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Dr Z Carman Gia what do you think?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Rick Schmidlin, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Rick Schmidlin

    Rick Schmidlin TDPRI Member

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    I am thinking of one mostly for home use, what is your exsperance?
     
  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you like it, sure. Go for it. Are you going to be cranking it for breakup? Cause if that’s your goal, I gotta warn you that 18 watts of Z is a LOUD amp in that scenario.

    For some reason, Z watts always seem louder to me than anybody else’s watts. If cranked amp tone is the end game here I’d highly recommend you also get the Z attenuator.

    Or maybe your home situation allows you to be as loud as you please. In which case, let ‘er rip.
     
    uriah1 likes this.
  3. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    i just played one about an hour ago. the one i played was a 2x10. it was loud. it didn't sound like any amp i've ever played before, but i don't have too awful much experience. my uneducated thought was "primitive".
     
  4. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    it is essentially a hammond ao-35 reverb amp modified for guitar use so primitive is fairly accurate. I think it is an incredibly nice one trick pony provided you don't have neighbors
     
  5. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Really cool little amp. Two controls. Great tones. EL-84 tubes and a unique circuit. A REALLY LOUD 18 watts.

    As described above, raw, primitive and did I mention it can be LOUD???
     
  6. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Go for it.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Absolutely an amazing amp. One of the best I've ever had. They just have a tone thing going on that's hard to beat. My guess is it's mostly the beefy transformers and simplicity. It can be decently loud for an 18 watter, but has great tone when not dialed loud too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  8. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    I think it’s okay.

    I really like the Dr. Z aesthetic, but for some reason every time I’ve tried one I’ve been underwhelmed. Like I feel like it should be the be-all end-all amp for me, but just something about their voicing doesn’t do it for me enough for me to pick it over other brands.

    Maybe you’ll love it. Maybe try the 1x10 combo for home use. As others have said, it’s loud, at least it was super loud when I tried it through a Z Best 212.
     
  9. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    Not a bad amp. I wouldn't pay what they want for it because it's so simple and you wait around and get a vintage amp that will increase in value.
     
  10. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    There are those who like EL84 amps, and those who don't. If youre one who does, its one of the best.

    For home use, I recommend adding the Z Brake Lite, and the Z Drive pedal, which is PERFECT for a single channel 2 knob amp like the Ghia.
     
  11. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I love mine. I have been thinking about selling my Vibro Champ because I never use it anymore. Mine has the Brake Lite attenuator, which I would recommend for home use. I can play mine in the basement without waking the kids.

    Mine is a 1X12. I ditched the vintage 30 and put in a WGS Blackhawk AlNiCo. Wow what a great speaker. I compared it to an AlNiCo Red Fang, and it was way sweeter. The vintage 30 was fine, but I sure do like the Blackhawk better.
     
  12. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the head with 2 10 Z cab. It was loud as others have said. I only sold it because I needed a smaller more versatile portable combo amp. The one tone knob was kind of hard for me to get used too as well.
     
  13. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Probably not an amp I would choose for purely home use, but that's just me. These amps are loud and are meant to be turned up a bit to get to the sweet spot. You would absolutely need an attenuator to really appreciate what the amp is capable of in a home setting. The other thing I'd add - and I've owned five or six Dr. Zs - is that they tend to be voiced to sit well in a live mix and may not be what you're really looking for in a home amp if you like that full, encompassing scooped Fender sound for example. Just my opinion.

    Great amps, well built with lots of dedicated fans.
     
  14. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    I respectfully disagree. I’m a big EL84 fan and the Carmen Ghia doesn’t really sound like “insert classic EL84 amp” to me. It’s kind of got its own thing going on when you compare it to a Vox, Matchless, Bad Cat, Top Hat, etc.

    That’s the EL84 sound to me, though I do appreciate 18 watt Marshalls, too, which maybe the CG is closer to but still different.

    I kinda find that with all Zs, they have a unique voicing which you either like or don’t.
     
  15. saleake

    saleake Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I liked mine, but I had to put a greenback speaker in it to tame it. It didn’t break up until about 1:00 and that was too loud for most places. I sold it when the Maz 18 MKII came out. Dr Z amps are well made and they have great customer service.
     
  16. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

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    The Ghia is an incredible amp - IMO the best sounding amp that the Doc has ever made. Loud though. Really loud.

    But it begs for a master volume, just like the first CG models few he made and the 25th anniversary models.
     
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