Dr. Z Therapy Review

The Dr. Z Therapy Head

In the world of high end guitar amps, the name Dr. Z is synonymous with reliability, superior tone, and bang for your buck! With such popular favorites as the Carmen Ghia, the Maz, and the Z-Wreck, it's no surprise that when the good Doc decided to create an amp unlike any other in his line, the buzz around the shop took off and the excitement began. We were very fortunate that Z allowed us to beta test prototypes and offer our input throughout the design process.  So after many months of trials, tests, and anticipation, the time had finally come and the Dr. Z Therapy was ready for production.  We were excited!

Getting Started

To give you a quick summary of what the Therapy is, it's essentially a cathode biased dual 6L6 based circuit with 35 watts of output.  It also features a Post Phase Inverter Master Volume, a versatile three knob tone stack, and a 5AR4 rectifier.  For what I look for in an amp, this is right up my alley so I was ready to plug in and get started.

I was immediately impressed with the clarity of my eq settings at any volume that I chose, be it gigging levels or just jamming in a 10'x10' room.  As a fan of big bottle 6L6 tubes and early tweed twin tones, I was right at home from the start.  It was surprising to hear my favorite tweed style 'woody' growl with so many harmonics throughout the amps range. My first reaction was, "Now this is a Dr. Z for me!" In my honest opinion, Dr. Z Amplification has now officially commanded the attention of the vintage American voiced tone hounds 'round the world with new offering.

What Makes the Therapy Special?

My favorite aspect of the Therapy is its ability to find that 'sweet spot' in it's volume/power range that is so elusive with most amps. Not only could I not get the Therapy to sound bad at any of the settings that I chose, it had this incredible verge of break up, slight compression range that I've been trying to reach for years with my old amps! Either the amp I was using was too small for my needs or was generally too much to comfortably reach that 'spot' due to excessive power. Not only can I now achieve these tones, but I have an enormous range of dynamic possibilities I didn't have before. Bear in mind, this isn't your typical tweed voiced amp.  Dr. Z is always going to do something different by pushing the envelope for something better. In the Therapy, the Doc designed it to be cathode biased and tube rectified for a softer, better feel. He utilized a three band independent eq versus the usual stacks (one tone control, treble and high only, or interactive eq) and has eliminated the need of an attenuator by incorporating an extremely well functioning Master Volume. Personally, I like this style of volume control over attenuation because of the organic feel I can achieve. I retain my signal perfectly at low volumes!

Is the Therapy Pedal Friendly?

Absolutely! By not using a cascading front end, the Therapy excels at handling modulations such as vibes and uses overdrive pedals in any way that you want. You can drive the amp at a clean setting or give the amp some break up and use an overdrive to push the sustain, harmonics and the drive of this amp into solo territory.

How About it's Construction?

Like all Dr. Z amps, the construction is absolutely top notch.  He doesn't cut corners, and if Z is guilty of anything it's overbuilding his amps.  Inside the Therapy's solid aluminum chassis is an all hand wired turret-style board using Carbon Comp Resistors, Jupiter Coupling Caps, chassis-mounted phenolic tube sockets, and a high precision PEC sealed volume pot for the Master Volume.  Because of Dr. Z's track record over the past 10 years with us, we anticipate the customer warranty issues with the Therapy to be in similar numbers as his other amps.  Practically nil.

In Closing

At home, in the studio, band practice or the stage, the Therapy may be the Docs most rewarding amp since the Maz Jr and possibly ever!  Overall I found the Therapy to be a great addition to Dr. Z's already stellar offerings, as well as a welcome addition to our own current line up of amplifiers here at Humbucker Music.  Great Job Dr. Z!

--- Jeremy Walley, Humbucker Music

For more info on the Therapy, please visit:  http://www.humbuckermusic.com/dr-z-therapy.html