Page 92

GEAR

Dr.Z EMS Combo T ESTE D BY ART THOMPSON

S P E C I F I C AT I O N S

OHIO BASED DR. Z HAS BEEN ON A

birch-ply cab is covered in black Tolex and is

roll of late with the introduction of the Surgical

accented with gold piping and a woven grille. In

EMS

Steel pedal-steel amp (reviewed in the August

this format the amp is big (32" wide by 23" tall),

CONTACT

drzamps.com

Issue), and now the EMS or “Essential Marshall

and it weighs a robust 62 lbs. Of course, as with

PRICE

$2,499 street (2x12 combo);

Sounds,” which is designed to replicate the tones

all things Bluesbreaker, the open-back rig has a

of three eras of classic Marshall 50-watt ampli-

sound unto itself—one of the reasons why Brad

fiers: a mid-’60s JTM 50, a ’70s “small box” JMP,

Paisley went with the same-sized cabinet for

and an ’80s JCM800. To nail the essential ingre-

his signature DB4 model (reviewed July 2016).

$1,899 (head only); $2,599 (EMS

.

set with head and 2x12 cab)

z

CHANNELS

1

CONTROLS

Gain, Volume, Treble, Middle,

dients for these brews, Dr. Z equipped the EMS

Tested with a Gibson Historic Les Paul, a PRS

Bass, Presence. Touch switch,

with a pair of EL34 output tubes, which are fueled

P90-equipped semi-hollow, and a G&L ASAT

Hi-Lo (gain) switch, Tube/Solid-

by selectable rectifiers: a 5U4G tube (for ‘60s-

with a Duncan BG1400 bridge pickup, the EMS

era response) and a solid-state type as per the

sounds as big as it looks. It has impressive girth

POWER

50 watts

‘70s and ’80s models. Along with a set of Gain,

even at low volumes, and while the Bass control

TUBES

Three 12AX7 preamp tubes,

Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, and Presence con-

doesn’t exactly pour on low-end when turned

trols, the EMS also features a Touch switch and

up, there was no shortage of beef with single-

a Hi/Lo switch that boosts the gain by adding

coils. This amp sounds very clear and warm at

another 12AX7 stage to the preamp.

low Gain settings—great for fat jazz and blues

rectifiers. Extension speaker jack.

The EMS is built on a rolled aluminum chas-

tones—and the headroom is astonishing. Leave

Impedance selector (4ȍ, 8ȍ,

sis and features hand-wired circuitry to all the

the gain switch in the Lo position and simply dial

components, including pots, jacks, switches,

up the Volume to get a big, dimensional tone for

WEIGHT

62 lbs

and tube sockets. It also carries a precise copy

rhythm playing or when you want a clean foun-

SPEAKER

Two Celestion G12 M “greenbacks”

of the Drake 784-139 50-watt output trans-

dation for your drive, delay, or modulation pedals.

BUILT

USA

former, which was a hallmark of vintage Mar-

On the flip side, the EMS is really in its ele-

KUDOS

Broad range of British-style-

shalls with two EL34s.

two EL34 output tubes, 5U4G rectifier EXTRAS

higher volumes. The response is a little tighter

Z made with a “Bluesbreaker”-style cabinet

when using the solid-state rectifier, and the Touch

housing two 12" Celestion G12 M speakers. The

switch (which adds a .047uF cap from the B+

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

Switchable tube and solid-state

16ȍ)

ment churning out gritty crunch at medium to

The EMS on review here is the first one Dr.

92

State Rectifier switch.

sounds. Impeccable build quality. CONCERNS

None.

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