NAD: Frenzel Rocker 800Z (Hiwatt/Marshall)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JFlo, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    I am loving my new Frenzel Rocker 800Z! It is a hand-wired point-to-point tube preamp inspired by the classics. The basic model is a 2 channel preamp (Fender/Marshall), but I ordered the upgrade to include a 1W power section and had the Fender channel replaced with a Hiwatt one (no charge!). There is an independent line out for each channel as well as a combined mono line out. The Hiwatt channel sounds dead on to me and I want to play Entwistle and JJ Burnel licks every time I plug into it. Channel 2 is voiced after a Marshall JCM800 and definitely has a more mid-focused tone. 20200326_200617.jpg 20200326_200710.jpg 20200326_200637.jpg
    I recorded some quick clips of each channel with low, medium and high gain. Pick first, then fingerstyle. Custom Warmoth T-bass with a Seymour Duncan SPB-3 pickup, no tone control, strung with D'Addario Pro Steels>Frenzel Rocker 800Z>Ampeg SVT-810e (top half)>Shure SM57>Presonus Audiobox. No compression, EQ or editing was done. The amp EQ was set as shown in the pictures (bright switches engaged), only gain and master settings were changed.





    The 1 watt power amp is fine for quiet practice and sounds fantastic with guitar. I tried just the preamp out into the power section of my Peavey MiniMax and DANNNNNGGG...it was Hiwatt heaven! I can't wait to rock this at practice someday when we're not hunkered down under the penumbra of the coronavirus. I like my tone to range from nasty to filthy and this amp might knock my Darkglass B7KU off my board. If I do decide to gig with it I will make a headshell for it because the chassis is a little flimsier than I like. It can also be ordered with a cage enclosure or build as a rackmount unit.
    Frenzel was great to work with and communicated frequently by email. I feel like these amps have been slept on by bassists so check them out. Handmade in America and significantly less expensive than most of the boutique gear out there.
     
  2. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan

    Jun 14, 2014
    Midland, TX
    Frenzel makes extraordinary stuff.. few years back I had them built a custom 5e3 with octal preamp tubes, power section up to 50 watts for a 6 string rig...tone monster.
     
  3. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    I would love to hear their hifi gear. If only my old Pioneer stereo would die...
     
  4. kjp360

    kjp360

    Feb 11, 2014
    I have one of Jim's earlier Deluxe Plus amps. It is has been very versatile and has been quite reliable. My local amp guy had some criticism about the quality of some of the small components but given that I gigged the head for a few years before it needed any service I am not sure what to think there. I use the head for almost all my medium sized guitar gigs and the occasional smaller bass gig. I suppose that I bought it 2006 give or take a couple years.
     
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  5. Tommyc

    Tommyc

    Nov 11, 2015
    Midwest
    94015A36-A974-4037-AFA7-4152A9A6A789.jpeg There’s mine but I have the Fender on channel 1 and Vox on channel 2. After about a year I decided to change the stock J&J tubes to all Tung-Sol and OMG! If anything happened to it I’d have to order another and wait the 7 weeks for him to build it. Now I must pull out my headphones and listen to your uploads. Congratulations on your purchase!
     
    Doufuss likes this.
  6. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    Man, I might have to get some Tung Sols. I love your chocolate Aguilar cabinets!
     
  7. Tommyc

    Tommyc

    Nov 11, 2015
    Midwest
    Dirty indeed! It’s not my thing but that doesn’t mean I can’t like it when someone else does it. The stock J&J’s should serve your needs well. I was looking for rounder, warmer, less edgy and more thumpy and Tung-Sols get my Rocker there. The case may be on the light side but the build quality is really quite solid. Once again enjoy!
     
  8. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    Thanks, Tommyc! I would love to hear some clips of your amp if you have any.
     
  9. Tommyc

    Tommyc

    Nov 11, 2015
    Midwest
    My Frenzel Rocker 800 into TC Electronics Wiretap. Wiretap records in wav so I converted the file to MP3 in Audacity. It's my G&L JB-2 Tribute with a piece of foam in front of the bridge.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    That's tasty! Perfect classic round and warm. I plugged my rocker 800 into the power amp in of my SVT-CL last night and was able to get a nice clean tone. The 1w power section of the Frenzel isn't powerful enough to push clean lows, but running into the SVT convinced me I could use it in almost any band setting.
     
  11. starjag

    starjag Supporting Member

    Any input about Frenzel's mini baseman?
     
  12. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    I haven't played it in person but it seems like it would be a fantastic practice and recording amp.
     
  13. starjag

    starjag Supporting Member

    Trying to figure out what extra features might make sense. Maybe triode/pentode switch. Maybe bias mode switch.

     
  14. I really like TungSol preamp tubes. I've been using them for a few years now. Crisp, fat gain. Will change the character of your amp for the better. (IMO) Never tried their power tubes because what I've had has been fine.
     
  15. I have their deluxe 25 watt head (I currently use 5881 but have used kt-66, el34 and 6L6) and with 6SL7 preamp tubes. I also have a guitar/bass preamp, the Dp1 also with 67SL. Poor man's Monique. I already a tube hifi amp from Mesa (vintage) and Peavey stereo tube power amp so can't really justify buying their power amps but I am tempted. They used to make a Parallel class A mono block that was 30 watts with either 6550 or KT88 and my friend who is an audiophile swears by them. Class A power sections for hifi is awesome specially for folks that listen to classical particularly opera. I have an inexpensive Chinese class A power amp and I prefer that to my Mesa some days. It's in my office. I think each channel is 6.5 watts. Frenzel makes a EL-84 stereo amp.

    Frenzel is very underrated. It's a family operation I believe.
     
    kjp360 likes this.