Soldano SLO 30 vs Wizard MC25 vs Mezzabarba Skill 30

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
Hello all. I’m looking for a lighter weight, smaller, more portable Soldano, Wizard Or Mezzabarba Seems its down to the Soldano SLO 30, Wizard MC25 or Mezzabarba Skill 30. I’d gladly welcome input from those who have only played one, two or all three I have no access to any of these, and had very little to no time with Soldano or Wizard products, but do have a Mezza Trinity that is fantastic (but a bit less less portable).

I play mostly classic rock, bluesy rock, hard rock, and old school early metal such as: Gary Moore, Trower, Frank Marino, Hendrix, UFO, Rainbow, Rush, Sabbath, Zepp, Allmans, Bad Co, Cream, BOC, Scorpions, Free, Santana, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Bonamassa

Currently have a Port City 2x12 OS cab with Warehouse ET65s, but considering adding a 1x12 V-Boutique w/ Celestion Redback for the more portable setup. Input on VBoutique 1x12 and the Celestion Redback with these amps or other recommended alternatives also very welcome! I’m thinking Redback because I may also use the 1x12 with the Mezza Trinity (50W) and a pedalboard with ODs, boosts, etc., and don’t want to blow a speaker.

Thanks!!
 
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beckstriad

I'm frosting a cake with a paper knife
Double Platinum Member
Messages
7,619
I’ve only played the MC25. Extremely well built amplifier. It can do all those things you’ve mentioned. Especially true if you get a newer one with the “black cat” mod on the rhythm channel which gives a bit of a boost for the edge of breakup type sounds. Definitely possesses that Wizard “snarl” that some of its bigger cousins possess. Highly recommend that amp.
 

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
I’ve only played the MC25. Extremely well built amplifier. It can do all those things you’ve mentioned. Especially true if you get a newer one with the “black cat” mod on the rhythm channel which gives a bit of a boost for the edge of breakup type sounds. Definitely possesses that Wizard “snarl” that some of its bigger cousins possess. Highly recommend that amp.
Thanks beckstriad! I’ve come to find your advice is oft-dangerous to my wallet! ; )
 

M@tt C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,262
I don't have experience with the Wizard or the Mezzabarba but I recently picked up a SLO 30 and it's exactly what you're looking for.

The crunch channel is super responsive and will easily cover the material you're taking about. Slightly dirty clean to a heavy crunch with the guitar volume knob , then if you wanna get nuts the OD channel takes off from there. Really harmonically rich tone with clarity and articulation. Great FX loop, individual channel volume levels so you can set the OD side up as a lead channel (as I do). Takes pedals really well- a lowly Boss SD-1 into the crunch channel just KILLS. Loud AF for a 30 watt amp- plenty of grunt.

Best of all it's a really compact size.

I use an EVH 2x12 cab with a Scumback M75/ BM75 mix as well as a Splawn 4x12 with a GB/ V30 mix and it sounds great through both, but I prefer the 2x12 by a slight margin- it's a little smoother and warmer.

Good luck in your search!
 

El Rey

Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,317
Hello all. I’m looking for a lighter weight, smaller, more portable Soldano, Wizard Or Mezzabarba Seems its down to the Soldano SLO 30, Wizard MC25 or Mezzabarba Skill 30. I’d gladly welcome input from those who have only played one, two or all three I have no access to any of these, and had very little to no time with Soldano or Wizard products, but do have a Mezza Trinity that is fantastic (but a bit less less portable).

I play mostly classic rock, bluesy rock, hard rock, and old school early metal such as: Gary Moore, Trower, Frank Marino, Hendrix, UFO, Rainbow, Rush, Sabbath, Zepp, Allmans, Bad Co, Cream, BOC, Scorpions, Free, Santana, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Bonamassa

Currently have a Port City 2x12 OS cab with Warehouse ET65s, but considering adding a 1x12 V-Boutique w/ Celestion Redback for the more portable setup. Input on VBoutique 1x12 and the Celestion Redback with these amps or other recommended alternatives also very welcome! I’m thinking Redback because I may also use the 1x12 with the Mezza Trinity (50W) and a pedalboard with ODs, boosts, etc., and don’t want to blow a speaker.

Thanks!!
I had the MC25 and just recently moved it along. It was a fine little amp, but I much prefer all my larger Wizards.

Same with the SLO30. I got to hang on to one for about a month. And while it was a great little amp, I prefer my MKI SLO100's.

However.....one little head that really surprised me is the Bogner 3534. NOW that one still has me thinking. If I buy another pint-size screamer, it'll probably be that one. And.....it's not insanely expensive (yet) either.

Of course and obviously just my opinion on all that. I still read people slobbering all over themselves about how great the MC25 is. It just wasn't all that for me. And.....@ over $4K for a new build....well I'll leave that alone. That's the market perpetual target moving which will always seek it's own state. (hah!!...that will be getting real interesting in months/year or more to come, I'll leave that alone for now too)

I still don't mind schlepping my big amps around when I have to. This whole small amp-play in your bedroom-novelty/pschosis nonsense has run it's course with me.
 

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
I don't have experience with the Wizard or the Mezzabarba but I recently picked up a SLO 30 and it's exactly what you're looking for.

The crunch channel is super responsive and will easily cover the material you're taking about. Slightly dirty clean to a heavy crunch with the guitar volume knob , then if you wanna get nuts the OD channel takes off from there. Really harmonically rich tone with clarity and articulation. Great FX loop, individual channel volume levels so you can set the OD side up as a lead channel (as I do). Takes pedals really well- a lowly Boss SD-1 into the crunch channel just KILLS. Loud AF for a 30 watt amp- plenty of grunt.

Best of all it's a really compact size.

I use an EVH 2x12 cab with a Scumback M75/ BM75 mix as well as a Splawn 4x12 with a GB/ V30 mix and it sounds great through both, but I prefer the 2x12 by a slight margin- it's a little smoother and warmer.

Good luck in your search!
Thanks M@tt C!
 

eyeball987

Member
Messages
1,463
Just picked up a SLO30 and gave it the first run through last night. Wow. Just wow.

No experience with the others you mentioned but I can recommend the SLO30 for what you are looking for. I also agree that the SD1 was my OD of choice for my first experience with it. What surprised me was how much it cleaned up using the LP's volume knob with the OD gain on 6 and still being hammered with the SD1 out front.
 

Fezziwig

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,498
I've had the Wizard MC25 and I thought it was fine on the gain channel, but the clean channel was too dark and compromising. When you turned up the clean channel it got even darker. When I asked Rick about it he mentioned it was inherent to the circuit design. At the end of the day, the gain channel was very similar to my Blues Machine 6v6 amp, and the cleans on that amp are much more versatile.

I haven't tried the SLO 30, but I have considered it. If you like the Soldano tone, then it's a great option.

However - as another option - I am extremely happy with my Hook Wizard amp. A simple MIDI pedal will allow you to basically get whatever sound you want out of the amp, and it has a really - and I mean really - good digital reverb on board. The Hook team built mine in the time specified and I literally had it from Europe the day after it was shipped. It was faster for me to get the amp from Europe than it was to have something shipped here to NY from New Jersey!

Another option that I currently own is a Landry LS30. It is another amp that is squarely in the mix. It will give you more of that brighter Marshall JCM tone.

At the end of the day, none of these options being discussed are going to give you the girth of a big 100W or 50W amp, but the 2 amps I mentioned above are close. And, in a band context you will hardly notice - the slightly reduced "girth" may actually be beneficial to help you cut more on stage.
 
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Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
Just picked up a SLO30 and gave it the first run through last night. Wow. Just wow.

No experience with the others you mentioned but I can recommend the SLO30 for what you are looking for. I also agree that the SD1 was my OD of choice for my first experience with it. What surprised me was how much it cleaned up using the LP's volume knob with the OD gain on 6 and still being hammered with the SD1 out front.
Thanks! Sounds like a great amp!
 

LPMojoGL

Music Room Superstar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,552
I had the MC25 and just recently moved it along. It was a fine little amp, but I much prefer all my larger Wizards.

Same with the SLO30. I got to hang on to one for about a month. And while it was a great little amp, I prefer my MKI SLO100's.

However.....one little head that really surprised me is the Bogner 3534. NOW that one still has me thinking. If I buy another pint-size screamer, it'll probably be that one. And.....it's not insanely expensive (yet) either.

Of course and obviously just my opinion on all that. I still read people slobbering all over themselves about how great the MC25 is. It just wasn't all that for me. And.....@ over $4K for a new build....well I'll leave that alone. That's the market perpetual target moving which will always seek it's own state. (hah!!...that will be getting real interesting in months/year or more to come, I'll leave that alone for now too)

I still don't mind schlepping my big amps around when I have to. This whole small amp-play in your bedroom-novelty/pschosis nonsense has run it's course with me.
The 3534 is fantastic. The clean channel does the bf fender thing perfect. The blue channel goes from being an extension of the clean channel all the way to hot-rodded Marshall territory. The red channel takes is from there with over the top gain, but is not what I would call a modern metal sound. Pretty great amp, and you're right, the price on these is most reasonable considering how much similar amps go for.
It's my favorite Bogner.
 

BoogieManSC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,822
3 channel Friedman Wildwood Smallbox 50 or a Bogner Goldfinger Superlead. I've owned the Mezza MZero (in fact, George Lynch's)...for the genres you mention...Friedman or Bogner
 

* velcro-fly *

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,201
Hello all. I’m looking for a lighter weight, smaller, more portable Soldano, Wizard Or Mezzabarba Seems its down to the Soldano SLO 30, Wizard MC25 or Mezzabarba Skill 30. I’d gladly welcome input from those who have only played one, two or all three I have no access to any of these, and had very little to no time with Soldano or Wizard products, but do have a Mezza Trinity that is fantastic (but a bit less less portable).

I play mostly classic rock, bluesy rock, hard rock, and old school early metal such as: Gary Moore, Trower, Frank Marino, Hendrix, UFO, Rainbow, Rush, Sabbath, Zepp, Allmans, Bad Co, Cream, BOC, Scorpions, Free, Santana, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Bonamassa

Currently have a Port City 2x12 OS cab with Warehouse ET65s, but considering adding a 1x12 V-Boutique w/ Celestion Redback for the more portable setup. Input on VBoutique 1x12 and the Celestion Redback with these amps or other recommended alternatives also very welcome! I’m thinking Redback because I may also use the 1x12 with the Mezza Trinity (50W) and a pedalboard with ODs, boosts, etc., and don’t want to blow a speaker.

Thanks!!

Here’s what’s lurking in my orbit now...I’ve never played the Mezza amps or even seen one in person. I have however owned some sort of MC25 going on 5 years now and have played and gigged them extensively. Our cover band plays pretty much everything you listed and the MC25 excels at all of it. The SLO30 is the first amp in that power range that’s hit remotely close to sounding like the Wizard and is awesome to have. I’ve not yet gigged the SLO but can confirm the MC25 and SLO30 running together is an unbelievable sound. I use a Mather vert 2x12 with a Gold / Creamback M speaker combo. I don't use any additional boost or drive pedals of any sort. I rarely if ever get remotely close to being able to open this amp up, its hands down the ballsiest 25 watt amp I've ever encountered.


1046AD3C-7DDE-40FA-ABD2-DE3EBF106DDF.jpeg



Here's some recent short live clips of the middle MC25 above with our band to get an idea of what it sounds like in the mix, 4 different gigs:




 
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* velcro-fly *

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,201
I had the MC25 and just recently moved it along. It was a fine little amp, but I much prefer all my larger Wizards...

However.....one little head that really surprised me is the Bogner 3534. NOW that one still has me thinking. If I buy another pint-size screamer, it'll probably be that one. And.....it's not insanely expensive (yet) either....

I still don't mind schlepping my big amps around when I have to. This whole small amp-play in your bedroom-novelty/pschosis nonsense has run it's course with me....

El Rey! You know my history (all too well in fact :roll )

The 3534 is a fine amp, great amp...I had one for over a year and used it often but sold it after getting the SLO30 in my hands two months ago. Only comment I'll make about the big Wizard vs little Wizard issue is the MC25 sounds freaking enormous compared to virtually every other 50 watt amp out there. By and large most of the people saying it lacks the low end footprint of the 100 + watt heads are correct, no way it could. However, most of those same folks are not using them regularly if at all in the real World. We're booked every weekend, I've gigged this amp a minimum of 3-4 times per month going back nearly a year, and in that time there's been a total of 2 gigs, both outdoors, where I wished I had a shade more power. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the firepower available in the full sized heads. All the clips above I'm using the loop return as a global master (running the front end hot) and that loop return knob is barely 1/4 of the way open. You can dial up enough bass to piss of your bass player because you're stepping all over his sonic slice. I say this not based on 'bedroom-novelty/psychosis nonsense' but from a 'come see my band anytime' perspective, hear what it does and see exactly where its set. There's no hiding from or behind this rig.

Take care Brother :dude
 

El Rey

Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,317
El Rey! You know my history (all too well in fact :roll )

The 3534 is a fine amp, great amp...I had one for over a year and used it often but sold it after getting the SLO30 in my hands two months ago. Only comment I'll make about the big Wizard vs little Wizard issue is the MC25 sounds freaking enormous compared to virtually every other 50 watt amp out there. By and large most of the people saying it lacks the low end footprint of the 100 + watt heads are correct, no way it could. However, most of those same folks are not using them regularly if at all in the real World. We're booked every weekend, I've gigged this amp a minimum of 3-4 times per month going back nearly a year, and in that time there's been a total of 2 gigs, both outdoors, where I wished I had a shade more power. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the firepower available in the full sized heads. All the clips above I'm using the loop return as a global master (running the front end hot) and that loop return knob is barely 1/4 of the way open. You can dial up enough bass to piss of your bass player because you're stepping all over his sonic slice. I say this not based on 'bedroom-novelty/psychosis nonsense' but from a 'come see my band anytime' perspective, hear what it does and see exactly where its set. There's no hiding from or behind this rig.

Take care Brother :dude
You don't need to justify why you don't agree with my opinion, or justify why you love your MC25.

Enjoy what works for you. What others think is not important. What you dig is all that matters.

And thank you again for trading your Matchless Laurel Canyon for my MC25 I swore I would never get rid of. For me personally, that was one of the best transactions I've had the pleasure of being a part of.

Sounds like we both got what we wanted. I know I did.

And to anyone else reading this.......Steve (@* velcro-fly * ) is one of the very best people you can do a gear transaction with here. He's honest as the day long, very bright/intelligent, articulate, and just a damned fine, very excellent person. I'm proud to know him. :aok
 

* velcro-fly *

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,201
You don't need to justify why you don't agree with my opinion, or justify why you love your MC25.

Enjoy what works for you. What others think is not important. What you dig is all that matters.

And thank you again for trading your Matchless Laurel Canyon for my MC25 I swore I would never get rid of. For me personally, that was one of the best transactions I've had the pleasure of being a part of.

Sounds like we both got what we wanted. I know I did.

And to anyone else reading this.......Steve (@* velcro-fly * ) is one of the very best people you can do a gear transaction with here. He's honest as the day long, very bright/intelligent, articulate, and just a damned fine, very excellent person. I'm proud to know him. :aok

Aw thanks for the kind words Terry, yeah that was as solid of deal as we could both hope, you’re top notch yourself. You’re spot on too, in the end you’ve gotta use and dig what you like and like to hear, we’ve all got different experiences. My only gripe with your response here is you didn’t mention my packing skills

Have a great weekend!! I’ll be putting the Wizard through its paces tomorrow night in Seaside, OR with The Radio Riots if any PDX locals are interested in getting out of town and hearing this amp.
 

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
Wow Velcro - great recommendations and tones! Neón Knights and Boys are Back in Town sound killer! Sounds like it would be hard to go wrong with a SLO or MC25, but you prefer the MC25? Ive had the Bogner 3534 as well, and it is not doubt a great amp (particularly Ch 1 and 2), but Ch 3 was not ideal for me. BTW I have a Mezzabarba Trinity and it kills as a 3 channel amp, just a little larger than I’d prefer to lug around as I get older. I’ve also heard great things about the Mezza Skill, thus my dilemma! ; )
 

* velcro-fly *

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,201
Wow Velcro - great recommendations and tones! Neón Knights and Boys are Back in Town sound killer! Sounds like it would be hard to go wrong with a SLO or MC25, but you prefer the MC25? Ive had the Bogner 3534 as well, and it is not doubt a great amp (particularly Ch 1 and 2), but Ch 3 was not ideal for me. BTW I have a Mezzabarba Trinity and it kills as a 3 channel amp, just a little larger than I’d prefer to lug around as I get older. I’ve also heard great things about the Mezza Skill, thus my dilemma! ; )
Thanks man! Those tunes are a gas to play, especially Boys are Back....either the Wizard or the SLO are both top of the food chain type of amps, having either one is a win, having both is phenom treat. Yes I prefer the Wizard to the SLO, but the SLO is the first amp I've run across that really keeps up with the MC25 (in that 25-50 watt power range), its undeniable in the room that there's a little something extra with the MC25. However I wouldn't be bummed at all to gig the SLO right now if for some reason the Wizard wasn't working. That was the entire reason I got the SLO, to have a 2nd amp that was worthy on its own merits and to be a backup for the MC25 just in case. Re money, a brand spanking new SLO can be had for appx $500 - 700 less than a used MC25 and the money is or should always be a consideration, at least it is for me. Those are the two amps I own; the other MC25 is basically a stationary bank account at the moment, in no real hurry to sell it but it will go eventually. Last the other huge thing about both the amps is their footprint, both are only 22" wide or less, using them with the Mather vert 2x12's takes up very little stage space and that's always a premium. Very compact fire breathers.
 

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,960
Thanks man! Those tunes are a gas to play, especially Boys are Back....either the Wizard or the SLO are both top of the food chain type of amps, having either one is a win, having both is phenom treat. Yes I prefer the Wizard to the SLO, but the SLO is the first amp I've run across that really keeps up with the MC25 (in that 25-50 watt power range), its undeniable in the room that there's a little something extra with the MC25. However I wouldn't be bummed at all to gig the SLO right now if for some reason the Wizard wasn't working. That was the entire reason I got the SLO, to have a 2nd amp that was worthy on its own merits and to be a backup for the MC25 just in case. Re money, a brand spanking new SLO can be had for appx $500 - 700 less than a used MC25 and the money is or should always be a consideration, at least it is for me. Those are the two amps I own; the other MC25 is basically a stationary bank account at the moment, in no real hurry to sell it but it will go eventually. Last the other huge thing about both the amps is their footprint, both are only 22" wide or less, using them with the Mather vert 2x12's takes up very little stage space and that's always a premium. Very compact fire breathers.
Thanks for taking the time to share your insights! Yes, money is always a consideration, and neither is inexpensive. So you’ve got two MC25s and a SLO-30? Wow. Must be a treat!
 




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