#1
Evenin' UG.

Found a pretty good deal on eBay for one of these amps, thinking of going for it.

I want an amp that has very nice distortion, but also a very nice clean channel, Mesas seem to be the only amps that do that, and by watching the few videos and reading the few reviews that I can find on the F-50, I reckon this could be the amp for me.

The problem is, I'm the most indecisive person I know and I just can't make my mind up and just go for it.

If anyone here had any usefull or interesting information or advice about this amp the please share it

Anything to help me out? haha.

Cheers in advance.

Fuzz. X
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#2
its a great amp with a good clean and good distortion tones.

help?
'87 Fender Strat
Oscar Schmidt Archtop
Laney LC15R
#3
Haha I know man

I'm just a paranoid mofo, as it's used and that, I'm sure it'll be fine though.

Just checking there isn't any major problems with this amp that might not be obvious.

I've been looking for an amp for a while now and I just really can't make my mind up, driving me insane.

PS : + 1 for Boards Of Canada
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#4
I have an F-50. Great cleans, and the contour distortion is every bit dual rec as Mesa could do, but voiced it somewhat differently. I had a hard time picking between a rectoverb or the F-50 and ended up with the F-50. I love mine! Especially with Hellatone 60's.
Guitar:
PRS Tremonti

Amp:
Bluetron Bluedrive
Ducted Port 1x12
Jensen Mod 12-110

Wants:
59/09's or Standard T&B
#5
Quote by DisplacedLogic
I have an F-50. Great cleans, and the contour distortion is every bit dual rec as Mesa could do, but voiced it somewhat differently. I had a hard time picking between a rectoverb or the F-50 and ended up with the F-50. I love mine! Especially with Hellatone 60's.


Do you have the combo or the head?

Awsome ... for a while I was thinking I'll get a fender amp and use pedals for the distortion, but I think this will do the job better as it has an excellent clean channel too.

So what is your opinion of the distortion without the contour switched on?

I have no experience of those speakers, if I buy this amp, I'll probably get a cab custom made with Celestions.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#6
I have the head. I'm not a big fan of the distortion without the contour. I've been meaning to put some overdrive pedals in front of it, see if it would make a good lead channel, but I never have. From what I've heard on harmony central (they have a HUGE F-Series thread), a lot of guys do that and really enjoy it. The Hellatone 60's are a broken in Vintage 30. avatarspeakers.com I'm thinking about switching a 60 for a 30, though. Just to see if that helps my tone out a little bit. And a tube swap, too.
Guitar:
PRS Tremonti

Amp:
Bluetron Bluedrive
Ducted Port 1x12
Jensen Mod 12-110

Wants:
59/09's or Standard T&B
#7
I'm really not sure what to do haha.

I'll check some of the review on Harmony Central.
Can you set the amp so that when you turn on the overdrive channel, the contour automatically comes on with it?

I want sparkly cleans > creamy distortion > metal mentalness. I don't actually play much metal as such, I could just use that tone for cetain things.

Once I've bought the amp and the cab, I won't have enough money to buy distortion pedals, I've got a Big Muff and a Hot Tubes, but the HT is old and makes alot of noise and stuff.

We can't get Avatar cabs/speakers over here in the UK.
I'm looking into a nice London based company called Zilla.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#8
As long as it comes with the 3 button footswitch, you can. Just push the "contour" button to turn the contour on, and then you can switch back and forth from clean to distortion. It's pretty nice.
Guitar:
PRS Tremonti

Amp:
Bluetron Bluedrive
Ducted Port 1x12
Jensen Mod 12-110

Wants:
59/09's or Standard T&B
#9
Yes it does, but does that mean that the 'contour' is on when you're on the clean channel too?
If so how does that effect the sound?
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#10
Nope, contour only effects the distortion channel. But there is a bright pull switch on the clean channel. And the gain knob on the clean channel can get you a LOT of sounds. Lower gains, and it's very clean, very nice sounding. Higher gains breaks up a little bit, but also gets REALLY bassy. And the distortion channel gain is very useful, as well. Put an overdrive in front and it can get some very nice metal tones.
Guitar:
PRS Tremonti

Amp:
Bluetron Bluedrive
Ducted Port 1x12
Jensen Mod 12-110

Wants:
59/09's or Standard T&B
#11
Cool, glad it dosn't work on the clean channel.

Thanks a lot for the info dude, brilliant
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#12
I own an F-50 and I agree with everything DisplacedLogic says. It has really good cleans (not quite as good as my Music Man but close enough) and the standard distortion leaves something to be desired, but the contour mode makes up for it, because its really good for hard rock in my opinion. Also, I did find that Mesa's are hard to EQ when your not used to them, but with some pratice I'm getting closer to finding the sweet spots. If you do get one read the manual! Its very very helpful on explaining how the F series works, and has some good suggested settings to get you started.

Another thing, you can't judge it at "bedroom levels." It really doesn't shine with the distortion until you can crank it, which is still asking a lot even if you are playing in an empty house. I find its not that great at low levels and it shouldn't be because it wasn't designed for that.

Here are two links that helped me decide to purchase it:
Guitarist Magazine Review of the F-50
Randall Smith himself explains how the F series fits in the Mesa lineup

I was looking for a good hard rock amp that still had decent cleans [for Alter Bridge/Creed style music]. I wanted a Dual Recto, but it wasn't very feasible, so realistically I was between this and a JCM2000. So far I'm happy with it, I just wish it had a 5w or 15w mode for practice, but maybe I'll invest in a quality attenuator.

Btw, I too had a really hard time committing to one amp, but I figured if a dual recto is what I want this is probably as close as can be gotten with out actually getting one.
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
Last edited by FrenchBread at Jun 1, 2010,
#13
No problem. If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me. The eq on the F-50 takes a little bit of getting use to. It'll sound like fresh ass until you do, but once you do, it's amazing.
Guitar:
PRS Tremonti

Amp:
Bluetron Bluedrive
Ducted Port 1x12
Jensen Mod 12-110

Wants:
59/09's or Standard T&B
#14
Thanks for the detailed reply

Don't have any experience with those speakers, any good? Cool name haha.
I've never played through an F-50 (or any Mesa for that matter) so that makes it hard to buy one, but I do really like most of the tones that I've heard from the videos, and most of the things that I've read about them, I've seen those two aticles you posted, makes the amp sound very appealing!.. I will read the manual, I was looking at a manual for the Mesa Studio preamp, they seem to set out their manuals very well.

How would you say the F-50 cleans compare to a nice Fender's cleans?

I havn't played a gig for a while now, but I'm in a new band and we're rehersing and stuff, we'll be gigging soon, so I do need an amp that goes past 'bedroom levels', I only want to buy something quality, plus I already have a decent quiet amp for practicing in my room haha.

I'm looking for the same thing that you were (not so much creed :P).. I rather enjoy Alter Bridge's tone, they use Mesa and Diezel don't they?

I don't want a Marshall.

Yeah it would be nice if it had a 5w mode.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#15
Thanks, and I'm glad I could help:

About the speakers: I can't really say to much about them because I've never really tried others enough to compare them. Most reviews say they are fantastic at cleans and overdrive. They are a very warm speaker that keeps highs very clear without being harsh (which I'm really weird about treble being harsh) and the bass is full without being boomy. However, this speaker resists distortion. Maybe speaker distortion is something you want, but I find I appreciate the clarity of this speaker when I crank the gain. I always wonder if I wouldn't have been better off with a Marshall cab or Mesa, but I don't think these speakers are bad at all, just perhaps others might do higher gain better.

The manual is really good like you said. As far as how it compares to a fenders cleans, I don't have much experience with a Fender, however I own a Music Man (which is Leo Fender's second company). The cleans are very good, I guess so far I just find I like the way you can EQ it better on the Music Man, but like I said, Mesa's take some time to learn, and I wish I had it set up so I could switch back on forth on the heads to try to match it on the Mesa. I think its just how the frequency centers are places (like what frequencies the treble, mids, and bass are focused on). But I've only had the F-50 for two months now so who knows what I'll say in a year. And everybody's ear is different.

In short, the cleans are just as good or better than my Music Man, I just like the EQ better on the Music Man as of right now.

Tremonti says his core of his tone is a Mesa Boogie Tripple Rectifier, but he play with Bogners blended in with it. He uses Fender Twin '65 reissues for cleans, blended with a little of the Mesa live.
Tremonti's Gear
Btw, Mark's instructional DVD is awesome if you don't have it.

Myles uses a Mesa Road King I believe with the Diezel. I think this helps him differentiate from Marks tone live.

Can you tell Alter Bridge is my favorite band?
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
#16
Cool, from personal experience and taste with speakers, I've found that I like Vintage 30s for heavier tones. It seems that we have a very similar taste in tone really, I like my distortion very heavy, but very clear and well defined at the same time, which is why I don't like Marshalls (aside from that fact that they're boring, everyone has one, and they make you look like a ****-rocker :P). I think if I get my custom made cab, I'll get a 2x12 with one V30 and one other speaker which is aimed more at clean tones, see how they work out together, I'll see what the guy who's making it thinks.

I never played on anything by Music Man, though I love Fender stuff, so as Leo Fender designed it, it's probably good, and probably similar haha... The one thing that I don't like about Mesa is that most of their amps seem to be very complicated to use, so I find the simplicity of the controls on this amp very attractive, I'm sure I'd learn how to dial a perfect EQ into it after some time, as will you.

Ah, it must have been Myles' rig that I was reading about then, although Alter Bridge arn't really one of my favorite bands, I definatly enjoy the tone that I've heard in the few songs of theirs that I've listened to.. Cheers for the link, I'll definatly check that out, the DVD too.

Fender Twin cleans are rather delicious, I still don't know weather I should get a Fender as a clean base and just use pedals for distorted tones, hmmm, I just want my own unique tone really.

Haha don't worry, I'm obsessed with a few bands too
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#17
If you get the 2x12 with V30's and pair it with the F-50 let me know. Because I've always wanted to try a Mesa 2x12 with V30's with my F-50. I agree with what you said about distortion, we do sound like we want something similar. And the reason I didn't get the JCM was kinda the same as what you said about Marshall.

The thing about the Mesa is not that it's complicated (which is why I picked the F-50 over the Mesa Nomad, and the F-50 is raved about its simplicity compared to other Mesa's), its that they are just different than other amps. To give you a heads up it works like this. The strongest controls on the amp are in this order:
Gain->Treble->Mids->Bass.

The reason it works like that is because the signal goes through the chain so when you adjust the treble, it effects the signal the mids receive so it changes the mids to. Its not a lot, but by changing the treble you've also changed the mids and the bass.

I'm not trying to make it seem really complicated, because it's not, it's just that it works differently than some other amps, and therefore takes some getting use to.
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
Last edited by FrenchBread at Jun 1, 2010,
#18
I will do mate
It'll probably be one V30 and one other speaker though.
I nearly bought a mesa 2x12 with V30s in it the other day for like £250, but then I didn't know if I'd definatly be getting a head, so I left it.

I'm just really torn between getting one of these and getting a beautiful clean amp that has no distortion, or atleast no distortion that's worth bothering with (Fender), and running a few distortion pedals.

One thing about the Mesa I've found is that it's in Scotland and I'm in southern England (few hundred miles away incase you didn't know), and I'm worried it'll get damaged in transit.

Ooh, the way that the EQ works is interesting to say the least, I'm sure it's probably good in it's own way though.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#19
I had the Music Man, and I was thinking that I would just get an expensive distortion pedal, like the Mesa V-Twin tube distortion pedal. But from everything I read, you just can't match true tube amp distortion. I've never tried an expensive distortion pedal through my Music Man, but from what I have tried, it doesn't come close to true tube distortion in my opinion.

I guess it depends on how important cleans are to you. I'm not you, but I feel like if you got the Mesa F-50, you would probably be pretty happy with it's cleans. I'd say try it yourself, but I realize Scottland is far away.

If I were you I"d check harmony-central's reviews and see what other people say about the cleans. That should help you decide.
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
#20
Yeah I were to take the Fender route, I'd probably get a distortion pedal that has a tube in it, I didn't even realise Mesa made effects pedals.. You probably can't get quite as good tone with pedals as you can with true tube amp distortion, but I think you can get pretty close, pedals arn't really a worse tone, they're just different I suppose. Clean is pretty important to me, but so is heavy distortion tones, not so much mid-gain tones, which is why choosing an amp is very hard for me haha.

There's no way I can try out the ACTUAL amp that I would be getting, I cant go to Scotland, also I very much doubt that I'll find an F-50 in a shop to try out either. Guess I'll just have to go buy youtube videos and internet reviews

Thanks for all your help though man
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
#21
Actually FuzzKing, Myles uses a Mark IV and a Herbert. He used a Roadster for a while, but with a Mark IV, I don't blame him for switching. Both very good amps. And yes, the EQ is quite a fantastic creature of its own accord. I love my F-50 and am now on the quest to find the perfect soul mate (I'm a big follower of the Mark/Myles philosophy of 2, 3, or 4 amps is better than one) to go with the F-50.

And yes, AB is my number one favorite band. And Mark's instructional is truly fantastic. (Sorry for the late turn around. I don't live in Europe :S)
Guitar:
PRS Tremonti

Amp:
Bluetron Bluedrive
Ducted Port 1x12
Jensen Mod 12-110

Wants:
59/09's or Standard T&B
#22
I have an F-50 head. Awesome cleans and awesome distortions. I'm more of hard rock guy so I'm use the distortion with the contour on.

EDIT: I am actually based mine of on youtube videos. I haven't regretted it lol The clean is pretty awesome. I think the bright option is a new feature as well. The clean does not have the contour switch and it also has a separate button on the footswtich. Hell, you can even turn of the contour on the clean channel before you go onto the distortion channel.

EDIT 2: Aha what a coincidence! I actually play nothing but creed/alter bridge nowadays. I'd say I got it pretty down. Mind you, I only have a Squier as well! I think my tone could be improved a lot more if I had a better guitar, but I'm saving up still.
Last edited by Photograph at Jun 2, 2010,