Price paid: $ 1817
Purchased from: L&McQ
Sound — 10
I use an EMG humbucker on my strat copy sounds real good overdriven and crystal clean on the clean channel. I also have a strat with single coils that sounds pretty "classic rock". Not a very noise amp, only thru my start with noisy single coil humming. With the EMG there is no hissing unless its cranked up there (gain). The amp can sound like Metallica, Hendrix, SRV, Jimmy Page, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, you name it, with the right guitar and right setting you can dail up any sound more or less it is extremely versatile. The distortion sounds super heavy when you got the master volume at 50% or higher, I find I like it around 65% anything else is just too loud and hurts your ears! The solo channel creates a sound that just makes the solos sound a lot cleaner and they just cut thru nicely. The only thing I dont like is that the reverb knobs are extremely touchy and I cant seem to like it turned up more than 10-15% or there is way too much reverb other than that the flexibility is endless.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for almost 8 years now. I'm starting to learn lots about tone and the small difference between various settings are starting to become familiar. I can really tell the differnece between a Marshall and this mesa, and I am honestly very glad I didnt buy a Marshall I was thinking of getting. I wanted to get a jcm2000 mainly because I had to finance anyways so getting an old classic wasnt in the options. And I've played a lot of the old marshalls as well and I find the distorion on a Marshall on the lead channels are kind of all or nothing. They are not an amp that you want if your looking for different sounds and play a variety of stuff. I mean the Marshall sound is classic but I think there is enough people playing les pauls and jcm900s so I wanted to break the trend as well! You get 10times the distorition features, you get a gain knob + drive knob. You want metal, put it to 100watts drives up to 75% and flick the switch to "Thicker" and look out! You want classic rock like old sepplin tones, you can either use the drive knob set down to like 35% and set the gain to like 65% or you can switch out the drive knob and just use the gain at 90% for a different tone. You can even try driving the clean channels gain to 90% and you get this real warm bassy type of overdrive, 3 ways to get the same sound, and you can even play with the normal, thick, thicker to further tune the overall gain section. Marshall can't compete with option like that. All the have is gain and Volume. The gain is also very mellow until its 50& and higher, I find when I use the Marshall gain channel it gets heavy at about 20-30% which I dont like all the time. I need some clarity in my distortion section. Best of all if you need a bigger sound you can always run an extension cabinet, 2x10 or 4x10 or whatever floats yer boat. You can eve just slave it out to another. I'm glad I got the boogie, it can be just as loud, and I think the sound cuts thru better than a Marshall in a band situation too. If I had was forced with the same decision again after owning the boogie and jamming on a Marshall every weekend in the studio I would still pick the boogie. It's about the same price as the Marshall half stacks (a few hundred cheaper) but packs quite a punch tonewise and versatility wise. I would highly reccomend checking one out if you are into any kind of music. If you were a straight metalhead I would say look at a Marshall or some of the solid state amps. I would play a solid-state amp if I still played straight metal. Anything else go with the boogie and I think you will find it is as good if not better than the Marshall in every area! For those of you who need a 4x12 or 4x10 cab, check out the lonestar head! Matched with a Road King cab oh I've drooled on myself.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I've had it for 3 months now. I had to return it because I shorted out 2 of the 6l6's. I don't know how this happened, as I have used it "by the book" and always let it warm up before using it, and never had any of the drive or gains above 75% as well as the volume has barely seen over 50%. In my opinion the amp has not been beat on bad enough to cause damage already but I do not know how the amp was played at the store before I bought it. Some kid could have pounded on it in the store or done something he shouldnt have. Anyways it was covered under warranty and fixed within 24 hours which I was very impressed with te service at long and mcquade in calgary. So this category I am still uncertain.
Features — 10
Very versatile amp. I play everything from heavy metal to blues, acoustic as well and it shines in everything I dial up. 2 channel amp - clean or distortion - Has Solo boost on the footswitch which I'm very fond of. I use this amp for basement use and gig use and it is too powerful for any gig I've ever played at a pub here in calgary. Can't even bring it up on 100 watts I keep gettin told to turn it down so I keep it at 50 watts. Tube rectifying distortion or a some diodes for distortion at the flick of a switch. 2 Reverb settings, seperate reverb controls for each channel, switchable between just a master control for volume or an overall output knob to keep it at a lower volume for the basement yet having the master up to get the good tone.