#1
Anyone have experience regarding these two amps? I've been checking out demos on You Tube. Seems like the express has a better clean tone. Problem with the distortion/gain demos though is I don't have insight into what is going on with guitar settings.

My musical tastes are rock, I could do some metal, clean acoustic sounds as well with reverb. I'm pretty flexible. Like most people I like power chords. Most of my work is with humbuckers although I do own a strat. Gain is important to me, as is a good marshall distortion type sound, although I know these are not Marshalls. Thanks.
#2
Express...

I was gonna buy the F50 but saw the new Express 550 and bought that instead. My friend owns and F50. Express is the upgraded version of the F series even though the two sound very similar.

Express Pros:
Better tube reverb compare to spring reverb
Has way better/clearer cleans
Has a switch in the back that can turn power from either 5 watt (for your room) or 50 watt for stage.
Has two voicings for each channel (4 different tones total)

F series is pretty cheap nowadays on ebay but now that I've played the express, I can't see myself going back to the F series.
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#3
the f series is better for metal while the express is better at rock so i think that you'd be better off with the express - it can still do metal just like the f could still do rock but just not as well as each other
#4
I dissagree with what omghi2u said, saying the cleans are better, the F series amps have some of the best cleans I've heard on an amp, the Express are slightly better, but not a lot better.

The Express (imo) was kind of a joke when I played it, very dissapointing to me. They advertise it as sounding like a recto on its lead channel but it gets nowhere near as much gain as a recto. I don't see how they could replace the F series, which had tons of gain, with the Express which at best has a slightly heavier classic rock sound. I mean, if that's as heavy as you need, then go for it, but for anything heavier, I'd much rather have an F series.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#5
I agree with OMG's & Tucker's posts.

I have a 5:25, and chose it over the F30 because I thought the cleans were superior, the crunch was great (for power chords, etc.), and the lead tones on the burn channel are great fun. I didn't think the F30 overdrive town was much "better" than the Express, as reported by some of high-gain-fan Express critics. The Express will do "metal" sounds up to 80s-era metal, but isn't really voiced to do downtuned nu-metal on its own. It does nearly everything else really well, though. You'll know which is more important to you.

Since the F series has been discontinued, you could probably find some deals on a used F-30. If that doesn't matter to you, the Express is a very versatile grab-n-go amp. It is not ideal for perfectly nailing signature tones, but it is a really good all-rounder.
#6
I agree with MatrixClaw. I own an F30, and I played an Express right before I bought it. I was shocked at how much less muddy the F30 sounded, especially with the contour on.
#7
Just a side question here; hope you don't mind nonjonron. Can both the F-series and the Express amps do harder rock/metal (not death just higher gain)? I've been looking at the F-series and Express amps because I want a single recto, but they are more than I want to spend? (I'm after Alterbridge/Shinedown type tones)
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.
#8
I hated the express, absolutely hated it. I thought the cleans were really shrill, plain and lifeless. The distortion was pretty week. It sounded really dry, non articulated, and lacked any sort of aggression. I disliked the tube reverb, i prefer the F series spring reverb (more natural). The express leads were really spikey, and hard to play with. I was able to pull off better lead licks on the 3 channel triple recto. As for the total amounts of distortion on each amp, I'd say the F series had a little more, but not too much more where it's oversaturated. The express had more midrange but doesn't really do good if you don't like the tone.

The F series is like a Mark 4 without the lead channel. The express is like a crate with a Mesa Boogie logo on it.

I would not pay more than $500 for a Mesa Express.
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#9
Quote by MESAexplorer
I hated the express, absolutely hated it. I thought the cleans were really shrill, plain and lifeless. The distortion was pretty week. It sounded really dry, non articulated, and lacked any sort of aggression. I disliked the tube reverb, i prefer the F series spring reverb (more natural). The express leads were really spikey, and hard to play with. I was able to pull off better lead licks on the 3 channel triple recto. As for the total amounts of distortion on each amp, I'd say the F series had a little more, but not too much more where it's oversaturated. The express had more midrange but doesn't really do good if you don't like the tone.

The F series is like a Mark 4 without the lead channel. The express is like a crate with a Mesa Boogie logo on it.

I would not pay more than $500 for a Mesa Express.

Thanks, and thats a good analogy. I thought Mesa never made a low quality amp, but I guess the Express is not to good....
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.
#10
Quote by FrenchBread
Thanks, and thats a good analogy. I thought Mesa never made a low quality amp, but I guess the Express is not to good....


Thats just my opinion. As you can see reading through the thread the opinions are pretty split.

I was just extremely disappointed with it. I owned a Mesa F-100, loved it but after I got the roadking...well...the F-100 didn't have anything at the time that I really wanted in comparison to the roadking.

Looking back on it, I wish I kept the F-100, then saved up and bought the mark IV and now run 3 amps at once. The F-100 had an enormously thick gain to it, like i mean, the EQ is Bass 4, Treble 10, Mids 6. Combining all 3 amps would give such a wide tonal spectrum...but enough dreaming for me.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#11
It looks like you can buy an used Mark IV for about the same price as a very slightly used Express 5:25. Any thoughts on which way to go (classic rock mostly.)
#12
Quote by jcoley2
It looks like you can buy an used Mark IV for about the same price as a very slightly used Express 5:25. Any thoughts on which way to go (classic rock mostly.)


Defintately a good choice. The thing is, a new or used F-30 or F-50 runs about $500-$600 now.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#13
Quote by MESAexplorer
Defintately a good choice. The thing is, a new or used F-30 or F-50 runs about $500-$600 now.


I think you can find an very used Mark IV for $900-1000 which seems to be the going price of a slightly used express 5:25 or 5:50. But the Mark IV will be considerably older.
#14
Quote by MESAexplorer
Defintately a good choice. The thing is, a new or used F-30 or F-50 runs about $500-$600 now.

$500 or $600? Where do you go to find those amps for that price!?
#15
Quote by neon10th
$500 or $600? Where do you go to find those amps for that price!?

craigslist.
#16
Quote by neon10th
$500 or $600? Where do you go to find those amps for that price!?

I bought a F-30 brand new from GC for $711 when they were discontinued, it's not hard at all to find them for those prices.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#17
I ended up buying a Traynor YCV-50 Blue today so for now that takes me out of the market.
#18
alright im going to try and give my best similarities/differences list right here.

now i am in a band with my best friend, known the kid since kindergarten and now we are both freshman in college. hes been playing a little more than 2 years than me so hes the lead guitarist. he has the Express 5:50, and i as the rhythm have the F-50.

Differences: F has the spring reverb and Express has tube, express has the 5watt/50 watt switch wile the F-50 lacks that entirely, the Express has the clean/blues channel and the crunch/burn channel switches while the F-50 doesnt.

Similarities: the Express replaced the F-50 so they have extreamly similar voicings, and pretty much the same ammount of gain.

Now the F-50 is far more simpler than the Express as you can see by the 4 channels compared to 2 (eventhough 2 are only selectable at a time on the Express). But i prefer the simplicity of the F series compared to the Express. 2 channels; clean and OD. No non-sense.

Honestly man, its all preference between these two amps, just like comparing any piece of gear. If you can, try em out, just see what you like. It is your tone after all.
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#19
Quote by LaidBack
Similarities: the Express replaced the F-50 so they have extreamly similar voicings, and pretty much the same ammount of gain.

In my experiences, which are many, with the Express, it didn't have anywhere near as much gain as the F series has.

Anyway, this thread is old.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#20
oh, i didnt read the OP date....crap. i just saw it was on the front page and figured id throw my advice in.

well i dont keep my gain past 12'o clock and i keep contour on at all times. so i never really saturate the preamp tubes. plus me and the other guitarist try to match tone and gain as much as possible, but enough to still not sound like clones. anyway...


sorry for helping the ressurection....
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
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Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
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