I tried the Stiletto again.........

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by IPlayHamers, May 16, 2005.


  1. IPlayHamers

    IPlayHamers Member

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    ....and it's just not for me.

    I really put it through it's paces this time. I tried 3 different guitars, SG Standard, Les Paul 59' Reissue and Les Paul Junior with P-90. I also tried different cabs. The Mesa standard and large Rectifier cabs, Marshall with 75's and Greenbacks and a Genz Benz 2X12. Here is what I discovered.......

    Channel 1: Not too bad here. Fat clean was very good. Big and round. This alone would be enough for most guitarists. Especially nice with the Greenback cab. Got very loud with no break up. I liked it alot. Tite clean was dry and thin to my ears. Maybe strat or tele players would like this, but I hated it. It just sounded very 2D to me. Crunch produced a huge jump in volume and was voiced like the tite clean...yuck. No balls at all. If I were to own this amp, I'd stay in the fat clean circuit and use pedals for crunch. Fat is where it's at!!!! Especially with the tube rectifier.

    Channel 2: I didn't like any of the voicings in this channel much. Crunch took over from channel 1, but not by much. A little more body and a touch more gain, but nothing to write home about. Tite gain was a bore. No sustain at all. And that classic Mesa buzzzz was coming into effect. Fluid drive was not fluid, but flat and lifeless. I was expecting alot more gain, but that wasn't the case. Sounded best with the 75 loaded Marshall cab, but needs more gain IMO. I used the silicon rectifier with this channel exclusively. Also, the bold switch was engaged as the spongy setting was too loose for my tastes.

    Please note that this is a very biased opinion of this amp. I'm sure many of you will love it and sound great through it, but like I said, it's just not for me.

    I also plugged into a Single Rec and that amp is the **** IMO. Nice and simple. Great clean channel and the gain channel was extremely usable with sustain and just the right amount of gain. Vintage mode is where it's at with this amp. I'd looking for one on Ebay now....
    :D :D :D

    A surprise was the Laney AOR 50 that was sitting in the corner. It was beat up as hell, but when I plugged into it and pulled out the bass, mid and treble push/pull knobs, it was modded Marshall heaven. This blew away the Stiletto in the gain department. Perfect for crunch and loads of bottom through the Mesa large cab. When I pushed it with my Keeley SD-1, it was shred city man!!! IMO, this is what the Stiletto's gain channel should sound like. Needless to say, I took the Laney home with me and I couldn't be happier.

    If Mesa did a simple 2 channel EL34 amp with the fat clean of the Stiletto and a drive channel like the Laney, they'd have a hit.

    As I said, this is my opinion and as you all know, opinions are like assholes........everyone has one.

    One love...............:dude
     
  2. Shemp

    Shemp Member

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    What kind of music do you play?
     
  3. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I loved the Stiletto Deuce that I tried a few months back. I could see myself owning one.

    The only other amp I've heard lately that rivals it is the Powermatic 50 from Thundertweak, which I played in Dallas at the show last month. That amp is a Plexi and a JCM in one head!
     
  4. MattB

    MattB Member

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    DEMENTED has a Single Rectifier for sale....
     
  5. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Guitar Player reviewed the amp in a recent issue. They really liked it.
     
  6. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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    Guitar Player really likes every piece of equipment from their advertisers.
     
  7. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    Or from anybody in California, Damn it!

    Still, I like the Stiletto. GP is right on the money with their review, IMHO.
     
  8. CJW

    CJW Member

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    I played out of two old Laney 50 watt AOR's for years. For high gain they sounded great and you could back off the volume and they cleaned up very well. All my tone controls were dimed and the boosts were pulled out. Since you have 4 volume controls you have to play with the a little bit, but I had all the balls I needed without any pedals for OD and I played with true single coils.
    The only issues I had with the amp were the noise from the cascading preamp was a bit much, but you could handle it, and there was no boost function for solos.
    I sold them both (and know where they are if I want them back) and got a early model (low serial number, you know the good ones) Dual Rectifier because I could set up one channel as a boost for solos. The Laney's could hold there own against the Rectifiers and the Laney's cleaned up alot better.
    You could pick these heads up for practically nothing and to me they sound just as good as a rectifier if not better.
    Owning both, I liked the tone of the Laney's better but liked the options of the Mesa.
    I am not in a band anymore and have no use for the Dual Rectifier so I should probably sell it. Anyone interested?
    I would probably buy my Laney back for nostalgia purposes and "just in case" I need it. Good overlooked amps for med. to high gain tones those AOR's were.
     
  9. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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    I have to agree with you on the Single Recto. I just got one.
    I had a chance to sit down with the Single Recto and a
    VHT pittbull 45 or 50...can not remember which it was.
    We were playing thru a Marshall 1960A.

    The VHT probably had the BEST Lead sound I have ever
    heard in my life. I loved it...the notes just jumped out of
    that head. Runs were crystal clear and did not muddy up
    at all. It was really cool. But, that was all I liked. I hated
    it for anything other than lead work. Chords did not sound
    as clear and unmuddy. They sounded aweful. Then there
    was the clean ch. It was just way to clean sounding with
    hardly any breakup, way to sterile for me.

    While the Single Recto was a bit gainy at times...it seemed like
    a more versitile amp. Modern mode is way to much for me. But, I
    love the Vintage mode. and the clean pushed sounds great with
    a strat running thru it. I like it alot.

    Man my dream sound would be to A/B the Recto and the VHT.
    that would be awesome!!!!! Use the VHT just for leads and
    then switch to the recto for everything else. That would ROCK.
     
  10. IPlayHamers

    IPlayHamers Member

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    I play hard rock and metal. Think Pantera, Rage Against The Machine and Sabbath and you pretty much nailed my style.
     
  11. IPlayHamers

    IPlayHamers Member

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    I just sold a VHT Pittbull 45 for just the same reasons you mentioned. Great sounding amp for solo work, but chords were a bit muddy and lacked clarity.

    I have to agree with you on the A/B thing. The Mesa and VHT together would be the Queen's britches for sure.
     
  12. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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  13. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I don't think someone who likes Rectos would like the Stiletto. Completely different beast.

    I used to think it was kinda funny that people would have total opposite opinions of amps (mine is polar opposite yours, on the Stiletto). But people just like different things.

    If I coulda had someone do a couple minor mods to that amp, it would nearly my ideal amp. I wanted a little more life in the two clean modes, they were flat and boring. Crunch mode on channel 1 got the cleans I wanted. Sparkly to AC/DC crunch, all from the guitar volume.

    Tite gain was very nice. Fluid Drive was a bit too muddy when Tite gain was set the way I liked.

    Mesa's always have too many options for their own good. I guess their idea is that you would pick either tite gain or fluid drive, and use only one or the other. But what if you like both? You have the Mesa Mark series problem where you can get two good sounds, but the third is always compromised.

    The Lonestar was another amp that was almost there, but not quite fully there, for my tastes....
     
  14. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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    Mikey you hit it on the head. The Single Recto also has a similar
    issue, it would be so cool if the clean modes had a third choice
    like raw or vintage. I assume that is why on the Double and
    Triple Messa went with 3 channels instead of 2. Still a great amp!
     
  15. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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    Just my take on things....was not trying to upset anyone.
    Hate was a strong word...let's just say it was not for me.

    I did say the Lead distortion was the best (IMHO) distortion
    I have ever heard. Comon let's face it....there never has been
    and never will be one amp that pleases everybody. People are
    different.

    Hell I am still trying to buy that VHT pittbull hahahahaha.
    Trying to work out a deal. :D
     

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