Congrats on the success!
Last edited by Boogie; 03-11-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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 02:56 PM.
Last edited by Skeeter; 03-11-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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!
But I also love humbuckers.
Great pickups that work beautifully with the HX/DA.
Last edited by LSchefman; 03-12-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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 11:53 AM.
I can get enjoyable tones with it with the master on about nine o'clock, and I record with the master around 11 o'clock. At the 9 0'clock levels, you can actually hold a conversation at normal levels while playing, and not be drowned out by the amp. Even with the amp at 2 o'clock, I would call that a normal gig volume. Not horribly loud.
My only caveat is that one man's bedroom volume can be the next man's "OMG it's loud" volume. Since I don't know which guy you are, I'd hate to give an ironclad prediction that it will work for you, see you spend a lot of dough, and be wrong. You should try one, or buy from a dealer who has a return policy just in case.
It's interesting how opinions can vary from one person to the next. A while back I had a conversation with one of the guys at The Guitar Sanctuary, who sell a lot of PRS amps. They were very helpful and thorough, although they did warn me away from either an MDT or HX/DA, saying these amps were really only intended for live gigging volumes and are generally not well suited to home use.
I played an H a while back, which is also a 50 watt amp, and thought it sounded good at what I consider reasonable volumes. But those guys stressed that the 'H' is a different design and a different kind of amp, thus it's possible to get a much more overdriven tone at lower volumes. If the HX/DA can do that as well, then I'm tempted to try it. But opinions seem to vary on that question.
Last edited by DM426; 03-12-2013 at 04:10 PM.
I own both the "H" combo and the HXDA head. Granted, my HXDA has the "Kitchen sink mods" which essentially allows twice the number of tones as the standard model. In any event, my HXDA sounds much better, relatively speaking, at low volumes compared to my "H". Here is Matt King of PRS Customer service, providing Doug Sewall's explanation of the "kitchen sink mods"...it is basically everything associated with the switch described below in bold:
I talked with Doug and he given me the following description of functions (for the HXDA):
The switches on the back (he means the 3 "HX/DA switches that are in the front of mine) of the HXDA amp take the amp from a “bass” (DA) amp to a “lead” (HX) amp in incremental stages.
The first one changes a bypass cap value from brighter to fatter.
The second one adds a bypass cap to the cathode follower circuit—with the cap is “lead” gain-wise without is “bass”.
The third switch adjusts negative feedback. More negative feedback lowers gain and keeps the amp under control. Less adds harmonics and gain.
The series/parallel switch on back takes the two channels normally running parallel with each other (additive gain) and places them in series (multiplicative gain). It would be (circuit wise) similar to going from a plexi topology to a JCM 800 topology.
Paul Reed Smith Guitars
Edit....afterthought....I also own a custom MDT...the TGS 410-B which is basically an MDT in a 4X10 combo cabinet with some tweaks to the circuit to add a boost and a bright. This amp also sounds very good at lower volumes...much more "gainier" overdriven amp than either the HXDA or the "H"...even when the "H" is in Lead channel mode. Of all my PRS amps, my Sweet 16+ and my Dallas are the most anemic sounding at lower volumes. The "H" is somewhere in the middle. The MDT (410-B) and the HXDA exhibit the best overall tone, and maintain excellent sustain and crunch, at relatively low volumes. The HXDA can be played with the Master at 1 (1-to-10 scale), and as long as the HXDA gain and Bass gain are at least 6 (on a 1-to-10), you're gonna sound great with very low volume.
Last edited by docbennett; 03-12-2013 at 04:27 PM.
Question about the name: HX/DA
Since DA probably refers to Duane Allman. I am wondering to what famous texan guitarist HX refers to?
Anyone has a guess?
"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus
I don't think the HX refers to texan guitarist, I'm pretty sure it refers to Jimi Hendrix.
Here's were I got this... Listen from 3:20 on... Reference to Duane Allman is quite obvious but who's the texan is talking about?
Can anybody name this mystery texan guitarist?
"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus