HXDA info

Tridyed

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Jun 22, 2016
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Well this is the year for an HXDA. I have amps around for hi-gain if I need and I am a big ABB tone fan. I am now trying to decide between new or used.

The used ones are spread across a few years and some claim HXDA and I am not sure if they were made back in 2010 or not.

Are there new things done to these amps that an older HXDA may not have? It's hard to pass up the price on used but I wanted to check in here since we seem to have a field of experts.

I will probably be using a VoS 58 LP and some Firebird and Strat at times. I have the SD antiquities in the LP. I am not a fan of the burst buckers.

I think I will stick with my Mesa 2x12 closed back cab for this amp unless there is some major reason to change.

Any input would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!
 
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LSchefman

Hears Tones
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Well, first, the Mesa closed back 212 works well with the HXDA, so you're covered there. I ran my original one with a Recto 212 and it sounded great. I currently use the PRS Big Mouth 212, and it's very similar in dimensions to the Recto cab, and the sound with the amp is similar. Not the same, but similar. I could live with either cab with this amp.

The HXDA was originally available as a switchable 100/50 Watt amp. Also a 50. I had one of the early 50s, and it sounded great.

It became available as a 30 Watt amp a couple of years ago, and that's what I'm currently using in the studio for my ad work. The 50 had that "amp about to bust loose" feel that was pretty nice, but I like these amps with the master up quite a bit, so the 30 makes more sense for my work.

However, if I played out, I'd get the 50.

The features of the amp haven't changed, nor has the sound. Very early prototypes were based on the PRS 25th Anniversary Amp, and that one had a stepped-wattage Master Volume, but the only one I've seen was the one demo'd by Tim Pierce.

I like to buy new amps for reasons of warranty and heck, I just dig new gear. You might not, and more power to ya.

EDIT--

I forgot to mention that the amp came stock with JJ preamp tubes and Winged C EL34s. The Winged C tubes sound fantastic with the amp, but are no longer made. They're expensive on the NOS market for what they are.

I put NOS Mullard preamp tubes in mine (not the new reproductions made in Russia, the original British tubes), and also when one of my Winged Cs crapped out, I replaced the set with matched NOS Siemens tubes from Germany. They sound wonderful, if you can find them. I like them better than the Winged Cs. I also tried the amp with a set of JJ EL34s, and it sounded good, too. But not quite up to the level of the Siemens.

Anyway, if you're into NOS, it's a fantastic thing with a vintage style amp like the HXDA.
 

HANGAR18

Modifications are not "Upgrades".
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There was one dork on Reverb who had a Blistertone labeled as an HXDA. (irritating)
The reason you would want to buy used is to save money.
Buying new gets you a warranty but you may never need that with one of these.
(Full disclosure, my HXDA is one of the barely used 50w heads on Reverb right now.)
 

Tridyed

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There was one dork on Reverb who had a Blistertone labeled as an HXDA. (irritating)
The reason you would want to buy used is to save money.
Buying new gets you a warranty but you may never need that with one of these.
(Full disclosure, my HXDA is one of the barely used 50w heads on Reverb right now.)

Just curious ... why are you selling your HXDA?
 

Boogie

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The PRS amplifiers I've owned, and/or come into contact with, have been an example of best-of-breed...tone - of course, beauty - duh, and in build quality. You will not be sorry. Knowing what you want, the next issue is finding one. If you want to make it a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, buy it new...scratch that...order it from a dealer exactly as you want, with the facia and covering of your choice. (You should see the black paisley!) But sometimes the exact amp isn't currently available or it's not in your budget. If you're lucky - very lucky - you can find one on the used market, but you can't be choosy. But you can be assured that it is one of the more well-built and reliable amps available. And on the odd chance that something goes wrong, PRS has the best amp department in the biz and will make it right. Good luck!
 

CatStrangler

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The PRS amplifiers I've owned, and/or come into contact with, have been an example of best-of-breed...tone - of course, beauty - duh, and in build quality. You will not be sorry. Knowing what you want, the next issue is finding one. If you want to make it a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, buy it new...scratch that...order it from a dealer exactly as you want, with the facia and covering of your choice. (You should see the black paisley!) But sometimes the exact amp isn't currently available or it's not in your budget. If you're lucky - very lucky - you can find one on the used market, but you can't be choosy. But you can be assured that it is one of the more well-built and reliable amps available. And on the odd chance that something goes wrong, PRS has the best amp department in the biz and will make it right. Good luck!

just a heads up, they are no longer doing stained maple fascias to order. I tried. no dice.
 

HANGAR18

Modifications are not "Upgrades".
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Just curious ... why are you selling your HXDA?

The amp does exactly what it is supposed to do but I'm a metalhead and don't need an amp dedicated to that specific ability, especially one THAT expensive when I am drowning in debt. I just realized that I've got a whole living room full of world class amps and this one just doesn't serve my particular needs. I play power chords all the time. This amp doesn't do power chords. But ABB or vintage Hendrix tone... spot on. Just not interested in perfectly recreating Hendrix or ABB tone.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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Les, it DOES power chords. It just doesn't do power chords like say an Archon or Mark V or Recto or... being a power chord guy myself, I'm sure that's what he meant. When "us guys" say "power chords" the emphasis is on "POWER!" LOL
 

bodia

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Les, it DOES power chords. It just doesn't do power chords like say an Archon or Mark V or Recto or... being a power chord guy myself, I'm sure that's what he meant. When "us guys" say "power chords" the emphasis is on "POWER!" LOL

and chugga-chugga-weedley-weedley
 

HANGAR18

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??

That's news to me, since I play power chords sometimes on mine.

But I agree it's more of a "natural" when used on all the styles that aren't Metal.

Well I don't know what I did wrong then because as soon as I started in to the power chords, it went totally muddy. As in monster truck getting stuck in a South Florida Sippy Hole muddy. Real ugly. But if I stuck to sounding notes individually and not doing multiple strings at once while the gain is up high, it sounded fine. Maybe I just had too much bass dialed in or something. I kinda feel like I just did the same thing I would with any other amp but I never got mud like that before.
 

Boogie

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just a heads up, they are no longer doing stained maple fascias to order. I tried. no dice.
Nooooooo! See, availability of options can dry up at any time. Pull the trigger!*


*Note, PRS, I work for for a minimum of 5% commission. :D
 
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LSchefman

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Well I don't know what I did wrong then because as soon as I started in to the power chords, it went totally muddy. As in monster truck getting stuck in a South Florida Sippy Hole muddy. Real ugly. But if I stuck to sounding notes individually and not doing multiple strings at once while the gain is up high, it sounded fine. Maybe I just had too much bass dialed in or something. I kinda feel like I just did the same thing I would with any other amp but I never got mud like that before.

Well, we all set up differently, so it's probably just that.
 

CatStrangler

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??

That's news to me, since I play power chords sometimes on mine.

But I agree it's more of a "natural" when used on all the styles that aren't Metal.

I got a real amp stand so my 2X12 30w combo is decoupled from the floor and and am really impressed with the clarity now. I think this is critical for an in room experence that maximizes the amp's potential. no problem with chugga chugga here :)
 

LSchefman

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I got a real amp stand so my 2X12 30w combo is decoupled from the floor and and am really impressed with the clarity now. I think this is critical for an in room experence that maximizes the amp's potential. no problem with chugga chugga here :)

Not only does decoupling help with structure-borne vibrations, raising it off the floor eliminates half-space bass reinforcement. So it's a double-win!
 
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