Lone Star Review

manufacturer: Mesa Boogie date: 12/23/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Mesa Boogie: Lone Star
The Lone Star is an amplifier of such extravagant tone and seductive feel that we can almost guarantee that you will experience divine inspiration and effortless expression every time you plug into it! It is that amazing!
 Sound: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Features: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (5) pictures (1) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Lone Star Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 16, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1817

Purchased from: L&McQ

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 6

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 10
Lone Star Reviewed by: dgonz, on february 26, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This amp is loaded with USABLE features that we've needed for a while. Different wattage settings for each setting. I really like being able to have the clean channel run at 100 watts for the headroom, and have the overdrive channel run at 50 watts to push the tubes for the best tones out of both. This feature has even been carried over to the new Stiletto line. This amp also has the option of two different kinds of reverb - warm or bright. I thought the bright was too bright and would probably never use it. The warm was real nice sounding to me. It also has a rectifier type select, 6L6 or EL34 power tube option, extra "Drive" setting for channel 2 with additional gain knob, and a Full-power or Tweed option for that great Brown Sound. // 10

Sound: You can get a lot of great tones out of this amp. Lots of high gain, though not as much as the Mark or Recto series. Tone-wise it reminds me of a cross between a Nomad and a DC, but with different options and features, for those familiar with the Mesa line. For those not, it has a wide range of professional tones for about every style of music there is. Any type of rock or blues sounds spectacular on Mesa amps, and this new Lonestar line is no exception. The rectifier select switch seemed to make a more noticeable difference in tone than the Rectifier line. The tube rectifier had a nice mellow sag, but not too saggy. The diode was noticeably more punchier and tight, and a little higher in volume. The overdrive channel has a drive switch which boosts the gain by use of an additional Drive knob when selected. Once selected, the total gain for this channel can be dialed in from the original Gain knob as well as the additional Drive knob, giving a lot of room to tweak things. The overdrive channel has a Normal, Thick and Thicker switch. This made barely any noticeable difference to me. Great tones with lots of gain, though not as much as Rectifier. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Mesa makes great stuff. Other than being a bit skeptical of typical first-run bugs (from any company), I think this should be as solid and reliable as their other great products. // 10

Overall Impression: Yet another great Mesa amp. This would be a great amp for someone that need a lot of great tones, but not necessarily the over-the-top Rectifier tone. This amp can be used for almost any style and can do it well. This would be great for someone wanting to get into the Mesa line, but not need the crushing high gain of the Rectifier series or the ultimate tweakability and versatility of the Mark series. All in all, a very cool and nicely laid out amp with some very usable options. // 10

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overall: 10
Lone Star Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 07, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Showcase, San Jose CA

Features: The Mesa Lone Star is the first Boogie that I've found completely useful for my personal use as an all around fulltime professional musician. The previous review runs down the amps capabilities perfectly. It's tweed setting is the perfect feel and sound for my softer gigs. Then to be able to cut through a band and still maintain excellent tone quality at those high volumes, says loads about it's very useful power settings. // 10

Sound: I've mostly been exclusively using my C-336, PRS Custom with 3-P-90's and Melancon Chambered-T with the Lone Star. Though it sounds wonderful with single coils, humbucker's seem to expand it's possiblities. I love the fact that the clean's are so sparkly and full of life, that I can actually use the humbucker's with it. It easily takes the place of a JC-12O or Twin with the extreme plus of a valuble, very sweet and creamy gain channel. And mind you, it's not your usual Boogie over-kill receipe, but more of a Dumble type of overdrive, only with more gain if desired. Very Nice! // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far, so good with the right back up tubes and fuses I'm prepared. I've owned two boogies in the past and the service fellow-up was always excellent whenever needed. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a myriad of styles with great emphasis upon Funk/Soul/Jazz Fusion World Beat and lots of solo background guitar gigs. I love both to scream and to play super clean, especially on the same gig. The Lone Star seems to provide both of these type of tones in a superior and immediately accesible fashion. Amazing Quality Indeed! I've been making a living at Music since High School toured the states for 12 years. Now I work as a fulltime musician on the CA Central Coast. This amp allows me to cut back on my setup (the load). No more on the gig amp switching problems. I've never liked my previous Boogies (I've owned 3 different ones). I need channel switching because I'm not much of a volume knob player. The cleans have always been too harsh and the gains overdone on the Marks 3 + 4. The Lone Star is the complete opposite. It cuts beautifully yet maintains a beautiful sound in any of it's different configurative possiblities. Viola! Mesa Magic. // 10

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overall: 8
Lone Star Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 10, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1900

Features: Not sure when it was made but I assume it's an earlier model seeing that it's the classic. My one is the head and matching 4x10 cab in blue bronco (I think that's what it's called). Feature wise it's got everything iv wanted in this type of amp. I use this amp in gigs, rehearsals and at home and it goes pretty hard. There is certainly enough power in this amp. Oh and for the record this review will have shocking grammar and spelling mainly cause I don't care bout it :s // 8

Sound: ok this amp is pretty sweet. I've owned it for 6 months now and I'm starting to get the hang of it. The clean channel is crystal clear doesn't break up at all which is what I expected. Especially through the 4x10 cab. I've played it through my Orange 4x12 cab and it didn't quite have the same presence still good just not the same. Style wise i really only use this for blues type stuff and Guthrie Govan sort of music. It nails them straight away. Took a while to get a good sound out of it. When i first played through it it was incredibly bassy then I found out Andy Timmons plays through one so I went on you tube and found him going through his rig and that really helped. With this amp I found I had to completely back off the bass. The clean channel doesn't distort when pushed and I pushed it in a band situation but this thing is freaken loud and cuts through easily. The distortion channel is a let down if you don't know how to use it. Once again I had to back of the bass completely. I also use this channel on 50 watts so I can push the amp a bit more. Oh also theres not much volume difference between the 50 and 100 watt setting i found the difference was more in the distortion. By this I mean the 50 watt option obviously has more distortion at less volume as opposed to the 100 watt. I also got the idea to use a bb preamp on top of the distortion channel as an overdrive (andy timmons) and it just gives an incredible tone. This amp really takes well to pedals. The BB preamp gives an extra dimension to the distortion channel coupled with a delay and it's pure bliss. I've seen alot of people ask whether or not this amp can do metal. No it can't jsut look at the name it says it all. Sure you could chuck a distortion pedal in front but then you'd be better off spending your money on a Rectifier, roadster or a Rivera knucklehead etc. This amp was made to deliver that classic blues sound and to me it does that great amp even if your not a fan of mesa. I give it an 8 because nothing is perfect. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Never let me down thus far, the amp used to belong to my mate and it never f***ed on him. i always gig without a backup on account I don't have enough room in my car for another amp haha but seriously I have never had a problem with this amp. As long as u treat it with some love it'll be fine and maybe refrain from putting a beer ontop of it during a gig. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm pretty versatile and own a range of amps and guitars. I bought this guitar primarily for it's clean tone and then when I played round with the distortion I knew I needed this amp. Been playing for ages but lately I've been lucky enough that I have been able to get my hands on some great amps for a good price and this one was certainly worth it. I had a Fender deville before and compared to it, it just seemed to like a bigger more controlled sound. They aren't better or worst than each other just different which is a good thing. If it were stolen I'd prob only buy one if I got it for the same price I did cause it was a bargain I certainly wouldn't pay the ammount for a brand new one. This amp is great for what it does but it does require alot of time with this amp to get a good time but reading the manual helps and watching andy timmons' you tube vids bout it are certainly worth the time. Great amp maybe a little to pricey brand new but that's how mesa work. // 8

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overall: 9.8
Lone Star Reviewed by: Brainpolice2, on december 23, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1800

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: The version of the Lone Star that I have is the Lone Star Classic 2x12 Combo, which I got about a year ago (2010). It took a little bit of time to get familiar with manuevering the controls, but it is a simple enough set up. The amp is definitely versatile enough to cover most styles of music, perhaps with the exception of some metal. I use it for jazz, fusion, rock and blues, with a dash of country. The Lone Star Classic features 4x6L6 power tubes, 5x12AX7 preamp tubes, and a 1x5U4 rectifier tube. It has two channels, with each channel featuring a switch to select between 10, 50 and 100 watts, and each with a Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, and Master Knob. The 2nd channel also has a voicing switch for normal/thick/thicker, and you can kick in an extra gain stage with a Drive knob for higher gain sounds. On the back there is an FX Loop and a Reverb knob for each channel with a bright/warm switch. I've mainly been using the Lone Star as an at-home practise amp and a recording amp, but if I had some gigs I would also use it for live situations. It is plenty loud, especially with the channels set to 100 watts. I can't imagine anyone needing to turn the master volume up far past halfway in most live situations. // 10

Sound: I've mostly been using the Lone Star with my Ibanez JEM7V, which has pretty high output pickups. I've found that I've gravitated toward the single coil sounds on my guitar, especially when using a clean sound on the Lone Star. There were a few times I got to play an old Strat through the Lone Star and it sounded great. I'm of the opinion that this amp works best with single coils. That isn't to say that it doesn't work with humbuckers, but it especially makes single coils sound great. The Lone Star Classic definitely can produce some nice tones. It can easily be seen as a naturally dark or midsey amp, since the sound with all the knobs at noon can be rather boomy, but this is easily compensated for by turning down the bass knob. I run both Channels with the Bass significantly reduced, in fact all the way off on the 2nd channel, and this actually doesn't make it sound undesirably thin. It simply gets rid of any issues of flubbyness in the bass, which is apparently common with Mesa amps. EQ settings used on this amp may vary according to taste, what guitar is plugged into it, and how cranked the amp is. Sometimes settings may appear counter-intuitive in comparison to what people are used to with other amps. While significantly or completely turning down the bass may seem like an extreme move, the low end starts to be reintroduced as you turn up the global master volume. The treble knob can also be increased a decent bit without sounding harsh, and the presence knob has a good range. The first channel at 100 watts produces a great pristine clean sound. You can also get some more lightly-broken-up or almost-clean sounds by increasing the pre-gain, which can be nice for blues and country. With proper tweaking, you can get everything from full and round jazz cleans to a spankin' sound with lots of twang and a powerful attack. It also takes overdrive and boost pedals quite well, maintaining a natural sound when pushed. Without the Drive engaged, the 2nd channel starts out sounding somewhat like the 1st channel starting to break up. As you increase the gain knob, you can get more into the territory of medium gain sounds, perfect for classic rock and all-around Vintage overdrive. A low to moderately overdrive sound on this channel can be tightened up and pushed just enough more with a tubescreamer type pedal for more of a singing lead tone. As the Drive is engaged, the amp opens up into higher gain territory. The Drive is very thick and rich sounding, without particularly producing any bees-in-a-jar quality. At first, it may not seem like a very desirable overdrive sound, particularly if one is looking for a liquidy, modern high-gain sound. The Drive on this channel has been complained about as not cutting through or just being flubby. It actually can be surprisingly nice though. That said, I've tended to use the 2nd channel without the Drive engaged more recently. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The only technical issue I had with the amp is that the pedal that comes with it had the Boost switch mess up on me, so that it wouldn't disengage the boost. I called up guitar center and they had Mesa send me a new one, since I had a warranty. I recieved the new pedal within a few weeks and it works fine. Otherwise, there have been no issues of reliability with this amp so far. I haven't even had a reason to replace the tubes yet. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, if you're in the market for a versatile and powerful tube amp that can get naturally fat tone and amazing cleans, the Lone Star is definitely one of the best options out there. The only territory that this amp can't get into is a real bright, easily broken up hot-rodded Marshall sound, and perhaps certain kinds of high-gain metal sounds. As a guitarist of about 13 years, it's the best amp I've ever owned. // 10

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