I've always had the loop controls cranked on mine as well. I think the whole "2 o'clock" thing was a carry over from the previous 2 channel amps, where the whole amp reacted to the levels set on the loop, even when there wasn't anything plugged into it. I think this loop is a much more functionally transparent design, it doesn't do anything when there's nothing plugged in, and when there is I haven't found it to affect the tone or how the amp breaks up, etc. At least on mine. I too find myself reaching for the bright switch on the lead channel sometimes, and turning the bass down around 9-10 o'clock. On a lot of amps, going much past noon on a treble knob, or using a bright switch on a lead channel is like a joke to me. It's like the difference between good tone and bleeding ears, but they've really nailed the voicing on the Custom - the only problem is convincing myself it's ok to go into those normally "out of bounds" settings. And yes, they're ballsy amps for sure, to the point that you can go overboard on bass. But, when you've familiarized yourself with these amps, they're great, because they aren't very hard to dial in, very forgiving. The tone controls work well, but don't have sweet spots that will ruin your tone if you don't get them just right. Different than your Mesa the way you described it, the tone knobs are going to give you exactly what you expect throughout the range - which is a trade off of extreme flexibility I guess. Just depends on what you want. I often have my lead channel tone controls in what I like to think of as a "T" shape - bass at 9, mids at noon, treble at 3, bright switch to taste. Upping the mids can hurt the high end articulation if you don't add treble with it. Similar, but less extreme settings for the clean channel. What speaker is in your combo? I run my head with V30's, as is the usual spec for PRS cabs, I feel like I heard the combos have a Lead 80 in them? I'm not super familiar with the Lead 80, but a V30 is a speaker that's relatively lean in the lower bass and treble, and articulate because of the upper mid push, so it compliments the amp well (or tames it, if you want to think of it that way). If you wanted to swap speakers, you might tighten up the bass and keep a bit of top zing with a Warehouse V30 clone, they sound similar to but brighter than a V30. At any rate, glad you've been able to get good results for a few sets now. Sorry to gush, just really like these amps!