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Mezzabarba vs Mesa

Badside

Member
Messages
1,553
Correct me if I’m wrong but Dumble’s were hot rodded Fender circuits. The Fillmore was their attempt at a dream blackface Fender with more gain on tap etc, but ultimately I’ll never use it if I have the Bloomfield, it’s a different class.

I’m just wondering if anyone has experience with Mezzabarba amps, and if they’re all they’re cracked up to be.
I love my Mini Mark, but am looking for a high gain high headroom beast
Dumble is way more than a hot rodded Fender. While it has an overall architecture that is similar in clean mode, the tone stack is entirely different, and the Overdrive mode is something that Fender has never done to my knowledge, certainly not on a Blackface amp. The only other amp I know that works this way for overdrive is the Mesa Mark series (but Mesa doesn't have the unique Dumble tone stack)

The only Mesa amp based on a Blackface is the Mark

The Fillmore is based on the tweed Bassman. The fact that they made it look like a Blackface can be confusing but Randall himself confirmed it. The thing is, the tweed Bassman did not have the ability to get that much preamp overdrive, so it's like Randall's idea of what a high gain tweed Bassman could have been.

I also did not care for the Fillmore's drive sound, but has very little to do with other amps by Mesa.

The Badlander on the other hand might be one of my favorite high gain amps ever, period.
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,553
Ok, anyone able to compare a Diezel VH2 to the M Zero Overdrive ??
The Diezel is significantly cheaper, but I’m only able to test the Mezzabarba before buying.
Planning on a V30 equipped 4x12…..cheers
You need to check out Kyle Bull's channel on YouTube (someone posted a video of his earlier in this thread). He demos and compares basically every high gain amp ever created. @BadSeed is is name here.
 

somedude

Member
Messages
8,032
IMO, buying an amp based on specs is generally a bad idea.

What you’re essentially doing is spending your money based on an assumption that an amp with the specs you want will produce the sound you want.

This entire forum is full of people who got excited, spent a fortune, tried to convince themselves that they really liked their super expensive thing, then took a bath when it came time to sell a boutique thing on the used market.

Now… I’m not saying not to buy the amp. I am saying to make sure you actually like the sound of it before diving into the deep end.
 
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Reactions: C-4
Messages
1,855
Always been a high gain player, and Boogie was the brand I aspired to owning for years. Have had a Mesa MkV 25 since 2017, amazing “little” amp. Has its flaws, doesn’t break up well, volume taper on channel one is unusable, b for furious riffing it’s seriously amazing.
"Unusable" volume taper on ch. 1? That's very weird.

Where do you have the Gain control set? On most Mesa/Boogies with Gain controls on their clean channels, you want the Gain set around noon to start with (i.e. in Clean and Fat modes), and then you tweak up and down from there. A lot of people seem to get thrown off by the term "gain," because this is the clean channel, right?, and they end up running the channel with the gain nearly off and the Master at 10, which would make it unusable, and which isn't great for the amp, either.

You may know all this already, in which case, never mind, but if you've got Gain set way low on channel 1 of the Mark V:25, try putting it in Clean or Fat mode and turning Gain up to midway. The Master will work way better after that.
 

Mowgli86

Member
Messages
40
Dumble is way more than a hot rodded Fender. While it has an overall architecture that is similar in clean mode, the tone stack is entirely different, and the Overdrive mode is something that Fender has never done to my knowledge, certainly not on a Blackface amp. The only other amp I know that works this way for overdrive is the Mesa Mark series (but Mesa doesn't have the unique Dumble tone stack)

The only Mesa amp based on a Blackface is the Mark

The Fillmore is based on the tweed Bassman. The fact that they made it look like a Blackface can be confusing but Randall himself confirmed it. The thing is, the tweed Bassman did not have the ability to get that much preamp overdrive, so it's like Randall's idea of what a high gain tweed Bassman could have been.

I also did not care for the Fillmore's drive sound, but has very little to do with other amps by Mesa.

The Badlander on the other hand might be one of my favorite high gain amps ever, period.
Yeah I feel like the best of the Fillmore comes when you add a drive pedal. Very versatile amp and I’ve decided to keep it after finding some epic tones with a LP and Duellist pedal, some delay and reverb.
It was my understanding from the video with Andy Timmons that it was based on the blackface, but all that really matters is if you like the sound or not I guess.
Mr Bull wasn’t so sold on the Diezel after all eh…..
 

Mowgli86

Member
Messages
40
IMO, buying an amp based on specs is generally a bad idea.

What you’re essentially doing is spending your money based on an assumption that an amp with the specs you want will produce the sound you want.

This entire forum is full of people who got excited, spent a fortune, tried to convince themselves that they really liked their super expensive thing, then took a bath when it came time to sell a boutique thing on the used market.

Now… I’m not saying not to buy the amp. I am saying to make sure you actually like the sound of it before diving into the deep end.
Amen. I would never buy a guitar I’d never played before, and the same should go for the amp too.
I got sucked into the Fractal community and was convinced it was the future, finally tried the FM3 and sent it back the following day. You gotta try to know what you like…..

The reason I ordered a Bloomfield Drive is because I spent two weeks with a friend’s one.
I have the chance to plug into a Badlander and M Zero OD next month in the U.K, but not a Diezel, so I’ll have to eliminate that.

It’s going to take a lot to better the Mark V 25’s gain sounds, just epic.
 

Mowgli86

Member
Messages
40
"Unusable" volume taper on ch. 1? That's very weird.

Where do you have the Gain control set? On most Mesa/Boogies with Gain controls on their clean channels, you want the Gain set around noon to start with (i.e. in Clean and Fat modes), and then you tweak up and down from there. A lot of people seem to get thrown off by the term "gain," because this is the clean channel, right?, and they end up running the channel with the gain nearly off and the Master at 10, which would make it unusable, and which isn't great for the amp, either.

You may know all this already, in which case, never mind, but if you've got Gain set way low on channel 1 of the Mark V:25, try putting it in Clean or Fat mode and turning Gain up to midway. The Master will work way better after that.
I either use the clean channel exactly as you said, or on crunch mode with the gain on full, but it goes from zero to ear bleeding very fast, then flubs out. It’s immense, but flawed. Maybe it’s just my amp……
 

C-4

Member
Messages
14,512
IMO, buying an amp based on specs is generally a bad idea.

What you’re essentially doing is spending your money based on an assumption that an amp with the specs you want will produce the sound you want.

This entire forum is full of people who got excited, spent a fortune, tried to convince themselves that they really liked their super expensive thing, then took a bath when it came time to sell a boutique thing on the used market.

Now… I’m not saying not to buy the amp. I am saying to make sure you actually like the sound of it before diving into the deep end.
I agree with this assessment. I tried a lot of boutique amps, decided on Diezel and played them for 20 years until I couldn't lift them for load in/out any longer due to my age.

Prior to that I played Marshall amps, realized that Marshall and Vox were the sounds I preferred to everything else I owned and ever played, and went back to them. Most boutique amps are trying to get their take on one of the big three amp companies, with notable exceptions, of course.

If I could do it all again, I would stick to the basic big three amp companies, Fender, Marshall, and Vox. In the end, I was far more satisfied with my tones through one of these, then all the money and time I spent with Mesa, et. al.

ymmv :)
 

hawoe

Member
Messages
36
I can't say much about Mesas. But I am a very very happy owner of an MZeroOD for half a year now.

I was attracted to it by Eric Steckel's sound and demos. After playing a Komet and a SLO for more than 15 years I have the feeling that the MZero is the best of both worlds. Really great cleans and crunch (much better than my 2003 SLO) and the OD channel is the best (clear, defined but also raw) - of course everything is subjective ;-) Also it is not just a SLO clone - I think it has its own character which I like much better and which made me sell my trusty SLO and not regretting it. Also the Komet is on trial now. Plus the MZeroOD sounds great with single coils / vintage strats (which is not often the case with high gain amps).

Pierangelo Mezzabarba is a pleasure to deal with. The only drawback was, that I couldn't test it before - but I definitely did not regret it!!!

And - the Skill 30 might be similar to the MZeroOD but according to my experiences there is quite a gap tone(quality)-wise.

Two Rocks are in a completely different sound "camp" - here it really makes sense to have both ;-)
 
Messages
1,855
I either use the clean channel exactly as you said, or on crunch mode with the gain on full, but it goes from zero to ear bleeding very fast, then flubs out. It’s immense, but flawed. Maybe it’s just my amp……
Yeah, that's very odd. Never heard of that problem with a Mark V before. It's probably not worth messing around to find out, but I wonder if you somehow got the wrong value or taper on your ch. 1 Master pot.
 

Mowgli86

Member
Messages
40
Yeah, that's very odd. Never heard of that problem with a Mark V before. It's probably not worth messing around to find out, but I wonder if you somehow got the wrong value or taper on your ch. 1 Master pot.
Oh no I’ll be leaving it alone. I love the amp, it will die with me, just has a few small drawbacks
 

Mowgli86

Member
Messages
40
I can't say much about Mesas. But I am a very very happy owner of an MZeroOD for half a year now.

I was attracted to it by Eric Steckel's sound and demos. After playing a Komet and a SLO for more than 15 years I have the feeling that the MZero is the best of both worlds. Really great cleans and crunch (much better than my 2003 SLO) and the OD channel is the best (clear, defined but also raw) - of course everything is subjective ;-) Also it is not just a SLO clone - I think it has its own character which I like much better and which made me sell my trusty SLO and not regretting it. Also the Komet is on trial now. Plus the MZeroOD sounds great with single coils / vintage strats (which is not often the case with high gain amps).

Pierangelo Mezzabarba is a pleasure to deal with. The only drawback was, that I couldn't test it before - but I definitely did not regret it!!!

And - the Skill 30 might be similar to the MZeroOD but according to my experiences there is quite a gap tone(quality)-wise.

Two Rocks are in a completely different sound "camp" - here it really makes sense to have both ;-)
This is great to hear thanks. I’d be doing the same as you and buying blind, and you’re right, Pierangelo is super helpful. Eric Steckel’s demos are immense, it was those that attracted me too.
 

Dr Zaius

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,665
You need to check out Kyle Bull's channel on YouTube (someone posted a video of his earlier in this thread). He demos and compares basically every high gain amp ever created.
It's interesting you bring up Kyle's channel, because in his video of the Mezzabarba MZero he proclaimed it "the best amp I have ever played."

A SLO-100 mated to a Marshall power section does sound like a great idea, but I have not personally heard any Mezzabarba yet.
 
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