First Mesa Boogie?

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by pmac11, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    So I'm thinking of picking up a Mesa at some point this year. If I'm going to be spending more time in the house, why not get a new toy to play with, right?
    I know Mesa does not make 'entry level' gear, but I'm looking for something 40W or less (preferably less), preferably a head (although this isn't a deal breaker), and in the region of $750 US. This puts me squarely in the used market, I know.
    Still, does anyone have any suggestions? Or good reasons to spend more on a used Mark V 25 or RectoVerb25? ;-)
     
  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    70
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Look at Mesa's Transatlantic 15 watt head unit.
     
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  3. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    Those are great sounding amps
     
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  4. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    08B7E968-2186-4982-867C-0C4C1FA6FA5E.jpeg

    I really dig my little subway rocket, plenty loud enough to jam with full band. This particular one doesn’t have built in reverb, wish it did, but great sounding small, lightweight amp.
     
  5. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Everything coming from Mesa ist just great. Some underappreciated stuff from them can be bought astonishingly cheap.
     
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  6. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    Agreed, for sure. I’ve owned 3 very different Boogies, great clean and OD and everything in between to be found on any Boogie I’ve played.
     
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  7. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Find an F30 or even F50. Rock solid built, great versatility, not too exotic. I've owned both and keep wondering why I sold them. F50 is much easier to find and also uses 6L6 power tubes which I think is a strength. I don't recall ever seeing a head of either, but there are F50 1x12 combos all day long for under $600. I don't know why the used F30s are selling at or above their original price!? I do think they sold fewer of them.

    One to be careful of - Subway Blues combo. The bulk of them ended up having a bad hum issue that Boogie will fix for a fee ($250 at the time I did it). So unless you know you're getting one that's been retrofitted, don't pay more than $300 for it because you will want to fix it I'm sure. it's a cool little amp and I kind of wish I had kept it. (I wish I had kept every amp I've sold except for the behemoth, dead toned, 80lb Pro Reverb Reissue).
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  8. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I’ve considered those for a long time and watched a out of demos. Still would love to try one someday. I don’t know what year they were discontinued.
     
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  9. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    55
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    @Waxhead Not meaning to put you on the spot.

    Waxhead's owns (has owned?) a few Mesa Boogies. Maybe he can opine?
     
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  10. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Well, it's the middle of the night down under. Let's give @Waxhead time to sleep. I'm sure he'll have a lot of valuable input when he wakes up !
     
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  11. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Thanks for the tip and warning!
     
  12. wilblee

    wilblee Synchromatic

    976
    May 23, 2013
    TX Hill Country
    The Mesa Lone Star Special is my favorite Mesa, as well as my favorite amp for my Gretsches. As a matter of fact, it’s my favorite amp - period. 30/15/5W all Class A (in 5W mode it’s also single ended. Freaking glorious!), reverb, FX loop, two channels and a solo boost - and the best cleans on the planet (Others may disagree. They are wrong). I’ve seen used combos (really great sounding, built-like-a-tank combos) going for $1000. They are heavy (mine’s 58 lbs), but even with my really bad back it’s worth it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    yeah I was sleeping :)

    Mesa in 40w or less under $800 used there's a good long list of THE best low watt amps ever made. Check out

    Mark V 25
    Mark V 35
    Express 5:25 version 2
    Trans Atlantic TA-15
    Rectoverb 25
    Mini Rectifier
    Lonestar Special
    Fillmore 25 (maybe can find under $800)
    California Tweed
    F30

    I've owned or played all of these.
    All are different, all great, some out of production, can still pick up all cheapish used.
    Suggest you test out as many as you can and decide for yourself.

    All have great cleans, overdrive and reverb and some have mid to high gain distortion also.
    Some like the Lonestar, Cal Tweed and Fillmore are clean to mid overdrive amps.
    All are super versatile, some are heavy, some very light.
    No 2 Mesa amps are the same.

    A note of advice for you when playing Mesa amps.

    Many people don't understand that Mesa EQs work differently from trad Fender, Vox, Marshall amps. So when they play/test Mesa's they try to use their Fender/Vox methods and then can't dial in the Mesa to their liking. They then walk away saying the Mesa was no good when the problem was in fact user error.

    Best if you can DL and read the manual before you play these amps but..... bottom line is never roll the bass dial about 11 oclock on any Mesa amp. You should decrease bass as you increase gain on Mesa's. The treble dial is extremely powerful also and on some Mesa amps the mids dial works normally up til 12 oclock thereafter it works as a gain booster.

    But if you keep the bass dial under 11 oclock it's impossible to dial in a bad tone on any of these modern Mesa amps imo. When using mid gain/distortion I always keep bass dial under 9 oclock.

    Then some Mesa's have the parametric EQ stage on top of trad independent EQs.
    Together this gives Mesa amps the most powerful and best EQ systems invented but it does take a little learning curve. Reading the manual is essential if you're an owner.

    When testing and learning I would not actually play with the parametric EQ much.
    Just check it works ok and then leave it till after you own it cos it opens up another whole new world of tones.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  14. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    [​IMG]

    I have a weird thing with Boogies. I had a Dual Caliber 50 and I couldn't get on with how it went from whisper quiet to jetplane loud with the tiniest nudge of the master vilume, so I sold it. Then I realised how great it was, and bought another one. Which I sold on a whim, again.

    I missed that one too, even though it still did the quietquietquietSTOOPIDLOUD thing. So I bought the 20 watt DC2, and I've been enjoying it a lot for a couple of years or so. There's a great depth to the clean channel, very Fender ish, and a massive amount of grunt available on the other channel. It's amusingly loud when you wick it up.

    The Reverb isn't great, and the tone controls can be a bit extreme (as with most Boogies) but it's a great workhorse. Mine was about £400, and tbh I'm not sure that the bigger brothers give you anything like as much bang for buck.
     
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  15. floeighty2

    floeighty2 Gretschie

    467
    Oct 1, 2014
    Manchester
    The transatlantic ta-15 is a superb amp. I had one and regret letting it go! You won’t be disappointed.
     
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  16. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    And a fine good morning to you as well sir !
     
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  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
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  18. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Sweet. Enjoy your day man!
     
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  19. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    55
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    No longer in production, but it surfaces in the used amp market. The Mesa Blue Angel 4 X 10.

    I played one in the mid 90s. It's a nice amp with progressive linkage, which allows you to select different power sections in the amp. The amp uses both 6V6 power tubes and EL84 power tubes. The amp is rated at 18 watts when the two 6V6 power tubes are selected, 33 watts when the four EL84 power tubes are selected, and 38 watts when it all six power tubes are select in Simul-Link and combined all together. This lets the amplifier produce rich harmonic textures and gives it a different feel on each of the three settings.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    That bottom group photo looks like a whole lotta fun!
     
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