Mesa Lonestar Special opinions.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Loobster, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Loobster

    Loobster Member

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    I'm in the market for a new amp. I've got to admit the features look very cool. Does it get some pretty Voxy tones? Seems like it might. I'm wondering whether to go for the 112 or 212. Has it got enough clean headroom for unmiced small club gigs? Share your opinions on this amp.
     
  2. mkoetter

    mkoetter Member

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    That amp was a total disappointment for me. I bought one when it first came out, and returned it when I realized it has NO headroom. Then, after getting a bit nutty over boutique amps, decided I wanted an EL84 amp. The goal was to get that vox chime with a lot of class A harmonic richness, and the ability to hear each note in a chord cleanly. I also wanted a lot of punchy bite and the ability to control the amount of grit with my picking dynamics. I felt that the Lonestar Special, which I must have played 10 times, let me down on all accounts. I demo'd it as a combo and with a big boogie 2x12 cab. It was mushy, still had no clean headroom and did not have that shimmering class A sound that I wanted so badly. If you want a boogie, look at the little express 5:25. It's EL84 and sounds a lot better than the Special. Me, I ended up with a Matchless HC-30. If I were in the market for another EL84 amp, I'd check out the following:

    - Divided by 13 RSA31
    - Goodsell Super 17
    - Reinhardt Jester
    - Suhr Badger
    - Fargen mini plex (you can run it with an el84)

    Good luck!
     
  3. Loobster

    Loobster Member

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    Hmm.

    I need to get out and try some amps. I just got a Vox AC30CC2X but I'm really disappointed with it. The build quality of it is pretty shabby and it just doesn't have the sounds I was looking for.

    I'm thinking of picking up a 2nd hand Lonestar Classic, also.
     
  4. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I thing the LSS and the LSC are great amps - beautiful cleans, great low to mid gain OD tones, and just a smooth sweetness throughout. That said, I did not think the LSS was particularly Voxy at all. Surprisingly for an EL84 amp, it seems to do better at the roots rock/Texas rock stuff that the LSS excels at. Not sure how they managed to make an EL84 amp sound like a 6L6 amp, but there it is.

    Not sure about the headroom issue, I've never played the LSS at gig volume for a significant length of time.
     
  5. go7

    go7 Member

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    I had one, it was ok. Traded for a Rivera Quiana. Had it for a couple of years and very happy with it once I re tubed w/ nos .
     
  6. Random Hero

    Random Hero Member

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  7. robelinda2

    robelinda2 Member

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    not a fan of the special, for cleans you could go much better.
     
  8. mkoetter

    mkoetter Member

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    My buddy has a classic 2x12 combo and it kills... it was just the LSS that left me wanting more.
     
  9. Supertgtr

    Supertgtr Member

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    I would suggest go and play through one. Decide for yourself.
     
  10. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    Crazy about it. It's my go-to amp for studio and live gigs, but I'm not a fan of supr-loud drummers. I guess it's not for everybody, but I absolutely love it on all my guitars, etc.
     
  11. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never tried a LSS but I have a Mesa F-30. It was OK until I replaced the stock Mesa tubes with a set of JJs.
    HUGE improvement. Took out all of the flubbiness, made it tighter & crunchier. Fantastic, chimey cleans.

    Many people have complained about the stock Mesa tubes. Something to think about if you decide to try/get a Mesa.
     
  12. picnic

    picnic Supporting Member

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    I had one a few years ago and wasn't happy with the headroom. Went through a bunch of amps including an LSC and now I'm back to having an LSS. This time around with LSS I am really digging what the amp can do. My favorite amp.

    I replaced the rec tube with something better. MB's will fail.

    Great amp, versatile, heavy but good quality casters
     
  13. Jatmosphere

    Jatmosphere Supporting Member

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    try a super 17. such a simple and super toneful amp. killer tones, lots of clean head room, plenty loud, no circuit boards simple to use, and Richard stands behind his work 110%.
     
  14. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin Member

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    I really like my LSS but it does take some time to learn the best settings especially on the overdrive channel.
     
  15. powermatt99

    powermatt99 Member

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    My LSS is the best sounding amp I've owned and right now is my only amp. There is enough headroom on the clean channel for me. It overdrives nicely on both channels if you wish and takes pedals very well. The EQ settings are very interactive and take some time to dial in a tone.
     
  16. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    Killer, killer amp.

    Headroom issues? Not realtive to other 4-EL-84 amps; a headroom comparison to big bottle amps (like the 4 6L6 LSC) just don't seem fair- if you're looking for tons of headroom, you're just not going to get it out of El-84 powered amps, especially relative to 6L6 ,6V^, or even El-34 amps.

    So many great tones, so much flexibility, assignable reverb, solo control, assignable wattage per channel. Built like a tank with a great pedigree from one of the great amps makers. Better with single coils but not too bad with humbuckers. Channel 2, thicker gets closer to a Germino Classic 45 than it should.

    One other thing- they ain't cheap. Are new 1 x 12 combos $1799 now???
     
  17. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Great amp but not strictly intuitive to dial in. In fact it's downright hard. READ THE MANUAL! If you read the manual and understand not only the function, but also the interaction, of the controls, you can get some great tones from the amp. I really do believe a lot of the negatives regarding the Lonestars are from folks who were unable to dial it in correctly. Not surprising at all as it took me a while to "get it". Once you do, and it's not rocket science, it is capable of getting a nice EL-84 chime and some tremendous low-gain od tones. It's not at it's best with high gain stuff.
    As far as headroom goes, my 1x12 has more than enough for my small club gigs. Only downside - it's freakin' heavy.
     
  18. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    I went from a 30 watt LSS with 4 el84's to a Budda SDII 18 watt with two el84's and I get more clean headroom out of the Budda than i did out of the LSS ( I'm telling ya it's true )

    Also since the budda was 20 to 30 pounds lighter and sounded as good ( albeit in a different way ) the LSS was eventually sold on ebay and I still gig with my Budda to this dayalmost two years later.

    I thought the LSS sounded nice for sure - but there was a grainy quality ( i dont mean that in a bad way ) introduced on the clean channel before it was very loud.

    Both el84 amps and the lower wattage one gets more headroom...

    So tubes certainley play a role for sure - but there are other factors as well most certainley IMHO.

    Overall the LSS and LSC are wonderful sounding amps, but the weight and sweat to get into clubs and function halls a few times a week wasn't worth the effort ( at my advancing age )...
     
  19. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    I just noted your wanting to perhaps pick up an LSC, too.

    I have and have had a lot of pretty good amps (including my current LSS and I used to have an LSC head- I sold the LSC when I bought a Carr Slant 6V- the Carr is a better amp, the LSC is a better amp for the money).

    With an LSS head, an LSC head, and a solid 2 x12 cab, you'd be just about set. Headroom, blackface, jangle, tweed, kinda Marshall.

    I swear someday that's where I'll wind up. Well, with my Germino, too.:AOK
     

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