Studio 22 Review

manufacturer: Mesa Boogie date: 11/29/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Mesa Boogie: Studio 22
Built 1987 with it's roots out of the late 70's. Great versatility, it's eq pots are very responsive and small adjustments can make a huge difference to the tone.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 9.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.7 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 11 
reviews (2) pictures (1) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
Studio 22 Reviewed by: jacks2axe, on october 29, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 640

Purchased from: friend

Features: Built 1987 with it's roots out of the late 70's. Great versatility, it's eq pots are very responsive and small adjustments can make a huge difference to the tone. Lovely clean tone and killer distortion. There are only two channels which is all I need, there is an effects loop and direct line out, you can also run a second speaker from it by changing the ohms from 8 to two 4 (changeable jack inputs). There is a footswitch for the channel selection and on the ones that have the graphic eq you can get a footswitch for eq selection. I use this amp to play in a cover band doing songs from Lynyrd Skynard, AC/DC, Metallica, Blink 182, Jack Johnnson, John Butler etc. And it's tones have no probs with any of these styles. As the name sugests it is a studio amp, 22 watts (apparently, I think more like 15-18watts) that is surprisingly loud and like most tube amps the louder you go the better it sounds. // 9

Sound: Being a tube amp it is very responsive to the type of pickup you use, by using EMG 81 you get awesome metal distortion and if you use a strat you get really crisp overdrive tones, run some Gibson PAFs through it and you got awesome rock sounds. Being a studio amp it is very quite and really light weight which is awesome. In bigger venues I mic it up (I never use line out on any amp, ugh) and it just chews it's way through the audiences ears. When I play metal through it the distorion sound is really tight, palm mutes are short and clear not like some of the british mud you can get from some other amps, just picture (hear) master of puppets or Justice for all, the tone is dead ringer for it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have only owned this amp for 6 months and it hasn't let me down yet. It seems to run really hot, especially when you use high gain pickups, I've heard of some people mounting a cooling fan in the back of it however, I think that it sounds better the hotter the tubes get, I want those puppies at melting point :) the fellow I bough it of used to stuff a towel in the back of it to get them even hotter, heh rock'n'roll. He owned it for years and the tubes are 3 years old or older and are still functioning great. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for 22 years, I was heavily influenced by Metallica, Testament, Joe Satriani, Slayer, Sepultura etc. And it creates those type of tones to perfection. It doesn't have enough crispiness or ott distortion for some of the modern metalcore but personally I think that type of distortion gets lost at high volume anyway. This is the second tube amp I have owned I'm going to hold on to this one, I love the fact that it is light weight (I only need one trip from my car, backpack with leads and boost pedal for solos, guitar in one hand and amp in the other) and compact, it really packs a mighty punch for such a small unit. I can honestly say that there is nothing bad about this amp, but then I'm a pretty simple kind of guy, two channels, small amount of reverb and a boost pedal through the effect loop for my solos, that all I need. If you see one anywhere make sure you try it out, you'll be surprised. // 10

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overall: 9.5
Studio 22 Reviewed by: teledave, on november 29, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't exactly remember when I bought them used, but it was in the late 80s or early 90s the one without the eq a little bit after the one with. Still have them. Still use them though I quit gigging a few years ago. They were my main amps for a dozen years. Before I got them, I had one of those Rivera designed Fender Concert lead combos with an EV and could not get a decent sound at sane small bar stage volume levels. Great amp, but it wouldn't do small places. So, friends turned me on to the 22s. We usually miked everything and let the pa do the work (and were always too loud anyway) but the 22s, either 1 with a 15 inch 1968 Utah in a closed back 40s hi fi cab or 2 with a mesa 12 open back extension cab. Sometimes I just powered a 4 12 cab. Always sounded great. In all those years I only retubed them twice with Boogie tubes. 2 channels are enough for me. Never used the effects loops. I usually ran a multieffect pedal up front, stereo and mainly played Teles or strattish guitars. I didn't figure it needed any other features, with or without the eq, I would do all that other stuff with pedals // 8

Sound: Ok, I use Teles mainly so it is single coil with a high potential for an ice pick in the ear if you are not careful.We were doing classic rock and heavy blues and sometimes traditional country when our lives depended on it. My 22s were never really clean or quiet, but neither am I, so that is a perfect match for me. It cannot do loud and "cleanish" at the same time, but if I wanted a Twin, I'd get one. That winge aside, in the realms of dirt, the master, volume and lead knobs interact in unfathomable, illogical yet totally delightful ways. Chug metal guys will be disappointed, but in the world of overdriven cascaded preamp tubes to overdriven power tubes there is such a musical range of lovely even order harmonic overtones at reasonable sound pressure levels. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Can I depend on it? Yes, but duh, ALWAYS BRING BACKUP. I usually just left one in a flight case in the truck year round and it never came inside except for a gig, winter or summer. We were playing an outside biker gig on the back of one of those metal flatbed trailers and I had my 22 on top of the 15in spkr cab and were playing pretty much wide open and an over-enthusiastic biker-babe hopped up on the flatbed, I assume to sing along and her excess avoirdupois and general lack of a graceful dancing style, catapulted the 22 off the spkr, bouncing off the steel bumper of our trunk then on to the ground, probably about an 8 foot fall. So I go get it, pick it up, turn it back on and finish the gig and 2 more jobs before the tubes fail. The glass tube teats are in a little foam holder in a metal frame which I am sure saved them. So yeah, you can depend on them. 10 isn't high enough. // 10

Overall Impression: I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this amp to anyone who likes to play in the world of overdrive at sane stage volume levels. If you need loud punchy clean and absolute silence quiet get something else. I would think that the sorts of music that I play, any roots music, blues or classic rock is where the 22 shines. I have been playing since the 60s. I own lots of cool gear and build guitars and amps for myself. I can get a good sound out of almost anything. Tube purists cover your ears, but a digital modeler in front of a Vintage tube clone, sounds sooo great. When you dime my 48 Valco, it sounds awesome but it is a 2 trick pony at best. Solid state can sound amazing too, quit whining and twist some knobs and you might be surprised. Some analogue modelers are so convenient to use. // 10

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