2 Channel H Gig/Tone Report...
Okay, so I gigged the 2 Channel H amp last night. (Which is why I am not at the Experience, BTW!)
Fricking AWESOME amp!! I am still figuring it out, but even in not really knowing all the sweet spots for the tones I look for, I must say it blew me away! It is now my favorite gigging amp. (The "Earth" PS Cu24 Stoptail did not exactly suck either, but that is a different report!)
Let me start by saying the ergonomics of the rig I spec'ed is amazing. I went for the Head and a 4x10 cab, great combination. I struggle with a bad back at times, and with a amp at 33 pounds, and the 4x10 at a featherweight 39 pounds, what a joy to carry versus a beefy 1x12 combo or a 2x12 cab. This gig was at Maxwell's in Downtown Ottawa Ontario, and the venue is on the second floor with load-in being up a tight stairway in the back through the kitchen, this lightweight rig was a treat in that tough environment! Also I have ditched my larger PedalTrain with a delay and a Wah (both rarely used) and went to a Pedal Train Nano with just tuner, Overdrive and Clean Boost, now everything fits in one duffle, so one bag, head, cab and guitar, easy in and out and set-up and tear down, very cool!
Our former guitarist was there (also a PRS fan, his main guitar is a purple Cu22), joined us for a few songs, he was very impressed with (1) the cool looks with the Maple panels, (2) the light weight of the cab (he also struggles with a bad back, and carries around a behemoth Line6/Bogner 2x12 Combo), and (3) the versatility of the tones I was getting, both on the lead and clean channels.
I love how it turned out visually, looks fantastic IMO, without going over the top!
It looks kind of cool on stage, like the Maple is on fire or something.
BTW, please excuse the pink and white streamers! The Bar had a private party in that room prior to our gig. At the end of the night the balloons lost their lift and kept falling on the drummer while he was playing, the strings got tangled on a drumstick for one song, it was hilarious! LOL
After I took the second pic above (in case you are looking at the knob locations), I rolled the gain on the lead channel back to about 12 o'clock. This allowed me to get a nice thick crunchy rhythm tone, which I could roll off on the guitar volume and get cleaner, and also add the clean boost (EP Booster) at 9-10 o'clock to really beef it up. When I wanted higher gain for solos or better cutting through the mix with riffs, I had the clean boost off and the handwired Tube Screamer on. Sounded great, but as close as I was to the amp and cab, I had to be careful re feedback at that setting. I was really impressed with the crunch and heavier gain tones I was getting!! Thick, organic, clear, all the good things you look for!
With the open-back 4x10, versus a closed-back 2X12, sure I probably lose some tightness on the bottom end, but we are not playing metal, we do classic rock covers, so for my needs it does great! I like the 4x12 stack look it has, and the taller profile allows the stage sound to be clearer for me without having to use an amp stand. And my back thanks me every time I transport it!
On the clean side, it was great to be able to just switch channels and get a sparkly chimey clean tone. I use that for things like "American Girl", Foo's "Learn to Fly", and background rhythm on "Tightrope". Great clean tones!
I know people have compared in the past the C and the H and many have liked the C better. Many people have said that the latest and greatest H is way better than the original, including Doug, apparently. I had a C, it was good, and I not get a chance to A/B, but from memory, I do like this "new" updated H better. Note that the new Sig magazine only highlights the H, with a great writeup on the versatility of the amp, I agree completely. Also the H seems to have been prominently presented and demo'ed at the Experience, and featured for personal demo's, I look forward to hearing more on people's thoughts.
The only thing that would make this amp better for me would be a Variable Boost. For certain songs in the setlist, I need the volume to go up or I great drowned out. And I do not want to use a Volume Pedal. Ironically, CAD does offer that option, and this amp was actually ordered with it, but unfortunately that was missed and this head does not have it. But once I get through my current rehearsal and gig cycle, I will ship it back to get the Boost mod added in. I also have ordered another 2 Channel H with the Boost Mod for home (in Paisley and Black Gold, of course!), so I get the opportunity to play it at home on a daily basis to dial in my favorite settings.
Thanks PRS, for this great 2 Channel H Amp!!