PRS' Flagship Amp

HANGAR18

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If PRS Guitars were to have a single "Flagship Amp", what would it be?

When the Archon first came out I considered that to be the Flagship Amp of PRS Guitars. I'm re-evaluating this question again to see if I remain of that opinion, or is there another amp which should hold that title.

What is a "Flagship Amp"? Well, I'm not a sailor but I think the term has something to do with a country having a fleet of ships and the one ship which has the highest ranking officer is called the Flagship. It represents the absolute best of the country whose flag is flying up there on the mast. So in this case, a "Flagship Amp" would need to be the one amp that anyone who is new to the brand could just buy sight unseen with confidence and know that it will do any job asked of it. The widest range of tonal capabilities that a single amp is capable of producing.

Perhaps PRS doesn't really have a "Flagship Amp" and that every amp model that they offer is only designed to do a specific job, or maybe they do have one.

I see the Sonzera used in a lot of PRS guitar tone demo videos. Is that their "Flagship Amp"?

Your opinions?
 
My vote would be the Archon since I have one, I guess. Hard to say since they all seem to be targeted to different audiences. I surely would love a HDRX 100, or 50. Then maybe I'd call that their Flagship. Cool thought to ponder, though.
 
As it is the only CAD amp left , my vote would be the DG30 which according to Doug Sewell is the most complex amp he's made.
Outside of that the HDRX 100 would likely get that nod as top dog

I'd have to agree. Doug told me the same thing about the DG30 being the most complex and time-consuming PRS has ever built.

For me, the Flagship has to be in current production.

Everything about the DG30 is top shelf, inside and out:

Thicker-than-mil-spec tag boards with careful hand wiring, a very solid and thick welded chassis with chassis-mounted preamp and output tubes, two very quiet fans, finger-jointed cabinet, premium materials (including a lovely wood face plate), Maryland-made and built like a brick house.

Anyone who's looked inside one can easily see how high quality it is.

And if you opt for the matching cab, it's finger jointed, light weight pine construction, grilles on the back ports (!), the wood face plate to match the amp, and it sounds killer.

PRS no longer makes any other amp on this level. Even the Hendrix Maryland amps are printed circuit board models (not that I wouldn't rock one of those in addition to my other amps, because of course I would!).

The Sonzera is made overseas. Very nice for the money, but it's not the flagship. I think they use it in demos so people know it's a very good sounding amp - which it is.

The older Archons were terrific, but even they weren't built on the level of the CAD amps, nor were they as expensive. And the new ones are made in China. I think any PRS flagship model has to be made in Maryland.
 
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So, here's what I'm thinking. Any amp that has an artist's name on it (ie a "Signature Model") is automatically disqualified from consideration. Those amps are designed to do one thing, and that one thing is whatever that one thing that the artist wants their own personal amp to do. In my humble assessment, the whole Signature Model routine is just a marketing gimmick to sell more product by leaching off the name of the celebrity who has the product named after them. That does not take away from how good each of these amps are, but I feel like a Flagship AMP ought to be the Signature Model for PRS Guitars as a whole and not just for a particular artist.

DGh said that the DG30 was made to have all the best qualities of all his own favorite vintage amps. Well what if you don't want to sound like you are playing through a vintage amp? What if you don't want a complex amp? The Hendrix amp is absolutely incredible, but I don't want to sound like Hendrix under any circumstances, even if I'm playing a Hendrix song.

The term flagship amp ought to be a single amp that would bring out the best qualities and characteristics of every model of PRS guitar ever made and stand alone without being tied to a particular artist.
 
After reading all the comments, I'd have to say that the Original 100 watt Archon was and still is the 'Flag Ship' amp of PRS. They never should have stopped making them. A unique name with raw, big iron power, and never goes out of style, ever...AND it has an effects loop. If 100 watts is too much there are still NEW 50 watters out there for sale for $1K. My 2 cents...
 
So, here's what I'm thinking. Any amp that has an artist's name on it (ie a "Signature Model") is automatically disqualified from consideration. Those amps are designed to do one thing, and that one thing is whatever that one thing that the artist wants their own personal amp to do. In my humble assessment, the whole Signature Model routine is just a marketing gimmick to sell more product by leaching off the name of the celebrity who has the product named after them. That does not take away from how good each of these amps are, but I feel like a Flagship AMP ought to be the Signature Model for PRS Guitars as a whole and not just for a particular artist.

DGh said that the DG30 was made to have all the best qualities of all his own favorite vintage amps. Well what if you don't want to sound like you are playing through a vintage amp? What if you don't want a complex amp? The Hendrix amp is absolutely incredible, but I don't want to sound like Hendrix under any circumstances, even if I'm playing a Hendrix song.

The term flagship amp ought to be a single amp that would bring out the best qualities and characteristics of every model of PRS guitar ever made and stand alone without being tied to a particular artist.
Can't argue with your opinion, you're 100% entitled to it. None of us is the official arbiter of what is, and what isn't, the flagship. So it isn't necessary that we agree. It's just a fun discussion.

Here's why I called it the flagship.:

Every amp and every guitar is someone else's design unless you roll your own. Every amp's relative worth is a subjective value judgment. Mine, yours, anyone having an opinion (which of course is everyone).

But it's an inanimate object. It's either great on its own, or it isn't. The person the product is named for, whether that's Paul Smith, Les Paul, Grissom, or the Man in the Moon has absolutely nothing to do with whether it's an excellent product.

The only thing that matters is:

"How good is it?"

It meets Grissom's favorite amps' features? It happens that they blend perfectly in this product.

I've had my DG30 since 2013. My very first DGT was delivered today. Never had one before. You don't need a DGT to make the amp sound great. And I sound nothing like Grissom, nor do I want to cop his tone. I have my own.

The DG30 has sounded wonderful with every single PRS I've owned during the last 9 years. That includes: 594 Soapbar, 594, McCarty with mahogany neck, McCarty with maple neck, Special Semi-Hollow, CU24, SC58, SC245, McCarty Singlecut PS, CU24 PS, PS 20th Ltd, McCarty Trem WL, and 408.

[EDIT}: I forgot to mention CU22 Semi-Hollow Ltd. and the original Mira. Sorry about that!

That's a nice chunk of the PRS lineup! And that ticks all the boxes I have.
 
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I’m sure that I’m biased because I own one, but I’d say the Custom amps (mainly 50, but there were 20’s and 100’s) were the flagship. The H/C amps were king for a while, the SE amps mirrored them, and then the Custom just perfected the concept.

The two things I associate with the “flagship” term for amps are quintessential tone that the brand is trying to make their own, and a rich feature set. As a third, for PRS, being made in Maryland would be an almost absolute must. The Custom 50 had all of that. The Archon is perhaps a close second, but it’s more hard rock oriented than PRS is trying to be as a whole, and doesn’t quite have all the features of the Custom 50. Then again, the DG is a wonderful sounding and quality amp. But I wouldn’t say either of those have the “here’s everything you’ll ever need” build that the Custom amps had.

The PRS amp line could really use a strong, iconic flagship to pull the whole thing together. An updated version of the Custom would be a great way to do it.
 
Can't argue with your opinion, you're 100% entitled to it. None of us is the official arbiter of what is, and what isn't, the flagship. So it isn't necessary that we agree. It's just a fun discussion.

Here's why I called it the flagship.:

Every amp and every guitar is someone else's design unless you roll your own. Every amp's relative worth is a subjective value judgment. Mine, yours, anyone having an opinion (which of course is everyone).

But it's an inanimate object. It's either great on its own, or it isn't. The person the product is named for, whether that's Paul Smith, Les Paul, Grissom, or the Man in the Moon has absolutely nothing to do with whether it's an excellent product.

The only thing that matters is:

"How good is it?"

It meets Grissom's favorite amps' features? It happens that they blend perfectly in this product.

I've had my DG30 since 2013. My very first DGT was delivered today. Never had one before. You don't need a DGT to make the amp sound great. And I sound nothing like Grissom, nor do I want to cop his tone. I have my own.

The DG30 has sounded wonderful with every single PRS I've owned during the last 9 years. That includes: 594 Soapbar, 594, McCarty with mahogany neck, McCarty with maple neck, Special Semi-Hollow, CU24, SC58, SC245, McCarty Singlecut PS, CU24 PS, PS 20th Ltd, McCarty Trem WL, and 408.

[EDIT}: I forgot to mention CU22 Semi-Hollow Ltd. and the original Mira. Sorry about that!

That's a nice chunk of the PRS lineup! And that ticks all the boxes I have.

Okay, I can see that. But what if PRS had always used a DG 30 for every one of their guitar demo videos? Wouldn't that distract the customer away from the guitar that they are introducing a little bit?
 
I think the 50 watt Custom, the evolution of the H, is it for me. Very versatile and cannot be pigeonholed liked the HXDA, Archon, DG…..it did everything pretty well and wasn’t ‘known’ for one thing. Most of the rest of their CAD line are killer but you say their name and you think of a general tone, or at least I do.
 
Okay, I can see that. But what if PRS had always used a DG 30 for every one of their guitar demo videos? Wouldn't that distract the customer away from the guitar that they are introducing a little bit?
Interesting point!

I don't think I'd be distracted, but I might be an exception. I'm gonna guess it depends on the person watching the demo.

I'm not sure how any demo can be free of embodying the character and tone of the amp used to demo the guitar. Even the ubiquitous Fender Black Panel amps put their fingerprints on the tone going through the amp; it's just that we're more used to hearing it, so we think, "Oh, so that's how the guitar really sounds," despite the huge midrange scoop, brightness, and lowest-octave rolloff.

On the other hand, the DG being the most expensive amp they currently make, perhaps people would think, "Yeah, but how does the guitar sound through an amp I can actually afford?"

Though they did demo guitars with the JMOD when it was in production. We mere mortals can only speculate.
 
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