Studio Preamp review by Mesa Boogie

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.6 (13 votes)
Mesa Boogie: Studio Preamp
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Price paid: € 450

Purchased from: Used

Sound — 10
I use it with my Jackson RR3 and it screams metal. Like said above, it's amazing for thrash metal tones, and pulls off a nice wet lead tone as well. it's hardly noisy, even with a cranked poweramp. Really clean tones, and turns crunchy when gain is maxed. The distortion has Master of Puppets written alover it.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall the preamp is amazing. You can't get much better than this as far as it comes to preamps. It's quite hard and requires some understanding to dial it in. For instance too much bass will make it flubby and too much treble will sound harsh, but that shouldn't put someone off; 30min with it will reward you with amazing tone.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's highly reliable, the reverb tank is a little loose, as it's help by only 4 springs onto the chassis, but other than that I could throw it around and it d survive. It's 20 years old so ye... The amp hasn't broken down, although it sounded really bad when I bought it because it had a 12ax7 instead of a 12at7 in the reverb driver, but there was absolutely no permanent problems.

Features — 10
This preamp was built in the late 80s. It's based of the preamp of the Mark 2C+, so it's amazing for metal, got a nice crunchy mid overdrive tone, and pristine amazing cleans. I play mainly thrash metal, like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax etc and this preamp is amazing together with my Mesa 50/50 poweramp. The preamp has 2 main channels, clean and lead, with reverb that goes on on both channels, a stereo fx loop. The reverb is sweet. Uses 4 12ax7s and 1 12at7 in the reverb driver.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Serjem
    mesa boogie stuff is awsome.. i'ven ever played one tho, but i've heard them live and it feels great.
    boyblue
    cool that you gave it 100% but next time mention some features in the features section ie: does it have eq? what type? all the buttons knobs, maybe even carrying handles! "I play mainly thrash metal, like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax etc and this preamp is amazing together with my Mesa 50/50 poweramp." isn't really a feature. Good to see you love it though
    SOADriff
    boyblue wrote: cool that you gave it 100% but next time mention some features in the features section ie: does it have eq? what type? all the buttons knobs, maybe even carrying handles! "I play mainly thrash metal, like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax etc and this preamp is amazing together with my Mesa 50/50 poweramp." isn't really a feature. Good to see you love it though
    "The preamp has 2 main channels, clean and lead, with reverb that goes on on both channels, a stereo fx loop. The reverb is sweet." sure sounds like features to me.
    leony03
    SOADriff wrote: boyblue wrote: cool that you gave it 100% but next time mention some features in the features section ie: does it have eq? what type? all the buttons knobs, maybe even carrying handles! "I play mainly thrash metal, like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax etc and this preamp is amazing together with my Mesa 50/50 poweramp." isn't really a feature. Good to see you love it though "The preamp has 2 main channels, clean and lead, with reverb that goes on on both channels, a stereo fx loop. The reverb is sweet." sure sounds like features to me.
    lol this
    georgakis187
    you can see in the picture that it has a graphic eq.... there is only one version of this preamp...the one with all the stuff the mark 2C+ can be upgraded with.
    THRASH-METAL
    I would love to have this or the quad pre. How awsome would it be if mesa boogie started making these again. I highly doubt it though.