NAD - HXDA 30 1x12 Combo in Paisley

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by shinksma, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    @dmatthews , thanks!

    I now have some experiments of my own to do, and I can monitor the usual places for a good deal on a 1x12 or 2x12 cab.
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    17,751
    Likes Received:
    4,600
    I’ve never had the problem of my amp cutting out, regardless of gain and master volume levels, though for the most part, I’m not a high gain player, and don’t max out the preamp gain.

    I generally run the HX gain around 1 o’clock, and the DA gain around 8 o’clock, but I have tried them higher. But in any case, the amp shouldn’t be cutting out if it’s running right, at least in my experience.

    So if that’s happening, maybe there’s a reason it was such a bargain...

    I’d speak to PRS’ customer service department about it, at the very least. If it’s normal, they’ll tell you.
     
  3. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Indeed, if I can't fix the issue myself with a bit of contact cleaner / tube re-seat, I will contact PRS Cust Serv.
     
  4. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Got the back off after a good pry/tug - it was lightly glued on, as well as the six screws. Did not expect that...

    Anyway, after removing, applying contact cleaner, and re-installing each tube, I cranked it up, and voila! No cutouts, nice loud sound all the way up!

    By the way, yesterday I cranked the amp in the "downstairs music room" a.k.a. the pool table room beside the pub. That room has carpets, drapes, and a big blanket/weave hanging on a wall - very neutral to music. Today, after the tube re-fit, I plugged the amp in the nearest useful outlet to my work area (kitchen peninsula), and the hard surfaces of that environment were as huge a difference as you might expect. It surprised me it was so drastic, and I know what to expect. So if your guitar/amp sounds a bit off, try a different room environment!

    Using the manual to figure out how to remove the back and each tube really helped with...oh wait, yeah, PRS doesn't do manuals to any great extent. Not even online versions. That is one thing I find a bit bizarre. Although one with some basic info was provided with my Archon.

    Anyway, here's a couple of shots after being moved upstairs to the music room, with the Archon to the right:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And yes, I did a few back and forth comparisons, and they are indeed very different animals, though part of that may be due to the 100W vs 30W rating (I should repeat the experiment with the Archon in half-power mode at 50W). Still, the EL34s vs the 6L6s are another obvious factor. And, well, everything else about these amps!
     
  5. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,532
    Likes Received:
    789
    Toys in the attic!
     
  6. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    Hawt. I love 'em Paisley enclosures. They really caught my eye at the 2014 shindig.
     
  7. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,399
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Dig the setup!
     
  8. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Thanks!

    Those are all my left-over pedals, mostly - I have a mid-sized gigging board (elec and acoustic mix), a small gigging board for acoustic only, and a large home board in another room, with an "accessory" board that is my punk-surf board.

    I used to use the rack'o'effects a lot when I was in a (very amateur) basement/garage band over a decade ago :eek: . Now I don't use anything on the rack for guitar except the delay/reverb is in the loop of the Archon - and mainly because I have it, so I may as well use it (and it was in the rack for vocals!). I still run vocals through it for this home music room, using the mike pre-amps, comp/limiter, and EQ, but when gigging I usually use a small vocal pedal that does some compression and de-essing and warms up my tone, or I use nothing - straight to PA mixer from my Beta 58.

    Oh, I guess I use the tuner in the rack for guitar!
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    17,751
    Likes Received:
    4,600
    That is one good-looking setup, Shinksma!
     
  10. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Thanks!

    And because I bought the HXDA because it was "two Marshalls in one box", I've been doing some reading about Marshall amp design, and how it related to the Fender Tweed Bassman design, and now I'm curious about PRS amps that have a bit of "Tweediness" to them - I believe you have described your DG as Tweed-like (vs Blackface).

    So rather than quench my GAS, the acquisition of the HXDA has accelerated the issue - I poured GAS on the fire!

    So, given that I have an Archon and an HXDA, what would be the PRS amp that will offer up yet another, different, tone? And would the Tweed direction be a good one? If so, is the DG the pièce de résistance? Where does the Dallas amp design fit into all of this?

    Keep in mind that I first got a bit of GAS for an HXDA over a year ago, I think, so I can be fairly long term in my targeting of opportunities...
     
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    17,751
    Likes Received:
    4,600
    Hard to say what someone else might really like, of course, so here’s my take:

    Listen to “How It Feels To Fly” on David Grissom’s recent album. It’s on iTunes, you can just listen to a few bars and you’ll get it. That’s one of the sounds the amp makes in person. And it also makes other distinctive sounds, from gritty to clean.

    If you like that sound, and if it’s the kind of tone you think might be worth having, I’d highly recommend it. I love the DG30. Lately, I play mine as much as I do the HXDA — just the kind of tones I’m rolling with lately, I guess, but it sounds SO GOOD with my 594 Soapbar!

    If you decide to try one, I’ll share my settings with you. But in any case, the key to the DG30 (especially in normal mode) is to leave the Master wide open unless you’ve got the gain control up at around 3 o’clock or more. The Master is a little different on the HXDA, though it still wants to be opened up quite a bit.

    One other note is that the DG30 is a wonderful pedal platform. Unlike a spanky clean amp that most people think of as a pedal platform, the DG wraps its tone around dirt pedals in a very organic way. So when you dig into it with a dirt box, it still sounds like the DG30, and not like a pedal into a clean amp.

    On the other hand, if your idea of a great amp is a pristine clean tone with lots of headroom, look in a different direction, because the DG’s specialty is to serve up that “edge of grit” and dirty Texas stuff with a lot of bloom and juice.
     
  12. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Thanks for the tips, Les! Always appreciated!

    And as for "what I like", well, I like variety, and getting an amp that can do certain classic tones very naturally, and being competent in other ways, is always a nice thing.

    I have the Archon for a clean channel with lots (lots!) of headroom. And the Fender HRDX. So now I am exploring amps that have a certain grit that sounds great on its own and also adds to the pedal experience. So the DG is certainly something I can explore.

    Having a quick listen to that DG track via an sample on Amazon, plus a few select full tracks via Amazon prime, I like the guitar sound, and I can also tell my wife is going to love the whole album (she's a huge country fan), so I just bought it.

    And if my wife really digs the DG CD, then it will be obvious why I need the corresponding amp, eh?

    I also grabbed the first Chris Stapleton CD, since he was mentioned in the description of the DG CD, and we liked his live performance at a festival last year - only artist to introduce his whole band, and seemed such an honest, grounded guy.

    Yes, I still buy CDs - the download thing just ain't my style, man.
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    17,751
    Likes Received:
    4,600
    What I love about the DG is that it has a sound that offers more than a clone of a classic amp, yet it’s still capable of killer classic tones. And that’s just normal mode. Boost mode puts another spin on the tone. It’s also controllable from the guitar, like the HXDA.

    Set the amp up for edge of breakup with the guitar volume at 5-6, and you’ve got all the gain colors available with a spin of the guitar’s volume control. Same with tone control.

    Hah! It’s obvious to me, for sure!

    P.S. I don’t like listening to mp3s, either. However, I found something better sounding than CDs (besides vinyl) — HD tracks. Yes, it’s a download, but it’s full-resolution, 24 bit, 96 or 192 KHz audio, no lossy compression algorithms.

    Closest to good analog yet.
     
  14. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    I've been thinking about this a bit, so pardon my questions borne of my lack of knowledge/experience with amps and multiple speaker configurations:

    The Custom 50 internal is 16 ohm, right?

    So does that mean your Avatar 2x12 cab is a 16 ohm load too, since PRS doesn't like you to mix and match impedances when connecting two things?

    I've been making sure I understand what I need to connect where is I use an external cab. Since the HXDA internal speaker is 16 ohms, I think I understand that I would move that plug to one of the 8 ohm jacks and then plug another 16 ohm speaker (effective load of the whole cabinet) into the other 8 ohm jack.

    Does that make sense? I'm pretty sure it does, but I'm finding out that just because it makes sense one way doesn't stop something from making sense another way, if you just slightly change an assumption...
     
  15. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,532
    Likes Received:
    789
    Yes, the Custom 50 speaker is 16ohm. My 2x12 came wired with 8ohm speakers wired in parallel yielding 4ohm, so I put them in series to make 16ohm instead.
    At that point all I had to do was leave the internal speaker plugged in, add the 2x12 to the ext speaker jack and change the switch on the back of the amp to 8ohm. The speaker jacks on the Custom 50 are in parallel, so 2 16ohms make 8 again.
    In looking at pictures, it would seem that the HXDA has dedicated impedance outputs as opposed to switching choices. That makes me think that the 8ohm output jack is expecting an 8ohm speaker.
    If your external cab is 16ohm there is no harm in plugging it into an 8ohm output, same as plugging an 8ohm cab into a 4ohm output. There may be some minor colorization because of the impedance differences, but no harm will come as a result.
    What you cannot do is the reverse. Never plug a 4ohm speaker into an 8ohm output, or an 8ohm cab into a 16ohm output. Your amp will hate you for that because it needs and wants at least the same or more impedance as the output.
    So, in your case I still think you're OK, but if your external cab is 16ohm and you have another 16ohm output I'd use that. Still OK to plug it into an 8ohm output though.
    I'd recommend popping an email off to PTC though for clarification. I did when I bought my 2x12 because I wanted to make sure the ext speaker jack was parallel and not dedicated to a particular impedance as I suspect the HXDA to be.
    I am very curious to know what you find out.
     
    Boogie likes this.
  16. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    I looked at the manual for the 25th Anniversary amp, since that one was available from the PRS Support site. it has the same speaker output config as the HXDA. The 25 Anniv manual says this:

    That is how I determined what I think I need to do: get an ext cab with 16 ohm overall impedance, then plug it and the internal speaker into the two jacks labeled 8 ohms (because that is the resultant impedance the amp sees).

    I'm not sure why the HXDA / 25th Anniv amps uses discrete inputs for the possible speaker connections while the Custom 50 (and my Archon, IIRC) uses a switch for 4/8/16 - might just be a choice made for each lineage of amps, since the Custom 50 and Archon are both 2 channel, while the HXDA (and Blistertone, I believe) is derived from the 25th Anniv.
     
  17. German Gallardo

    German Gallardo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    43
    Sweet setup! Love the look of the paisley on the HXDA :)
     
  18. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,532
    Likes Received:
    789
    This confuses the crap out of me... ” Mismatching impedances from a lower tap to a higher speaker impedance stresses the amp more than going into a lower impedance mismatch and can cause arcs on the tube sockets, failure of power tubes, or even failure of the output transformer."
    Lol, goes against everything I expected to see. BUT... they made the amp so...
    There's something going on that I have not seen before I suppose, which is fine. Learn something new every day!
    I'd still contact PTC, especially after reading that!
    Cheers!
     
  19. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,704
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Actually, this is one you need to ask PRS. Sometimes dual amp jacks like that are made so that you can do that... 2 8 ohm speakers into two separate 8 ohm jacks is OK, because the jacks are in parallels so they actually see 4 ohm load and are on running at 4 ohms when both are in use. I'd make sure though, before running them that way. The problem with running an internal combo speaker and an extension cab is that you can't do it the safe way of running one cab into the other, so 2 16 ohm cabs would plug into 1 8 ohm jack on the amp. When using 2 jacks on the back, I'd always want to make sure with the amp maker if they are wired in parallel so you know. I think it's "normal" to do it that way (in amps that have two 4 ohm or two 8 ohm jacks) but don't assume and don't want to blow an OT.
     
    dmatthews likes this.
  20. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3,444
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    My Boogie has a single 8 ohm output and 2 x 4 ohm outputs. The 4s are wired in series yielding 8 ohms. But I’ve run 2 x 8 ohm cabs thru it for years with no problems. That amp loves 16 ohm loads. The Super Dallas (based on the Anniversary’s power stage...same PT) has discrete 4, 8, and 16 ohm outputs with external cab jacks for all but 16 ohm. Those are in series...a pair of 8s yield 16 and a pair of 4s yield 8 ohm. If unsure, ask PRS.
     
    dmatthews likes this.

Share This Page