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Yamaha DG Series

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by JayFreddy, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    State of the Art in 1998, and probably still my favorite "modeling amp" today. I've heard people say it's essentially running a modified Pentium II...


    I think it sounds more like a real tube amp than my Roland Cube 60 (from 2005), but I use the Cube 60 more because it's so much lighter, and the fact that it's basically disposable.

    If the Cube 60 dies, I can just get a new Cube 80.

    The Yamaha DG's stay in my studio, and they're NOT for sale... ;) :cool:

  2. MiloCroton

    MiloCroton Tele-Holic

    Nov 5, 2011
    I remember trying one of those in the store when they were just out...

  3. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Allan Holdsworth toured with a pair of these for nearly ten years. While I like Holdsworth's playing, I never considered him a paragon of juicy organic guitar tone...

    However, the fact that someone as good as Holdsworth used them for so long, even after his initial sponsorship deal had played out, that says something... :idea:

    I'm not sure what, but I'm sure it's something! :p :lol:

  4. CostaRicaJones

    CostaRicaJones Tele-Meister

    Jul 4, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    Just a side note on the Roland Cubes: They're not all the same. I've got an older Cube 30 that sounds amazing, whereas my newer 80XL just can't get the same tone and sounds too sterile. I have no idea why?

  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I also played one in the music store, it had motorized pots that adjusted for each preset. I was worried that this feature would break first so eventually I chose the new Cube 60 that came out then.

    The 80X's have a completely different approach to eq setting. You have to start at 0 instead of noon, and work your way up. There's been quite some discussion on that topic here.

  6. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I thought the same thing at first. In fact, when the DG series amps first came out, I passed on them. The way I got my first DG amp, I owned a Fender Deluxe 90 that kept dying... It was just a lemon. Fender customer service kept giving me the run around, so the store where I bought the Fender took pity on me and offered me a DG80 112 at under store cost. I think it was already around 2002, so they were being discontinued.

    I was hesitant at first, but after I plugged it in, I knew I would be bringing it home.

    Now I have two DG80 112s, plus a pair of DG130 heads. I don't want to jinx myself, but all 4 amps still work flawlessly... No problems with the motorised pots at all. Yamaha actually uses the same pots on a series of mixers, so the pots are still manufactured in large quantities, if I ever need a replacement.

    Here's a Yahoo group for DG Amp Users to share tips, tricks, and tweaks:

  7. losergeek

    losergeek Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 28, 2010
    I had a DG60fx for a couple years and it was a nice amp. I really liked that you didn't need to play with presets (although you could) - that they had dedicated knobs for all the effects. I was generally impressed with the tone however I found that it was too much of an 'inbetweener' - too loud for me at home (it had a significant jump between whisper and real volume), and the few times I tried using it at practice as a backup it didn't quite cut through enough. I eventually sold it to a guy who was going to use it for electric stand up bass, and had been using the DG Stomp for years, so he knew the thing inside out. Now I had a VCXD at home, which I like for a lot of the same reasons, but is better suited.

  8. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 15, 2012
    They also made a 3 button stomp box called the DG Stomp.
    The effects were pretty good and all knob tweak able.
    The amp sounds weren't so good IMO

  9. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Yup, the DG Stomp and DGFX series were made in Taiwan. The DG80, 100, and 130 were made in Japan, and have stood the test of a time a little bit better than the Chinese stuff...

    I had a DG Stomp years ago, but I got it used, and it died as a result of the previous owner using the incorrect power supply...

    One of the problems with the Stomp, as with many other multi-effects that have "amp modeling" built in, is you eventually have to run it through some kind of real amplifier to make it audible to your audience, and not all real amplifiers work well with the modeling.

    I liked the DG Stomp, but I never loved it.

    I love the DG80 and DG130... :oops:

    For an amazing Blackface sound, try Clean 2. And Drive 1 is one of my favorite overdrive sounds of all time, comparable to a modded tube screamer through a Twin or a Deville.

  10. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2011
    DG100 is a great amp - had one until recently. Big lump of a thing though - heavier than my Twin!

  11. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2006
    Asheville, NC
    The fact that you bought four separate items of essentially the same amp sounds like a ringing endorsement to me. I'm curious, though. Was the redundancy due to a desire to have backups in case of failure, or to have multiple amps for multiple locations (practice space versus frequent gig locations, etc.), or for some other reason? Even at bargain prices, it seems like a lot of resource allocation for redundant amps.

    I'm also curious as to why Yamaha hasn't updated the line, or come out with some type of replacement line to compete with other modeler manufacturers. Certainly the DG line was highly regarded at the time of their manufacture (GP did a shootout way back in 95 or so that had the DG80 slaying just about every other amp in the competition), and I would think that Yamaha would have been able to build on that platform with the expanded abilities of modern semiconductors and breakthroughs in software. In fact, one of the things that keeps me from buying one of these amps is the fact that they are so old. I certainly don't buy computers from that era, and modeling amps are both amps and computers melded together.

  12. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    My name is JayFreddy, and I'm a gear-o-holic... :oops: :rolleyes:

    First DG80 112 I bought new for $350. At the time, regular price was $999.

    Then I won an eBay auction for a DG100-212, with a MFC10 foot controller and Calzone flight case, for $450 total. That's when I discovered the DG100 is actually the same amp as the DG80, but with the 2 onboard speakers, it loads at 4 ohms, and pushes 100 watts. The DG80 will do the same thing if you connect an external 8 ohm load... I kept the MFC10 and sold the DG100-212 with the flightcase for what I paid for it. It's like I got a free MFC10.

    In the mid-00's, these were more common on eBay, so I bid and ended up winning the DG130 heads for around $400 each. The DG130 head is a serious bad boy... The power amp section is actually around 100 watts at 8 ohms, and a full 130 watts at 4 ohms. I use these in stereo on top of two 212 cabs, and they sound like GOD. I actually prefer the way they sound at 8 ohms, they sound warmer, with a bit more "sag" than when they're running at 4 ohms.

    Seriously, I would put these DG130 head up against some of the best amps I've ever played through, including Marshalls, Mesas, and Vox tube amps. If someone offered you a Mesa Mark IIc+ for $400, what would you do? For myself, if I have the cash, the answer is simple: Buy it!

    For myself, the second DG130 was supposed to be a backup for the first one, but they do sound amazing in stereo... :oops:

    My last DG80 112 came up on CL a couple years ago. The guy was asking $500 including the MFC10. I called and offered $300. He scoffed at me, told me he had paid over $1200, and hung up on me. :lol: Two days later he called back, asked if I still wanted them... I did. He delivered it to my second story apartment... Had his nephew carry it up the stairs! ;) :p

    So yeah, basically it's just another addiction, but it's less harmful than most of the alternatives... :oops:

    They came out in 1998. I think mostly it was just bad timing. At the same time that these came out, Line6 was offering modeling amps that looked similar and had similar sounding specs on paper, but most of the Line6 stuff was in the under $500 category, and was notoriously bad sounding...

    The DG80 had a street price of $1000, the DG130 head was $1100, and the DG100-212 was $1200. So they were significantly more expensive than everything else in their category, and for that kind of coin, you can get a real tube amp. It was hard to convince players that they should get a DG100-212 instead of a Twin, when they were almost the same price. In fact, for the same price, I'd probably get a Twin too, but if my choice is get one Twin for $1200 or get three DGs for the same price or less, then it's not so black and white.

    Yamaha has finally re-entered the guitar amplifier market with their little THR series amps, of which I own one, and they probably deserve their own thread here, but they already have a thread in the owners club section, so that's probably good enough.

    Yamaha musical products have always been on the cutting edge of the industry. From horns to keyboards to guitars and amps, Yamaha may not always be the best, but they always try to be the best in their category, so if/when they fall short, you can at least be assured of a decent quality product.

  13. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

    Oct 6, 2011
    St Augustine, Fl
    I used the DG Stomp for a few years back then and I thought it was amazing. I used it in a worship band direct to the mixer. Then the Floor POD came along and I switched to that but I don't think the POD amp models were any better than the Yamaha.

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