Dr Z Z Plus vs Morgan PR12

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TeleTex82, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Lately I've been thinking about a 6v6 with a 1x12. I've always loved them but they were never really practical for me in the context of the bands I was playing with so I never bought one. That's kind of changing now with some new projects I'm working on. I've been looking at the Dr. Z and Morgan variants as to me those each add some different features/functionality that regular Princeton does not.

    Does anyone have any opinions or advice regarding one or both of these amps?

    The thing I like about the Z Plus is the power attenuation and the foot switch boost/eq bypass, the HiFi quality to the tone is a unique flavor but one that I actually really dig.

    The Morgan sounds a bit warmer and sweeter to my ears, has seemingly great head room for a Princeton style amp, and I like the dwell control for the verb.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That Z Plus is not a variation on the Princeton Reverb. It is a single ended amp...true Class A...running 2x6V6’s in parallel. The Prin Rev is a true push/pull Class AB amp. Joe Walsh wanted a take on the little 5F1 Champs he has used for so long...but with a little more power and some additional functions. Hi-Fi? That would not be something that I would expect from such a design.

    http://drzamps.com/product/z-plus/
     
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  3. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    You're absolutely right Wally. My apologies, I am not super familiar with the Dr Z amps and I get the models and specs mixed up. Does Dr Z make something close to a Princeton?
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have no idea. What features are you seeking? How much do you want to spend? The best modern 2 x 6V6 amp I have heard is the Tone King Imperial MKII. A young fellow left one with me for a month or two...I hated that he came to get it instead of making the trade we were discussing. He regrets selling I...even after he received his new Bludotone ODS!
     
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  5. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    Have you considered the 65 Princeton Reverb in tweed with the 12” speaker from Sweetwater? It’s $999 so far less than either a Dr Z or Morgan.

    If you want an attenuator you could also get a Weber Mini Mass. I got one for my 15-watt Pro Junior but returned it after figuring out I could get acceptable bedroom volume without attenuation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  6. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fender has a number of Special Edition Princetons with 12” speakers. More headroom with tighter bass.
     
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  7. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Some must haves would be fenderish cleans, a good amount of headroom, driven tone that isn't too strident or sterile, takes pedals well, touch responsive, power scaling, under 45 lbs. I would like to keep price right around or under $2k.

    I've always liked Tone King amps, not my favorite in terms of looks. Not that they aren't super cool looking amps, I'm just a traditional looks guy I guess, the Imperial seems worth a look though it's slightly out of my budget.

    I've looked at the Fender special edition Princetons with the 12" speakers as well, gonna try to find some sound samples tonight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  8. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    What about the Tone King Gremlin at 5 watts with a 12” speaker and attenuator? It’s $1295 new.
     
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  9. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    Look at the Dr. Z cure. I have a Morgan JS12 (Josh Smith pr12) and a Swart AST currently. Love those amps though very different for both having the same tube compliment. The Morgan is what it says it is, a beefed up Princeton reverb. If you like the sound of the Princeton but want more headroom, bass and projection, you'll love the Morgan. The JS12 version has a boost switch too which adds mids and gain. Loud for 12 watts too. Great with a pedalboard and playing lots of genres.

    The Swart is inspired by an old Gibson amp. Very different but also excellent. Vibe-y, more mids less bass, sits great in a mix, trem and verb, single tone control so feels more tweedy but also have a kind of refined pawnshop vibe if that makes sense. I use it for my Marc Robot impression and Americana/country.
     
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  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Your budget would get a very clean used Imperial MKII. The built-in attenuator is one of the best I have heard, and it is assignable. One channel is based on the 5E3 while the other is a BF channel. Great Reverb and a bias vary trem.
    ‘Good amount of headroom’....that is rather vague. What amps have you played that have this ‘good amount of headroom’ that you are seeking?
     
  11. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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  12. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Thing is my budget includes some Sweetwater gift cards that I got for my birthday so im kind of stuck having to buy from them. Sorry for the vagueness regarding headroom. I don't need Jazz Chorus levels of cleans but I do need more than a stock Princeton (haven't played the ltd or Stapleton ones) can provide.
     
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  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well, alright then. My amp bought....get something with the BF Fender type of preamp and with more than 2x6V6’s.
    I don’t know if you are looking for new or used, but here is a used amp that Sweetwater has that would get my attention. I think it is a bit overpriced due to the non-original speakers...but the speakers in it are great speakers. One would need to budget some money for recapping and service, but these are the best BF/SF Reverb amps for my ears.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/used/listings/17841-used-fender-1974-fender-vibrolux-reverb
     
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  14. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Cool find! Not sure I could use gift cards for the used marketplace but I'll look into it.
     
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  15. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Tele-Meister

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    I've got a Dr. Z Z Plus and really enjoy it. As already mentioned, at first glance one might think this is a "better" version of a Princeton with a 12" speaker. Not so much. But it's certainly not a gain'y or "tweed style" amp either. It has a fantastic clean sound. In the low-fi input, you can kind of tweak it to get a vintage Fender blackface sound, but again it's different. I pretty much keep mine in the Hi-fi input and adjust accordingly. Hate to use cliche adjectives but I don't know how else to describe it other than having "glistening, shimmering" clean tones with the pre-amp volume low and the Master high. I love it. Takes pedals well too. It's perfect for me.
     
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  16. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the input Murph! How would you describe the overdrive tone?
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Okay, I had to go back and read the literature for that Z Plus. One thing you can eliminate as a serious comment is when Joe Walsh says that it is a 5F1 but twice as loud. Played through the same speaker, that ZPlus cannot possible be twice as loud as the Champ. In order for that to be and stay in the parallel output tubes in cathode biased Class A form, one would have to go to some big bottle tubes with maybe here of them in parallel. You need 10 times the power to double the apparent volume through the same speaker.
    Now, with a 5F1 through those little, wimpy P8R’s and comparing that to this modern Z amp through a high efficiency speaker, THEN maybe the volume gets doubled.
     
  18. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    I found this video with a good shot of the guts and rundown of the specs. You may have seen it already.

     
  19. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Tele-Meister

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    To be completely honest, I'm not overly fond of the sound when having the pre-amp volume cranked and master lowered...but this is without the foot-switchable boost engaged. When the boost is engaged, it comes alive in my opinion. Nice full and cutting overdrive can be had with the boost. However; I have a medium sized pedal board with a few gain pedals and one day decided to A/B the natural overdrive of the amp against some of my favorite drive pedals. I won't go into a detailed analysis of every pedal, but my favorite overdrive sound that i was able to coax out of that amp was having the pre-amp volume around 3:00-4:00 and boosting it with a RYRA Klone. That's my favorite drive sound when using that amp.
     
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