Do Mesas just not clean up with volume changes?

djw

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My BIG Mesas (Lone Star Classic & Special, Electra Dyne) and my TA-15 clean up very, very well even with tons of gain dialed up. This is one of the reasons I love playing them so much. Each of those have OD channels that I could sit on all night without touching a pedal.

However, I will say my Mini Rec does not share this attribute. It cleans up, but gets a bit muddy and not really usable in the same way, at least for the music I play. Still love it though. And isn't that sort of what channel switchers are for? :)
 

djw

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One more thought: I said my LSC and LSS both clean up, but the LSC is better at it. The LSS, which has that gorgeous clean, has a little more trouble with Ch2 as far as the cleanup goes. It might indeed be how Mesa handles their EL84s, though the TA15 would definitely be an exception to this rule if so.
 

wildschwein

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3,984
Never had a problem cleaning up from the volume knob on clipped clean or the dirt channels on my Rocket 44 or Calibre 50+. Treble bleed or 50s wiring are good for helping to clean up from the guitar.
 

gbyrnes77

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160
When I changed the wiring on my Les Paul I recorded a comparison to hear the change in sound. In the clip the first sound is stock and the second is the modified wiring. Then that repeats with less and less guitar volume. This is through my Rectoverb 25. Sounds good to me but people have different expectations and preferences.

 

DreamTheaterRules

Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs
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When I read these remarks, I always wonder what guitars people use. I own a Mark V, Mark V25 and Mini Rec. All 4 of my PRS guitars, which all have different pickups, clean up better than any other guitar I have, or have tried, with the Mesa amps.

I think the guitar is every bit as important as the amp, or really probably more so! However, if you crank the pre-amp gain way up, it's tough for any guitar to clean up with volume knob. Too much gain in one stage (pre). That said, I was shocked at how well even a screaming IIC+ tone cleans up with a roll of the volume knob on any of my PRS guitars. I didn't even expect it to do that well, and it really did clean up nicely.
 

Eric Porter

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264
I use a TA-30, Channel 1 top boost cleans up great, from great breakup OD to clean with Volume knob. Channel 2 tweed also has the same response. I was surprised with Hi 1 how good it will clean up, and this is with volume around 1 o'clock, so I get some good crunch to clean. Hi 2 however doesn't clean up that great. But, I don't use hi 2 for that purpose, so if I needed to go to clean from that setting, I switch back to Channel 1.

This is using my Tele, I have not tested much with humbuckers yet, only had the amp a few weeks
 

somedude

Member
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7,603
When I read these remarks, I always wonder what guitars people use. I own a Mark V, Mark V25 and Mini Rec. All 4 of my PRS guitars, which all have different pickups, clean up better than any other guitar I have, or have tried, with the Mesa amps.
I've found the same with PRS+Mesa.

PRS come stock with a treble bleed on the volume pot.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs
Silver Supporting Member
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4,429
Last night, PRS NF3 into Mark V. IIC+ mode, gain at 1:30, channel volume 12:00, master volume 10:00, 45 watt mode. This is loud for home! Loud enough for many gigs. Too loud for many!

Guitar volume wide open = smokin high gain tone. Guitar volume at 8 = hard rock crunch. Guitar volume at 6 = singing bluesy tone. Guitar volume at 3 = almost crystal clear cleans. Only had a little big of hair if I hit it hard. You could gig on that channel with this guitar! And that's with the gain up!
 

Al Rose

Gold Supporting Member
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2,647
I've found the same with PRS+Mesa.

PRS come stock with a treble bleed on the volume pot.
I've found the same as well. Emailed PRS, and they use a CTS pot made to their specs with a special taper. So I bought a couple from them to use on my other dual HB guitars. just got them a few days ago so haven't mad the swap yet.

Al
 

lowpaygigs

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1,187
Of course once again we have a lack of defined terms on tgp. What does "clean up" mean to you OP? What are your settings? What kind of guitar and pups? Pushing it with any pedals?

The amount of clean up on a mesa red channel is going to be contingent on how much gain you have running and that is balanced against the volume level.

I can get a useable clean with some hair on the red channels with even a les paul or charvel by rolling back my volume pot. The character will depend on the aforementioned settings. Expecting a fender-like clean or whatnot is unrealistic.
 

Hefalump

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8,596
Here is my favorite Mk V video, it shows how the amp behaves with guitar volume control....

 

The Funk

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My Mesa LSS didn't clean up well at all.
I just think the idea with having multi channels and voicing options is that you don't have to use the guitar vol to clean up. Sort of the opposite of a simple single channel amp that was designed with clean up in mind.

To get it to clean up with the volume knob, try this:

Drive on and at maybe 11:00. Gain at 11:00. Normal switch. EQ to taste. Channel Master all the way up. Effects send at 1:00. Puts the gain throughout the amp rather than all in front.


But mostly I use mine as dedicated clean and overdrive channels
 

lowpaygigs

Member
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1,187
My Mesa LSS didn't clean up well at all.
I just think the idea with having multi channels and voicing options is that you don't have to use the guitar vol to clean up. Sort of the opposite of a simple single channel amp that was designed with clean up in mind.
Would you hush with the logic already! We are here to cry the blues about a two channel, two eq amp's dirty channel not doing what the clean channel does.
 

Red Planet

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4,347
Also if no one has mentioned a buffer in front of your guitar/amp can assist in the cleaning up of the signal with volume pot on the guitar. Some amp/guitar combinations are subject to loading and a buffer eliminates this.
 

Red Planet

Member
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4,347
Never had a problem cleaning up from the volume knob on clipped clean or the dirt channels on my Rocket 44 or Calibre 50+. Treble bleed or 50s wiring are good for helping to clean up from the guitar.

50's wiring on a Les Paul type guitar is a must for getting a good cleanup. Its a simple fix that leaves the cap out of the circuit as the volume is turned down. With the modern wiring the capacitor is always connected to the pickup. I'm amazed at the people that state there is no difference, the difference in clarity at lower volumes is night and day.
 

caspa

Member
Messages
572
Would you hush with the logic already! We are here to cry the blues about a two channel, two eq amp's dirty channel not doing what the clean channel does.
And that's what I originally got it for, and it does that great.

The only issue is that all the other tones in there are so ridiculously good that I want to run all of them - so that I can treat it like a modern 2 channel and a vintage 1 channel.

I did some experimenting, and it looks like what I need is in fact specifically a treble bleed. Even with a tone pot out of the circuit, I was still getting mud. (The hottest pickups I own are AV65 Jazzmasters, so certainly nothing extreme.)

And I've never gone even to noon on the crunch/channel 2 modes on the gain knob.

It's good to hear that PRS's treble bleed specifically clean up well - currently in the process of dumping my Gibsons and Fenders for a DGT right now.
 

jammwill

Member
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1,315
I had an F-50 and on the gain channel it wouldn't clean up well at all with the volume knob. So much so that I stopped using that channel and started using the first channel with an OCD instead. It was not the amp for me - I don't know if this is indicative of all Mesa's though.
 

duderanimous

Monsterpiece Fuzz - Fuzz Master Extraordinaire
Silver Supporting Member
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1,085
I have had 4 Mesa's... DC-5, DC-3, Roadster, and Stiletto ACE. The Stiletto is the only one I still own, and is the only one that cleans up well with the guitar volume knob out of the ones I have owned.
 




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