Sonzera 20W- Experiences? thinkings of users?

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by Plush, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Plush

    Plush New Member

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    Hello to everyone! I´m very close to buy a Sonzera 20W.
    Why?.

    1-The two 6L6s are very important for me in the search of a warm and a natural tone. My favourites styles for playing the guitar are Americana, Blues, Jazz, Alternative music and Folk, too. Mostly, clean tones.

    2-The apparently low battage mixed with 4 + 2 valves in total. This amp is gonna be in my bedroom.

    3-...and the Price, which is very competitive I think.

    And now, comes my reservation about the amp...
    The videos I´ve been watched in YouTube look great but the Overdrive cannel for a while looks muddy and not very natural or not very useful for depending the tone we want. Perhaps, the mid knob could be helpful for that.

    I´m not a huge fan of the distortion sound. Really, I´m not at all. I have to admit that the true overdrive/distortion sound borns in a valve amp but this is only my opinion. I would be very happy to take advantage of the second channel.


    P.D: My guitar is a Baritone PRS Se 277 semihollow. Strange equation? haha
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Why not go play one in person, and see whether you can dial it in the way you like, instead of watching YouTube to see how someone else who might not share your tastes does it?
     
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  3. Plush

    Plush New Member

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    Yeah, that idea would be great!. But my town only has three guitar shops and they don´t have any product of PRS to try. In fact, my SE277 SH was bought without play it before.
     
  4. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    Common problem for many of us. Hate to say it, but just keep watching more videos and see if you hear the tone you are looking for. If there is no dealer close, you're going to have to rely on whatever clips you can find to see if you find what you're after. They don't convey 100% of the tone, but if you hear the type tone you are looking for, chances are it's even better in person.

    I'm going to say something else that may be controversial... don't put all your faith in the big studio guys recordings. I'd dare say that the decent player making cell phone camera recordings may actually be more beneficial. Why? Simple: Pete Thorn can string 5 Boss Metal Zones together and somehow the video he makes will sound great. He's a great player, he dials even decent stuff to it's best tones, and then he's really good with the studio wizardry. A dry recording with a phone can sometimes share more of the true character of the device than you hear in some of the slick processed studio demos. Listen to both, of course. But trust me, I'm pretty sure I could make an iPhone video of my Archon and you'd be SOLD!
     
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  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Doug Sewell is one of the truly awesome amp designers on the planet, and his OD channels are excellent. So I think it's partly a matter of how a demo is dialed in. There's quite a range on a PRS amp.

    However, I don't know any two players who dial in amps the same way, so who knows with any degree of certainty without playing it?

    I completely understand the problem of not having one locally. Maybe there's a shop in another city or nearby state that has one? I've driven for hours to try some instruments and amps, but I kind of like a road trip if it's less than four hours drive time!
     
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  6. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    Great point about all people dialing differently. What I have heard from the Sonzera demos so far, perhaps indicate a more open dynamic type OD channel. Where my Custom is fat/smooth by nature, I hear the more bright open type gain with the Sonzera. While that could be how the demo guys are dialing, I can hear the difference in basic character.

    Always try to see the settings. If they don't mention them, try to zoom the screen to see them. Plus, there are some reliable guys here whose opinion you could trust, but few of them have played one so far. More will as these get out there. So far, what I've heard, at it's price, this should sell great! $799 for a 50 watt head, with the tones I've heard. Seems like a sure thing hit, IMHO.
     
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  7. BolinTrucks

    BolinTrucks New Member

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    About playing in your bedroom,,,,,,this amp will not sound good in any 'small and must remain quiet' setting. It is very LOUD! As for the drive channel, it sounds absolutely killer in a classic rock/blues setting! I mean KILLER. For me, I am using the drive settin at just under 9:00 with my LP and just at/over 9:00 with my Tele.
     
  8. Plush

    Plush New Member

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    Mmmm your words sounds dangerous but sweet to my ears, after all haha. I have read that same affirmation about the amp. For that reason, the 50W was deleted of my options. As all the valves amps, the low settings doesn´t help at all to get the natural point of the OD channel, obviously. Happy with that stuff. By the way, I will work with clean sounds most of the time.
     
  9. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I've not tried the Sonzera (yet) but if you like good cleans, PRS amps are the place to look. They really hit the spot, when it comes to tone - not as bright, bass, and mid scooped as some Fenders, not as mid honky as a Marshall. Although they can be set that way- very responsive EQ.

    When it comes to drive tones, if you don't like the onboard gain channel, there are great pedals that will do the job. In fact, they may sound even better than the amp alone at home volume. It might take some searching to find one that has what you're after and blends with the amp well, as with any amp and pedal combination, but I would pick a PRS amp over anything else I've used.

    My wife is inheriting a baby grand piano from her family, as we're buying a house that will finally have a suitable room for it. I'm uber excited to try a Sonzera 20 for the room so we can duet!
     
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  10. Plush

    Plush New Member

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    Finally, my Sonzera 20 arrived at home today.

    ....I turn on the amp, plug my guitar and...What is this?. A terrible joke.

    So much hum in the clean cannel (many people call it ´´White noise´´?) and the EQ response was not effective for me. At least, for my main guitar: a PRS SE 277 baritone with both soapbars. The same experience that I had with an VOX AC10 one month ago. So much mids, no space between the notes and no definition. Even with the volume of the clean channel at 12´oclock. By the way, the bass knob was at zero and the treble over eleven o´clock. Presence knob doesn´t help very much. Definitley, loud and out of any beautiness.

    And believe me, this PRS sounds great in my Hughes Kettner 30r (10´´ Jensen speaker). No tubes, I know. But more quiet and more definiton than the Vox and the Sonzera. The guitar is baritone but sounds creamy and articulated, it doesn´t have a sinister direction in the sound. In fact, I play with it Americana and Folk, mostly. But sometimes, I can cover perfectly the Deftones ambients (think in ´´Sextape´´ song).


    I feel very disappointed. I´ve been waiting since July until today and...well, that´s all.

    The amp is right back to the shop.
     
  11. Plush

    Plush New Member

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    Nobody gives any opinion or information that could be helpful in my searching?
     
  12. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I tried both the 20 and 50 at a local shop recently. I didn't experience any excess of noise on the clean channel, so I would be wary that your amp may be defective or you have a bad tube causing that problem.

    Regarding the EQ, I did find that at low volume the amp was very bassy, and opened up and leveled out as the master was turned up. I think these amps are meant to be played loud (and they are quite loud), so to expect great tones from them at home/bedroom volumes may not be realistic. Not sure what volume you're playing at, but if you can't crank the amp a bit, you might not find what you're looking for.
     
  13. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    I've got nothing specific to help you - it sounds like you got a Sonzera with a bad tube, perhaps - there seems to have been more than one with that issue reported here. If you can try another you might get a good one, or you might not.

    The other possibility is to try a different PRS amp, like an Archon 25W combo, which on the used market might be close enough to the new price of a Sonzera for you to afford. Or, dare I suggest, look at a different brand. If you like the tone you get from your H&K, try another H&K, one with tubes like a Tubemeister?
     
  14. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    If it happened with another amp (the Vox), maybe something in the signal chain is bad, like the instrument cable.

    ...could also be your power source/outlet/house wiring.

    I'd be trying lots of swaps, even a different guitar, before I instantly labeled it the amp.
     
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  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Ruger, as usual, is right on.
     

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