Germino Headroom or mesa mark v

Sirloin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,048
hard to imagine two more different flavors of amp. I have owned and played several Mesa's and currently own a Germino Lead 55LV (little brother to the Headroom 100) and Germino 212 and much prefer the Germino. But again, it just better fits my style.

Also, factory PPIMV and 6v6s really make this a usable amp for lower volume club requirements.

 

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,117
I currently own and owned many Mesa, yes no Mark V but other than a broken input on the Studio 22, aside from tube changes (and not even Mesa tubes), all the amps are working, not needing any repairs!. I know a few Mark V owners. No broken Mark V's off the bat.

Not every amp owner is required to open up their amp and work on them.

The hard thing is that Mesa may require something more than a multi-meter but any good tech even if they are doing pre 1970's amps should have an oscilloscope anyway.
 

trailrun100s

Member
Messages
3,569
Which will cost more to troubleshoot? ;)
I've had Mesa's since the 80's, never had a single problem.

I had a boutique plexi...Numerous small issues over the first year(then it was rebuilt by 3rd Power, no problems since)

I've still yet to have any amp go down on a gig.

I think some like to worry more than others about that stuff...

Ultimately, if you are trying to decide between a Mesa or Germino, that's as apples to oranges as you can get. The real question is, which amp best fits the musical situation you are in...
 

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,550
My Mesa has broken once.....because I put in a bad tube and it shorted. Did not cost much to diagnose or fix.

The things that will tend to go wrong with tube amps are largely the same group of things. Transformers, tubes, screen and grid resistors, power supply stuff. These are easily findable on mesa's too.

Mesa's are known for their build quality and reliability more than anything. I don't think the PTP versus PCB argument really matters that much. You could ask which amp will be easier to fix in the shop, or which one is less likely to ever need anything, or you can ask which amp will get you through more situations sounding great no matter what.

I'm sure both are high quality amps. Preference for sounds and playing styles is really the important factor.
 

fjs1962

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,461
I've owned and worked on several of each. Quality wise it's a toss up. To a non technical person the Mesa looks like it would be harder to work on but it's actually not bad. It's easier to repair a Mesa than, say, a Fender reissue. So it really comes down to which type amp works better for you musically.
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,095
My Mesa has broken once.....because I put in a bad tube and it shorted. Did not cost much to diagnose or fix.

The things that will tend to go wrong with tube amps are largely the same group of things. Transformers, tubes, screen and grid resistors, power supply stuff. These are easily findable on mesa's too.

Mesa's are known for their build quality and reliability more than anything. I don't think the PTP versus PCB argument really matters that much. You could ask which amp will be easier to fix in the shop, or which one is less likely to ever need anything, or you can ask which amp will get you through more situations sounding great no matter what.

I'm sure both are high quality amps. Preference for sounds and playing styles is really the important factor.
Not really. I know at least one local dealer who stopped carrying them because they kept breaking down and Mesa service was apparently brutal to work with.
 

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,550
Not really. I know at least one local dealer who stopped carrying them because they kept breaking down and Mesa service was apparently brutal to work with.
Thats interesting, I've heard nothing but good things about Mesa service. I've called them up to ask questions and they talked to me longer than I expected about a bunch of things.
 

fjs1962

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,461
Not really. I know at least one local dealer who stopped carrying them because they kept breaking down and Mesa service was apparently brutal to work with.
I've been working with them on warranty repairs for going on 4 years now and this is the opposite of what I've experienced. I've seen Mesa go the extra mile to make customers happy. If they were hard to work with I definitely wouldn't be involved with them.
 

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,117
Not really. I know at least one local dealer who stopped carrying them because they kept breaking down and Mesa service was apparently brutal to work with.
I wonder what the back story is. If they are kind and accommodating to a cheapskate unknown owner of old Mesa amps, I'd expect more support for a retailer.

Anyway about the transistors or ICs, those are probably for switching, and rectifier tracking and may also be used for the preset EQ mode. I know one boutique builder here had talked about an automatic biasing system and I think he had to include a microcontroller CPU of some sort.
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,095
Thats interesting, I've heard nothing but good things about Mesa service. I've called them up to ask questions and they talked to me longer than I expected about a bunch of things.
I've been working with them on warranty repairs for going on 4 years now and this is the opposite of what I've experienced. I've seen Mesa go the extra mile to make customers happy. If they were hard to work with I definitely wouldn't be involved with them.
I wonder what the back story is. If they are kind and accommodating to a cheapskate unknown owner of old Mesa amps, I'd expect more support for a retailer.
Well, this was probably going on 10+ years ago, so maybe they've clean up their act since. This retailer is one of the nicest guys on the planet too, so I don't think there's any "back story" involved. He said the amps were just constantly piling up for repairs and it was very difficult to work with Mesa on warranty service and even new orders, thus making it totally impractical to carry the amps...and, he was an avid Mark IV player himself. I'm going on a fading memory here but I seem to remember something about an unusually large number of relay failures, along with other issues as well.

I, myself, went through THREE brand new Road Kings from a different local retailer and, after the third unit crapped the bed, literally all within a day, I just gave up on Mesa altogether. Pure shite, as far as I'm concerned.

Also, had a buddy with a Mark IIC+ combo that crapped out at a gig as well.

Yes, amps will go down but normally it's tube related and/or some other minor issue, like loose/oxidized sockets/contacts, old caps, etc. But, this failure pattern with Mesa was ridiculous so I won't touch 'em with a 10 foot pole.
 

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,550
Well, this was probably going on 10+ years ago, so maybe they've clean up their act since. This retailer is one of the nicest guys on the planet too, so I don't think there's any "back story" involved. He said the amps were just constantly piling up for repairs and it was very difficult to work with Mesa on warranty service and even new orders, thus making it totally impractical to carry the amps...and, he was an avid Mark IV player himself. I'm going on a fading memory here but I seem to remember something about an unusually large number of relay failures, along with other issues as well.

I, myself, went through THREE brand new Road Kings from a different local retailer and, after the third unit crapped the bed, literally all within a day, I just gave up on Mesa altogether. Pure shite, as far as I'm concerned.

Also, had a buddy with a Mark IIC+ combo that crapped out at a gig as well.

Yes, amps will go down but normally it's tube related and/or some other minor issue, like loose/oxidized sockets/contacts, old caps, etc. But, this failure pattern with Mesa was ridiculous so I won't touch 'em with a 10 foot pole.

Wow, yeah, if I had three amps go down that quickly, I wouldn't touch them either. Thats definitely unusual for any maker of pretty much anything, especially for their top of the line product. I think you may have just had some extraordinary bad luck.
 

forum_crawler

Member
Messages
7,308
I have had my roadster since 2011, zero issues with it. I also have a dual rectifier from 2005 that works like new and I am not the first owner... So I am inclined to believe in Mesa reliability, not to mention their customer service is second to none and there is an authorized service centre here in town. I can drive there and have them deal with any issues I may have.

If I knew of a tech who couldn't fix a mesa, I would look for a different tech. The whole argument about techs finding mesas "too hard" to work with is akin to pilots complaining that newer planes are too difficult to fly. Would you want to fly with them?

As for the dealer above... my guess it had more to do with Mesa not giving them huge discounts on gear like other manufacturers usually do. Mesa amps never go on sale, unless the retailer is liquidating their stock. I am more inclined to believe that has more to do with anything than them having to deal with broken amps, since in general, the retailer isn't the authorized service centre (who I believe would be quite happy to work on all these broken amps).
 

jpage

Senior Member
Messages
9,226
Depends on what you are looking for--kind of like asking, 'what's better, a pickup or a sports car?'. There is no 'better'. As for the 'easier to troubleshoot' issue, I've owned several dozen Mesas and they are incredibly well built amps and their customer service has been flawless when I've needed them. Biggest issue I've had with Mesas are IDing faulty/microphonic tubes but that is just because there are so freaking' many of them.

I personally would have no place to play a Germino HR100 but I'm just a weekend warrior/local club scene guy. If you are playing big venues it would be a wicked cool amp. But for live use I have been spoiled by channel switching, great master volumes, switchable effects loops, multiple power settings, etc.
 

jpage

Senior Member
Messages
9,226
Not really. I know at least one local dealer who stopped carrying them because they kept breaking down and Mesa service was apparently brutal to work with.
I'm sorry but this is absolute nonsense. I've owned pretty much every Mesa and I've had twice as many 'handwired/bootik/flavor of the month' amps go tits up than I've had issues with Mesa. They are working musicians amps tho--not as apt to be ooh'ed and ahh'ed in the 'amp guts' or 'lets pose our expensive toys on the couch/porch' TGP threads
 

ufguy73

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,964
I'm sorry but this is absolute nonsense. I've owned pretty much every Mesa and I've had twice as many 'handwired/bootik/flavor of the month' amps go tits up than I've had issues with Mesa. They are working musicians amps tho--not as apt to be ooh'ed and ahh'ed in the 'amp guts' or 'lets pose our expensive toys on the couch/porch' TGP threads
do tell how the seemingly factual statement is nonsense?
 




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