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Thread: The DG 30 Should Have A Warning Label: This Amp Can Be Addictive.

  1. #1

    The DG 30 Should Have A Warning Label: This Amp Can Be Addictive.

    So I've only had this DG30 in my studio for a couple of days, and as a result, this isn't a review. How could it be? It'd be meaningless, I hardly know it. I've only slept with it once!

    But I want to write about it, so here's what I'm saying - this amp is a thing! The more I learn using it, the more I like it. I spent hours already just playing simple stuff for the sheer joy of listening to it do its thing.

    Addictive. Really.

    Surgeon General's Warning:

    Playing This Amp Greatly Increases The Risk That You Will Never Leave The Studio, See The Sun,
    Consume Food, Sleep, Or Attend To Bodily Functions That May Keep You Alive.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    So I've only had this DG30 in my studio for a couple of days, and as a result, this isn't a review. How could it be? It'd be meaningless, I hardly know it. I've only slept with it once!

    But I want to write about it, so here's what I'm saying - this amp is a thing! The more I learn using it, the more I like it. I spent hours already just playing simple stuff for the sheer joy of listening to it do its thing.

    Addictive. Really.

    Surgeon General's Warning:

    Playing This Amp Greatly Increases The Risk That You Will Never Leave The Studio, See The Sun,
    Consume Food, Sleep, Or Attend To Bodily Functions That May Keep You Alive.
    What makes it better than , say...a MESA BOOGIE LONE STAR ? I'll give you that it's different...But in what way ? Explain please .

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    What makes it better than , say...a MESA BOOGIE LONE STAR ? I'll give you that it's different...But in what way ? Explain please .
    I have both a Lonestar and a DG30. You can never really capture in words the nuances of sound, but in several more objective ways they are certainly quite different. The DG30 is a single channel amp, and although it has a master volume, it retains the kind of feel of older amp designs where most things you want to do live are accomplished with either guitar controls or pedals in front. The output tone of the DG30 changes significantly as a function of input level and the tone controls of guitar (or pedals). The Lonsestar is quite different actually. Other than the fact that it's a two channel amp with all sorts of switches to modify the thing, it's also pretty typical Mesa in that you set the gain tone you want with the pre-amp level and use the master to set the output sound level and you're good to go. Not a ton of interaction between the two, by design actually. It's a really great amp though to be sure. The DG30 feels like playing an old JTM era Marshall or an old VOXAC30. It doesn't sound like either (actually to me, the closest thing I've played through is my old 50's Gibson GA40.) But it sure is good.

  4. #4
    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    Hope we get to hear a demo from you Les.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Sounds like it's working for you. Interested to see how it plays out given your die hard love of your other PRS amp.
    Plank Owner

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    What makes it better than , say...a MESA BOOGIE LONE STAR ? I'll give you that it's different...But in what way ? Explain please .
    Bluefade, the fact is, there is no such thing as better, there is only different, though something may work better for an individual player's style, or for a particular project.

    "Better" isn't a term I often use describing gear. An amp or instrument may work better "for me." Not necessarily for you or anyone else.

    I have owned a lot of Mesa gear, most recently a Mark V that I really dug quite a lot! And the thing I liked best about the amp was that its clean channel sounded a lot like the Lone Star, especially the Tweed mode.

    I can tell you where it's different than a Lone Star, but I think Aristotle summed it up quite well. I'll add this: The DG 30 has a rounder tone than the Lone Star, a little fuller on the lower midrange, and it can get crisp on top without being ear-piercing. It's more easily controlled with the guitar volume, and guitar tone controls, because it's designed to work that way. So it's very responsive to those controls.

    It's a little more open sounding than the Mesa, that's what I mean by "rounder" I guess, and that can be good or bad depending on one's needs. It sounds a bit more vintage for sure. It has more of a vintage bark than a modern amp like a Mesa.

    It's got fewer modes, but the tone controls allow you to dial in more sounds in a its modes, whereas I found my Mesas tended to need to be dialed in more to a "sweet spot" and stay there. That isn't a bad thing, it's part of what Mesas simply do.

    It's far less noisy at idle than a Mesa. Notes come more out of an inky black background than from a more noticeable noise floor, even with the gain turned up. That helps me with recording.

    I hope this helps.

    I like the DG30 quite a lot for what it gives back when I play, and I've dialed in some really great sounds with it that are unique, and that I haven't gotten with any other amp. So it's cool and I'm excited.

    Nothing wrong with that, I hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    The DG30 feels like playing an old JTM era Marshall or an old VOXAC30. It doesn't sound like either (actually to me, the closest thing I've played through is my old 50's Gibson GA40.) But it sure is good.
    It's funny that you mention that, Aristotle, because I was thinking it was a lot like some of the vintage GA40s I've played as well. Good ears, man!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-19-2014 at 11:20 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Sounds like it's working for you. Interested to see how it plays out given your die hard love of your other PRS amp.
    It's completely different from the HXDA. One's a wrench and the other's a hammer; don't use a wrench to hammer nails, don't use a hammer to tighten a bolt.

    For me, the DG30 works best with the rootsy or textural stuff that I often need and didn't really have a solution for before I got it except in software. It also sounds wonderful with my chorus and delay pedals for the Brit pop style stuff I do a lot (think U2/Coldplay kind of shimmery repeating stuff).

    There's absolutely no question that the HXDA will be my main lead amp and for harder rock stuff. It's also grittier, sustains like a mutha, and responds to the guitar in a completely different way!

    Two different beasts with different vibes and anticipated uses for sure, and it's great to have both in the toolbox.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-19-2014 at 11:10 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    Hope we get to hear a demo from you Les.
    You will!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  9. #9
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    Congrats Les on another fine tool in your toolbox.
    PRS electrics and bass, Taylor BTO GS Cocobolo, K26e Koa, 2012 FLTD 412ce-N and GS mini mahogany acoustic guitars; Bad Cat Cub IIR, Carr Rambler, Fender Supersonic 22, Univox, Fishman Loudbox 100, Loudbox Mini and Mark Bass amps
    In music, one must think with his heart and feel with his brain.
    I was joeprs on BAM

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    How is it at low volumes? For a person who mostly plays at home but occasionally plays out, how would you rate this amp? The LSS has the power soak switch that allows people to go down as low as 1watt. That is a nice feature. I value your opinion so ...what do you think?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by EEGMan View Post
    How is it at low volumes? For a person who mostly plays at home but occasionally plays out, how would you rate this amp? The LSS has the power soak switch that allows people to go down as low as 1watt. That is a nice feature. I value your opinion so ...what do you think?
    EEGMan, the first thing I did when the amp arrived was dime the master the way David Grissom does, and set the gain/volume to where the amp sounded like it was cookin' pretty well!

    And I also kicked in a boost pedal...

    So...um...yeah.

    The controls are very interactive, for example the amp sets up and responds to the guitar differently when the boost switch is engaged. I've been happily playing it with the master between noon and 3 o'clock, though, and the volume/gain at about half to 2/3. I haven't tried the master lower than noon.

    It's not as loud as my HXDA, being 30 watts, but it can get pretty loud in my studio when I'm recording or practicing!

    Maybe I'm not the right guy to ask...

    If you give me a decibel range that you play at, I'll check the amp at that db level with my SPL meter and see how it sounds tho.

    Note: I've never liked the tone of an attenuator, and I think amps need to get the speakers distorting to sound good. That's why I use software when I can't turn it up.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-19-2014 at 08:05 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    I have both a Lonestar and a DG30. You can never really capture in words the nuances of sound, but in several more objective ways they are certainly quite different. The DG30 is a single channel amp, and although it has a master volume, it retains the kind of feel of older amp designs where most things you want to do live are accomplished with either guitar controls or pedals in front. The output tone of the DG30 changes significantly as a function of input level and the tone controls of guitar (or pedals). The Lonsestar is quite different actually. Other than the fact that it's a two channel amp with all sorts of switches to modify the thing, it's also pretty typical Mesa in that you set the gain tone you want with the pre-amp level and use the master to set the output sound level and you're good to go. Not a ton of interaction between the two, by design actually. It's a really great amp though to be sure. The DG30 feels like playing an old JTM era Marshall or an old VOXAC30. It doesn't sound like either (actually to me, the closest thing I've played through is my old 50's Gibson GA40.) But it sure is good.
    THANK YOU .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Bluefade, the fact is, there is no such thing as better, there is only different, though something may work better for an individual player's style, or for a particular project.

    "Better" isn't a term I often use describing gear. An amp or instrument may work better "for me." Not necessarily for you or anyone else.

    I have owned a lot of Mesa gear, most recently a Mark V that I really dug quite a lot! And the thing I liked best about the amp was that its clean channel sounded a lot like the Lone Star, especially the Tweed mode.

    I can tell you where it's different than a Lone Star, but I think Aristotle summed it up quite well. I'll add this: The DG 30 has a rounder tone than the Lone Star, a little fuller on the lower midrange, and it can get crisp on top without being ear-piercing. It's more easily controlled with the guitar volume, and guitar tone controls, because it's designed to work that way. So it's very responsive to those controls.

    It's a little more open sounding than the Mesa, that's what I mean by "rounder" I guess, and that can be good or bad depending on one's needs. It sounds a bit more vintage for sure. It has more of a vintage bark than a modern amp like a Mesa.

    It's got fewer modes, but the tone controls allow you to dial in more sounds in a its modes, whereas I found my Mesas tended to need to be dialed in more to a "sweet spot" and stay there. That isn't a bad thing, it's part of what Mesas simply do.

    It's far less noisy at idle than a Mesa. Notes come more out of an inky black background than from a more noticeable noise floor, even with the gain turned up. That helps me with recording.

    I hope this helps.

    I like the DG30 quite a lot for what it gives back when I play, and I've dialed in some really great sounds with it that are unique, and that I haven't gotten with any other amp. So it's cool and I'm excited.

    Nothing wrong with that, I hope.



    It's funny that you mention that, Aristotle, because I was thinking it was a lot like some of the vintage GA40s I've played as well. Good ears, man!
    THANK YOU .

  14. #14
    I've gotten some interesting info from Matt at PRS in response to a question I had about what exactly the boost control on the back of the amp does.

    Matt says that It increases the dry signal at the reverb mixing circuit where amps tend to lose a bit of gain in order to have a big sounding reverb. That's really an interesting thing!

    I'm not big on reverb unless it's necessary for a project, I use just a touch of it, and I find that I prefer the amp with the boost engaged.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

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    Very interesting. I wasn't aware of that. I fund myself running with the bright on and the boost off, but with boost up front.

    Your post made me wonder about documentation on the amp. I picked mine up at Experience and simply grabbed it by the handle, threw it on my shoulder and walked the quarter mile to my car. No box and no manual. Not sure if yours came with a manual, but a quick look at the PRS site turned this up...

    http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/manual...grissomamp.pdf

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    Very interesting. I wasn't aware of that. I fund myself running with the bright on and the boost off, but with boost up front.

    Your post made me wonder about documentation on the amp. I picked mine up at Experience and simply grabbed it by the handle, threw it on my shoulder and walked the quarter mile to my car. No box and no manual. Not sure if yours came with a manual, but a quick look at the PRS site turned this up...

    http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/manual...grissomamp.pdf
    Awesome link, thank you, Aristotle!

    Mine didn't come with a manual, either...But it did arrive in a box!

    You now win the LSchefman "If Only I Was In Decent Enough Shape To Walk A Quarter Mile With Or Without An Amp" award.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by EEGMan View Post
    How is it at low volumes? For a person who mostly plays at home but occasionally plays out, how would you rate this amp? The LSS has the power soak switch that allows people to go down as low as 1watt. That is a nice feature. I value your opinion so ...what do you think?
    I tried the amp at very low volume today. It's one of those deals where when you really lower the master, you want to open up the tone controls a bit, so that the very low volume playing sounds good.

    While I wasn't getting power tube distortion out of it, I was getting some very nice clean sounds that were quite similar to the loud tones I get clean.

    For me, this amp isn't about heavy distortion, so I can't help you there. But you can get some pretty good sounding grit depending on how you set it up.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  18. #18
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    Personally, for low volume stuff, dime the master, set volume to whatever you want and it's a better pedal platform than any Fender I've ever had

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    Personally, for low volume stuff, dime the master, set volume to whatever you want and it's a better pedal platform than any Fender I've ever had
    It's a fantastic platform for pedals.

    I'm planning to do some clips over the weekend.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    . I spent hours already just playing simple stuff for the sheer joy of listening to it do its thing.

    .
    That right there says it all... about ANY amp. Seriously- because tastes are different, and we silly musicians use all these adjectives to describe sound - full, warm, clarity, spank, thick, twang, creamy, etc etc etc- That one sentence really says it all.

    All of the amps I have LOVED, I have felt exactly that way about. My current amp I'm feeling that way about is a lowly Fender Super-Sonic 22, tweaked by me. It's not boutique, but with the right bias, tubes, and speaker, the thing sounds fantastic.

    Maybe someday I'll get to play a DG 30. I'm sure a huge Grissom fan.

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