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Mesa 5:50 express vs. HRDx

hector

Member
Messages
1,077
Saw a video on the Mesa Boogie 5:50 Express, and it seems to have simliar specs to the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe: 1x12, 6L6 pair. I've been a HRDx fan for years (own two), but there are no Mesa dealers near me. The drive channel is not as important to me as having a nice Fender-ish clean tone with good headroom. Anyone ever compare the two? Anyone selling a 5:50 Express??
 

Laxrappa11

Member
Messages
393
i actually recently sold a hot rod deluxe with all JJs and a c.rex speaker for an express 5:50 112 combo. if all you really want is a good clean tone then it really doesnt make sense to get the express. the cleans are a bit sterile and flat compared to the hrd, but it has so many other options that for me it was no contest. if you want a myriad of dirt tones as well as usable cleans, go with the express. if you just want a nice clean as a pedal platform, definitely go wtih the hrdxe it will cost about half as much after taxes if you buy new. PM me with any detailed questions you might have about etiher amp
 

dangeroso

Member
Messages
4,496
I currently own both amps. I agree with the post above, but would add that the Express has the ability generate a nicer “driven” clean sound than the HRD. If you want high headroom, stick with the HRD.

I think the Express shines for 3 main reasons:

  • Versatility. I consider the HRD gain setting to be unusuable. The Express has many great gain and clean channels. It’s an all-in-one amp.

  • 5w to 50w switchability gives you great tones at low volumes.

  • Contour controls. It’s a fixed EQ post signal blend control that sounds really good. It’s like a presence control with more depth and sparkle.

I think the Express 5:50 is a very underrated amp. GC sells Mesas in my area. You might ask at your local GC.
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,107
Express cleans have a great deal more headroom compared to the HDR (IMO)
Some might call that sterile but to my ears it's just a quite cleaner tone ...

Therefore the Express is totally a great gigging amp with a killer OD channel(s)
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,096
If it's Fender cleans that you want, replace the HRD with a Deluxe Reverb (silverface or re-issue).

If you want versatility, even better reverb and great overdrive go for the 5:50.

I love my 5:50 and play it more than I do my Vibrolux Reverb.
 

richt

Member
Messages
778
5:50 rocks. I almost went with the Blues Deluxe or the HR Deluxe. Glad I didn't!!!!!

Cheers,

Richt :)
 

saxophonist56

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,913
i agree the 550 2x12 i tried at GC really does sound good and not just for a mesa. i tried to like the lonestar and classic but really was left wondering what the big deal was. not so with the 550. it's got a very thick overdrive and the cleans and pushed cleans are useable. obviously compared to a blackface sr there's no comparison but still in all this amp is versatile. not the usual (no offense) mesa mud. the dual C90 black shadow speakers sound good to my ears.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,195
I currently own both amps. I agree with the post above, but would add that the Express has the ability generate a nicer “driven” clean sound than the HRD. If you want high headroom, stick with the HRD.

I think the Express shines for 3 main reasons:

  • Versatility. I consider the HRD gain setting to be unusuable. The Express has many great gain and clean channels. It’s an all-in-one amp.
  • 5w to 50w switchability gives you great tones at low volumes.
  • Contour controls. It’s a fixed EQ post signal blend control that sounds really good. It’s like a presence control with more depth and sparkle.
I think the Express 5:50 is a very underrated amp. GC sells Mesas in my area. You might ask at your local GC.
+1000. That about sums it up! Bob
 




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