakers but the focal point of output is perceived as louder. I'm happy to cover one of the speakers with my guitar case. ;)

Yup, the Sweet 16 is a great choice.

And you're absolutely right about the cab issue.

dsenoj
01-05-2013, 07:46 PM
I went to Music 49 today to try out a few guitars. I played them through an HX/DA. I want one bad now.

LSchefman
01-05-2013, 08:45 PM
I went to Music 49 today to try out a few guitars. I played them through an HX/DA. I want one bad now.

It's a most addictive experience, isn't it?

I want to get a second one and stash it away in a vault so I'll never be without one, ever! ;)

Sekunda
01-10-2013, 11:54 AM
I finally got to let my HX/DA loose with some volume along with drums and bass... wow! I was so impressed with the sound that I got goosebumps while I was playing. This was definitely the right choice in amps. The guys were amazed at the sounds I was getting with just slight changes of the guitar volume. Then when I kicked on my Keeley modded TS-9 Tube Screamer... ummm... let me just say that Ted Nugent entered the building for about 20 minutes. I can say that this is for sure the BEST sounding amp for classic rock I have ever heard, and the most exciting amp I have ever had the privilege to own.

Also, my whole question of using an attenuator was voided with a live band volume in a bigger room. Yes, I am a happy camper!

:cheers:

LSchefman
01-10-2013, 04:46 PM
I finally got to let my HX/DA loose with some volume along with drums and bass... wow! I was so impressed with the sound that I got goosebumps while I was playing. This was definitely the right choice in amps. The guys were amazed at the sounds I was getting with just slight changes of the guitar volume. Then when I kicked on my Keeley modded TS-9 Tube Screamer... ummm... let me just say that Ted Nugent entered the building for about 20 minutes. I can say that this is for sure the BEST sounding amp for classic rock I have ever heard, and the most exciting amp I have ever had the privilege to own.

Also, my whole question of using an attenuator was voided with a live band volume in a bigger room. Yes, I am a happy camper!

:cheers:

Awesome!

Boogie
01-10-2013, 08:44 PM
...this is for sure the BEST sounding amp for classic rock I have ever heard, and the most exciting amp I have ever had the privilege to own.

Now THAT'S an endorsement! :rock: And I can't agree more with the Keeley TS-9. Secret sauce, baby! Congrats on the revelation.

LSchefman
01-17-2013, 08:27 PM
I've been running the 408 pickups through the amp, clean, and just wow.

Sekunda
01-21-2013, 01:23 PM
I've mostly been using the Custom 22 with Dragon 1 pups, but apparently the guys love the sound of the Stripped 58 better... it has more body (literally). It seems more appropriate for the Southern rock anyway.

Just added a Strymon El Capistan delay pedal as well... gorgeous sounds from this pedal!

TJIann
01-21-2013, 01:43 PM
Now I'm real curious. Has anyone compared the HX/DA to the Original Sewell. If I recall, the Sewell was the basis for the 25th Anniv, which in turn was the basis for the HX/DA, correct? So, can an Original Sewell be modded to be an HX/DA?

LSchefman
01-21-2013, 02:16 PM
Just added a Strymon El Capistan delay pedal as well... gorgeous sounds from this pedal!

Is the Strymon hissy when you turn the gain up on the HXDA? The TC Nova Delay can add a bit of hiss, and I'd like to eliminate that problem from my rig (although I like a lot of what the Nova does).

Sekunda
01-22-2013, 11:40 AM
Is the Strymon hissy when you turn the gain up on the HXDA? The TC Nova Delay can add a bit of hiss, and I'd like to eliminate that problem from my rig (although I like a lot of what the Nova does).

I have the gain set at about 1:00 and there seems to be no noticeable noise so far... the bass gain is set at about 9:00. EQ settings are pretty much from the PRS video above: Treble 1/3, Mids 2/3, Bass 2/3, presence is very low. I'm still trying to dial that in... The El Capistan is an awesome pedal... I'm just using it for a solo sound with tempo tap at the moment, but it has multiple uses, even a looper if set properly. It is very clean just like the Flint. Every Strymon pedal I have tried has been top-notch. Its a very nice change to have an amp that shows all of the intricacies of quality pedals for a change. If you order the pedal straight from Strymon they have a return if its not what you want policy. I'm also thinking about getting the new Boss PS-6 Harmonist for some of our Southern rock harmony parts where 2 guitars just cant cover all the parts.

http://www.strymon.net

LSchefman
01-22-2013, 08:40 PM
I'm going to have to try the Strymon pedal.

Thanks for the report! Actually, I set my amp up very similarly to yours for much of the stuff I do.

Sekunda
01-23-2013, 09:36 AM
I'm going to have to try the Strymon pedal.

Thanks for the report! Actually, I set my amp up very similarly to yours for much of the stuff I do.

I'm still messing with stuff too... being in a band situation helps tremendously for getting settings and effects set right. Once I get my sound where I want it, I will be trying the guitar/gain staging angle. Back guitar volume and tone off slightly and re-setting the amp to sound like it did originally. That will leave room for solo boost and also a little room to move on tone as well. This is something completely new to me and I'm really looking forward to trying it out. I just read a blog about this very thing from my Seymour Duncan eletter today. Looking forward to hearing my amp at practice is one of my favorite things... again.

FJ4
01-28-2013, 06:30 PM
Has anyone compared the HXDA vs the 2 Channel C ? (Both Cinemag transformer and EL34S?

Boogie
01-29-2013, 07:13 AM
Has anyone compared the HXDA vs the 2 Channel C ? (Both Cinemag transformer and EL34S?

Having been down this same road recently (and used the same line of reasoning), I can tell you that there's a big difference. The Super Dallas is also a Cinemag/EL34 amp and is also unique against those 2 amps. The HXDA was tonally more diverse and hit upon the key Plexi vibe areas for me (even order harmonics, note bloom, power stage saturation), where the 'H' played ball more in the modern/Mesa Boogie area. I like that too, but I already have a Boogie. In a fit of indecision, I threw a hail mary and went with the SD, but at some point I will also have an HXDA because they're complimentary amps.

LSchefman
01-29-2013, 09:31 AM
Honestly, the HX/DA can sound so warm and creamy that I don't want to play anything else. But what's surprising is what a great clean sound it can produce. Roll back the guitar volume, split to single coils if you like, and turn up the amp volume and the cleans are gorgeous, shimmery, etc., and comparable in quality to some of my favorite clean amps, like Two-Rocks, etc.

To say I love this amp is an understatement. It's my favorite amp of all time.

Skeeter
02-17-2013, 03:30 AM
Yes sir, it does work... but, it's just not the same as when it's cranked and the power section is throbbing with energy... There are some tones there that just don't appear when it's turned down. That's what I'm wanting... It's just so much warmer and full at high volume. I'm just looking for some ideas... I appreciate anyones input though!

Get a THD Hot Plate, I use one all the time when I have my big rig at home. Allows me to use a Mark V at either 45 or 90 watts at apartment levels.

Back to the whole Mesa vs PRS discussion, I love my Mesa for the flexibility when gigging and you can really learn something new about it every day. Plus it helps to have drastic eq, gain changes handy on the fly as you go through different styles of music. My current situation requires me to do the old pedal dance as I'm constantly adding textures and switching between channels...

But I'm really intrigued by the HX/DA and MDT. They sound so organic and creamy....and just amazing. I wish I was in some kind of straight ahead situation with a blues or jazz combo, where I could really just focus on the one pure foundation tone and vary it just by the guitar volume and tone. For now, such amps are on my "nice to have list" and hopefully I can one someday!

LSchefman
02-17-2013, 09:46 AM
Get a THD Hot Plate, I use one all the time when I have my big rig at home. Allows me to use a Mark V at either 45 or 90 watts at apartment levels.

Back to the whole Mesa vs PRS discussion, I love my Mesa for the flexibility when gigging and you can really learn something new about it every day. Plus it helps to have drastic eq, gain changes handy on the fly as you go through different styles of music. My current situation requires me to do the old pedal dance as I'm constantly adding textures and switching between channels...

But I'm really intrigued by the HX/DA and MDT. They sound so organic and creamy....and just amazing. I wish I was in some kind of straight ahead situation with a blues or jazz combo, where I could really just focus on the one pure foundation tone and vary it just by the guitar volume and tone. For now, such amps are on my "nice to have list" and hopefully I can one someday!

The MkV is a great amp, too. I recently had one, and dug it a lot.

I do think the HX/DA is "more me," so there's that, but I have nothing but respect for the Mk V.

DM426
03-06-2013, 05:53 PM
Seriously considering getting one of these. I have played the "H" and was fairly impressed with the quality, and even the SE 30 is a very good amp for the money.

I actually went to Guitar Center a few weeks ago with the intention of buying an Orange Rockaverb 50, but didn't like what I got out of it. The clean was okay, but the crunch just sounded all over the place and very, well, muddy. That surprised me because I've heard so much good about Orange amps and they seemed pretty cool in the videos I've seen. In all fairness, I had the volume pretty low and the Rockaverb may be an amp that sounds like crap until you have it roaring. But that's one of things I liked about the PRS amps I have been able to try -- they had a good sound even at low volume. That's important to me, as I hate practicing on a cheap, nasty-sounding amp.

The only real question is whether I want to get the HX-DA and make that my only amp, or keep my JVM410H as well. Anyone had the pleasure of playing both? If so, how do they compare? (yes I know they're fairly different kinds of amps).

LSchefman
03-06-2013, 07:17 PM
I honestly think that really comes down to what style of music you play, and the kinds of tones you like.

The HX/DA is more open and 3D when played clean, and sounds like what it is - a high end boutique amp. With the gain up, it's more liquid and seems to hold onto a note, where I'd call the JVM sound more dry. And of course, HX/DA has a very vintage vibe. So the two amps are really suited to different kinds of work.

If you put on some good headphones or monitors, and listen to the clips on the HX/DA on the PRS site, that honestly is what you get with the amp. I get those tones in my studio, no problem.

Sekunda
03-11-2013, 11:13 AM
So... been playing the HX/DA for several months now and it just keeps getting better! Our other guitar player is playing a Strat through an older Marshall tube 1x12 amp and I was having problems dialing a sound I liked with my Custom 22 to blend well with the Marshall... So I went back to the Stripped 58 and messed with it during practice Saturday. Set all the amp controls back to where I started from the PRS demo video, except I turned the preamp gain down some and turned the master volume up to compensate. Then I backed the volumes off on the guitar slightly (about 8) and played in the middle position for a while... very clean and punchy if you lay back, yet very gritty and punchy if you dig in some. Then kick in the Keeley TS-9 for some dirt and solo boost and wow... Love it all over again! SInce we are playing a lot of Allman Brothers songs this sound is pretty much dead on the Fillmore Concert sound... the guys were blown away with the sound, and actually so was I. We were playing "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and some Santana and it just sings... I went to the bridge pickup for "Whipping Post" to get a little more grit and bite... it sounded just like the album again. I think I have finally found that sound I was looking for... And what a difference a great sound makes on your playing.

docbennett
03-11-2013, 11:27 AM
.....I turned the preamp gain down some and turned the master volume up to compensate. Then I backed the volumes off on the guitar slightly (about 8) and played in the middle position for a while... very clean and punchy if you lay back, yet very gritty and punchy if you dig in some.....

I guess the above description is exactly what "touch sensitivity" is all about. I've always sought the "correct meaning" of exactly what "touch sensitivity" is...and I think Sekunda nailed the definition with his description of how the amp's tone interacted with his playing attack, as described above. Thanks.

Sekunda
03-11-2013, 11:42 AM
I guess the above description is exactly what "touch sensitivity" is all about. I've always sought the "correct meaning" of exactly what "touch sensitivity" is...and I think Sekunda nailed the definition with his description of how the amp's tone interacted with his playing attack, as described above. Thanks.

I've been trying to find the right balance ever since I bought the amp. I have never done this before, it's always been full balls out with different channels for different sounds... It has been a difficult road switching from a 4 channel amp to a one channel amp, but I'm learning! I do think I found the right guitar for my needs at the moment... although that could change the next time I pick it up. Ha!

Boogie
03-11-2013, 01:11 PM
...The HX/DA is more open and 3D when played clean, and sounds like what it is - a high end boutique amp...

That really captures the essence of the overall differences between other amps and these PRS amps. I first experienced this with my MkIII back in '89. Then later with Two Rock and 65amps. To me, this is mojo.


I've been trying to find the right balance ever since I bought the amp. I have never done this before, it's always been full balls out with different channels for different sounds... It has been a difficult road switching from a 4 channel amp to a one channel amp, but I'm learning! I do think I found the right guitar for my needs at the moment... although that could change the next time I pick it up. Ha!

That's really the ultimate epiphany...going from a multi-channel amp to a single. I had been flirting with it for about a year when David Grissom demo'ed the concept right in front of me. BAMMO! It all suddenly made sense. The real trick is to put it into practice. But once you get it down, you never go back.

Congrats on the success!

LSchefman
03-11-2013, 01:53 PM
I guess the above description is exactly what "touch sensitivity" is all about. I've always sought the "correct meaning" of exactly what "touch sensitivity" is...and I think Sekunda nailed the definition with his description of how the amp's tone interacted with his playing attack, as described above. Thanks.

Very good guess, Bennett! I think it's actually a very good description, too. I'd like to give a little background on it just for grins, because it's possible that the term means different things to different players.

Strictly speaking, in audio-land the term "gain" simply means signal amplitude. The fingers and pick act on the strings to vary the amplitude acting on the pickups and coming out of the pickups from the guitar's electronics.

Thus there are two distinct elements to this touch-sensitivity thing: one is the ability of the guitar to reproduces nuances the player can create with pick attack, fingers, etc; the second is the ability of the amp to respond to those nuances and changes in amplitude, and reproduce them in a musical way. Sounds easy, but isn't when it comes to making things sound really good.

If the guitar's volume and tone controls are maxed, the guitar's own headroom can be compromised, depending on the instrument. Whether or not this is useful will depend on the player's style.

Any amp will have a little less touch-sensitivity if the guitar is essentially putting out one volume level, or if the player is using a compressor pedal set pretty high.

But if the guitar can produce nuanced tones, a touch-sensitive amp will respond by musically responding to the changes in signal, gradually allowing saturation in its internal tube pathways to allow the signal to clip when pushed hard, and simply saturate in different ways when pushed lighter to varying degrees.

This is really what touch sensitivity is about, IMHO. All tube amps are touch sensitive to one degree or another, the question is how well they do it. In other words, gain shouldn't be "on" or "off" the tubes should saturate in a variety of ways depending on amplitude.

Skeeter
03-11-2013, 10:12 PM
Set all the amp controls back to where I started from the PRS demo video, except I turned the preamp gain down some and turned the master volume up to compensate. Then I backed the volumes off on the guitar slightly (about 8) and played

I recently saw an interview with Joe Bonammassa (whose opinions on tone I personally respect) who said he rarely ever has his volume above 7 on his LP's. I found that kind of shocking, but it seems in line with your experience. I tried that with my R9 and up'ed the volume/gain on the amp a little to make up the difference and the result was a much warmer overdriven sound, that was more squishy than hard (in the attack)....if that makes any sense. Almost like removing a compressor, which is kind of in line with Les's thoughts above - very interesting stuff.

Boogie
03-12-2013, 02:19 AM
...The fingers and pick act on the strings to vary the amplitude acting on the pickups and coming out of the pickups from the guitar's electronics...Thus there are two distinct elements to this touch-sensitivity thing: one is the ability of the guitar to reproduces nuances the player can create with pick attack, fingers, etc; the second is the ability of the amp to respond to those nuances and changes in amplitude, and reproduce them in a musical way.

Yes, and that's where I found the answer in pickup selection. Enter the P-90. For my dollar, more cleans, more bark, more shimmer and grind. Vary your pick thickness and finger picking and it's a complete tonal palate. This is the essential component to take full advantage of a responsive amp.


I recently saw an interview with Joe Bonammassa (whose opinions on tone I personally respect) who said he rarely ever has his volume above 7 on his LP's...the result was a much warmer overdriven sound, that was more squishy than hard (in the attack)...like removing a compressor.

Exactly! Especially with humbuckers that don't have the dynamic range or rather, output dynamics, as a single coil or P-90s. Those nuances are picked up (literally) and translated best by an amp designed to do so, and IMO, these amps do it very well.

LSchefman
03-12-2013, 10:31 AM
I recently saw an interview with Joe Bonammassa (whose opinions on tone I personally respect) who said he rarely ever has his volume above 7 on his LP's. I found that kind of shocking, but it seems in line with your experience.

It's in line with the better players I use in my own studio, and it's also very consistent with my own playing experience.

Especially with a guitar like an LP, or a Singlecut, using the controls gives you the opportunity to play with more headroom, and get more emotion into the playing as you can raise the volume where you need to, adjust gain on the fly, etc. As far as I'm concerned, players who don't take advantage of the controls on the guitar are really wasting the opportunity to get the best sounds possible!


Yes, and that's where I found the answer in pickup selection. Enter the P-90. For my dollar, more cleans, more bark, more shimmer and grind. Vary your pick thickness and finger picking and it's a complete tonal palate. This is the essential component to take full advantage of a responsive amp.

I have always loved P-90s! In fact, I had one of the NAMM McCarty Soapbars a few years back, but also a CU22 Soapbar, and of course, my first guitar was a 1965 SG Special with Soapbars that I played for nearly 30 years (by the way, the PRSes smoked the SG, and I still have it for comparison purposes; this whole "old guitar" myth is often much ado about nothing).

But I also love humbuckers.


Exactly! Especially with humbuckers that don't have the dynamic range or rather, output dynamics, as a single coil or P-90s. Those nuances are picked up (literally) and translated best by an amp designed to do so, and IMO, these amps do it very well.

I can very highly recommend the 408s. They are crisp and articulate like a P-90, in either humbucker or single coil mode, but the 408s also offer the advantages of a humbucker in terms of noise, etc.

Great pickups that work beautifully with the HX/DA.

DM426
03-12-2013, 10:48 AM
Does the HX/DA go into overdrive easily like the 2 Channel H does? I recently played an H and found that I could get some good classic rock crunch at reasonably low volumes, which is something that's a priority for me.

I've read contradictory things about both the HX/DA and the MDT. I've read comments from people saying it's really easy to drive them into classic rock territory at low volumes, but I've read others saying you have to turn these amps up pretty loud before they sound good (at least to get some dirt in there). So even though I really like what I've heard from PRS amps so far, I'm a little hesitant to pull the trigger on one of these until I can get some more information on what they sound like at low-medium volumes.

I wish I could play all three and compare them directly, but there just aren't many places where you can do that.

docbennett
03-12-2013, 11:00 AM
I've read contradictory things about both the HX/DA and the MDT. I've read comments from people saying it's really easy to drive them into classic rock territory at low volumes, but I've read others saying you have to turn these amps up pretty loud before they sound good (at least to get some dirt in there).

Nope....Excellent overdriven tones at bedroom volume if you want....no compromise in tonal quality or overdriven gain at lower volumes whatsoever.

DM426
03-12-2013, 11:41 AM
Nope....Excellent overdriven tones at bedroom volume if you want....no compromise in tonal quality or overdriven gain at lower volumes whatsoever.

Excellent. That's what I wanted to hear.

LSchefman
03-12-2013, 12:26 PM
Nope....Excellent overdriven tones at bedroom volume if you want....no compromise in tonal quality or overdriven gain at lower volumes whatsoever.

My HX/DA is absolutely, positively, the best sounding low-to-moderate volume amp I've ever had in my studio. It's got a really useful master volume. And the gain control is extremely useful as well.

I can get enjoyable tones with it with the master on about nine o'clock, and I record with the master around 11 o'clock. At the 9 0'clock levels, you can actually hold a conversation at normal levels while playing, and not be drowned out by the amp. Even with the amp at 2 o'clock, I would call that a normal gig volume. Not horribly loud.

My only caveat is that one man's bedroom volume can be the next man's "OMG it's loud" volume. Since I don't know which guy you are, I'd hate to give an ironclad prediction that it will work for you, see you spend a lot of dough, and be wrong. You should try one, or buy from a dealer who has a return policy just in case.

Sekunda
03-12-2013, 02:41 PM
My only caveat is that one man's bedroom volume can be the next man's "OMG it's loud" volume. Since I don't know which guy you are, I'd hate to give an ironclad prediction that it will work for you, see you spend a lot of dough, and be wrong. You should try one, or buy from a dealer who has a return policy just in case.

* Plus, the difference between what your personal bedroom level is and actual performance level with other instruments may vary... :cool:

DM426
03-12-2013, 03:05 PM
It's interesting how opinions can vary from one person to the next. A while back I had a conversation with one of the guys at The Guitar Sanctuary (http://www.theguitarsanctuary.com/Default.asp), who sell a lot of PRS amps. They were very helpful and thorough, although they did warn me away from either an MDT or HX/DA, saying these amps were really only intended for live gigging volumes and are generally not well suited to home use.

I played an H a while back, which is also a 50 watt amp, and thought it sounded good at what I consider reasonable volumes. But those guys stressed that the 'H' is a different design and a different kind of amp, thus it's possible to get a much more overdriven tone at lower volumes. If the HX/DA can do that as well, then I'm tempted to try it. But opinions seem to vary on that question.

docbennett
03-12-2013, 03:21 PM
It's interesting how opinions can vary from one person to the next. A while back I had a conversation with one of the guys at The Guitar Sanctuary (http://www.theguitarsanctuary.com/Default.asp), who sell a lot of PRS amps. They were very helpful and thorough, although they did warn me away from either an MDT or HX/DA, saying these amps were really only intended for live gigging volumes and are generally not well suited to home use.

I played an H a while back, which is also a 50 watt amp, and thought it sounded good at what I consider reasonable volumes. But those guys stressed that the 'H' is a different design and a different kind of amp, thus it's possible to get a much more overdriven tone at lower volumes. If the HX/DA can do that as well, then I'm tempted to try it. But opinions seem to vary on that question.



I own both the "H" combo and the HXDA head. Granted, my HXDA has the "Kitchen sink mods" which essentially allows twice the number of tones as the standard model. In any event, my HXDA sounds much better, relatively speaking, at low volumes compared to my "H". Here is Matt King of PRS Customer service, providing Doug Sewall's explanation of the "kitchen sink mods"...it is basically everything associated with the switch described below in bold:

Hi Bennett,

I talked with Doug and he given me the following description of functions (for the HXDA):

The switches on the back (he means the 3 "HX/DA switches that are in the front of mine) of the HXDA amp take the amp from a “bass” (DA) amp to a “lead” (HX) amp in incremental stages.

The first one changes a bypass cap value from brighter to fatter.
The second one adds a bypass cap to the cathode follower circuit—with the cap is “lead” gain-wise without is “bass”.
The third switch adjusts negative feedback. More negative feedback lowers gain and keeps the amp under control. Less adds harmonics and gain.

The series/parallel switch on back takes the two channels normally running parallel with each other (additive gain) and places them in series (multiplicative gain). It would be (circuit wise) similar to going from a plexi topology to a JCM 800 topology.

Matt King
Paul Reed Smith Guitars

Edit....afterthought....I also own a custom MDT...the TGS 410-B which is basically an MDT in a 4X10 combo cabinet with some tweaks to the circuit to add a boost and a bright. This amp also sounds very good at lower volumes...much more "gainier" overdriven amp than either the HXDA or the "H"...even when the "H" is in Lead channel mode. Of all my PRS amps, my Sweet 16+ and my Dallas are the most anemic sounding at lower volumes. The "H" is somewhere in the middle. The MDT (410-B) and the HXDA exhibit the best overall tone, and maintain excellent sustain and crunch, at relatively low volumes. The HXDA can be played with the Master at 1 (1-to-10 scale), and as long as the HXDA gain and Bass gain are at least 6 (on a 1-to-10), you're gonna sound great with very low volume.

Steph
03-12-2013, 03:48 PM
Question about the name: HX/DA

Since DA probably refers to Duane Allman. I am wondering to what famous texan guitarist HX refers to?

Anyone has a guess?

Gnal
03-12-2013, 04:33 PM
I don't think the HX refers to texan guitarist, I'm pretty sure it refers to Jimi Hendrix.

Steph
03-12-2013, 04:43 PM
Here's were I got this... Listen from 3:20 on... Reference to Duane Allman is quite obvious but who's the texan is talking about?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c8iOSXgmSk


Can anybody name this mystery texan guitarist?

DM426
03-12-2013, 06:15 PM
Edit....afterthought....I also own a custom MDT...the TGS 410-B which is basically an MDT in a 4X10 combo cabinet with some tweaks to the circuit to add a boost and a bright. This amp also sounds very good at lower volumes...much more "gainier" overdriven amp than either the HXDA or the "H"...even when the "H" is in Lead channel mode. Of all my PRS amps, my Sweet 16+ and my Dallas are the most anemic sounding at lower volumes. The "H" is somewhere in the middle. The MDT (410-B) and the HXDA exhibit the best overall tone, and maintain excellent sustain and crunch, at relatively low volumes. The HXDA can be played with the Master at 1 (1-to-10 scale), and as long as the HXDA gain and Bass gain are at least 6 (on a 1-to-10), you're gonna sound great with very low volume.


So overall, which amp has the better tones at low-mid volumes?

BTW, where is the 410-B available?

docbennett
03-12-2013, 07:38 PM
So overall, which amp has the better tones at low-mid volumes?

BTW, where is the 410-B available?

Brent at The Guitar Shop did a run of 12...I think he has one left. The HXDA has the best tone at low volumes, IMO..and that is not a knock against the others. It's a statement as to how well the HXDA does it.

LSchefman
03-12-2013, 09:04 PM
Here's were I got this... Listen from 3:20 on... Reference to Duane Allman is quite obvious but who's the texan is talking about?

Can anybody name this mystery texan guitarist?

He's referring to Eric Johnson no doubt, but the amp is named for Allman and Hendrix. EJ is known for using classic Marshalls as well.

LSchefman
03-12-2013, 09:52 PM
I played an H a while back, which is also a 50 watt amp, and thought it sounded good at what I consider reasonable volumes. But those guys stressed that the 'H' is a different design and a different kind of amp, thus it's possible to get a much more overdriven tone at lower volumes. If the HX/DA can do that as well, then I'm tempted to try it. But opinions seem to vary on that question.

Son, the HX/DA is a man's amp. One channel, not two, 50 watts of red hot glass crankin' out a tone that's big as...well...it's big.

Takes balls to play this amp. Decisiveness. Boldness. Carpe diem stuff.

Guys who buy this amp don't worry about low volume bedroom stuff. Because we're badass.

Ask Bennett. He and I are like Rambo and Superman, only meaner and tougher. And better looking. Ask our old ladies, who are the kind of women who only fall for badass, bad boy, types like us.

So go buy the H. We'll be here. Waiting to kick some tone booty.

(cue theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

Steph
03-13-2013, 08:05 AM
He's referring to Eric Johnson no doubt, but the amp is named for Allman and Hendrix. EJ is known for using classic Marshalls as well.

Ok then! Hendrix it is. Thanks Mr. Badass!

LSchefman
03-13-2013, 09:17 AM
Ok then! Hendrix it is. Thanks Mr. Badass!

You're welcome.

And my ass is indeed really bad. I mean, you don't want to see it bad. ;)

Boogie
03-13-2013, 03:06 PM
He's referring to Eric Johnson no doubt, but the amp is named for Allman and Hendrix. EJ is known for using classic Marshalls as well.
Keep also in mind that the original Marshall amp used to develop the 25th Anniversary (the basis for the HXDA) and the Hendrix tone was owned by Eric Johnson. So Junior may have been mixing his amp references.

guitarman23
03-13-2013, 03:21 PM
Everyone's info has been very helpful. The big decision for me now is whether to order a 50 or 30 watt head. I like to run my tone like David Grissom where I get the majority of my dirt and overdrive from the amp and run a clean boost w maybe an overdrive as well. I've found w my DGT'S I can really clean up the amp w the guitar volume like he does. I currently run a couple Category 5 amps one of which I'm going to sell. Can a 30 watt HXDA do the trick in a small blues bar and on a larger outdoor stage, turning it down for studio work or do you think I should get the 50 if it can also do those things well? It's hard to decide, I want enough power but not so much I can't open it up. I've had a Super Dallas in the past and I had to really get it loud for the tones i wanted. Too loud for most of the bars/clubs I play. I'm unfamiliar w a good master volume since my Cat 5's use a voltage control/power scaling. I've read the master is quite useful in the new PRS amps and on the HXDA.
Thanks guys for the help.

DM426
03-13-2013, 05:03 PM
This amp is just too cool to pass up. I ordered one from Brian today, in the same colors as this 2 Channel H (http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthread.php?3539-BLACK-PAISLEY!). I had them add the reverb option as well.

~5 weeks.

LSchefman
03-13-2013, 06:01 PM
This amp is just too cool to pass up. I ordered one from Brian today, in the same colors as this 2 Channel H (http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthread.php?3539-BLACK-PAISLEY!). I had them add the reverb option as well.

~5 weeks.

Very cool! I am sure you made a good choice.

Sekunda
04-29-2013, 01:04 PM
Guys who buy this amp don't worry about low volume bedroom stuff. Because we're badass.

What? Did somebody say something? Hello? Is this thing on? All I can hear is this constant high pitched ringing noise... :flute:

Boogie
04-29-2013, 06:43 PM
...I like to run my tone like David Grissom where I get the majority of my dirt and overdrive from the amp and run a clean boost w maybe an overdrive as well. I've found w my DGT'S I can really clean up the amp w the guitar volume like he does....I've had a Super Dallas in the past and I had to really get it loud for the tones i wanted. Too loud for most of the bars/clubs I play...
That's interesting hearing your experience. I too gig a Super Dallas and have to jockey the volume to keep from pissing off everyone involved. But...and this is a big but...depending on the stage type and venue acoustics, I find most of the bass (which is the real impact from the SD) drops off drastically after about 15 feet from the amp. The Stealth 2x12 never ice picks and never backhands the crowd with a laser beam. I couldn't be happier. And considering the number of musicians making comments, I'm inclined to think I'm on the right track. Obviously the results depend on the music you're playing, but for me, with a DGT Std and an SE One, the results are fantastic. I might also add that we self amplify the guitars and bass...only drums and vox thru the PA.

One last comment...I don't think the perceivable volume difference between a 30W and 50W amp (of similar design) is enough for people to notice. A cranked 30W is still pretty loud.

Dirty Bob
04-29-2013, 10:25 PM
An aside comment on volume...It's interesting...it took me a while to figure out on the recording amp that there is a HUGE volume jump in the final range of the control...when you roll from 3/4's on the master to full tilt....wow night and day!...I originally thought the amp was a bit on the quiet side of 50 watts before I opened it all the way up aka DG style.

guitarman23
04-30-2013, 03:26 PM
I just ordered a Bad Cat Unleash to see how the HXDA sounds "opened up." I have a couple nice Category 5 amps as well I'd like to do the same with. The power scaling on them is a great feature but I want to get the power tubes cooking a little more. We'll see how it works out and I'll let everyone know.

DM426
04-30-2013, 04:59 PM
I just ordered a Bad Cat Unleash to see how the HXDA sounds "opened up." I have a couple nice Category 5 amps as well I'd like to do the same with. The power scaling on them is a great feature but I want to get the power tubes cooking a little more. We'll see how it works out and I'll let everyone know.

I'm kind of interested to hear how that turns out myself. I would like to know how the MDT sounds with a Bad Cat Unleash as well, if anyone has that combo.

LSchefman
04-30-2013, 11:29 PM
I just ordered a Bad Cat Unleash to see how the HXDA sounds "opened up." I have a couple nice Category 5 amps as well I'd like to do the same with. The power scaling on them is a great feature but I want to get the power tubes cooking a little more. We'll see how it works out and I'll let everyone know.

The only problem with an attenuator is that while the tubes get to cook, the speaker really doesn't get to do its thing to the same degree. So there's a tradeoff, as speaker distortion from full power operation is part of the "opened up" sound, and you can't get that with an attenuator.

I've never tried an attenuator I've liked -- hot plate, Marshall, or Dr. Z -- but there's always a first time for everything!

Still it'll be interesting to see how you feel about it.

yankeebulldog
06-18-2013, 05:44 PM
Bumping this to see if we have any thoughts on the Bad Cat Unleash with the HXDA. I like the tones but I do find it sounds best with the master dimed and at least needs to be past noon to get rid of some of the fizziness at higher gain settings. Just wondering how well this might work.

LSchefman
06-18-2013, 11:56 PM
Bumping this to see if we have any thoughts on the Bad Cat Unleash with the HXDA. I like the tones but I do find it sounds best with the master dimed and at least needs to be past noon to get rid of some of the fizziness at higher gain settings. Just wondering how well this might work.

I'm wondering how you set yours up...I have no fizziness at all, at any gain setting, or with the master lower. What are your settings?

yankeebulldog
06-19-2013, 06:10 AM
In HX mode, Treble 10 o clock, Mid 2 oclock, Bass 2 o clock. Presence 10 o clock. I've been running the bass gain around 2 o clock and the hx/da gain around 9-10 o clock. if I run the hx/da gain higher than the bass I tend to find it way too bright. It's really just a subtle difference with the master, I notice it thickens up the tone when it's up higher. My other reason for asking about the unleash was the loop. Then again, I can have a loop added for less than the cost of that box.

LSchefman
06-19-2013, 11:38 AM
In HX mode, Treble 10 o clock, Mid 2 oclock, Bass 2 o clock. Presence 10 o clock. I've been running the bass gain around 2 o clock and the hx/da gain around 9-10 o clock. if I run the hx/da gain higher than the bass I tend to find it way too bright. It's really just a subtle difference with the master, I notice it thickens up the tone when it's up higher. My other reason for asking about the unleash was the loop. Then again, I can have a loop added for less than the cost of that box.

I run mine similar to yours. Same treble and bass settings for the most part, same presence, but I mostly use the HXDA gain around 2 o' clock and the bass gain around 8 o' clock. I'm generally in DA mode on switch one, DA mode on switch 2, and HX mode on switch 3, depending on the guitar and my mood. So a little different, but not much!

I guess one man's fizzy is another man's not fizzy!

I also run my guitar volume around 6 and guitar tone around 6-7. So maybe there's that.

yankeebulldog
06-19-2013, 12:44 PM
I run mine similar to yours. Same treble and bass settings for the most part, same presence, but I mostly use the HXDA gain around 2 o' clock and the bass gain around 8 o' clock. I'm generally in DA mode on switch one, DA mode on switch 2, and HX mode on switch 3, depending on the guitar and my mood. So a little different, but not much!

I guess one man's fizzy is another man's not fizzy!

I also run my guitar volume around 6 and guitar tone around 6-7. So maybe there's that.

i think your having it in the DA mode is switch 1 is probably the key. If I flip that it's just fine for most volume levels. I'm thinking of sending in for a loop and the series/parallel switch. I've asked it maybe they can add another switch to fatten it up more although that might be redundant since that what switch 1 is doing. With regular voiced greenback speakers it probably sounds fine as I tend to think most of those are dark and flat sounding. These scumback black backs im using have more upper mids and highs though not as much high end as the V30.

LSchefman
06-19-2013, 01:54 PM
i think your having it in the DA mode is switch 1 is probably the key. If I flip that it's just fine for most volume levels. I'm thinking of sending in for a loop and the series/parallel switch. I've asked it maybe they can add another switch to fatten it up more although that might be redundant since that what switch 1 is doing. With regular voiced greenback speakers it probably sounds fine as I tend to think most of those are dark and flat sounding. These scumback black backs im using have more upper mids and highs though not as much high end as the V30.

Yeah, the DA setting on the first switch may be the reason.

I'm using V-30s, but I don't mind the brightness because that works for recording, especially with a Royer 121. Seems like you and I have pretty similar tastes in setup.

guitarman23
06-21-2013, 10:21 AM
I just got the Unleash last week and haven't tried it enough to give a good report. As soon as I do I'll let you guys know. I won't be using the loop on it since I run everything into the front of the amp.