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Black Pearl or Mesa Express 5:25

Jazzgear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
755
The Mesa Express 5:25 has no equal in terms of features/tone vs price. And Mesa just released a 1x12 version of the 5:25 Combo
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,974
Tonally, these 2 amps are NO comparison.

Black pearl is somewhat voxy on the cleans, and has a very british liquid growl overdriven like a matchless growl very articulate but not as aggressive or modern sounding as the express.

Express is more like a fender/traditional boogie on the clean, recto-ish on the dirty side. I actually love recto voicing, but my playing struggles with it.

VERY different animals and I would choose based on what YOU like the sound of more.

I prefer the Black Pearl by a long shot because of its response and voicing, but the express sounds really cool too, but it a completely different way.
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,441
The Mesa Express 5:25 has no equal in terms of features/tone vs price.
I don't know about that. I just played a 5:25 1 X 10 and 5:50 1 X 12 and thought the 5:50 completely blew the 5:25 away tonally and was easily worth the extra $150.

I bought the 5:50.

The 5:25 1 X 12 should be great but will be the same size and about the same weight as the 5:50 1 X 12.
 

Jazzgear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
755
I don't know about that. I just played a 5:25 1 X 10 and 5:50 1 X 12 and thought the 5:50 completely blew the 5:25 away tonally and was easily worth the extra $150.

I bought the 5:50.

The 5:25 1 X 12 should be great but will be the same size and about the same weight as the 5:50 1 X 12.
Uh? It's not in the same category....the 5:50 is more of a regular gigging amp suitable for just about any venue. The 5:25 is more of a Grab-N-Go, studio, rehearsal amp. That's what I meant....of the the amps that fall into the 5 to 25 watt category, you'd be hard pressed to find a better amp for the price.

If I just needed an amp, I would take the 5:50 everyday of the week. It IS the better amp....

But the OP mentioned the Black Pearl vs the 5:25, the 5:50 is out of the that category of amps, IMO
 

bigtree

Member
Messages
2
Just bought a BP a few weeks ago after checking out lots of amps- including the mesa express combos. I much prefer the BP tones- the cleans and semi- breakup sounds are killer in the BP, and I prefer the marshall-y growl of the BP when it is opened up as compared with the "blues/ burn" voicing on the express.

I also felt like the Mesa had more features than I would ever use- like the switchable contour- and that always rubs me the wrong way. Overall the express felt like a stripped down lonestar- kind of a strange combination of features and vibe. I *wanted* to like the mesa- it was cheap, portable, and had more features on paper than the BP, but the BP just sounded much better to my ears and with my guitars.

happy amp shopping! Both are great options... but gotta agree with an earlier poster that the two are are pretty different beasts.
 

stump

Member
Messages
1,264
I own the BP 112 combo and played the 5:25 a bunch of times. I chose the BP for the same reason as many others have already mentioned, but did find some good tones in the Mesa. The 5:50 definitely sounded better than the 5:25 to me but is in a different class for sure. The BP has only improved in tone since I got it a month ago. The speaker breaking in and the addition of a Mullard rectifier being the major contributors. The amp sounds and looks so good that my wife lets me keep it in the living room. :)
 




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