Dr. Z. Prescription Extra Strength
... or "RxES" - and some Stingray photos that are more current in Brad's rig
Last Update 22 DEC 06
This page is something of a Dr. Z Prescription page and Brad Paisley page. Brad now had two RX "ES" amps in his
rig.

This page will also have a bit on Zac Childs and Chad Weaver.  Zac was Brad's tech and right hand guy.  Zac kept
the amps and guitars honed to perfection.  Brad's guy now for the past almost two or so years is now Chad Weaver.   
There is more on Chad on this page and on many other pages in this website.
Brad Paisley.  I don't care if you play rock, blues, jazz, country, metal or whatever.  This is one of the great players
these days.  His song writing skills are just as incredible as his playing.  Look at the writers credits on videos.  Brad
Paisley is a writer - not just a singer or a stellar player.  Look how many folks perform the material of others or do
not write their own material.  Brad Paisley is a pretty darn talented individual.  He writes his own material.

You may have seen Brad Paisley with other folks playing everything from clean country licks to hard rock.  He is a
really versatile player to say the least.  If you click on the CD cover you will be zapped to Amazon where you can hear
some sound clips and purchase his CDs if that comes to mind.

The left and lower left (near the blue text) photos (click on these for larger versions) is Zac Childs.  Who you ask is
Zac Childs?  Well, Zac is the man behind Brad's rig for one thing.  But not as well known is that Zac is a killer player
in his own right.  If you saw the ACM 2004 awards show in Las Vegas where Brad performed then you saw Zac
playing the electric guitar through one of Brad's signature red Doctor Z amps while Brad played acoustic.  I guess it
is not all that often when the headliner has his support team on stage in a show that was broadcast to millions on
major network television.  I don't know if that says more in regard to Zac being a killer player or suggests that Brad
Paisley is just a great guy to work for and one that takes care of his team.   For a lot more on Brad head to his
website at
www.bradpaisley.com for a lot more information
Click on the
photos for a
larger image
All I can say here is ...
click on the photo
Brad's new tech for late 2005 is Chad Weaver.  Jody Harris is taking care of Gary Hooker's rig.  These guys are
doing a great job and some of what they attend to is show below from the October 1,2 2005 show with Sara
Evans and Sugarland at the Gibson (Universal) Amphitheater.  Zac (left in the photo) is still with Brad in the
studio.  Zac is still very involved with Brad as you can at the left with Zac, Brad, and James Burton in the studio.
So what is a Prescription "ES"?

The Prescription was Doctor Z's higher gain amp for a number of years.  This amp was already very versatile and quite impressive.

Brad Paisley was looking for additional tones in his own arsenal.  Brad and Zac had a few ideas.  They talked to Dr Z and one thing sort of led to another.  The "ES" (officially
known as the Extra Strength Prescription was born.

The ES has a few new Z twists.  The most obvious difference from the new front panel is the "overdose" switch.  A difference from the back is V2 does not have a preamp
shield.  Closer inspection will show that this tube is not a 12AX7 as in the original Prescription.  This tube is an EF86 pentode now.  The tone controls have a lot of range,
more than enough that there is no longer a bright switch as on the earlier Rx.  

The amp is capable of thunderous low end and chime clarity.  The tone stack allow you to dial in as much in the highs or lows that anybody could desire.

The amp is also more powerful then one generally sees out of EL84 amps with a quad of these.  I measured a bit of 50 watts at max output at 1 Khz on the bench.  This is a
very strong and loud amp but even a very low levels there is a huge amount of harmonic structure.

The EF86 in V2 and it's tone stack can be used in many ways with some of the tricks of the Z-28, Route 66, KT-45, and Delta 88.  Turn the tone controls up and down in
conjunction with the volume control and all kinds of front end drive levels are at your call.

The output section features a split load bias.  Keeping this explanation simple, the right two tubes are one duet and the left two are another duet.  You do not need a matched
quad.  Matched duets are fine and dandy and the two duets DO NOT need to be matched.  Some really great tones can be found using EL84S in one duet and maybe a set of
cool NOS tubes in the other.  The amp is very easy on output tubes.  

The two inputs - High and Low, are REALLY useful.  It is almost as if you have two different amps.  Using the low level input yields even more clean headroom and changes
the ratio of preamp tube distortion to output tube distortion.  These two inputs work more dramatically in shaping tone and response rather than just "level" than in other amps
I have used.  In Brad's two Rx amps at this particular concert one amp used the high and one the low input.
Above - some photos from the Dr. Z factory.  These are from the Brad Paisley website in an
area where Brad speaks about his gear.

Left most shows Brad and Dr. Z.   In the center is Brad, Dr. Z, and Zac Childs (Brad's right
hand man).  Zac is also a killer guitarist in his own right.  On the right is Brad's new
Prescription Extra Strength, known as the RxES.  This amp is a new design and should be at
dealers soon (July or Aug 04).  This amp is a total update of the original Rx and was brought
about in a very big way from Brad's requests and ideas.  Click on most photos for a larger
image.
The Prescription amp on the left is
my own.  This was a prototype
and does not have the current
face plate.  The "Extra Strength"
label on this amp is a sticker ...
the face plates did not yet exist
when this amp was built.

You may see on Brad's amps that
one of them has the current new
faceplate and the other was
"pre-faceplate" availability.

Brad's two amps are set up
slightly differently from each
other.  No tricks that you cannot do
with your own though, no tools or
mods needed, just some
thoughtful tube ideas.  If you want
to know some of these details you
will need to ask Brad or Zac as I
do not know what they keep close
to the vest and what they let out to
others.
The photos below were taken on August 6, 2004 at Ventura California.  This was at the Ventura County Fair where Brad Paisley played.  I
did not get any night shots during the show but if you talk to anybody there you will learn that the seats were pointless.  On the first song
there was a rush to the stage and ever spot of space was taken.  People kept trying to come into the stadium all through the show.

A personal comment from me ....  Brad is known as a great Tele player and acoustic player BUT .... there was one song he did where
there was a long guitar solo at the end where he played a Gibson hollow body (may a Chet Atkins sort of model or a Gibson sort of
"Gretsch Country Gentleman" guitar.  Okay ... I am a relic from the sixties were 20-45 minute guitar solos came up now and then.  When
Brad was playing his solo (nowhere close to 20 minutes by the way) ... my thought was that the solo that was played should have gone on
for AT LEAST 30 minutes.  It was just magic.  For those of you that were there, take it from me .... THAT IS ONE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT.   
Click on the photos for BIG versions.
I don't grab my camera that often but when I saw these I HAD TO GET A
PICTURE >>>>

         Z     TV      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gary Hooker before sound check.

Killer Player .... great guy!

This Z-28 was rebiased before the show and NOS 6V6s were installed and a
12AX7M MPI.   Gary liked it, the sound guys liked it, and Zac liked it.  

Gary has played with a lot of folks over the years.  You have heard him more
than you might realize.  
Gary Hooker's rig ready to go before sound check.

Z-Best cab on the bottom for the show.

If you ever wondered how many watts you need to fill a stadium with a good
sound system this amp setup sort of answers that question.

Gary's KT-45 should be shipping this week I believe.  The KT-45 will
augment his Z-28 amps (yes, he has two Z-28s by the way).  In this show
only one was used.
Gary Hooker's rig pedal board.

This photo sort of leaves a LOT to be desired.  Sorry, I am a pretty poor
photographer.  In any case, take it from me, this is one of the cleanest and
most nicely done pedal boards I have ever seen.  

This photo also somewhat points out the wide range of pedals the Z-28
loves.  (Same front end as the pedal loving Route 66, KT-45, and Delta 88).
Zac Childs.

What more can I say.  If Brad Paisley was a race car driver Zac would be
the chief mechanic (and probably relief driver).

Zac is in charge of all the amps and guitars.  Zac is also a killer player in is
own right.

On stage at this point we had two Rx-EX, one Mazerati, one Z-28 that we
had gone though.
Unusual Z amp photo ....

A Z amp with a tool?  The output set has been replaced for the show but
the pliers there?  Z amps don't break.  What's with the pliers?  

The AC cord grommet was not in all the way so I fixed this.  One of the few
"fixes" I have actually EVER done on a Dr. Z amp!
Zac was kind enough to duplicate his "Vintage Guitar Magazine" article
"pose" for me since I had the camera out!
These pictures before
sound check will really
be quite funny to folks
that came to the
concert.  Once the
show started it was
standing room only.  
Capacity was increased
though by many very
cute gals sitting on the
shoulders of their poor
boyfriends.  My thanks
to those guys for
helping allow even more
people in the venue!
A break after our work and before sound check.

Gary Hooker on the left, Zac in the middle, and me with my
"Ventura Beach Hair" on the right.
Time to get the show on the road ... sound check.

A LOT of sound checks I see has the main artist show up at the end, play or
sing a bit and then just disappear after a few minutes.  Not Brad.  He is there
from the start.  They play a number of songs all the way though.  At one
point there were people just sitting out in the audience area when it was still
at least three or four hours until the show.  Somebody made the comment
"lets give em a little show" and number of songs were performed for the folks
out there.

You can tell that Brad loves to do what he does.
It does not matter if you play country, blues, rock, jazz, metal, electric,
acoustic or whatever.

You have a few things to ponder ....

1.  Go see Brad in a concert.  You will learn a bit more than you may have
expected.

If you cannot see Brad live, grab a copy of his CD by
CLICKING HERE
Leave it my me to take a
picture with a bright
background and have it all
just wash out.

As I said ... I am not a
photographer.
From the Doctor Z website:

Usually the sound clips are
the last thing to make the
website. This time, we're
doing it all in reverse. Brad
Paisley has been in
discussions with us about the
creation of a new amp, and
Brad and crew stopped by
the other day to put the final
tweaks and finishing touches
to the amp.

The amp is based on the
Prescription, but with a new
vibe. The amp has been
described as a cross
between an AC-30 and a
Dumble. Brad mic'd it up right
there in the workshop and
gave everyone a chance to
hear it "at birth."  The new
amp will be dubbed the
"Prescription Extra
Strength"
and Brad is
already touring with it, and
yours will be available soon.

So... rather than making you
wait for final specs and
pictures and other people to
review it, why not listen to the
MP3 of Brad's workshop
sound check right now!

Click Here to hear the MP3,
or right click it and select
"Save Target As..." to
download it to your computer.
Below -  Some people think of Brad Paisley as a Mazerati player.  Some know he now has the Dr. Z Prescription Extra
Strength as the center of his rig.  This is partially true.  Brad uses just about every Z amp.  On his latest "Time Well
Wasted" CD the Mini-Z was all over the record with other Z amps.  Live at the October 1,2 2005 show where he played
with Sara Evans and Sugarland he used his RxEX but also his Z-28 and MAZ Sr.  Gary Hooker used his KT-45 (also
has a few Z-28's).  Brad's clean tones were from his Z-28 and at times these were mixed with tones from the other
amps.  Brad also has a Delta 88 and other MAZ amps and Ghia's too.

Click on the photos for a very large version of the picture.
Brad is always adding to his backline.  These photos were taken prior to the
addition of three to four new Dr. Z Stingray amplifiers.   For Brad's latest gear
CLICK HERE.   For the latest Brad Paisley Tour Schedule CLICK HERE.   For info on
the Dr. Z Stingray
CLICK HERE.
Above and below you
will see Brad's late
2006 rig that was still
in use at Christmas.  A
new addition is the
Spring Thing reverb
unit by Valvetrain
amps (Rick Gessner)

More on Valvetrain by
CLICKING HERE
Above is a shot of
Chad Weaver, Brad's
2005-current right
hand tech.  He is also
a stellar player in his
own right