It may be that there just isn't enough headroom with an 8 watt amp when you play with your band.
I think you should use your MAZ 18 reverb instead.
How great it would be, in addition to all of the wonderful things you're already known for, to have a reputation as a good person. But how overshadowing of all your talents will a bad reputation be! Therefore, choose your words wisely and seek to be kind.
I think Eric's (roscoenyc) observation reflects where on the Master knob the single EL84 starts to be overdriven, i.e., power-tube distortion. This is distinct from the gain and OD that the preamp tubes can produce, using Volume and the tone controls (TMB). The maximum clean headroom is at the point where both V + TMB and Mast are each just below the OD breakup point.
Do I have that right, Eric?
Gear piled high. Talent? Must be hidden in there somewhere.
Yes, it's a single ended Class A amp. The master is different than other amps.
The pre-amp gain is just that, gain for the pre-amp section of the amp. The Master on the MAZ 8 controls the single output tube. I find that after 12 or 1 it starts to yield power tube grind (as opposed to pre-amp tube grind) This is the unique feature of this amp. You have to experiment with these thoughts in mind.
Very cool. I agree that it's a unique feature to be able to soak the power tubes and not so much the pre.....Great info gentlemen, thank you. I've got a little Swart STR that I've really enjoyed, but I have to say that the little Maz 8 really seems to have some wonderful design options, and a little broader tone shaping structure. They'd be a fantastic duo in the studio/small stage arena . . .