Almost exactly a year ago I had the privilege of visiting Dr. Z Amps at the shop in Maple Heights, Ohio. The goal was to learn as much as possible about the amps so I plugged in and played everything that was available to play. After a while Z pointed out an amp that had no branding or labeling and to be honest didn't look like much. It was the EMS prototype and it totally blew me away! Even the quality and attention to detail on the prototype was impressive. My ears were ringing and the riffs were shooting out of my fingers like lightning. The sounds and tones were inspiring to say the least....and this is how it goes with every Z amp I play.
There is so much to unpack with this amp let's get the info straight from Dr. Z. The info below is also found on www.drzamps.com and we encourage you to find this amp and try it out. It is so rock n roll it's out of control!
Our goal with the latest Dr. Z amp, the EMS, was to produce the essential sounds of 3 generations of classic British amplifiers. Starting with the mid-60s JTM 50 variant, we combine a dual EL-34 power section with a tube rectified power supply, available by selecting “tube” via the rectifier switch on the back panel. Along with the tube rectifier, setting the EMS’ sensitivity switch to “low” and “Touch” response switch to the down position, this combination will produce the bloom and feel of the early American tweed amps but with the British charm of EL-34 output tubes.
Flashing forward to the 70s, the essence of the “small box” JMP amp is available in the EMS by selecting the “solid state” rectifier via the back panel, selecting “low” sensitivity, and using the “Touch” switch to match the amplifier with your choice of guitar. Using the same circuit topography of the JTM series, only with a more powerful solid state power supply, this sound is noted for its lightning quick response and cutting “kerrang” in the upper midrange.
Lastly, the EMS incorporates the cascaded gain stage design found in the 80s JCM series. By using the “high” sensitivity switch on the front panel, and selecting solid state rectification, hard rock and classic metal tones with tight bass response and singing gain will come screaming out of your guitar. We massaged the circuit to remove some of the annoying, persistent high-treble this era of amplifier has been maligned for and boosted the gain a bit further so that more “modern” drive tones are available higher on the gain knob.
Power Output - 50 Watts
Output Tubes - 2 – EL34 (fixed bias)
Preamp Tubes - 3 – 12AX7
Rectifier - Switchable 5U4GB tube and solid state diodes
Controls - Gain, Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Presence
Other - 4, 8, 16 Ohm impedance via rotary switch
Hi/Lo sensitivity switch
“Touch” sensitivity switch
Tube/Solid State rectifier switch
Dimensions & Weight - Head*: 23 5/8″ W, 9 5/8″ H, 9 1/4″ D, 30 lbs. - matching 2×12 cabinet: 24” H, 24” W, 10” D, 53 lbs.
The EMS, like all Dr. Z amplifiers, is 100% hand-wired in Maple Heights, OH using select components throughout its stages and built on a custom rolled aluminum chassis. It has a precise copy of the Drake 784-139 50-watt output transformer for authentic British crunch. For a perfect match to the EMS small box head, we have our 2×12 cabinet loaded with a Celestion Creamback 65M speaker and a Celestion G12 H30 70th Anniversary speaker wired in series for 16 ohm. This cab is a great aesthetic match to the EMS head and is covered with black tolex, black grill cloth, and gold piping. If ordered as a set, the EMS and matching 2×12 will be offered at a special discounted price.