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Mesa's are noisy and so are other boutique amps. Robert Cray show

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,117
People here always complain about Mesa's hissy and what not. But I saw Robert this year and his Matchless and Fender were noisy too, in that song where he plays softer and softer. After a while it was hissy and buzz through the FOH...

BUT really for the most part it was no big deal. I just tracked some parts and even though the amps was hissy on idle, the noise was gone by the time we set the record levels to not clip and we did not even have to use a noise gate. Basically the hiss was below the noise floor coming through the recording monitors

So I am really wondering if all the noise complaints is warranted? Are these by by people who do not gig or record enough or expect the ambient noise of a tube amp to be as low as MacBook on idle.

Another man's quite may be another man's jackhammer.

I do not have an SPL meter at the moment, but may I suggest that when you complain hissy maybe we should get an objective measurement like the actual dB from a noise meter.
 

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,117
Hey how you doin, come here often? What's the SPL on your hissy?
I come here in bursts. Once I go back to CA for work you won't hear much from me.

I should measure it. It looks like there is a sensor app for Android. But just in my house,when the furnace has kicked in and blowing air out the vents and then the sound of the fridge, unless I stick my ear on speaker or very close to the fan of the Blue Angel a notorious hissy Mesa amp, it really is a non issue, it doesn't stand out If course it cannot compete with the noise floor of my Yamaha monitors and my 24 track mixer, yes it is noisier than that but I also have an older made in Japan JC-120, that has more hiss albeit higher frequency, the Mesa has a lower frequency whoosh.

Yeah this thread is pointless.
 

FourT6and2

Member
Messages
2,100
In all seriousness there are ways to reduce hiss. Hiss is usually thermal noise. Resistors in the amp heat up under load. And heat = noise. Resistors rated for higher wattage resist heat better. So a 2-watt resistor is going to induce less noise into the circuit than a 1/2-watt resistor. That's just one example, there are other ways to reduce hiss. But it's probably not worth the trouble to go in and replace every resistor in an amp.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,117
That's the single coils in the Strat to me.

I get that whenever I play a Strat.
 

Phletch

Senior Member
Messages
9,896
Buzzing and humming may be the product of single coils (hence the development of the hum-bucking pickup). It could also be the product of some kind of electrical grounding issue.

Hiss, though, seems to be a different creature altogether. My amp (and just about any amp I've ever used) hisses when it's turned up loud, even without a guitar plugged into it. However, it's not noticeable once we're playing. I've recorded like that too, and it's not an issue in the mix. Even on the isolated track, the hiss barely comes through.
 

Tommy_G

Member
Messages
2,684
From what I have read 12AX7A or 7025 tubes are the better part of the hissy amp cure, particularly in Mesa amps like my Maverick..My most played amp btw...sits next to a JCM 800 2204 and a Reinhardt 20W plexi clone.
 

FourT6and2

Member
Messages
2,100
From what I have read 12AX7A or 7025 tubes are the better part of the hissy amp cure, particularly in Mesa amps like my Maverick..My most played amp btw...sits next to a JCM 800 2204 and a Reinhardt 20W plexi clone.
Those are just low(er) gain tubes. You can accomplish the same thing by just turning the gain down on your amp...
 

C-4

Member
Messages
14,207
mebbe was single-coil pickups?? (I've been using Kinmans for YEARS)

I believe this is it. Every time I use sc pickups, and add saturation, the noise starts. It has become unbearable in live situations for me. I will be looking into some type of strat and tele in the next couple of years and Kinmans will be put into those guitars.

Sometimes, it's due to the foot toys being used, and other times, it's due to the overdrive from the amps, which use cascading channels. ymmv
 

halcyon

Member
Messages
3,613
<shrug> Every Mesa amp that I've owned has been hissy (Dual Rec, Mark V, Express). Playing in a band context it's obviously not an issue. Playing alone, just guitar, I find it distracting and unpleasant.

I want to like Mesa amps, but I probably won't bother with them again. The hiss was noticeably more present than in any of my other high-gain amps, all other elements of my setup being equal.
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,152
It's Cray's P'uPs. I noticed it when he opened for Tina Turner in London back in the 80's.
Best, Pete.
 

Guitarwiz007

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,311
I'm sure it was the single coils. A Strat will elicit a hum in no matter what amp you plug into once you are at playing volume. This is the reason I switched to DiMarzio Areas on almost all my single coils. :cool:
 

PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
9,515
Mesas are noisy? Compared to what? They're quieter at similar gain and volume levels by a long shot compared to Marshall JVM's, 5150 III's, 6505's, Oranges.....
 

Sirloin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,538
I can hear John Bonham's kick drum pedal squeaking on some Zep recordings. Ask me if I care.

I have a couple of Marshall clone circuits (Germino Lead 55LV and Ceriatone 2204) and they are quite quiet when it comes to hiss even when cranked up.

If I get any 60 cycle hum it is some outside interference or pickups, etc.

noisy amps could be poor design, drifting component values, bad tubes, poor lead dress, dirty AC power.
 

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,117
I use an SPAX7 on the Blue Angel. I have changed all the tubes, it has a hiss/whoosh unless you disconnect the Mojo module but then you lose the loop plus I like the sound with the Mojo Module. My point on the thread is that good sounding amps may or may not hiss and that hiss level can bother some and some not. Once the music is going or the the tape rolling it doesn't really matter

No it wasn't SC hum on the Robert Show. His Matchless sounds really good and so is that Vibrolux I think, but they were not MacBook quite.
 






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