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Thread: More Things To Love About The HX/DA

  1. #1

    More Things To Love About The HX/DA

    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.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-07-2012 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    I wish we could get them here in the UK, I'd love to try one.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinfan View Post
    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.

  4. #4
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    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

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinfan View Post
    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.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-08-2012 at 11:58 AM.

  6. #6
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    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!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinfan View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinfan View Post
    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.

  10. #10
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    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....

  11. #11
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    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...

  12. #12
    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.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-11-2012 at 12:16 AM.

  13. #13
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Cool HX/DA love

    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...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    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!

  15. #15
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    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
    ~ Matt

    PRS Custom 22 | PRS Stripped 58 | Jackson Soloist XL | HXDA Head and 2x12 Stealth Cab

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    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
    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.

  17. #17
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Here is a great video from Wildwood Guitars for the HXDA with a Les Paul... this dude is nuts

    ~ Matt

    PRS Custom 22 | PRS Stripped 58 | Jackson Soloist XL | HXDA Head and 2x12 Stealth Cab

  18. #18
    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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Greg Koch is a monster player!
    -Bob

  20. #20
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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.
    ~ Matt

    PRS Custom 22 | PRS Stripped 58 | Jackson Soloist XL | HXDA Head and 2x12 Stealth Cab

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