I've decided to get a Mesa Dual Caliber. I was originally set on the DC5 for the 6L6 power section. I've always found EL84's, which are in the DC3, to break up really harshly and I don't like the tone. The problem is it has been really hard to find a DC5, while there are DC3's all over the place. Should I hold out, or just pick up a DC3? I've never played the DC3, how does it sound compared to the DC5?
I had an F30, it replace the DC3. I concur about the el84s breaking up harshly, one of the few faults with the amp. I don't know if the 6l6 version would break up any better. The preamp saturation on the F30 was amazing though, if you're looking for hard rock/metal/high gain lead tones and great cleans then it should be an awesome amp for you.
took me about a week of constantly checking ebay to find my DC-5 head. Check your local craigslist too. DC-5s have a darker, fatter sound than the DC-3s. If that's what you want, hold out. I actually bought my DC-5 blind; I loved the DC-3 I played with a Marshall JCM 800 cab (the slant version of the one I have now) because it was super fat and crunchy. The DC-5 has loads more gain, a darker and fatter sound, and beefier all around. Hold out, it'll be worth it.
Thanks guys. You confirmed my suspicions. RG, how much did you get your DC5 for? If you don't mind my asking...
720, with shipping from ebay. It's a 94, which is one of the first (i actually think it's the first) years it was introduced. Not bad price, about average and mine's in pretty good condition for being 15 years old (a tad banged up from normal usem but th at's expected). Kind of kicked myself a week later when I saw one for 600 buy it now. X_X Either way, they're definitely worth it. And try to get a head, not the combo; the ability to switch cabs and make it be a gentle and soothing beast with, say, and open back 2x12, but plug into a closed back 4x12, and it becomes a chunky mo-fo.
I'm gunning for a head and a 2X12. Thanks for the help mate.
no problem. Also, make sure you have the output level (master volume) past 2. I hated the amp for awhile since I had it at one, and at one it's pretty muddy and not much better than a SS modeler. But seriously, just moving the volume knob up ONE notch, and I now don't care to own another amp (aside from a Vox AC30 and an Orange Rockerverb, but those are two QUITE different beasts ). Have the volume up, and with a Mesa, realize "less is more." Put everything at 0, then adjust from there. My settings don't go past 6 on any setting except for reverb.