Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Jul 7, 2005 13:41:42 GMT -7
I've had my KT-45 for a few months now, and every time I plug into this amp it just blows me away. This amp can get just a TON of different sounds by simply using the three knobs and your guitar controls. There's not a bad sound at any setting, and this amp could literally be used for any style of music you want to play. I can't believe there isn't more discussion about this amp. Dr. Z's beautifully simple design philosophy surrounding this amplifer once again proves to yield deceptively versatile tonal end results. A good guitar with good pickups (Jim Wagners), a cable (George L's), and a good set of speakers (Scumbacks) in a closed back cab (EarCandy) could leave a guy wrapped up playing through the KT-45 in a dream-like state for days on end. Food, water and sleep even start to seem like fruitless wastes of valuable playing time on your musical journey. What's more, if you lace the EF86 front end of this hallucinatingly excellent amp with a sprinkle of Germanium, don't plan on going anywhere for a long time.... This amp should be added to FDA's list of illegal controlled substances.
I have to agree .... the KT-45 is an amazing piece of work.
If Brad Paisley is ever in your area catch one of his concerts and listen to Gary Hooker (the other guitar player in the band). He has a Z-28 and KT-45 but is using the KT-45 a lot these days. Try to filter out Brad's playing for a while and listen to Gary. He is amazing in his own right and give a great "demo" of what the KT-45 can do. The last songs in their set usually include something from ZZ Top and are pretty hard core rock songs and the KT-45 in Gary's hands ... after playing in clean mode for most of the evening, gets cranked and is pretty amazing in his hands.
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Jul 8, 2005 9:53:16 GMT -7
hi myles - great to see you here as well! This is really a heck of a forum already... can't wait until there's an even larger base of Z enthusiasts hanging out here.
The KT-45 does have some great clean tones, with a ton of character. It's also really cool how you can dial in gain in different EQ registers while keeping other parts of the bandwidth clean... in this light the KT-45 can cop a seriously wide array of different tones.
I think my favorite trick with this amp though is to crank all three knobs all the way up and then roll back the guitar's volume to taste... When you open up all three knobs on the KT-45 it feels like you just removed a "choke" on the amp, or like the levee just broke and all that glorious harmonic content is free to flow and wash through your speakers. The amp is so touch sensitive and dynamic when it's opened up wide like that -- it just FEELS good to play it that way. Even when rolling back the guitar volume knobs to control the gain a bit, the tone just stays so increadibly harmonically rich... it's just a blast to play.
I can't wait for my chance to see Paisley. He's on my top 3 must-see concert list, and now I really look forward to singling out Gary's playing as well. The KT-45 can go from clean-chiming Paisley approved tones to over the TOP ZZ... Sure it's got headroom, but in every Z amp also lies a raging beast just waiting to be release when the controls are set for that.
I've only hear the dr z sound samples ,but I think I like the KT 45 best.Other amps I've been trying out that I like also have el-34's.What would you recommend for a lower power kt-45?or maybe thats just not possible.I have friend with a carmen ghia,but I realy don't care for it all that much.seems like the front end gain structure is to hot and the amps doesn't have that big open sound.so am I just a little naive here ?Do a gotta have a BIG amp for a big open sound?
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Jul 21, 2005 9:27:18 GMT -7
A bigger amp yields more headroom, which equals less compression and sag for a more open tone... So yes, that's really the only way to get there. If the KT-45 has the tones you like, a KT-45 with an airbrake would probably deliver what you seek. Less efficient speakers such as Greenbacks will also lower the volume output of the amp, and Dr. Z has told me that the KT absolutely KILLS with Greenbacks.
The other option for a big, open tone at less volume would be the Z-28, but that one's obviously far more american in it's voicing, whereas the KT is more british hiwattish/voxey/marshally.
There is no other amp in the Z lineup that has the same tone and feel as the KT. Mine is for sale as I found the KT to be too much amp for me, as I like the more compressed cholesterol-laden feel of the lower wattage Z amps.
I too have a 6545 and am seriously jonesing for the 45 side sitting here at my desk...remembering how it sounded last night. Sounds like a hot affair or something.
I very briefly played the KT-45 into a Z-Best (which I play the 6545 into) and my first impressions were "this is familiar." To call the differences "subtle" is quite accurate.
I'm looking forward my Z-28 as a sort-of lower output KT-45....sort of. I really like the color of the KT-45 sound.
With regards to the *45 (where "*" = "KT-" or "65") versatility, I'll just add that it is very impressive. Pedals are eager to run into it, and they sound great. Definitely tweak the so-called "tone" controls - those knobs have voodoo behind them. My 335-alike (Heritage blues deluxe) with hot Duncans is a total blast to play. Clean, crunchy, pedal-driven, split p'up, whatever. It's all good.
I like what I hear on dr.z web site; I'm really jonesing to a/b a RXES and a KT45, since they're both from the same camp (EF86), and the tone of each is alot to my liking. However, I'm going by what I hear on pc speakers. And only a couple of clips. Based on that, I like the kt45 shimmer and grind thing going on. On the RXES, I like the Overdose sound played by skip black. Ideally, me being a rocker ,would like an overdose on the 45! I really don't like anything between the guitar and the amp.
I guess my question is; would the Doctor customize a KT45 with a OD pedal?
Hi, I can't say I quite understand customizing a KT-45 w/ an OD pedal, but let's assume you're referring to the RXES 'overdose' toggle switch...anyway, I guess you can only ask the Doctor. It makes sense to me, even in a Z-28, but then it isn't a Z-28 or KT-45 anymore, is it? From what little I know, these circuits are really direct, which is a significant part of their appeal.
I'm not sure I'd consider the RX/RXES in the same camp as the KT-45/Route 66/Z-28 simply because there's an EF86 - you'll notice the RX's EF86 is after your EQ and first gain stage (which is driven by a pair of 12AX7s). From his site:
"The RX ES design structure is unique for a DR.Z Amp, it uses an EF-86 pentode set up in a post EQ gain layout. This alignment yields a rich harmonic complexity and an almost active response from the tone stack."
Seems like all his amps really have an "almost active response from the tone stack" though, huh?
From a rock point of view, I'd want to mention the 6545 as an ideal candidate. Before anyone says "high gain" I'd like to observe that yes, although it'll cover a wide variety of traditional high-gain sounds (and quite nicely with it's own "almost active response"), there is a "third" amp in there. Another cool way to approach the "65" side of the amp is to actually crank the master effectively all the way out of the circuit (all the way up), and use the Gain control with the tone controls - it's definitely a whole 'nother ball of wax for your ears.
Just some early AM thoughts... terryg
ps to G'OlPeachPhan: I dig what you're saying about 'too much amp' and abilities. When I started into my "amp acquisition project" a while back I noticed the same thing. Now I'm just used to it, I guess. I try to consider it a kick in the pants to keep practicing, which often becomes frustrating thanks to those other obligations (life, the universe & everything).
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Aug 22, 2005 8:59:03 GMT -7
yeah, to me the kt-45 was kind of like a kick in the gut and then a slap to the face... The aggressive response of the amp was the kick in the guts, and the slap in the face came when I realized how much it 'exposed' me as a player. The Ghia is a pretty honest amp too, but I find it much easier to sort of 'hide' behind a cranked up Ghia than I did with the kt-45. In the end, it wasn't the KT's 'honesty' that I was seeking, but rather the Ghia's 'sugar-coating.'
Not saying that preferring a Ghia makes you a lesser player either -- I'm just saying that as a bit of a garage-rock hack, I found I preferred the Ghia.
Yeah, you know, it is. It really is. The KT-45 is a big bad amp. More than I cared to admit at first, too. It intimidated me. Granted, I love it now....but I use it with an airbrake and some pedals (but I noticed "very little"). I think ultimately the material I was playing didn't put me in a position to blatantly expose myself, although I'm sure I managed.
No way is preferring the Ghia (or any amp) making you a lesser player, IMHO. In fact, I'd consider it the opposite: you sound like a player that knows how to acheive what you're looking for, that knows how to pick the right tool for the task at hand. That's not a lesser player, that's a "morer" player!
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Aug 23, 2005 18:33:38 GMT -7
Well thank you for the kind words (karma for ya). Likewise, if you tamed the KT-45 (I picture the big bad bull at the rodeo when I say that), you must also be one of those 'morer' players!
Yeah, I know what works for me and what doesn't... and it's really a fun road to go down trying all the different approaches to get there isn't it? The journey rather than the destination. Let's just say I came to a "Z" in the road a long time ago.... There was a man there, dressed all in black, and he gave me a choice. He said I could take the Ghia and have the most brilliant tone in all the land, but I had to give him my.......................................................................................................... money ;D
Thinking of the ole devil's in the house of the rising sun lyrics now... 'I told you once you SOB, I'm the best there's ever been!' OK, I'm ramblin' now.
Oh man, I'm definitely not one of those "morer" players. I don't think I tamed that amp whatsoever. The reverse is probably more true - I think I must hide behind the airbrake when I play the 45. meh (thanks Lisa Simpson), saying the gig I used this amp on wasn't musically stressful might fly here.
That search for tone is a blast. I don't think it'll ever end. I feel pretty darn lucky to have the 6545 around in the toolbox. Heck, it's great for testing pedals too, since that EF86 just eats up everything they've got (this applies to the KT-45 directly, too). I'm really looking forward to Z-28ness, this being one of the reasons why! And of course the Ghia is an eventuality with me.
"Lord, I was born a ramblin' man...." might explain why I continue to get stuff to mess with - sounds like you're more centered than I am, lucky. +1 to you for being real.
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Aug 25, 2005 6:42:46 GMT -7
Hey man, I'm flighty and fickle as any guitar player! I've just figured out the amp that works for me... Don't wait too long on that Ghia - she's a work of art IMO and the pinnacle of raw simplicity IMO.
I'm going to be in the minority here, but I actually found I liked the way the few dirt pedals I own responded with the Ghia better than with the KT. In the time I owned the amp, I came to realize that I'm not an EF86 guy believe it or not. It's tonal nature didn't work for me as a player. At the same time, I've heard many different players put them to AWESOME use, so I am assured that it IS just me.
One thing I regret is that I never had the chance to run an analog delay into the KT-45. I sold my trust Boss DM-3 about 4 months ago to help finance an EchoCzar that I ordered, and unfortunately I'm still waiting for the EchoCzar so I didn't have an analog delay on hand to put into the front end... That probably would have helped me to create a bit more friendly, softer, sweeter response that I could have hidden behind a little better... I'd be willing to bet the KT would work AWESOME with a little slapback or ambient echo going in to the front it... It's already a HUGE sounding amp, and that probably would have made it even bigger. Can you imagine running a pair of KT-45's in stereo by way of an analog delay pedal?!!!!
I totally dig what you're saying. Beauty of it is, none of us are wrong!
I'll be able to tell you about that analog delay into the KT-45, since I too am waiting way patiently on an EchoCzar. Mid-September marks the 16-week point, so I'm pretty much jumping out of my skin now. I've been using a DLS Echotap to tide me over, and that's a nice delay for what it is - I mean, it's a delay pedal with good tone and performance features. The 45 has zero issues with it, and you're right - being that it's a NR amp, the delay's ambience is nice to have. The EZ from all indications and everything I've experienced, is a new instrument altogether. The Angelbaby is coming along for the ride too. KT-45 in stereo? I'd have to live in exurbia to do that! But yeah, that would be awesome. Maybe I'll sort of taste that with a Z28/6545 combination.
I use a Beano in front of the 6545, believe it or not. I usually have it set to it's Mid boost setting. I've got a Sunlion as well, and I use its Beano side on the 'Low' setting. It mostly depends on the guitar in play. Great pedals, and the 6545 has no problems with them - the 45 crunches up real nice with a little Ge boost. I'm *really* patiently waiting on a KOT, for that matter (1 year!).
The Ghia is talking to me. I hear it. The 6545 is there at the top of the heap, eager to meet its brothers. Z28 is first though, Very Soon - I can smell it! I need a 6V6 amp (excluding the obligatory Champ) before I need another EL84 amp, I have no Deluxe-ish anything.
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Aug 26, 2005 6:36:23 GMT -7
Takin' it real easy! Back on my home turf after a business trip, and it's great to be home.
You must've ordered your EchoCzar right at the same time I did... It's been 16 weeks and 2 days of waiting for me... That's more than double the projected lead time now, AND I opted to stay on the pre-paid list. That's extremely frustrating to me, especially since I've been without analog delay for that long, and it's a staple of my rig. I figured I could live with being without it for 8 weeks (the projected lead time) during the dog days of summer when I'm not playing with a band much at all, but we're coming into the time when I usually get to play out (college is back in session where I live, so that fuels the music scene), and I really need to get a delay back onto my pedalboard. I won't keep ranting, as I KNOW this pedal is worth the wait, but I'm VERY anxious to say the least. It's by far the coolest pedal I've ever used, of ANY kind though. Well worth it.
Your taste in pedals sounds so similar to mine... I've got a Java Boost set to either mid-boost or fullrange boost, where you've got the Beano (Keeley v. Analogman), and the Hellbilly set up to a mild fuzzface-type sound where you've got the Sunlion... And now as it turns out we've both ordered the ECz in the same week, and play Dr. Z amps... This is getting sCaRrY!
I've thought many times about ditching the Java Boost and the Hellbilly in favor the Sunlion to have both sounds in one pedal... Any thoughts on that one? Any chance you'd be willing to do a temporary pedal swap with me for something I've got that you might want to try out? Just curious to check out a Sunlion with my rig before I'd take the plunge on that one, as it's taken me a lot of time and money spent on pedals to end up at the Java Boost and Hellbilly combo (along with the MI Audio Blue Boy, and the occasional use of a ProTone Mach II which is basically a fulltone fat boost, I've got all my dirt pedal basis covered).
Gotta admit, I've also been kind of tempted recently to try out the Catalinbread SCOD to push the Ghia into slightly heavier territories.
Howdy! I missed days on the forum thanks to out-of-townness myself. At least I got to get a couple gigs in there, one with my new Z28 <grin>.
Our tastes are indeed spookily similar. Getting that echoczar here is hugely anticipated. I broke down and picked up a DLS Echotap to tide me over (gotta love the CC), and that's turned out to be suitable as a delay. Of course, the EC is looking like a whole new world for me (I'm going all out, getting all the control pedals and everything), and I'm looking forward to the "process" of integrating it into my own thing. My main gig is actually a covers gig, and the DLS is totally adequate for that...the EC I suspect will be for feeding my own interests
My take on getting rid of things is pretty much not to as much as possible. It seems I've been bitten by that more than once, so if I can afford to keep something idle, I'll do it. The Java Boost looks really similar to the AM Beano Boost, right? The Hellbilly I'm not familiar with - I'll google it. I'd heartily recommend the sunlion *if* you're going for a traditional fuzz - it's got that in spades. I kinda jumped on the opportunity to pick it up as it came out, fearing another KOT-like wait down the road. I was hesitant about the Beano side, since I've already got one, but it turns out having both is in fact a Good Thing more me. I actually use the pedal all the time in some fashion, so parting with it would be kinda difficult right now. Oblig. KT45 content: this stuff sounds great in the KT45 (45-side of 6545 for me; heck, in the 65 side too)!
You know, since you arrived at the JB/HB combo, I'd put in a vote to stick with it. Carl Verheyen, in his Rumor Mill DVD (get that!) advises guitarists to focus on getting a few (2 - 3) really good sounds, as opposed to having tons of mediocre ones. I never really thought about that before, and now I'm going to try. I think it'll probably relieve me of a lot of "gear stress" in the long term. This is probably another topic for discussion.
Maybe a midwest Z-fest should be considered down the road....
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Aug 29, 2005 15:19:41 GMT -7
I appreciate your insights on the Sunlion, and can definitely appreciate your need to keep it in service in your rig! I will indeed just stick with what I've got going with the Java/Hellbilly thang. It works, and I've tried tons of stuff to get here, so no need to second guess it.
I completely agree with Carl V. I've always just tried to get one good sound, and then dial various shades of clean to dirty in and around it using just a few pedals and my guitar controls. The Ghia is my basic sound, and I never stray too far from what it can do just plugging straight into it... I've often argued that I really don't need ANY pedals, and it's very feasible that I may find myself using the EC as my only stomp box in the not-too-distant future (hopefully). I'll keep the other boxes on standby though, just in case!
How was your gig with the Z-28? (maybe you posted a review in the Z-28 forum, so I'll check there too.
A midwest jam/z-fest would be very cool. There was a Gear Page jam in Madison a few months back at a music store, but I didn't make it. If we did have a jam, it'd be cool if we could rent a big warehouse or something like that, as opposed to going the music store route. I could check into something like that around here in the Oshkosh/Appleton area, but I'm not sure how many midwestern Z players would be willing to drive to that part of Wisconsin for a jam... ?
I think I'm starting to see that most/all of the Z amps are "Unbelievably Versatile." The KT-45 is great at many things, and now that I'm entering into the h-moon phase of my Z28 relationship, I think I can say the same thing there. As far as differences may be concerned across the Z amp line, we could say we have variety of color, underlying feel and response, and obviously output (and everything that entails). What a treat!
This would seem obvious, but I'm also re-realizing that a new amp takes a some time to get into my fingers as it were. I've been playing my Victorilux, tweaking on it (tubes etc.) for a while to the point where I really like what it's got going on. Now I'm starting that with the Z28 and I'm so far really impressed with what I'm getting. I think I'll start a thread on that.
So, to extend the Carl V. thing a bit, I'd have to say I'm looking for a couple of great sounds out of each of my amps, which is a ton of fun. It's also quite a bit of work, as different guitars respond differently, pedal settings change, and so on. The KT45 I think is an excellent "foundation" amp for this kind of thing though, since it's so good at taking a variety of inputs (pedals/guitars) and for lack of a better term "processing" them effectively. The tone controls, for instance, are so good at not only affecting "tone" but feel and response. Ditto that on the Z28, for that matter!
I'm in sort of a pedal -> Z amp quandary myself. I find that there are definite opportunities where I could argue that I don't need what's underfoot. I argue back that I [usually] get paid to play in a covers band (weekend warrior thing), so having the ability to approximate someone else's sound is considerable. Getting back to the Z amp "foundation" thing (and sort of staying on topic?), the KT is a *great* place to do this.
If anyone's reading this, and they're considering the KT45, go for it. It's got plenty of power, great controls, and it sounds fine with an Airbrake on it if you need that. There, now we're on topic
Darn right, its versatile.... After spending years as a classic rock amp covering the hard side of the 60's, 70's, and then cutting some modern country licks, I fired up the KT-45 to teach my oldest son a recent hit he likes... The song is called, "Sugar Going Down" or something like that by The Fallout Boys... My oldest son is now old enough to want to play and play the hits of his generation ... So sure enough, LP dropped D fuzz into KT45, and a 412 Greenback and Dr. Z is nowing wailing away on the cutting edge of the new generation...
Thanks, Z.... I'm still gonna take my son back to the masters, like Clapton through Montgomery... but its nice to know Z can hang with whatever shows up and plays...
Haha oh the stuff people listen to when they're young.
I'm probably not too much older than your son, Cotton. I can say that because it wasn't too long ago that my favorite band was Limp Bizkit! (My deep dark secret...shhh if anyone finds out my reputation may be jeapordized lol)
I find my 45 to also be amazingly versitile. I need to fiddle more with my amp (and less with my pedals) to see what this monster can do. I recently finished my tube set up (NOS GEC EF86, GT SAG-MPI-12AX7, pair of GT E34LS #6, and a NOS JAN Phillips mislabed 5AR4), and this beast is better than ever. I'm starting to dig the sound of the amp by itself more than w/ my pedals...but then what would I do with my pedals?? AAHH the perils of a beautiful sounding amp.
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