Studio 22 review by Mesa Boogie

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (11 votes)
Mesa Boogie: Studio 22
1

Price paid: A$ 640

Purchased from: friend

Sound — 10
Being a tube amp it is very responsive to the type of pickup you use, by using EMG 81 you get awesome metal distortion and if you use a strat you get really crisp overdrive tones, run some Gibson PAFs through it and you got awesome rock sounds. Being a studio amp it is very quite and really light weight which is awesome. In bigger venues I mic it up (I never use line out on any amp, ugh) and it just chews it's way through the audiences ears. When I play metal through it the distorion sound is really tight, palm mutes are short and clear not like some of the british mud you can get from some other amps, just picture (hear) master of puppets or Justice for all, the tone is dead ringer for it.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 22 years, I was heavily influenced by Metallica, Testament, Joe Satriani, Slayer, Sepultura etc. And it creates those type of tones to perfection. It doesn't have enough crispiness or ott distortion for some of the modern metalcore but personally I think that type of distortion gets lost at high volume anyway. This is the second tube amp I have owned I'm going to hold on to this one, I love the fact that it is light weight (I only need one trip from my car, backpack with leads and boost pedal for solos, guitar in one hand and amp in the other) and compact, it really packs a mighty punch for such a small unit. I can honestly say that there is nothing bad about this amp, but then I'm a pretty simple kind of guy, two channels, small amount of reverb and a boost pedal through the effect loop for my solos, that all I need. If you see one anywhere make sure you try it out, you'll be surprised.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have only owned this amp for 6 months and it hasn't let me down yet. It seems to run really hot, especially when you use high gain pickups, I've heard of some people mounting a cooling fan in the back of it however, I think that it sounds better the hotter the tubes get, I want those puppies at melting point :) the fellow I bough it of used to stuff a towel in the back of it to get them even hotter, heh rock'n'roll. He owned it for years and the tubes are 3 years old or older and are still functioning great.

Features — 9
Built 1987 with it's roots out of the late 70's. Great versatility, it's eq pots are very responsive and small adjustments can make a huge difference to the tone. Lovely clean tone and killer distortion. There are only two channels which is all I need, there is an effects loop and direct line out, you can also run a second speaker from it by changing the ohms from 8 to two 4 (changeable jack inputs). There is a footswitch for the channel selection and on the ones that have the graphic eq you can get a footswitch for eq selection. I use this amp to play in a cover band doing songs from Lynyrd Skynard, AC/DC, Metallica, Blink 182, Jack Johnnson, John Butler etc. And it's tones have no probs with any of these styles. As the name sugests it is a studio amp, 22 watts (apparently, I think more like 15-18watts) that is surprisingly loud and like most tube amps the louder you go the better it sounds.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jocke_93ortegren.se
    Mine is on the way to me now (will arive in the end of next week maybe). What tubes are good for the kind of high gain, and pallmute that those bands you mentioned (Metallica) have?
    jacks2axe
    I've been using JJ's in mine. I've experimented with a few different 12ax7 in v1 like mullard, genalex, rca but I've found the JJ's sound best to me.
    vferrizz
    How will this amp work as a home / bedroom amp? I have a Peavey VK 212 that is just too much for indoors playing. I have a Roland Microcube, which is nice, but I want a little more than it can put out but less than the Peavey. I also want to stay with a simple tube amp.
    jacks2axe
    this amp is really loud,it would probably get louder than the VK but it sounds great at low volumes too
    vferrizz wrote: How will this amp work as a home / bedroom amp? I have a Peavey VK 212 that is just too much for indoors playing. I have a Roland Microcube, which is nice, but I want a little more than it can put out but less than the Peavey. I also want to stay with a simple tube amp.