Dr. Z aka Mike Zaite
Updated: Jul 30, 2018
With humble beginnings in his father's TV repair shop, Mike found a world of wonder that he could build with his hands. A product of the 50s and 60s Mike grew up listening to rock and roll. Musically he kept the beat by playing drums. Anthem lyrics promoting living life on your own terms punctured by electric guitars licks and melodies with free spirit energy. He listened carefully as the evolution of sound recording took beloved tunes from vinyl to tape to digital. One component stood out to Mike, that being the quality of tube amplification offered over circuit boards.
Working as a medical electronic technician paid the bills while Mike tinkered with amps and PAs developing his knowledge and ability to create his own amps. In 1988 Mike open Dr. Z Amplification located in Cleveland. He and his staff have been hand building amps ever since for customers ranging from novice to the big name professional musicians such as Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh.
There is a richness to the sound quality and frequency textures available through a Dr Z amp that is beyond anything available in the marketplace today. Counter to the big manufacturing production of larger companies, when you purchase a DR Z amp you know its of the highest quality, hand built, inspected and tested before being shipped. Got a question, Dr Z is there to answer it. No layers to go through.
DR Z has certainly lived life on his own terms. His contribution to the world of music through his amplifiers is known widely to those that have acquired and played through the amps. His business model may not be the norm of nowadays, but his level of integrity is far superior to most who want a quick sale of a product that won't hold up. Mike and his amps have gotten international recognition for the quality and authenticity they bring to the world of sound. No small feat !
about the author: Karen Ollis is an experienced photographer specializing in studio portraiture, and environmental on-location portraits for editorial stories, PR and marketing testimonials.