PRS adds 20-watt head and 1x12 cab to its HDRX amp range inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Woodstock’ Marshall Super Lead

PRS HDRX 20
(Image credit: PRS)

Last June, PRS introduced its HDRX range of guitar amps and cabs – a collection of electric guitar amps that paid homage to Jimi Hendrix’s iconic ‘Woodstock’ ‘69 Marshall Super Lead 100 amp head.

To do so, the Maryland company utilized a newly documented “Authentic Hendrix Touring Circuit”, based on one of Hendrix’s personal amps – the same one supposedly used at Woodstock – that Paul Reed Smith and PRS amp designer Doug Sewell studied back in 2018.

Now, PRS has bolstered its HDRX family with two new offerings: the HDRX 20 head and 1x12 cab.

Just like the flagship HDRX 50 and HDRX 100 amp heads, the lower-watt HDRX 20 seeks to push the high-end to harness crystal clear tones while simultaneously eliminating the risk of harsh tones seeping in.

Likewise, the amp head supposedly “shines without glaring and allows for aggression that can be backed off for smooth, sweet tones”.

In operation, the HDRX 20 features the same controls as its 50- and 100-watt siblings, meaning it sports a three-band EQ – Bass, Middle and Treble – as well as a Presence parameter. Channel-specific Volume knobs for Treble and Bass modes can also be found.

Three toggle switches are also fitted to the front of the amp head: a regular Power toggle, a High Mid Gain trigger and a channel-switching Bright switch.

In terms of what sets this 20-watt package apart from its predecessors, the lower wattage means it's able to break up at more usable volumes, while the new Master Volume control – which can’t be found on the other heads – gives players greater control over their overall output levels.

The 1x12 cab, meanwhile, joins the current 2x12 and 4x12 iterations, and opts for a sole Celestion V-type speaker, which is housed within a black covering and salt and pepper British-style knitted weave grille cloth.

When paired with a HDRX head, the 1x12 is said to be “expressive not boxy”, and promises a “balanced, vintage tone with crisp highs and airy lows”.

When the first few HDRX offerings were introduced, PRS noted they were “not a painstaking historical recreation of Hendrix’s amp” but rather a “snapshot in the development” of the amps he used on tour and in the studio.

“Consideration was given to reliability, compatibility with his effects and guitars, the tones he achieved, and the feel and response of the amp,” said Sewell. “We have made an exhaustive search for all the critical parts that would enforce the original objectives Hendrix and the amp techs explored.

“We have married our part selection process with historical research to create an amp with the same great tone, feel, and reliability.”

PRS HDRX 1x12

(Image credit: PRS)

Of PRS’s newest amps, guitar icon Eric Johnson offered, “The PRS HDRX 20 amp sounds like an old vintage plexi. PRS has painstakingly recreated the sound of the old transformers and it makes quite a difference in the musical smoothness of the sound.”

The PRS HDRX 20 and HDRX 1x12 are both available to preorder now for $799 and $399, respectively.

For more information, head over to PRS (opens in new tab).

The HDRX range was originally launched under the name “HX”, though was forced to rebrand to its current name after Yamaha Guitar Group claimed the trademark conflicted with its Line 6 HX stompboxes.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.