new stiletto ace owner

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by rickman30, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. rickman30

    rickman30 Member

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    Well I went to get new tubes for my trusty MK IIb and there it was, once I plugged in, it was all she wrote. So now my stable consist of a silver face deluxe reverb, the MK II and a spankin' new Ace. that pretty much covers all the sound I need,... at least for now.
     
  2. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    Great amps, easily one of the very best Mesa has made to date IMHO.
     
  3. egkor

    egkor Member

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    rickman30,

    Congrats on your Ace!

    I found a used Ace 1x12 at a local GC. I'm in my 30 day eval period now.

    There's certainly a lot to love about that amp.

    Please post your experiences with your Ace.

    -Gary K


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  4. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    I heard one at GC a few months ago and it sounded so nice. Started reading about them and people were complaining they were bright and harsh. There was nothing harsh about the one i heard.
     
  5. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

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    I thought the same thing when I swapped a rare Mark IIC+ to my son for his Stiletto Ace 2x12 combo. I'm using single coils only a Nocaster and a R-4 Les Paul......the trick is to turn the treble to about 8:30 and the presence to 9 o'clock with bass to 1:30. This setting has eliminated the brightness and from what I can tell nothing rocks like this amplifier in comboland.....Boogie's website states that this amp sounds like a 4x12 and I wholeheartedly agree! Another flavor of the Ace are nice clean jazz riffs also and cleans that rival several Fenders I've owned.[​IMG]
     
  6. egkor

    egkor Member

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    I'm experiencing the brightness (I haved turned the Treble knobs all the way down). Also the harshness seems to be a scratchy kind of distortion mixed in with the regular output (sound). I hear this even at low volume, so IMHO it is something that originates in the pre-amp section.

    I have called Mesa in Petaluma. Their Cust. Svc. tech's advice: Plug the speaker connector into the Ace rear 4 ohm jack (rather than the 8 ohm jack). That did not solve the problem. I am now attempting to speak to a regional Mesa rep. and see where that goes. I would like for them to send me some preamp tubes to see if that helps.

    If I cannot solve the harshness or bad distortion I am hearing before the 30 day trial period ends, I'm going to return the amp. I don't want to return it, like I said earlier, there is a lot to love about this amp.

    I bypass the effects loop w/ the rear panel switch. I run Spongy power, and Tube Rect. both channels settings. I love that EVH "brown sound" I get with these settings. I use "Crunch" channel 1 and "Tite Gain"/"Fluid Drive" channel 2.

    I use a Mesa 3/4 back 1x12 (w/ Mesa C90) speaker cab and set the Ace on top of it. Nice little stack. I plug the ext. cab into the 4 ohm rear panel jack. This is how I know that the Mesa Tech. suggestion didn't work. The extra cab really gives the Ace a nice woody Marshall sound quality.

    -Gary K
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  7. Jay Strange

    Jay Strange Member

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    You shouldnt have to go through all that to get the amp to sound the way you like it too. Trust me I owned the Ace head and tried evrything man.
    Speaker changes, tube swaps, guitar cables and even had it modded with the same quirks you speak of all because I really like the options the amp has to offer. Stop fightin and take it back.
     
  8. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

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    Set the amp to "fat clean" and set the treble to 8:30 and the presence to 9:00 with the bass to 1:30 and your brightness will disappear.........when you use "crunch" keep the same settings but cut your tone control on the guitar to about half. Remember an EL-34 will indeed be brighter than a 6L6 but it can be tamed..........took me a couple weeks to figure it out.
     
  9. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    This is why I love the darker smooth voicing of the Genz Benz Black Pearl. Maybe it's my age, but I can't take ice pick trebly amps anymore.
     
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I played several of these and I have to say the Clean Channel with the Fat Switch engaged was just one of the sweetest, thickest, and warmest clean tones I've heard. I could not bond with the dirty channel though.

    I really like the layout and simpleness of the amp. 50 watts with the choice of rectifier but not a whole bunch of bells and whistles.

    To me this amp with a more traditional lead channel and some reverb would be insane.
     
  11. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

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    Didn't you just post that there was nothing harsh about the one you heard?:stir
     
  12. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    Yes, the one I heard was stunning. Then I read up on them and it seemed as if everyone was complaining about the ice pick harshness. Read my post.
     
  13. egkor

    egkor Member

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    Hi Jay,

    I believe I have seen your earlier posts about this. Very informative and helpful!

    Some Ace owners don't seem to have these issues. I would like to be one of those! :)

    What I hope will happen is Mesa will provide a new set of pre-amp tubes that I can try. If that does not solve it then likely back it goes.

    I have this amp on 15 mo. 0% interest 0 payments w/ GC, another reason I'd like to keep the amp.

    -Gary K
     
  14. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    I love the 15 mo same as cash program.
     
  15. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I think an MC-90 Speaker in place of the Vintage 30 would help the Lead Tones some.

    I wasnt going to purchase one and find out though.

    The Lead Channel is definately too Bright for me but you must understand I play Telecasters only so that is part of it. This amp with an MC-90 AND A Les Paul with 57 classics might not be as Ice Picky. Tube it up with all JJ ECC83's and JJ KT77's and it might just do the trick. Also maybe a lower gain tube in one of the slots the affect the Lead Channel only.

    Tien at Mesa Boogie told me the Stage I Stiletto had a more traditional Lead Channel but the Clean Channel wasnt as good. He said the Stage I could be modded at the factory to have the Stage II Clean Channel but the Stage II could not be modded to have the Stage I Dirty Channel. Thui is a delima if you tried to do that and wanted a Combo for the Stage I only came in a head which will not fit in a Boogie Combo Cab.
     
  16. andyc

    andyc Member

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    Congratulations on the Ace! :AOK I'm a new Mesa owner (Lonestar Classic) and I don't agree with a lot of the reviews I've read on this amp. I think that Mesa's in general are very misunderstood amps. They need to be setup very differently than most other amps. When you do it right, you get magic. I guess some guys don't want to bother with what they perceive as a hassle. But I'm willing to spend the time, given that I end up with a lot of flexibility I wouldn't otherwise find in an amp.

    Enjoy the Stileto!
     
  17. Jay Strange

    Jay Strange Member

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    I even put in two Scumback H75's and two H55s in a 4X12 and put in Siemens EL34s with RFT's in the preamp which helped a smidge but still had that harshness at meduim to high volume in which the overdrive character sounds the best:puh. The amp strongly favors Les Pauls, but Strats and PRS's beware.... I dont intentionally mean to steer you a way if you like it. It seems you noticed what I noticed and I'm just trying to save you time, money and a sore ear.:)
     
  18. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    There is something people don't realize when they play a Mesa amp.

    The dominant control is the one closest to the guitar plug.
    This means that that is the dominant control and will affect all of the others, that is the reason Marshall players and other brand players cannot get a good sound out of a Mesa , they don't realize that the knobs closest to the guitar plug will affect the sound more than the others if you have them very high.

    For example:

    If you turn the first knob in the chain up (in a Mesa it will be the Gain knob) the amp will sound muddy and/or undefined, therefore you will not have a usable sound.

    So in order to get a good sound with a Mesa you have to keep in mind that the higher the knobs starting the chain are, the other knobs will work in a lesser way.

    So start with all knobs close to 12 and start from there and remember, the higher you use the first knob closest to the guitar plug, the less the others will work.
     
  19. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    by the way, maybe because i have used Mesas for more than 14 years, but it takes me less than 40 seconds to set up a Mesa amp start a show
     
  20. egkor

    egkor Member

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    Jay, thanks! Your experiences with the Ace have been helpful to me, and I would think to anyone interested in the Ace.

    The "ice-pickey"-ness can always be fixed, for example with an EQ in the effects loop.

    Its the unwanted scratchy distortion I sometimes hear in the amp that if I cannot reduce or eliminate it with at least a little effort on my part, then back it goes.

    Even with this issue, for me, the amp is inspiring to play. It makes for a tough descision. :)

    -Gary K
     

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