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I need Mesa Nomad opinions, please!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Tone_Terrific, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I saw one of these used and felt the urge to explore a trade-in deal but need some info about the amp and its capabilities, including the negatives!
    Looking for (and its typical)-

    Fernder-ish cleans (ref:SRV)
    Marshall-ish crunch (ref: AC/DC)
    Fuchsy OD (ref: Scottl sound clips)

    What can the Nomad do?
     
  2. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    Your going to hear a lot of feelings on this amp. Many think the amp has too much midrange, and can sound compressed at times. While I would agree with that, I actually like the amp, and currently own two.

    The two I own are both 1-12" combos. A Mesa Nomad 55 and 100.
    The 55 is a great all around amp, though not quite as impressive tonally as the 100. The Nomad 100 is the only Nomad to have a 5 band graphic eq. This, along with the bigger sound a 100 watter produces makes it my favorite. (Played a Nomad 45 and liked it as well).

    My personal opinion on the Nomads is that they are very versatile, perhaps so versatile that they can lack a specific sound to call their own. The build quality is decent (very early ones had some problems with the volume and tone pots). I think if a Nomad can be purchased for a good price, go for it.

    One last thing. The Nomad 45 & 55 watt models greatly benefit by putting some type of eq in the effects loop. I've stuck a small Boss eq in the loop of my 55 and was able to get it to sound more like my 100, meaning real good.

    Good Luck
     
  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    It was a 55 1/12 that I saw but didn't have time to play, and I have never tried one.

    I had a DC-5 that I tried for a week and almost bought, but just couldn't get my preferred clean without using the EQ to scoop a bit but then found my lead tone needed the EQ bumped up in the mids and it couldn't do both.
     
  4. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    I think the main thing about using an eq with the Nomad 55 is that it gets you back to where the amp should of been voiced. From there, you can pretty much get some great sounds by tweaking the regular tone controls.

    I purchased the 55 first. It still has one of the best clean sounds I've ever heard (Using 6L6's) and sounds good distorted. (It does not sound like any of the Recto's, that's why I bought it.)
     
  5. -kk-

    -kk- Member

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    i dont think it'll do marshall. I tend to use pedals for that sorta thing on the nomad. Its got its own vibe going tho, and I like it.

    As LPMan suggested, some will think its mid heavy but its a nice little amp (I used to have the 100 before going clean), super versatile. I do also agree that the EQ on the 100 makes all the difference. Tried a 50 before but it just didnt sound as big.
     
  6. Gabesdaman

    Gabesdaman Member

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    i have the nomad 45 4X10 which i definitely think is probably the best sounding one of the bunch.. plus sides are they are incredibly versatile, and will nail a lot of the sounds you described, especially the first 2. the only real negative i can find is that the 2 dirtier channels can come across as muddy if not eq'd properly, or balanced out in tandem with a clean amp for definition -- 4X10's and the el84's push a lot of air, and the louder it gets, the better it sounds in my opinion....not such a fan of the 55 or 100, but the 45 gets my vote
     
  7. Srvwannab

    Srvwannab Silver Supporting Member

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    I also had a Mesa 45 4X10- Like all Mesa products I thought it was incredibly well built, with a huge attention to detail.

    My gear A.D.D. and the Nomad weren't a very good match, though. To many modes, channels and switches. (At least that is the way I remember it)- When I found the sound I wanted, and then went to play again, I had a tough to time getting it back. Which guitar was I using? Which channel, which mode? Lots of opportunities for tweaking just about everything. I prefer (although I know it is a completely different amp) the F-50. It just seems so much easier to get the sounds I like.
     
  8. babi926

    babi926 Supporting Member

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    I've owned the 55 & 100. Both decent amps. The 100 blows the 55 away, mainly because of the graphic eq. the clean channel is mighty nice & then you need to play around with the other channels to get your sound.
     
  9. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    I got a great deal on a Nomad 100 head back when MARS closed down. I got it coz I need a modern sounding amp, and cant stand the Recto's. I don't think it's mid heavy at all. As for the sounds you're looking for, I wouldn't say the clean tones nail Fender, but are very nice in their own way. The Nomad's distortion is a bit sharper than what I think of as a typical Marshall, though it's got some great cunch tones. I've never played a Fuchs, so I cant say, but you can dail in some smooth Santana-esqe lead tones. I really like the amp, I mainley use it for recording. Like earlier posts, it's kinda got it's own thing.
     
  10. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I have spent so much time tweaknig and being ultimately let down before that you are making a bit hesitant here. It wasn't cheap enough to buy for a 'song'.
     
  11. chrisjw5

    chrisjw5 Supporting Member

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    I've had a Nomad 55 for 2 ears now (it's for sale in the Amp Emporium only because I want to go to an 18-watt Marshall clone).

    The Nomad is a real shape-shifter. It does have a ton of options, and with two options on each channel (normal and pushed on the clean, normal and vintage on Ch's 2 and 3), you can dial in a lot of different tones.

    The clean is great. Very nice 6L6 tones. In pushed mode, it's reminiscent of a mid 70's 'Slow Ride' type of tone. Very nice, but not practical for me to give away my clean channel.

    The crunch channel isn't quite Marshall. At least, it's not the mid/late 60's Marshall I'm craving. I've never owned an 800 or 2000, so I can't say. It does have nice midrange on the vintage setting. On the modern setting, it mimics a slightly less gainy Channel 3.

    Channel 3 is typical Mesa gain. I tend to run it on vintage, because I don't need the gobs of gain that can be on tap with the modern setting and the gain over 7.

    The Nomad is what I'd consider the Swiss Army knife of amps. It can do a lot of different things, and do them well. I can only recommend playing one.

    I would be interested in hearing a comparison of the 100 watt with a 55 in the 2x12 configuration, which is what I have. The 2x12 pushes a lot of air, and I never thought it needed to be EQ'd.
     
  12. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    I have been looking for an amp to do what you are asking for a few years now. I have never been able to get there.

    I finally have two amps that cover all the ground I need to cover. A Dr. Z 6545 for all the british clean and dirty tones. And a Fuchs ODS 20 watt head for the fender clean and the fuchs OD tones.
     
  13. Bullhonky Deluxe

    Bullhonky Deluxe Supporting Member

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    I plugged into a guys Nomad 1x12 one night, and could not get a sound out of it that wasn't stiff, lifeless and weak. Tubes could've been at fault here I don't know, but it wasn't too cool.

    At the time I was gigging with a Victoria Double Deluxe and a pedalboard, so my tastebuds may have been a little out of whack as well.
     
  14. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    I gigged with one of these for a few months and while I liked the sounds from all 3 channels, I got rid of it because channel one (clean) had nowhere near the headroom of the other channels. I know that clean channels on channel switching amps are never as loud, but on my Nomad the clean channel couldn't keep no matter how I tweaked the pre, post, and master volume.
     
  15. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    These are not built as well as most of their products. Local dealer here rarely sees any problems with Mesa/Boogie stuff, but has had lots of issues with Nomads.
     

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