Mesa TC-100 For Home Use?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GregS, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. GregS

    GregS Member

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    Hi all. I’m seriously considering a Mesa TC-100 amp for use at home. While a 100 watt amp may not make a lot of sense for home use, I would be counting on the built-in attenuation settings to make it useable. I want the amp to sound big, like a 100 watt amp can, without being overly loud. I’m hoping people who have played or own this amp can tell me if that’s realistic or not. The Mesa videos with Andy Timmons are what have sold me on this amp so far. Those videos are exactly the kind of tones I’m after. Great clean, crunch and a searing lead when needed. And, the 6V6 tube option can drop the wattage considerably when needed.
    Please let me know if I’m chasing a dream or am being realistic about what I can get from this amp at home-friendly volumes. I appreciate any feedback you can offer!
     
  2. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    I have a TC50 and it has an excellent global master volume which lets you crank up the gain and channel volumes and lower the overall volume using the global master. And that's without any built in attenuation like the TC100 has.

    I say go for it.
     
  3. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    This guy nails is, exactly what I was gonna say. IMO you don't really need the attenuator on the TC-100 as the TC-50 and TC-100 both have a master volume for each channel and a global output/master volume. This allows you to get 'cranked' tones at any volume without an attenuator.

    The main reasons to go for the TC-100 is if you want controllable wattage/modes for how the power section breaks up with the power tubes and it lets you manage the breakup/volume different ways in the amp. Also it has 'more iron' so its got some bigger components that change the bass response and other aspects of the amp. Not to mention it has 2 more power tubes and more overall headroom.

    Personally though I find the TC-50 to be enough. I never really ran my amps in lower wattage modes as it is, and since the TC-50 already has such good volume controls I find no benefit in an attenuator. Also I like having to replace less tubes on it vs the TC-100 which is more expensive to re-tube. Last but not least.. the TC-50 is about 15 pounds lighter.. which is quite a bit when you have to carry it any real distance.

    Both amps are great, I got the TC-50 used and have no desire for the TC-100 at this point. Either amp is great and especially at home they're both basically overkill amps but are both usable at home.
     
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  4. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    While this allows for good control over the volume, it is not the same as cranking the amp. The attenuator on the 100W would allow this for real but whether the amp benefits from it is another question.
     
  5. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    Not with this amp. If you read the manual it explains it. Mesa's breakup much differently as it is, they don't really need to be cranked to get good compression and dynamics when playing through it.
     
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  6. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    What cabinet/speakers would you be running through?
     
  7. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    Mesa power sections are generally designed to stay clean. Their dirt is mostly preamp.
     
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  8. Coopster

    Coopster Member

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    I'm a home player and I've got the TA-100, basically the precursor to the TC-100. Had it about a week and haven't had tons of time yet to really dig in to it but I've played around with the power soaks and all the variable knobery just to see what's up and I've run it through a Thiele 112 and a Rectifier 212 both. The mv in conjunction with the gain is very flexible and easy to get a good sound at lower settings in either the 50 watt or 100 watt mode. The power soak, while affecting the volume to some degree, is basically as you say...more for managing the response and breakup. I've found the Thiele cab to be better sounding at lower volumes with it, it maintains it's bottom end nicely without losing highs, just really well balanced. The Rec cab needs more volume to sound good, otherwise it's a bit boxy. I have to drop my bass considerably and crank up my treble and mids a little to get decent anything after 10 p.m. So basically cab is a big part of it here. My 112 has the Fillmore 75 speaker in it which I love. I've got a couple of Eminence CV-75's sitting around that I may load up in the 212 and see what I get. They sounded great in a couple of oversized 112's I had previously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  9. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Is there a Mesa dealer near you? The best way to find out is to go give one an honest try.
     
  10. rock4ever

    rock4ever Member

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    Go for it. I have a TC-100 that I only use at home for jamming. It sounds great in a room at low volumes, even at full power.

    In addition there is a headphone jack on the rear panel. I've not used it yet though so I can not say how it sounds.
     
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  11. Coopster

    Coopster Member

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    If it's like my Mark V:25 (which I'm sure it is since they're all basically the CabClone) it's alright. It'll get you by. The one thing I'll warn if you use it is, don't forget to turn the volume back down when you unplug them. :rotflmao
     
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  12. In Absentia

    In Absentia Supporting Member

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    I use a 100w head at home at tv volume with no issues. They key is the master and the TC100 is very, very good.
     
  13. GregS

    GregS Member

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    I would be getting the matching vertical 2x12 Mesa cab. I believe they have Vintage 30 speakers.
     
  14. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    I have the TC100 head for home use. It’s great at low to moderate volumes (or real loud when I want). I’m running it into an Avatar Vintage 212 with Creamback 65s and it’s great. I also have the vertical Mesa 212, but I decided to get the creamback cab to get the more vintage tone vs V30s, and because the creambacks are 3db less efficient. I’m running 6V6 tubes, and it just rocks. The TC100 displaced my Friedman Runt 50 that sounded great but had a very quick to loud master volume taper. With the Runt I had to use my Rockcrusher, but I don’t even use the inbuilt attenuation on the TC100.
     
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  15. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 Member

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    Another TC-100 owner and home player here. You absolutely do not need an attenuator with this amp. The amp gets the vast majority of its tone from the preamp section. If you want to turn it up and get a little tube compression going, you certainly can. Crank those Masters up and use the output knob to turn it up a little...or vice versa. Set built in attenuation to whatever you want. Absolutely fantastic amp and low (or high) volumes.
     
  16. Pongo

    Pongo Member

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    Tubes are stone age tech and all amps sound better turned up, but this isn't 1973. There are numerous modern, 100-watt amps on the market that can sound excellent at any volume. Many of them happen to be built by Mesa, and the TC-100 is one of 'em!

    I had a 100 in my studio for a few months and incurred zero noise complaints. It's a great amp, and will sound good even when you don't wanna wake up the rest of the house (but of course, turn it up as often as you can)...
     
  17. Coopster

    Coopster Member

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    Just learned that if I turn the multi soak switch off, the boxiness goes away! :eek:
     
  18. DC42

    DC42 Supporting Member

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    I am an at home player with this amp. On hand are speakers and cabs to handle 50W and down. The channel EQ controls have a nice taper to them. A slight movement is not 0 - 100 mph so tones can be easily dialed in. One of the two gems of this amp for an at home player is the output control. Once the channel EQ is set along with the master one can dial in the desired room volume with the output.

    The second gem which is really useful for me is the line output. The CAB clone feature works nice with a choice of cab (vintage, modern, etc) however this amp offers a direct line out. The raw sound of the amp. There is a shut off speaker option where the amp now deals with the power load. I run a the line out into an audio device (Focusrite Scarlett 2i4) then into my PC. Once into the PC I use Reaper to load cabinet - speaker IR's for some killer tones. Plus at this point I can use the 100W setting which is a bonus. Listen through headphones without disturbing anyone in the house or outside the windows. It is almost summer in the Northeast US and I do not have central air. That means the windows are open with neighbors right outside the windows. No need to torture them with one of my 1976 riffing flashbacks. Using the line out I can take advantage of the amps power and keep the peace with those around me.

    Nice amp....have come up with nice tones using all the various wattage settings either through cab - speakers or into my PC. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  19. GregS

    GregS Member

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    That is very helpful. Thank you.
    Yesterday, I was able to demo a Tc-50 at a local dealer (about an hour away). It was worth the drive because playing through the amp made me realize there’s a big difference between YouTube videos and the real thing. Here’s my take: The clean channel is good. Not great, but good. The high gain channel was about what I expected. But, I’m not typically a high gain guy. I expected to live on the clean and lo channels getting a great crunch on that channel. Unfortunately, it didn’t sound like I thought it would. Too much fizzy gain and not enough articulate crunch. I tried a lot of different settings but ended up walking away. I know the TC-100 has the attenuation feature, but I don’t think that will change the tone much. My impression is that the TC family is aimed at more modern players.
    Long story short: the sales guy encouraged me to try a Fillmore 25 combo. I expected to be unimpressed. Wrong. I was really impressed with it. Great clean and smooth gain available when dialed in. I can’t remember the last time I plugged into an amp at a music store and did a double take because it sounded so good. That was completely unexpected.
    My search has now shifted toward a Fillmore - likely a head and cab. Thank you everyone for the input. This has been a very interesting learning experience. I’ve never pursued a Mesa product before. But, the Fillmore may end up being the one I was looking for all along.
     
  20. DC42

    DC42 Supporting Member

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    I was on the fence between the Fillmore and TC. Love the vintage gain tones that I hear with the Fillmore. Would like to try one sometime.

    Good luck with your tone quest!
     

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