Dr. Z Amplifiers are hand wired boutique guitar amps that combine world class craftsmanship and top notch components in a boutique amplifier that is not out of reach for most working worship guitarists. Not only are these amplifiers incredible they are manufacturered close to the WorshipGtr.com headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.
For this review we took a deep look at the Maz 18 which is arguably the Dr’s best amp. If not the best, it is definitely the most well known. We tested both the Non-Reverb (NR) and the Reverb version. We found the NR to have a little bit more bite and character. The NR also has a bit more gain on tap than the reverb version due to a cleaner signal path. We found the NR to be reminiscent of an AC15 and a Marshall Plexi. The Reverb version was much more AC30 sounding and had a more compressed/squished tone. The 18 watts is a loud 18 watts and the Maz takes pedals better than just about every amp out there.
Dr. Z have always been known for their preamps and the Maz is what started it all. The best tones in this amp come at the edge of breakup and even though we love to run amps loud and clean we could not stop playing through this amp. Some call it a Vox style amp, some call it a Fender, and yet others call it a tamed plexi. In our opinion it is none of those but it has characteristics of all three.
In addition to the Maz 18 Dr. Z also makes a 38 watt and 8 watt version. The 8 watt is the perfect studio/small venue amp. The 38 watt version is perfect for those big venues or for those who love running a clean amp and need more clean headroom.
- Price: You won’t find a better boutique hand wired amp for the money.
- Flexibility: This amp can go from super clean Fender to hot rodded plexi and the eq is one of the most sensitive we have seen.
- Build Quality: Tired of fixing your AC30? Everything in this tone machine is built from top notch components with the world class craftsmanship we have all come to expect from the Dr.
- Pedal Friendly: That’s right this amp will work with just about every pedal up there. It swallows overdrive pedals and brings out the bite of your favorite analog delay or ambient reverb.
- Headroom: There is not a ton of headroom in the 18 watt version. The 38 watt version would be a necessary upgrade for those looking for more headroom.
- Customization: At the moment Dr Z only offers their amps in red, cream and black whereas other companies are offering tons of tolex and grill cloth options. They also offer a limited amount of speaker options. In spite of not being customizable beggars cannot be choosers. At the price point that a Maz comes in you can’t get everything and by limiting the options Dr. Z is able to keep their prices competitive.