'Attenuator' mod for Mesa F-50 effects loop?

Snakum

Member
Messages
1,057
Picked up another F-50 last week - I used to gig one back in the day, as well as an F-100 head and Recto cab (insane overkill in the small clubs we played). With a JJ retube I've always had good luck with the F-50 combo and the F-100 head. I love channel 1 with the Bright switch engaged and a Bad Monkey to goose it a hair when needed. I run channel 2 with Contour always on (less dark), the gain at 10:00, Highs and Mids pushed and Bass low-ish. Use a Bad Monkey to goose Channel 2 into heavy crunch/lead tones. I've always found channel 2 useable with a retube and a little EQ work, never needed an EQ in the loop. And pushing the master up past 9:00 it really comes alive. Problem is ... I forgot how insanely loud this thing is. Pushing the master past 9:00 actually makes my ears ring in the small room where I practice. So ...

Wasn't there a mod whereby the effects loop could be used as a cheap but effective attenuator? I haven't owned an F-series since the late 2000s and have forgotten a lot about them. Anyone remember this?
 

Snakum

Member
Messages
1,057
Ahh yeah. That's it. Thanks!

I have always gotten an awesome crunch and lead tone from the F-series (with a tube change) but the volume level to get in that 'zone' is huge, even in the little 50 watt combo.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,518
You can also use an EQ pedal in this regard as well (provided it has an overall volume slider) and retain use of the FX loop, not to mention gain some really good tonal shaping capabilities.

An F-50 with a Boss GE-7 in the loop and a low gain overdrive out front becomes basically the most versatile amp ever made. A real sleeper.
 

Snakum

Member
Messages
1,057
I was given a cable already built for this back when I got my first F-series amp and loved that I could cook it a little but not blow my ear drums out. I've rarely used an effects loop on any amp, but never had a very large pedal board either. An OD or two, a Digidelay (delay and chorus on it), a tuner ... that's about it. Never felt I was lacking anything playing the usual bar band stuff. So I always kept everything under foot in between the amp and guitar.
 

Snakum

Member
Messages
1,057
Works like a charm. I forgot how good these things can be with JJs and the loop mod. I realize that the loop mod doesn't help me cook the power section. But it is doing something wonderful to the Contour channel and provides a smooth and gradual ramp up on volume. Done together these two changes very nicely affect the character of the amps dirty channel at less-than-ear-bleed volume and lower gain settings (9:00 on the GAIN knob). Love'n this loud ass little beast.
 




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