MT15 Jam Report

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by andy474x, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Finally, the big question (at least on my mind) is answered - can the MT15 keep up with a raging drum kit???

    The short answer is...

    Yes!!!

    But I never give short answers!!!

    I took the amp along with my PRS 2x12 to jam/rehearsal, along with my curiosity, and it did the job! We mic'd the amp with a 57 for most of the night (which was divine), but I made sure to run it on its own, wide open, for a couple songs. The result - in some ways, this is the most refined amp, including PRS, that I've owned or played through. It's every bit of the robust sound one would expect from a much bigger amp - not one of those "toy" amps.

    We all know it sounds great at moderate volumes, and has the potential to be loud. The big questions for me were how loud, and would the tone hold up when it gets there? In my experience, especially with amps that have a lot of preamp distortion, the interaction with the power section isn't always optimized to keep the tone from getting muddy when the power section starts to break up. My SE30 was fantastic for recording, but got flubby when it pushed the power section. The Custom 50 is much better, it does get a little dullness when it's wide open but can be dialed back in. So, I was highly impressed with how consistent the tone was on the MT15, even when the power section was running hot. I don't know how to describe it, other than to say that I could hear the extra breakup and compression from the power tubes, but it still kept the proper amount of low end punch and top end bite for modern rock tones. Even when I cranked the bass up higher than normal, it stayed punchy - I literally felt like I had just turned up a "more awesome" knob. On most amps, that would be a recipe for mud.

    I wouldn't say it has the full volume of a bigger amp, but what it does is use its output so efficiently, and has so much cut, that it doesn't need that much power. First of all, it doesn't waste wattage boosting ultra deep bass frequencies - it sounds huge, but if you've ever played an amp that has an excess of ultra low bass, and it almost sounds like you're underwater, you know what I'm talking about. I guess they must have shelved it just right. The other part of that cut is the midrange - the preamp mids are very focused to a range that can be boosted without adding mud, or a nasal quality, and the cranking 6l6's add their own boost to the mids as well, while the lows and highs are staying true. Sweet!

    There's definitely enough volume to get the stink eye from a sound guy, so this amp will be great for any gig with a decent system to mic it up. The one exception possibly being needing lots of ultra-clean headroom on the clean channel. It would handle single note lines and fingerpicking parts to a fair volume and stay clean, but loud strummed chords won't stay clean and jangly. Great crunch there though! If micing the amp wasn't an option, and you wanted to just dominate with a wall of sound, I would still recommend more amp - personally, that's a scenario I'm trying to keep myself out of more and more. If there's not a good system, the gig probably won't sound good anyways.

    Other miscellaneous - I used the loop for my delay, and it worked extremely well.

    So, that's the deal. I'm not going to call it "best," because amps come in many flavors, and can be good in different ways. What I will say is, Mark Tremonti, Doug Sewell, and crew made this amp every bit as good as it could possibly be, period, not in a "for the money" kind of way.

    I know there's talk of a 100 - honestly, if they can get a bigger amp tuned this way, I think 50 would be plenty. That would get a little more clean headroom. A bright switch on the clean channel would be nice too, and perhaps a footswitchable lead boost like the Custom 50.

    But this 15 is legit!
     
  2. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    So, yer sayin' ya like it? :D
     
    rmg471 and LSchefman like this.
  3. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    Readers Digest version.
     
  4. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I haven't even done my Paul Harvey and gotten to the second page of the story!
     
  5. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    And now, the rest, of the story.......
     
  6. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    Well get on the stick my good man. Now I have time to read it!
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  7. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Great review.
    Thank you.
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  8. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    That's the message I got;)
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It’s wonderful that they got it right! So often a lower power amp flubs out at volume, it’s cool that this one holds up.

    Doug’s really a genius. Seems he works well with artists of all stripes. His work on the DG amp I have was just great.
     
    DreamTheaterRules likes this.
  10. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    I think PRSh put Doug in a good position. The two of them work great together. Doug was a known amp builder. But when you take a really talented amp builder, and first say "but Doug, I want mine to sound like this and react like this" then he get's a different set of ears. Then when you have another guy and another guy do the same thing, then suddenly you have various forms of amps, and Doug can design exactly what this guy and that guy want. Paul wants this, Tremonti wants that.... all of a sudden, we have some great amps!

    I think we always benefit from the perspective of others. Doug has become a GREAT amp designer because Paul pushes him out of his box and makes him design things for more different players, and in doing so pushes him to design different things than he may have ever designed. Win-Win.

    That's totally IMHO.
     
  11. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

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    Beautiful man \m/
     

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