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Thread: Please Help Me Pick A New PRS Amp!

  1. #1
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Please Help Me Pick A New PRS Amp!

    Getting back into playing the guitar after a lil hiatus. Absolutely loving my new DGT. Just treated a spare bedroom with some nice sound treatment for starting to do some recording.

    Guitars I have: McCarty and DGT

    Amps I'm considering: HXDA or 2 Channel Custom

    Sounds I like: Hendrix, SRV, Santana solos... Trying to keep the list simple and short. I do like a nice singing lead tone.

    Styles I play: Eclectic fusion of Reggae, Rock & Jazz.

    For the moment I'm happy with finding a great amp for getting beautiful big sounds to record with. Yes, I can turn the amp up to get it going. I will have the opportunity to gig a bit with it too. With the idea of more gigging in the future.

    I mainly like to control my tone with pedals, which is why I'm leaning towards the 2 channel custom. I'm not very versed in rolling off the volume to clean things up... but what better time to learn!?

    From what I'm hearing, and I know that online listening is deceiving, it seems the HXDA has a fuller rounder tone which I definitely admire (maybe also why it's $1000 more?? ) I did hear a beautiful clean tone out of the 2 Channel Custom but the driven tone sounded a bit thinner in comparison. Again, hard to tell completely without having the amps in front of me.

    I'll probably try and go play them, but may be a bit challenging to find both to try at once.

    Realistically I'll probably end up with both... at some point... hopefully... in the somewhat near future. But which one first?

    Any thoughts are welcome! Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Kine; 05-03-2013 at 03:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    The 2 Channel Custom is a great sounding amp and would lend itself a little easier to clean tones if you are use to driving your amp with pedals. From my understanding, the HXDA can get some great clean tones as well ,but you may need to use your guitars volume to dial it back. But for a more rounded tone, I would probably go with the HXDA if the extra cost is not a concern. Maybe Les will chime in on this because he has a lot of experience in the studio with the HXDA and could give you a better view coming from his experience. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with either amp! Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Thanks TAJ, I'm zeroing in on this comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by TAJ View Post
    The 2 Channel Custom is a great sounding amp and would lend itself a little easier to clean tones if you are use to driving your amp with pedals.
    Sounds good to me!

  4. #4
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    If I'm understanding this right, the 2 Channel Custom is the same as the 2 Channel "H" but with more options to control the tone...?

  5. #5
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Isn't there a Grissom signature coming out? Might be something worth waiting for...especially since you like your DGT so much.
    Plank Owner

  6. #6
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kine View Post
    If I'm understanding this right, the 2 Channel Custom is the same as the 2 Channel "H" but with more options to control the tone...?
    They are different animals tonally. The 2-Channel "H" has a better singing lead tone. It has more compression and grit. The feel is spongier and more forgiving. The 2-Channel Custom is almost Hiwatt stiff, which can be good or bad depending on your individual style.

    With that said, no two guitarists approach guitar the same. Ideally, a tube amp should be test driven at gig levels because tube amps have non-linear response curves, which is a fancy way of saying that how a tube amp responds to touch is sensitive to the setting of the master volume.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
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    The 2 channel Custom has a more user friendly foot pedal than the H. The Custom's pedal has channel, reverb, and BOOST, and has diodes for each. The H has no boost or diodes (lights) on its pedal.

    Come to think of it, the H doesn't have boost at all unless modified.
    Sh*tter's full

  8. #8
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11top View Post
    The H has no boost or diodes (lights) on its pedal.
    My 2-Channel "H" has LEDs in the footswitch.

    http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...ght=footswitch




  9. #9
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight fellas!

    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Isn't there a Grissom signature coming out? Might be something worth waiting for...especially since you like your DGT so much.
    Thought I read that somewhere. I'm not necessarily a Grissom fanboy. Just happen to like his model... But, it's probably worth waiting to see what he has to offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    They are different animals tonally. The 2-Channel "H" has a better singing lead tone. It has more compression and grit. The feel is spongier and more forgiving. The 2-Channel Custom is almost Hiwatt stiff, which can be good or bad depending on your individual style.
    Interesting. I think that's what I was hearing and which I found myself not liking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    With that said, no two guitarists approach guitar the same. Ideally, a tube amp should be test driven at gig levels because tube amps have non-linear response curves, which is a fancy way of saying that how a tube amp responds to touch is sensitive to the setting of the master volume.
    Indeed, I'm hoping to do this asap.

    Quote Originally Posted by 11top View Post
    The 2 channel Custom has a more user friendly foot pedal than the H. The Custom's pedal has channel, reverb, and BOOST, and has diodes for each. The H has no boost or diodes (lights) on its pedal.

    Come to think of it, the H doesn't have boost at all unless modified.
    The layout of the Custom is very appealing that's for sure. Seems like a great all 'rounder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    My 2-Channel "H" has LEDs in the footswitch.

    http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthre...ght=footswitch



    Nicely done! Very cool!

  10. #10
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    The custom has some features that would come in really handy live, but for recording I would go for the HXDA.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  11. #11
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    If you can locate one, consider the 30W HXDA model. It's a tasty variant that I've not yet played but certainly warrants consideration.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  12. #12
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    The custom has some features that would come in really handy live, but for recording I would go for the HXDA.
    At this point I'm seriously considering the HXDA. I think it's the tone I'm looking for. This will be the first one I seek out to test. Might even be able to this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    If you can locate one, consider the 30W HXDA model. It's a tasty variant that I've not yet played but certainly warrants consideration.
    Interesting. Does that only come as a combo? I suppose you suggest it since it'll break up earlier thus not needing to be pushed too loud to get good tones and making it a lot less fatiguing to do all those retakes! Solid suggestion

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kine View Post
    At this point I'm seriously considering the HXDA. I think it's the tone I'm looking for. This will be the first one I seek out to test. Might even be able to this weekend.


    Interesting. Does that only come as a combo? I suppose you suggest it since it'll break up earlier thus not needing to be pushed too loud to get good tones and making it a lot less fatiguing to do all those retakes! Solid suggestion
    Check with Brent Moss at the guitar store (Canada). I believe he has one of these HXDA 30 watt combos in stock and shown on his website.

  14. #14
    The secret to getting the most out of the HX/DA is the volume control on your guitar. I've posted about this amp quite a bit, so I won't belabor the point. It's the best amp for my playing style that I've ever owned, and that's saying something because I've had a lot of great high end amps over the years.

    Most of my playing is with the guitar volume between 3 and 6, where I can get sparkly clean tones or a bit of grit. Over 6, and we start getting into the more gainy stuff. So if you have the opportunity to test the amp, set it up with your guitar volume low, and use its natural ability to get higher gain as you roll up the volume.

    If you're not an old-school volume control kind of player, I would recommend a 2 channel amp. PRS makes some great ones.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  15. #15
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    The secret to getting the most out of the HX/DA is the volume control on your guitar. I've posted about this amp quite a bit, so I won't belabor the point. It's the best amp for my playing style that I've ever owned, and that's saying something because I've had a lot of great high end amps over the years.

    Most of my playing is with the guitar volume between 3 and 6, where I can get sparkly clean tones or a bit of grit. Over 6, and we start getting into the more gainy stuff. So if you have the opportunity to test the amp, set it up with your guitar volume low, and use its natural ability to get higher gain as you roll up the volume.

    If you're not an old-school volume control kind of player, I would recommend a 2 channel amp. PRS makes some great ones.
    Thanks! I've read most of your comments on the HXDA and I appreciate you taking the time to post about it. I'm seriously interested but didn't get the chance to check it out last weekend unfortunately. I hope I can this week.

    I didn't realize that you would set the clean tone to respond to a guitar vol set between 3 and 6. Wow, that's pretty low vol there. I think in the DG NAMM vid he talks about his vol being around 7 or so. I suppose it's user preference. I'll keep that in mind when I test drive it.

    Also, wanted to thank you for the tip on the Plimsoul. Awesome pedal!
    Last edited by Kine; 05-06-2013 at 08:45 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kine View Post
    I didn't realize that you would set the clean tone to respond to a guitar vol set between 3 and 6. Wow, that's pretty low vol there. I think in the DG NAMM vid he talks about his vol being around 7 or so. I suppose it's user preference. I'll keep that in mind when I test drive it.

    Also, wanted to thank you for the tip on the Plimsoul. Awesome pedal!
    Well, 6 isn't far off from DG's setting, for a gritty clean. Thing is, at guitar volume that's lower, you get the most beautiful, sparkly clean tone. So it's just a question of "how clean" and also where you have the gain set on the amp's controls.

    Also, tube amps tend to compress quite a bit as the gain is increased, so the change in volume doesn't really turn out to be that drastic.

    A great thing about recent PRSes is that they retain their treble when the volume is rolled off, which allows you to really take advantage of an amp.

    So I go pretty low for a very sparkly, spanky clean, but most of my playing is a bit higher. But when I go full-up on the guitar volume, the amp absolutely roars. It's great.

    If you leave your guitar on 10, as lots of players prefer to do, you have no choice other than to use a two channel amp. And then, without pedals, you have only two sounds. With the guitar's volume control and an amp that can take advantage of that, you have infinite variety. It's old-school, but so many of the great players use this technique; I've worked with some fantastic players in my studio over the years, and I became convinced it's the way to go.

    Glad you like the Plimsoul tip!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  17. #17
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Well, 6 isn't far off from DG's setting, for a gritty clean. Thing is, at guitar volume that's lower, you get the most beautiful, sparkly clean tone. So it's just a question of "how clean" and also where you have the gain set on the amp's controls.
    Very true. I suppose I was a bit shocked at 3 as a functional level... but all explained by your point below about the treble staying intact.

    I'm re-reading your "more things to love..." thread at the moment. Some nice gems in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Also, tube amps tend to compress quite a bit as the gain is increased, so the change in volume doesn't really turn out to be that drastic.
    Tube amps are absolutely my fave. Ever since my first 100w Carvin, I've been a huge fan. I've owned Mesa's and currently have a Carr that I'm planning on selling.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    A great thing about recent PRSes is that they retain their treble when the volume is rolled off, which allows you to really take advantage of an amp.
    I'm astounded by this feature! I've never played an amp that's done this well. I'm excited to experience this!

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    So I go pretty low for a very sparkly, spanky clean, but most of my playing is a bit higher. But when I go full-up on the guitar volume, the amp absolutely roars. It's great.
    Very cool! I can sense your enthusiasm, and to know that you've played a variety of amps, says something about this particular amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    If you leave your guitar on 10, as lots of players prefer to do, you have no choice other than to use a two channel amp. And then, without pedals, you have only two sounds. With the guitar's volume control and an amp that can take advantage of that, you have infinite variety. It's old-school, but so many of the great players use this technique; I've worked with some fantastic players in my studio over the years, and I became convinced it's the way to go.
    I was messin around last night... Since buying a DGT, riding the volume properly has been my goal. It's a bit tricky to work with 2 vol knobs and I keep wanting the neck pickup vol to be the first one closest to the strings since that's what I mostly play on. However, I'm really starting to find some really cool sounds with the middle setting and blending the volumes. Super fun stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Glad you like the Plimsoul tip!
    Oh, it's a beast! I'm pretty blown away.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kine View Post
    I can sense your enthusiasm, and to know that you've played a variety of amps, says something about this particular amp.
    Yeah, honestly I'm crazy about it.

    I've been playing since 1966 or so. I'm like 1000 years old. So I've had a lot of amps - partial list of the cooler ones in no particular order:

    Ampeg Reverberocket II, bought new 1966; Fender Blackface Bassman, bought new old stock, 1968; Mesa Tremoverb, 1992; Mesa Blue Angel; Mesa Maverick; Mesa Bass 400+; Mesa Subway Rocket; Bogner Metropolis; Bad Cat Hot Cat 30; Vox AC30; Two-Rock Onyx I, Onyx Sig prototype, Onyx Sig v1 and 2, Two-Rock Custom Reverb Sigs v 2 and 3, Roccaforte Rockie, and more I can't remember. I think there was a Twin in there somewhere...and a few others. As a studio owner, before session guys got into working at their own places at home and mailing in files, I had lots of players over to the studio to lay down tracks, and always had a bevy of amps on hand. Now, not so much! I send them files, they record, and send me files. It's weird.

    So now the only amps I keep around are the ones I prefer to play.

    Anyway, out of all of these great amps - and none was a bad one - the HX/DA is my absolute favorite. It just suits my style.

    I never say "best" because the best is what works for the individual, but I love this amp.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 05-06-2013 at 07:25 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  19. #19
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    If you leave your guitar on 10, as lots of players prefer to do, you have no choice other than to use a two channel amp. And then, without pedals, you have only two sounds. With the guitar's volume control and an amp that can take advantage of that, you have infinite variety. It's old-school, but so many of the great players use this technique; I've worked with some fantastic players in my studio over the years, and I became convinced it's the way to go.
    That is as good of a tip as you'll ever get. David Grissom literally talked me into doing this technique. His amp clinics were fantastic and so educational for the gigging musician, but the real sales job was going up and talking with him directly. Les just summed up David's entire sales pitch in a few well worded sentences. IMO, it was a game changer for me and the best evolution in my playing/tone in 35 years. Honest.

    With that said, the big difference is the volume level that each amp ends up. The 50W amps will give you a better volume level for clean headroom and specifically was why I went with the Super Dallas. If my other guitarist didn't play a Marshall, I would have gone with the HXDA. The SD gave me a more unique separation in my band setting.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    These guys have led you in the right direction...I think an HXDA, Recording Amp, Super Dallas, or 25th Anniversary is where you want to be....that cinemag transformer kicks major tonal butt!
    -Bob

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