Suggestions for Dr. Z Tones

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Jona, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Jona

    Jona Member

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    Hello All,
    First time poster, thanks in advance for any responses.

    I recently picked up an Amplifire to allow me to go direct at a new gig where mic'ing a cabinet is a no go. My main amp is a Dr. Z Maz 18 and I'm trying my best to copy that sound in the Amplifire for easy integration into my rig. Curious if anyone has any suggestions for a model chain that would get me close? I'm finding the Vox gets close clean but then doesn't break up anything like my Dr. Z when I hit it with pedals. The Deluxe model gets pretty close but doesn't have the thick mids and EL84 compression I'm used to with the Z. I've been doing my tone matching using a load box to run the Z into Logic so I can use the same IRs for both it and the Fire, to remove that from the equation. Thanks again!
     
  2. Dave_5150

    Dave_5150 Senior Member

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    Try the AC30 model it's probably nearest to the Maz tone, although the real Maz is a strange hybrid of Marshall input, Fender EQ and Vox output sections.
     
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  3. Jona

    Jona Member

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    Thanks. I've tried the AC30 and find it sounds very similar until I hit it with pedals. The Maz is definitely its own beast and takes pedals amazingly well. I can get great tones from the Fire but I'm searching for something like the Maz for easy one to one swapping depending on the gig. Maybe I should put it on the wishlist.
     
  4. CMS

    CMS Member

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    It sounds like you have been experimenting with different IR's. I find that that the right IR is usually the key to getting the right sound. Of course the G12h30s in the MAZ combos are pretty different from the typical AC30 IRs (which I think are usually celestion blues). The cab rolloff is also key for me.

    What pedals/how are you pushing it? Have you tried messing with the amp damping parameter when using the AC30 with your preferred IR? For some models this has a big effect on the headroom/compression and the way the power amp section breaks up. It is very interactive with the gain and master controls and will affect how it reacts to boosting it with pedals. Just thinking of ways to get the AC30 model a bit closer in the meantime....it might take a while to get some dedicated Dr. Z models from atomic :)
     
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  5. Jona

    Jona Member

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    Great suggestions, thanks! I'll have to try experiment with the rolloff and amp damping.

    For IRs, I actually run my Maz head into a Weber attenuator, then take the line out into a preamp, into Logic and an IR host plugin. I use Ownhammer (Blue and V30) IRs and just picked up the free IR pack Celestion is giving away. I agree that IRs make a huge difference, but using the same IR I can't get the Fire to sound like the Maz. This isn't shocking given the different amp models, but I look forward to trying your suggestions.

    For pedals, I'm afflicted with a constant desire to experiment, but right now: Pettyjohn Crush -> Chase Bliss Brothers -> Pettyjohn Pettydrive 2 -> volume pedal -> Xotic EP Booster (always on, used to balance different guitar volumes) -> Front of amp or Fire. I then have time based effects in the effects loop but the response of those isn't an issue here.

    I set my Maz to edge of breakup where it's really responsive to pick dynamics then set the pedals to push it over the top in different shades. My biggest issue with the AC30 model is that it seems to collapse into a spitty mess when the pedals come in. The Deluxe model responds much better to my pedals but is very hollow in the mids and doesn't have the natural compression of the Maz. Again, excited to try your suggestions with this model as well. Thanks!
     
  6. paulfrench

    paulfrench Well-Known Member

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    Your mention of “hollow mids” reminded me of a post from Marc Gallo answering a question about amp models where the original amp didn’t have a “middle” tone knob. He suggested turning the mid control all the way up on these amps such as the Deluxe, and AC30.

    I second the idea of experimenting with the damping settings. I was working on a deluxe preset tonight that didn’t sound right, and lowering the damping to 50% got it to where I thought it sounded much better.
     
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  7. Jona

    Jona Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. I had some time over the weekend to experiment and was able to get something that sounds a lot like my Dr. Z and breaks up in a pretty consistent way when I hit it with pedals. It's not perfect, but that's to be expected. However, it definitely gets me to the place where I think I can use my AmpliFire in place of my amp and get a very similar feel. Here's what I came up with:

    Amp
    Model: Top Boost with power amp enabled
    Gain: 2.6
    Bass: 1.7
    Mids: 10
    Treble: 4.2
    Presence: 9.6
    Master: 10
    Level: 6.1
    Damping: 21% (As suggested, this was the key)

    Cabinet
    IR: Ownhammer Celestion Blue - OH 212 VC30 BLU-93 OH1F-09 (500ms)
    Rolloff: 7.9kHz
    PeakQ: 0.5
    Bottom: 0 dB
    Air: 0 dB
    Level: 0 dB

    I found that pedal to pedal response varied a bit. For instance, if I tweaked the patch to sound identical to my amp when hitting both with a compressor pedal, I'd have to tweak the patch a bit differently when I switched to an overdrive. This was pretty subtle in most cases and I'm not going to worry about it for now. If it becomes an annoyance, I can easily create different patches for different external pedal combinations and integrate the Fire with my midi switcher. Thanks again for all the ideas!
     
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