What Mesa/Boogie am I looking for?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Dead Astronaut, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    Last week, after 20 years (I'm poor and on Disability) of wanting a Mesa/Boogie, I finally got my hands on a Single Rectifier 50 combo, and I was ... deeply disappointed. I tried every conceivable combination of EQ, volume, gain, master output, channel switching, blah blah, and I could not for the life of me get a lead tone I liked, mostly because of that awful metallic top-end buzz. I ended up vastly happier with the Dual Recto preset on my Atomic Amplifire, because it has everything I love about Rectos and nothing I hate.

    So what, if any, Boogie am I actually looking for? I love the thick mids and massive harmonic spread of the Rectifier, but I can't stand the fizziness. I want something with the same kind of dark, thick, mid-focused sound, but with a gain-saturated, fluid, and much smoother lead channel. Not Dumble smooth – I need a lot more gain saturation than that – but smooth in the sense that, when I'm playing on a neck humbucker, I get just enough treble to make things clear and to articulate my pick attack, and everything else is singing mids and lows.

    I know a way to get a Mark III Blue Stripe combo for a not-insane price (though with an aftermarket speaker called a Blackhawk, on which I also solicit yr opinions) – would that get me where I want to go? Or should I be searching for something more like an SLO? I'm told Soldanos can also get fizzy at lower volume, and this amp will be mostly for studio work (including some home studios), so I need something that can deliver that liquid gain at a volume that won't drive anyone out of the room. 50 watts or less is fine, and for physical size, I would love it if I could get this sound from a 1x12 or 2x12 combo, since I don't own a cab right now.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations! (Oh, and I don't really like Marshalls.)
     
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  2. plan-x

    plan-x Supporting Member

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    Mark V 25 for liquid gain at manageable volumes.
     
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  3. treedroppings

    treedroppings Member

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    Studio 22 if it's in good condition.
     
  4. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    Mark IV fits the bill and should be available fairly easily I would imagine. It's a great amp and definitely does the liquid gain thing at lower volumes.
     
  5. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    What makes you specify about the condition? And is there a meaningful difference between the .22 and .22+?
     
  6. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    Is the IV a significant upgrade over the III in terms of what I'm looking for? I've always been under the impression that Mark IVs were a little bit more "metal," which isn't really my thing – I'm more in the jazz-rock, art-rock, heavy fusion world.
     
  7. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    I don't find that to be the case personally, in fact I feel like the blue stripe III is probably one of the most aggressive sounding Mesa out there.

    The IV gives you more channels and more features, but it's definitely not just a metal amplifier by any means. It does the very detailed/crisp and effortless liquid distortion thing on the third channel all day, but the second channel is really great when pushed and takes pedals very well. If you can find one near you to go jam on I'd highly recommend it. It's great paired with a 2x12. I don't want to sway you from the III by any means, they're fun amps.
     
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  8. Neptical

    Neptical Member

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    Although not dark ,sounds like you're pretty much jonesin' for a Mark Series. The DC-5 I have is dark and gets Recto territory, but smoother top with the help of an OD. If definitely helps cure the craving for a Rectifier. Both do the jazz fusion exceedingly well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  9. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    Between the price and size of the Studio .22, the fact that it's got a Black Shadow speaker (I'm a fan), and the fact that I've heard it referred to as a smaller, less-featured Mark (and I'm also fine with fewer features), I think that's probably what I'm looking for. No doubt the III, IV, and V are all fantastic, but for money, size, and volume, the Studio .22 seems right. Thanks very much to all you guys.
     
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  10. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Supporting Member

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    Have you tried an overdrive with the dual Rec? The od808 maxon seems to be a favorite to tighten it up a bit
     
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  11. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    I did, and it got chunkier and more controlled, but it didn't address the fizz as much as I needed.
     
  12. jeff_lebowski

    jeff_lebowski Member

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    Maybe an EQ in the loop and start cutting some higher frequencies?

    Otherwise Id say a Mark is where you want to be.

    I like the Mark III because they have 60 watt versions available and prefer that for most of my playing situations. I dont dig the small bottle mini mesas as much as 6l6 tubes for bigger punchier cleans.
     
  13. Pongo

    Pongo Member

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    Did it have one of their Vintage 30 speakers? In my experience, they sound like a bag of hornets at low volume, especially if the speakers haven't been broken in yet. Mix 'em in with a band or recording at full volume, and suddenly they're magic, but they've never worked for me at practice/naked volume. I have run more than one Mesa amp that I thought I hated through a non-V30 cabinet and suddenly liked it.

    I'm just gonna repeat what a lot of other people have said: Mark IV or V is a great bet.

    Mark IV will get you exactly what you want; the V will get you almost there, though it's a better and more versatile amp overall, IMO.
     
  14. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    The DR Vintage ch on tube rectification is a lot like what you are asking about.

    Its warm, fat, dynamic, fizz free and has excellent feel and articulation with a basic OD. Wonderful lead ch on the bridge pickup.
     
  15. warplanegrey

    warplanegrey Member

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    First thing you’re going to need to do is get that V30 out. They sound like a bag of **** in open-back-gainy situations.

    replace it with a WGS ET65 or a Creamback H75.
     
  16. DrRaoulDuke

    DrRaoulDuke Member

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    I'll second this, if your'e looking for a tube amp. The Mark V 25 has more mids than you will ever need. It effectively has 6 channels, two pre gain EQ stacks, and a post gain graphic EQ. It's almost like an analog tube modeling amp. If you were looking for a less mid focussed amp then I would say the 5150 6L6 50 watt. That said, when it comes to melt your face metal, I prefer my Axe fx III (rectifier, uberschall models) over both my 5150 and Mark V.
     
  17. kramerxxx

    kramerxxx Member

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    These are all good suggestions. For reference I own a Mark III, a dual rec and a Soldano.

    A single rec is a good amp, you can get what you want for tones by adding a couple of pedals. A tubescreamer type and a graphic EQ. Running these pedals in the loop, out front, and various combinations between those will return different sounds. I'd buy them used.

    Do a search for boosting a Mesa Rectifier for examples. Rectifiers are mid scooped. The eq hump from a ts9 or sd1 just works to even out the tone. Plus you can use the eq pedal for a solo boost, if you like.

    And last, once you get close to the sounds you want and see happy with the amp, with much practice, consider having a tech mod your amp with a bias pot
     
  18. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    I'd highly recommend checking out the Triple Crown series. They are Mesa's take on a Marshall/British style amp, however its really got its own unique voice and character. Basically, its like a Dual Rectifier but with way more mids and you can get rid of the top end fizz easily. Its like a mix of a Dual Rectifier and Mark V amp on channel 3. This makes it amazing for thick lead tones with lots of sustain but also great for metal rhythm or even classic rock if you lower the gain. It also has amazing cleans and the channel 2 is great for more vintage overdrive tones.

    The nice thing as well is it has a tight mode switch which lets you make the amp more tight/compressed or more loose/open and every channel can be dialed in how you like. Its also pretty easy to dial in with huge range of tones with each knob you turn:

     
  19. d'djembe mutombo

    d'djembe mutombo Member

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    Depends on your budget, but the cheapest modern mesa sound you can get is the F-series. I'd try to find a used F-50 since that gets you the 6L6 and definitely sounds a bit more mesa than the EL84 loaded F-30.

    If you have a cab already, to other amps worth considering is a 6505MH or a Jet City 22H. You should be able to get either used for $350 or under.
     
  20. markmann

    markmann Member

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    I have a Mesa F50 that I've been using since 2005. No fizz from this amp and has great tone. It's a two channel amp that has great clean and great dirty. On the dirty channel you can engage contour which gives a more modern tone. The controls are simple but the amp has lots of features. Was available in 1x12 combo or head version. I have the head version and paired with two 1x12 Mesa wide body cabs that are the same width of the head and make a sweet looking stack. The nice thing is that it's all very portable. This is an affordable Mesa because it has always flied under the radar and was always overshadowed by other models but don't be fooled, this amp delivers the goods.
     

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