Boogie Lone Star and Stilleto

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jTreu, Feb 6, 2005.


  1. jTreu

    jTreu Member

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    Ok, so first off the mesa boogie lone star (the blue, 100 watt, class a/b one) Supposedly its supposedto have great cleans, is this true? Also, i assume that the high gain setting on channel 2 is comaprable to the rectifier series, right? Ok, second is the mesa boogie stilleto duece. How are the cleans on this and whats the distortion most like? Finally, how do these two compare to eachother? I play mostly hard rock and some metal, but once in a while some bluesey type stuff, which is why im asking about the versatility.

    P.S- would i be able to use attentuator with it, like the dr. z aribrake since it will be mostly for home use and some small gigs hopefully in the future.

    EDIT- Forgot to ask the retail prices of both, in head format.
     
  2. jTreu

    jTreu Member

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  3. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    jTreu:

    I used to own one of the "original" Mesa Boogie Lone Star amps. (not the "special" with EL84's) Mine was a 2 x 12 combo, and I have played through the 1 x 12 as well. I REALLY liked the cleans in this amp. They are "quite" Fenderesque, but with a "Boogie" type signature. You will NOT get Fender Twin or Super Reverb "sparkle" and "shimmer" out of this amp, nor will you get Bruno, Bad Cat, etc., jangle. The two different reverbs are quite nice as well. The different power, rectifier, and effects loop settings allow for quite a bit of versatility for tone sculpting. I spent most of my time on the clean channel going from "clean" to a slightly pushed clean depending on pick attack and guitar volume. I liked the 50 watt setting better than I liked the 100 watt setting. Either the solid state or the tube rectifier sounded really good as well. I lked the amp VERY much with my Strat, and I liked it a lot with my Les Paul and my ES-335, albeit this amp had a tendency to get "boomy" very quickly if not EQ'd properly with humbuckers. I'm not sure if Mesa Boogie "really" intended this to be a Texas style SRV amp, but it did do an adequate job on "that" particular tonality as the cleans were always a little "thicker" than on a standard Fender amp, and you could get that nice "pushed" tone for Blues as well. It was the second or lead channel of this amp that left me scratching my head. (many times actually) I'm really not sure what was running through the collective minds at Mesa Boogie when they designed this channel, but in a nutshell, IT'S DARK. REALLY DARK! I "could" (after MUCH knob fiddling) get the second channel to be an extension of the clean channel (albeit still a bit darker and MUCH thicker) but that usually left me NO room for further knob tweaking. i.e. Most useable settings on the second channel only came as a result of MAXING some knobs and totally cutting others. I believe other members that had phoned Boogie on this have stated that Mesa said they were going for the "80's" Boogie sound in the second channel. In a nutshell, I REALLY liked a lot of things about this amp and had the lead channel been even 50% more "user friendly" I would have kept the amp for a LONG time. Unfortuanetly it wasn't, so the amp went. As with MOST Boogies, these Lone Star amps weigh a TON. My 2 x 12 combo was 93 lbs.
    I have played through the Mesa Boogie Stiletto Deuce twice now, and although I didn't "really" like it all that much, my assessment would not be anywhere near as accurate as some on this Forum that own and REALLY like the amp.
    Briefly, I thought the cleans on the Lone Star where much better than on the Stiletto, but the cleans on the Stiletto (for an EL34 based amp) were OK. I didn't really like the second channel because I felt it had too much of a "Boogie" sound and not enough of the purer EL34 "krang." I did like the Fluid Drive setting, which interestingly some others that own this amp said they didn't. Both times I audioned the Stiletto, I was actually in the store to audition the Soldano SLO 100. I played the Stiletto through a Mesa Boogie 4 x 12 with Celestion Vintage 30's and I REALLY didn't like this cabinet, which I'm sure had a quite a bit to do with my assessment. The Soldano SLO 100 also sounded like poo through this cabinet but just ROCKED through it's own 4 x 12 loaded with Eminence Legend 30's.
    If I was asked to choose between the Stiletto and the SLO 100 the SLO 100 would be first choice by a mile. I will try the Stiletto again, and this time I will spend a lot more time with it and with different cabs as well.
    I'm sure as this thread progresses you will get quite a few in depth reviews from the members here that have bought and REALLY like the Stiletto.

    Chuck
     
  4. jTreu

    jTreu Member

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    ^thanks alot, i really appreciate you taking the time to type that whole thing out. And by dark, do you mean bassy?

    btw Chuck, do you remember how much the lone star head was?
     
  5. Den

    Den Member

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    Run a search on the board here for "lone star" ... you'll find some more info.
     
  6. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    jTreu:

    You're welcome. :)

    If memory serves me correctly, the head was $1399.00, the 1 x 12 was $1499.00 and the 2 x 12 was $1599.99.

    The clean channel of the Lone Star was "relatively" open and transparent (epsecially for a Boogie), Fenderesque if you will, but the second or lead channel was quite compressed and more along the lines of "traditional" Boogie thickness. That alone made the lead channel "sound" darker as well as the fact that there WAS quite a bit more bass response. Again, not sure what was running through the collective Boogie minds, or what instruments they were testing the LS with, but just about every sample setting in the manual equated to pure MUD with my Strat, Les Paul or ES-335. (clean or lead channel) I had to increase the treble quite bit, (ESPECIALLY on the lead channel) to get it to sound like I wanted it to sound.

    Chuck
     
  7. jTreu

    jTreu Member

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    well i usually play with my fat strat with high treble, low bass, and low mids, so i guess ill have to try it out for myself. But i guess ill have to pick one up used as they are priced a little steep for me.
     
  8. j37nm

    j37nm Member

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    Randall Smith must be pushing the dual rectifier, low end thump in all his amps.

    The F50 & Lonestar have a lot of low end. It makes the amp sound darker. And, if you are a lead player, it makes it feel "slow." You have to put much effort into playing it. Despite all the gain on both amps, it doesn't seem to cut & sustain as well. The 6L6 already have tons of low end.

    If you are playing drop D or thrash metal, the low end is nice, but if you are playing jazz, blues, country, fusion, rock or other styles, then the extra low end just limits your tone & playing.
     
  9. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I liked the clean channel on the stiletto. It wasn't your stereotypical version of a good clean channel, and it had a little bit of brit grit to it, but it was a little chimey, punchy, and clear.

    I wasn't at all impressed with any versions of channel 2. I have found more organic and warm overdrives on many other amplifiers. I tweaked for about an hour, and I know mesa amps, so I wasn't blind, and it just wasn't for me. It definitely breathes better than a Dual Recto or Road King, especially the ACE combo, but it's not worth $1600 to me.
     
  10. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

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    I own the Stiletto Deuce. I got it when GC was blowing them out the door for $900. I like it and sold my Boogie MK IV soon after getting the Deuce. The cleans can be warm/dark depending on how much treble/prescence used. I typically keep both channels on Crunch and run one channel with the gain low and the other with the gain high. I also work my guitar's volume knob to change up the tones. I like it. For me it gets that bluesy EL34 grit with the amp set clean, and I can get into thicker Brit overdrive tones on the od channel. I can get it into 80's metal terrtory easily and not get very much compression in the sound unless I use an od to tighten/boost. I've heard that it can be a bright amp. I run mine through a THD cabinet and it's not bright at all. I would agree that the Lonestar has smoother cleans, though. IMO.
     
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    My son has the Stiletto Deuce, and it turned out to be surprisingly versatile.
     
  12. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    This was my experience with the Lonestar Classic as well. You have described it perfectly. I scratch my collective head trying to figure out why I bought it in the first place.

    :jo
     
  13. Derelict

    Derelict Member

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    the new stilletto ace is amazing. first off, the cleans coming out of this EL34 amp will shock you; they are fantastic. i prefer them over the lonestar, and any other boogie, by a long shot. tite clean is really tight and probably sounds best with buckers, but i used a strat and preferred fat clean. crunch mode (both channels) is plexi territory. with the amp on tweed mode and rectifier tracking, it is loose and just a bit greasy; like an old fender but a marshally sound. this is probably my favorite setting on the amp. fantastic classic rock sound. switching to normal power and diode tracking, crunch mode tightens up and gives you a stiffer response, similar to (judging by my ears, b/c i have never played one) a 100-watt plexi. didn't spend much time on tite gain, but fluid drive is like a hot rodded marshall with boogie sustain.


    this is a great amp.:drool
     
  14. smallcrap

    smallcrap Member

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    No, not if you mean Dual Recifier Solo type high gain. It's not in that realm at all. If you're mainly doing hard rock and metal, I'd feel safe in saying that the Lonestar is not the amp for you.

    But the Lone Star is designed to excel at low to medium gain stuff and the Stilettos do the medium to high better.

    But besides searching, Mesa's site will also give you some general info on what their amps are about.
     
  15. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    Well I'll be a 5th wheel.

    I had the Lonestar Classic 1x12 Combo in a custom Groovy Color (White w/ Black Trim and Grillcloth).

    I bought mine new at GC. As far as the Tone and Flexabillity it was amasing. The Clean Tone was as good as it gets. The Dirty Tones were everything one would need. As far as the Second channel being no good I say Malarchy. If you want the second channel will be identicle to the first channel (which is my complaint with the Maverick the first channels is great and the second one is lame. If both channels were the same it would be good.).

    Anyway everything about the Lonestar tonewise was amasing. Though this is where the trouble came in. The first one I had melted down. A hole about the size of a Quarter melted through the PCB and was un repairable.

    So they replaced it with a new one which started acting up after about two days so I took it back and got a 1959 HW Head in its place.

    Now I'm not like some. I'm not gonna trash Mesa Boogie and declare all Boogie Amps bad (like some are doing with other Production based amps).

    I have come to believe that a good Handwired Amp is above and beyond an amp full of High Speed Relays in terms of reliability but thats just my experience.

    I've never played the Steletto.
     
  16. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

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    I bought an Ace head about two months ago,...great, great amp. And you summed it up pretty well. The Tite gain is actually my favorite mode on the amp. It's like a modded-JCM800 but with that Boogie, ever so slight Recto-ized fatness and aggression. Overall it's extremely versatile:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Telephile

    Telephile Member

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    check out Andy Timmons on the Xotic effects website he's playing the Lonestar and the Stilleto. Great tones. I n never have been a Boogie guy and have repeatedly walked passed these amps, but I think I'll try one next time I see one>
     
  18. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    There is no doubt that the Stiletto would be your best choice. The blue channel in the Crunch mode can get some KILLER thick classic rock and blues tones with the gain rolled back. Very, very nice tones. The red channel is hard rock all the way.

    Clean is okay and certainly usable, but nothing to write home about.

    I'm talking about the Stiletto Deuce Stage I (old version). Excellent amp and worth every penny and then some.
     
  19. FPFL

    FPFL Member

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    another Ace lover here. I tried the LoneStar and just didn't bond with it. I'm a hard rock (AC/DC, etc..) to old metal kind of player (Tool, Sabbath) with a dab of modern aggression (Lamb of God) and am usually in drop D flat tuning.

    This amp does not have Recto low end. Anyone that says so hasn't played a real Recto and loosened his neighbor's fillings. It does have plenty of low end but its not so overpowering and so low in voicing. I find it easy to get a balanced tone - no one EQ spot too pointy - and that is one of the first things I look for in amps after having been burned by the frustrating EQ of a VHT D60 which I very happily sold to get the Ace.

    I love the flexibility and the respsonsiveness of the amp. For an amp that is a lot simpler than some, the tracking, power and knob twisting choices reveal a lot of tones.

    Understand, this is a very British sounding amp. No question about the EL34 bark and sizzle. It isn't voiced like a Marshall, which I think is great. How many replica amps do we need people?! But I digress....

    For hard driving power chords, full power and tite gain is hard to beat. I don't even bother with pedals. None are needed. Liquid Gain is a blast to play and solo on at either power level. I don't like that much gain in my chord work though you ca accomodate either with the volume knob on the old guitar.

    The dual crunch mode is what I think half the people buy the amp for. Its the best 70's hard rock sound I've found yet. Its just right in all the subtle ways. Opening this amp up on crunch makes me feel like the Bad Company guys playing for 10,000 people somewhere in the U.K.

    The stock cleans are certainly acceptable but nothing wonderful. I'd call it "working man's clean". It tracks well live and sits in a mix wonderfully but as a standalone sound its a little flat. My GMajor goes a long way in making the clean fun though. A little delay, compression and a tiny dab of chorus and its a whole other story.

    I too dislike V30's and don't play the amp thru one. I'm still using a VHT D 4 x 12 which handles the amps big sound with grace and goes a mile further in making my sound a little less standard issue. I love that, but that's me.

    Try the Ace with some other speakers besides Mesa stock options before you pass judgement on it. It responds very much to any change - pups, speakers, etc. Much more so than the buzz box that was my first "british" amp, a long gone DSL 50 that had all the dynamics of a type writer.

    -P
     
  20. lukeness

    lukeness Member

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    Wow! That video was great!
     

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