Marking their 35th Anniversary in business, Dr. Z presents the Carmen Ghia as a 1×10 combo, an amplifier design that has been in continual production in his lineup and is the first model sold under the Dr. Z banner. With its inception in 1988, the Carmen Ghia launched the business: a company that has weathered over 3 decades in the musical instrument marketplace without faulter, firmly establishing the Dr. Z name amongst music’s greats, past, present, and future. The Carmen Ghia is the distillation of the company’s goal: manageable volume, jaw-dropping tone, without compromise, utilizing a pure, direct signal path from amp, to speaker, to audience.
Early in the company’s history, Dr. Z would visit Ohio area guitar shows with the Carmen Ghia in tow. A seemingly diminutive 18-watt amp was a curiosity in the 1980s, a musical era marked by the mantra of “more, more, more.” More watts, more channels, more knobs, but backbreaking weight, headaches from complex signal routing, and frustration from multiple points of failure. Dr. Z had a unique package with 2 knobs, one channel, all hand-wired; a striking concept. During the hours before these events were open to the public, other vendors would have the opportunity to peruse each other’s gear and to his surprise and amusement, the majority of the sales he would make during these shows would be to the guitar shops and luthiers that were exhibiting alongside him! The typically jaded vendors who had thought that had “heard it all” found the Carmen Ghia to be the perfect vessel to exhibit the various guitars they were selling, as it was a no-frills, plug-and-play amp that sounded great and demonstrated the genuine voice of the guitar and player that were plugged into it. This experience birthed Dr. Z’s credo: “volume, tone, what more do you need?”
Fast-forward to 2023, the 35th Anniversary edition of the Carmen Ghia is built to the exact same specifications as it always has been, hand-wired by veteran builders in the Cleveland, OH shop. This year we have added one important feature: a post-phase inverter master volume (PPIMV) that has been specifically integrated into the circuit to achieve versatile low-volume overdrive, but remain entirely out of the signal path when turned to its maximum setting. Pair this with a light weight 1×10 cabinet loaded with a WGS Veteran 30 10” speaker (the first Dr. Z/WGS pairing in company history), and you have a unique, yet simple, elegant, but easy to dial-in amplifier perfect for small gigs, studio sessions, prayer/worship use, and at-home practice. To top off the 35thbirthday with a “cherry,” Dr. Z has hand-selected his favorite EL84 variant for this amp, a pair of NOS 6n14n power tubes, matched and tested in Z's shop, making the amp ready for years of rugged reliability and rich tone.
The Ghia 1×10 combo is in limited production through 2023 and comes branded with a 35thAnniversary commemorative badge on its grill cloth, as well a special Certificate of Authenticity signed by its designer, Mike Zaite, aka Dr.Z.