The next amp that was on my list was a Mini Z. You can tell from my sig but I am already a big MAZ lover (having an 18NR + 39NR...been through the 18R and 38R as well).
My reasons for 1st wanting the Mini Z were that I wanted something that doubled as a practice head for me at home (to save some $$ on burning through tubes on my other heads), something small and informal for quick impromptu get togethers, and something I could use at church where you can talk over stage volume (and I still want Z tone).
I've been thinking for a while about the Mini Z. Seems perfect for my situation. Was just going to change that tube for more clean headroom and use my grab and go pedalboard.
Now the Maz 8 pops up. Being very comfortable with my other MAZs now I'm stuck. My reservation is that while its attractive to a lot of other players that the Maz 8 has a lot of versatility...(Reverb, cut, Pentode switch, etc) a little mini watt Z tone and 2 knobs is really all I need with my pedals.
Since there aren't a lot of Maz 8 owners out there yet...and probably even less that also have a mini Z...not sure I'll get a good comparison from 1st hand side by side experience but just talking shop and seeing what you all think of the 2 compared?
Seems like I am pushing the Mini Z to do something it isn't best at...just clean power (But a tube switch and a C-Gold will help) vs Having a lot more option than I need with a Maz 8.
I have both a Maz 8 and a Mini Z in my house. The mini Z belongs to my oldest son (he won it at Zfest in 2010).
Two different amps with different capabilities all together.
Pro for the mini Z is cost to tone ratio is very good. Really cool sounding amp and will do a lot of things for you but is not really (in my opinion) very versitile without putting pedals in front of it. With the antenuator you can get it to break up pretty good and maintain a reasonable volume and at lower volumes it does clean up.
Cost is a great advantage though over the Maz 8.
That said, the Maz 8 is really a full blown amp, will do a lot of different things and actually has very good clean head room, especailly in pentode mode. Its like it bigger brothers 38 and Jr in it is very verstitile but adds some things the other two amps won't do, mainly the pentode/triode modes. That single switch really changes the amp into something completely different (sorry python fans, couldn't not say it). Tremendous amp that you can push into some great tones without blowing everyone out of the room, yet its still plenty loud!
The con to the Maz 8 when comparing it to the Mini Z is cost. Its roughly double the money. Its loaded with options and very worth the money, it comes stock with a Celestian Blue, tone by pass mod, effects loop and reverb plus a lot more controls.
if money is no object, hands down I would go Maz 8 anyday. . . . the mini is still very cool though!
my 2 cents worth, Todd
Red NOVA 1x12 #006 EMS Head Mazeratti 30th Anni Therapy #005 Carmen Ghia 1x10 Combo Monza 1x10 Combo Z Lux Prototype 1x12 In the house but not mine (Mini Z and Delta 88 B) (3) Parker Nite Flys OMS MIM Telecaster Dr Z Combo used as a 2x12 www.greatcables.com cables never fail sitting the box, they only fail when you need them, don't buy poor quality, they will let you down
I can't speak to the Mini Z, but I can tell you, the Maz 8 can go from clean to crunch at relatively low volumes with just by using it in triad mode and using the eq bypass. It also stays pretty clean pretty far up the volume dial, and is a good pedal platform...that's how I use mine in small venue situations. That said, you can also take it to a jam or smaller venue gig and play it with very nice authority. If money was no object, +1 to what Todd said. I think either way, you'll be happy.
Guitars: Fenders and Takamines Amps: Maz 18 Studio combo Pedals: various Wamplers, and Boss.