Dr Z Maz 18 advice

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OnparOnpar Frets: 33
Looking to grab a Dr Z Maz 18 reverb head and cab shortly. Does anyone have any experience of these? And not sure whether to go with 1 x 12 or 2 x 10 cab. Any advice gratefully received. 
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  • llewllew Frets: 56
    I've had a few and they are fantastic amps. I always liked the 2x10 setup myself. Excellent amp's with a strat or a Tele.
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  • hoopshoops Frets: 27
    Great amps but very, very loud - Brake Lite or something similar would be a good buy.
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  • OnparOnpar Frets: 33
    Is turning them down not an option. Does it lose all of the juicy tube saturation if you do?
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  • hywelghywelg Frets: 1550
    Like most any valve amp they sing when wound up. I'd also suggest the Z Best 2x12. Really good bass is you want to rock with that amp. 

    Probably better to get a really good o/d like a klon clone to push the front end if you want to play at lower volumes. 
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  • CloudNineCloudNine Frets: 2508
    Well built, quite versatile, extremely loud, a bit stiff sounding/feeling, show up all your mistakes so better bring your A game.
    # Previously Stevieb76 on the old Music Radar #
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  • OnparOnpar Frets: 33
    Thanks. Any suggestions for alternatives??
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  • garfygarfy Frets: 80
    Maz8 Combo is a great amp, very loud 8w and pentode/triode switch for two different flavours. 
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 4112
    CloudNine said:
    Well built, quite versatile, extremely loud, a bit stiff sounding/feeling, show up all your mistakes so better bring your A game.
    Perfect summary.


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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20991
    A mate of mine is selling a red 2 x 10 combo for 1100.

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • JackieB33JackieB33 Frets: 179
    edited February 10
    @Onpar ;I've had the Maz Jr NR, and currently have the Carmen Ghia (which is for sale on here). 

    Both quite different, but both love Fenders equally as much though. I'd go as far as to say that there are not many amps that make a strat or tele sound like a strat or tele quite like a Z. 

    The Maz competes with amps four times it's wattage in terms of headroom. And does deserve to be cranked (ignore the 18w stamp). It's not a bedroom amp. I'd say its about 60-70% Vox, the rest is made up of elements of Fender cleans and HiWatt crunch. 

    The Ghia is much more original IMO, the original chassis was from an old Hammond reverb unit, the Dr designed the whole front end from the ground up.. for guitar. Also great on headroom, also loves to be cranked. 

    I've had the brakelite too.. but at gigging volume i only see the benefit if you're a 'no pedals' (or minimal) type of guy. Which is a great thing of course.. crank the amp, and clean up with the guitar volume.. tonnes of versatility. For me though, I tend to use my amps as a platform, and ended up selling the brakelite, and maximizing the headroom.   

    There's a Maz Jr combo on the Facebook groups currently for £850, which is a steal. Based in North Wales. 

    Good luck in your search brother!
    ''i've not seen a reaction like that in here since George Best got kicked out for glassing a bouncer''
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  • OnparOnpar Frets: 33
    Great thanks for the advice. This will be used for gigging and i currently use a hrd but want something with a bit more pizazz!!
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  • JackieB33JackieB33 Frets: 179
    @Onpar Well you've got good taste mate. Half the battle there!
    ''i've not seen a reaction like that in here since George Best got kicked out for glassing a bouncer''
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  • MistyMisty Frets: 103
    edited February 11
    Just seen this thread....I've gigged a Maz 38 reverb head exclusively for 8 or 9 years. It's been 100% reliable and always sounds good to me. I recently bought a Maz 18 reverb head, and now that one gets the gigs. Great amp, simple layout, easy to get a good tone particularly with the master at 10 o' clock or above. For me it's the best Stratocaster amp I've tried, though I also play various humbucker guitars through it, all of which sound good. I set mine up to sound best with the Strat, and use different OD pedals for Strats and humbuckers, and that takes care of any EQ tweaks I would otherwise have to make to suit the different guitars. As has been mentioned above, the Maz 18 is loud, and I have an Airbrake which I use with the 38 almost all the time, and with the 18 maybe 50% of the time. Speakers....having experimented somewhat, I have the Dr Z 1x12 convertible cab with a Celestion Creamback M. I've experimented with a Vintage 30, which was too upper mid heavy, and a Celestion Gold, which sounded great clean or semi clean but not so great when driven, unless very loud. I also had a 2x10 cab which was excellent, but my preference is for the 1x12. The Creamback is less efficient so a bit quieter meaning I can turn the amp up a bit more, and it has a warmer more woody tone, still with a nice top end, which suits me playing blues rock stuff. I believe it's the standard speaker now in the new 1x12 cabs, and I found the 2x10 cab to be more efficient and therefore louder. The Z Best 2x12 has been suggested above, and it too is excellent, but that would be a very loud rig. It all depends on what you need the amp and cab for, and how you hear it, all very subjective of course. There are some who don't like Z amps, but for me I've not tried better, and I've owned quite a few. One caveat is that those EL84s run hot, and you should change them regularly. I've also owned a Carmen Ghia, and currently have a Cure. All great amps, though my choice most of the time for gigging is the Maz 18....sorry this post is a bit long!

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  • OnparOnpar Frets: 33
    That is fantastic, thanks. Think I will head to Peach shortly to try some out.

    One question, people keep saying it is loud but how loud is it? I play in a function band so play pubs, clubs and function halls and currently run a hrd 40 watt at around 2 and a half to 3 on master volume. Is the Maz 18 really louder than that? Will it be too loud for the type of gigs i am playing?
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  • OnparOnpar Frets: 33
    Also how regularly should you change the EL84s?
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  • MistyMisty Frets: 103
    edited February 11
    No I don't think it will be too loud from what you say, people describe it as loud because for an 18 watt amp it can get louder than one imagines. In some situations you may run out of clean headroom, but in most I'm guessing it will be fine. All I can say is if you are going to Peach then be sure to compare it to a HRD on the settings you use.

    I change the EL84s in mine after 150 hours maximum, and I do notice the difference, albeit subtle. I'd rather change them before one blows and possibly takes something else with it. Also, the rectifier will be a Sovtek 5AR4, and I would change that maybe every other power valve change, as they can be unreliable. With my 38 I bought an NOS Mullard rectifier to be on the safe side, as they can last decades; feels a bit stiffer though, and I've kept the Sovtek in my 18.

    Check out http://ztalk.proboards.com/ as there's loads of info and expertise there, and some helpful guys as well.

    Good luck!

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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2614
    Onpar said:
    Also how regularly should you change the EL84s?
    http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/118659/heyulp-first-time-an-amp-has-died-on-me#latest

    They are lovely sounding amps @Onpar ;

    You have to carry some spare valves though, or a spare amp. I reckon I got 150 - 175 hours out of my stock valves. Got my replacements from Karltone, explain to him the amp type and he sent me valves better matched to that amp type.

    Just keep in mind the usage of the valves and have a plan B.
    Conformity is the new Rebellion.
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  • As said, really great amps. The only thing I'd add to the conversation is to try a Bad Cat as well, because they're even better :P 
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  • MistyMisty Frets: 103
    edited February 12
    Good point about carrying spare valves and fuses; when I put a new set in I use the old ones as spares, just in case. Common sense really, I've always carried spares no matter what amp I've been using. I get mine from Hot Rox, and order medium distortion rated el84s. 

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  • Ive been using a Maz 18 as my main amp for a few years - mainly through the 2x10 cab, but I also have a Z-Best cab that doesn't get used as much (mainly because of the weight).  I find it a great gigging amp - lots of the right sort of tweak ability via the input volume, the 3 band EQ and the Cut dial.  They are certainly worth a look.
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 3096
    CloudNine said:
    Well built, quite versatile, extremely loud, a bit stiff sounding/feeling, show up all your mistakes so better bring your A game.
    Perfect summary.


    I had and gigged one for years - certainly improves your playing! Responds FAST

    I had the Non-Reverb version in a 1x12 combo - really liked it with a G12M25 greenback in (they come with G12H30 as standard) 

    One thing I loved about it was that there are a bunch of ways to get a great sound - was even fun with all vol and EQ controls maxed, a bit of attentuation and ride the volume control. 

    It never sounded quite as good using the effects loop so I ran mine into the front. 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • OnparOnpar Frets: 33
    Thanks for such great advice. Carrying spare valves and fuses is slightly concerning. I have gigged my hrd about 30 times and never had a single issue. I know i sounds like a newbie to boutique hand wired amps but thats because i am. Just want to mke sure what ever i purchase will be reliable.

    UPDATE: i have also been looking into Morgan PR12 which sound immense on youtube but maybe a little under powered. Need to go and try both the morgan and maz!
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1943
    As said, really great amps. The only thing I'd add to the conversation is to try a Bad Cat as well, because they're even better :P 
    Not wrong there, Beast of an amp, I love mine :)
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  • MistyMisty Frets: 103
    I don't think you should be concerned about carrying spare valves and fuses, I've been doing it for years, and that was with Fender and Boogie amps long before I got the Z. It's just a precaution, and the only time I ever actually needed a spare was when the EL84 reverb driver in a Fender Vibroking I used to own stopped working. That was probably 15 years ago. Most  gigging players I know carry spares.

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