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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by LarryM, Jan 9, 2011.
I would love to own one of the Transatlantics. They look killer.
. . . might be getting one at the end of July - very excited
Wish I had room for one more amp. The LSS got sold for a Swart. Overall, I like the tone of the Swart better, but the LSS has some great sounds in there. If I ever have a bigger house with my own room for playing, perhaps a Mesa will find it's way back into the corral.
Got my Mesa Nomad 45 1 X 12 about a year ago after only ever playing Marshall (JCM900 and DSL401) for 20 odd years before that. I'm in a covers party band playing everything from Roy Orbison to Muse. I chose the Mesa because it covers an enormous amount of ground. Mesa cleans take you places Marshall cannot go, the crunch channel does my old Marshall sounds really well (EL84 power tubes) and then there's channel 3 for higher gain modern drive.
In terms of build quality Mesa so far has been built like a tank. I had endless problems with things on the Marshall suffering from wearing out due to bad design. Footswitch dropping out, tone knobs (plastic shaft) mounted direct to PCB so when the knob breaks off it's a major problem to fix.
Lots of Mesa players seem to dislike the Nomad. The tone controls are just plain weird and don't work the way any other amps' controls do that I've tried so it takes a while to get it set up right. Once you do though, it is one of the most versatile quality amps out there.
Mine's a keeper, every time I play the Mesa I smile.
I've got a Nomad 55 4X10 and it's a keeper.
Like you said some people dislike them because they don't take the time to learn how to set them up properly.
Once you find the sweet spot .....
Used to have a Mark II B. Used to have a Rocket 440. Now regularly gig an old DC2. Mesa builds absolutely wonderful sounding amps. Contrary to popular belief, they are not at all hard to dial in. As long as you're not trying to get other amp sounds out of them. If you want a Fender or Marshall, buy one of those. You'll only frustrate yourself trying to get a Boogie to sound like anything but a boogie. They can have wonderful cleans, great crunch and OD, and smoldering high gain tones, all out of this world, but all distinctly Mesa.
I don't get it personally. Nobody buys an AC30 and complains because it won't sound like a Deluxe reverb, but tons of folks will try a Mesa, and say it's impossible to dial in because they couldn't get it to sound like (insert amp here).
Mesa voicing can sound a little odd by itself. It's not a standard tone. In a mix though, yikes. It's pure pleasure. A work of art.
I have a Son of Boogie. Early 80's reissue of the original Super 60. Simple amp that's built like a tank and sounds great.
Mine has had the Limit circuit replaced with a MK1 presence circuit, and has an old Celestion G12K-85.
I use the clean input with comp, OD and delay pedals.
The only amp I've bought twice, and this one is never getting sold.
Agree with everything here. When I said the crunch channel was 'like' my old Marshall, in a blind test it is probably quite different but it fulfils the same role.
When I bought the Nomad I had already tried the express, TA and stiletto. These amps all had relatively simple tone circuits. Set them up at 12 o'clock and tweak. The Nomad just doesn't work that way. I don't know what they did when they designed it that makes it different but it took me a month or so and several gigs before I really got what I wanted out of it.
I've used a Studio 22+ since 1990, and I still love it just as much today.
I've replaced the small reverb tank with a standard one, a BIG improvement. Also some other smaller changes, like different gain tubes.
However the biggest improvement was installing a 30 watt Weber Blue Dog speaker.
This amp has tone for days. You can get GREAT country sounds out of it, believe it or not, as well as superb overdrive.
And its not heavy!
I bought my Rect-O-Verb because it just kills clean!
But it is a monster despite being a 1x12. Huge and heavy.
Me too! Great, versatile amp-- and the clean tone and the reverb are heavenly.
I have a MKIIB also. The OP really shouldn't think of Mesa being a Santana amp because Richards, SRV, Satriani, many, many, more early MK series users don't sound like Santana. Santana sounds like Santana because he's Santana. He played Woodstock with a solid state (Acoustic?) amp and sounded like like ... Santana.
Off topic for a second, but if I'm not mistaken the Woodstock Santana amp was a GK. Can anybody confirm or deny? from what I understand, it was just there as backline, he didn't even own it. And yeah, still sounds like Santana.
Most folks don't realize that Santana's earliest and most influential stuff was not recorded with a Boogie. He didn't get his legendary Boogie until well into the 70's. I'm thinking late 70's. They just weren't around earlier than that.
I have a Mesa 5:50 Express with 2x12's...Super clean overhead...Love it...
I was reading this thread, and I hadn't played my Boogie in a long time. I have a fully loaded short head Mark II C +, that has always been lovingly maintained by Mr. Bendinelli. I toured with this baby for a number of years....the Tolex is a little ragged, but man o man I forgot how wonderful she sounds.
I almost sold her to buy a Maz 18, but luckily I came to my senses in time. I put EL34's in the outside slots and run this puppy in Class A mode sometimes.....OMG.
I'm pretty sure that Springsteen's live rig has been a pair of Mark IIc's (one for clean and one for crunch/lead) beneath the stage.
Now there's a fella that sounds nothing like Santana!
I recently got the 89' studio .22 used for 420$ and I love it.
I love how simple it is. I also love that the treble control is the most important tone control as it impacts the others. I don't know if they did this on later amps or not. I read it in the manual that i downloaded from their site. You can crank the treble to like 8 and then crank the bass and mids way up. I even crank the presence. It can get harsh but it's easily reigned in by the guitar's volume knob. Great amp. Definitely will be looking at other Mesa's in the future. I play country stuff and it works great. I just use a delay pedal for slapback with it right now.
I started with a Mesa MK-III Simul-Class head in the early 90's and ran it into a Mesa 4x12 cab. That rig could crank out some serious rock tones. Only it was stupid loud. I played most of my bar gigs with it set at about 1.25 on the volume knob. Just too much amp for the job. I'm sure that it would have been great for giant stage outdoor arena style gigs - I didn't do too many of those though . . . (all right I've never done a gig on a giant outdoor arena stage).
Since then I have gone through several amps - DR. Z, Marshall, PRS, Fender, Peavey to name a few of the better known brands.
Now I use this TA-30 for my cover tune band and a Lil' Dawg D-Lux for playing at home or when I play with my wife in our happy hour duo.
But I could do it all with the TA-30. I think you could cover any kind of music with it. It sounds great through every speaker cab I run it. This one will sit with me for a long while. It's a very versatile gig machine that has a wide range of useful sounds and works well with my pedals. I can't believe the lush tones I get running the TA-30 through a Red Fang/Cannabis Rex speaker combo.
I have read a lot of comments regarding how hard it is to dial in a good tone with a Boogie. I have to say that was really true for my Mark III. It was frustrating at times trying to EQ a good clean sound that didn't mess up your crunch or your lead settings. But on the TA-30 you can set all the knobs around noon, turn up the volume level and be pretty happy with what comes out of either channel. I like to tinker with the controls though and that has its rewards as well with the TA-30.
I'm not affiliated with Mesa. I just think its a great American product.
This is my Mk II A that M. Bendinelli converted to simul-class about 12 years ago for me. After he got through with it, it's much more like a "C" than an "A" now....... I too run it in Class A with EL34s and OMG is right on the money!!!
Santana started using one of the first Boogies around 1971.