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Thread: More Things To Love About The HX/DA

  1. #101
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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.

  2. #102
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner 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

    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.

  3. #103
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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.

  4. #104
    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.
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  5. #105
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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.

  6. #106
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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.

  7. #107
    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.
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  8. #108
    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.

  9. #109
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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.

  10. #110
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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.

  11. #111
    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.
    My HX/DA is absolutely, positively, the best sounding low-to-moderate volume amp I've ever had in my studio. It's got a really useful master volume. And the gain control is extremely useful as well.

    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.
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  12. #112
    ToneConsoleOfDoomOwner Sekunda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    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.
    * Plus, the difference between what your personal bedroom level is and actual performance level with other instruments may vary...
    ~ 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.

  13. #113
    Junior Member DM426's Avatar
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    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 03:10 PM.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM426 View Post
    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.


    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:

    Hi Bennett,

    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.

    Matt King
    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 03:27 PM.

  15. #115
    Senior Member Steph's Avatar
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    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

  16. #116
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    I don't think the HX refers to texan guitarist, I'm pretty sure it refers to Jimi Hendrix.

  17. #117
    Senior Member Steph's Avatar
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    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

  18. #118
    Junior Member DM426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    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.
    So overall, which amp has the better tones at low-mid volumes?

    BTW, where is the 410-B available?

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM426 View Post
    So overall, which amp has the better tones at low-mid volumes?

    BTW, where is the 410-B available?
    Brent at The Guitar Shop did a run of 12...I think he has one left. The HXDA has the best tone at low volumes, IMO..and that is not a knock against the others. It's a statement as to how well the HXDA does it.

  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    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?
    He's referring to Eric Johnson no doubt, but the amp is named for Allman and Hendrix. EJ is known for using classic Marshalls as well.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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