What Do You Think Of Modern Mesa Boogie?

banditguitarist1

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A friend of mine recently had a debate about Mesa Boogie amplifiers and I'd like to get some input on what other people think of modern Mesa Boogie amps. I say Modern because I believe the old Mesa's of the 1970's (i.e. The Mark Series) was a totally different class of amp then the modern (Triple Rectos etc). My friend made a statement that

"american distortion is fat and dynamic and singing; British distortion (marshall) is piercing, weak, and lacks any singing or vocal character, its just crunch crunch crunch and thats all it can do. which american (fender/boogie) does fine at anyway, and mesa can outcrunch any marshall, boogie owns orange/marshal dirty and clean, fender owns all clean."

I found this to horribly innaccurate as I have heard hundreds of Mesa Boogie amps and they all sound incredibly generic and they are all CHUG CHUG CHUG and nothing else where as Marshalls and Oranges are much more dynamic and responsive. So what is everyones take on Mesa Boogie amps and how do you think they compare to others?
 

scoobyzjr

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I think that you are talking in too broad of terms. There are many different Boogies and not all of them are like Rectos. Also, there are many good and bad Marshalls, etc. I have a Mesa Nomad and have had a Mark III. I like the Nomad better.
 

KSG_Standard

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I have a Mesa Blue Angel and it freakin rocks...There is nothing generic about it. Two different power sections, one with EL84s and one with 6v6s, I can get VOX type sounds out of it and DLXE reverbs kind of sounds or run all tubes together and get some killer tone as well. I used to own and gig with a Mesa MkII and it was a bad ass amp as well. I am about to purchase one of the new Mesa Electra Dynes. I love Mesa amps.

I have a Marshall JTM amp too and I love it for different reasons. I'm not a big fan of most of the new Marshall's or the triple rectifier Mesa amps.
 

smcgov

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I actually think Mesa's have a very unique sound in general. I have a 50 cal with EL84's that just sounds so "different" than my marshalls or fenders. I like them a lot but do understand that thier uniqueness turns some people off...

hope that makes sense, I think in general people are very binary toward mesas. You either love them or hate them.
 

General Disarray

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A dual rec doesn't have to chug if you don't want it to - it's got a very broad range of tones - you just gotta set it right!
 

Wolf Child

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Ask the question again when the Mark V's start shipping :naughty:
 

banditguitarist1

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Thanks for the replies, I'm not saying I hate all Mesa's I just found it very biased to say British style amps cant do anything but chug. I've tried a Mesa Mark IV and it was amazing much unlike the Dual/Triple Rectos I have tried and heard which sound very generic to me. I like the older designed Mesa but the Express was nice when I tried it too then again one mesa die hard i talk to hates the Express. I guess in the end its all about the players ears.
 

Deftone

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I replaced my 1978 Marshall JMP 100w Mark II Super Lead with a Mesa Heartbreaker combo. It was a 60w/100w, dual rectifier with two completely separate tube power amps. It sounded incredible and was EXTREMELY versatile. Best sounding amp I've ever owned.

I'll probably by another NEW Mesa someday, like the Express 5:25 head. I love Mesa's
 

funkyguitarman

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I had a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50 for a while and loved every tone coming from that amp. It did jazz,rock,blues,country, and metal. Just a fantastic amp with tons of versatility. The whole Mesa line is very impressive and their construction is top notch.I think the modern stuff is as good as ever. I do not see why Mesas are cornered into being a "metal" amp when they have so much more to offer. Besides most metal guys that use Dual/Triple Recs often use OD pedals to drive the amp even more and do not know how to use dynamics.
 

Splattle101

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I look at Mesa designs and I'm very impressed. They should be really good amps, and a lot of people say they are.

I, however, have never been able to just lose myself playing a Mesa. I find I am forever tweaking the bastards and I'm never quite happy with what I'm hearing. I'm always at that, 'Mmm, this sounds good, but...' stage with Mesa.

I feel the same way about the modern Fenders, too, so this is not a Mesa-specific experience for me.

So while they're superbly designed amps with excellent features, they never seem to be right for me.
 

DRF

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My 2 main amps are a Mesa studio pre(heart of a simple rack system) its a '80'/'90's mark series so I don't know if its considered modern, and a Rockerverb 50 head. these 2 are in the same category of awesomeness imo. I slightly prefer the mesa,pure magic-not only in my opinion but have actually had people comment on its outstanding-ness...its in another class.

Orange: definately brit grit but with sweetness and lotsa gain. Cleanchannel is in so-called boutique territory. The reverb: on my other amps I usually use some form of delay,on the orange its not needed...beautiful!. I can't say enough. Also imo, the Orange is visually stunning!
 

joegeek

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I have a Mese Recto Verb, I chose this amp because of it's versatility it pulls off everything from clean to Over the top pretty well. Now if I replace the 5881s with EL34s............

A Friend of mine has a Stiletto, now that amp has the brit sound covered.
joe
 

notoperational

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Out crunch Orange and Marshall? ha

I will base a new opinion on Mesa when the MKIV comes out. The Lonestars are pretty cool though. Rectofiers... Eh
 

Texas07R8

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My son has a Mesa Nomad and it's been in the shop since January, he took it back in mid March and took it to another shop and still doesn't have it back....

He had a Triple Rectifier before and he likes the Mesa. Personally I'm not a big fan of them for the money and it worries me he's had so much service issues with the Nomad. It's not like we're in a small town where you may expect such issues, we live in the Dallas area for crying out loud.

He loves my Vintage Modern, he was very impressed with the dynamic response of the VM, where you roll back the volume and the tone gets clean and sparkly then dial in some guitar volume and that classic Marshall crunch is all there.

I have another 2x12 combo besides the VM, it's a B-52 AT100 and it frikkin cranks! It's got 4 6L6GCs and a slew of 12AX7s and 12AT7. I think it's got 12 tubes including a 5AR4 rectifier. This amp reminds me of a Mesa in tone and capability and it was dirt cheap. Granted many people have had problems with some B-52s but I tell you when you find a good one, it's GOOD! I dropped $399 for mine used with a one year warranty and it's a keeper. I like to run through both amps in stereo through my Digitech RP500 pedal. I run the Marshall through the left channel and the B-52 through the right channel and I run the B-52 volume a little lower than the Marshall. Basically I want the Marshall primary tone and the B-52 is the slave side and it sounds great with reverb, delay and chorus in stereo.
 

bildozr

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I played a Dual Rectifier and a JCM 2000 yesterday and I have to say that the rectifier had a much fatter sound but I'm not a Chugger in the least bit. I loved it.
 

JW123

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I have 3 Mesa's

1. Currently I use my Triple Rec live with a 4x12 cab. I have taken the 6L6s out and put in 4 EL34s. Ive switched preamps so much I have no clue whats in there at the moment, but it just works for me. Live my main channel has a JCM 800 vibe to it, maybe a little more bottom. I have a really good clean sound with lots of headroom and then I have my 3rd channel set up for what the manual calls a Modern Rec sound. I really like this amp.

2. I have a Mesa Roadster combo. Its basically a 4 channel rectifier. I use it some but I havent ever gotten it dialed in all the way. Everytime I use it at a gig I come away dissatisfied for some reason. I like it thru a 4 x 12, but thru its own 2x12s it just doesnt do it for me.

3. I have a Mesa Subway Rocket. This is simply the best recording amp I ve ever used. I have used it for gigs, it just doesnt get that thunk sound I like out of a 4x12. Ive currently got it loaned out to a friend who has a recording studio. It is 20 watts 2xEL84 tubes. If youve never checked one of these out and see one for less than $400 grab it! Thinking about it I realy dont need the other amps, this one amp and my pedal board does all I need it to do. I just still prefer a halfstack, maybe its just the look.

Your question is kinda vague, cause the early Mark Series are a total different animal than the Rec series. Recs can be finicky to very small adjustments to the tone controls. If you are going to play one loud, then try rolling the gain back some. If you are a player who likes diming the gain you probably will have a hard time getting a workable tone out of a rec. In the early 90s I think Recitifiers became the go to amps in studios, so these days half the stuff on the radio is basically a rec voiced sound. So maybe they oversaturated the airwaves with the sound. I still love this sound.

Good Luck
 

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love mesa , for me best amps available ,ton of versitlity(roadster)
 

FUS44

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I tried them(recto) and thought they didn't let the character of the guitar come through as much as some amps. I didn't want to take a further 2k test drive.
some of those 70's and 80's boogies were awesome. That's the weezer sound on the first album. Serious crunch, singing sustain/tone.
 

Sky

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I'd say Mesa Amplifiers are one of the most versatile Amplifiers out their. :-D
 

Tweed Cab

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I use a Mesa 20/20 EL84 Stereo rack amp. I have had the best luck with my Stratocasters using stereo pedals though a Vox single four cab.. The build quality is A+ and of coarse its made in the USA. Its a great amp and I think alot of people are missing out on this one because its a rack amp. :cool:
 

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