Do a double-take if you need to. That's right, PRS has boldly gone where no other guitar/amp manufacturer has gone before and essentially made a Jimi Hendrix amplifier! Heavily inspired by one of the Seattle-born legend's personal touring amps purportedly used at Woodstock — which Paul Reed Smith and PRS amp designer Doug Sewell were able to study in 2018 — the PRS HDRX 50 captures the flexibility, power and balance of the quintessential late '60s British-style Hendrix tone, in a straightforward package.
Paul Reed Smith on the HDRX:
"Designing the PRS HDRX was not an exercise in over-engineering — it’s a fairly straightforward build with the right parts and circuit. We kept historic specs where it made sense, and we made substitutions based on availability, safety, and experience. In the end, I think we have made a great-sounding amplifier with exceptional build quality and enough power to blow your pant-leg when you play it!"
"These HDRX amps are intended to sound exactly the same as Hendrix’s touring rig, not look exactly the same. But we know this is hallowed ground. We feel privileged to reach back into history and bring something special into the current music landscape."
Pure EL34 Power
Designed to dish out a very clear top-end, but not so much that it’s harsh or "ice-picky", the PRS HDRX 50 shines without glaring and allows for aggression that can be backed off for smooth, sweet tones. Its addictively dynamic character changes with your choice of guitar and pickups, and the HDRX 50 also makes "pedals sound awesome" — in the words of PRS artist Mark Lettieri.
These sonic qualities can attributed to a pair of premium EL34EH power tubes which drive the amplifier, along with a custom-made 'Straight Edge' output transformer. The HDRX 50 has the documented 100-watt power supply, which gives it extra headroom and makes it sound much closer to an 100-watt amplifier than a normal 50-watt amp. The power supply and filament design also make the HDRX 50 remarkably quiet, with little to no amp "hum" or "hiss".
A 3-band TMB tone stack, 3-way bright switch, high-mid gain switch, and presence controls mirror the historic Hendrix amp and give you increased control over your sound. The PRS HDRX 50 is also engineered with internally-bridged channels featuring their own individual volume controls, which eliminates the need for a jumper cable. This allows you to more easily dial in the distortion level and tone by blending the lead and bass channels’ dedicated volume knobs — bringing more contemporary convenience to the amp!
Every PRS HDRX amplifier ships with a booklet that details the development story and the features of the HDRX amp. It covers Paul Reed Smith’s inspiration for building the amp, artefacts from one of Jimi Hendrix’s personal amps, and more.
- Wattage (Nominal): 50
- Output Transformer: Straight Edge 50 Watt Output
- Power Tubes: 2x New Sensor EL34EH
- Preamp Tubes: 3x JJ ECC803S
- Preamp Positions: V1 - Input, V2 - Cathode Follower, V3 - Phase Inverter
Front Panel Controls
- Channel 1 Controls: Bass Volume with common Presence, Bass, Middle, Mid Gain (On/Off), Treble, Lead Volume, Bright (Off, Bright 1, Bright 2)
- Channel 2 Controls: Lead Volume with common Presence, Bass, Middle, Mid Gain (On/Off), Treble, Bass Volume, Bright (Off, Bright 1, Bright 2)
Back Panel Features
- Inlet: IEC with Integrated Fuse
- Bias: Adjustable
- Channels: 2, Internally Bridged
- Output Jack Configuration/Ohm Selection: 2x4, 2x8, 1x16
- Covering: Black Tolex
- Piping: Black
- Trim Panel: Black Tolex
- Amp Width: 21.5”
- Amp Depth: 10”
- Amp Weight: 23.2 lbs