I've finally been able to put some solid hours on my Z Plus today.
Initial impression: The clarity! My god, the clarity! And the articulation. Every. Single. Note. We all know Doc's amps all have an exceptional amount of clarity and articulation, but this is on a whole other level. I've settled on the Creamback M65, but I do have to say, the Z12 sounds very alive in this little box. More than the Creamback, but I do like the Creamback's ability to cut a little better. Thus, it was written.
The amp wakes up when you get that volume knob over noon, absolutely. The master seems to be comfortable in a variety of positions. This is almost backwards of the Therapy, where the master needs to get up around 1PM or 2PM, and then you set your volume based on the dirt you want. Oh yeah, the Therapy, those clean sounds are in here. And dirt, the Z Plus has a good deal of dirt on tap, sits right in between a Maz 18 and a Therapy.
I've been seriously digging the Hi input in half power mode. It's a loud 7 watts! I did a comparison of the DB4 in half power mode with the Z Plus in full power through the Creamback. Perceived volume was about the same. Very easy to balance the two out in a two amp set up.
And the reverb: Let me first say, I hate reverb with a passion. The Z Plus has the best on board reverb I have ever heard in an amp. Period. It's lush. My Gretsch Duo Jet with T'Armonds loves the Z Plus, but humbuckers sound equally glorious.
This is the ultimate grab and go amp, brothers. I'd stake my reputation on it.
Is this a brighter amp than the Therapy? Does have chime along the lines of the Maz?
It's a lot brighter than the Therapy. I would typically run the treble and mids on the Therapy over 1PM often, and it would still be a very warm tone. With the Z Plus, so far, I like running the treble and cut just past the noon hour, and I feel no need to run the mids past noon. It's bright but never harsh.
But, here's an interesting thing I noticed. I have a few guitars (White Falcon, Duo Jet, couple of Teles) where the bridge pickup would get overly bright through some of my Z Amps. The Z Plus is bright, but never really to the point of being harsh. My guitars seem more balanced with no need to be touching their tone knobs as much. I don't feel the need to be twiddling amp knobs when I switch guitars either. The Creamback is definitely rolling off some highs, but even at some extreme settings the highs are never overbearing. I'm sure with a Blue the highs will be a little more in your face. It's been about a year since I had a Maz, I don't think it has as much chime as one, but there is some sweet chime there. The harmonic content is simply off the charts.
My buddy came over yesterday to work on a few new tunes. I was pretty sure he was going to buy my Therapy when I told him I was selling it. I'm now pretty sure he's buying a Z Plus. It's a really, really, really hard amp to turn off.
Last Edit: Jan 8, 2018 8:57:11 GMT -7 by irreversal
It also takes pedals really well, if you are so inclined
It does take pedals extremely well. I pulled out an old Wampler Cranked AC pedal today. I had it back in the box because my Ray doesn't play nice with it much. I ran every OD I own through the Z-Plus and it loves them all!
Stangray Combo Stangray Head Maz 18 Z-Plus Carmen Ghia 30th Ann. Mazerati
I know what you mean. I am seriously thinking about offering my Wreck head in trade for one of these.
Please step away from the wall!
That’s a bold statement, but it makes sense.
I love my non-Red Wreck, don't get me wrong, BUT my ZLux has replaced it as my gigging amp. The Z plus sounds so great and I am looking for something like that for smaller gigs. I am just not sure if it is loud enough to keep up with the "Why is the drummer always THIS freaking loud during the 3rd set?" world that I live in.
I think the trade would have to be with some cash added in. But hey guys, I am way early in my process of thinking about this. When I think about getting rid of the Wreck, I can feel my heart rate increasing as panic sets in. BUT....that Z Plus, man, sounds killer. It would help a lot if Dr. Z or Lefty could just take down the Z Plus postings.
Do you need a Brake Lite to play the Z Plus at home on full power ?
Looking forward to a sound clip.
The Brake Lite helps. 15w is still plenty loud, even through the 97dB Creamback. If you're using anything 100dB, I would say you'd want one. That being said, I think this is my favorite Z master volume to date. Not quite sure what's different, but the amp still breathes when the master is low(er). Just get that volume knob up a touch.
Here's a quick little video I did. Air Brake on two clicks to stop the crappy camera mic from clipping. I used delay and a smidge of reverb in the beginning. This amp takes modulation pedals like no other!
Last Edit: Jan 11, 2018 13:22:21 GMT -7 by irreversal
GuitarZ: They say you should be on the same page about kids before you get married. I really think you ought to talk about expectations on outdoor Christmas/Holiday lights. That could have been a game changer.
Dec 7, 2019 13:38:37 GMT -7
walt: Does anyone know how Frank/Britinvasion is?he's been dormant for awhile,hopeing things are good with him
Dec 14, 2019 13:16:36 GMT -7
heynewguy (Ol’ Bill): Frank is good and sat in with my band Friday night.
Dec 15, 2019 5:58:44 GMT -7
GuitarZ: Arggh! We had it on the calendar to stop out and see you but got caught up with holiday stuff. I could have met you & Frank & my wife could have connected with her friend from back in grade school. You snooze you lose. The FB videos sound great!
Dec 16, 2019 16:56:11 GMT -7
GuitarZ: Why is it once you finally clean the junk off your work bench, within 5 minutes, you find yourself ready to deposit some other junk right back on to that now clean space?
Dec 19, 2019 10:54:23 GMT -7
rossco: the variable e.q bypass is great because while bypassed it you get the raw sound of the amp without the e.q and everything else attenuating the signal which sounds great and a because its variable on the foot switch you can dial in to taste, 1/2 way I like
Dec 19, 2019 19:02:01 GMT -7
rossco: you don't have to fully bypass the tone stack which is great because gives you room to dial in your sound, it certainly thickens up the sound and adds nice growl/midrange growl. I don't like pedals so this replaces everything for me
Dec 19, 2019 19:04:58 GMT -7
easyed: It seems that the only time I clean off my workbench is when I need the space for something else. If I don't take a break, it's less than 5 minutes before that space is full again.
Dec 21, 2019 18:48:23 GMT -7