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PRS Amps.....Thats right


Darklava

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http://www.guitarrez.com/newpics/prsamp.jpg

This great-sounding, handsomely-made half-stack is a fine example

of one of the coolest guitar amps you've probably never heard of

--the PRS HG-70 Harmonic Generator! And yes, you read that

right---PRS, as in Paul Reed Smith, builder of some of America's

most highly acclaimed and best-loved electric guitars over the last

20 years. In the late 1980's, vacuum tubes used in guitar amps

became scarce as more and more tube manufacturers ceased

production. Smith set out to design a top-fight guitar amp using

transistor technology, and the PRS HG-70 Harmonic Generator

was the result, without doubt one of the sweetest, warmest solid-

state guitar amps ever made.

The Harmonic Generator's circuitry was designed primarily by Eric

Pritchard, currently of Pritchard Amps, and was innovative in two

key ways. First was the use of a harmonic generator (surprise!)

that was used to add additional harmonics to the amp's basic tone

to create a lively, more tube-like sound and response to playing

touch. Secondly, the PRS HG-70 was one of the very few

transformer output-coupled transistor amps ever designed. In essence,

it actually utilizes an output transformer, much like a tube amp.

The PRS HG-70 sports two channels. "Rhythm" produces fat, rich

sounding clean tones, while "Solo" yields overdriven crunch and

lead tones. While the Solo channel is ideal for punchy blues leads

and fat classic rock riffing, it stops short of delivering over-the-

top, max-gain metal or thrash tones. The HG-70 is definitely

geared more toward lush, vintage-flavoured clean and overdrive

sounds. Not to be left out is the Harmonic Generator's handsome

matching cabinet, unusually small for a 4x12" speaker cab.

Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule used one of these cabs with his Soldano

amps for many years, and it is a fine-sounding box that

complements the HG-70's tones nicely.

 

So what went wrong? Why haven't you heard of the PRS HG-70

Harmonic Generator amp until now? When the amp made its debut

at the 1991 Winter NAMM Show, it sported an unusually high list

price for a solid-state amp, due mostly to the extensive R&D that

went into the design, as well as the expense of its high quality

components. In addition, the U.S. commenced the bombing of Iraq

that signaled the start of Desert Storm just as the 1991 Winter

NAMM show got underway. This led to a conservative, slow

sales year for the music industry that created a climate unfriendly

to a new and untested high-end product like the HG-70.

The real killing blow, however, was the fall of the Iron Curtain in

Eastern Europe, which led to an explosion of vacuum tube

manufacturing in Russia and the former Communist Bloc. The tube-free

future that PRS envisioned never materialized, and as innovative

young companies like Rivera, Bogner, Soldano, and many others

created a Renaissance of innovative tube amp design, the HG-70

was left without anaudience. Only about 350 heads and combos

were shipped beforeproduction ceased.

 

This is truly a terrific sounding amp, and an ultra-rare, hard-

to-find gem. This specimen is in outstanding condition. Although

listed as a "used" item, our HG-70 head has never been sold, and

is therefore technically a new amp! However, it has been out of

production for so long that the factory warranty can no longer be

honored. Condition is excellent with the exception of a little dust

and some minor shop wear. The cabinet is a one-owner used

model that we originally sold. That owner had us install a stereo/

mono switch similar to that used on many modern Marshall

Cabinets.

The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.
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Thanks for this post. This is a pretty cool bit of historical info so I think it is fine to be here rather than in the for sale area. I am not even sure from the post if this amp is even for sale!

Myles S. Rose

www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com

www.la-economy.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/mylesr

www.twitter.com/myles111us

 

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I've never seen one in real life before, but I'd sure take the oportunity to try one out if the chance came along.

 

While it's too bad that various factors caused the amp to fizzle soon after the launch-pad, I'm very grateful for the resurgence of tubes and tube-amps! For a while there was a lot of grim prophesizin' concerning the future- if there was to be any- for tubes...

 

I had read before that Warren Haynes had a thing for those compact 4x12 cabs; he was looking out for additional ones to buy a few years back...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by Darklava:

I found it on guitar rez.com and it is for sale

and I too thought it was cool...head and cab 1749.00

really? That's in Austin...

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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I live 20 minutes from the PRS factory on Maryland's eastern shore (and 10 minutes from the old one in Annapolis)so I used to see a few used PRS amps here and there in music stores. Nothing special. I recall them actually going dirt cheap in the late 1990s because they didn't sound all that amazing and noone really wanted one. The name alone wasn't enough to sell them.

 

A friend of mine has a 50W JMP Marshall that was modified by PRS ("modified by PRS" printed right on the chassis) that is just SICK. Granted, he had friends at the factory back in the 1980s. They should have stuck with making modded-Marshall type amps in my opinion.

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Originally posted by caughtlikefire:

I live 20 minutes from the PRS factory on Maryland's eastern shore (and 10 minutes from the old one in Annapolis)so I used to see a few used PRS amps here and there in music stores. Nothing special. I recall them actually going dirt cheap in the late 1990s because they didn't sound all that amazing and noone really wanted one. The name alone wasn't enough to sell them.

 

A friend of mine has a 50W JMP Marshall that was modified by PRS ("modified by PRS" printed right on the chassis) that is just SICK. Granted, he had friends at the factory back in the 1980s. They should have stuck with making modded-Marshall type amps in my opinion.

That's interesting, finally getting a first-hand word on these amps, instead of semi-advertising type write-ups.

 

And I'd sure love to check out your friend's PRS-modded Marshall, too! :cool:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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A friend of mine used to have a PRS amp, as well; not sure if it was this model or not. Anyway, he loved it; said it was the closest thing he's ever had to the Clapton "woman" tone (and my friend Warren's had his share of amps over the years!) Anyhow, he had a minor issue with something, I think it was the reverb; so he sent it back to the shop. When he got it back, they had taken the liberty of upgrading some things in the preamp I think to whatever their latest modification was. It took away whatever he had liked about it; he was devestated. He told them to change it back; undo whatever they had done, and they acted like "why? we did you a favor!" He never used it again, and finally sold it a few years back.

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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