Alternatives to Mesa Transatlantic 30?

waygorked

Member
Messages
589
I need some amp options. I love the Mesa TA 30, enough to have bought 2 of them so far, despite having to return both of them for problems with the effects loop. I have a hard time seeing myself trying a third one, even though I absolutely dig the Voxish top boost clean-crunch tone, and the Marshall tone on the drive channel.

My budget probably can be stretched to around $2k. I need something that can provide a great crunch that can clean up to a still useable sound with changes in guitar volume. I also absolutely need an effects loop, otherwise I'd have a Vox HW of some sort by now. I could live with a decent single channel amp that took pedals well.

Any thoughts?
 

AshlandBump

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,092
You're describing the same path I went down last Spring. I wanted to simplify and downsize my rig so I sold my JMJ-30 AC-30 clone to buy the TA-30. I've discussed this in more than one thread here but I went through three TA-30s and all of them had significant issues. Such a shame because, like you, I though it did a decent job with the top boost tone and had some great features.

I ended up with a Hayseed 30 head. Mine has an effects loop but I don't really use it because, without an external buffer, it only works for line level effects. I can live without it until I figure out how I want to buffer it. The loop only works on the Top Boost channel however, so the ef-86 channel is unaffected. What I sacrificed in features I more than made up for in tone with the Hayseed.

Another amp I considered was the Fryette Memphis. That may have the features you want.
 

waygorked

Member
Messages
589
Thanks for the replies. The Freyette and Valvetechs look interesting, but I have yet to find either locally here in PDX. I had a Rebel 30 back in the day, and liked it, but I found it lacking next to the Transatlantic, a bit down on chime. Other than that it was pretty close.

As for the DrZ, I've been avoiding them purely on principle. I'm a doctor, and my last name begins with Z, so...

Assuming I can withstand the ridicule of my friends, which Z would you suggest?

Any other ideas?
 

gtraddict

Member
Messages
1,886
You could always take the logo off the Z put it up for safekeeping until sold,

I would look at the AC-30's the grunt without the top end is hard to beat sometimes, plus the chime with the boost, if weight becomes an issue look at the ac-15 line.

The handwired or the older made in england club will get you some great tones
 

mixn4him

Supporting Member
Messages
1,627
As for the DrZ, I've been avoiding them purely on principle. I'm a doctor, and my last name begins with Z, so...

Assuming I can withstand the ridicule of my friends, which Z would you suggest

:rotflmao

Cant really go wrong with a MAZ 18,he has a couple other models that have the EF86 pre if you really want that AC30 thing..But a Maz set up right and some pedals and you are good to go..Built like tanks!
 

waygorked

Member
Messages
589
Are there any decent Vox models I am missing that have effects loops? I would have picked up an AC30HW a long time ago were it not for that issue.

Is the Night Train 50 worth looking at? can it do a top boost chime, or is it just more modern sounding?
 

AshlandBump

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,092
Another suggestion: Orange Dual Terror - 30 watts, surprisingly good clean/crunch. Not the prototypical Orange high gain amp. I have the Tiny Terror, the 15 watt version, and it does a very good impression of an AC-15. The Dual Terror doesn't come with an effects loop but you can get one added, and some other apparently nice mods, by Jule Amps. www.juleamps.com; Dual Terror mod: http://www.juleamps.com/the_amps/dualterr.html
 

waygorked

Member
Messages
589
I had completely rejected the Dual Terror from my thought process, despite trying one and liking the tones, due to the loop issue. Back on the list.

Any other thoughts?
 

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,361
Suhr Badger 30. It'll cost you $1400 used +/- and is a great head and perfect for your needs as you describe them. Very surprised this got to 14 posts w/o a mention. Simple to use, lots of tonal options.
 




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