NAD: Mesa Quad Preamp

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by rstites, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. rstites

    rstites Member

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    On a whim I picked up a Mesa Quad Preamp last week. I've been pretty pumped for it. I received it yesterday and hooked it up today. It took me an embarrassingly long time to get sound out of it. It needs a shorted plug in the back to have any channel selected to get any sound. Then I chased around fading sound issues for some time before realizing that one of my cables had picked this time to get intermittent.

    Anyhow, I've owned a couple of MkIII Boogies for a while and am excited to get a little rack together with more sonic flexibility and stereo effects. Of course, I now need to pick up something to do the switching on it. I need something that can handle 8 channel switching functions. The RJM Amp Gizmo is what stands out as a current production, or a second hand GCX which seem to be easy to come by.

    Of course, the big purchase I really need to accompany this preamp is a tube poweramp. The old Boogie 295/395 and Boogie 400 seem like the natural match for it, but are way overkill for volume and a bit pricey second hand, so I might look elsewhere. (I have a little time here to accumulate funds for the next purchase.)
     
  2. MikeyT

    MikeyT Supporting Member

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    Congrats on the purchase! I picked up a Mesa Quad a while back and modified it with switches to change channels on the front panel (didn't want to hunt down a footswitch). I use a GCX and a Ground Control to switch between my other preamps and effects and it works great. On the amp side I use a Mesa 50/50 if I want to go all Boogie. Quad is a great preamp!
     
  3. rstites

    rstites Member

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    Yeah, right now I have two MkIII's as the power amps, but that isn't the long term solution here.

    I do have a GCX right now, but plan to switch some pedal in/out of the system with that. I do need something new to control preamp switching, but I want something midi.......just not too expensive, right now!
     
  4. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    I’ve found some good deals on the mini RJM gizmos lately. $66 for the Mini Amp Gizmo on eBay last month. $95 for a Switch Gizmo a few months earlier. Just wait and watch, they’ll come up.
     
  5. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    Midi Solutions makes (made?) multi-relay switch control boxes. The Nux PMS-2 does 6 latching outputs—non latched mode is reported to have issues. Rocktron Midi Octopus should be perfect for the Quad but doesn’t come cheap last I saw—too well known?
     
  6. rstites

    rstites Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations. I wasn't aware of the Midi Solutions gear.

    Yes, the Rockman Octopus is definitely a good option, but they're awfully expensive for what they are.
     
  7. Zintolo

    Zintolo Member

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    I have the Quad with the Rockman Octopus that came with it at basically no price at all and it's its perfect companion, but I agree that the price for it is exagerated.
    the reason of course is that is the most known, so lazy people accept to pay more for rather than using other cheaper options that implicate acquire knowledge.
    Everything in the world is like that: you have always to pay to stay a lazy ignorant.
     
  8. Coalface1971

    Coalface1971 Member

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    Nice score.

    When I grabbed my Strategy 500, the guy was selling it in a package with a Quad Pre. I just didn't gel with it, but kinda regret not picking it up as well.

    Get an RJM Mini Amp Gizmo - can be had second hand and are very cool.
     
  9. Zintolo

    Zintolo Member

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    I find crazy (and limiting) the way the Quad midi is managed:
    Rhy1 on MIDI#1
    Lead1 on MIDI#2
    Rhy2 on MIDI#3
    Lead 2 on #4
    Rhy1+EQ on #5
    Lead1+EQ on #6
    Rhy2+EQ on #7
    Lead2+EQ on #8
    Then it loops again from Rhy1 to Lead2+EQ until MIDI #128


     
  10. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    Oof. That doesn’t seem like the smartest implementation. They made you give up the second reverb pan for that?
     
  11. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    i used and liked a boogie 50/50 power amp with my studio preamp in the early 90's. boogie also made a 20/20, iirc, if you need something smaller.
     
  12. rstites

    rstites Member

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    Yeah, I had a 50/50 in the 90's that I used with a Soldano preamp. It was a great amp. I wish I still had it around. It'd be plenty of power for what I need. I find I'm mostly tempted by the older Strategy amps as they just look right in pictures with the Quad. Silly reason, I know! :)

    Right now, I'm using my two MkIII's as poweramps, which works, even if it's equally silly overkill.

    I'm just watching for a good deal on something to channel switch the Quad. I bid on a rough looking RJM Amp Gizmo last night, but lost out. I'll try for another, or still the silly GCX's are even less expensive and can do switching.
     
  13. dpeterson

    dpeterson Member

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    +1 on the midi octopus, it works perfectly with 8 cables lol.. thats what I used with my quad anyway. kind of miss that old hunk of iron.
     
  14. Zintolo

    Zintolo Member

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    Yes, you can't cancel or boost the reverb from midi in the Quad Midi.
     
  15. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    I thought the midi versions also have a different reverb circuit with only one spring pan instead of the paralleled long and medium pans that are mixed in the early units.
     
  16. rstites

    rstites Member

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    I hadn't even realized these came with a midi option. Mine says external switching, midi, but it's just above the eight 1/4" jacks that do the switching. I'm still not entirely certain how they'll work when I get it all hooked up. I know that I can turn on both channels at once, but what happens if I set Lead 1 and Rhythm 1 on at the same time with my controller?

    The two EQ controls are straight forward, but at the bottom there's a Cancel and a Boost label. I have no clue what those do at this point. (I only have one plug that I have to manually move around to turn channels on at that moment.)

    I don't see anything to suggest that I can turn the Reverb on and off on the two channels. Speaking of which, there are two reverb pans internally. Interesting.

    Anyhow, I did find the Manual on the MB website, and I have printed it. So, I'll be reading it and I assume much of the above will become clear.

    Meanwhile, I continue to watch Ebay, Reverb, etc. for an inexpensive 2nd hand midi controller for this thing.
     
  17. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I used to gig with a Quad and 50/50 rig. My friend bought it and probably never uses it. I should buy it back!
     
  18. Zintolo

    Zintolo Member

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    Yes it did, but it should be less popular than the non midi version, also because as you can see the midi version lacks of some functions (blend two channels, cancel or boost reverb).

    The manual suggest to turn on the Rhythm of one channel with the Lead of the other, but you can try also two Rhythms or two Leads. Not on the same channel.

    It cancels or boosts the level of reverb in the overall sound.

    Channel 2 has a lower level of Reverb compared to channel 1. Then you can decide to cancel or boost the "wet" part of the reverb in the overall mix, but not for each single channel when you play them together (so in the case of the second answer of this post).
     
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  19. rstites

    rstites Member

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  20. Koa-Dogg

    Koa-Dogg Member

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    I just got a quad (probably my 10th!) tuesday as well! Using it with a VHT 2/50/2. Sounds good but just got to figure out how balance out the volumes on Channels 1 & 2.
     

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