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Thread: SE50

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    SE50

    I've noted the reception to the SE50 has been lukewarm here. I understand its a"Student Edition". However I wanted an EL34 combo that was reasonably priced. So I bought one. One great feature is the bias jacks on the back panel. So I check the bias and the setting is 30, which is below the suggested setting of 37 in the manual and less than I would set EL34s at. I know many amp manufacturers set the bias on the cold side as a safer option regarding tube failure and sound.
    So I set the tubes on 37 and this amp came alive. It's a beast. I use the clean channel with the gain at about 2 o'clock and the master volume at about 11 o'clock. I agree with other comments about the lead channel sounding fizzy on higher gain settings. So my best use of this amp is with the clean channel on higher gain or the lead channel on lower gain setting.
    Now I put in a set of NOS 6CA7s and it's a whole 'nother level of special.
    My reference is my 1969 small box Marshall 50 watt head and it compares favorably tone wise, in a package I can easily tote to gigs.
    However, it is a very sensitive amp and will respond deftly to nuances of left hand technique and pick attack, so no hiding sloppy playing.
    PRS has brought a boutique quality amp to the masses here. I'm not happy about the power tube sockets on the board and not the chassis. But I believe reverse engineering the tone worked.

  2. #2
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    That's great information about a little-known amp around here. It doesn't get much attention, but not because it isn't appreciated, just no experience with it. Your post is the best info I've read to date about the SE50. Keep the reviews coming! And congrats on finding a 'sleeper'.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    One further comment. This is a 50 watt amp. It sounds best played loud. So any review talking about playing the amp in a store or at home usually implies low volume. The current fashion is low powered amps, and I have my share of 1 and 5 watt amps. But this amp is built around the power section. So my opinion is trying to get a saturated tone at low volume will result in thin, fizzy tone. Not saying the preamp section is lacking. Just that the amp needs to power up to develop it's full tone. Everyone knows about overdriven power tube distortion but we've all become reliant on preamp, cascading distortion. Remember Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks were talking about using their PRS amps with the Allman Bros where they needed power to cut through a loud, full band's sound. So I hope these amps are played loud and proud!

  4. #4
    Great review of the amp, thoroughly enjoyed it!

    And I agree with Boogie, it isn't that the amps are unappreciated, it's that many of us have never had the opportunity to play through one!
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    I liked the SE 50 quite a bit when I tried it. I wasn't in the market for an amp at the time, but I think they sound great.

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