Just curious to get a feel for the amps abilities as a clean pedal platform from people who've owned this amp. I've owned a MAZ 38, Remedy and SRZ 65 but they all had their flaws for my uses. The MAZ was glorious clean but just couldn't handle the distortion pedals well enough. Remedy did slightly better but still didn't do the trick. The SRZ does just what I want with the distortion pedals but doesn't give me enough clean headroom. I'm fairly certain I prefer the EL-34 based amps for how they handle the distortion pedals. However, I'm needing something that can handle all pedals really well without smearing delays and reverbs and still hold that tight crunch when the distortion pedals kick in.
Post by southmusic70 on Apr 5, 2014 17:27:15 GMT -7
I don't know if the KT is the cleanest Z amp, but it stays clean a pretty good way up the knobs. At some point it may be the only Z I have, besides my Z28, because of that capability. It is LOUD clean (I use either a 1x12 cab, 2x12 cab, or both with it). I also use it with my archtops because of the clean headroom.
Gibson'65 ES330,'10 Gibson CS336 07 Hwy1Tele(SeymourDuncan) Heritage'94 GoldenEagle;Guild'99 BluesBird; DR Z Cure, Dr Z Maz18NR Mk2, Dr Z Maz38NR Mk2 Fender'67 VibroluxReverb; '88 PolytoneBabyBrute Mesa'12 TA15,Mesa1x12openback widebody cab(C90);Carvin2x12cab(WGS ET65/G12cs AnalogMan,Barber,C.A.Labs,EHX,Fulltone,MXR,TC,VoodooLab
The KT is one of the best pedal platforms I've tried. Super clean and any pedal I throw at it, it seems like its part of the amp.
I'll second that. I've got a...few...Dr. Z amps and the MAZ 18 JR NR reigns supreme, BUT...it's 18W and may not be "enough" for some applications. I've been one of the loudest (no pun intended!) proponents of the KT for years. It's definitely got multiple personalities. It does indeed have a great clean sound. It's got a lot of headroom. The neck pickup Strat sound is the best I've ever heard, hands down. SRV would have loved this amp. The KT has a sort of Hiwatty thing going on in the mids that just makes a Strat sound so clear and ballsy, even clean. With my trusty T-Rex Room Mate reverb you can definitely cop a great "Fender" vibe. The bass is really really tight. Hitting the low "E" string on a semi-cranked KT is one of the great joys in life...especially with a SS rectifier. You can really hear the huge trannies and ample power supply filtering at work.
As meanslide said thanks to the headroom, clarity and EF86 the KT is one of the best pedal platforms around. The Dr. Z "Route 66" bass and treble style volume/gain controls mean that you don't have infinite Mesa-Boogie like controls to tweak every frequency but I've never needed to. Pedals do sound more like part of the amp than most amps. It's got a LOT of clarity...probably the most in the Z lineup, as it is voiced to make guitars like Rickenbackers sound good. It's not "too much" clarity...just enough to make the high strings stand out in 3D fashion.
Then you've got the KT's high volume personality...which is just some killer crunch if you can take the volume at which that this occurs. It really does do the Pete Townsend thing with P-90s.
Post by digiTED aka 'Ted' on Apr 13, 2014 12:37:25 GMT -7
OK; I'm taking break from studying for my next architectural licensing exam so please forgive the long-winded techie post! I've spent all morning reviewing elevator + escalator engineering LOL
IMO an ideal clean platform has a pre-amp that can be set very neutral + transparent with enough heat to push the output section toward the honey without it spilling over. That output section should accurately provide a wide frequency range at an output level that prevents needing to be pushed into breakup. The speaker setup should also meet these performance guidelines.
From what I've learned and experienced, EL-34s and clean headroom are not usually an ideal combination. There's an upper mid spike and the crunch starts relatively early compared to other tubes with similar wattage (which is why we love 'em!). Comparatively, the 6L6/KT66 family is less compressed, provides a wider frequency range, and is flatter across that range. This relative neutrality (as compared to the middy + crunchy EL34/EL84 family) kind of defines the 'clean platform' ideal in my mind.
Dr. Z loves taking these well-known traits and distilling them to their essence or flipping them on their head altogether! With his beautiful EF86 front end (M12, Z28, Route 66, KT45, Delta 88) he gives an incredibly accurate yet very strong signal to a variety of output sections thus showcasing the character of the output tube like few other amps. Thanks to this magic dust, there's no doubt the KT-45 is a great pedal platform; possibly better (more clean headroom) than the Route 66.
Do you do most (or all) of your tone shaping at the pedal like a pre-amp or do your work the pedal EQ and the amp's voice together? If the former, the yeah the KT45 with a flat-ish speaker like a EVM12L would be killer. My only concern is that you may want a more traditional 3-4 band EQ section (i.e less than max, the control is attenuating that frequency). If that's the case, the Antidote would be a strong contender for its giant 3D cleans; fatter (I am guessing) than the KT, cleaner (I know) than the RT66.
Anyway, thanks for reading if you made it this far. There are a few variables to define here beyond output tube choice, but between the superlative Dr. Z design ethos, versatility in the Dr. Z line-up, and the brain-trust that is the Z-Forum, you're gonna get hooked up!
Post by thatstatuemoved on Apr 13, 2014 17:31:12 GMT -7
I recently purchased a KT and here are my impressions. First of all, I don't find this amp to be ear splitting loud. It does have a good amount of headroom, but I find my maz 38 to be louder to my ears. Kt has a fair amount of clean headroom which I like. Takes pedals really well like everyone says. I use the Kt with a 2-10 cab with one gold and one dr z speaker. Also have a 1-12 z cab with a celestion 12H 30. Like both cabs with the KT. I am running my tone knobs about 1 or 2 o'clock and the volume from 1 to 3 o'clock. All my pedals sound great with the KT and I use quite a few pedals--delay, trem, boost, compressor, keeley modded blues driver and rat pedals. I have run both my strat and tele through it and it sounds great with both. Have not run any humbucker guitars through it as I don't own any at the moment.
1 Black Z-Lux Combo 1 Black Maz 38 Studio Combo 1 Black M-12 Head 1 Cure combo 1 Black Z open back 1-12
American Standard Telecaster Tom Anderson Classic Taylor 414ce acoustic-electric A bunch of pedals
Post by Phil (aka Phil) on Apr 14, 2014 11:42:16 GMT -7
At the end of the day the KT-45 is not that far off the MAZ 38 in terms of its max wattage. I agree that the KT is not ear splitting loud. I think it gets that rep in some circles due to two factors: the treble it is capable of producing and the fact that the "goods" i.e., distortion, occur at similar volumes to any non-master volume 50W amp...loud! The treble, while pleasing and not ear piercing, creates more apparent volume IMO.
The other amp that seems *really* loud for a mid-wattage amp is the RxES. Both the KT and the Rx are capable of pretty much treble and have preamps that hit the power section hard. I can tell you that in my experience the RxES seems even louder than the KT in many situations. You really need a big venue to use that puppy while the KT sounds *so* good at lower volumes...albeit without the Pete Townsend overdrive. JMO.
Thanks for all the input fellas. I'm gassing pretty hard now. I do love me SRZ65 but really want a KT45 or, if a 6545 happened to become available, to get the flexibility I'm looking for in a pedal platform. For whatever reason my MAZ 38 just couldn't handle the overdrive/distortion pedals well enough or it would have been golden.
KT is the way to go with pedals. Handles them all nicely. Also good with bass centric fuzzes like the Big Muff. It really allows that pedal characteristics to stay true while having a nice clean spanky clean. I have only used mine with the Tube Rectifier just as a disclaimer.
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