Hey guys,

I have four unrelated topics for questions, but I didn't wanna spam the forum with different threads.

1. Does anyone know about Red Bear picks? Are the worth the money? What's with the Guthrie Govan model having a serated edge? Does that help anything?

2. So I love how the Mesa Mark V is so damn versatile; I played one and the tone out of that thing is KILLER. But I strongly prefer "Brit" style amps that are unforgiving and honest in every way and show every nuance and dynamic of my playing. I HATED the response on the Boogie and I'd really like one. So, if I switch to EL34's or EL84's, would that be enough to change the dynamic response (also please offer some suggestions on which one might sound better)? Would I have to mod the amp or would different tubes fix it? Is there a way I can get the British style honest response while leaving in the 6L6's? I really love the sound of them. Any other suggestions to help with this? Should I forget about the Mark V? Please don't suggest the Mark 5:25; I want the 100 watt with more channels. Maybe it's silly but I want the full Mark V.

3. I'm looking for a guitar with a trem and I may or may not have one custom built. When I proposed to the forum the concept of a Subr Modern vs. PRS Custom 24, you guys said they're both great guitars. My questions are, as far as vintage style terms go, does the PRS trem or the Gotoh 510 used by Suhr stay in tune better? Is one more playable? I want to bend back to, so are they both full floating? Is there a height difference in the two trems? I don't have much of a way of trying out either, so any advice would be much appreciated.

4. Everyone tells me to put a fuzz first in the signal chain, but I have way too many fuzzes (6 different fuzz pedals), so is there a way to get around this? Would a pedal looping system take away the problem? Thanks you guys!!

Last edited by gibson52198 at Nov 12, 2014,
1. Haven't used them. They are awfully expensive for picks, but maybe they're fantastic.
2. You can't drop El84s into a Mark V. El34s will give you a bit crisper sound but I don't think it changes the dynamics all that much. Did you use the rectifier switch on the back of the amp? Big difference between the tube and diode settings.
3. Both will stay in tune just fine. Both can be set up to float. Height difference is minimal. If you want to pull up though I would suggest getting the 2-point Gotoh on the Suhr, it's going to float better than the 6-point 510 or the PRS trem.
4. What problem? Surely you don't have more than one or two on at a time anyway, so their order is arbitrary if they're not on at the same time.
The Mesa Mk V is what it is... An awesome all-American amp. The Mesa F-30, Studio 22, and .22 Cal all use EL 84 tubes and sound quite American as well. Tubes don't change the sonic character much so if you need British crunch, buy a British crunch amp. Orange, Vox, and Marshall have what you need.

No personal experience with the other questions.
Maybe a Marshall JVM410 if you need a versatile British amp?

And then there's always the Randall RM100...

And possibly the Egnater Tweaker 40 / 88. Not sure if the 88 will be as British as the 40, or if the 40 is even very british itself. But they're definitely a very fun amp if you like tweaking. Tons of switches like the Mark V.
Last edited by Offworld92 at Nov 13, 2014,
Doesn't the Marshall JCM 2000 TSL60 also have three channels? And if I'm correct, they're kept in very high regard. If TS can find one, it could be perfect for him.
Could one mod the amp to feel british?
Last edited by cococardigan at Nov 21, 2014,
2: Royal Atlantic
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100

Cathbard Amplification
My band
1. Haven't used Red Bear picks. Probably won't, either. I'll be honest; I was handed a sample of the pick I *DO* use, liked it, and have used them since (Gravity Picks, if you're interested). I'd be really interested to know what makes ANY pick the best in the world. Seems more like personal preference to me.

2. It's possible to switch EL34s to EL84s using THD Yellowjackets, but you won't get the result you're looking for and the amp won't sound as good as an amp designed around EL84s in the first place. Honestly, the power tubes have much less to do with the British sound than the preamp tone stack. You could probably talk to Bruce Egnater about modifying a Mesa, but in the end, you'll no longer have a Mesa, and it would probably have been a better idea to buy something else in the first place.

3. It's not the trem (usually) that determines what stays in tune. It's far more often the nut and the headstock design. Between the PRS and the Suhr, you have two of the best-built guitars on the planet. That said, there's a reason that the Floyd Rose trem stays in tune better than anything else, and it's because it takes the nut and the headstock design completely out of the equation.

4. Best solution: Don't put every pedal you have in your pedal chain. I have two and a half flap-top bins of pedals dating back to the dawn of time, when the first caveman who invented the wheel looked at it and said, "Ug. Potentiometer. Make wah pedal." If you want to have every possible permutation of a fuzz pedal at your disposal, buy a multi-fx pedal OR talk to one of the MIDI pedal folks. Honestly, the multi-fx is a better idea; it just depends on how much crap you think you have to have online at one time in your pedal chain. Make a decision, eliminate half of those pedals and start your own flap-top bin of random pedals. When you get old, someone will look inside and intone, "Whoa, Dude! Vintage!" and then you will know that it is time to sell them.