The PRS Low Wattage Shootout!

andy474x

Knows the Drill
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Just for fun, let’s listen to the HDRX 20 vs the DGT 15! For kicks, I threw in the Sweet 16 as well (Sweetwater limited edition 2020). Went for a chill Texas vibe, nothing too exciting, but this was a good chance to try out the new interface and reamp rig I set up couple months ago. So, these are true apples to apples comparisons of the three amps.

Sweet 16:

DGT 15:

HDRX 20:

All amps set up with the master maxed, a medium gain setting, and bright switch on for all tracks, running through an IR of my pine 1x12 with a V-Type speaker. The HDRX and DGT have a lot in common, with the HDRX having slightly more of the upper mid bark of a plexi, vs a rounder mid honk in the DGT. The Sweet 16 has a softer tone than both, although to be fair I would normally use an Alnico Cream with the Sweet 16, which has more top end grind. There are good things about each amp that stand out to me - the leaner low mid of the HDRX makes lower register notes more articulate, while higher notes on the DGT have a really nice warmth, and the Sweet 16 has the most relaxed vibe of all.
 
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with the HDRX having slightly more of the upper mid bark of a plexi,
Mid shift engaged? That makes it bark more in the upper mids for sure.

Great job on this. A comparison many are wondering about, I'm sure! While I know this is a "one setting for each" type comparison, I wonder what people will prefer after hearing this. I had a preference, and... it's the one I already own. But again, that's just at one setting. Can't wait to hear more of the DGT.

Oh, and my HDRX 20 is WAY louder than I can get away with turning up at home. I have the treble channel gain dimed, bass gain at noon, and I turned the master up to 11:00 for maybe 30 seconds last Saturday night. I swear, it was tickling my eardrums! It came down pretty quickly. That sucker is LOUD for 20 watt rating.

Also noting (sorry for the ramble) that DTG mentioned in the last video I watched that he felt the new 15 was probably the best choice for most of his gigs moving forward, because even his 30 was too loud for many when properly turned up to the sweet spots. That is one thing that has me very interested in the new one. I have a power station and it has the squealies with my HDRX when cranked up past noon, so I have no real way to tame it at the settings it would sound best.
 
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Nice job, Andy. For that particular track I favored the DGT. They all sounded great, but something about the DGT does it, for me. Thanks for doing this!
 
Great analysis of the various strengths of the amps; demonstrated on the tracks.

I'm partial to the HDRX, but I'm a plexi guy. Thanks for the shootout!
 
I Liked The DGT The Most With My Bad Ears And Through My Laptop Speakers.
 
Thanks, fellas!

Mid shift engaged? That makes it bark more in the upper mids for sure.

Great job on this. A comparison many are wondering about, I'm sure! While I know this is a "one setting for each" type comparison, I wonder what people will prefer after hearing this. I had a preference, and... it's the one I already own. But again, that's just at one setting. Can't wait to hear more of the DGT.

Oh, and my HDRX 20 is WAY louder than I can get away with turning up at home. I have the treble channel gain dimed, bass gain at noon, and I turned the master up to 10:00 for maybe 30 seconds last Saturday night. I swear, it was tickling my eardrums! It came down pretty quickly. That sucker is LOUD for 20 watt rating.

Also noting (sorry for the ramble) that DTG mentioned in the last video I watched that he felt the new 15 was probably the best choice for most of his gigs moving forward, because even his 30 was too loud for many when properly turned up to the sweet spots. That is one thing that has me very interested in the new one. I have a power station and it has the squealies with my HDRX when cranked up past noon, so I have no real way to tame it at the settings it would sound best.

Oh, yes, mid shift is on! I forgot about it, because I leave it on almost 100% of the time.

They obviously can be made to sound very similar to each other, or somewhat different, but I’m thinking that where the rubber will hit the road for most people is number one, the volume, and number two, the features. The DGT is a more sensible volume, still loud, but not HDRX 20 loud. That said, in my opinion the amp does not sound great with the master turned down significantly - I think of it more as a “mild attenuation” feature, but that's about it. The preamp breakup is kind of unpleasant on its own, but becomes glorious with the PI/power section working hard.

Someone who really needs to be able to dip into much lower volume might be better off looking at a Sonzera, the newer version sounds pretty darn good and the master is more effective. Wish they made it in a head version though.
 
Just for fun, let’s listen to the HDRX 20 vs the DGT 15! For kicks, I threw in the Sweet 16 as well (Sweetwater limited edition 2020). Went for a chill Texas vibe, nothing too exciting, but this was a good chance to try out the new interface and reamp rig I set up couple months ago. So, these are true apples to apples comparisons of the three amps.

Sweet 16:

DGT 15:

HDRX 20:

All amps set up with the master maxed, a medium gain setting, and bright switch on for all tracks, running through an IR of my pine 1x12 with a V-Type speaker. The HDRX and DGT have a lot in common, with the HDRX having slightly more of the upper mid bark of a plexi, vs a rounder mid honk in the DGT. The Sweet 16 has a softer tone than both, although to be fair I would normally use an Alnico Cream with the Sweet 16, which has more top end grind. There are good things about each amp that stand out to me - the leaner low mid of the HDRX makes lower register notes more articulate, while higher notes on the DGT have a really nice warmth, and the Sweet 16 has the most relaxed vibe of all.
They all have a family resemblance.

One thing that's interesting is that the DG15 is remarkably different sounding from my DG30. Perhaps that's down to the difference in wattage, speaker cabinet, tubes, transformers and/or design. But I was surprised at the difference.
 
I wasn't able to listen to the sound clips but I'm really wanting to play the dg15 and sweet 16.

I own the HDRX20 and love it but I do use an attenuator with it because master must be set at 6 or above for my tastes.

I just picked up an oversized pine 1x12 cab with celestion V type speaker and it sounds pretty good with HDRX. So far my mesa roadking 4x12 sounds best.
 
They all have a family resemblance.

One thing that's interesting is that the DG15 is remarkably different sounding from my DG30. Perhaps that's down to the difference in wattage, speaker cabinet, tubes, transformers and/or design. But I was surprised at the difference.

What do you hear? It sounds like DG, and the demos. in general, to me. But, of course, I’ve never tried the USA amp - I’m sure there are differences, my hearing just isn’t that good!
 
The DG and the HDRX are very close but the DG has some extra artifacts that I like just a little more for this track. Maybe the mid shape, either way, both sound really good. Great comparison.
 
I liked your tone best with the HDRX 20 .
Still not hearing anything from the DGT 15 that makes me want to try one.
I really like the HDRX20 I play it different then most here , set mostly clean and hit it with pedals ( the Horsemeat sounds killer with the HDRX )
my other small wattage amp is a new to me Orange OR15 its a true gain monster but again I Love the clean sound I get set , and then a nice Rat style pedal or a couple of mine pedals.
 
What do you hear? It sounds like DG, and the demos. in general, to me. But, of course, I’ve never tried the USA amp - I’m sure there are differences, my hearing just isn’t that good!
It's difficult to describe tone in words, so for comparison purposes I'm linking a clip to a recording of the DG30 I've posted ten zillion times, mainly because both intros use "edge of breakup" kind of tones.

If you listen to both lower gain intros, you'll hear that the DGT 15's tone character is quite different from the 30. This, of course can be down to how the amps are set up, speakers, tubes and so on. Forgive me, I've posted this about a zillion times, but I don't have another recording of the DG30 handy and the point is to show the tone difference in the intro. You'll hear that the overtones, and the way the amps break up, are different, as are the low mids. There are also more vowel-like formants in the mids of the 30W amp:


In my solo tracks I used a relatively colored preamp boosted extremely low, so it's definitely not apples to apples, but the preamp was blended so you hear mostly guitar. Regardless, it's apparent that the character of the amps is different. As it should be!

Nonetheless, two different players, different guitars, different speaker cabs, different amp setups, etc. are going to affect everything.

There's nothing wrong with the way your tracks sound at all.
 
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A further note:

I like the way the Sweet 16 sounds most of the clips you posted. It has the most balanced tone, with more dimension and fullness in the low mids and bottom, and less crackle/more smoothness on top. Creamier, if you will.

Again, that could be down to dialing in the amps, so I'm not going to use the word, 'better' in comparing the amps. I just liked the tone of that clip. It could be down to mic placement, who knows.
 
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A little update here - now that I have the matching 1x12, I updated the lead on the track. The others were all impulses of a V-Type in an open back, this is a single mic on the matching cab, and I also set it more along the lines of the "DG himself" settings, including with the bright switch off. The rhythm tracks are identical to the previous version.
 
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