Express 5:25 vs. a Lonestar Special

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mtmartin71, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've had the Lonestar Special for a few years. I can never really get along with the dirt channel on this one. I LOVE the features of the Lonestar though as I can take it out with just the switcher for the amp and that's all I need. Two channels, solo boost, adustable power, master volume. The other thing is the LSS is pretty heavy. It's not really a grab and go per se. Many of the gigs I do are of the smaller club/pub variety and for bigger shows, I would use a 2061x w/ matching cab and also some pedals. Now I see Mesa is selling a 1x12 version of the 5:25 finally and it just seems to have a chance to give me 90% of the versatility but 100% of the tone. Anyone compare the two?

    For purposes of context, I am playing right now in a large band with a lot of crap going on so I need something to punch through and I'm trying to do it without pedals (on this amp at least). Riding the guitar volume is not my thing as I like to play wide open and use pedals or boosts to adjust volumes. Also, I've had a Budda Superdrive and while I loved that, I had to wire up additional cables in the effects loop with a boost to goose the volume on a lead. Last thing, the power is fine. I'm not a big clean player anyway. I always like a little dirt. Riveras are intriguing to me. If anyone wants to chime in on their sound compared to these Mesas...

    Thanks
     
  2. padavis

    padavis Supporting Member

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    The 5:25 is a very awesome amp. I have only had a limited time on the Lonestar Special in a very loud GC but I have had a ton of time on a 5:25 10" since my dad has one in our basement and it does just about everything very well at very nice volumes. I personally like the 10", havent had the chance to play the 12" but the amp is focused and articulate and can get an excellent array of tones. With a 12" I bet it is deeper and bigger and bolder and to me that would equal some good stuff.
    I am glad I read this as I didnt know there was a 12" one comin and that will probably be my next amp!
    Sorry I cant help you on the LS vs the 5:25, I know there has to be some people on here who can help so consider this a BUMP!
     
  3. jcoggins7

    jcoggins7 Member

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    I like the Lonestar Classic better than either the LSS or the 5:25. My brother owns a LSC 1x12. Thing's heavy as hell, but paired with a 212 Avatar cab with Hellatone 60Ls in it (all three speakers running), it sounds incredible. Sounds incredible by itself as well, just more so with the extra dimension the cab adds.
     
  4. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking lighter than the LSS so the LSC will definitely be out. I'm looking at a club/pub amp. I've researched the 5:25 some more and it seems it's pretty close to the LSS so it's hard to tell. Riveras seem interesting because they're very close to the features (sans the power options) but I see a love/hate thing with those amps. Everything is a compromise I guess. Basically, I want to take all the great features of the LSS and mate them to a distortion with a little more cut and range. It's got to be able to sound good at low volumes because I can't crank for crap in this application even on stage. I have a Marshall 2061, cab, and pedals for large stage situations. I need this guy to cover the gamut without pedals, with a couple of channels, and with a boost function in the amp so that all I have is a guitar, amp, and amp footswitch. That's it! I've tried amps without a boost and then I've got to run a boost into the loop multiple cables and I have multiple pedals. I tried an Atomic/PODxtl setup and that was too much work and tap dancing. The bummer is, the LSS is absolutely the finest featured amp I've ever played. Anyhow, it's such a love hate thing with that amp. I keep trying to get rid of it, but because I mostly play small stages with 7 other people, I can't roll out with a bunch of crap on the floor. Nowhere to put it. Sorry, just venting late on a Thursday night...
     
  5. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    Have you tried the following settings on your dirty channel?

    Drive set to 'clean'
    'Normal' mode (maybe 'thick' for single coils)
    Treble about 2 o'clock - quite high
    Mids about 9 o'clock - low!
    Bass right up the middle for single coils, lower for buckers
    Presence very low or off!
    Volume about half up
    Power at 5 watts

    It's important to experiment with mids turned down on the LSS. You get a certain squishyness that makes you feel the tubes working, even though you don't notice a lack of midrange at all. You can even turn it off! The slower attack is simply addictive.

    Presence set low and treble high seems to be magical on this amp, especially the dirty channel. That treble control is voiced killer, and it's best without the presence interfering...

    And to cut through the band, the power amp needs to be working... those EL84s want to scream a bit, and they do get a nice cutting grain to them when cranked.

    The LSS is so versatile it blows me away. I can really hear the differences between each guitar, the way I articulate, etc. I'm not 100% convinced about the speaker, although I do like it. (It sounds best mic'd a little off axis.) But this amp can probably do what you need it to do if you use these unorthodox settings.
     
  6. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    You want everything in one grab'n'go amp ??

    Do Ya ???



    Do ya really ???????





    Greedy bastard !!





    Lucky Hughes and Kettner make the Switchblade, huh !!!!
     
  7. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for these settings. I'll give them a go although I need some dirt on that second channel so turning it to clean may not be as much as I want to hear. I had been going treble and presence high, bass very low, and mids fairly high.
     
  8. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    :D Actually, I'm willing to give up a great clean to get a good clean with a great dirt channel. That and a solo boost on the amp with some form of volume control and I'm good for grab n' go. Haven't looked at the Switchblade before...
     
  9. Mastervolume

    Mastervolume Member

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    After owning both at the same time I'd say that the 5:25 is a great little amp but has enough background hiss to make it unusable for me. The LSS is a quieter better designed amp.

    Cleans are sterile and the OD is good on the 5:25

    All that said I am playing a SD18II and it Kicks the crap out of both of the boogies.
     
  10. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that's what I used to play. An SD18 Series 1. I could never get the master over a 1/4 in this current band with that one but I really liked the tone of that amp. Maybe I need to come back around to it. If it had a footswitchable master volume boost, I'd be in heaven. Maybe I ought to ask that guy Jeff at Budda if that's a doable thing.
     
  11. Mastervolume

    Mastervolume Member

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    just put a boost or an EQ in the loop
     
  12. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    I was just thinking about it and with a pedal snake, I could achieve just two runs. One for my guitar to the amp, and one pedal snake run to cover the channel switcher and the boost. Anyone want to trade a Budda Superdrive for a LSS? :D
     
  13. Mastervolume

    Mastervolume Member

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    What is the config on the LSS?
     
  14. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a 1x12 config
     
  15. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I kinda suggested the Switchblade because it has multiple channels, and you can create you won pre-sets, but it is still all tube.
    I have a LSC and a Triamp, so I can compare these things a bit. My favourite chimey clean out of my amps is my Bad Cat HC30, but still very heavy, expensive, and no solo boost etc. I have no dirt or boost pedals so I know where you are coming from there. The LSC by contrast is a bigger warmer clean, totally different, but they are both great.
    When you say a "great dirt channel", I am kinda confused cos that could be nearly anything. The LSC has a great dirt channel, that plenty of people hate. The BAd Cat has a totally different great dirt, and the Mark's off in a different direction again.
    Coming back to the Switchblade, like the Triamp, it will do whatever dirt you have in mind, which is why I suggested it, in a light weight economical combo form.
    There are some superb demo clips on the H&K site , with playing by Thomas Blug that is worth looking at just for itself.
     
  16. tubesR4tone

    tubesR4tone Member

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    Hi:
    This thread seems to be very focused on the 'problem' with the Mesa Boogie Lonestar's 2nd channel (both the Classic and the Special).
    There is a thread on the 'Boogie Forum' dealing with this and a really easy mod to fix it. I've done this mod. It works very well!
    You just swap the gain and master volume controls on channel 2.That's it. Just unsolder them and swap and channel 2 sounds great!
    The name of the thread is (something like) "Lsc and Lss owners are you happy with channel 2? Do you want to fix it?"
    Seems a lot of LS owners wish the second channel was better. Some people have tried this mod and posted their results. They all seem to like it. I did.
    Happy 'tubing'.
     
  17. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey thanks for this tip. I'll have to take a look at it because, yeah, the 2nd channel is the one that doesn't inspire me as much.
     

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