PRS has released the latest addition to its lineup of guitar amps, the HX 50 and HX 100 – two all-new offerings that pay homage to the sound of Jimi Hendrix’s iconic '69 Marshall Super Lead 100 'Woodstock' amp head.
Continuing the brand’s HXDA range, the amps were designed with the newly documented Hendrix Touring Circuit in mind, which in turn was heavily inspired by the amp supposedly used by the electric guitar legend at his famed Woodstock appearance.
The late-’60s-inspired amps are also the result of a lengthy research process conducted by Paul Reed Smith and PRS Amp Designer Doug Sewell, both of whom studied that very same amp in 2018.
That was no mean feat, though, with the pair having to get permission from The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, as well as Hendrix’s sister, Janie, who is the President of CEO of Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Authentic Hendrix L.L.C., and the Founder of the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation.
As for the amps, PRS has introduced two separate models – a 50-watt and a 100-watt head, with accompanying 130-watt 2x12 or 260-watt 4x12 cabs.
The HX 50 is driven by a pair of EL34EH power tubes, and features a custom-designed Straight Edge output transformer and 100-watt power supply, which aims to give it a tonal characteristic more in line with its older sibling.
In terms of controls, the 50-watt iteration features a three-band TMB tone stack, three-way bright switch, high-mid gain switch and presence controls. The HX 50 was also designed with internally bridged channels and individual volume controls.
Elsewhere, the HX 100 features the same onboard controls and internal circuitry, but features two additional EL34EH power tubes. The cabs, meanwhile, come equipped with modified Celestion G12H-75 Creamback speakers.
It’s important to note that the brand has kept expectations in check, and declared that the new amp is “not a painstaking historical recreation of Hendrix’s amp” but a “snapshot in the development” of the amps he used on tour and in the studio. After all, Hendrix’s tone is pretty untouchable.
Said Sewell, “Consideration was given to reliability, compatibility with his effects and guitars, the tones he achieved, and the feel and response of the amp.
“We have made an exhaustive search for all the critical parts that would enforce the original objectives Hendrix and the amp techs explored,” he continued. “We have married our part selection process with historical research to create an amp with the same great tone, feel, and reliability.”
Paul Reed Smith added, "Designing the PRS HX was not an exercise in over-engineering – it's a fairly straightforward build with the right parts and circuits.
"We kept the historic specs where it made sense, and we made substitutions based on availability, safety, and experience," he continued. "In the end, I think we made a great-sounding amplifier with exceptional build quality and enough power to blow your pantleg when you play it.
"We feel privileged to reach back into history and bring something special into the current music landscape."
The PRS HX 50 and HX 100 will be available for $2,900 and $3,150, respectively. The 2x12 cab will list for $899, while the 4x12 cab will set you back $1,199.
That's a fair bit more affordable than Hendrix's original heads, one of which was listed for an almighty $350,000 on Reverb.com earlier this year.
For more information on the HX line, head over to PRS.