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Dr. Z Z-80 Head and Matching 2×12 Cabinet


In stock

We're currently out of stock on this item but if you'd like to inquire about incoming stock, a special order or a custom build, use the form below to get in touch with one of our specialists, and we'll get you taken care of!
– Matt's Music Staff


We are huge fans of Dr. Z amps here at Matt’s Music. (2/3 of our sales staff actually gig with Z amps!) The Z80 is his newest release and it’s only been opened up to a select few dealers to sell as part of the “Premier Dealer’s Network”. We were just added as a dealer for these and we couldn’t be more excited!


Output Power80 Watts
Output Tubes4 – EL34 (individually cathode biased)
Preamp Tubes2 – 12AX7, 1 – 12AU7
RectifierSolid State
ControlsVolume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Master
Other8, 16 Ohm outputs
Metro “Zero Loss” FX Loop
ConfigurationHead with matching 2×12 open back ext. cabinet loaded with Celestion Alnico Golds
Dimensions & WeightHead – 22 ¾ “ W X 9 ¾ “ H X 10 “ D, 40 lbs.
Matching 2×12 Ext. Cab – 27 ½ W X 22 ¼ “ H X 10 ¼ D, 50 lbs.

From Dr. Z:


General Information

In 2017 Brad Paisley found himself in possession of a vintage unicorn: a real-deal Vox AC80, at the time the most powerful amp the company had ever built, and also the rarest, numbering under 300 built. The first generation of these amps were built for the Beatles to use on their US stadium tours in the mid-60s in an attempt to elevate the Liverpudlian Lads’ sound over the throngs of screaming fans. While in Cleveland on tour, Brad excitedly invited Dr. Z to hear the amp, both being die-hard Beatles fans, and Brad having a piece of both musical and amplifier history. That meeting ended with a question that would become an obsession over the next 6 years: “Could you build me another one, Z?”

The uncanny magic of the original Vox design was also it’s Achilles’ heel. The AC80 had 4 individually cathode-biased EL34 power tubes, pushed to the brink of meltdown in order to achieve 80+ watts from the output section. The original cabinets were practically ovens for the tubes, providing poor ventilation and often going thermal while being pushed night after night. This caused Vox to rethink the design and supply the power section with a more reliable fixed-biased circuit in the second generation AC100 in the late 60s, but this design lost some of the harmonic response of the original, causing the company to shelve the amp soon after. Dr. Z set out to make his iteration firstly, and most-importantly, reliable enough to stand up to the rigors of Paisley’s robust tour schedule. Starting with a stouter power transformer custom-spec’ed from Heyboer Transformers, he also reined the cathode values in, relieving the punishing voltages the EL34 tubes were under in the vintage design, and designed his own aluminum-welded chassis and head cabinet to allow for proper ventilation. Seeking to retain the unique vibe and distinct tone of the original cathode-biased design, but insuring it was bullet-proof, the amp now dubbed the Z-80 has been on Paisley’s stage for 5+ years on the road, and has also found its way to numerous other Z artists’ backline as a test of real-world reliability.

Dr. Z has never been satisfied to simply copy a design; the aim is always to bring a vintage tone into the present, meeting the demands and needs of today’s player. Beyond improved reliability, refinement of the circuit was in order: a post-phase inverter master volume was tuned to control the brutal 80+ watts of crystalline, chiming power on tap. A Metro “Zero Loss” FX loop was added, allowing the player to dial up the grit and grind, but retain the clarity of their time-based effects and modulation. While the original Vox design was intended for bass guitar, Dr. Z massaged the Z-80’s preamp to include a midrange control to dial in the range most important for guitar instead of the original’s fixed resistor value, and ironed out some of the quirks in the tone stack by increasing gain and expanding frequency bandwidth.

Six years of relentless evolution has gone into the Z-80, having been built-up, then torn down to the tacks over half a dozen times; a testament to considerations taken for an amp Dr. Z considers a touchstone in his company’s legacy. The Z-80 retains the original AC80’s quad of individually cathode-biased EL34s, two 12AX7 preamp and one 12AU7 phase inverter, includes both a custom power transformer that exceeds the original’s requirements and reliability, and is fitted with a replica output transformer designed around the original AC80 schematics, manufactured exclusively for Dr. Z by Heyboer Transformers. Hand-wired meticulously by Dr. Z himself, the Z-80 outperforms the original design requirements, has undergone the crucible of the road, and provides a dynamic, unmatched playing experience one can only achieve by buckling up and plugging into 80 watts of British Invasion-inspired power.

Shipping & Returns

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Most orders over $99.00 ship for free inside the lower 48 states. Certain items that are large and heavy do not qualify for free shipping.

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For information on International Shipping, please call, email or use live chat for rates. Orders shipping outside the Lower 48 States to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and international orders do not qualify for free shipping. Orders shipping to U.S. Military APO/FPO addresses, PO Boxes, and US territories (Guam, Virgin Islands, etc.) can only ship USPS. NOTE: Boxes over 70 lbs each cannot be shipped to these locations.

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*Korg and Mesa/Boogie products are only available for shipment within the USA.


We want you to be completely happy with your purchase, so we offer a 48 hour approval period on most purchases (see exclusions below). The 48 hour approval period begins when your purchased item is delivered to your door. If after 48 hours you’re not happy with the item, just contact us via phone, email or live chat on our website to arrange for a return authorization (RA#) and return shipping instructions. Any package sent back without prior authorization will be refused.

Returns must be shipped back to us within two days of the RA being issued. Items must come back to us undamaged and in the same condition they were shipped out. All manuals, paperwork, cables, tremolo arms, wrenches, etc… must be included or full credit will not be issued. Any items not conforming to this policy will be subject (at our discretion) to a restocking fee of 20% of the purchase price.

Refunds will be issued minus all related shipping expenses, if free shipping was initially given, the cost we incurred to get the item to you will be deducted from your refund. A 10% restock fee will also be deducted from your refund. Restock fees will be waived for full value exchanges.

Here are exceptions to our return policy.

  • Custom orders of any kind are non returnable and non refundable. We often charge a deposit before we will place a custom or special order. All special order deposits are NON REFUNDABLE, no exceptions.
  • Microphones, Harmonicas, In-Ear Systems and any other items that come into contact with your mouth or ears.
  • Items labeled as BLOWOUT, are non-returnable. These are often being sold below cost and are considered “all sales final”.
  • Software (this may also include hardware that includes software), unless still in shrink wrap with barcode affixed.
  • Guitar strings, blank media, and other disposable merchandise.
  • Guitar or bass pickups that have been installed or used in any way.
  • Any item advertised as “USED” is non returnable.

*Payments for music lessons are non refundable, no exceptions.

View our detailed Return Policy here.

Early Order Cancellation

All deposits are non refundable. Lots of our products are special orders and in many cases your order has to be built for you at the factory. This is what makes a lot of our products special. Once your order is started, it's being put together just for you. For this reason we ask that you don't cancel your order after you place it with us. If for some reason you absolutely have to cancel your order with us, we will assess you a 25% cancellation charge. This amount is equal to 25% of your total order amount. Ask us before you place your order to see if what you're purchasing is considered a special order.

Damaged Merchandise

Do not accept your shipment if the package shows any signs of external damage. After the item is returned to us we will ship you a replacement. If you receive incorrect or defective merchandise, please call 781-335-0700 within 5 days for a return authorization number.