What is the Best Amp for your PRS Guitar

Lee B.

I stitch my wings and pull the strings.
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I currently have an Egnater Rebel 30 Mk II, which does really nice Fender Deluxe or Vox AC type clean to crunch tones, but kind of underwhelms me past that point unless I throw some pedals at it. I think what I really want when I go shopping for a second amp is some good old fashioned kerrang. I would love to find an HDXA and a Dr. Z EMS in the same shop someday to A/B against each other.
 

andy474x

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My Custom 50 is my top match for my PRS guitars! Although I'm sure there are many that would sound great with a PRS, problem is I haven't tried them all!

The Custom 50 is a gigging dream. Nice mids with a lot of cut, well tuned bass, mates well with many pedals, and loud as heck.
 

LSchefman

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Are they hand wired or do they use a PC
Board? I try to stay away from Amps with a PC Board
and when I look for an Amp without Master Volume
or Gain.

Boogie has it right. Of their current amps, the HXDA and the DG30 are 90 and 95% hand-wired, as is his amp. There are a couple of traces on the boards, which are thicker than most boards on even the finest boutique amps. All of the tubes are chassis mounted, including preamp tubes. It's done the right way. Even the cabinetry is finger-jointed pine, again, done right.

I have both amps. While they have master volumes, the amps are designed to be used old-school, with the masters full up and out of the way, and the volume of the amp controlled by the volume/gain controls, and by your guitar. Doug Sewell, the amps' designer says that the masters are there as conveniences in case you're forced to turn down for some reason.

I've owned many hand-wired amps, from old school Fenders to Two-Rocks, etc. The DG and HXDA are without doubt the finest amps I've ever had in my studio, and I've done a lot of ad sessions with them. But YMMV, and I'd never suggest to anyone that they ought to go out and buy what I have. Everyone's got to decide these things for themselves.

If you can find one to play through you might want to check it out.

The Custom amps are a bit less expensive, and have less hand-wiring, but they're still the product of plenty of hand workmanship.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Not falling for the banana in the tailpipe
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I used to be into this stuff way more and was modding amps and built a few. I'm no expert, but when I look inside an amp, I know what is "good." I know what is "really good." I know what is "great." I'm impressed when I see the guts of any PRS amp.
 

Steve's addiction

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I agree with Boogie. I have a M/B 5:50 Express+ and a original Musicman and no matter which one I play all my PRS'S sound great on either
 

bricel24

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PRS and Boogie go together like peanut butter and jelly!
This.

I've tried several amps over the years and to me most Mesas I've tried work best with my PRSi. :D

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BWV548

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Not going to go down the "best" rat hole...
However, I will offer a bit of an alternative perspective. My PRSs all sound brilliant through a JC120. They just sing. SS amps seem to be frowned upon these days. And I think I understand, generally, why. Still, the JCs are brilliant and my PRSs seem to love my 120
 

LSchefman

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Thinking about the OP's question a little more, I'd observe that there are different types of PRS guitars, with different pickups, and some have coil taps, played by tens of thousands of players playing many styles of music, so it's impossible to foresee all of the permutations and predict what amp will work best for someone's PRS.

If I played only Metal, for example (I don't), I might think only a high gain amp works well with my PRSes. If I played only Classic rock, it'd be a different amp. If I wanted to sound like Carlos Santana, I'd need yet another amp. Etc.

One other point is that lots of folks are pretty lazy about setting up their amps for different guitars. I'm always amazed that someone would set their amp up for, say, a Strat, and then say it doesn't sound good with a humbucker guitar. Of course it can! Just walk over to it and fiddle with the knobs!

I dial in my amps differently for each of my PRS guitars, and for different pieces of music. I want the amp to sound good in the room, with the guitar, and with the pickups selected. It only takes a few seconds.

A guitar and an amp are an interactive system wherein a player can make the adjustments to hear the tone he/she wants to hear. And so many amps can accomodate most guitars. I always think it's a shame when folks don't bother with trying, plug in, not touch the knobs, and announce," This amp isn't a good humbucker/single coil/whatever-type-of-pickup amp." I say BS to that.

But of course, preferences regarding amps are entirely legit, and because everyone's repertoire, tastes, playing style, picking style, touch on the fretboard, and skills are different, no two players are going to feel exactly the same way about everything in their rigs.

That's not a bad thing. It keeps our individuality intact! ;)
 

LSchefman

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Does anyone have experience using Dr. Z Maz 18 amps with PRS guitars?

I’ve played through them with PRSes many times.

I’m of the apparently unpopular opinion that a good guitar plus a good amp = good tone, and that there’s no such thing as “this amp works with a PRS, and that one doesn’t.” Any good sounding amp sounds good with a PRS, and a bad sounding amp screws things up.

I’ve been a PRS player for a quarter-century, and have had a crap ton of great amps. The amps sounded great with my guitars, they were all different types of amps, and I did loads of national ad tracks with all of them.

If you like the Maz, you’ll like it with a PRS.
 

InTooDeep

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I have always throughly enjoyed the mesa/PRS combo. Currently loving my Tremoverb with 4x12 V30 cab with my CE24!
 
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I've had good results with the PRS+Mesa pairing. I avoided PRS for a long time because of the nu-metal thing, but I'm glad I finally gave them a chance because I really dig their guitars.

IMO, Mesa's are pretty unforgiving. You put garbage into one and you're going to get garbage out of it. With all the gain and harmonics it's easy for a little bit of dissonance to muck up the sound, and this is where (IMO) PRS clarity and intonation really shine.


One of these days I want to try a DG30. I want to see/hear/feel what an amp specifically designed around a PRS sounds/responds like.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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One of these days I want to try a DG30. I want to see/hear/feel what an amp specifically designed around a PRS sounds/responds like.

I think you're on the right track. My Custom 50 sounds great with my PRS guitars. My Archon sounds phenomenal with them. I'm betting the HX/DA and MDT and probably others, do also.
 

LSchefman

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One of these days I want to try a DG30. I want to see/hear/feel what an amp specifically designed around a PRS sounds/responds like.

Tellingly, each PRS amp sounds different, yet they were voiced using PRS guitars no doubt.

The DG30 sounds closest to a vintage Tweed, with some other stuff thrown in. The HXDA sounds vintage Plexi, since it was cloned from Duane Allman’s Plexi.
The Archon is completely different. The John Mayer amp sounds Blackface Fender-meets-Dumble. Etc.

You see where I’m going with this; if PRS thought only one style of amp would work with their guitars, the amps would all sound alike. But they all sound very different.

It’s kind of erroneous to think that there’s a thing PRS amps do for PRS guitars that they don’t do for other guitars, and vice-versa. There are as many great amps for a PRS as there are great amps of any make. It all depends on what you want to hear.
 
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The DG30 sounds closest to a vintage Tweed, with some other stuff thrown in.

This is good to know.

Years ago I heard a tweed Deluxe with a greenback in it and thought it sounded like the voice of rock and roll, but I haven't wanted to be tied down by an amp with no master volume.
 

LSchefman

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This is good to know.

Years ago I heard a tweed Deluxe with a greenback in it and thought it sounded like the voice of rock and roll, but I haven't wanted to be tied down by an amp with no master volume.


Ya know, it’s always a question of which rock and roll, right? Because there are so many styles and players.

In any case, the Grissom amp sounds exactly - and I mean that literally - exactly like the Grissom demos of the amp and like his most recent record release, that I think it titled. “How It Feels To Fly.”

Well, except, very few folks play as well as Grissom. ;)

One thing you need to know is that the Grissom amp’s Master Volume isn’t like most master volume amps. It’s much more interactive with the other controls, and depending on how it’s set, other controls such as gain and EQ need to be adjusted when the master volume is adjusted.

It’s really an amp that does its best work with the master volume out of the way. Grissom says he mostly uses the amp old-school, with the master turned completely up and out of the circuit. I do that as well. However, if the gain is set high, like over 2/3 or so, the master is useful and sounds very good.

Most people want to pretend the amp is a Mesa, or like all of the other master volume amps on the market, however, the DG30 is a PPI amp, where the master doesn’t work that way, so some folks don’t “get it” when they play the amp. If you get the chance to try one, you’ll see what I mean.

Right now, it’s my favorite amp.
 
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