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 Post subject: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Wed, May 20, 2020 10:26pm 
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Hey guys,
Was wanting your opinions on synergy amps. Are they worth they money? Looking at the syn 30.
Are they a true tube amp? Do the modules sound like their respective amps? Was looking at probably the SLO, 800, and plexi modules. Do they really get that true tube sound?
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Wed, May 20, 2020 10:53pm 
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https://twitter.com/holdsworthvan/status/1255103710058987522?s=21

I love the Syn 50. Really is fantastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 4:06am 
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I have a Syn1 and about 10 modules (including 3rd party modded ones). They do sound good, and are all tube. But unless you possess god-like self control those modules will multiply likes rabbits... and very soon you've spent a few grand more than you'd ever planned to.

The Dirty Shirley is also worth considering if you like thicker, darker Marshall tones. I didn't like the other Friedman ones.

I'm surprised they don't have a 4-module chassis or head like the old Randall ones, would be a lot more fun and convenient than slotting the modules in and out.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 8:42am 
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Syn30 is awesome with the SLO and DS modules, I have 4 or 5 others that are all good, but those 2 make the amp a jem.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 9:10am 
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Just buy an old Randall RM-50 or 100 for a lot cheaper and it will take those modules no problem. That said, it is expensive either way if you over collect modules. There is some cool stuff they can do with preamp to make it feel like the power amp is involved ( JAded Faith does an amazing job with his AC30 mod) but end of the day, the bland one fit all power amp will be your limit and amp builders often build their power amps to match what they had in mind for their preamp. So in short, it will get you in the ballpark but won't be as good as the real deal. How important that is to you or how much it matters when recorded or through a PA system, is up to you. Most people won't be able to tell the difference between SLO and ENGL, you could say it is anything and post a clip and people will say it sounds great.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 10:45am 
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It's hard to advocate any investment in the Randall host amps. You would always wonder about the synergy stuff that is upgraded, like the module detection changes that happens (I forget what it is called)

It is a bit pricey otherwise I would have been in this game. Really want to jam on the Vai and Savage modules! I hope they offer a big deal this weekend, Black Friday they had 15% off everywhere on the modules

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 11:02am 
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crankyrayhanky wrote:
It's hard to advocate any investment in the Randall host amps. You would always wonder about the synergy stuff that is upgraded, like the module detection changes that happens (I forget what it is called)

It is a bit pricey otherwise I would have been in this game. Really want to jam on the Vai and Savage modules! I hope they offer a big deal this weekend, Black Friday they had 15% off everywhere on the modules


Good point. I suppose if you don't already own an RM amp, you might just figure why not get the Synergy amp to go with the synergy module so you can take advantage of the latest technology? So yeah, I am not sure it is worth the investment. There is already limited differences between high gain amps tonally and the vintage ones really bennefit from the right power amp. Maybe cheaper getting a 1200$ fender and a 2500$ used Friedman somewhere and calling it a day for example. Or score a JMP or JCM800 and buy a box of boosts and make it sound like whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 11:31am 
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I'm super tempted to get the syn2 preamp. I have a vht2902 power amp that makes everything sound good.... But I'm also considering getting a new SLO when they're back in stock and it would NOT be prudent to buy both.... hmmmmm......


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 3:05pm 
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fwiw my gear sensei has a fleet of awesome tube amps....and his latest fascination is the syn1 with many modules acquired. He loves it, and this guy is a total tone aficionado

I never can pull the trigger. The syn 1 is the easiest way to get in, but I already have a pre rack so the syn2 seems right....I really fear the addictiveness. Plus, nit sure if it is a bit redundant with my Kemper in some ways

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 3:31pm 
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Around 2 years ago I spent a decent amount of time with a Syn2 and whatever Synergy modules were available at the time. I thought the MTS stuff was good, but to me the Synergy stuff is the real deal. I was pairing it with a Randall RT2/50 power amp, which I thought sounded great. In my view you need to pair it with a power amp that has some color, like the Randall or a VHT. I think ones like the Carvin T100 and the Synergy 5050 are too neutral.

The reason I moved away from it was because I got tired of waiting for Synergy. They seemed to have trouble replenishing supplies of existing modules, and new modules that they said were finalized and would be shipping in 12 weeks were closer to 14 months. I think the latter has improved slightly, not sure on the former. I wanted to use it as a live rig, and I couldn't get there with a single Syn2 and the existing modules they had. I couldn't get the clean I wanted and the range of dirty tones from just two slots. I was holding out for the BEBB module, and finally gave up.

I wouldn't expect the modules to sound exactly like their name sakes, for the reasons others have stated, but that doesn't mean they're not of the same caliber. If I went back to a fully rack-based rig again and wanted it to be all-tube, I'd probably pick up a SYN2 or two (or an Egnater M4 if I could find one), and I wouldn't feel like I was "settling" at all. I really think they got it right, it's the supply issues that I didn't gel with.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 4:40pm 
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Man I could car less about most of the modules but would love the Dirty Shirley to run into the loop of my BE and the UltraLead to run in the loop of my Deliverance.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 5:09pm 
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The SLO module in the syn50 sounds really good.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 21, 2020 8:36pm 
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I just bought a DS module and will see how it likes my old Randall RM100's. I'm pretty interested in those 2 Fryette modules. I've played the BE, BEBB, VH4, and wasn't impressed.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Fri, May 22, 2020 10:10am 
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Love this! :)



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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Fri, May 22, 2020 10:26am 
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That Evil Kitty does sound great... to be honest, I quite like the JF and Salvation stuff. I have a Salvation Ampeg and Xtacy and they are awesome, preamps. Additionally, the cool stylized faceplates also gel with me. If I am paying that type of coin for a pream, I like that it has a look to it rather than just being black.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Fri, May 22, 2020 10:50am 
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Salvation stuff is sick for high gain! I have that preamp with Cobra/OR100 & it sent a few of my real tube heads packing. I wish Synergy got him on board, dude knows brootz. I'm thinking about adding a syn 5050 and syn 2.....also I always look at/consider that myasnikov-custom.com that Kapo turned me onto years ago, that dude seems legit

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Fri, May 22, 2020 2:55pm 
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I have an Egnater MOD50, M4, Bman, EG3/4, Randall Ultra (bought it to get modded and never got around to it), SL2X, T/D, SYN-1, SYN-T/D, Vai. The SYN-1 is super versatile and allows me to incorporate it direct or into an amp which is really convenient. The tones are great too. I would have to say the newer SYN modules sound a little better than the old Egnater ones. Plus a lot of the newer ones have separate EQ for both channels.

I want to compare the sound of the SYN-1 going into IR and M4 with the same module to see how different it sounds. Why they don’t have a 4 channel SYN-4 is strange. Also, would be nice of them to allow IRs to be stored onto them... hopefully they will add that feature.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Fri, May 22, 2020 3:25pm 
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The cool thing about Synergy, is that their modules are two-channel units. That Salvation Audio "Evil Kitty" is a must-have!


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Sat, May 23, 2020 7:18pm 
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The Powerball module in a SYN-50 yields one of the best modern-metal tones I've ever gotten, with any amp. The SLO and Uberschall are also crushing.

I was a big Randall and Egnater modular user for years, but the higher-quality PCBs used in the Synergy modules, and the Fryette-designed power section in the SYN-50, really seem to make a difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Sun, May 24, 2020 9:47am 
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Love the TDLX and PLEXI modules! Lost me at SLO forward...



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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Mon, May 25, 2020 1:16pm 
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aside wrote:
I have a Syn1 and about 10 modules (including 3rd party modded ones). They do sound good, and are all tube. But unless you possess god-like self control those modules will multiply likes rabbits... and very soon you've spent a few grand more than you'd ever planned to.

The Dirty Shirley is also worth considering if you like thicker, darker Marshall tones. I didn't like the other Friedman ones.

I'm surprised they don't have a 4-module chassis or head like the old Randall ones, would be a lot more fun and convenient than slotting the modules in and out.



I don't doubt they sound good, but especially the hi gain ones...not all tube.

I don't say that lightheartedly OR to take something away from it but it is like so.


Think about it.


Excluding one 12ax7 "preamp" tube in normal amps that is usually reserved for the phase inverter (integral for the power amp), usually most hi gain preamps have 3-4 preamp tubes. Rectifier, or should I say soldano?! Maybe friedman? Diezel etc...5150. Fryette/VHT.


How can you materialize the same circuit with less tubes? You can't. Before you say that hey, if it doesn't need the clean channel then it omits that, it can't because usually the distortion uses the clean channel path and builds on to it, or part of it.


So you are left with two solutions. Either you emulate/build and tune preamps modules that are more vintage, so they use up to two preamp tubes and tune them by ear for the power amp of the synergy stuff (the randall mentioned was not vanilla, rather JCM 800 based. I think dave friedman said so or that they chose that as the base. It is the base for a lot of known amps anyway...) or, you use mosfet stages to pretty much simulate the cathode follower tube that usually drives the tonestack for example.



Bear in mind, the evh lbx III uses the same technique to save a tube. Other preamps may do as well.


It's cool but it is not all tube. And if it overdrives (the one on the lb x) it clips hard and not so musical. Which for hi gain may be cool.


But the synergy can do up to two 12ax7 preamps. Plenty of room for that. Marshall, some fender, engl, splawn. They can be done with two tubes...vox as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Mon, May 25, 2020 2:00pm 
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5 12AX7s, not 2. There are just 2 in each module. That’s 4 gain stages. Plenty.

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Mon, May 25, 2020 4:12pm 
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Rising Farce wrote:
The Powerball module in a SYN-50 yields one of the best modern-metal tones I've ever gotten, with any amp. The SLO and Uberschall are also crushing.

I was a big Randall and Egnater modular user for years, but the higher-quality PCBs used in the Synergy modules, and the Fryette-designed power section in the SYN-50, really seem to make a difference.

What is the biggest difference between those three. If I were to go the Syn route, those are the three that I've heard that I like the most.

I'm slowly narrowing my choices down of my next amp...and the Syn50 is on the list. It's been narrowed down to the new Fryette Deliverance, track down a Sig X, Powerball II or the Syn50. What I like about the Syn50 is it's Midi and my whole pedalboard is built around my midi JVM.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Mon, May 25, 2020 4:47pm 
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tech21man wrote:
I don't doubt they sound good, but especially the hi gain ones...not all tube.


There's an initial 12AX7 stage from the SYN1/2/30/50 before it even hits the modules, then an additional 4 triode stages from (2) 12AX7s in the modules. The reason you'll see more than two tubes in a head is because of the topology of multiple channels that don't always share triodes, stages for FX/reverb, phase invertor.

Which modules are you saying aren't all tube?

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 2:27am 
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boyedav wrote:
tech21man wrote:
I don't doubt they sound good, but especially the hi gain ones...not all tube.


There's an initial 12AX7 stage from the SYN1/2/30/50 before it even hits the modules, then an additional 4 triode stages from (2) 12AX7s in the modules. The reason you'll see more than two tubes in a head is because of the topology of multiple channels that don't always share triodes, stages for FX/reverb, phase invertor.

Which modules are you saying aren't all tube?



I've seen schematics in the past using mosfet follower for the tonestack. It should be the rectifier one. I'll see if I can find it. If I am wrong on this though, it was about the randall MTS line. I don't know if the syn modules changed that. And if so, how would the old ones work the on the new system...


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 2:59am 
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Allright so I had a whole file full of MTS schematics on a folder.

I see a separate input stage and to be honest it's all over the place.


I can't see a mosfet follower but I think I have seen on other schematics.


The preamps sometimes have really not THAT much in common with the real thing...on the rectifier values are different here and there, you see plate bypass caps where there are not, the 20pf to ground prior to the second stage is missing...the first coupling cap is smaller...talking about "interpretation" lol. Funny thing is, a smaller coupling cap may help with the rectifier voicing being tighter.


How can they match amps that use different input stages...marshall JCM 800 2204 vs the SLO or rectifier vs the engl stuff vs diezel.


Then you have an "opposite" problem. The engl preamp has four gain stages cascade to a plate fed tonestack without cathode follower, so it needs two 12ax7s. If one is the input stage before it hits the modules...do they use one 12ax7 on the module? Or two and switch to two different preamp modes with parallel paths before the tonestack. If they include the first coupling cap on the chassis, I'd honestly prefer a mosfet follower to this mess!


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 2:21pm 
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So all of these modular systems have the V1 preamp stage in the module bay, this is why you can't just plug straight into a module.

Prior to Synergy, this meant that the system designer had to design all of the modules around a single V1 input bias value. Randall and Egnator picked the Fender-type value. So the preamps in the Marshall-type and Mesa-type etc. modules had to be adjusted to make up for the warmer, fatter Fender-type V1 stage.

Synergy's system uses a module bay with three switchable V1 values: basically Fender, Marshall, and Soldano-type V1 values. And the module bay selects the appropriate V1 value based on the module that's selected. That in theory should allow the Synergy designers to keep the module preamps much closer to the "real" thing.

It sounds very interesting, but I haven't jumped in because I'm just not happy with any of the power amp solutions that are readily available.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 2:29pm 
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That's a nice solution, getting three sets of values I guess. Still why didn't they just route the input to any module and then give the same ampage to power up the 12ax7 and let the module light up three...I mean it's not like the power transformer will need to be SOOO much bigger especially for systems with up to three modules...In the end it's their thought.


If it was about the r/f rejection...I mean you could get by with a ferrite bead a-la mesa. Framus omits it completely. Others go as low as 10K for the input resistor with no problems...anyway.

All these would be acceptable to me but it involves a lot of tuning by ear. Think of the fundamental differences that give a rectifier its difference to an SLO...yeah that topic again. Play a rectifier, dave friedman is right, I can be left though. The preamp IS the same, pretty much, but go full fat to the bass knob of a recto and do the same at soldano. Different transformers, power amp, choke. Same preamp...ok...Recto goes saggy titten maxen fast, the soldano is set for hi volume stays firm, is a bit stiff lower volume etc...So this has to be accounted for IN the preamp.


That is cool, but it really pushes me to digital preamp (modelling) even to a tube power amp...


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PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 2:58pm 
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The recordings I've heard of them sound really good. Should be a dream come true for the GAS guzzlers on forums like this- much cheaper and takes way less space than flipping through all of the high end amp makers that Synergy has made deals with. Might not be 100%, but they sound great. Shipping modules would be a lot less of a PITA than shipping whole heads as well.

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PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 3:36pm 
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I'm a big Synergy amps fan and have a couple of Syn2's, a Syn 50, a Syn 1 and various modules (VH4, BB/BE, Soldano, Bogner Ecstasy, OS, TDLX, Engl Savage and couple of Salvation modules). Does anyone know which modules are still in the pipeline to come out? I think that a Fryette one was supposed to come out in May and believe they had plans to produce one with Peavey (5150), but don't know for sure what's next in terms of modules coming out.


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PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 4:02pm 
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The next big one to come out is the Fryette, complete with graphic EQ. Should be cool.

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PostPosted: Tue, May 26, 2020 4:47pm 
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tech21man wrote:
That's a nice solution, getting three sets of values I guess. Still why didn't they just route the input to any module and then give the same ampage to power up the 12ax7 and let the module light up three...I mean it's not like the power transformer will need to be SOOO much bigger especially for systems with up to three modules...In the end it's their thought.


If it was about the r/f rejection...I mean you could get by with a ferrite bead a-la mesa. Framus omits it completely. Others go as low as 10K for the input resistor with no problems...anyway.

All these would be acceptable to me but it involves a lot of tuning by ear. Think of the fundamental differences that give a rectifier its difference to an SLO...yeah that topic again. Play a rectifier, dave friedman is right, I can be left though. The preamp IS the same, pretty much, but go full fat to the bass knob of a recto and do the same at soldano. Different transformers, power amp, choke. Same preamp...ok...Recto goes saggy titten maxen fast, the soldano is set for hi volume stays firm, is a bit stiff lower volume etc...So this has to be accounted for IN the preamp.


That is cool, but it really pushes me to digital preamp (modelling) even to a tube power amp...


That's essentially my problem: the available power amps. And not just from Synergy, the overal rack amp market stinks. The Synergy AC module could be great, but running through a EL34/6L6 power section with negative feedback? Ehhhh... And as you note, the SLO and Recto preamps are very nearly the same but the amps sound vastly different.

NB: the Recto schematics I've seen have some minor differences from the SLO. I kinda remember seeing a cap or two in certain places that would bleed off some high frequencies. And the loop is executed differently. But I have a hard time imagining that those things alone make the amps sound so different.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Thu, May 28, 2020 6:22pm 
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incoming: syn2, Powerball, Savage, Ecstasy

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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Fri, May 29, 2020 9:18am 
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crankyrayhanky wrote:
incoming: syn2, Powerball, Savage, Ecstasy

:thumbsup: Please post a review, and what amp you're using to amplify the SYN2.


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 Post subject: Re: Synergy amps
PostPosted: Mon, Jun 01, 2020 12:13pm 
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Ecstasy arrived but nobody yet

Right now I plan on going into the from return of my Diamond Phantom (which sounds great with another preamp)
I’ll likely try di too & may get a syn5050 later this year

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