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Anyone have a Mesa Express 5:50 or 5:25 112?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by flyingbanana, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm looking into a Mesa Express 5:50 112 or the 5:25 112. Do any members have one? What are your thoughts? How versatile of an amp is this, as far as being able to jump from clean to metal, to some Neil Young and back to some creamy gain. I've seen the Youtube videos, but wanted to check in with you guys.
     
  2. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I don't own one, but I've played with both several times (the new and the older version). There is a definite improvement in the new one.

    It's not an amp that, - by itself at least - is considered suitable for metal, but a lot of other tones most definitely. But you'll have to give it a listen by yourelf to see if it meets that criteria for you. I don't play metal, so I'm no expert there.

    I use to have a Lonestar Special 112 and loved it, but not the weight. Either the 5:25 or the 5:50 are as near the pefect grab and go amp as you'll get. Great build, lots of tonal options.
     
  3. colorado

    colorado Tele-Holic

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    I play my friend's when we jam at his house (5:50). Incredible amp. Sounds as good as anything I've heard. Two channels. Beautiful cleans. Breakup, crunch and cream are all there. I think you could do metal. Seems like unlimited gain available. Very nice reverb. LOUD. Switchable channels. 5 watt mode. The Master volume is great. You can get really good OD at reasonable volume. Played with a Tweed Deluxe and a 65 amp last night. All 3 great amps. The 5:50 was right there. I'd be hard pressed to say which sounded best (although the 65 is a monster).

    If you have the money, it is a killer.
     
  4. gitold

    gitold Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like mine a whole lot. I think the clean channel is as pretty as any I've ever heard and I've owned Twins, 60's Ampegs and lots of other great amps. I'd go with the 5X50 if I was you. Makes a great bedroom amp at 5 watts. Loves pedals too. Haven't tried the new version.
     
  5. Stonehead

    Stonehead TDPRI Member

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    I have a 5:50 2 x 12 and it is an excellent amp. Beautiful warm cleans to as dirty as you please. It won't do modern metal by itself but thats nothing a pedal or two won't solve. The Express loves pedals. It has a series effects loop. All in all it is one of the most versatile amps i've ever played. Channel 1, clean and crunch alone are worth the price of admission on this amp.
    Being able to switch from 50 watts class A/B to 5 watts pure class A is an awesome feature. It is a very tone full amp in both settings.
    The 5:50 has the Black Shadow C90 speaker and the 6L6 power tubes. The 5:25 has the V30 speaker and EL84 power tubes. The 5:50 has a lot more headroom then the 5:25. Play them both and see what you like better as they are both voiced slightly different.
    Theres a ton of 5:25 Vs 5:50 threads out there.
    I have played the new Express + series and have no intention of upgrading to one any time soon as there are not enough new features to warrant it. the new 5:50 + sounds pretty much the same as my 5:50.
    The older ones are now on the used market at very reasonable prices. (half of new)
     
  6. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Owned one for awhile, and not sure why I ever got rid of it. The 5:50 is a whole lotta amp with a whole lotta versatility. If not true metal, very close--and some of the most beautiful shimmering cleans you could ever hope for.

    While it can do most anything well... not sure if Neil Young 'ragged crunch' is its best strength. Probably does AC/DC type gain and modern rock tones better than Neil Young overdriven Fender type sounds. Please understand it does it ALL well, but I'd place its strengths in other types of tones. It's an extremely versatile amp.

    I assumed I'd like the 5:25 better, but I prefer the 5:50.

    Haven't tried the new "Plus" models, they have a graphic EQ that is probably a nice feature.

    Mesa makes good stuff, I'm a fan.
     
  7. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    Glad to see you guys chime in. So I guess the concensus is that it's a pretty good overall amp. I like that it takes pedals real good. The Blackstar and Vox I have don't do that as well as I would have liked.

    Looking at doing a partial trade using one of my builds....a nice black on black tele.
     

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  8. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Unless it's a "magical" Tele or one with sentimental value, go for it Flyingbanana... Mesa makes some really good stuff. I've owned several--new and used--and never had a seconds problem with any of them. The 5:50 is a monster amp, should do everything you want it to.
     
  9. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    The Express 5:50 1x12 has been my main amp for almost four years. I don't play metal so I don't know if it works well there or not. With that said the range of tone this amp covers well is simiply amazing. One thing I do when gasing for some other amp is watch youtube videos, and then try to dial in similar tone on the Mesa, and I can always get where I want. I do have a Vox AC15C1 because that is a unique sound which the Express 5:50 doesn't do.

    Channel one Clean is a good as any, with infinite headroom. It really doesn't break up but will get a nice purr when cranked.

    Channel one Crunch is my primary setting. With the gain about one I can roll my guitar volume from clean to classic rock crunch. Here is where I use the Contour switch to fatten the bottom and sparkle the top when the volume is rolled back. The Contour boosts after the preamp so it helps bring back the clean volume.

    Channel two Blues does two things for me. First I play single coil blues with the gain at noon. Again the gain is nicely sensetive to guitar volume and touch. Second with the gain cranked all the way there is really nice medium gain lead tones. I prefer the bass rolled back all the way and the treble at about 10.

    Channel two Burn ups the gain for leads and I don't like it much past 12. Again bass rolled back is my preference. I can dial the Burn setting pretty close to what I get from a Zendrive.

    Now for the 5w setting. This changes the dynamics of the amp beyond just a lower volume. It really does act like a 5w amp with tone and response very different from the 50w setting.

    To me this amp is "lug n go" not "grab n go", it's heavy and bulky.

    The only other amp that has grabbed my interest as a viable replacement would be the PRS 2 Channel H, which cost about $300 more I think.
     
  10. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I had a 5:25 head (one of the originals), and it was a great little amp. The gain channel is voiced more like the Mark series than the Rectos, so that's what you can expect from it. The only reason I got rid of it was that I bought a Mark V, and the Express didn't have anything to offer that the V couldn't do.
     
  11. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    A guy I know runs a shop not far from me and he's a Boogie evangelist. Always bemoans me selling one to get a Rivera.

    I tried a 5:25 (with graphic) recently against a Stiletto Ace both great amps. The 5 reminded me a lot of the early Boogies but I preferred the Stiletto (few hundred dearer though and punchier) which might just be my ears attuned to the Rivera sound as I think it's closer. But were I wanting a new amp I could be very happy with either of those. As expected built like tanks and not light. Lots of little switches which is mildly off putting, unless you fancy that. Killer sound which is the main thing.

    Kristina
     
  12. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Just to clarify, the 5:25 and 5:50 are completely different amps. (el84 vs 6l6s... it's why I assumed I'd like the 5:25 better, but I prefer the tone of the 5:50)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  13. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I just bought a 5:50 plus about 2 hours ago. It's sitting on a stand next to my Twin right now. I've only spent about 20 minutes with it but WOW! This thing is making me giggle.
     
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  14. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    Enjoy! I'll have to wait for mine. A little to much moola for me right now. But I picked up a new Orange Tiny Terror for 250. Can't argue with that.
     
  15. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    ^^ Can't beat that. Enjoy you Tiny Terror.
     
  16. Daywalker

    Daywalker TDPRI Member

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    I picked up one of the new 5:50 Express Plus models about a month ago. I wanted a multi channel, versatile amp capable of sounding good with a Tele, Strat, and the Humbuckers of a Les Paul at bedroom as well as gig volumes . I found it in the Express.

    I've found a wide variety of tones and am still dialing it in to perfect my personal sound. Right now it's the crunch channel dialed at 10-11 o'clock. Great cleans with a light clipping overdrive. I think it makes my tele sound like some Keith Richards.

    The 5 watt setting is great for bedroom levels but can still get LOUD! The amp really opens up and moves some air at 25 and 50 watts. 50 watts cranked inside my home is likely to cause some sort of structural damage.

    I like how I can assign each of the two channels different wattage. For example, set cleans at 25 watts and and blues or burn at 5 watts. This makes for perfect band practice volumes.

    I wouldn't necessarily refer to the combo version of the Express as a "grab n' go", but I would recommend it for gigging as it isn't huge either. Heavy yes, but not Lonestar or Mark V Heavy. Although it's built like a tank, I plan on getting a road case to protect all of these little knobs and speaker cloth from 2am post gig loads. The 5:25 combo is a bit smaller so if portability is your priority then that or a head/cab setup may be a better option.

    I chose the 5:50 because I already have a Blues Junior to cover me when I need a smaller amp. Here's a pic for size comparison.
     

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  17. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    I had the 5:50 and liked it. Beware, the reverb went out on mine and I'm not a nub at fixing my amps. I opened it up and it had proprietary IC chips controlling the reverb. It cost too much to fix but I did and sold it.
     
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