Dr. Z Amplification
Dr. Z Amplification is an American manufacturer of boutique guitar amplifiers.
The company was founded in 1988 by Mike Zaite, a.k.a. Dr. Z, a drummer who started producing tube amplifiers in his Cleveland area shop, while maintaining his day job as a medical electronic engineer at G.E.. As the son of a TV repair shop owner, Zaite learned the ropes at the age of thirteen when he began tinkering with amps and PAs.
His first amplifier was based on a reverb amplifier for a Hammond organ. He sold a few hundred of those, and the re-engineered them so he could build them from scratch. His first commercially made amplifier was the Carmen Ghia, an 18-watt amplifier with nothing but a volume and a tone control, 12AX7 and 5751 pre-amp tubes, and two EL84 output tubes.
In 1990, Zaite provided Joe Walsh with a SRZ-65 model amplifier. In 1994 Zaite received a call to build several more amps for Joe to use on the 1994 Eagles World Tour. Subsequently, he quit his job to focus on amps full-time. The following year, a Guitar Player review of the SRZ-65 boosted the company's public profile in the boutique amplifier market.
A further boost in popularity would come to Dr Z. with the design of several new amplifier models together with Brad Paisley beginning in 2001. These signature models include the Stang Ray, Prescription ES and the Z Wreck.