Mesa Boogie Studio .22+ too small?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KenRothman, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. KenRothman

    KenRothman Supporting Member

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    I'm playing in an "indie-pop" band and we've been playing around the Boston club scene (Abbey, Church, TT's, etc)

    I've got a Boogie .22+ (no eq) that i've had for years... but only now am i gigging with it.

    I'm feeling like the amp may be a little outclassed for what i'm trying to do with it.

    I'm mostly playing a Tele with a VV P-90 in the bridge, occasionally another Tele with HD V+s, or a vintage SG special, also with P-90s.

    I need three tones... a slightly dirty but mostly clean tone, where i can have crunchy power chords, but also jangly/chimey arpeggios. Also a dirty tone... generally running my TS-9 in front of the clean sound for this. Then i need to kick it a bit higher for leads.

    So -- I've just been feeling that it's a bit outclassed, volume-wise, in both our practice space and on stage. Having trouble hearing myself... and if i crank the master up past 7 i start to have feedback issues. generally playing with the volume between 2-3, master as needed, and lead master.

    So, maybe it's not the actual volume that's an issue... but the headroom and controllability.

    Am I going nuts, is this amp maybe just operating at it's optimum... do i need to have it serviced? Or is that just how it is for a 22-watter in this situation?

    It's loaded with the original black shadow speaker... fwiw.

    So, getting tempted by other amps... do i just give in, or will i have the same problems there?

    I'd love a Vox, but the AC15 seems too small, and AC30 too big. Fender Deluxe? Still too small? Ceriatone JTM45 combo?

    Sorry for the rambling...
     
  2. ProToneThinline

    ProToneThinline Member

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    I had a 22+, and gave it up a couple of years ago for the same reason. The bottom line is that there's not much clean headroom in those amps. Plus, without the graphic, the channels are kind of hard to control. If you get a decent clean sound, the O/D kind of sucks, and vice versa.

    Like I said, I sold it, and don't miss it. I'm now playing through an Egnater Tourmaster 4212 combo, and I love that amp.
     
  3. screamtone

    screamtone Supporting Member

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    I have one and I'm not sure I could imagine playing a rock gig with it. Maybe with an extension cabinet, but with a loud drummer, I don't see how it could work on it's own (for me). A lot of people will probably say it's plenty loud, but it ain't loud enoough for me. Too bad, since I kinda like the way it sounds.
     
  4. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    It is about the loudest 22 watt amp out there but 22 watts isn't a ton of watts. You could put an EVM in it and get a noticeable increase in loudness but I am not sure that would be enough, though it would be louder than the majority of 40 watt amps. You might want to check if the tubes are up to snuff before you do anything.
     
  5. KenRothman

    KenRothman Supporting Member

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    I replaced all 5 pre tubes about a year ago with a set as recommended by Doug (doug's tubes). I just replaced the power tubes about a month ago with a new set of JJ's, and that helped a bit... but not enough.

    To be honest, it also became more of an issue when the other guitarist switched from a Strat to a Gretsch 5120. That guitar sounds huge no matter what, and it's swallowing me up a bit.
     
  6. phusana

    phusana Member

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    I have the same model, too loud for small blues gigs for me! Maybe an extension cab would help out.

    FWIW: There is a great mod available for the Studio 22+ that I had done to mine, makes the lead channel completely adjustable and therefore usable! This adds another gain control pot to the BACK of the amp that lets you adjust the lead gain from slight grit to full bore Santana. I had this done at Aztech in Watertown for small $.

    This mod definitely gets you your third high gain tone out of the amp when needed, via the lead footswitch. I can get you the schematic if you need it, PM me.
     
  7. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    I suggest an extension cab bro. That little amp is a keeper IMHO.
     
  8. KenRothman

    KenRothman Supporting Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what kind of volume gains can i expect if I add an extension cabinet?
    I was thinking of that at some point, too... like a small, open-back Avatar 1x12 with some sort of reasonable speaker in it.
     
  9. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a studio 22+ for years. I put an EVM12L in and the clean tones were just killer. Then I bought a Mesa V-Twin pedal and essentially had a 4-channel amp!
     
  10. joejazzguitar

    joejazzguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    When I was doing my rock gig some years back, I owned three Studio .22's, and always dragged two of them to a gig.

    When one wasn't loud enough to cut it, I'd slave a second one off the line out of the first one.... always got a killer sound out of that rig...

    Still have one that I'm thinking of putting up on the block, since about the only thing that amp CAN'T do is cop a convincing Benson tone....

    joe
     
  11. billygoat

    billygoat Member

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    Throw a tonker in there. It'll give you way more clean headroom. Made my ac15cc gigable in a loud band with bam bam rubble for a drummer
     
  12. neil99

    neil99 Member

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    I had one a while back, I used to run it through an old Marshall 4x10 cab. Dime the master, set the preamp to taste, pedals for drive. It would give my 2x12 50w marshall combo a run for its money. It was a great little amp. I had one w/ the EQ and it helped tremendously
     
  13. KenRothman

    KenRothman Supporting Member

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    i'll try cranking up the master a bit, but i've had this serious feedback issue... basically if I have the master up that high and try to use the lead channel, it howls like crazy.
    i guess i should check the preamp tubes to make sure they're not going microphonic... but i don't think so.
     
  14. screamtone

    screamtone Supporting Member

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    Is it your reverb feeding back? They're pretty notorious for that.
     
  15. KenRothman

    KenRothman Supporting Member

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    hmm... interesting point. i'll check it out. i think the reverb is set to 2 or 3... not too high. should i turn it down to zero, or do i have to unplug it or something?
     
  16. screamtone

    screamtone Supporting Member

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    Turning it down to zero should work... some other members may have more experience with that than me.
     
  17. phusana

    phusana Member

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    I found it almost impossible to kick in the lead channel and have a good tone at proper volume out of both lead and rhythm channels ...Until i had that mod done, now the two channels work like they're supposed to.
     
  18. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I have one of the original Studio .22's with no eq and the built in OD preset. I've had alot of work done on, new caps etc. it to keep it from crapping out. I've used it with and ext. cab on one gig but I've heard louder 15 watt amps than the .22. and yes they feed back if you put vol & drive above 5. but they sound good That's why I use a Mk III.
     
  19. joejazzguitar

    joejazzguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Ken - that 'howl' that you're hearing when you crank up the volume controls is just the nature of the beast... IIRC, there was even a mention of it in the Studio .22 owner's manual.

    The reverb can't be disconnected... it's actually built into the chassis, the leads to the reverb unit are hard-wired to the PCB, and the reverb unit itself is actually suspended via springs hooked into holes in the chassis. The vibration in that amp will cause the reverb to howl at relatively low volume levels.

    Even with the reverb turned down, the design of the amp will cause it to feedback if you crank the volume controls. On mine, the volume controls aren't usable past 6-7....

    But if you set it up for a full, close-to-distortion clean tone with your guitar volume dimed, it cleans up very very nicely when you back off the guitar volume. You could then use a boost to get a nice, singing lead tone.

    Without the boost, I was able to dial in some really nice REM / Petty / Smithereens rhythm tones.... with a Fulldrive in front of it, I was able to dial in everything from a passable Robben Ford tone to a dead-on Santana tone...

    joe
     
  20. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    That's the problem with the design where the reverb is part of the circuit. I had to replace mine.
     

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