NAD - I'll tell you what DGT stands for!

andy474x

Knows the Drill
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
5,071
Location
West Michigan
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Some think it stands for David Grissom Tremolo, but, in this specific case, no - it stands for Don't Go Telling my wife!!!

Ah, yes, DGT 15 in the house! I knew my resistance was futile, so I got on the list at my local shop ASAP, and whaddya know, they got 2 heads in Tuesday. One was already gone by the time I got there on Wednesday afternoon! But, they know me and set it aside for me in back.

First impressions - yeah, it's all that! Definitely that distinctive DG tone. Really prefers an open back, at least for me, so far - despite being 15 watts, it has the fatness that an open back cab needs. Lots of familiarity with my other PRS amps in many regards, although a few notable exceptions. For one, a more useful taper on some of the tone controls. Every other PRS amp I've used, the bass comes on fast and is effectively maxed out about halfway through the pot taper, but this one really has a nice transition all the way through the range. Also, by far less gain than most of the other PRS amps I've used, even those not advertising them as high gain amps. That's a good thing - much of the range of some other amps, I just don't use, because it's so much gain and compression and gets mushy, or I drop a lower gain V1 tube in. Definitely feeling the intention of DG to get that proper gain staging throughout the amp for the right amount of compression and articulation.

As with all PRS amps, yes, it's a gigging amp! Likes to be run wide open on the master (or master bypassed) for max articulation. That said, although nice and loud, not nearly as loud as the HDRX 20, which is good. I'd say a volume one would expect for 15 wide-open watts, a volume that one could actually use in a live context, or maybe only need to shave down a hair with the master. Fatter than the HDRX as well, yet not flabby or lacking in top end articulation, definitely has its own feel that does give the impression of being this amalgamation of the best parts of other amps. I also like having the 'verb, often playing the HDRX and going "yeah, it sounds great, but I could go for some reverb..." - of course, that would be a slightly odd addition to a vintage plexi circuit, so I get it, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And that bias vary tremolo!!! Probably the thing I miss the most about the Vibrolux I sold last year, that sweet, warm tremolo. Really a wonderful addition to the PRS amp line in general, having an amp with that feature.

I'll definitely be getting the 1x12 cab when they come in, my dealer didn't have them yet. Not usually a fan of V30's in an open back, but I have played the DG 2x12 and it's a great sounding cab. Also, excited to try the 1x12 specifically because they used the 8 ohm version, which will be warmer on top and have more mids. So far, using it with my V-Type loaded 1x12 (pictured above), and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Worst case scenario, I'll throw a V-Type into the cab, but who knows, maybe I'll love it with the V30's, and end up with the 2x12 instead, or in addition to the 1x12. But, where the heck am I supposed to put it?

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Now, if DG and PRS really wanted to do us a favor, make it black!!! How am I supposed to hide this thing in plain sight?
 
Nice amp! And also, nice Mira, too. (I had one just like it... I wonder if you've ended up with it?)
 
I got it from Elderly in Lansing, probably about 8-9 years ago. Had wanted one for a while and kinda gave up on it, but stumbled on to it and had to bite!
(Looks like I bought mine in '14.. sold it in '19 to somebody on TGP.)
 
Some think it stands for David Grissom Tremolo, but, in this specific case, no - it stands for Don't Go Telling my wife!!!
Your secret is safe with me, provided the secrecy is reciprocal!! 😂

And congrats on the new amp!
Not usually a fan of V30's in an open back, but I have played the DG 2x12 and it's a great sounding cab.
Doug Sewell told me they tried every type of speaker, and the V-30s were the best match; both he and Grissom were truly surprised because previously Grissom was not a fan of V-30s.

On a more personal note, I've tried the DG30 with the C-90s in my open back Lone Star combo; 10" Creambacks in my 4x10 open back Mesa cab; a pine PRS 112 with a V-30; the PRS birch ply 212 with V-30s; a Mesa Recto 212 with V-30s; a Mesa Fillmore 212 with Jensen Blackbird Alnico 12s; and of course the DG ported pine cab with V-30s that was designed for the amp.

The DG30 absolutely, 100% sounded best with the matching ported pine cab and V-30s -- it isn't close.

So the matching DG30 cab may work best (or not, given that it's a different amp, of course, and the demo DOES sound different from the DG30, the amp is more compressed, etc). If you're in the Detroit area you're welcome to bring over your amp and try mine to find out what will work best for you.

The worst match was the Blackbird Alnicos - probably just that brand, in the Mesa open back 212. It was awful IMHO. Surprisingly, the Fillmore sounded magnificent with those speakers. Ya just never know until you try.

Second best was the closed back PRS pine 112 with v-30s.

Given my experience with the pine cabs working best with the original DG amp, it might be worth trying an original DG 212 before sinking a nickel into a more generic birch ply 112 with a V-30, even if it's cheaper. Of course with your mad skills you could probably build something in pine.
 
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I've got 3 2 x12 cabs and the DG30's is my fave as well , it has a very open surround sound to it. I've considered putting a ported back on my paisley 2x12 as it is a bit compressed sounding.
 
Have you ever tried a DG30? Waiting to hear how the 15 stacks up against THAT...

I’ve not tried the 30. I’d be interested to hear/play the 15 and 30 side by side, to hear the overall tone comparison, but also to hear what the 30 sounds like with the master turned down to match the 15 with the master wide open. Wondering if the 15 might actually sound better in that context, even though the 30 is probably the overall winner.

I’m rambling, but as much as I love the USA PRS amps, their import amps are killing it lately - I can’t say that the import amps I have lack any sonic integrity that the USA amps have, although I haven’t had an apples to apples comparison. My HDRX 20 compares very favorably to the plexi channel on my Friedman Smallbox, the DGT 15 compares favorably to my PRS Sweet 16, etc., but they’re not the same amps.

I wish they would go back to something like the Tuxedo concept, and make USA amps with a hair less ground up unicorn horn, so I didn’t have to choose between import or super high dollar amps - like an S2 line of amps. Maybe I’m romanticizing that even being possible these days, but the prices on amps like the USA HDRX and DG30 are honestly just more than I want to spend for a somewhat limited functionality in terms of the modern creature comforts I’m used to. Maybe I should say that the asking price is a little higher than I like just for admission to the tone, just for its value as an addition to my range of amp vocabulary, but not really something I could use as a live amp, etc. I think the value would be there for me at an in-between price in a more modest USA build, to be ok not having something like footswitchable boost, MV, etc.

Nice review. I'll also be interested in hearing, once you've had more time with it, how much similar ground it covers with the HDRX 20, and how different it can be.

I’m going to be digging into that!

Your secret is safe with me, provided the secrecy is reciprocal!! 😂

And congrats on the new amp!

Doug Sewell told me they tried every type of speaker, and the V-30s were the best match; both he and Grissom were truly surprised because previously Grissom was not a fan of V-30s.

On a more personal note, I've tried the DG30 with the C-90s in my open back Lone Star combo; 10" Creambacks in my 4x10 open back Mesa cab; a pine PRS 112 with a V-30; the PRS birch ply 212 with V-30s; a Mesa Recto 212 with V-30s; a Mesa Fillmore 212 with Jensen Blackbird Alnico 12s; and of course the DG ported pine cab with V-30s that was designed for the amp.

The DG30 absolutely, 100% sounded best with the matching ported pine cab and V-30s -- it isn't close.

So the matching DG30 cab may work best (or not, given that it's a different amp, of course, and the demo DOES sound different from the DG30, the amp is more compressed, etc). If you're in the Detroit area you're welcome to bring over your amp and try mine to find out what will work best for you.

The worst match was the Blackbird Alnicos - probably just that brand, in the Mesa open back 212. It was awful IMHO. Surprisingly, the Fillmore sounded magnificent with those speakers. Ya just never know until you try.

Second best was the closed back PRS pine 112 with v-30s.

Given my experience with the pine cabs working best with the original DG amp, it might be worth trying an original DG 212 before sinking a nickel into a more generic birch ply 112 with a V-30, even if it's cheaper. Of course with your mad skills you could probably build something in pine.

It’s honestly just a vanity thing - I’m already 100% happy with the way the amp sounds through the pine 1x12’s I built a few years ago (pictured with the amp above), I just want something with the matching tolex! I first tried it with the V-Type loaded cab, which I suspect is close to the way the DG cabs sound, to me the V-Type is a V30 optimized for open backs, and it nails the tone. Earlier today I tried the other cab loaded with an Alnico Cream, and with a little tweak of the high cut, that sounded spectacular, too. Different, but no less wonderful.

The shop said they have both the 1x12 and 2x12 on order, and I really have no objection to either of them, just depends on what I like most. 1x12 will be more portable, 2x12 louder. Hopefully they get them in at the same time. I went with the USA 2x12 for the HDRX, and that was a great decision.

For the times I’ve played through the DG 2x12, I’ll say, I too was surprised at how much I liked it, despite not being a fan of V30’s in an open back. The large size of the “ports” makes me struggle to consider it ported, but apparently there’s something to it.
 
The large size of the “ports” makes me struggle to consider it ported, but apparently there’s something to it.
A port simply means there's a rear panel on an enclosure, with an opening.

The classic Dumble ported cabinet has a single large oval port about 16.5" x 10". This is the ported cab formula followed by Two-Rock, among others. The ports on the DG cab are smaller but there are two of them, so I'd guess the overall area of the combined ports may be more or less comparable (I haven't measured them). There are probably as many individual designs of ported cabs as there are makers.

Grissom insisted that the ports have a grille cloth that mellows out the high frequencies on the sound coming from the rear of the cab. The covering over the ports looks pretty cool, though no one sees them in most cases!

Most studio monitors are ported these days; some have a single small round hole; some, like my monitors and many Genelecs, have narrow rectangular vents on either side of the speakers, some have a slot under the speakers, etc. Some are ported in front, some in back.

On a studio monitor the ports are tuned to work with the resonant frequency of the speaker and enclosure and it's a more scientific calculation, but except for large soffit mount monitors in the big studios, it's also usually a much smaller enclosure than a guitar speaker cab.

With guitar speaker cabs my guess is they just experiment and get the tone where they like it without a lot of calculations.

A closed back cabinet is a form of acoustic suspension speaker (loosely speaking), meaning that in theory the air pressure inside the cab affects the rearward travel of the speakers and damps them to a degree; it's not just about the internal reflections. Probably one reason why they tend to sound 'tighter', and open back or ported cabs 'looser'.
 
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