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Mesa Royal Atlantic sounds so bad quiet. LOUD though ...

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
I was putting my Royal through it's paces today and was again quite amazed at how much better the amp sounds at loud volumes. I think the ideal settings for the amp are to have it loud and the attenuators on the first click. With the slightest attenuation engaged, the amp gains some much needed compression -- especially on clean channel.

What did I learn today? For starters, the cleans have too much treble present for my tastes. I think turning up the gain (just past 1:00) and backing off of the treble and bass (below noon) really makes the amp's clean tones that much better at loud volumes. The cleans really take on a nice warmth and round tonality.

The dirt channel (Hi) sounds really good with Mesa's "Alt Rock" settings, but with the gain backed off to around 1:00. The thing just rips.

It's not too often I can crank the amp outside of gigs and band practice. Today was just perfect though. I cranked the amp at home and really spent time dialing and tweaking -- not that there is much to tweak.

Last observation? The amp is dead quiet and the reverb is extremely usable (without introducing any noise). I had the verb cranked and couldn't believe how cavernous and lush things sounded. I usually prefer my Space for reverb on my past amps. I've always found spring reverbs to either be lacking or too lush to be usable. The Royal is such the exception.

Still though, the amp is way too fricken heavy to cart around.
 
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lang.murphy

Member
Messages
3,582
Okay... gotta ask... since I cannot find it on the interwebby thing... how much does the head weigh?

Boy, I bet this amp is scha-weeeeet! It caught my eye as soon as it was announced. I'd love to hear one in person...
 

SG_Seth

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
It's over 60 lbs. Heavy, but its a Mesa so that's a given.

I'm gonna try some of the settings the OP suggested. I can get some pretty useable tones at low volumes using the attenuators. I think it may be a better low volume amp than my MkV (which is one of the ultimate low volume amps).

As with any tube amp, they all sound better cranked. But this is certainly NOT like the Electradyne where it ONLY sounds good cranked. The low volume tones are more than good on the RA. The cranked tones are some of the best hot rodded Marshall tones I've come across. Beautiful sounding amp.
 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
It's over 60 lbs. Heavy, but its a Mesa so that's a given.

I'm gonna try some of the settings the OP suggested. I can get some pretty useable tones at low volumes using the attenuators. I think it may be a better low volume amp than my MkV (which is one of the ultimate low volume amps).

As with any tube amp, they all sound better cranked. But this is certainly NOT like the Electradyne where it ONLY sounds good cranked. The low volume tones are more than good on the RA. The cranked tones are some of the best hot rodded Marshall tones I've come across. Beautiful sounding amp.
Yeah, the Royal really needs volume more than most Mesa's though. The added power adds warmth from the power section.

Here is how I just had the amp set, and it sounded even better than I previously stated:

No attenuation, 50 watts

Clean

Gain 1:00, Treble 10:00, Mids 10:30, Bass 10:30, Master 12:00

Hi/Lo

Gain 1:00, Treble 1:00, Mids 8:30/9:00, Bass 1:00, Master 12:00

The amp is set very loud.

SG_Seth -- I didn't use an SG for this, but a Strat with humbuckers. Normally, I use my SG though. To be honest, the SG and my Strat are pretty similar. The Strat is a Custom Shop one, with some fancy humbucker my tech dropped in it. I don't recall the model though. I don't get to carried away with name brands and gear, when it comes to small things like humbuckers. I just tell the tech what I want, he gives me options, and I go with it and have my guitar setup.

If you get the chance, try these settings out and tell me how you liked the sound.

I tried the 100 watts and liked it, but it took away some of the slight grit I got from my cleans.
 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
Okay... gotta ask... since I cannot find it on the interwebby thing... how much does the head weigh?

Boy, I bet this amp is scha-weeeeet! It caught my eye as soon as it was announced. I'd love to hear one in person...
Dude, I have the combo and it weighs 90 lbs. It's the one of the few things I dislike about the amp. That, and the fact that I feel like it sounds sort of "meh" and "just okay" at quieter volumes.
 

SG_Seth

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
Yeah, the Royal really needs volume more than most Mesa's though. The added power adds warmth from the power section.

Here is how I just had the amp set, and it sounded even better than I previously stated:

No attenuation, 50 watts

Clean

Gain 1:00, Treble 10:00, Mids 10:30, Bass 10:30, Master 12:00

Hi/Lo

Gain 1:00, Treble 1:00, Mids 8:30/9:00, Bass 1:00, Master 12:00

The amp is set very loud.

SG_Seth -- I didn't use an SG for this, but a Strat with humbuckers. Normally, I use my SG though. To be honest, the SG and my Strat are pretty similar. The Strat is a Custom Shop one, with some fancy humbucker my tech dropped in it. I don't recall the model though. I don't get to carried away with name brands and gear, when it comes to small things like humbuckers. I just tell the tech what I want, he gives me options, and I go with it and have my guitar setup.

If you get the chance, try these settings out and tell me how you liked the sound.

I tried the 100 watts and liked it, but it took away some of the slight grit I got from my cleans.
I used my SG with coil splitting (closest I will come to a strat) - I'm a humbucker guy through and through.

I thought your clean settings are stellar. Great punch and clarity with just a hint if breakup. Sounded fantastic with the neck pup split.

Your gain settings are a little too scooped for my taste and sounded a little ice picky to my ears. Good tone, just not for me. I prefer to run the gain a little hotter with the mids right around noon and the bass and treble set to the room I'm playing. Usually both are above noon.

Thanks for the settings! They were LOUD!
 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
I used my SG with coil splitting (closest I will come to a strat) - I'm a humbucker guy through and through.

I thought your clean settings are stellar. Great punch and clarity with just a hint if breakup. Sounded fantastic with the neck pup split.

Your gain settings are a little too scooped for my taste and sounded a little ice picky to my ears. Good tone, just not for me. I prefer to run the gain a little hotter with the mids right around noon and the bass and treble set to the room I'm playing. Usually both are above noon.

Thanks for the settings! They were LOUD!
Thanks for trying them out! Hey, drop me off your settings some time this week and I'll give them a go. Yeah, I think most people would like a bit more gain added to their "big" rhythm sound, as well as more mids. :bonk

I doubt the lack of mids in my settings above would even be good in a band mix. I'll find out later this week.
 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
SG_Seth -- Do you usually employ the coil-splitting for cleans? I am contemplating putting a humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck of my SG.
 

SG_Seth

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
SG_Seth -- Do you usually employ the coil-splitting for cleans? I am contemplating putting a humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck of my SG.
I have coil splitting on one of my SGs and on my LP. I love it for the neck pickup which is a 57 classic. Not a huge fan of it on the bridge, but I generally dislike the strat bridge pickup sound. It's also cool to mix and match with the middle position, but I rarely play on that setting. I just use the split neck position for fat strat like clean tones. I don't always use it for cleans, but its a terrific option to have at your disposal.
 

SG_Seth

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
Thanks for trying them out! Hey, drop me off your settings some time this week and I'll give them a go. Yeah, I think most people would like a bit more gain added to their "big" rhythm sound, as well as more mids. :bonk

I doubt the lack of mids in my settings above would even be good in a band mix. I'll find out later this week.
I play the head through a recto 212 loaded with a V30 and C90 combo.

At gig volume it's zero attenuation
Gain channel:
Masters at 12
Bass 12-1:30
Middle 12
Treble 11-1
Gain 3

Home volume - attenuators on third click (middle position)
Gain channel:
Masters 10
Bass 1
Middle 10:30
Treble 11:30
Gain 2

I like your clean setting better than mine so I'm stealing it ;)
 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
I play the head through a recto 212 loaded with a V30 and C90 combo.

At gig volume it's zero attenuation
Gain channel:
Masters at 12
Bass 12-1:30
Middle 12
Treble 11-1
Gain 3

Home volume - attenuators on third click (middle position)
Gain channel:
Masters 10
Bass 1
Middle 10:30
Treble 11:30
Gain 2

I like your clean setting better than mine so I'm stealing it ;)
Thanks! I'll give these a go in the next few days and let you know what I think.

Which gain mode do you use for rhythm, and which do you use for lead? I primarily use the Lo channel for complex chording and roll off the gain with my volume pedal. I use Hi for most applications though, including for leads and palm muting. I love Hi mode, especially with the amp wide open and LOUD.

I'll have to try out a Recto cab. I've been thinking of adding a 2x12 to my rig, this way I can prop up the Royal combo to get better sound dispersion to my ears. The Royal combo I have has a ported back and a V-30 and C-90. That might be why I don't perceive as much "ice pick" pick my gain settings. I think the C-90 adds some balance and the overly midrange-heavy V-30s. The open back nature of the ported cab probably also changes things as well. So far, I really like the cab better when it isn't against or near a wall. The sound just seems to be fuller and less muddy. I can't wait to try out a closed cab. I tried the Royal out with a closed cab when I was having my amp search, but that was when I wasn't very experienced with the nuances of the Royal.

What kind of music are you playing?
 

SG_Seth

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,560
Thanks! I'll give these a go in the next few days and let you know what I think.

Which gain mode do you use for rhythm, and which do you use for lead? I primarily use the Lo channel for complex chording and roll off the gain with my volume pedal. I use Hi for most applications though, including for leads and palm muting. I love Hi mode, especially with the amp wide open and LOUD.

I'll have to try out a Recto cab. I've been thinking of adding a 2x12 to my rig, this way I can prop up the Royal combo to get better sound dispersion to my ears. The Royal combo I have has a ported back and a V-30 and C-90. That might be why I don't perceive as much "ice pick" pick my gain settings. I think the C-90 adds some balance and the overly midrange-heavy V-30s. The open back nature of the ported cab probably also changes things as well. So far, I really like the cab better when it isn't against or near a wall. The sound just seems to be fuller and less muddy. I can't wait to try out a closed cab. I tried the Royal out with a closed cab when I was having my amp search, but that was when I wasn't very experienced with the nuances of the Royal.

What kind of music are you playing?
I have a CAE line driver in the loop for lead boosts. I also goose it with a OD9 out front on occasion. I use both gain modes for rhythm and lead. I rarely switch between the two gain modes during the same song and rely on the line driver to stand out on solos.

The recto 212 is a great cab. I bet it would sound MASSIVE with your combo.

I'm a bluesy grungy guy at heart, but my current band is heavily influenced by bands like Muse and NIN. The RA can cover a lot of territory, which I need.
 






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