#1
I'm seriously thinking about getting a second (combo ) amp this coming year. Something more suited for heavier genres than my Fender HRD. Whether I keep the Fender depends on how well I like the cleans on the new amp.*

I'm a big fan of Orange. I have a local dealer, so I know what they sound like in person. (Distorted, at least- haven't really paid much attention to their cleans.) I would probably get something like a Thunderverb 30 or a 50. Maybe a Rockerverb 50.

But I'm also curious about the Mesa/Boogie line. I know lots of pros use them, and they get lots of love. Looking online, I've been intrigued by the Transatlantic, Lone Star and a few others. Unfortunately, there isn't really a good place to try them out near me. I may have found a place @40 miles away, but odds are good that I won't get a chance to mess with one for a while.

So...tell me more about the different Mesa/Boogies. What should I look for? Which ones aren't worth my time & money?


* Edit: just to confuse the issue, but in the interests of full disclosure, I have also been looking at Vox AC30s...
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 29, 2014,
#2
I would probably get something like a Thunderverb 30 or a 50.

Just to be clear, there are 2 Thunderverb models, the TV50 and TV200, both made in the UK, Then there are the TH30 and TH100, both MIC. I've had the TV200 (also used it for bass ) and the TH100 (awesome Clean and very nice Dirt).
#4
RM100. Of course,
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#5
Mesa makes 3 kind of amps in my head.

1st is the recto series.

Pretty flabby and loose sounding, people have trouble with its EQ, 'cause it's very sensible and active IIRC.
If you get a recto get a used 2ch one, I haven't compared them personally but everyone who claims he has agrees on the fact that they sound plain better than the 3ch ones.

They're good for metal if you like that kinda sound.
I really really really don't and I think you might get better stuff for the money, but to each his own.

2nd one is the series of amps that want to be a lot of different amps.

Mark *insert roman number* and road*king/ster*, they wanna do what modeling amps do but they wanna keep it analog, hence they have incredibly crowded front and back panels.
Most famously heard on metallica's master of puppets album, this stuff is among the favorites of guitarists like petrucci and stuff 'cause I really don't know why.

Same thing as before, they're good for metal if you like that kinda sound.
And they are more versatile, though they don't have a hell of a switching system so if you wanna switch from a modern rock sound to an '80s metal sound to a norwegian black metal sound you'll have to go tweaking the controls of the thing at least once.

3rd is the series of amps that I like the sound of.

The lone star namely.
Then there's the kinda amps of which sound resemble the lone star's, like the king snake.

Lone star's one of my two favorite amps, so I'mma be a bit subjective here.
They do cleans and not really that high gain stuff and **** me if they don't do them (the cleans mostly) better than any other current production amp.
Based off of amps like the blackface bassman, they kick some serious ass.

Not really designed to do heavy stuff primarly so I wouldn't really look into this, though if you're alright with the kinda gain you can get from an AC30 this will get you even more, and sound a lot more american in the process.

That though was mesa alone.

EDIT: I forgot the last section, which includes the rest of the amps - the atlantic series, which I know nothing short of nothing about, and then the express series which I can't really relate to anything because it sounds dull in a way I've never heard in any other amp.

If you have money and want something heavy, consider ENGL.
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Last edited by Spambot_2 at Dec 29, 2014,
#6
Well, my Single Rec Rectoverb is not flabby at all and is a very strait-forward amp. I'm a set and forget kind of guy so messing with a bunch of knobs (like on a modern Mark) is not for me. If that is what you are looking for (Recto) they do make a 1x12 Single Rec.

The Trans Atlantic is a lot of fun but suffers from too many knobs/switches and too little horse power for my needs. I've played the Lonestar but only enough to validate that it has awesome cleans and enough drive to do some classic rock.

Now the Royal Atlantic is a frickin beast of an amp but they don't make that in combo (didn't check that).

I'm very impressed with Mesa overall so if that is what you want - I'd say get a used Lonestar.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Dec 29, 2014,
#7
The rectoverb 1x12 is a great amp, the Stiletto Ace 1x12 is good if you want a mesa/marshall combo tone. I really like my friends DC-3 which is a mark variant and <$600 used typically
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#8
The Stiletto and Royal Atlantic are Mesa's take on the British sound, both are pretty beastly. The RA100 was closed out by GC for 1100 or 1200.

The older 2 channel Dual and Triple Recs are excellent for pure carnage.

As mentioned, the Recto Roadster and RoadKing are the most versatile. The RK II has the older LoneStar (my 1st amp) tone ... some say it's better than the current LoneStar Special (haven't tried it).

The Rectoverb and Tremoverb are very nice Bang for the $$$ amps although GC Used currently shows higher prices compared to even 6 months ago. I'm on my 3rd Tremoverb head ($450) and I believe 311 paid a silly price for his Rectoverb, too.
#9
So...

Lonestars sound kind of like HRDs on steroids, with better distortion. How much better?

Rectos sound like pure metal machines, maybe not so good on cleans. Not a dealbreaker, but I would have to keep my HRD.

Marks are essentially analog modelers of a sort. How good?

TransAtlantics are complex. But how do they sound?

Express are...a gimmick?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 30, 2014,
#10
Yeah most everybody hates the Express series. IF you want an end-game amp, I'd go with a Mark or a Roadking. Super versatile. I loved my MK III, I could get any sound in the world out of that thing, though it was a total bitch to tweak, very sensitive. Haven't played a RK but definitely a similar level of tweakability.

If you just want a metal amp, the Rectos are hard to beat. My two-channel sounded so huge, and with a tubescreamer in front it was the ultimate metal amp in my eyes. If all you want it metal I don't see much point in buying beyond the Recto/Rectoverb/Tremoverb series, and the cleans aren't terrible.

Of all the Mesas I have played, my favorite was definitely the Royal Atlantic, can't speak to the TA but the RA had a ripping distortion channel, very british but still with a distinct taste of Mesa, and the clean was just as bad to the bone. I'd definitely listen to a lot of videos because it isn't any of your typical Mesa sounds, but definitely a sweet amp that I hope to own one day (Though with my Nineteen80 it would probably be redundant )
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#11
Quote by Ippon
Just to be clear, there are 2 Thunderverb models, the TV50 and TV200, both made in the UK, Then there are the TH30 and TH100, both MIC. I've had the TV200 (also used it for bass ) and the TH100 (awesome Clean and very nice Dirt).

I haven't seen a TV50...but I have seen a TH30 and AD30TC.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
I liked the Express series, I got really good cleans and sweet overdrive sounds on the one I tested.
It reminds me of another small line they had before, the name seems to escape.

I think it is quite versatile, and you can tune it to your liking, but I won't recommend it over their pricier offerings.
Last edited by diabolical at Dec 30, 2014,
#13
Oh yeah, forgot to mention, the TH30 is a MONSTER DUDE! I'm sure you have played it but that amp is so awesome, another I'd like to add to the line-up
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#14
Quote by diabolical
I liked the Express series, I got really good cleans and sweet overdrive sounds on the one I tested.
It reminds me of another small line they had before, the name seems to escape.

I think it is quite versatile, and you can tune it to your liking, but I won't recommend it over their pricier offerings.


I really liked the Express series myself. they were my go to amp at GC for trying out guitars. usually a 5:50. really nice clean sound and a good hard rock distortion. would need an overdrive for more metally sounds. sure it's no Mark but for a combo pretty good.
#15
MKV/MKIV and a 2CH Dual rec. you be fine for a while.
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