Mesa Lonestar 100 watt v Express 5:50

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by musicman1, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

    Messages:
    2,412
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    NJ
    Im interested in both of these amps.
    Think I like having 100 watts more than 50. Are the 2 amps similar in sound both clean and dirty? or are they very different?
    Out of all the demos Ive heard, I think they compare quite well clean but the Lonestar just seems to have a creamier, smoother distortion.
    What say ye Mesa owners?
     
  2. rmpacheco

    rmpacheco Member

    Messages:
    456
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    My $0.02: I've played through both...own the Lonestar and prefer it by far.
     
  3. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

    Messages:
    2,412
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks RM. So far I think I do too but i do need to get to a dealer.
     
  4. theroan

    theroan Member

    Messages:
    5,745
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    The Lonestar has the better clean, the express has the tighter gain. But the lonestar is better for leads but you can't really chug with it.
     
  5. djw

    djw Member

    Messages:
    1,393
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    I think this is pretty accurate, except that you can chug with a Lonestar and the right pedal, and even more so with a closed-back cab.

    The Lonestar is an amazing lead platform.
     
  6. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Watch what speakers you're playing through with the Express. Give it a try through a Rectifier 2x12 with V30's and the lonestar may take a back seat.

    Also, I forget the particulars of the power section of the Express, but I think there's the option of EL84's and 34's depending on model, and you may find those are your cup of tea.

    EL34's rather than 6L6's in my Heartbreaker turned it into everything it was meant to be.
     
  7. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

    Messages:
    5,562
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Surfin at Merewether Point, NSW Australia
    ahh I've played/gigged with both.....

    For me the 5:50 is basically a Lonestar Classic with less clean headroom, much more gain, is easier to dial in, is 20 pounds lighter, more versatile and $500 cheaper.

    The cleans & reverb on both are very similar imo - not identical but so similar it's hard to tell the difference for a trained ear.
    Punters have got no chance telling em apart.
    The main diff is the higher clean headroom threshold on the LSC but as I've never got even close to breaking up the 5:50 it's of zero value to me.
    Clean players in very loud bands will appreciate it though I'm told.

    On the dirt side they have limited tones in common imo.
    LSC is a low gain amp with excellent OD imo.
    It does not have what I call distortion at all.
    5:50 is a high gain amp. It does all the LSC overdrive tones on its crunch & blues voices.
    Switch to burn voice on the 5:50 and you're in Mesa high gain territory.
    This makes the 5:50 much more tonally versatile.

    Both are equally pedal friendly.
    5:50 is dead easy to dial in - LSC takes more time to learn.
    LSC combo is very heavy... and too heavy for me.
    5:50 is one of the lightest 50w combos you can buy.

    If I was an exclusively clean player that really needed 100w for some reason I'd chose the LSC.

    I'm not so the 5:50 won easily which was good luck cause it's also $500 cheaper hehe :)

    Go test em out and decide for yourself
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  8. ((TechnicolorSkyline))

    ((TechnicolorSkyline)) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Love them both, but the Lonestar wins out for me and I much prefer the special to the classic. Can't really go wrong with either though, just kinda depends what your needs are. Better cleans and reverb with the Lonestar, and channel 2 fits me much better than the Express. More of a perfect classic rock thing than more modern sounding like the Express.

    You can find Lonestars for $1k used, Express usually for $800 or so, so they aren't that far off from each other.
     
  9. brucesinger

    brucesinger Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    The Windy Citaay
    +1 on all of this. I have gigged and played both as well. Tone-wise you can't go wrong with either one. Speaker/cab choice is important. Use this post to make a pro/con list and it will help you choose the one best-suited for your situation. Oh, and try both too!
     
  10. Adel2

    Adel2 Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    I actually prefered the clean on the 5:50 in comparison to the Lonestar, just wish it was 100 watts for more headroom. I liked the clean on the Royal Atlantic even better. Mind you, I'm primarily a single coil player and the Lonestar cleans sound like it would be amazing with humbuckers.
     
  11. jjp

    jjp Senior Member

    Messages:
    656
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    I too went with the Special, but I don't need 100 watts.
     

Share This Page