LSC vs. LSS vs. Bruno (Cowtipper? Underground 30?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GeoBull, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    I have a Mesa Lone Star, Mesa Lone Star Special, Dr. Z Maz 38 Sr. 2x12 Non-reverb, Mesa Mkiic+, and Evans JE150

    I've generally loved my Lone Stars. Lots of versatility, some great sounds, channel 2 not always exactly what I want.

    I'm wondering how Bruno amps stack up against the Lone Star line. I imagine they stack up well against anything. I did play an Underground (I think): No master volume, loud as b---- (almost unusable at lower volumes without an attenuator), GREAT tone and feel.

    Anybody own one of these? Anybody have a chance to try it against Lone Stars? What are your thoughts on comparison across these aspects?

    -Tone
    -Versatility
    -Feel
    -Dollar value

    Also, I'll have to dump stuff to convince my wife to let me get a Bruno. IYO what would be the best stuff to save to have a versatile collection?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    Can't help you with the Bruno.....

    I had a Maz 38, an LSC and an LSS. I sold the Z and the LSC ( I sold the LSC when I got a Carr Slant 6V).

    There's no way I'd keep the Z over the LSS (and I didn't). Just too many great tones and flexibility from the LSS and I think it just about duplicates the great tones the Z produces. To me, it was no contest.

    Keep the LSC, too. I miss mine (although the Carr is GREAT). A Mesa LSS and LSC together cover a LOT of tonal ground.
     
  3. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Member

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    Ya' know, I'll have to preface this by saying I haven't heard a Mesa LSC or LSS (I think they're both Mesas?), although I've owned a total of 4 different Mesas (15 years ago). But I just have a really tough time imagining any Mesa sounding anywhere near as good as any Dr.Z or Bruno...to my ears. However, I do try and keep an open mind, so those Mesa LSC or LSS amps must really be something. I just hope for your sake you don't someday really regret turning loose of that MAZ 38. Those are fabulous amps, as are the Brunos. I've owned five Dr.Zs and every single one was superb in every way. To me they're simply a cut above any Mesa (JMHO). BUT, I've been wrong maybe once or twice in my life ;) and just maybe...?


    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  4. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    I understand what you are saying. In some ways, on pure tone and touch, the Dr. Z is a cut above the Mesa's. However, I find it a VERY bright amp and not as versatile as the Mesa's. If I'm going Bruno the Dr. Z would be the first amp I'd sell. Next would probably be the LSS: I love the form factor (1x12) and get a lot of nice sounds but the UG 30 is EL-84 and with an attenuator I can probably get some of the advantages I currently have with the power-switching on the LSS (very nice feature).

    That leaves the Evans, LSC, and Mkiic+. The Evans has a great jazz sound and is very light. However, I get an equally great tone from the LSC with the disadvantage being portability. The Mkiic+ is a collectors item I'm the original owner but I honestly don't use it anymore.

    So, if I go for a Bruno I should be able to afford it if I dump the Dr. Z ($1500 or so I think) and the LSS ($1400 or so I think). Then I'm close and could keep the Evans, LSC, and for sentimental reasons if nothing else, the Mkiic+.

    Further thoughts?
     
  5. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Member

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    That actually doesn't sound like a bad plan if you like the Mesa. And Brunos are killer amps too. Good luck with your decision.


    Tom
     
  6. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll never regret turning the Z 38 loose and keeping the LSS. As I said, to my ears, it was no contest. Eye to eye, amp to amp, speaker to speaker, my living room, jams, and gigs, over about 6 months.

    I don't debate for a second that someone else might perceive something different. This is NOT science; its music.

    Any a Z a cut above ANY Mesa? Hmmmmm.... Road King? Mark IIC+? How about the Z 4 6L6 amp (is there one?) against the LSC?
     
  7. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    I see your point on this. The Z kinda sits in the corner. I hesitate to sell it because its the venerable Maz 38 Sr. I never use it because: it's bright and much less versatile than the LSS.

    I haven't tried a Road King; I own a Mkiic+; I don't know what Z does with 6L6. I do think that from the standpoint of pure tone and touch sensitivity the Z has it slightly over the LSS. The Mkiic+ is a very different animal.
     
  8. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    Geo:

    My point was responding to jumpnblues comment about a Z being "a cut above any Mesa".

    I'm pretty sure Z doesn't make a 4 6L6 amp so I think that makes it hard to say any Z is a cut above an LSC; I KNOW Z doesn't make an amp that does what a Road King does so I think that makes it hard to say any Z is a cut above a Road King, and I'll now add that Z doesn't make an amp comparable with the Mesa Rectifiers so it seems tough to me to say that any Z is a cut above the Rectifiers.

    You're right about the inherent brightness with the Z; I also think the LSS works a LOT better with humbuckers than the Z.

    Your logic seems pretty solid if you have to sell both the Z and the LSS in order to get the Bruno. You might see a used UG 30 head in the $1500 range or a 1 x 12 combo in the $1500 to $1600 range (don't know if buying used is an option).

    I'd love to try the Brunos (UG and the Cowtippers) but I just haven't had the opportunity. Maybe that's a good thing:).

    One other thing. My most recent amp is a Germino Classic 45 2 x 12 combo. It does EXACTLY what I expected. GREAT JTM-45 clone. Beautiful highs, plenty of thunk, and at the right volume, to me, the perfect amount of dirt.

    Anyway, the LSS on channel 2, thicker, 30 watt, no drive, gets a LOT closer to the Germino than I ever thought it would. It's short only on definition and "whoomph"
     
  9. Crikey

    Crikey Member

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    I would rather have any Dr. Z amp than any of the above. For me, as apparently for the earlier poster, they are a cut above. For you, seemingly, they would have to be somehow analogous products to even be compared. For me, there is no comparison (I like some Mesas and would like to play with a Mark IIc+, but I have found all of the Zs I've heard to suit my preferences exactly).

    "A cut above" implies a set of criteria for evaluation, and each of us has our own.


    Michael
     
  10. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    well, i'd go with the LS instead of the Z
     
  11. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a Bruno UG 30 (non-reverb) and now have the Mesa LSS. The Bruno was a long time ago and probably not representative of the newest ones but I don't think I swap back for one. I also have a Sampson era Matchless SC-30 which I think is better than either the Bruno or LSS for cleans. Your mileage may vary.
     
  12. powermatt99

    powermatt99 Member

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    +1 for the LSS

    I am only able to have one amp and I need to cover a variety of sounds. While the LSS may not be the absolute best choice for each individual sound I need, it covers each of the sounds very well.
     
  13. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    So, you'd rather have the 2 6L6 EGZ-50 over the 4 6L6, 2 EL-34, 4 channel, crunch enabling Road King???:confused:


    You'd prefer a one dimensional blackface clone over an amp that will produce Fender cleans with more headroom, plus Marshall grit, Recto crunch, lots of gain levels, etc...............

    My objection was NOT "a cut above". My objection was "any" Z amp.

    Ever play a Road King? Ever A/B it with a Z? How about the Lone Stars? Ever A/B them with the Z's?

    I just think it an overally broad statement to say "I'd take any Z over any Mesa", especially absent A/B' ing them (and clearly, jumpnblues had not even played either of the Lone Stars)



    Let me put it another way- which Z amp is "a cut above" a Road King and how do you know??? What criteria did you use?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  14. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    I know the Mesa stuff doesn't appeal to a lot of the dyed in the wool, hand wired, old school, single channel crowd we have here (and in some respects I am one of them), but I must say that I had a Mesa LSC last year, and I was amazed at how good the amp sounded. The clean channel was simply superb, and the effects loop worked well with either pedals or rack units. I thought it even took pedals well. The only thing that caused me to turn it out was the lead channel. I thought it was just too mushy in the low end for anything with more gain than a pop crunch rhythm.

    If that lead channel was a bit tighter, the LSC would probably be my main amp right now.

    FWIW, I think the Bruno amps are in a completely different league, but they are not as versatile as the Mesa stuff. Just a completely different target market. I would own the Mesa over any Dr. Z amp I have played (Z28, Maz Jr./Sr. Route 66), but I would take the UG30 with three knob reverb and some high quality pedals over the Mesa any day of the week, if clean headroom was not a concern. I didn't like how my Cowtipper took drive pedals, so if you need the clean headroom and the lead tones, I would go with the LSC.

    Hope that helped.

    B
     
  15. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    This really makes sense to me. I've never warmed to the Dr. Z so the LSS has been my EL-84 amp. It doesn't have massive clean heardroom; I also have never fully squared myself with ch 2. It DOES have a lot of nice features but ultimately it's about tone, especially for a Class A, EL-84 amp. My LSC has all the power and headroom I need and with a drive pedal I get over some of the inherent let-down that is ch. 2 on the Lone Star series.

    So, sell the Z sell the LSS use the money on a Bruno UG 30 sounds like a great way to go.

    The only other question is a UG 30 vs. a xC-30 Matchless. Similarly prices and the Matchless seems more versatile. I have another thread on that with no replies. Probably been done to death and I should search but if anybody on this threads wants to jump in it would be much appreicated.
     
  16. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    Can't help you (much) with the Bruno or the Matchless, although someday I hope I get a chance to take them Brunos for a long ride.

    Just about everytime I've heard a Matchless, someones got too much "swoosh" dialed in. Same with Bad Cat. One excpetion- I saw Aimee Mann a LONG time ago in Chicago and she and the whole band were running Matchless amps. Tone was PERFECT for the kind of Hollies vocal inspired music she was playing, but with enough dirt to give it a rock and roll vibe.

    Your logic seems pretty solid to me; you're getting rid of two El-84 amps for one that's probably on everyones short list for "King of the 4- El-84 amps" (the Bruno)

    One other thing- my sense is that the Z and the LSS should be pretty easy to move-- even in todays tough market.
     

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