I just got a Mesa 5:50 express. I love the cleans and the blues tones but the high gain leaves something to be desired. What pedal (boost, compression, overdrive whatever) would you recommend to tighten it up, give it a little more saturation but at the same time increase clarity?
oh sorry forgot to mention. I am poor as **** at the moment, but if you feel it will help considerably 150 is probably the max i can shell out for something like that right now. And I don't have a problem buying used
Actually, I'd suggest a new speaker unless you need significantly more gain. Something like a Weber ceramic axis 12 or FC12. $100 new, so you're in under budget. The stock speaker in those lacks warmth and clarity, as you noticed.

Also, how long have you had it? It's possible the speaker just hasn't broken in yet if it's just a week or two old.
Boost your mids and engage the contour. That is what the other guitarist I play with does and it sounds great for high gain. Might want to pick up and OD to help tighten tho depending on the type of high gain music you play. He uses a BBE Green Screamer. But that or a Bad Monkey will do on a budget.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
Green Screamer is on sale at Guitar Center website for $49. It was anyway last week when I got mine.
The Green Screamer is a great choice, much better than anything else in its price range, if it's still on sale.

The Express just don't have any balls to their tone imo, you might want an EQ as well.
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