Okay I'm getting one of these two amp.

Mesa Boogie Studio .22
I can get it for 375.

Mesa Express 5:50 2x12
I can get this for 850.

I'm buying one of these two.
The Studio .22 will need new tubes as they haven't been changed in over 15 years.
Changing the speaker might be a good idea as well.

I will be playing in bedroom most the time but will be jamming with friends over drums and bass a lot.

So the 5:50 seems perfect because it can switch between 5 watts for bedroom and 50 for jamming.

I will be playing a lot of high gain music so would I need an overdrive pedal?

Based on what I have said which one would be best?
Most say the Mesa 5:50 doesn't sound wonderful. I don't know about the Boogie Studio, but you might want to look into a Mesa F-30/F-50 or a DC-3 or 5. Both of these amps occupied the same low-cost slot that Mesa has filled with the 5:50 (which cannot compare to either of them) the general conensus is similar to what I've said.
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What the hell is a G&L.

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Greg what did you send me??
I've spent some time with both of these amps, more with the 5:50 than with the DC.

Firstly, if you are playing high-gain numetal, IMHO neither of these amps will deliver the tones you are looking for without a pedal. A good overdrive could get you close, but you may get further with a boost in front of the amp and an eq in the loop.

I know more about the 5:50, so I will focus upon it. I think the 5:50 is the better of the two amps. It can do classic rock up to old-school metal (Sabbath, etc) without a pedal, but sounds much better with an OD. It has particularly beautiful cleans, which is great for its own merit, but also good if you are thinking of using pedals with the amp. The burn setting has some good lead tones on tap. If you use an OD or an eq with boosted mids out front, you can use the contour control to dial out some of the mids and get some great hard rock and good metal sounds (although this would be better for old school metal, rather than newer higher-gain stuff). The beauty of the 5:50 is its versatility: it is better for clean, crunch and classic rock-ish tones, rather than metal tones. It has a series effects loop for delay and other effects.

As for the wattage switching on the Express 5/50, IMHO the 5 watt setting changes tone more than it changes volume at bedroom levels. It will be easier to get overdrive when you crank the amp on the 5w setting, but it isn't going to be that much quieter.

I think you could do better by looking for a used Mesa F30 -- it has some more gain and a stronger mid scoop in the contour control, if that is what you are looking for. It is also regarded as a good all-rounder, but I think that the Express series of amps have better clean and low-to-moderate gain tones.

Check out the Grailtone Boogie board for mesa questions -- there are lots of mesa users there to help. You will also see that the people who aren't happy with the Express tend to play higher-gain metal, and were hoping that the Express would be a mini metal amp. It isn't, but it covers a lot of other territory really well. It isn't the Mesa amp for you if high gain is your thing -- check out the F30, a recto or a stiletto, depending on what flavour of high gain you like most. The F30 probably covers the most ground well, while retaining good high-gain tones at second-hand amp prices.

Happy amp hunting!
Last edited by Steve BP at Oct 6, 2008,
I own the 5:50 and I agree with everything Steve said. It's NOT a high-gain amp, but it really does sound great.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.

Don't judge me.
Well....realistically, no. But with a really heavy distortion pedal + noise gate or a real heavy OD on the burn channel + noise gate, yes.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.

Don't judge me.
Ahh then that would get way over my budget.
So would you say like.
Get an ISP Decimater
and then a really good distortion pedal that has a tube in it?

Would that get a real nice metal tone?
Kid, I know for a fact that many, many metal amps have been suggested to you, yet you still keep asking questions. If you want to play brutal metal, neither of those is the amp for you, and that's the god's honest truth.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.

Don't judge me.
Thanks for the replys guys.
I know that it may be annoying that I have made so many threads.
But right when I think I know what to get things change.

Okay so then If these mesa won't work.
What are nice all around amps that have nice cleans as well as high gain.

When I say gain I mean
Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium type stuff.

I do not want a Peavey 5150/6505.
I couldn't bare the cleans.

My budget is around no more than 1000.

So right now I'm looking at a
Mesa F-30/50
recommend some others please.

you know what, I give up. You can just go look at this page and figure it out.

What you want changes every 5 minutes. It's practically impossible.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.

Don't judge me.
I think you'll have a tough time finding an amp that will deliver both high-quality high gain and high-quality clean tones. If cleans are more important, then get a great clean amp and use a pedal for distortion. If high gain is more important, get a high gain amp, and sacrifice your cleans. The amp you are talking about -- that is, one that does everything well -- would be the holy grail of tone.

Happy amp hunting!