Studio 22 review by Mesa Boogie

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (11 votes)
Mesa Boogie: Studio 22
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Sound — 10
Ok, I use Teles mainly so it is single coil with a high potential for an ice pick in the ear if you are not careful.We were doing classic rock and heavy blues and sometimes traditional country when our lives depended on it. My 22s were never really clean or quiet, but neither am I, so that is a perfect match for me. It cannot do loud and "cleanish" at the same time, but if I wanted a Twin, I'd get one. That winge aside, in the realms of dirt, the master, volume and lead knobs interact in unfathomable, illogical yet totally delightful ways. Chug metal guys will be disappointed, but in the world of overdriven cascaded preamp tubes to overdriven power tubes there is such a musical range of lovely even order harmonic overtones at reasonable sound pressure levels.

Overall Impression — 10
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this amp to anyone who likes to play in the world of overdrive at sane stage volume levels. If you need loud punchy clean and absolute silence quiet get something else. I would think that the sorts of music that I play, any roots music, blues or classic rock is where the 22 shines. I have been playing since the 60s. I own lots of cool gear and build guitars and amps for myself. I can get a good sound out of almost anything. Tube purists cover your ears, but a digital modeler in front of a Vintage tube clone, sounds sooo great. When you dime my 48 Valco, it sounds awesome but it is a 2 trick pony at best. Solid state can sound amazing too, quit whining and twist some knobs and you might be surprised. Some analogue modelers are so convenient to use.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Can I depend on it? Yes, but duh, ALWAYS BRING BACKUP. I usually just left one in a flight case in the truck year round and it never came inside except for a gig, winter or summer. We were playing an outside biker gig on the back of one of those metal flatbed trailers and I had my 22 on top of the 15in spkr cab and were playing pretty much wide open and an over-enthusiastic biker-babe hopped up on the flatbed, I assume to sing along and her excess avoirdupois and general lack of a graceful dancing style, catapulted the 22 off the spkr, bouncing off the steel bumper of our trunk then on to the ground, probably about an 8 foot fall. So I go get it, pick it up, turn it back on and finish the gig and 2 more jobs before the tubes fail. The glass tube teats are in a little foam holder in a metal frame which I am sure saved them. So yeah, you can depend on them. 10 isn't high enough.

Features — 8
I don't exactly remember when I bought them used, but it was in the late 80s or early 90s the one without the eq a little bit after the one with. Still have them. Still use them though I quit gigging a few years ago. They were my main amps for a dozen years. Before I got them, I had one of those Rivera designed Fender Concert lead combos with an EV and could not get a decent sound at sane small bar stage volume levels. Great amp, but it wouldn't do small places. So, friends turned me on to the 22s. We usually miked everything and let the pa do the work (and were always too loud anyway) but the 22s, either 1 with a 15 inch 1968 Utah in a closed back 40s hi fi cab or 2 with a mesa 12 open back extension cab. Sometimes I just powered a 4 12 cab. Always sounded great. In all those years I only retubed them twice with Boogie tubes. 2 channels are enough for me. Never used the effects loops. I usually ran a multieffect pedal up front, stereo and mainly played Teles or strattish guitars. I didn't figure it needed any other features, with or without the eq, I would do all that other stuff with pedals

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