Mesa

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Bertotti, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    So years ago I picked up my first amp as I understand it Peavies version of the Mesa Triple Rec. I did not know this at the time. When I read that somewhere I looked into Mesa. Too expensive for me at the time A bit later they came out with the TransAtlantic an amp I really wanted at the time but never bought. So when it was discontinued I just figured it wasn't meant to be, then came the next desire the Mark V 25 and/or 35. I have not seriously pursued one. I have plenty of amps but with the latest round of new Mesa's coming out I wonder are any of them as versatile as the Mark v 25/35? I know a few of you here have had a few Mesas's over the years and have tried these new ones so I am curious about your thoughts. Thanks!
     
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  2. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    I sure like the TransAtlantic TA15 I have two of them. I have owned a Mesa Subway Blues and a Mesa S.O.B. son of boogie didn't like either one. Love the TA15 very versatile Tweed, Vox, Boogie, and pseudo Marshall in one amp.
     

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  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yes I know you've been gassing for Mesa Boogie for a while.

    As you know I have Mark V 25 and an Express 5:50, plus have gigged with both Lonestars, F-50, Mark IV, Express 5:25, Rectoverb.

    Have also played/tested all the other Boogie's released past 20 yrs including Mark 1, Mark IIC, Rectifiers, Stiletto, TA-15 and TA-30, Triple Crown and recently the Fillmore. Have not tested California Tweed yet.

    Mark V still remains THE best and most versatile amp ever made imo.
    But all the others are also great and all being different they all have their own strengths.

    The 2 TransAtlantic amps did not shoot for maximum versatility.
    They loaded in vintage Vox AC tones and did it better than any Vox chinese made re-issue imo. No cost cutting and chinese speakers from Mesa Boogie. It also added a 2nd channel doing same with vintage Marshall overdrive. Then they added on top Boogie mid gain tones in a separate voice.

    Lonestars cloned Fender cleans and reverb and did it better than any Fender imo.

    Fillmore delivers vintage Fender cleans and reverb without cutting corners.
    Again it's better and more versatile than any Fender re-issue or vintage amp imo.

    Express amps were more versatile versions of Lonestars.
    They have Lonestar cleans, reverb plus overdrive, crunch and distortion from the Mark series. Very versatile amps.

    Mark V includes all the tones from Marks 1-4 plus an extreme voice for metal heads. But Mark V is not a re-issue. Most agree it improved all the past Mark tones plus added on more and resolved the faults in the vintage amps.

    Mesa don't cut corners like Vox and Fender do in re-issues. Everything is top of the line quality. Mark V has more than 50 fantastic tones from squeaky clean, fat clean, edge of breakup, crunch, overdrive to high gain. It cuts your pedal needs to almost zero.

    Lot's of people have this wrong idea Mesa amps are for metal and heavy rock players. Not true. That reputation appears to have developed from them experimenting with high gain Rectifiers 20 yrs ago. Those high gain channels are awesome but for me the most impressive feature of modern Mesa amps are their cleans and reverb.

    They all have better cleans and reverb than anything made by Fender or Vox past 15 yrs imo. Mark V has 2 clean voices - clean clean, and fat clean. Fat clean (from the Lonestar) is my fav. For me the best clean channel ever produced, including my old Fender Twin.

    Then all these Mesa amps include variable wattage options, independent EQs for each channel, master volume pots, great reverb and loops made in both heads and combo's. Many also have headphones out, DI out, cab clones and 3 EQ sections.

    No other amp builder gives you all that.
    It just adds to the versatility cos they're equally fantastic as bedroom amps, for small gigs, stadiums or recording. Most are light weight and all are fantastic pedal platforms.

    So which Mesa to get - they're all great just depends on what flavour of great you want and your budget. Test em all out and decide for yourself :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  4. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Thanks you helped a lot. I do really want a a mark V 25 or 35. But it sure sounds like it might be very similar to items I already have. When I see a really good deal I may jump on one someday but for varieties sake I’m still saving for a moonshine first. Variety of tone compared to what I have that is because it sure isn’t going to be a versatile as the Mesa but it it s tone I do not have now. This question and your replies is helping keep me on track amp wise.
     
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  5. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I am basically a Marshall guy.
    But I am a happy Mesa user for 35 years, too.
    Although my go-to amps have to have that butt-simple one channel Marshall genome I always had at least one Mesa in my stable during the years. MK2b, Caliber 50, MK3 red stripe and now the mighty Stiletto Trident.
    My Marshall-type amps deliver a special tone and feel that I like forever. But they deliver just o n e tone and feel.
    Mesas always gives me a big, big choice of tones. They are somekind of a swiss army knife. On the older models it will take you some patience but you really can dial in nearly every imaginable sound.
    What is more: Mesa gives you options on altering the feel of the amp by chosing the type of rectification, selecting the wattage, selecting different modes and even variac-options. These amps are built by a genius builder who goes a long way to perfect his products.

    The guy at the mixing board (live or in the studio) always loved me for bringing a Mesa to the table.

    Another aspect is the incredible (hand-)built quality of these amps. You cannot compare them to any other mass produced amps. They are built to last and Randall Smith even thought of the most idiotic forms of abuse and malpractice that could ever happen to them.
    I never had any fail with a Mesa on stage or during rehearsal. They are foolpoof.
    And they are a joy to look at.

    To put a braket around this: My latest acquisition, the Stiletto, is a Mesa that has some healthy Marshall-DNA in it. I consider it to be the perfect multi-purpose-amp for my needs. No modern Marshall can compete with the built-quality, tone and looks of that amp.

    I strongly suggest to try out some Boogie stuff before buying the obvious brands. Usually Mesa is offering the better mousetrap.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  6. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Mesa makes great amps. Well built and engineered. If the Mesa sound is what you need don't hesitate for a moment.

    I have owned four and will undoubtedly buy another if the right deal passes my way.
     
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  7. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    32
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    I loved the Subway blues I had/sold to a member on here for a friend, I almost bought an F50 from craigslist but didn't like the vibe I was getting. I also really like the Lonestars. It's hard not to like the MkV's too!
     
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  8. NJDevil

    NJDevil Gretschie

    484
    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    With Ruger's comment, I'll have to seriously look at the Mark V but I've had GAS for a Lonestar for years.
     
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  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Well, I saw many MESA coming in for repair or service : Calibers, 022, Lone Stars, MKI, MKIIB-C-C+, MKIII, MKIV, Rectos, Subways, MKV 90W, Nomads, F-series...

    None - repeat none - could be able to dial-in the smooth, deep tone of my Boogie MKIIA 60/100W Rev. Eq., with the exception of the MKIIB and MKI. All the others were more or less hiss-click-pops factories, agressive-in-your-face sounding... :confused:

    I sold the MKIIB head I owned for a time : good, but not as my MKIIA, still unrivalled.

    If I really had to buy another Boogie, it would be a Boogie MKI Hun-Rev...:cool: Guess why ? :rolleyes::oops:

    Unless I could make a pertinent A/B comparison, I wouldn't consider another MESA amp today. o_O

    But it's me, my personal experience and taste, OK ? :D

    Some pics of the models that came to my bench - sorry, I did not took pics each time... I should ! :(

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
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  10. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    yes agree - I never buy 2 amps or guitars of almost the same either.
    I go for products that add to the tonal range.

    So choice of a new amp is always partly based on what you already have :)
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  11. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yes well Mark V has the Mark IIC+ channel 2.
    I've not played Mk IIA so don't know how it differs but.... it's gotta be a small difference surely?

    The vintage Marks 1-3 had other issues as you know.
    Heavy weight and tricky EQ set ups.

    Mark V resolved all that.
    Easy to dial in with very light weight options in the 25 and 35.
    Add on all the other features and tone palletes from the whole Mark series and Lonestar cleans and it's an unbeatable combination in 1 amp imo :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I still want the mark V 25 or 35 and dream of selling some of my amps it could replace but know for darn sure once it was here none would get sold. What's even more interesting is my desire to have the Moonshine is somewhat in remission since I got the JR Barnyard, it plays so well with the triple xxx clean channel.
     
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  13. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I used to be a mesa boogie reseller in past times, had most everyone one of mesas amps all the way up to the roadking era. I was a serious fan boy too, was going to be featured in a mesa catalog after some weird photoshoot thing at NAMM but all I got was some tshirts ultimately :) Mesa makes lovely amps, but they all have this "Thing" that you can only dial out w a 7 band eq in the effects loops :) Still a fan after selling off my last Mesa heartbreaker for a Tophat King Royale. My boy plays a Mesa D800+ into a Mesa 115 power cab so Mesa has been in this family since the early 90s between my amps and his.
     
  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    C'mon Tavo - we've talked of this before :)
    I've never heard this mid hump you allege can't be dialed out.

    But let's say it was real on the old vintage amps.
    You stopped working on them at the Road King - that's 20 yrs ago.
    Let it go - they've made over 50 guitar amps since then.

    D800+ is a great bass amp and all their guitar amps since the Lonestar have the most powerful versatile EQs I've ever heard from any other amp maker.

    All have independent EQs plus many have the graphic EQ section as well.
    I think you can dial in, or out, anything you want on them.

    Take another objective look at their modern amps :)
     
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  15. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    I had a Caliber 50 a few years back. I loved it's deep cleans and punky chunk. But it went from whisper quiet to colon-quaking loud in the tiniest increment of the MV. I couldn't set it to a reasonable rehearsal volume, so I sold it.

    I tried many other amps and nothing sounded quite right. So I bought another Caliber 50. Guess what? I couldn't set it to a reasonable rehearsal volume, so I sold it.

    Now I've got a Calber Studio 20. It doesn't have quite as much depth (El84 power tubes instead of 6L6), but it fills the hole in my soul.
     
  16. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Well @Waxhead , I must be honest. ;)

    What I forgot to mention is that I heavily modified, restored and refined my beloved MKIIA... :oops:

    In its original condition, it was different of course, but its tonal potential and qualities were as is already obvious, a point that I only noticed on Boogie MKI and to lesser extent on a Boogie MKIIB.

    The list below is incomplete, but represents the main work I did on it :

    [​IMG]
    Dressed in original Tolex suit :

    [​IMG]

    Dressed in aftermarket hardwood cab :

    [​IMG]

    My MKIIA is obviuosly not as polyvalent as a MKV 90W - I did not had the time to field-test the one I had for servicing - but the MKV 90W (as any other MESA I had until now) couldn't rival my MKIIA on where I was waiting him : those deep large cleans, light drives, smooth Santana tones - the deep, pure, well-toned reverb in any mode or setting.

    What about the new, simpler MESA models now ? I don't know, I never saw one coming for the moment... o_O

    A+!
     
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  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    hahahaha not surprised :)
    You'd have a unique amp for sure
     
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  18. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I gave the Express 5:25 plus. Great amp and love it though not my main amp at the moment. I think recently discontinued. Check out the Rectoverb 25. Beautiful sounds and it is so versatile, from loud home play to full band, and is an easier transition as it doesn't have as many controls. Clean to high gain, does it wonderfully. Honestly one of the best buys out there in amp world. Only a few hundred more than fenders and boxes but do so much more, absolutely reliable and made in America (about 5 miles from me).

     
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  19. RG7X

    RG7X Gretschie

    366
    Nov 11, 2018
    Los Angeles
    I've owned dozens of amps and now I've become a Mesa fanboy... They're just so well built and each sound great in their own way. Proud owner of the LoneStar Special and Fillmore. Had the Dual Rectifier and cab in my headbangin' days.

    Random but I just visited a Mesa Boogie store in Hollywood. It's wall to wall of Mesa amps all available to demo. Definitely worth checking out if you're ever in the area.
     
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  20. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    They're well made and well designed. I've had three - or maybe four. They all have their different flavors - that's key. If I were to get another Mesa, it would be the Lone Star Special.

    I had F30 and F50 and they were interesting - super clean channel 1 although a bit more hiss than I would have liked. Flipping to channel 2 and you get distortion. No edge of breakup, just distortion and more distortion. I had a Subway Blues and it was cool, but too dark for my tastes. But I've played Lone Star Specials and those suit me with great bluesy edge of breakup when you want it.
     
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