There are many things to take into account when searching for an amp, especially if you are looking to step up to a serious amplifier. When I was in this position I had a list of things I was looking for in an amp, and was able to test a lot of great gear. I needed something with low enough watts to be able to break it up, or warm up the preamp section without making my neighbor’s ears bleed. However, at the same time I wanted an amp I could play live with and break through the mix of a full band.
The next factor I was searching for was going to be a little harder to find. Fender amps have an amazing clean sound. I especially love the blackface amps, which have a very organic sound and are darker to the perfect degree. However, I’m not lucky enough to have every amp I love and needed more of a workhorse rig to cover a large range of tones. As beautiful as the clean tone is on Fender amps, it is sometimes hard to defeat or shape the glassy clean tone they have. At this point I realized for what I needed to get out of the amp I would have to sacrifice the Fender clean, but hopefully would find something close.
At the time I wasn’t using a lot of pedals, but due to session guitar work and playing in bands that differ in tone I wanted an amp that can take pedals well. I’m all for “guitar into amp”, and keeping the signal pure, but because I wanted the option for pedals I eliminated a lot of amps that only sound best when nothing is in between.
Fender, Marshall, Batcat, Bogner, Vox, 65, and all the major brands were put to test. Trust me, some of these sounded amazing, but only one had every thing I was looking for, including price range. That’s when Dr.Z’s “Maz Jr” came to the rescue. I used a Les Paul, Telecaster, and Stratocaster on all these amps and the Maz Jr sounded amazing every time.
The Maz Jr has EL84’s, which are seen in Vox type amplifiers. EL84’s have a darker quality that has a nice rounded breakup. Something I loved about the Maz Jr was that you were able to obtain that warm growl that Vox’s have, but it cleaned up a lot more. A guitar with single coil pickups like a Strat or Tele gets a beautiful clean sound, and just as easily you can make a Les Paul scream. The amp was extremely responsive and handled both the highs and lows incredibly well.
I’ve used this amp with many different applications, and it’s never disappointed me. You always hear the quality of the guitar you’re playing and the beautiful tone of the amp. Any pedal you put between it sounds how it should, and gives you the freedom to shape your own tone. Whether you are recording or playing live, it translates amazingly through a microphone.
I love this amps and have used them in so many ways. For the price, these are my favorite choice for a workhorse amp. I would love to be able to afford a ton of different amps and switch to whichever one works best for a specific song, but that’s not the case. For the musician who needs a louder amp, but wants these same options there is the “Maz Senior”. Twice as many watts, with the same versility. Come check one out if you are looking for a high quality tube amp, and can’t find one that gets ” Your Tone”. These amps always have a classy, pure, organic sound, while letting you shape your own tone. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!