Understanding The PRS Amp Families

Filed Under Amplifiers / Core Amplifiers

UPDATE! Today (January 12th, 2017) we released a new amp family, "Sonzera."

Learn all about it here!

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The PRS amplifier department got its footing in 2009 when Paul Reed Smith met boutique amp designer Doug Sewell at the Dallas Guitar Show. Paul was blown away by the tone of Doug’s small-batch “Sewell” amps and knew he had to convince Doug to join the PRS team.

In 2009 Doug Sewell moved from Texas to our Maryland factory and began research and development to create the new face of PRS amplifiers. Now in 2015, we want to re-introduce you to this year’s amp offerings — a well researched and diverse line of amplifiers that we are proud for you to play.

Today’s PRS amplifiers revolve around four main “families” so to speak:  the Archon, 2 Channel Custom, DG Custom, and HXDA. Each of these four amp models are all-tube and are offered in a variety of wattage options designed to meet every musician’s needs. The Archon and 2 Channel Custom are considered by many to be “modern” amps while the DG Custom and HXDA are more reminiscent of vintage-style amps. Today we’ll explore them all.

First, let’s cover our modern amps with an up-close look at The Archon.

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The Archon was certainly a product of passion here at PRS. Our goal was to create a high-gain amplifier with a clean channel that will make your jaw drop. Typical high-gain amplifiers tend to be a one-trick pony, covering the crunch channel pretty well but leaving more to be desired on the cleans. We believe we nailed it, and many of our artists do as well We’ve even seen country and blues players using the Archon on stage and in the studio!

The Archon is offered in at 100-watt head, 50-watt head, 50-watt combo, and 25-watt combo. Each model has a half-power switch for those moments when you need to quiet down but not sacrifice your tone.

Next up, lets check out the family of 2-Channel Custom amplifiers.

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With each offering in this family complimented by uniquely selected power tubes, the 2-Channel Custom amps are built to be versatile and voiced to be silky smooth. The 2-Channel Custom’s are modern amps with sparkly cleans, wonderful sounding reverb, and a set of three innovative push/pull knobs. On the lead channel, the middle EQ is a push/pull that acts as a mid-shift that will scoop some of the midrange when “in” or act as a fat boost when pulled out. The push/pull presence control is a global control that provides a depth boost when pulled out. The reverb control also has a push/pull function to limit the reverb to only the clean channel when pulled out. These options, paired with an effects loop, make for an extremely versatile, great sounding amplifier that will work incredibly with your boutique pedal rig or your pawn shop guitar.

The 2-Channel Custom amplifiers are offered in a 20-watt combo, 50-watt head, or 50-watt combo.

To kick off our vintage amp stylings, lets explore the DG Custom.

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“DG” are the initials of David Grissom, a PRS artist and well-known session guitarist. We’ve met few people more obsessed with tone than David. After dozens of revisions and a three year span of collaboration and research with Doug Sewell, the DG Custom was born. David is a huge vintage amp fan, when designing his amp he wanted the nuances that vintage amps offer in a modern design. We made it happen by harnessing the sweetness of uniquely selected power tubes and several tone-scultping features like a bright switch, reverb, boost switch, presence control, top cut, and more.

The versatility and tone of this amp is amazing for the studio musician or the live player. The DG Custom is offered in a 30-watt and 50-watt head. It pairs well with the matching blonde vinyl cabinet that was uniquely designed for this amp.

Finally, well explain the HXDA amplifier.

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Much like the DG Custom’s nod to vintage amp design, the HXDA also delivers a fantastic vintage tone. However, the DG Custom and HXDA vary greatly in the style in which they are built and voiced. The amp is British-inspired and voiced to rock the iconic tones of the late 60’s and early 70’s. The medium-gain tone of the HXDA is smooth, fat, singing, and just plain musical. The amp features three HX / DA mini toggles that all play a part in shaping the tone and gain of the amp.

The HXDA is offered in a 30-watt and 50-watt head.

We hope this blog has helped explain our amp offerings here at PRS! However, no amount of words will accurately describe the tone quite like standing in front of one. We encourage you to contact your local PRS dealer and turn one up!

If you would like to take a closer look at the specs and product videos for the aforementioned amps please visit the product pages by clicking the links below, cheers!

Archon 100W / 50W / 25W
2-Channel Custom 20W / 50W
DG Custom 30W / 50W
HXDA 30W / 50W

Comments (1)

julian mariinez February 23, 2017 - 4:14am
I'd love to try all models, before I can make a choice - with Paul and John themselves, thank you.

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