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Dr. Z Galaxie - initial impressions

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by cacibi, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

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    Picked up my new Dr. Z Galaxie last night and took it down to rehearsal. Arrived early to get it dialed in a bit.

    For those not familiar - this is the new, channel-switching, 6L6 amp from Dr. Z. Mine is a 2x10. I really like the Dr. Z 10" ceramic speakers which I also had previously in my Maz Jr. 18.

    I ran it in Triode mode (has a Triode/Pentode switch 30-40 watts respectively) based on some info I found on the Z forum - saying that the Triode mode would yield a more classic, 40's-50's tone when pushed.

    The clean channel is....well, clean. As advertised and is nice and Fendery (based on the Tweed Super according to Dr. Z) with good, tight low end. Control knobs are Treble Bass and Presence which are shared by both channels. I found myself rolling the Presence way back to tame the tele high end. I think I ended up running Treble about 11 o'clock and Bass around 12:30 - 1.

    The overdrive channel has an AMAZING overdrive. Think SRV blues tones that compress so nicely that I turned off my compressor. I am really pleased with the overdrive on this amp - in general (read on).

    It is a LOUD beast capable of pretty mean rock overdrive - but by the time you get it to that territory you are taking off heads - so an attenuator would be recommended.

    My main problem, and biggest disappointment with this amp is that when you switch to the overdrive channel - the EQ of the amp changes pretty dramatically. Specifically - your low end gets sliced off. To me, it sounds exactly like what you would get running a TS-808 on a clean amp. As soon as you hit that overdrive, you lose low end.

    I'm not sure yet if this will be a deal breaker for me or not. I still ended up using the OD channel quite a bit - and the clean channels took my OD's very well. I would venture to say better than any other clean amp I've played. In a way - the EQ of the OD channel helps it cut through for leads - so I can imagine that it was a well-intentioned design element. I'm sure it also helps keep the overdrive from getting fizzy or buzzy (again - much like the 808 design), but - I love my low end. I associate the low end as much with classic tele country styles as I do the notorious treble. And I finally have some pickups that will deliver it just the way I like it (Don Mare 4709's) so - it's a bit frustrating.
     
  2. jjh37854

    jjh37854 Tele-Afflicted

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    thanks for the review, I love the idea of channel switching amps but there always seems to be something that doesnt work out with the switching scheme, you end up choosing one channel and building off that with pedals.

    gotta love 2-10s huh.
     
  3. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

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    Yes indeed.

    Just a small update:

    I have to say the clean channel really takes pedals well. I mean amazingly well - I've never had an amp that melded so well with OD pedals. My Barber LTD SR in front of this thing sounds great.

    The Dr. himself responded to a post I had on the Z forums: the post

    As he you can see - he offered to update the circuit at no charge. So - just want to be fair to the good Dr. I don't think these updates will address all my concerns regarding the amp, the upgrades will apparently reduce the hum in the clean channel and alter the Presence control - but I would still give this amp a 9 out of 10.

    Here is what I would change about the amp if I had a magic wand:

    1) Low-end response in the overdrive channel to match the clean channel (without buzz!). Now - this is probably, for all intents and purposes, not possible to do and still maintain tight low end - and Z states that the voicing of the OD channel was a conscious decision to eliminate buzzy low-end. That's a totally valid design choice - and I would certainly rather have the OD channel the way it is now, than add the low end back in just to get buzz and flab. I'm just saying in a perfect world......

    2) Separate EQ controls for each channel. Since there is a difference in the channel voicing - it seems like it would be handy to have separate EQ controls to try and manually match them as close as possible.

    3) Amp-mounted channel selector switch. As it is now - channel selection is only available via the footswitch. If the footswitch is disengaged - the amp defaults to the clean channel. I think that's the way it should be, since - if the footswitch failed the natural solution would be to use an OD pedal on the clean channel until it could be repaired. However - if you are someone who buys this amp and ONLY used the OD channel - you've got a serious problem when/if the footswitch fails, or you forget it.....etc.

    There it is. At the end of the day, these are pretty nit-picky criticisms. But I paid $1900 for the thing after tax....and that is a bona fide license to nit-pick.
     
  4. jjh37854

    jjh37854 Tele-Afflicted

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    tru dat my friend, tru dat!
     
  5. muzicmaken

    muzicmaken Tele-Holic

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    I'm getting ready to purchase the Galaxie combo 2x10 ... There are not very many reviews of this amp but this was a very good review...I know this post is old but do you still have the amp and if you do do you like it more?


    Thanks
    Ken
     
  6. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

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    I no longer have the amp. I am running a 2x10 EZG-50. I see that they now have separate volume controls for each channel of the Galaxie. They should have separate EQ's IMHO also. If you're going to make a two channel amp...make a two channel amp.

    My only beef with the EZG-50 is that the reverb is not foot-switchable. They come so close over there at Dr. Z...I don't know why they just don't finish the job sometimes.
     
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