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Thread: More Things To Love About The HX/DA

  1. #101
    I'm going to have to try the Strymon pedal.

    Thanks for the report! Actually, I set my amp up very similarly to yours for much of the stuff I do.

  2. #102
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I'm going to have to try the Strymon pedal.

    Thanks for the report! Actually, I set my amp up very similarly to yours for much of the stuff I do.
    I'm still messing with stuff too... being in a band situation helps tremendously for getting settings and effects set right. Once I get my sound where I want it, I will be trying the guitar/gain staging angle. Back guitar volume and tone off slightly and re-setting the amp to sound like it did originally. That will leave room for solo boost and also a little room to move on tone as well. This is something completely new to me and I'm really looking forward to trying it out. I just read a blog about this very thing from my Seymour Duncan eletter today. Looking forward to hearing my amp at practice is one of my favorite things... again.
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

  3. #103
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    Has anyone compared the HXDA vs the 2 Channel C ? (Both Cinemag transformer and EL34īS?

  4. #104
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJ4 View Post
    Has anyone compared the HXDA vs the 2 Channel C ? (Both Cinemag transformer and EL34īS?
    Having been down this same road recently (and used the same line of reasoning), I can tell you that there's a big difference. The Super Dallas is also a Cinemag/EL34 amp and is also unique against those 2 amps. The HXDA was tonally more diverse and hit upon the key Plexi vibe areas for me (even order harmonics, note bloom, power stage saturation), where the 'H' played ball more in the modern/Mesa Boogie area. I like that too, but I already have a Boogie. In a fit of indecision, I threw a hail mary and went with the SD, but at some point I will also have an HXDA because they're complimentary amps.

  5. #105
    Honestly, the HX/DA can sound so warm and creamy that I don't want to play anything else. But what's surprising is what a great clean sound it can produce. Roll back the guitar volume, split to single coils if you like, and turn up the amp volume and the cleans are gorgeous, shimmery, etc., and comparable in quality to some of my favorite clean amps, like Two-Rocks, etc.

    To say I love this amp is an understatement. It's my favorite amp of all time.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    Yes sir, it does work... but, it's just not the same as when it's cranked and the power section is throbbing with energy... There are some tones there that just don't appear when it's turned down. That's what I'm wanting... It's just so much warmer and full at high volume. I'm just looking for some ideas... I appreciate anyones input though!
    Get a THD Hot Plate, I use one all the time when I have my big rig at home. Allows me to use a Mark V at either 45 or 90 watts at apartment levels.

    Back to the whole Mesa vs PRS discussion, I love my Mesa for the flexibility when gigging and you can really learn something new about it every day. Plus it helps to have drastic eq, gain changes handy on the fly as you go through different styles of music. My current situation requires me to do the old pedal dance as I'm constantly adding textures and switching between channels...

    But I'm really intrigued by the HX/DA and MDT. They sound so organic and creamy....and just amazing. I wish I was in some kind of straight ahead situation with a blues or jazz combo, where I could really just focus on the one pure foundation tone and vary it just by the guitar volume and tone. For now, such amps are on my "nice to have list" and hopefully I can one someday!

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter View Post
    Get a THD Hot Plate, I use one all the time when I have my big rig at home. Allows me to use a Mark V at either 45 or 90 watts at apartment levels.

    Back to the whole Mesa vs PRS discussion, I love my Mesa for the flexibility when gigging and you can really learn something new about it every day. Plus it helps to have drastic eq, gain changes handy on the fly as you go through different styles of music. My current situation requires me to do the old pedal dance as I'm constantly adding textures and switching between channels...

    But I'm really intrigued by the HX/DA and MDT. They sound so organic and creamy....and just amazing. I wish I was in some kind of straight ahead situation with a blues or jazz combo, where I could really just focus on the one pure foundation tone and vary it just by the guitar volume and tone. For now, such amps are on my "nice to have list" and hopefully I can one someday!
    The MkV is a great amp, too. I recently had one, and dug it a lot.

    I do think the HX/DA is "more me," so there's that, but I have nothing but respect for the Mk V.

  8. #108
    Junior Member DM426's Avatar
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    Seriously considering getting one of these. I have played the "H" and was fairly impressed with the quality, and even the SE 30 is a very good amp for the money.

    I actually went to Guitar Center a few weeks ago with the intention of buying an Orange Rockaverb 50, but didn't like what I got out of it. The clean was okay, but the crunch just sounded all over the place and very, well, muddy. That surprised me because I've heard so much good about Orange amps and they seemed pretty cool in the videos I've seen. In all fairness, I had the volume pretty low and the Rockaverb may be an amp that sounds like crap until you have it roaring. But that's one of things I liked about the PRS amps I have been able to try -- they had a good sound even at low volume. That's important to me, as I hate practicing on a cheap, nasty-sounding amp.

    The only real question is whether I want to get the HX-DA and make that my only amp, or keep my JVM410H as well. Anyone had the pleasure of playing both? If so, how do they compare? (yes I know they're fairly different kinds of amps).
    Last edited by DM426; 03-06-2013 at 06:00 PM.

  9. #109
    I honestly think that really comes down to what style of music you play, and the kinds of tones you like.

    The HX/DA is more open and 3D when played clean, and sounds like what it is - a high end boutique amp. With the gain up, it's more liquid and seems to hold onto a note, where I'd call the JVM sound more dry. And of course, HX/DA has a very vintage vibe. So the two amps are really suited to different kinds of work.

    If you put on some good headphones or monitors, and listen to the clips on the HX/DA on the PRS site, that honestly is what you get with the amp. I get those tones in my studio, no problem.
    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

  10. #110
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    So... been playing the HX/DA for several months now and it just keeps getting better! Our other guitar player is playing a Strat through an older Marshall tube 1x12 amp and I was having problems dialing a sound I liked with my Custom 22 to blend well with the Marshall... So I went back to the Stripped 58 and messed with it during practice Saturday. Set all the amp controls back to where I started from the PRS demo video, except I turned the preamp gain down some and turned the master volume up to compensate. Then I backed the volumes off on the guitar slightly (about 8) and played in the middle position for a while... very clean and punchy if you lay back, yet very gritty and punchy if you dig in some. Then kick in the Keeley TS-9 for some dirt and solo boost and wow... Love it all over again! SInce we are playing a lot of Allman Brothers songs this sound is pretty much dead on the Fillmore Concert sound... the guys were blown away with the sound, and actually so was I. We were playing "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and some Santana and it just sings... I went to the bridge pickup for "Whipping Post" to get a little more grit and bite... it sounded just like the album again. I think I have finally found that sound I was looking for... And what a difference a great sound makes on your playing.
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    .....I turned the preamp gain down some and turned the master volume up to compensate. Then I backed the volumes off on the guitar slightly (about 8) and played in the middle position for a while... very clean and punchy if you lay back, yet very gritty and punchy if you dig in some.....
    I guess the above description is exactly what "touch sensitivity" is all about. I've always sought the "correct meaning" of exactly what "touch sensitivity" is...and I think Sekunda nailed the definition with his description of how the amp's tone interacted with his playing attack, as described above. Thanks.

  12. #112
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    I guess the above description is exactly what "touch sensitivity" is all about. I've always sought the "correct meaning" of exactly what "touch sensitivity" is...and I think Sekunda nailed the definition with his description of how the amp's tone interacted with his playing attack, as described above. Thanks.
    I've been trying to find the right balance ever since I bought the amp. I have never done this before, it's always been full balls out with different channels for different sounds... It has been a difficult road switching from a 4 channel amp to a one channel amp, but I'm learning! I do think I found the right guitar for my needs at the moment... although that could change the next time I pick it up. Ha!
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

  13. #113
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    ...The HX/DA is more open and 3D when played clean, and sounds like what it is - a high end boutique amp...
    That really captures the essence of the overall differences between other amps and these PRS amps. I first experienced this with my MkIII back in '89. Then later with Two Rock and 65amps. To me, this is mojo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    I've been trying to find the right balance ever since I bought the amp. I have never done this before, it's always been full balls out with different channels for different sounds... It has been a difficult road switching from a 4 channel amp to a one channel amp, but I'm learning! I do think I found the right guitar for my needs at the moment... although that could change the next time I pick it up. Ha!
    That's really the ultimate epiphany...going from a multi-channel amp to a single. I had been flirting with it for about a year when David Grissom demo'ed the concept right in front of me. BAMMO! It all suddenly made sense. The real trick is to put it into practice. But once you get it down, you never go back.

    Congrats on the success!
    Last edited by Boogie; 03-11-2013 at 01:16 PM.

  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    I guess the above description is exactly what "touch sensitivity" is all about. I've always sought the "correct meaning" of exactly what "touch sensitivity" is...and I think Sekunda nailed the definition with his description of how the amp's tone interacted with his playing attack, as described above. Thanks.
    Very good guess, Bennett! I think it's actually a very good description, too. I'd like to give a little background on it just for grins, because it's possible that the term means different things to different players.

    Strictly speaking, in audio-land the term "gain" simply means signal amplitude. The fingers and pick act on the strings to vary the amplitude acting on the pickups and coming out of the pickups from the guitar's electronics.

    Thus there are two distinct elements to this touch-sensitivity thing: one is the ability of the guitar to reproduces nuances the player can create with pick attack, fingers, etc; the second is the ability of the amp to respond to those nuances and changes in amplitude, and reproduce them in a musical way. Sounds easy, but isn't when it comes to making things sound really good.

    If the guitar's volume and tone controls are maxed, the guitar's own headroom can be compromised, depending on the instrument. Whether or not this is useful will depend on the player's style.

    Any amp will have a little less touch-sensitivity if the guitar is essentially putting out one volume level, or if the player is using a compressor pedal set pretty high.

    But if the guitar can produce nuanced tones, a touch-sensitive amp will respond by musically responding to the changes in signal, gradually allowing saturation in its internal tube pathways to allow the signal to clip when pushed hard, and simply saturate in different ways when pushed lighter to varying degrees.

    This is really what touch sensitivity is about, IMHO. All tube amps are touch sensitive to one degree or another, the question is how well they do it. In other words, gain shouldn't be "on" or "off" the tubes should saturate in a variety of ways depending on amplitude.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-11-2013 at 01:56 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

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekunda View Post
    Set all the amp controls back to where I started from the PRS demo video, except I turned the preamp gain down some and turned the master volume up to compensate. Then I backed the volumes off on the guitar slightly (about 8) and played
    I recently saw an interview with Joe Bonammassa (whose opinions on tone I personally respect) who said he rarely ever has his volume above 7 on his LP's. I found that kind of shocking, but it seems in line with your experience. I tried that with my R9 and up'ed the volume/gain on the amp a little to make up the difference and the result was a much warmer overdriven sound, that was more squishy than hard (in the attack)....if that makes any sense. Almost like removing a compressor, which is kind of in line with Les's thoughts above - very interesting stuff.
    Last edited by Skeeter; 03-11-2013 at 10:14 PM.

  16. #116
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    ...The fingers and pick act on the strings to vary the amplitude acting on the pickups and coming out of the pickups from the guitar's electronics...Thus there are two distinct elements to this touch-sensitivity thing: one is the ability of the guitar to reproduces nuances the player can create with pick attack, fingers, etc; the second is the ability of the amp to respond to those nuances and changes in amplitude, and reproduce them in a musical way.
    Yes, and that's where I found the answer in pickup selection. Enter the P-90. For my dollar, more cleans, more bark, more shimmer and grind. Vary your pick thickness and finger picking and it's a complete tonal palate. This is the essential component to take full advantage of a responsive amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter View Post
    I recently saw an interview with Joe Bonammassa (whose opinions on tone I personally respect) who said he rarely ever has his volume above 7 on his LP's...the result was a much warmer overdriven sound, that was more squishy than hard (in the attack)...like removing a compressor.
    Exactly! Especially with humbuckers that don't have the dynamic range or rather, output dynamics, as a single coil or P-90s. Those nuances are picked up (literally) and translated best by an amp designed to do so, and IMO, these amps do it very well.

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter View Post
    I recently saw an interview with Joe Bonammassa (whose opinions on tone I personally respect) who said he rarely ever has his volume above 7 on his LP's. I found that kind of shocking, but it seems in line with your experience.
    It's in line with the better players I use in my own studio, and it's also very consistent with my own playing experience.

    Especially with a guitar like an LP, or a Singlecut, using the controls gives you the opportunity to play with more headroom, and get more emotion into the playing as you can raise the volume where you need to, adjust gain on the fly, etc. As far as I'm concerned, players who don't take advantage of the controls on the guitar are really wasting the opportunity to get the best sounds possible!

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    Yes, and that's where I found the answer in pickup selection. Enter the P-90. For my dollar, more cleans, more bark, more shimmer and grind. Vary your pick thickness and finger picking and it's a complete tonal palate. This is the essential component to take full advantage of a responsive amp.
    I have always loved P-90s! In fact, I had one of the NAMM McCarty Soapbars a few years back, but also a CU22 Soapbar, and of course, my first guitar was a 1965 SG Special with Soapbars that I played for nearly 30 years (by the way, the PRSes smoked the SG, and I still have it for comparison purposes; this whole "old guitar" myth is often much ado about nothing).

    But I also love humbuckers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    Exactly! Especially with humbuckers that don't have the dynamic range or rather, output dynamics, as a single coil or P-90s. Those nuances are picked up (literally) and translated best by an amp designed to do so, and IMO, these amps do it very well.
    I can very highly recommend the 408s. They are crisp and articulate like a P-90, in either humbucker or single coil mode, but the 408s also offer the advantages of a humbucker in terms of noise, etc.

    Great pickups that work beautifully with the HX/DA.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 03-12-2013 at 10:38 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

  18. #118
    Junior Member DM426's Avatar
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    Does the HX/DA go into overdrive easily like the 2 Channel H does? I recently played an H and found that I could get some good classic rock crunch at reasonably low volumes, which is something that's a priority for me.

    I've read contradictory things about both the HX/DA and the MDT. I've read comments from people saying it's really easy to drive them into classic rock territory at low volumes, but I've read others saying you have to turn these amps up pretty loud before they sound good (at least to get some dirt in there). So even though I really like what I've heard from PRS amps so far, I'm a little hesitant to pull the trigger on one of these until I can get some more information on what they sound like at low-medium volumes.

    I wish I could play all three and compare them directly, but there just aren't many places where you can do that.
    Last edited by DM426; 03-12-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM426 View Post
    I've read contradictory things about both the HX/DA and the MDT. I've read comments from people saying it's really easy to drive them into classic rock territory at low volumes, but I've read others saying you have to turn these amps up pretty loud before they sound good (at least to get some dirt in there).
    Nope....Excellent overdriven tones at bedroom volume if you want....no compromise in tonal quality or overdriven gain at lower volumes whatsoever.

  20. #120
    Junior Member DM426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    Nope....Excellent overdriven tones at bedroom volume if you want....no compromise in tonal quality or overdriven gain at lower volumes whatsoever.
    Excellent. That's what I wanted to hear.

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