New Amp Day - 25th Anniversary

Tahlee

Tollywood Rhode Island
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Hello everyone! My name is Bryan and I live in Rhode Island. I've been playing guitar since 1986. My favorite players are Van Halen, Lynch, Vai and Satriani.

I may be a little premature in announcing my new amp day, since it is at the Fed Ex office waiting for me to get out of work so that I can pick it up. It's a 50 watt PRS 25th Anniversary head.



I'm really looking forward to getting it home. I already have a PRS paisley cabinet waiting for it!



On the rear panel it says "Southern Mod". Can anyone tell me what that means, please?

 

Tahlee

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Rats...I spoke too soon. I just checked my tracking number and delivery has suddenly been delayed until tomorrow. I have no idea why. :confused:
 

DreamTheaterRules

Not falling for the banana in the tailpipe
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Sorry man, I have friends at Fed Ex and as soon as you put up that pic, I had it re-routed to my house. :beer:

Dude, that is one of the best looking amps I've ever seen! Big time congrats on that score! And, welcome to the forum.
 

crgtr

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nice!
I think the Southern Mod is one that tightens up the low end. More Marshall type lows.
 

Tahlee

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nice!
I think the Southern Mod is one that tightens up the low end. More Marshall type lows.

Thank you. That's really cool. This amp was apparently reverse engineered from one of Eric Johnson's Marshall plexi heads and there's nothing bad about his tone. I've never played through one so I am looking forward to it.

Thanks for the warm welcome, guys.
 

LSchefman

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I think you will dig it immensely.

The HXDAs that I have had (a 50, and currently I have an HXDA 30) are based on the 25th Anniversary platform, and I absolutely love them. These are serious amps; in fact, I saw a Tim Pierce video last night where he keeps a PRS CAD amp (I can't tell which one, unfortunately) in his "surrounded by amp heads" workstation area.

Tim has played on 1000 big time records, great session player.

Good to know that pros on his level respect these amps to that degree, but in any case, congrats!
 

Kine

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Congrats on the new amp! That thing looks sweet!

I think you will dig it immensely.

The HXDAs that I have had (a 50, and currently I have an HXDA 30) are based on the 25th Anniversary platform, and I absolutely love them.
Out of curiosity did you sell your 50w HXDA?
 
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LSchefman

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Congrats on the new amp! That thing looks sweet!


Out of curiosity did you sell your 50w HXDA?

Yeah, I wanted to try out the 30 to see if I could get more power tube saturation in the studio. And I can get a tiny bit more saturation at a slightly lower volume. So it helps with some miking situations.

BUT --

There is also a minimal but audible difference in tone, and as a result the 50 and 30 each have their own vibe going. The 50 feels more like it's going to bust loose for some reason. I like that. The 30 feels more controlled, which of course, it is.

As with the 100 vs the 50, each does its thing in a slightly different way regarding headroom, low end, and other factors. So naturally, I should have hung onto the 50, and gotten the 30 and had both. I didn't think I could do that at the time, but I really should have found a way to make that happen.

At some point I'm going to get the 100, and have that and the 30. And why the 100 watter? Because I have already had the 50, and it's hard for me to think I should buy the same amp a second time. Then too, I'd like to play around with the additional low gain headroom and the tighter bass.
 

Tahlee

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Hi guys. I picked up my head last night after work. The FedEx office is right next to guitar center, so I also traded in a Music Man Albert Lee so I could buy the matching 2x12 cabinet and some other stuff. I know that I have the 1x12 already, but it doesn't have the flamed maple front and I prefer a 2x12 cabinet. The 1x12 is perfect to leave in the family room. I also bought a long high-quality speaker cord so I can run it from the music room to the adjacent family room. My three other heads are in there, too.



My first impression upon opening the box was that it is a thing of beauty. The second thing I noticed is that it doesn't have the "Southern Mod!" written on the back like in the picture. So, I checked the pics and the head in the pic was made in 2011. The head I received was made in 2014. Sweetwater must have been using an older picture. I bought this head as a demo for a savings of $1100 because the exterior was said to have some scuffs and scrapes. I don't see a single scuff or scrape. This was the only one they had so they didn't ship the wrong one. So, it's not modded but it's newer and in mint condition. I am not disappointed at all.

My second impression is that it is LOUD. Not a little loud, but very, very loud. With the wattage switch dialed down to the lowest setting it sounds like a 50 watt head. The highest setting sounds like the loudest 100+ watt head I've ever heard...I'm thinking 1000 watts. All I could do was barely turn the treble gain and bass gain otherwise I was really loud. That's no way to get a good sound out of a tube amp.

So, I am thinking that I'll need to pick up a power attenuator to run the amp through or else it will be unusable in my home. I have an 80 watt Roccaforte with a master volume knob that I can play through because it has the master volume knob.

Did anyone else have this experience?

Where should I buy a head cover? The PRS store doesn't sell one for this model.

Do people send their PRS heads to PRS to have mods done to them?

Thanks!
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Start getting your tone by diming the master, but -- even though it was added "as a convenience", it really doesn't sound all that bad when you roll it back. What happens is, you still get all the distortion from the gain stage, but you lose (quite) a bit of the actual speaker distortion, which has its own sound.

Yes, absolutely people send in their heads to get mods done to them -- they have a whole department, CAD, for making custom amps and mods. Usually they get the mods at the time the amp is made, but talk to them, the worst that can happen is that they'll say no.

I'd still be a little upset about the false advertising, but that's up to you. I'd get over it by appreciating it for being pristine cosmetically.

My MDT actually has some mysterious (to me) mods, and I'm afraid to get a standalone head because I'm afraid it won't sound the same.
 
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LSchefman

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My second impression is that it is LOUD. Not a little loud, but very, very loud. With the wattage switch dialed down to the lowest setting it sounds like a 50 watt head. The highest setting sounds like the loudest 100+ watt head I've ever heard...I'm thinking 1000 watts. All I could do was barely turn the treble gain and bass gain otherwise I was really loud. That's no way to get a good sound out of a tube amp. !

Well, the amps are loud, because they were truly designed for pro stage and studio use, not for bedroom players. You have bands like the Allman Brothers using them on stage, and players like session whiz Tim Pierce using them, and they use them dimed. Tim Pierce runs his amps (he has a couple of PRS but also dozens of others) into a 4x12 that's put in a specially built, soundproof closet in his garage(!). And of course, players like Grissom use them with the masters maxed out as well.

That's always the trade-off; an amp can be designed without compromise, that is, either purely for the bedroom player, or purely for the pro player, but I've found that it's impossible to make something that sounds good for both kinds of players. Lots of makers have tried and in my opinion, failed at this.

Incidentally, I also have a Roccaforte, a 30 Watt amp with no master volume, a very nice amp! It lives in LA with my son lately, though...

The Master on the 25th Anniversary amp is a bit different from the continuous Master on the HXDA, which I found pretty effective with my HXDA 50.

While I'm not much of a believer in attenuators, as I think they do affect the tone, obviously you need one. I'd do some research, as there are great sounding and bad sounding attenuators on the market.

One other thing to note is that PRS amps can be dialed in to what you want, it's worth working with it for awhile.
 

Tahlee

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Thanks for the input, guys. My head doesn't have a master.



Treble Gain - Bass Gain - Treble - Middle - Bass - Presence - Wattage

This is just a stock pic I found online of what my controls are.
 

Tahlee

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One other thing to note is that PRS amps can be dialed in to what you want, it's worth working with it for awhile.

Yes, sir. I'll work with it. It's so pretty I would keep it as a decoration, even if I hated it. Which I don't.
I have a Tom Scholz Power Soak somewhere.....I almost forgot that I have one...I'll go dig it out of the closet and see how that goes.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Interesting that it has a wattage control with what looks like half a dozen or so detents.

Yeah, you're going to need an attenuator. I don't think PRS makes one (why should they? :smarmy: as Les very correctly explained), but one person on here swears by the Suhr, and my friend loves the Rivera (he has it permanently between the amp section and speaker section of one of his combo units because it's so freakin' loud) -- they have both the Rockcrusher and the Rockcrusher Recording, honestly I don't know which one he has. I think he has the plain one.

Just to get your shortlist started. I don't have experience with any of those. I just use the master.

EDIT: never mind, see you have the power soak.
 

LSchefman

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The controls are the same as the HXDA, with the exceptions of the HX/DA switches, and the different type of Master volume. The HXDA is based on the 25th, so that makes perfect sense.

Enjoy the amp!
 
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