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Zinky Superfly 120 Watt Head
Overall Rating
Submitted: March 21st, 2005
by ValvetronixConvert Electronpirate
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Sound Quality
Using with a modified Les Paul Double Cut, an American Strat with some overdrive modifications. Run through a G-Major, BBE, Volume and VOX Wah in the effects loop. Mesa 2x12 Cab. This amp suits my music style which covers pretty much everything out there. Twangy country, to balls out metal. Amazingly versatile. The EQ is very active so each channel can be programmed very differently. I'll take each gain structure one by one: Clean: Alot of personality. Very deep. Tubes need to be pushed to give it some love. I think it has a very boutiquey overdrive when you crank up the gain. Had somewhat of a hard time getting a completely clean sound out of this until I turned down the volume on the guitar abit. This is probably more due to the humbuckers than the amp. It's very clean with the Strat. Vintage: The first thing I thought when I played this was 'House of the Rising Sun' it nailed it off the factory preset. With some experimentation, I was able to get an extremely usable clean sound (it is now my main clean). It has great personality, and responds very well to pick attack. Focused midrange, which I normally don't like, but Zinky seems to have it at a level that is very pleasing to my ear. You can get some very close AC-30 sounds here with the treble up. Chimey. Blues: Don't expect a really clean bluesy sound here. But it's more of a rockin blues feel. Slightly thin, not too much girth for more rocking songs, but another that responds well to attack. Probably a better rhythm channel. Rock: Sounds exactly like the Blues structure to me, but with better deep end. I hear Bad Co. at lower gain, and early metal at the top (EQ accordingly). You can find any Marshall sound in here. Fusion: This has a great smooth overdrive. VERY smooth. If you need a boutique sound, it's in here. Great for rhythm and soloing, it screams. Can't say enough about this channel. Probably my favorite. Versatile too, just playing with the guitar knob and pups can get you a plethora of different sounds. Overdrive: Not as impressed with this channel. It seems to be a little sloppier than the fusion channel, and don't see as much focus and attack here. I found it pretty noisy, with an odd 'clicking' in the background when not playing. Use it with the gain down for solos, but not much else. I was able to dial out some of the noise with my gate, but it seems to change each time, so the noise gate cant' seem to get adjusted correctly. One thing about this amp is that it sounds fantastic at low volumes. This is something I value heavily, as most of my playing is late night in a house where pushing the power tubes for optimum sound would mean divorce. The global bass/treb really help, as once I dial in a sound, I generally only have to play with these once I turn up. Some other notes: The reverb is great sounding at higher volumes, but seems to overwash at the lower volumes. This is not a problem, but an observation. Bruce Zinky seems to love midrange, as almost all the presets seem to have it dialed up high. Boy howdy does it jump out at you. Also, the stock tubes worried me as far as tone. Zinky stocks them with sturdy tubes designed for reliability, not necessarily for sound. SUPRISE! They sound great! Although I did swap out the preamp tubes for some JJ's, and liked it better. Overall, for those looking for versatility, it's here past any of your expectations. This amp does take some tweaking with your particular setup, but I should mention that I played through this thing for 2 days with NO effects outside of the onboard Reverb, and realized that all those G-Major effects are fun, but not necessary. I was perfectly happy just guitar into amp. The sounds are that good.
Reliability/Durability
This and customer support go hand in hand. I purchased this in Phoenix, AZ. The Zinky factory is in Flagstaff, AZ (three hours north.) When I spoke to Male' at Zinky, they offered to drive down to pick up the amp. He told me that 4 of the reverb transformers had failed in his amps (ALL the amps he's made), and wanted to replace it and check the amp before sending it on to me. Free of charge. THAT is someone who stands by his product. I do worry that this thing does get pretty hot, as the power tubes are located just under where the electronics are, but if this thing was built to military spec, then it should be able to handle it. Have to admit how much better it sounds when it's been on and hot for an hour or so.
Price/Value
General Comments
Been playing for 25 years. I would replace this in a heartbeat. I love the versatility of it. I love the great sounds out of it. I spend way too much time just listening to it while I play. This amp makes me want to pick up my guitar and play all the time. My (sole) reservation are the overdrive channel. I'm still playing with it, so the verdict is not completely in, but the noise, and lack of focused drive means I use it less. I got a steal on this, but it is still worth every penny at the $3400.00 US that Bruce is charging now. The only question that I really had for both Bruce and Male' is why aren't more of these out there? Bruce believes that he initially priced them too low, so they were dismissed as a non-high-quality product. Very possible, since my conversations around the people I know in the industry are either familiar with Bruce, or know him. I, for one, believe that a little more active advertising would help. I want this guy to continue making amps. If I could help this company in any way, I would. A company that values what it's customers think and play is a rarety, and this one's got it. I know I'm gushing. And yes, I will be glad to share settings with other Zinky owners.
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