Mesa TC50 vs Fillmore 50

lifebreath

Member
Messages
43
I've played both, owned the TC-50. The TC-50 is a mix up of vintage/modern tones while I feel the Fillmore is more of a pure vintage amp to about the late 70s/early 80s level of gain. The Fillmore covers a lot of Fender Bassman & Blackface like clean sounds.

The TC-50 is sort of an evolution of the Mesa Stiletto/Royal Atlantic and other previous 'British' style amps. Its brighter and more tight in the bass than most Mesa amps and is fairly simple to dial in as well. Channel 2 has a lot of classic crunch and breakup, kind of getting into Marshall territory but overall its smoother and more refined to me and not as 'raw'. It sounds more like a modified Marshall at best and as you dial the gain up it becomes more of classic singing Boogie sound. Channel 3 takes it a step further and it becomes more compressed and softer and goes right into a more modern distorted sound with a lot of sustain. It reminds me of the vintage mode on a Dual Rectifier but with less bass.

Both amps have amazing clean tones, the TC-50 I find to be more 'hi-fi' and crisp where I feel the Fillmore is more round and glassy all though both amps cleans change a lot as you tweak the gain and other knobs so this is really just a general description. For me personally I prefer the Fillmore cleans as I like the more scooped Fender clean sound, especially with single coils.. but they are both really good clean channels.

Summary: If you want a mix of British style gain sounds and classic Mesa sound and more modern gain structure.. buy the TC-50. If you want a mix of vintage Fender/Mesa sounds.. buy the Fillmore.
I own both plus ... Fillmore 50, Fillmore 25, TC-50 and Mark V 35. I've had the Fillmore and Mark for going on a couple years, but just recently bought the TC.

Fillmore is definitely vintage fender-based with some additional gain options. I have a blackface Deluxe Reverb, and I can dial in the Fillmore pretty close. It makes a great pedal platform. The two identical channels with 3-way voicing toggle make it quite versatile. For my purposes, I set it up for slightly dirty clean on channel 1 and grindy mid-gain on channel 2 as a pedal platform. The other way that makes sense to me is to set up both sides as edge of breakup, one side for Les Paul/humbuckers and the other for single-coil as a pedal platform. Regardless, the voice is American.

TC-50 definitely has significant British voicing. The LO channel (middle) has Marshall crang. It's not exactly Marshall, but it's well in that camp. (For reference, I have a 70's JMP 2204 head). The HI channel is still leaning British, but with more mid fullness introduced. This is the Marshall-Mark bastard lovechild. The Clean channel is difficult to define. It's a beautiful clean, but not quite the Fender sonic envelope. The mids are more Boogie. (For reference, blackface and silverface Deluxe Reverbs, silverface Princeton Reverb). I'm classic rock, so I am gravitating to set up the clean for mid-gain sizzle, middle as mid-high gain Marshall and HI as American/British crunch.

The TC is NOT a Mark series amp. I like my Mark V 35, but it doesn't hit the mark for me as a main gigging amp. I have come to the same conclusion that many others have about the Mark V not really being a viable channel switching gigging amp. It would be a good amp to have in a studio, IMO.

Either the Fillmore or the TC absolutely works as a giging amp.
 

ufguy73

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,722
I own both plus ... Fillmore 50, Fillmore 25, TC-50 and Mark V 35. I've had the Fillmore and Mark for going on a couple years, but just recently bought the TC.

Fillmore is definitely vintage fender-based with some additional gain options. I have a blackface Deluxe Reverb, and I can dial in the Fillmore pretty close. It makes a great pedal platform. The two identical channels with 3-way voicing toggle make it quite versatile. For my purposes, I set it up for slightly dirty clean on channel 1 and grindy mid-gain on channel 2 as a pedal platform. The other way that makes sense to me is to set up both sides as edge of breakup, one side for Les Paul/humbuckers and the other for single-coil as a pedal platform. Regardless, the voice is American.

TC-50 definitely has significant British voicing. The LO channel (middle) has Marshall crang. It's not exactly Marshall, but it's well in that camp. (For reference, I have a 70's JMP 2204 head). The HI channel is still leaning British, but with more mid fullness introduced. This is the Marshall-Mark bastard lovechild. The Clean channel is difficult to define. It's a beautiful clean, but not quite the Fender sonic envelope. The mids are more Boogie. (For reference, blackface and silverface Deluxe Reverbs, silverface Princeton Reverb). I'm classic rock, so I am gravitating to set up the clean for mid-gain sizzle, middle as mid-high gain Marshall and HI as American/British crunch.

The TC is NOT a Mark series amp. I like my Mark V 35, but it doesn't hit the mark for me as a main gigging amp. I have come to the same conclusion that many others have about the Mark V not really being a viable channel switching gigging amp. It would be a good amp to have in a studio, IMO.

Either the Fillmore or the TC absolutely works as a giging amp.
great summation - i’ve really loved my TC-100 and i suspect it’s because i feel most comfortable with marshall-based gain and eq. The TC has enough of that - but enough different from it that it feels additive to what I have.

i have been trying to stretch my boundaries more with a Mark V recently. It’s funny what you say about the channel switching. i know many that say you absolutely can go from clean to crunch to high gain - and i guess you can but, so far, for me it’s not a cohesive switch to each like a true channel switcher (eg TC). The V is still like going between 3 separate amps to me - the gain structure and eq are just too different. That said, you absolutely can dial each channel to a killer version of whatever mode you want - but it’s jarring to go to another channel until your ears adjust.

i haven’t had a chance to try the fillmore, yet - i really like the Cali Tweed and there are some similarities, as i understand it...i’m just not sure i would like the Fillmore even more than the Lone Star, which i thought was an awesome amp (despite what many deride about its gain channel).
 

TubeStack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,461
Can anyone compare the TC50 to an Electra Dyne? I know the preamp of the crunch channel is similar, but have also read that the TC is more similar in sound/feel to a Stiletto.

I have an ED head that I LOVE, and ended up sticking with after owning a Stiletto Deuce head and Royal Atlantic combo, which I liked but didn’t love as much as the ED, which has now been my main amp for going on four years.

I've always wanted to try the TC and there are deals near me on both the combo and the head, but I'm wondering if I’d just want to stick with the Electra Dyne in the end, anyway.

Can anyone compare the two?
 

244300

Formerly posted as MkIIC+
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,911
The simplest way to put it is vintage vs modern. Fillmore has old school grease to it. TC more refined, tighter and exact. Having both would make a lot of sense - they are that different.
I have both the Triple Crown 100 head and the Fillmore 50 head. They are very different and very desirable. The TC scratches that seventies Britsh rock lo-gain vibe for me with the kicker of a hi-gain channel for extra gain-y leads. I particularly like the Fillmore with a Strat or Tele and I typicially used clean and lo-gain settings. Together they cover lots of ground. Beautifully so. They cured me of keep the Mark V head and combo that I owned. My only other Mesa is King Snake combo which is it's own thing too. I have all the Mesas I'll ever need.
 




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