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Port City Pearl Owners Club

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by gitapik, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Here's my 50w Port City Pearl head with a 1x12 OS Wave cab:

    [​IMG]

    I actually bought the cab before getting the head; asking for a tan grill that would match the look of my modded NOS Blues Jr (which has an ext cab jack in it). The Wave's design moves it more towards the fullness of a 2x12 while maintaining the focus of a single. It's a great cab.

    Then I got word that an online friend of mine was selling his 50w head. Turned out he lived nearby; so I drove over, checked it out, and did not hesitate.

    I love this amp. Am using a HOF mini in the effects loop when I'm not using my big board (which has a reverb pedal on it), though it's not always on. Depends on what I'm playing. That's what's so nice: the basic tone of the amp is beautiful. And anything you add to it, just builds off of that basic great sound.

    I know it's a cliche, but the fact is that it really does provide an excellent pedal platform. I play jazz and classical, so I need a great clean tone. But I play a lot of other styles, too...so the dirt and mod pedals are an important part of my sound.

    Some of the finer points that I really appreciate about this amp:

    1) The bright switch. It's very, very effective, both with clean and overdrive/distortion. Amp sounds great both with and without it on.

    2) The eq knobs are really precise. You can dial in a lot of tones. And the Mids can be completely dialed out, which makes that super scooped Twin tone possible. This is a biggie for me. I love that sound.

    3) I didn't understand the need on a single channel clean amp...but the effects loop is a sweet perc.

    4) I have a UA OX Amp Top Box. This amp and any pedals I add sounds fantastic through it's cab/speaks/mic/room simulations. And the sound is awesome when I set the amp at just a little over the verge of breakup (which, at 50w, it can do nicely...though it does have to be loud), with the OX working as an attenuator.

    Anybody else have one of Daniel's excellent amps?
     
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  2. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    Thank you for starting this, gitapik! I've been focused on acquiring a Pearl for the last year as its clean tone is like nothing else I've heard. I'm scheduled to play one this week and, hopefully, by this time next week I'll be able to 'officially', legitimately join the Port City Owners Club!
     
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  3. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    My pleasure, Drew. Hope it works out for you!
     
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  4. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    IMG-7694.JPG IMG-7696.JPG
    An update: I had a Port City Pearl sent up from a Guitar Center in CA to the local GC in Eugene to try it out. They originally sent the wrong thing so I got it a week later and didn't play it until today. My impressions:

    - It is the nicest clean tube amp I have played, (though that's not saying much because I haven't played a lot). But I don't think I'm going to buy this particular example. First off, it's an older model with a closed head (not with see-through mesh like yours, gitapik). I've heard the newer ones are even better, and I have a few options to get a newer one for about the same price, albeit without the speaker. This one basically had the head attached to the speaker– I'd never seen one like the one I tried today.

    - It had two inputs, a High and Low, instead of just one on the recent versions of the Pearl. The High (with the Bright switch on) definitely sounded better for how I played it. Though when the employee played through it he got some good sounds from the other switch too (after he cranked the volume to about twice as loud as I had it).

    - I was playing my acoustic dreadnought with a K&K pickup through it most of the time and it sounded fantastic. I also played a couple teles from GC and a Fender mustang (quite nice!) they had there. The main difference was that with my acoustic I had to be careful with the feedback, but I was very pleased with being able to play my favorite acoustic through it!

    - Someone did a mod on it sometime back, putting an Attenuator in where the Return of the Effects Loop should be. I'd rather have the effects loop and a non-modded version. (What's the use of the attenuator since the High channel, at least, sounds good on low volumes, too?).

    - It also had a crack on the right side of the cab from a previous shipping mishap. Not that big of deal, but they would only knock off $100.

    - The attached Wave Speaker sounded fantastic, rich, full, pristine.

    - It is a great amp. Employees and customers were curious, listening to it, (especially when the employee was playing it!) such a beautiful clean sound.

    I still have it on hold to think it over – it is still tempting – but I think I'm going to hold out for a newer one. It will probably be 1-2 more months now. Gotta be patient, but at least I got to play one in person. View attachment 817889 View attachment 817889 View attachment 817890 View attachment 817889 View attachment 817890
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  5. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Hi Drew. That’s actually a newer model than mine and I think you’re right to opt for another because of the attenuator, lack of effects loop, and “one piece” connection, which are mods that you really can’t be certain of.

    FWIW: an attenuator is actually handy with this amp. It gets a nice edge to it when it’s very loud. Similar to a Twin.

    I’d call or write Daniel to find out more about the two inputs. I’m intrigued and sure it’s an upgrade. Daniel’s the real deal and only adds something new if it’s going to be an improvement.
     
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  6. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    You're right, the pic on the port city page has two inputs now (though in the pdf of the catalogue it has one). Some of the newer ones on Reverb have one input. (Wish I had taken a full picture of the serial #– I can only make out: P41...4?... )

    Like I said, the store employee made that low input sound good when he cranked the volume. I wonder if that acts kind of like an attenuator?

    I've been in email contact with Daniel and I will ask him about the one vs. two inputs. Really nice person. He's working with me (shhhh!) and I'm trying to see if I can stretch my funds to see if I can get a new one...

    BTW– Why doesn't this thread appear on the "Home" tab when someone posts to it, like with other threads???? I know there are more Port City owners in the forum...
     
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  7. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The thread is up top in the home page for amp owners, now...not sure what you were seeing. I don’t know why people aren’t showing up, either. Maybe if I reduced the admission fee...?

    I bought mine used. The guy took great care of his gear.

    Good that you’re in contact with Daniel. He’s a very nice guy. My personal: if you can swing the extra $$$, I’d say buy from him. No surprises. And the Wave OS cabs are fantastic!
     
  8. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    :lol: I guess we all get what we paid for! (You can take that two ways!)

    I saw that the thread goes to the top of the amp owners page, but usually, when someone posts on any particular forum (say 'Bad Dog Cafe') it goes to the top of the 'Home' page, too (not just the forum page). Maybe it's because there are just two of us so far...

    Hello...ello...llo...o... Port City Pearl owners? Hello...ello...llo...o...
     
  9. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Ok...I'm going to do a test now to see what's up. Hadn't checked on that...

    Testing. Testing one two three....
     
  10. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    Is this thing workin'? Is this thing on?
     
  11. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    Gitapik– I know you said you like the 1x12 OS Wave cab. I saw there's a 1x12 wave in the area for sale (no speaker), but it's not oversized like yours. Have you had the chance to play one like that? Have you made recordings with yours? Would you mic it both at the speaker and the port at the bottom? Or do you have a good technique that works for recording?
     
  12. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Hi Drew. The OS is the only cab I’ve played my Pearl through. The only recordings I have are through my OX Amp Top Box...and those are short snippets.

    I could write a book about the reasons for this (I did a lot of recordings of my solo acoustic work), but suffice it to say that it’s been a long road the past few years, but I’ve kept my chin up and things are starting to look up, again, now. I’ll be recording again, soon. And gigging. But the recording won’t be with a mic to the cab. I like the OX.

    Do you have a link to that cab? I’d be curious to see it.

    Anything Pearl related, I go to Daniel. The source. He knows how to describe sounds. Besides being a master designer/builder, he’s also a good player. Drop him a line.
     
  13. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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  14. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Bump
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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