Good info here. I've been reading everything I can about PRS amps. The plunge is coming.
This morning I tracked down a HXDA for a test run. Finally!! Holy smokes! This thing is unreal!
I used my DGT and played through a Mesa 1x12 Lonestar (?) Cab with a Black Shadow in it. I was stunned. Never have I played something like this before! I must confess, I haven't played through many high end amps... I've had a few mid range amps over the years but nothing that touches this thing.
I'm pretty sure this will be the amp that I purchase. It just has the tones that I'm looking for. That being said, I haven't had a chance to check out the 2 Channel Custom yet.
A question for you wise forum gurus: How do you think the Vintage Celestions in the PRS Cabs will differ from the Black Shadow I tried with this head?
This amp is just nuts. It'll take a bit to get used to it. Even though there aren't that many knobs on it, they are extremely sensitive and with the HX/DA switches you have infinite possibilities. In my opinion it sounded good at low volumes as well. Of course when you push it, the notes just blossom that little extra. Plain gorgeous!
As to the speaker, the Black Shadow 90 is a made-for-Mesa Celestion CL80, with a vented dust cap. It's a great speaker for a 112 cab, and it's just a little darker than a Vintage 30, which is a brighter speaker.
Both speakers sound great with the HX/DA. IMHO the V-30s need a little bit of a break-in period beyond what the 90 needs because of their brighter vibe.
If you like the head with the 90, you'll also like it with the V-30s. Wait until you get to play it enough to really tailor it to your tastes.
My recommendation would be not to judge a cab by the speaker. The maker paired the cab with the speakers with a particular voice in mind. Otherwise, I never would have considered the PRS cab.
Thanks for the feedback gentlemen! I just can't get that tone out of my head!
Since I'm rather inexperienced at riding my volume pots to control the amp, I'm curious if a volume pedal may do the same trick? Or would the response be different?
A volume pedal alters the tone of the guitar because it alters the Q of the circuit. There is no substitute for learning how to use the volume control on the one's guitar. Controlling grit and compression via the volume control on your guitar will become second nature in time.
After watching all of the new videos on the PRS YouTube channel I want a Sweet 16. Can't...resist.
Finally had a chance to play a 2 Channel Custom yesterday! It was played through the PRS 2x12 Stealth Cab using a DGT. Wow, seriously cool amp! Great clean channel imo. Lots of sparkle and definition. The gain channel is beautiful as well. Lots of definition here as well and a tight controlled sound. I really enjoyed all the different options that it offers including a very musical reverb as well as the foot pedal to engage a nice boost.
The Stealth Cab sounded great imo! Hard to compare it since I didn't move the amp to a different cab. I will say that it seemed to control the lows nicely and there was no boominess or unnecessary rumble. Chords rang nicely and lead lines went from butter to brittle. I will say that slight adjustments on the amp and guitar made a huge difference in the tones produced. Gotta appreciate that!
In comparison to the HXDA, the main defining characteristic I noticed was that the Custom wasn't as harmonically rich to my ears. It just seems that the HXDA possibly has just that bit more of overtones/harmonics going on. That's not to say that the Custom is inferior in any way! It really is a very beautiful sounding amp. These little criticisms are extremely minute. It could be just that I identify with the sound of the HXDA more for what I'm trying to accomplish. I certainly would be happy to own the Custom as well and may actually prefer it in a gigging type of situation due to the flexibility it offers.
Thanks everyone for all the information in this thread. I hope to have a new amp soon!
There are other terrific amps in the PRS lineup, and plenty of great amps by other makers, but this one just has a certain thing going that makes me fall in love every time I turn it on.
I really would feel better if I had a backup.
Well, I finally pulled the trigger!! Last week I got a new HXDA with a matching 2x12 Stealth Cab!
I posted the new thread here: