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Thread: More Things To Love About The HX/DA

  1. #41
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    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.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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?

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    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.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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!

  5. #45
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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!
    -Bob

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    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.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMoonsRJT View Post
    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!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 11-16-2012 at 10:45 AM.

  8. #48
    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.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    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)
    Last edited by Dirty Bob; 11-16-2012 at 11:14 AM.
    -Bob

  10. #50
    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.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    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!)
    -Bob

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMoonsRJT View Post
    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.

  13. #53
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    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!
    -Bob

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyMoonsRJT View Post
    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....

  15. #55
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
    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!
    -Bob

  16. #56
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    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...

    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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.

  17. #57
    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.

  18. #58
    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.

  19. #59
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    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!
    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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.

  20. #60
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    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:

    ~ Matt

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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.

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