The Problem with Some Modern Re-Issues

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Waxhead, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Mesa hand wired? I've never met a hand wired Mesa - have owned three of them. Now you have me interested - which ones?

    Of all the amps I've bought and sold, that Pro Reverb Reissue was my least favorite. My complaints were that it weighed 75 lbs and lacked any real sonic character but mostly that working on it was ridiculous. It had a scratchy master pot, so I ordered one and upon opening, the prospect of removing four PCBs and a whole front panel PCB just to replace the one pot caused me to put it all back together and sell it. I bought an Allen Fender variant and have never looked back. Tone, reliability and repairability are superior.

    But it's not always just about tone quality - the new ones can have their own sound and it can be great. As you start to look into it, it can also be about other things like I just mentioned.
    pmac11 likes this.
  2. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    None of my Mesa amps (Mark III & Studio 22, Triaxis, V-Twin Preamp) were hand wired in the way a hand wired Fender is. They used PCBs in my amps and they were from the 1980s & 1990s. Maybe they do it different these days. I found my Mesa stuff hard to work on. The good thing however was that they rarely had problems so they were built well.
    Rmccamey likes this.
  3. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada

    True with a lot of things, not just amps, and because we're on a guitar forum, vintage re-issue guitars are a prime example.

    The trick with a lot of these pieces is to not rush out of the shop ''toys in hand'' based solely on appearance.

    You need to thoroughly rip through it in the shop, and after you've rattled every guitar off the walls, make a decision, will it do what I want, will it do what it's supposed to do.

    At that point, you have the opportunity to do two things, finalize the purchase...or walk.

    Also, a lot of players are under the illusion if I have a $25,000. EVH Frankenstein Replica, I should be able to play like Eddie...

    And you would be wrong.

    A new Shelby GT 500 is very cool, but it's not a 68 Shelby GT 500.

  4. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    And it can fit in the “boot” of your car!
    ZackyDog likes this.
  5. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Yep - mine had really sturdy / thick single layer PCBs and robust through hole components. They built them road worthy. The switching and controls can get a big complex though.
  6. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    It's not advised to drive like Carroll Shelby on Ontario roads :)
    Back in Black likes this.
  7. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2020
    I really liked my Ramparte once I upgraded the speaker. But I’m very growing to appreciate simple amps that are either only volume or volume and just a tone knob. I fiddle less and play more.
    LivingMyDream and rake_ether like this.
  8. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    This was a very interesting video and discussion, even for me as a stay-at-home play-at-home intermediate player. I could hear the brightness difference, but beyond that my musical experience at this point is too minimal to differentiate and evaluate the tonal qualities of amps. Nor is that even neccessary for me to enjoy messing with my music. I have a modest goal: I play my guitars in order to learn to play my guitars, and to get a reasonable understanding and facsimile of the original recordings I’m trying to imitate. I may play out someday, if the world ever gets back to normal, but even in that case, the audience demands will not require a $3000 amp. I am not a professional, and never will be. That personal acceptance (and Popeye’s wisdom) keeps me content: "I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam."
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    Rmccamey and LivingMyDream like this.
  9. rake_ether

    rake_ether Gretschie

    Aug 24, 2019
    Athens, GA USA
    Since I've sworn off buying more guitars (for awhile) I've turned my attention to amps and don't want to duplicate something I already own (well I only have 2, a new Spark practice amp and a 15 watt 1x12 with EL84 tubes) which is leading me to look at small 5 watt Champs or Champ clones. Simple.
    YouFellowRebels likes this.
  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Until something goes wrong or you want to mod it.

    Yeah, but you know it's there.

    I'm a fan of hand wired and like to justify it by pointing out the very real practical benefits, but truth be told, even if there were absolutely no benefits, I'd still prefer a well designed and executed hand wired amp just for the craftsmanship.
  11. rake_ether

    rake_ether Gretschie

    Aug 24, 2019
    Athens, GA USA
    My amp tech loves working on hand wired (and American made) amps.
    Rmccamey likes this.
  12. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Well if you guys look at the MB website it says on every page for their current amps.

    "Handwired in Petaluma, CA with the World's Finest Materials"

    etc etc
    Marv666 likes this.
  13. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    You really need to paint the whole picture. If you read on you will see that Mesa Boogie goes on to disclose "Hand-drawn printed circuit boards inside every single amplifier. "

    This is NOT what we are talking about on the '64 Custom Princeton Reverb.
    Rmccamey likes this.
  14. Marv666

    Marv666 Gretschie

    Jul 26, 2020
    Can´t go wrong with a mesa! Great amps!
    Rmccamey likes this.
  15. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Yes, I agree. I own one and love it.

    It fits very nicely into the field of modern production amplifiers using PCB construction in every amp. As do the modern re-issued Fenders.
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Argue with Mesa Corp then :D
  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Likewise, argue with Mesa Corp
  18. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    You should know Waxhead Takes every opportunity to push the MB barrow. He seldom lets fact get in the way of a good story.
    This thread started out looking at the hand wired 64 Custom Princeton and the PCB technology of the 65 PRRI.
    I'm sure Waxhead Knows that every Mesa Boogie amp has PCB's as the foundation for their circuitry but managed to get his promotion of MB over Fender
    into the discussion.
    tabaer likes this.
  19. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Not on anyones side here, just going to say that with the consumer world these days 'made in ****' or 'assembled in ****' or in this case 'handwired' in any form of sales pitch means absolutely nothing.

    I mean, if an employee wired in the power cable by hand then well guess what, it's 'hand wired' lol.
    wabash slim likes this.
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