F-50 Review

manufacturer: Mesa Boogie date: 02/27/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Mesa Boogie: F-50
Behind that 'stealth' design is a huge range of sounds that are easily accessible from the simplest of control layouts.
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (3) pictures (1) 17 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
F-50 Reviewed by: High_Speed_Dirt, on october 09, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 711

Purchased from: used

Features: I'm not sure what year that amps was made in, I'm not the orginal owner of that amps. This combo is small for a 50 watts tube amps (class A/B power / 2x6L6, 4x12AX7 ), but man, it's heavy. This F-50 is very versatile, I play heavy, rock and blues on that monster. This amp have 2 fully independant channel and 3 footswitchable sounds (channel 1, 2 & 2 w/contour). Gain, master, reverb, for each channel and a bright Switch for the clean. It have contour switch, effects loops, silent record mute switch, headphone jack. I use it for gig and practice. Does it have enough power for you? Man this amps is so powerfull, it kills cows. // 10

Sound: I'm using a Schecter Hellraiser FR with emg 81/85, and it sound beautiful and evil at the same time. I'm using a Gibson ES-137 Classic for blues and it sound great and sweet with the clean tone. This amp isn't noisy at all. You can make the sound you what but it's clearly made for heavy, rock and Blues. I'm not using any distortion or overdrive pedal on that amps, no need! The thing I like the most about that amp is the distortion, it's so powerfull. Man! it sound crazy, it's a Mesa Boogie! // 10

Reliability & Durability: It is my second Mesa Boogie and you can depend on it. This amp has never broken down. I would play without a back up for sure. There's no need for a back up when your playing with a Mesa Boogie. There is no fear to have with a Mesa Boogie. There is a 5 years warranty when you buying it new. // 10

Overall Impression: I'm playing a lot of heavy metal and this amps is a perfect match for my style. I love the sound, it's the best buy I've ever done for an amp. The contour switch is my favorite feature. You can get an insane solo sound with that switch. If it were stolen and would seek and destroy the one Who took that beast away from me. I would buy an another one for sure. // 10

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overall: 8
F-50 Reviewed by: SeanX3187, on february 27, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Friend

Features: I don't know exactly the year on this one, the serials are quite confusing, but I do know it's an earlier model because mine has the F-30 sized cab instead of the later widebody models they released for the F-50. It has 2 channels, Clean, gain, and there is a contour option for the gain channel which makes it sound a little more like a rectifier without having a rectifier tube. I really like the independent knobs for each channel, like my old JCM 900 it has 2 separate reverb controls, and each channel has a 3 band eq plus the gain and volume controls. Has an effects loop w/ volume control. Another good feature is the Push/Pull Bright control on the clean channel gain knob. Also has a headphone/recording out accompanied by a speaker kill switch if you just want the amp to go through a processor or headphones without waking up the neighbors. As far as a bare-bones rock n roll amp, it's not missing any features, and there's not anything I wish it had, because I have a floorboard to take care of any of that. I use this amp everywhere, it's my new replacement from my JCM 900 half stack which sounded incredible but was too large. This is fine for the bedroom, but will also rock the socks off of smaller venues and bars no problem. Mic'd it could even go bigger, this amp has balls. It has a pouch on the inside just big enough to hold the power cable and the cable to the pedal so if that's factory I give it a thumbs up, buti feel that was added by the previous owner. The obvious specs are 50w Tube, 2x Mesa-Boogie 6L6 power tubes, 4x 12ax7 Pre-amps. // 7

Sound: My main guitar for this amp is my Gibson SG, and I use it to play a lot of punk on the dirty channel. It sounds awesome. Low volume gain is so-so, but once the tubes get warmed up and you turn up the gain, it sounds incredible. I notice hardly any noise ever! When I turn the clean master up to about 8 but the gain is only at 1 or 2 I tend to get some noise, but with a suppressor it's non-existent, and if I balance out the gain it goes away pretty easily. This amp is much better for it's clean tones in my opinion, the clean channel is phenomenal. Almost every setting I try on the clean channel sounds good, which is not the case for the gain channel. Without the contour switch, you can dial in your tone relatively quickly and get it sounding good, but for heavier gain and you turn on the contour switch, I find I have to re-adjust the eq to get it to a more pleasing tone. The clean channel will break up nicely whenever you want it to. Gain setting of 2-3 and a master setting at 4-5 and it's clean just until you pluck the string good, or strum an intense chord, and it just starts to break up and it sounds very natural. The distortion at 10 isn't the best, roll it back to 8 or 9 and work with the eq and you have yourself a mean overdrive channel. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've only had it for a few months, and I've taken it to 2 shows and both times it was a workhorse. The owner before me replaced the output transformer with a mercury magnetics brand one and also opted to install the choke so power-wise it's good to go. I don't know if it's a factory thing or if the previous owner did this but the entire reverb tank is tightly wrapped in a leather protective case which is screwed down by straps to prevent all the shakes and bumps it feels in transit and I've got to say if that's not on every amp it should be, makes for a great reverb sound as well. I've never had issues with it (though I admit it's a little early to say) but I do know for a fact that the only issue it had was some voltage inconsistencies that lead to the upgrade to mercury and since then it might as well have come off the assembly line last month. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a lot of different music. The clean channel sounds great for acoustic strumming, jazz, country, etc. The clean channel with more gain is a perfect light-punk sound and really accentuates the country tones with that bit of twang. Blues, funk, old school rock and roll all sound awesome. The heavier punk I play sounds good with the gain channel, and if I liked metal I might be able to tell you how it sounds, but I imagine it's quite good. I've been playing for over 10 years and while I mentioned my punk playing in this review most of what I have been playing is that jammy-improvisational stuff and this amp is perfect for that because I can go from the smoothest cleans to the grittiest distortion just like that. The only amp I really compared it to side by side is a Marshall JCM 900 4100 and while the Mesa's clean is far better, the Marshall's crunch and full gain is a little more pleasing to the ear at first, but given enough EQ play and such you can make the F-50 sound good for literally everything. I wanted to avoid giving it a high review thinking the last thing UG needs is an inflated review but as I was writing this I couldn't see giving it less than a 7 for anything, overall this is a fantastic amp and I recommend trying one out regardless of what you play because any genre would sound great through this little amp. // 8

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overall: 10
F-50 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 25, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 700

Purchased from: used

Features: Incredibly versatile, musical lead tone and great distortion. Its plenty loud. These amps are a force to be reckoned with. They compete with any of the best Marshall or Mesa Boogie ever made. Don't be lead to think otherwise or you're sadly mistaken, don't be fooled by the amazing price or simplicity of the structure either. DO yourself a favour and grab one of these. // 10

Sound: I have a PRS Santana, Ibanez Jem, and Ibanez RG all sound wicked through the amp Fits every type of music I throw at it. I've woned Mark II's and Rectifier's and the F50 blows any rectifier away for clean and lead tone and holds its own with any Mark series. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Never had any problems. Mesa support is awesome. Only once have I contacted Mesa support and they were quick, thoruogh and friendly. The amp has never broken down. Replaced 2 tubes. I bought it used so no big deal every tube amp needs replacement tubes on occassion. // 10

Overall Impression: I would reccomened the F series to any serious about tone and flexibility in an amp. It has a real musucal lead tone and is as quiet as can be when the distortion is cranked. If you come across one of these amps grab it fast before someone else who already know how great these are, does before you do. // 10

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