Mesa bashing - learn how to dial in mesas!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Laxrappa11, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. roblues

    roblues Woof!

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    Don't have much trouble dialing in great tone on my Maverick. She sounds good with the 335, LP Deluxe, Tele, and especially the Strat. In fact, its a killer amp with the Strat.
     
  2. Gigbag

    Gigbag Member

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    I agree. The circuits can be complex, and you can't usually just turn all the knobs to 12:00 and expect it to give you instant gratification. I usually have to drastically reduce bass and or mids when increasing gain.

    But, Mesas can offer a lot of useful features for tweaking and when using their multi-channel amps, you can set them up for a wide range of tones that do't require excessive tweaking all the time.
     
  3. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I have a blue stripe Mk III simulclass/EQ and you have to dial in and work at it what you want. I mainly use this on outdoor and larger rooms and never failed me to give great tone and yes keep the bass setting below 4 and adjust your other settings but can pull out the bass boost and use a V curve on the EQ. There are sample settings on the web. Sure I have Marshalls and Fenders and Traynor amps with lower wattages, and always the Boogie delivers, just weighs a ton. Amps are to each his own.
     
  4. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    I owned one of the first ones shipped to the midwest- the Recto is my favorite Boogie- they are a lot easier to dial in too.....I always ran the gain WAY back and just cranked it up.....great amp for sure!

    I don't think its a problem dialing in a Boogie- it does take time, my problem with some of the other models was that once you dialed in that one great tone, you had to totally reconfigure all your settings to get another great tone- it was very difficult to get a great clean tone, then a great rhthym tone, and a great lead tone all at once! One suffered (usually the lead/rhthym tones) as you had optimized the settings for the other- I think THAT is what people have had a problem with.

    That being said, they are wonderful amps, just not for everyone, all the time..........but what amp is???
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Good point. Some amps actually need to have the manual read first. Its not a bad thing but something most guys arent used to. I had first hand experience with this with my friends Triple Recto. Bob
     
  6. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    Err... Mesas just don't work for me. No amount of fiddling with all those knobs and switches is going to change that. Sorry. Glad you dig yours though.
     
  7. afterburner

    afterburner Member

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    I think they make fantastic amps, perhaps not for everyone and probably not well suited to the Larry Carlton-Robben Ford-Warren Haynes fans here (hmm might get flamed for this but I mean no offense).

    customer service is top-notch in my experience.

    It was a little tricky dialling in my Express 5:50 but like the OP said, read the manual and rethink it a bit. Bottom line, use your ears, not your eyes to find the sounds in an amp before dismissing it.

    I think all those knobs and features are a bit overwhelming and up the price point for someone who only wants the basics but Mesa amps sound great!
     
  8. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    Mark IV really got amazing once I put in the 6v6s, so yes I am now happy with my mesa
     
  9. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    but every amp isn't for every player, right? i have tinkered with a friends markIV and it just didn't do anything for me. no bashing, just not my kind of amp.
     
  10. captain_bob

    captain_bob Member

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    I am a new Mesa owner. Just received my Stiletto on Monday. I'm still in the Honeymoon phase so my view may be a little slanted. That said. When I first powered it on, I put the dials where I usually set my Marshalls. It sounded great to me at the time but I got to reading the manual and found how different the tone settings are from a Marshall, or anything else. I have been experimenting with tones knobs at the recommended levels and have found the tones much more to my liking. Even more so than I imagined. I'm blown away. This is a great amp and I am still in love.
     
  11. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Mesa's can be complex amps. You can get good tones out of them, but they are still going to be Mesa sounds generally. You won't get Fender cleans and Marshall gains---all the tones will have Randall's take on it, and for some that is dissappointing. They are looking for Fender and Marshall in on box. Instead, they get Mesa.

    That is not Mesa's fault.

    My only problem with the amps is the tonal inconsistency. You can play one and it will be incredible, the next exact same model flat sounding. I think this is a tube/bias issue, but it has happened to me several times.
     
  12. Totally Bored

    Totally Bored Member

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    If a Mesa works for you then cool.

    I could never dial in my DC5. Read the Manual many times. Gigged her for a year and she still sounded poopie. I really wanted to like it. Great looking amp with lots of extras. Tried a Deluxe Reverb with a Tube screamer and my suffering was over. Sold that DC5 shortly afterwards.

    Please don't sit there and tell me to learn how to dial in a Mesa, Dude. They are not my thang.




    FWIW, I don't like the sound of my brothers Mark IV either and he don't like my DR so....go figure
     
  13. fusionbear

    fusionbear exquirentibus veritatem Gold Supporting Member

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    I used to have my MK's and Quad in a rack, so people usually could not see my gear. Many times after a gig, people would comment on how great my tone was until.... well you know. Some people just don't like em, no matter what...
    Others just can't dial them in. And, of course, Mesa's tone is not for everyone...
     
  14. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    I have an F-50 Combo. I was looking for something that could sound like my JCM800 combo but I wanted a better clean channel.
    At first the bass was a little dark sounding with a buzzy bottom end.
    I took out the original Black Shadow speaker & put in a Celestion CL80 and this thing KILLS now.
    Tight clear bottom, punchy mids and searing highs.
    Set the Gain at 9:00 and I can get all of the 70s & 80s classic rock tones.
    The clean channel is SO MUCH better than the JCM800 clean channel.
     
  15. gatordoc

    gatordoc Member

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    I found this out pretty earlier on with my MK IV. I have a friend who has used one for years, in a Pink Floyd Tribute band of all places, and has absolutely amazing tone.

    I bought one and then tried forcing it to work at what I thought should be the right settings. The knobs all LOOKED right but it sounded way off. One frustrated night I finally gave up and just used my ears and paid no attention to the markings. I twisted knobs every which way!

    I was REALLY surprised after I was all done, had the tone I wanted, and then looked at where all the knobs were set. I never would have thought those settings would have been the ones. After all, the old ones just LOOKED so right!:D
     
  16. GGinMP

    GGinMP Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been happy with the little Studio .22+ I've used for the last 15 years. I used Mesa's own tone suggestions as a starting point:

    http://www.mesaboogie.com/manuals/Studio%2022%20Plus.pdf

    I did replace most of the 12AX7 tubes with 12AY7's for less gain and more warmth. I dig the amp. I put my RAT2 pedal away and never used another overdrive pedal since. I know there are a lot of other great amps out there, so if someone doesn't like to Boogie then that's alright with me.
     
  17. wire 247

    wire 247 Member

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    to me mesa boogie amps are easy to dial in, I have had a mark iv, lonestar, dual rec, sob and a 440 rocket. It took me longer to dial in my dr. z maz 38 than any mesa....
     
  18. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    If it works for you than that's all that matters. But IMO an amp should be a plug and play item not needing any time spent to figure out how to tweak the knobs to get a decent sound. Tone controls are highly over rated, the simpler the amp, the better the tone. Some of the best sounding amps have only a Volume (or two) and a Tone, and that's it. And in most of those cases you can delete the Tone control.

    But there is more than one way to skin a cat, and it's good to have options. But still, when it comes to Messy Boogers I have one thing to say, friends don't let friends buy them. Just say no.
     
  19. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    I'll admit to not knowing how to EQ a Mesa at first. I bought a Triple Recto because most of the players I like used one, and I liked their tone. I set it like I used to set my Crate Blue Voodoo, and it sounded like poop. I just couldn't get past the "all knobs at 10" stage. That's what I was used to, and it didn't work on the Mesa. So I thought it was the Mesa's fault and sold it.

    Then I started reading about how the EQ on Mesas is active, and how they interact. I bought a Dual Recto, set it with my ears instead of my eyes, and I've been happy ever since.
     
  20. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    ha! i think i agree with everything you said.
     

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