First Mesa Boogie?

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

  1. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Saw several on reverb the other day. It it was to late to buy I had already popped for a Fryette. Transatlantic was the first Mesa I really wanted.
     
    wabash slim and Waxhead like this.
  2. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    ok I've got the advantage of having actually owned and/or played and gigged many.
    The Caliber 50 was released in 1987 - it's over 30 yrs old now.
    Mesa have made over 60 amps since then - all different.

    I'm only suggesting people take the interest to test out modern low watt Mesa amps and decide for themselves. - there's about 50 made the past 15 yrs. No point talking about vintage amps from 30-40 yrs ago when pmac11 is looking for a low watt Mesa :D

    From my observations past 5 yrs most Mark V owners agree its tones taken from the originals are an improvement on Marks 1-4. Mesa Corp don't actually make this claim - owners do. It's not the 1st time Mesa have improved everything in a re-issue. They've also done it with the Express V2 and the Roadster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
    pmac11 and Ricochet like this.
  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Who knows - I've never seen nor heard a Nomad - have you?
    It's another fossil from 1999, rare as hens teeth now.

    TPG goes thru flavour of the month and hate of the month .... every month :rolleyes:
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  4. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Over here in Italy Mesa Boogies are always been the most expensive new amp around, and still it’s very difficult to find one under 800 euros that’s not called Caliber or Subway Blues 15w. I remember a friend of mine spending 4 millions 5 hundred old Liras (the equivalent of 2200 euros) in mid 90s for a Trem’o’Verb, a 2x12 super heavy combo with over complicated controls that made it almost impossible to set up without an engineering degree (it had 2 channels, 2 set of switches for tone settings like modem/vintage/cold/warm/ each channel, double eq, tremolo, reverb and a gain/volume channel/master volume/another master stadium on the power amp chain that was really insane...). It sounded good, but nothing to die for or to spend that much time on it looking for a tone.
    I remember that at the time I tried a Blue Angel 1x12, a clean machine that could tore a wall down at full power. Would love to have one f those now, just for the sake of it. :) Oh, and the Mark I blonde combo. Always been fascinated about it.
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    If you can find a Mark five 25 or 35 used you’re golden, provided it works!
     
    Waxhead and pmac11 like this.
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    For a $750 budget I can only find the TA15, Studio.22, Caliber.50, DC2 and F50 over here. An occasional Express or Nomad maybe...
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  7. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Same here. The exchange rate is affecting my GAS... first world problems... :)
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  8. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    I found a used Mark V 25 on Reverb for 1600 cdn.. About $1100 US. That one ships from Canada, so it's price won't fluctuate so much. Anything shipping from the US is drifting upward as the Canadian dollar sinks against the greenback.
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  9. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I got to spend two hours with a Fillmore 25 last week. Nice amp, reasonably portable, excellent build quality. Plenty of volume, reverb ok but... I didn't buy it.
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    @pmac11,

    I saw many MESA amps from the 80s-90s coming in for repair, and could test some pertinently :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was less fortunate than @Waxhead, finding most of them noise-ridden, agressive sounding, even prone to failure due to quite poor design... :confused:

    So I'd say : rather go for a quite recent one... ;)

    The only MESA that I own is a Boogie MKII from 1980 (S/N° 4915), which I heavily modded and rewired to make it dead quiet from adverse noise and fit it with progressive adjustments in volume and gain...

    Here dressed in Tolex suit :

    [​IMG]

    And here dressed in Hardwood suit :

    [​IMG]

    If I want that Santana tone, it's my weapon... :rolleyes::D

    A+!
     
    gtttrrr and pmac11 like this.
  11. dougmon

    dougmon Gretschie

    129
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    That's one of the amps that's been on my radar for a while. Not quite affordable, though. What was your impression?

    (I hope this isn't hijacking the thread....)
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  12. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I hope not too. It was expensive - $2249.00 CDN - which puts it well into the boutique price bracket. Sonically, I found the highs choked off. It's hard to describe but not open and airy, like everything above 4K was simply not there at all.

    I try every amp I can lay my hands on and my amp collection is stupid big so I have a lot to compare it to. It just sounded lo-fi. The EQs are very versatile and the reverb was OK - think 7 out of 10.

    It did medium to hi gain very well but that really isn't my wheelhouse and for the few tunes a night I need that sound for my pedal board is adequate.

    I look forward to trying the Lonestar next.
     
    db62, pmac11 and dougmon like this.
  13. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ....you mean your amp warehouse :D
     
    Tony65x55 and pmac11 like this.
  14. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I once went to a Mesa Boogie showcase at a music store ...... I SAID I ONCE WENT TO A MESA BOOGIE SHOWCASE AT A MUSIC STORE ! Loud amps I must say . But strange , their swag / give aways / door prizes where tubes . ????
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  15. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    It's not hijacking, you and Tony are still talking Mesa :)
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  16. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Thanks for this @hcsterg ! I usually talk to a mechanic before I buy a car also. I just ask him to name one he rarely sees in the shop !
     
  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    yeah Boogies have always been expensive due to being high quality, hand wired, made in USA etc.

    I sold my Mesa Express 5:50 last yr used on ebay for about 600 euro in Australia so you can find them with searching. Pmac11 is in Canada so easy to find a US amp.

    But to be fair Stiv - you're talking about very old vintage high wattage amps again - 20 to 30 yrs old.

    Tremoverb is a 1994 amp in the Rectifier line that I'm not a fan of either.
    It's an old heavy 100 watt beast designed mainly for high gain metal and the cleans were ordinary.
    I wouldn't buy a Tremoverb but it is very simple to operate imo.
    It's got 2 channels, 4 modes and independent EQs so half the dials are just doubling up for the 2nd channel.
    https://mesaboogie.com/support/out-of-production/tremoverb.html

    If people can't read/understand the manual and operate a Tremoverb they'd have no hope with even the simplest modeler. And I agree that if people won't read a manual they shouldn't own the product at all.

    Here's a Subway Blues for sale on Reverb US for less than $500.
    It's only got 5 simple dials - how can that be complicated?
    https://reverb.com/item/612985-mesa-boogie-subway-blues

    But if I was looking for a low watt amp I would not be interested in a Subway Blues, or anything else made prior to the Lonestar, because the modern Boogie amps made the past 20 yrs are x10 better imo. They sound better, they're more versatile and they're lighter :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
    Tony65x55 and pmac11 like this.
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Do the Mesa amps use an active eq like my Peavey Triple XXX? Almost everyone universally hated my amp automatically adjusted all the eq setting to max and treated them like a cut. Once they were shown how to use them properly they got a whole new level of appreciation for the amp and decided it was a very capable amp. I wonder if some of the old Mesa were like that?
     
  19. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    That's good schwag! They test and package tubes. If you're ever in need of tubes immediately, its a good brand to get for matched and reliable tubes.
     
    Waxhead, Tony65x55, pmac11 and 2 others like this.
  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Solid tubes but not cork sniffer.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice