1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

NAD: Mesa/Boogie Fillmore 50

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Cysquatch, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    863
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Location:
    Grovetown, GA
    I've been eyeballing one of these for quite some time and was about to pull the trigger before everything went sideways. Luckily, we've been fortunate enough to be largely unaffected by all this, so I went back on the prowl. Opened up the local CL and, as if a cosmic sign, there sat a Fillmore 50 in factory new condition for $1300. Did the weird mask, gloves, and distance meet up to check it out and it was pristine - the seal on the plastic casing holding the inspection tags, manual, etc. was still intact as well as the factory tie on the footswitch cable.

    Apparently, the dude selling it has been a big Mesa/Boogie fan for a while and got one to check out the different direction of its design and decided he preferred the more EL84-bent approach of their other products. I just got lucky and snatched a prime deal, it seems.

    Here it is sitting under its little brother, my Recto-Verb 25 head.
    [​IMG]

    Time will tell if the head finds a new home, but ideally the Fillmore would be a do-it-all amp for my sounds and I could greatly reduce my gear situation and get it all into the hands of players needing stuff to love and ample time to do so.

    All sanitized and ready to roll, this thing sounds fantastic and the EQ controls on it are powerful, it's a very immediate response to knob twiddling and has thus far been extremely versatile. The only thing it's missing is some of the ultra-tight heavy crunch the Recto-Verb offered up, but that's not my main sound or something I've spent much time trying to chase out of this amp. Again, time will tell if I can truly become a one amp player, but the Fillmore seems determined to convince of such.
     
  2. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,305
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    Nice score, congrats.
     
    Cysquatch likes this.
  3. heffus

    heffus Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    823
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    cHICAGO
    Congratulations! That's on my list if I ever get a big boy amp.
     
    Cysquatch likes this.
  4. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    863
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Location:
    Grovetown, GA
    If by big boy you mean power output, I'm sure it'd have you covered, but it does feel like a very tame 50 watts. I find it much more manageable for home playing than my 25 watt head, and that's in the full power mode. The clean mode is extremely easy to keep at pretty much any volume - which not be ideal for people needing massive clean headroom. I've not had a chance to run it wide open with current situations.

    It's an odd clean channel, but in a very good way. The gain-volume knob relationship is pretty standard until you get the gain to maybe 1:00. That doesn't stay squeaky clean, but just adds a touch of edge to the sound. But keep running past that and it gets snarly in a really nice way. I almost think of the gain knob as Blackface on 0 and Tweed on 10 in the clean setting.

    Also, if you have a Strat, this amp loves them. It's a very special combination pretty much any way you set the amp. And it can absolutely get that super bright tele tone that will slice your head in two, no problem.
     
    heffus likes this.
  5. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,501
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Knoxville TN for now
    Awesome score !!!
    There are deals out there if you have the cash ...


    And aren't afraid to leave the house ...
     
    Cysquatch likes this.
  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,314
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Congratulations! I bought one last summer, and they are great pedal platforms in addition to covering a lot of ground on their own. The tone stack is typical Boogie (more so than the Rectifier tone stack), so don't be afraid to dial them in with your ears rather than your eyes. Some of the best sounds are found with very unconventional tone settings.
     
    Cysquatch likes this.
  7. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,078
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl
    Congrats, I’ve been curious about these since they were introduced. Never found one in a store to test.
    That’s a great looking amp. Hope that you love it.
     
  8. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    863
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Location:
    Grovetown, GA
    Yeah, the situation did makes things a bit different. But, the guy I bought it from was extremely kind and was also being very careful with regards to the health situation. We actually met outside and he placed the amp on his tailgate and stepped away to let me test the amp using the 120VAC power outlet in the truck's bed (real fancy stuff I'd never seen). Truth be told, the actual NAD was a while back, but letting it sit to allow any potential fungus to die off and then a careful wipedown were clearly in order.

    It takes pedals extremely well, though I've been really moving away from using any aside from a tuner for the last 3 months or so. It gets some really cool Billy G-esque not-quite-fuzz tones with the gain dimed on the clean mode and then running a Swollen Pickle Mk II with the tone and scoop knobs all the way up and the crunch at about 3:00, with very minimal sustain and at unity volume. Very happy to finally be able to get those sounds after so long. And I was able to almost immediately dial in my personal "holy grail" tone - the lead from Jesus Just Left Chicago.

    You are not wrong about the odd settings, though. Knobs are getting putting in some strange places, but making fantastic sounds. Obviously will wait until I'm well outside the honeymoon phase to make definitive judgements or move the little Recto. But, I'm certainly going to be keeping the Fillmore I believe. It's a real killer amp.
     
    Deeve and Frodebro like this.
  9. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,314
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Try maxing out the midrange in drive mode, gain between 11:00 and 1:00, treble around 10:00, and bass anywhere from 1:00 and up.
     
    Cysquatch likes this.
  10. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    863
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Location:
    Grovetown, GA
    That is super punchy, I dig that sound. What pickups are you sending through that?
     
  11. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,314
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Typically a Tele, but also a LP Jr with P90s. I stumbled across that setting by accident, but it was one of those "whoa!" moments.
     
  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,314
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    IMG_1157.jpeg
     
    bftfender and Cysquatch like this.
  13. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    863
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Location:
    Grovetown, GA
    I bet that is a sweet setup indeed. I was fooling around with that setting with a P-rails equipped tele in P-90 mode and digging it. Some volume and tone knob fiddling and lots of Duane and Dickey was coming through. Not a bad place to be at all.

    How do you like the extension cab? I've never used any of Mesa's own cabs, but I've only ever heard great things about them.
     
  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    89,208
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Cool!
     
  15. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,314
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    The extension cab is a weird story. Actually, the Fillmore is as well... I went down to my favorite Mom & Pop to buy a Triple Crown, and hadn't decided yet on the head or the combo. The plan was to play through them both, then decide. Right next to the Triple Crown combo was a Fillmore 50 combo. Since I was already sitting right there, I gave it a try. And fell in love instantly-even at low volume.

    They had the extension cab there as well, and the cost of the Fillmore and extension cab was about the same as the Triple Crown combo, which I had already planned on buying, so I figured what the heck-if I decided later I wanted it, it would probably already be gone, so I grabbed it too.

    Oh, and I eventually did buy the Triple Crown head as well. There's very little tonal overlap between the TC and the Fillmore, so they are a good combination.

    Mesa cabs are great, they're very solidly built and sound equally good. I've accumulated a few over the years...

    IMG_2034.jpeg
     
    Cysquatch, bftfender and gridlock like this.
  16. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,147
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2020
    Location:
    Heart of Illinois
    Congratulations. I’ve had my eye on the 25 watt for a while. I don’t need another amp. So far I have been able to keep the GAS at bay. :D
     
    Cysquatch likes this.
  17. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,078
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl
    The 50 watt 6L6 Fillmore Combo is the one that I also want. So how does it sound, clean, overdrive, and Reverb?

    Any other amp comparisons to the Fillmore? For example, my favorite cleans and Reverb come from a Fender Twin Reverb. My favorite overdrive is from a Marshall MV JMP or early JCM800. Just curious in comparisons or is it more Boogie versions of Clean and Overdrive which are still very good depending upon the model.
     
  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,314
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    From what I've read, the Fillmore is a revisitation of the earliest Boogies, which were derived from hot-rodded Fenders. The cleans range from Blackface to Tweed, depending on where the gain knob is at. The drive sounds are definitely Boogie. I use pedals for Marshall sounds, but the amp will do the Boogie high gain (think Carlos Santana) all day long without any help. The reverb is decent, but not terribly "sproingy," if that makes any sense. It sounds very good for most normal reverb applications, but it doesn't have the right character for surf music.
     
    Cysquatch and gridlock like this.
  19. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,078
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl
    Thanks and excellent description. I need to try one. I love Santana sounds.
     
  20. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    863
    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Location:
    Grovetown, GA
    Pretty much my thoughts exactly. It's not going to be a Marshall replacement, if you're looking for another way to that exact sound. But, it can definitely serve the same purpose while being sonically distinct in my opinion. And as @Frodebro said, pedals can get you there easily. I love the cleans on it, it's actually the main thing that made me start looking into the Fillmore over my little Recto. I personally like the lack of surfability in the reverb. I dig surf and all, but I'd much rather be able to crank the verb up and get really big swimmy sounds without it getting overly bouncy. Which this seems to happily serve up.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.