MESA branded tubes at Guitar Center

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,587
I'm pretty sure they're standard Russian or Chinese, they've just been tested for bias voltage so you can drop them in without biasing the amp. I don't believe they actually burn them in, definitely worth going with one of the more prestigious tube suppliers here, like Tubestore or KCA.
 

Heady Jam Fan

Member
Messages
9,009
I agree ^

I don't think there is anything wrong with the Mesa tubes. Its a good business model in principal: branding tubes that test in the range that is ideal for the amp ought to make things easier for the customer and be an additional source of revenue.

But I think people respond negatively because they like choice and don't want to void their amps warranty to make their choice of tubes. I think Mesa branded tubes get a worse rep as far as their sound because of this. Although I do think there are better sounding options for most applications.

I opted for Ruby tubes in my MKIII from Doug's Tubes.

If your looking for tubes for an amp other than Mesa, I think most people would definitely say to order from a dealer with a good rep (ie, the pinned thread about tube distributers). For my SFDR, I have mostly Old Stock tubes, which are durable, but when they wear out, I might go for Ruby's selection.
 

Psyfuzz

Member
Messages
1,372
I've got a Mesa GZ34 rect in my Vox,

While the rectifiers aren't going to make a huge difference, it hasn't performed any better or worse than a Ruby, Sovtek or JJ tube I've had in their.
 

anominous

Senior Member
Messages
541
Mesa branded tubes are some Russian, some Chinese.

DrBob describes the Mesa 'bias' thing above.

You can buy Mesa branded tubes directly from Mesa.

There are really only a handful of tube manufacturers in the world, and their product is re-branded into dozens and dozens of brands.

It's easily Google-able.
 

JackStraw12

Member
Messages
4,760
Yeah Mesa's a good, durable tube, at least the 6L6s are. I usually have those as backup and they perform just fine and the matching is pretty good too.

When you see coded pairs like green, or grey, or red they're just coded that way when using as a quad. Reds with red, greys with grey. At least I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
I have had pretty dismal results with the Mesa Tubes.....many go microphonic or just **** the bed rapidly.....only reason I run em is warranty demands it.

NOW: I think the reason why is simple: I live one hell of a far distance from California....so the shops around me have tubes that have been shipped right across the continent and I think they have had the piss shaken outta them by the time I get them!

SO: If you are near california....you may have better luck.

I cannot recall how many have gone bad in the year and a half I have owned my 3 Mesa's.....I would guess I have had at least 10 MESA power tubes (6L6 and EL34) **** the bed on me.

4 of these I blame on Mesa directly......they shipped my Mark V Chassis back to me with my new 6L6 tubes wrapped lightly in the thin bubble-wrap...BUT they were loose in the shipping box...so they bounced and banged for the week it took UPS to ground ship it from Petaluma to Ontario Canada!!!! Needless to say....they promptly redplated and were microphonic to begin with.
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
Yeah Mesa's a good, durable tube, at least the 6L6s are. I usually have those as backup and they perform just fine and the matching is pretty good too.

When you see coded pairs like green, or grey, or red they're just coded that way when using as a quad. Reds with red, greys with grey. At least I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.

You mean PAIRS.......inner pair and outer pair of tubes should be matching colors.
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,751
I've never had a problem with Mesa tubes. A lot of people see Mesa as gouging them on price for relabeled tubes. But once you factor in shipping, the same tubes cost the same from any of the reputable dealers. I have no problem with Mesa tubes. I'm not really into tube rolling anymore though so I don't really care about power tubes.

You can use any preamp tubes in any amp, so I def don't buy Mesa preamp tubes. My RA-100 has a Mullard Preamp in V1 for the gain channel and a good phase inverter.
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
I've never had a problem with Mesa tubes. A lot of people see Mesa as gouging them on price for relabeled tubes. But once you factor in shipping, the same tubes cost the same from any of the reputable dealers. I have no problem with Mesa tubes. I'm not really into tube rolling anymore though so I don't really care about power tubes.

You can use any preamp tubes in any amp, so I def don't buy Mesa preamp tubes. My RA-100 has a Mullard Preamp in V1 for the gain channel and a good phase inverter.

Don't let Mesa find out.....warranty=void.

PS: Mesa Boogie posts here......
 

JackStraw12

Member
Messages
4,760
You mean PAIRS.......inner pair and outer pair of tubes should be matching colors.

Not trying to throw stones but I always thought that if you were retubing a roadster or a dual rec (4 6L6s) that all the tubes had to be matched by color. I worked at a Mesa dealer and got the same answer but it's cool to know that only the pairs have to be the same color.
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,318
Pretty sure the whole quad is supposed to match, unless it's a Mark IV or prior Mark running Simuclass, in which case you can run 6L6s in one pair and EL34s in the other if you want (I think the EL34s in the outer sockets?).
 

Mesaleebob

Member
Messages
298
I was told by the tech support guy at Mesa that you need to match pairs, not quads on my LSS. I don't know if that applies to the other models but my guess would be yes.

I also stand by their tubes. You can surely tweak the tone with trial and error using other brands, I usually don't spend much time doing that. I know their tubes to be reliable and reasonably priced so I just use them.
 

fretless

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,643
I'm pretty confident that the 12ax7's are JJ's. I know for sure I have one that is.
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
Pretty sure the whole quad is supposed to match, unless it's a Mark IV or prior Mark running Simuclass, in which case you can run 6L6s in one pair and EL34s in the other if you want (I think the EL34s in the outer sockets?).
No man....it is pairs....100%.....and i am talking colour not tube type.
 

louiscyfer

Member
Messages
99
I have had pretty dismal results with the Mesa Tubes.....many go microphonic or just **** the bed rapidly.....only reason I run em is warranty demands it.

NOW: I think the reason why is simple: I live one hell of a far distance from California....so the shops around me have tubes that have been shipped right across the continent and I think they have had the piss shaken outta them by the time I get them!

SO: If you are near california....you may have better luck.

I cannot recall how many have gone bad in the year and a half I have owned my 3 Mesa's.....I would guess I have had at least 10 MESA power tubes (6L6 and EL34) **** the bed on me.

4 of these I blame on Mesa directly......they shipped my Mark V Chassis back to me with my new 6L6 tubes wrapped lightly in the thin bubble-wrap...BUT they were loose in the shipping box...so they bounced and banged for the week it took UPS to ground ship it from Petaluma to Ontario Canada!!!! Needless to say....they promptly redplated and were microphonic to begin with.
you take out all the mesa tubes, put them away. buy whatever your choice of tube is, run your mesa with those. when you need warranty service, plop the original mesa tubes back in the amp. warranty problem solved.
 

darkinners

Member
Messages
1,009
I don't know if MESA changed their supply now but I bought few MESA tube 10 years a go and they were rebranded Sovtek
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
you take out all the mesa tubes, put them away. buy whatever your choice of tube is, run your mesa with those. when you need warranty service, plop the original mesa tubes back in the amp. warranty problem solved.
That could bite you in the arse.....especially if the other brand tube fries something in the amp.......from red plating for example.....then you throw a good mesa tube in and send it off...they could disallow your warranty.....just a thought.
 

louiscyfer

Member
Messages
99
That could bite you in the arse.....especially if the other brand tube fries something in the amp.......from red plating for example.....then you throw a good mesa tube in and send it off...they could disallow your warranty.....just a thought.
i changed the tube after it stopped working and before sending it in of course, wanted to make sure that wasn't it. oops, i must have thrown away the bad tube. :D:Devil
 




Top