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Rethinking the whole D-style vs B-style thing. HAD vs Randall!

lemonpaul59

Senior Member
Messages
2,065
I suppose I've been on a D-style rage for some time now, almost totally forsaking my Boogies and Marshall.

I recently fired up my Boogie DC-3 after several recent hours with a Fuchs and a RedPlate. The RedPlate and Boogie both sport some really fine NOS tubes. The Fuchs currently has a NOS-JAN 5751 in the V1 position. Everything else is JJ.

I have to say, if you can't get some great sounds out of all these amps, you stink. The Boogie certainly holds its own with the D-style guys. Really hard to say which of these 3 is "better". Their respective sound qualities tend to overlap a lot. I'd love to be able to compare my Mark IIC+ to a real 1980s Dumble.

The good news? I'll never need to buy a 7 grand D-clone. I've got enough D-amps now.

More good news? I love my Boogies too.

The bad news? I've got too many amps. I should sell the Mark IV.
 

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,103
I suppose I've been on a D-style rage for some time now, almost totally forsaking my Boogies and Marshall.

I recently fired up my Boogie DC-3 after several recent hours with a Fuchs and a RedPlate. The RedPlate and Boogie both sport some really fine NOS tubes. The Fuchs currently has a NOS-JAN 5751 in the V1 position. Everything else is JJ.

I have to say, if you can't get some great sounds out of all these amps, you stink. The Boogie certainly holds its own with the D-style guys. Really hard to say which of these 3 is "better". Their respective sound qualities tend to overlap a lot. I'd love to be able to compare my Mark IIC+ to a real 1980s Dumble.

The good news? I'll never need to buy a 7 grand D-clone. I've got enough D-amps now.

More good news? I love my Boogies too.

The bad news? I've got too many amps. I should sell the Mark IV.
Mark series Boogies have a unpleasant stiffness that I never experienced on the (few) Dumbles I got the chance to use. My old Simulclass IIC+s with graphics were perhaps the best of the bunch in terms of feel and tone, but were outclassed by those Dumbles not to mention "good" vintage Fenders and most old Hiwatts. It was even more pronounced (i.e. worse) when comparing those same amps to non-export 100/60s or 60s - but especially so, when comparing against the non-graphic models. The Boogies also weren't that close in terms of clean sustain either, which I feel the Dumbles truly excelled at.

Never found anything special about the DC3, just another middling Mesa line that I'm sure will have its defenders.

The old IIC+s (but only those with the graphic) excel at high gain rhythms; imo they are world class there. Unless you want that specific Boogie/Mark tonality, you can do better for everything else though.
 

lemonpaul59

Senior Member
Messages
2,065
The Boogies also weren't that close in terms of clean sustain either, which I feel the Dumbles truly excelled at.
Sounds like you've never seen Santana live, and that you prefer a form of music I'd probably hate. I don't like metal. I'm a jazz and fusion guy. I rarely if ever use the GEQ on my Mark IV, so I sure as hell don't miss it on my Mark IIC+. Maybe Metallica fans insist on GEQ, I don't know, I don't like them.

I have seen Larry Carlton, up close and personal, playing a Boogie Mark I, Boogie Mark IV and his Dumble, which he seems to have disposed of. While I love Larry's Dumble sound, to me his very best sound was with the Mark I. Why? More sustain. He controlled it with a volume pedal even better than he did with his Dumble. The swells were incredible. Listen to Larry's live in Japan performances and you'll see what I mean.

The DC-3 has channel 3 of the Mark IV. I like its clean and overdrive sounds. Again, I don't use its GEQ much either.

Oh how I remember that stupid "V" shape! Can't get it out of my mind.

Come to think of it, I've never seen a Dumble with GEQ. I wonder why?
 

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,103
Sounds like you've never seen Santana live, and that you prefer a form of music I'd probably hate. I don't like metal. I'm a jazz and fusion guy. I rarely if ever use the GEQ on my Mark IV, so I sure as hell don't miss it on my Mark IIC+. Maybe Metallica fans insist on GEQ, I don't know, I don't like them.

I have seen Larry Carlton, up close and personal, playing a Boogie Mark I, Boogie Mark IV and his Dumble, which he seems to have disposed of. While I love Larry's Dumble sound, to me his very best sound was with the Mark I. Why? More sustain. He controlled it with a volume pedal even better than he did with his Dumble. The swells were incredible. Listen to Larry's live in Japan performances and you'll see what I mean.

The DC-3 has channel 3 of the Mark IV. I like its clean and overdrive sounds. Again, I don't use its GEQ much either.

Oh how I remember that stupid "V" shape! Can't get it out of my mind.

Come to think of it, I've never seen a Dumble with GEQ. I wonder why?
Ah, you would be surprised. While I'm more of a Holdsworth and McLaughlin guy, I think you would be surprised as to the overlap in our tastes.

As to the GEQs, if you ever played a IIC+ with a GEQ, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you haven't. If you have and feel that way, so be it - we all have our preferences. Note, I'm not talking about the Mark I or the IV - just the IIC+.

I'm glad that *you* prefer Carlton's Mark I tones; no doubt, it's great. After playing a few Dumbles, and after owning enough Mesas (including virtually every itineration of the IIC+) to perhaps buy an actual Dumble, I know which one *I* would pick for my purposes and likely even the same rubric of tones that I think you're after (presuming cost isn't a theoretical issue). If you feel a DC-3 gets you there, more power to you - I know my loaded IIC+s sure didn't...:aok
 
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doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,378
Just putting this out there, as one who has done some D-tone chasing and pretty much ignored Boogies. IMHO, Santana's best recorded sounds are with his Yamaha guitar through his Mesa amps (Moonflower era), not his PRS through his Dumble.
 

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,103
Just putting this out there, as one who has done some D-tone chasing and pretty much ignored Boogies. IMHO, Santana's best recorded sounds are with his Yamaha guitar through his Mesa amps (Moonflower era), not his PRS through his Dumble.
PRS will make anything sound bad. JK :D
 

ELmiguel

Senior Member
Messages
3,664
I don't think Mesa amps and Dumble amps sound alike
the cleans and the overdriven sounds are different
I've owned a few different Boogies, played through a couple of Dumbles, own a Dumble clone
as you crank the gain up on Boogies, they start compressing more than a Dumble
the Dumble clean setting is close to a Fender (but more hi fidelity/3 dimensional)
the Boogie clean setting isn't.
 

gtwannabe

Member
Messages
321
Just putting this out there, as one who has done some D-tone chasing and pretty much ignored Boogies. IMHO, Santana's best recorded sounds are with his Yamaha guitar through his Mesa amps (Moonflower era), not his PRS through his Dumble.
I'm no Santana expert, but I'm pretty sure that he still regularly plays his Boogie - along with various other amps - FWIW.
 

lemonpaul59

Senior Member
Messages
2,065
If you feel a DC-3 gets you there, more power to you - I know my loaded IIC+s sure didn't...:aok
Yeah, easy, put a mic in front of it, just like Carlos did to his Mark I combo in 1974.

I've seen Larry and Lee. Ritenour playing a well mic-ed (on that night, unlike a few videos I've seen) Boogie Maverick. He sounded every bit as good as Carlton did on his Dumble.

The cat's been out of that bag for 43 years now. Everyone knows about the microphone in front of the amp trick.

Nice having a built in effects loop too. Something that eluded HAD for so very long. These days even Koreans and Panamanians do built in effects loops, probably using Chinese chips. Times sure have changed.

It's been a long time since Spanish class for me. I can't recall how to say "Dumbleator" en espanol.
 

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,103
Yeah, easy, put a mic in front of it, just like Carlos did to his Mark I combo in 1974.

I've seen Larry and Lee. Ritenour playing a well mic-ed (on that night, unlike a few videos I've seen) Boogie Maverick. He sounded every bit as good as Carlton did on his Dumble.

The cat's been out of that bag for 43 years now. Everyone knows about the microphone in front of the amp trick.

Nice having a built in effects loop too. Something that eluded HAD for so very long. These days even Koreans and Panamanians do built in effects loops, probably using Chinese chips. Times sure have changed.

It's been a long time since Spanish class for me. I can't recall how to say "Dumbleator" en espanol.
Yeah, I don't think mic placement is going to get a DC-3 or a IIC+ to Dumble-land, at least not in the way that imparts that specialness that some think Dumbles have. Nor is it going to rehabilitate an otherwise poor or even "meh" amp. If you do, great.

You posited how a Dumble compares to a IIC+, and you got an answer from a guy who's tried one and owned a bunch of the others. I don't think you're really interested in actual experience, but instead want to talk about how great your Boogies are. There's merit in doing that, but I just misunderstood that for earnest interest.
 
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C-4

Member
Messages
14,200
I played Mesa amps for 18 years, including the MK II-A through the MK III, and all the iterations in between, all fully loaded, and this included the MK II C+.
I struggled for most of those years with the amps trying to dial them in as I wanted, and in the end, learned to dislike them immensely. Obviously, ymmv.

I found British amps far more to my ear's liking. It might be just me, but after all the low wattage amps, and digital stuff, I am seeing what I think is a resurgence of higher wattage Marshall type amps, even for lower volume applications.

After all the amps I have had or tried, I'm finding that the Marshall sound is where I am the happiest.
 

therhodeo

Member
Messages
10,143
The Boogies also weren't that close in terms of clean sustain either, which I feel the Dumbles truly excelled at.
.
Not exactly the high brow fare typical of D style amp discussions but Eddy Shaver had very little issue with clean sustain on a Boogie Mark series.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
29,189
I've owned a bunch of Mesas including most of the Marks (not a Mk V and not a pre-Mark but I had the Mark I reissue). I've played a couple of real Dumbles at real volumes. I'd have to say that they do seem different to me, in terms of timbre, sustain, EQ... The very best clean tone that I've ever played was the 100w Dumble that Carter's was selling a year or so ago. With a humbucker guitar, in a smallish room, at a level that wasn't painful, it would just grab the note and hold it forever. Never been able to get my Boogies to do that without crushing volume. I think they're different, but obviously they're different in cost as well-a $600 DC-3 vs a $100,000 Dumble isn't much of a contest. As to "clones", I've got a Fuchs, a Carol Ann and I've played a few others. They're wonderful, but none of them did what the 100w did (to be fair, the 50w Dumble Combo I played in 1995 wasn't better than the Fuchs I had at the same time, to my ears).

So, what's my conclusion? If I could talk Alexander into building me an amp, I would. Since I can't, I'll enjoy the Mk III and the Fuchs and the Carol Ann and count my blessings.
 

lemonpaul59

Senior Member
Messages
2,065
Eight Times Up has some of Larry's best tones IMHO.
Yep, and the elusive Japanese release from 1982 was even better. Occasionally you'll find them selling for $200/CD on Amazon. I wish someone would just release that one again, like 8 Times Up.
 

lemonpaul59

Senior Member
Messages
2,065
Yeah, I don't think mic placement is going to get a DC-3 or a IIC+ to Dumble-land, at least not in the way that imparts that specialness that some think Dumbles have. Nor is it going to rehabilitate an otherwise poor or even "meh" amp. If you do, great.

You posited how a Dumble compares to a IIC+, and you got an answer from a guy who's tried one and owned a bunch of the others. I don't think you're really interested in actual experience, but instead want to talk about how great your Boogies are. There's merit in doing that, but I just misunderstood that for earnest interest.
Quite wrong.

If I bought a 100K amp, I'd find it hard to suppress the cognitive dissonance within.

I still prefer Larry Carlton with a Boogie Mark I. I still prefer Santana with a Boogie Mark I.

Larry had the best idea of coping with HAD's passive loop. He didn't use it. Instead he mic'ed the Dumble, and then applied effects to the microphone signal. Clever guy that Larry. Smarter than old HAD himself.
 






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