Is a tube amp something for me?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Polderpatat, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Holic

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    If we weren't all in quarantine, I'd say go down to the local guitar shop and try out a PRRI. At the very least you'll have a common, solid baseline to compare other amps to.
     
  2. Polderpatat

    Polderpatat TDPRI Member

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    So the main problem the mesa has with my pedals is:
    overdrive (timmy clone/mayflower) is that it sounds like a blend of clean with the overdrive sound from the pedal. I have no clue how to explain why it sounds the way it does.

    for the effectsloop it just feedbacks very soon with my reverb(empress reverb)
     
  3. Polderpatat

    Polderpatat TDPRI Member

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    yes I did a lot of knob turning, the main point seems that, whatever you do to it, the overdrive doesn't seems to work with the mesa preamp. Besides that the clean channel is always lurking to shoot a deathray ear-bleeding soundwaves into my face when I hit it to hard

    so now I'm thinking is it just that mesa? or can this be generalised?
     
  4. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

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    Many have said, most of them better than I can - I could never find the patience to dial in a Mesa. I'm perfectly content admitting that either I wasn't bright enough to figure it out, or that whatever mojo is hiding inside it just beyond my paltry skill-set. Had three, sold three, and now I don't even consider them.

    The thing that is really keeping my fires lit these days is a 5E3 circuit - three knobs, with seemingly endless possibilities.
     
  5. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    In my experienced there's very little that can be generalised - too many different playing styles, too many different applications (play at home, small venue gig, large venue gig, outdoor gig), too many different amplifiers out there. But that's kind of the good news - who wants to sound just like everybody else? And not every amp will fit every gig...ymmv.

    There is a spectrum involved in the human aural response, as well. I've heard a Mesa or two that sounded plenty fine to me, but as you can see from responses above, not everybody likes them and so you would not be the first. There are people who see no point to a Twin Reverb and plenty who will tell you it sounds good at any level.

    Plenty of other choices, both in the tube variety or solid state or modeling amps. From what I hear you saying, you might want to try a Yamaha THR-10 or similar. A tube amp is not the answer to every question and you don't need anyone's permission to like what you like. Play on!
     
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  6. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    Speaking about MESA amps, I repaired many of them (80s-90s-00s era) : Subways, Rectifiers, MKI/II/III/IV, F30/50, Nomads, C22, C50, Lonestar Specials...

    Most of them were dull or agressive and noise-ridden. The recent ones are probably better, I don't know since I still not had one for servicing...

    Should I mention that I dislike heavy and metal tones ?

    My Boogie MKIIA 60/100 Rev Eq (1980, S/N° 4915) - once heavily modded to make it hum-hiss dead quiet and progressive in its volume and gain adjustments - can provide deep clean tones at any loudness, from subtle to huge. Oh, and this singing/violin Santana tone, along with smooth blues tone...

    With the exception of the MKI, IIA and IIB, Lonestar Special at a certain extent, none of the MESA that I had here for test or servicing could compete in any way.

    But it's me, OK ?

    In Hardwood suit :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In Tolex suit :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As other post mentions it before : Modellers, Solid-State or Tubes can do the trick, indeed depending on what styles you want to be able to dial in.

    There is a wide choice ! That's embarassing, I know... :confused: Try first to discard what kind of tone you don't like, I should say. ;)

    -tbln
     
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  7. roycaster

    roycaster Tele-Meister

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    You will never get a Mesa right just turning knobs, that is why I suggested starting with the instructions. The Treble, Mid, Bass, and Presence do not work like normal amps. From 1-3 they do this, from 4-6 they do that and from 7-10 is something else completely unrelated. They’re great sounding amps, but they aren’t plug and play like Marshalls…
     
  8. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    The mesa subway blues was a great amp, I had one and loved it. However, it also topped out at 5 knobs and 20 watts which is fairly unique for a mesa so...
     
  9. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    My problem with Mesa amps is that they try to do too many things, not excelling at any of them, which ends up making them sound very generic. This seems to be the general nature of amps that try to do many things. Their design isn't targeted at doing any one thing particularly well, giving up this for that, and that for this. And then people say that you just have to learn how to dial them in. Ok... A mediocre amp is a mediocre amp. No good sounding amp requires a manual to make it sound good. That's just an excuse to keep you from dogging on the thing and ditching it. It seems that I remember the dual rec I owned coming with a series of settings sheets or a small manual for setting the amp, and I remember it not being of any help in making that amp sound less generic. It just didn't have the goods I was looking for no matter how it was set and played. Some of my friends thought it was the bee knees, one of them being half-deaf (no kidding). For me that was the worst amp purchase ever. But at that point I didn't have much experience with various amps, and there was alot of marketing surrounding that amp making it out to be the holy grail. It just wasn't.

    One major warning sign of a generic amp is that it has a dedicated 'Clean' channel. Another is that the control panel looks like a complicated piece of test gear. Mesa amps have both.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020 at 12:16 AM
  10. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    Yes
     
  11. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar TDPRI Member

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    Pro Jr. ! I have wanted one forever. Great amp.
     
  12. Polderpatat

    Polderpatat TDPRI Member

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    Is it able to sound proper at vacum cleaner volume levels (louder than tv/conversation, not ear bleeding loud)?
     
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  13. Polderpatat

    Polderpatat TDPRI Member

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    First I would like to thank you guys for the many answers.
    The reason I think I "need" a tube amp is;
    I've long played with modeling amps and plugins, great tones, but I have some great effectspedals now and the interaction between amp and pedal doesn not exist in the same way with a modeler.

    For another solid state, the AMT is high regarded, I don't have the opportunity to test much in my neighborhood, but I doubt another solid state will be able to sound as big as the mesa is.
     
  14. teletail

    teletail Tele-Meister

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    Me too. Years ago in my quest for the ultimate tone I bought a Mesa and a PRS. After 6 months I found it - in a Fender Deluxe Reissue and a Strat.
     
  15. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar TDPRI Member

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    I feel like it is. I generally use one at the guitar store for guitar auditioning at a quiet but still bubbling level.
     
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