Six Months With The HX/DA!
Hard for me to believe that I've had the HX/DA for six months - I'm every bit as excited to go into the studio and fire it up now as I was the day it arrived. And this amp is a workhorse; so far it has handled every project I've thrown at it, with ease and great sound.
Here are a few examples of the diverse sounds the amp is capable of:
The first week it arrived, I used it to get some heavy grunge sounds for the Ford F-150 truck ad campaign. Then I used it to get pristine, beautiful clean tones for a furniture manufacturer's campaign. After that, a Brit-pop track for a GM project; then more F-150; a medium gain project for Chevy; 2 more clean spots for the furniture manufacturer; etc. So went the first couple of months, and the following months have been much the same. Right now, it's doing a Rockabilly thing for a client! Rockabilly - from a plexi! Yup. Add a little slapback echo, play clean, and it sits in a mix just fine.
All this from a single-channel amp! And I haven't had to use dirt pedals (as an aside, I'm not the only guitarist on F-150, we had two players on that one, and one of the sounds layered in was very raw because that was what the client requested).
This is not a case of "make-do" with a single one of these styles. I can't afford to "make do" with my livelihood. It's a case of the amp being versatile and extremely capable.
It is certainly as flexible as a 2 channel amp.
"But what if you are playing live and you need great cleans and great overdrive, Les?"
You use the volume control on your guitar to control the amp's gain. I'd submit that with a good guitar like a PRS it sounds as good as, or better than, any two channel amp you can buy. And I've had quite a few of the very best of the 2 channel amps out there. To mention a few, Two-Rock, Mark V, Roccaforte, Tremoverb, Bogner, Bad Cat.
The amp is so quiet that I haven't had to trim out sections where I'm not playing, unless the guitar's pickup is buzzing.
So that's my 6 month report. Six months with the HX/DA being the only amp in my studio, and so far, no glass ceiling. It's all I've needed.
One more note:
The master volume on this thing is so good, that I've taken to recording it in my control room, instead of putting the cab in a recording booth and cranking it loud. I record it lately with a ribbon mic! Low volumes sound just fine, thank you, and it's not blowing the mic up or blowing my ears out. Amazing.
Last edited by LSchefman; 02-09-2013 at 10:11 AM.
Happy anniversary! You're a one man sales team for this amp. "Built F...err...PRS Tough." (say that with an accent like you costarred in Roadhouse)
On the national ads I work on, the "built Ford tough" is a guitar lick and a sound effect only. It's Dennis Leary's urbane-sarcasm sounding voice doing the VO, not a cowboy.
Originally Posted by Boogie
But you're right, I should be the national spokesman for the HX/DA. LOL!
I was haphazardly mixing my auto commercials. Sam Elliot's voice is much more eloquent than Dennis Leary's.
I doesn't pick the VO, I just makes the music.
Originally Posted by Boogie
So my buddy Dave, he of the great and unusual vintage guitar and amp collection, came over to check out the amp. He brought one of his axes, and I started off by playing the Sig Ltd with 408s through it. The first words out of his mouth were, "That is a creamy sounding amp!" I was still on the bridge pickup. So I switched to neck and played some jazzier stuff, with just a touch of hair.
"Oh man, this thing is great," he said. "How do you feel it stacks up to the other great amps you've had, because every time I see one here, they're all really good?"
I explained that it's more a matter of finding a fit, and this one fits my playing style perfectly.
Then he said, "How is it played purely clean?" I rolled the volume back, switched the pickups to single coil mode, and played some very crisp clean stuff.
"That's very impressive," said my friend. He loves clean amps, and has a great selection of 60s blackface Fenders. "Very nice." Then he got out his guitar and twiddled the knobs and had some fun with it. Unlike me, Dave goes for a much darker tone. He was able to get it, no problem.
Anyway, he loved the amp, and his comments about the way it sounded convinced me that I've been describing it the right way in talking about it here.