Price paid: $ 1800
Purchased from: Guitar Center Oxnard
Sound — 10
I use a Gibson Les Paul Studio plus through this amp usually. It is the best setup I could ask for for a pop rock band. I love the tone this produces and the distortion is so authentic because of the tubes. When I use this amp to record it blows me away cranked. The breakup is just beautiful. I am running EL34's in it and every note is clearly defined. This amp gives such an authentic almost clean sounding distortion. Don't be mistaken, when I say a "clean" distortion that is a good thing. I love a heavy distortion sound, but is something that has to be heard to understand. You get the note clarity of a clean sound with a heavy distortion. And believe me this amp produces a heavy distortion. As for the clean channel. I honestly have not heard a better clean tone from my les paul than through this head. It is so warm and juicy and well, clean. It is a brilliant sound at all volume levels.
Overall Impression — 10
I play everything related to rock. I have a passion for '80s shred like Van Halen, but I play in a pop rock band. This amp does it all. It is perfect for what I am doing. I have been playing for 8 years. If it was stolen I would definately buy a new one. The price is gut wrenching, but oh so worth it. It takes your music to a new level. I don't like that this thing weighs a ton but what am I gunna do? I compared this amp with all the alternatives, Marshall, Crate, Peavy, Ibanez, Krank, Fender in search of an amp that wouldn't break my bank like this would. I finally realized that those amps came close to this quality, but were not what I REALLY was looking for.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't taken this amp on the road yet, but it has been great so far. I must say that it is a fairly heavy head. I will obviously have to buy a nice case for it for the road. As with most tube amps, it is a more fragile amp and should be taken care of. The tubes in the back are exposed except for an aluminum bar. I would not take this on tour without a case. Mesa was kind enough to throw in a dust cover which is actually very nice. If you have any experience with tube amps you know that it is a very smart idea to carry extra tubes around with you!
Features — 10
This head was manufactured in the USA in 2006. I know for a fact that this is the most versatile amp I have ever played because I play it every day. There are so many quality tones you can pull from this amp it blows my mind. It is very sensetive to changes in the knobs and this results is a wide range of tones from high gain scooped tones to lightly distored clean tones and some very nice Vintage tones. It has 3 channels, and the footswitch gives very smooth channel switching. This amp has countless features, there are just too many for me to remember because it is a boogie.