Dr. Z Z-Wreck

The Dr. Z Z-Wreck is absolutely in a class to itself.

The Z-Wreck is the third collaboration between Dr. Z and Brad Paisley to create an amp with unparalled touch response and tone. To acheive this, Dr. Z worked together with Ken Fischer (of Trainwreck fame) on the circuit, which features a transformer designed by Ken for Dr. Z. The circuit was meticulously laid out with great attention to detail and minimal wire lengths to squeeze every bit of potential out of it. The result was nothing short of extraordinary! The amp has an amazing amount of clarity and cut, but not so much that it's unforgiving. For such a high-end amp it's very controllable, which is not always the case (such as with the Dr. Z Stingray). This allows the guitar player to easily determine the amout of bite and grit by the degree of his pick attack.

Dr Z also utilizes a specially designed power transformer that allows you to select two different tube plate voltages that gives you more control of your pick attack. These two setting are called Comfort and Speed. With the Comfort setting, you get a bit of a more vintage sag feel. The response is softer. With the Speed setting, the plate voltage is increased and you get a stonger attack with a bit more clarity and headroom. The notes ring clear absolutely scream when pushed into overdrive.

  • Dr. Z Z-Wreck Head & Cab Set, Half Power Switch
    Dr. Z Z-Wreck Head & Cab Set, Half Power Switch
    Dr. Z Z-Wreck Head & Cab Set, Half Power Switch
    $ 4,360.00
  • Dr. Z Z-Wreck Head & Cab Set
    Dr. Z Z-Wreck Head & Cab Set
    Dr. Z Z-Wreck Head & Cab Set
    $ 4,299.00
  • Dr. Z Z-Wreck Reviews and Testimonials

    Find out what employees of Humbucker Music and our customers are saying about the amazing new amp from Dr. Z

At a little past 12 o'clock on the volume the amp seems to reach peak "loudness" and from then on the amp's volume knob seems to dial in more gain. Obviously this can also be altered by the volume on the guitar, but for the purpose of testing we mostly ran the guitar wide open. We should mention though that manipulations in the guitar's volume did yield good results, and not nearly the loss of tone and dynamics one would expect.

Overall, we were very impressed at the different achievable tones from the Z-Wreck. It's controls are deceptively simple, but incredibly interactive. We must say that we were happy to see a "cut" knob make an appearance on the Z wreck. This control seems to be the key on many of Dr.Z's offerings to dialing in the most desired tones. The "cut" allows you to pull out or accentuate some treble and upper mids, but it is subtle enough that it doesn't seem to really change the overall voice. You almost have to hear to understand. It's as though the desired frequencies can be found without changing the voicing of the amp, and that's harder to design in an amp than one might think.

The break up on the amp is very rich and never gets overwhelmingly dirty. As the volume is increased, it just seems to get more powerful. This allows the amp to stay easily usable at any volume and maintain the integrity of it's tone at every position of the knobs. Basically, the amp sounds great from low volumes to higher ones. It just gets louder, chimier, and fuller. The response sensitivity increases with the volume, but the amp still retains a percussiveness as well. It sounds incredibly big with the volume all the way up.

We think that this amp is not limited to a particular style. It equally at home with rock, country, blues, etc.

You may be asking why the matching 2x12 cab? As stated earlier the Z Wreck was designed on a clean sheet of paper and the cab is no exception. The included 2x12 open back cab comes standard with a Celestion Blue and Celestion Gold wired in series at 16 ohms. This speaker combination in an open back 2x12 is the true voice of the Z Wreck.

The Z-Wreck is also available as a 1x12 Combo. The construction of the cabinet is from 1/2" Baltic Birch. Birch is a very resonant wood, and the cab design will play an important role in the tone of the Z-Wreck Combo.

Note: The Z-Wreck Silver Set and Limited Blue 1x12 Combo includes matching deluxe covers from Studio Slips. Unfortunately, the heads sold separately do not.


Power Output:
30 Watts
Output Tubes:
4 x 7189 (EL84's - Rare NOS Russian 6P14P-EV tubes)
Preamp Tubes:
3 x 12AX7
Rectifier Tube:
Volume, Bass, Treble, Cut
Head w/matching 2x12 Open Back cab (Silver Set w/ Hardwood)

Head available in Black, Blonde, Red, Surf Green

1x12 Combo in Limited Blue w/ Gold Hardware
Head Specs:
20 5/8" Wide x 9 1/2" Deep x 9 1/8" High, 32 lbs
2x12 Cab Specs: 27 1/2" Wide x 10" Deep x 21 1/2" High, 52 lbs
1x12 Combo Specs:
22 1/2" Wide x 10 1/2" Deep x 20" High, 53 lbs

Background Information About Z-Wreck

Starting in 2006 Brad Paisley contacted Dr Z about building another amp. After talking about the design and the desired outcome Z asked his friend Ken Fischer to lend a hand. Dr Z built up the prototype amp and sent it off to Ken. Ken did his thing to it and sent it back including naming the amp the Z Wreck. After a few more tweaks the amp was sent off to Brad and it has become a mainstay in his rig since 2006. When Ken passed away at the end of 2006, Dr Z put the amp on a shelf and walked away.

Over the past few years the Z Wreck was mentioned by Brad in various interviews and appeared on a few TV shows and of course quite a few album tracks. Dr Z got numerous requests to put the amp into production, but always declined. Fast forward to May 5th 2010 and the Nashville flood. Brad's original Z Wreck was not harmed in the flood, but all of his road amps were destroyed. Dr Z quickly built 2 replacement Z Wrecks for Brad as the show must go on. This got him thinking, why should such a fine sounding amp be left only for one person to play? With encouragement from Brad to release the amp Dr Z went over the notes he and Ken had exchanged via fax. Dr Z took into account all of the layout and design tweaks he could incorporate and laid the amp out on a clean sheet of paper with an all new aluminum chassis and birch head cabinet.

Extra Stuff:

Amp too loud? Read our article: Guitar Amp Attenuators
Need a cover for your Dr. Z Amp?: Dr. Z Amplifier Accessories
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