N.A.D. Stiletto Ace head with a Port City OS 2X12 cab

Ace, Version 1 and 2

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vitor gracie
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N.A.D. Stiletto Ace head with a Port City OS 2X12 cab

Post by vitor gracie » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:58 am

Ok, so I've been after one of these for years. I really wanted to pay the right price and needed to hear it through the correct cab. I played one in Nashville about 5 years ago or so and it sounded just as everyone describes it negatively. Shrill, ice-pickey, too bright etc...whatever. Shortly after 'not' pulling the trigger I fell in love with Port City Cabs and promptly replaced my 2X12s with the standard 2X12 from Port City.

Fast forward to this afternoon; I landed a FANTASTIC deal on an OS 2X12 loaded with Scumbacks and thought it sounded a bit dark for my PRS Archon. I had been after a Marshall sound for a long time but couldn't land on the right amp. I REALLY really need a flexible clean for my sounds. I had gotten attached to a lot of cool amps that do that sound, but almost always had an unusable clean for me. That, or the clean usually ended up sounding like an after thought. Fuchs, Splawn, and even a Freidman Brown Eye (Which I A-B'ed to the Stiletto for hours) all had great Marshal type sounds (I even picked up a Marshall Vintage Modern, and returned it the next day) but had nothing close to the kind of clean I need.

When I heard my new cab (and how smooth & round it was on the top end) I immediately thought it would match perfectly with a Stiletto. A little searching and I found an Ace at a West Hollywood Guitar Center. It was priced unbelievably low and I knew I had to hear it.

I was there for hours and am proud to say it completely nailed the tones I was after. A customer and employee heard me A-B it to the Brown Eye and they totally both agreed it sounded better (more versatile) Everything as far as the gained up Marshal thing that the Brown Eye did, I felt the Stiletto could do easily. I'm dead serious. But what the Mesa had that the Brown Eye didn't were all the in between gain sounds that I needed. The voicings were really where I found the value.

This is an incredibly under rated amp and you can get them for dirt cheap....as low as $800 in good condition.
Lastly I have to say that I definitely think V-30 speakers are the worst pair with this amp. Green Backs, or in my case, Scumbacks, are the correct voicing for this amp. My other Port City has V-30s and it REALLY sounds crazy bright, so I get why people are turned off. I think you just have to consider that when you're in a loud room or a stage with a drummer, and you're trying to compete with his high hats, cymbals, and another guitarist, the attack of the amp is what really gets you to cut through. Sitting in a music store with no other noise playing quietly is where this amp does NOT shine, but pushing it a bit, with some power, and I think it's a perfect tool for doing that British tone we all love.

To be fair, I also own a TA-30 ...so if I need clean cleans, I can run both rigs, but the clean on the Ace is PLENTY clean for my taste and does the dirty/clean break up thing perfectly.

I may consider the high end roll off mod later, just to use this at home, but I'd like to wait and see.

Thanks for reading.
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Stiletto Ace head
TA-30 head
PRS Archon 100 head
Port City 2X12 and an OS 2X12
EBMM JPXI BFR 7-string
USA 2008 PRS McCarty Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, Korina body loaded with BKP Juggernauts

kramerxxx
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Re: N.A.D. Stiletto Ace head with a Port City OS 2X12 cab

Post by kramerxxx » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:52 am

Great post, thanks.

I recently acquired a Duece and a Trident, both Series IIs. I've tried a bunch of different speakers and agree these amps work better with slightly rolled off highs.

I have a pair of Celestion G12-K85s in a Mojo 2x12, slant cab, that sound good. I also have an Eminence MS-12 paired with C90, in an Avatar cab that sound good.

Looks like I need to find some Scumback speakers. Are you using M75s? What power rating?

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vitor gracie
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Re: N.A.D. Stiletto Ace head with a Port City OS 2X12 cab

Post by vitor gracie » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:15 am

Thanks!

The Port City came loaded with Scumback J75's @ 100watts. Thats a LOT of power for a 50 watt head, but I had originally planned to use it with my Archon 100 head and a JP 7-string. I think the low end is fantastic for the Ace though. I switched everything up and am using my PRS McCarty wit the Ace now.

I may do some combinations and play around with the pair. Maybe WG Vet 30s combined with the Scumbacks in my other cab. Everyone seems to think that's the combo. (A green back with a V-30) I'll have to do some shows with it first and see how it sounds through the house. I'll keep you guys posted with some sound clips soon.
Stiletto Ace head
TA-30 head
PRS Archon 100 head
Port City 2X12 and an OS 2X12
EBMM JPXI BFR 7-string
USA 2008 PRS McCarty Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, Korina body loaded with BKP Juggernauts

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Riff Blister
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Re: N.A.D. Stiletto Ace head with a Port City OS 2X12 cab

Post by Riff Blister » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:28 pm

That's a great rig you have there. I agree with everything you said concerning the right and wrong speaker choices for the Stiletto.
Stiletto Deuce II, with bias mod - 2x12 Recto Cabt. Scumback M75s inside
Bogner Shiva EL34 80 watt
Budda Superdrive II 45
’79 Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst
’85 Gibson SG ’61 Reissue
Fender American Standard Stratocaster and Telecaster

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jdurso
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Re: N.A.D. Stiletto Ace head with a Port City OS 2X12 cab

Post by jdurso » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:57 pm

How would you compare the Archon to the Ace? Recently sold my Electra Dyne (big mistake tone wise but I need something with a more manageable volume) and now I'm in the market for an amp after getting and returning the new Line 6 Firehawk 1500 (another big mistake).

Anyway I think I've narrowed down my search to a PRS Archon 25, Mark V 25 and a Stiletto Ace. The big thing I'm looking for now is a rock solid clean channel that could hopefully get in the ED territory.
_______________________________________
Amps: LSC 1x12
Cabs: Basson 2x12
Guitars: PRS "McBraz" Brazilian McCarty
Pedals: Bogner Uber

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