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Author Topic: I'm in love (...with an amp...)  (Read 2332 times)
Mikeymac
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« on: November 25, 2015, 12:22:25 AM »

The last couple times I've been in the local mom 'n' pop, I've played through a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25+ (Plus) 1x12 combo, and I've been blown away!

I've never been a big Mesa fan (although I loved their Maverick and Subway Blues amps from years past) - since I'm not a high gain guy. And many of their amps have had a reputation for noise/hiss.

But this new (will, new in 2012) Express 5:25+ sounded excellent - great cleans, lots of tweaking available (Clean, Crunch, Blues, Burn settings on the two channels), plus the added 5-band eq, and NO HISS!!! ... and they totally redesigned the clean channel on this vis-a-vis the previous version, and went from a 10" speaker to a 12".

The amp just sounded incredible with my Warmoth Strat the other day, and when I picked up my RS-4 today, I plugged it into this amp to test it - wow. Just wow.

I'm thinking I'll get the head instead of the combo - I've got a 2x10 I can plug it into, and later I can add another cab (like a wide 1x12) if I want. The combo "only" weighs 42 lbs., but even that is getting heavy these days. A head and a light cab would be manageable and flexible.

Okay - enough gushing - just had to share this, and see if anyone else is playing something like this (I know we had an amp thread going; so I know what a few of y'all are playing...)?

Off to tweak my RS-4...
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 12:54:29 AM »

Never been a Boogie fan myself but when you find something that sounds the way you want you just have to go for it.Congrats.
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 03:04:44 AM »

Don't speakers make a difference?
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 03:57:00 AM »

Don't speakers make a difference?

Yes... a BIG difference. Cabs, too (open back, closed back, wood thickness, word vs. particle board, etc.)
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 06:13:44 AM »

Yes... a BIG difference. Cabs, too (open back, closed back, wood thickness, word vs. particle board, etc.)

If I'm not mistaken, Broken was suggesting the great sound you heard from the combo would not be the same and maybe not as appealing when you hook the head up to a different cab.
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 06:57:23 AM »

If I'm not mistaken, Broken was suggesting the great sound you heard from the combo would not be the same and maybe not as appealing when you hook the head up to a different cab.

Thank you, that's exactly what I had in mind. A different make, model, and cab design as well, will affect the sound. There are so many speakers to choose from.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 09:44:50 PM »

Thank you, that's exactly what I had in mind. A different make, model, and cab design as well, will affect the sound. There are so many speakers to choose from.

Yes, got it - I'm aware of that. I'm not sure if/when I could pull this off, but I could bring my cab in and hook it up to the combo before I committed to buying the head version.
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2015, 04:42:56 AM »

Yes, got it - I'm aware of that. I'm not sure if/when I could pull this off, but I could bring my cab in and hook it up to the combo before I committed to buying the head version.

I was just thinking if you like how great the combo sounds, then just get it instead of hoping whatever combination of head and cab you can come up with gives you the sweet sound you heard with the combo.  You seemed pretty high on the combo's sound, so.
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Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2015, 06:33:34 AM »

I was just thinking if you like how great the combo sounds, then just get it instead of hoping whatever combination of head and cab you can come up with gives you the sweet sound you heard with the combo.  You seemed pretty high on the combo's sound, so.

I'm starting to lean more in this direction. Your logic is, well, logical.
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 08:28:51 PM »

UPDATE:

The amp came home with me today, even as I dropped off my Princeton Reverb Reissue on consignment.

This amp is truly a Swiss army knife; very versatile. But it requires a learning curve - needs tweaking to find what works for each individual's tone palette. But it sounds great! And surprisingly, it really doesn't weigh a whole lot more than the Princeton - at least it doesn't feel much heavier when you lift one with each hand. Probably about 10 lbs. difference.

Chasing lots of other things right now, so this will be sitting for awhile before I really get to dig into it... but I'll keep you posted.

 
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2015, 10:04:53 PM »

Mike do you still have the Carr amp  Rambler wasn't it 
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2015, 12:42:17 AM »

Mike do you still have the Carr amp  Rambler wasn't it 

I recently sold it. I was convinced the Princeton was all I needed (and it really is a great amp), but I got bit by GAS with this Express 5:25+ ... so it was easy to leave the Princeton there. I've got to downsize somehow! And I just picked up another cheap acoustic for $100 - what's wrong with me (that will be the subject of a new thread in the "Other Guitars" Forum...)?!?!?

  rolleye whistling
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 02:28:24 PM »

Luckily for me, I never have much need for more than 3 different amps for different show calls.
 As a tube snob, and a Fender sound fan, that's usually a 35-50 watt combo, a 15-18 watt combo, and have been dabbling in the 5 watt combo as well.
Including the Vox and the Mack Gem ll.

A friend has something called a cyber twin, which he gave to me, which was an incredible beast of a thing, but with about a million bucks of R & D in it, I was intrigued enough to find it's mate (Cyber Deluxe) recently for $300.
It boasts 50 watts, which is more than I need, but after playing with those 5 watt things, I have become a huge believer in "headroom" no pun intended.
 and moving air through the voice coil.

this amp is a very complex piece of gear, and is useless unless one knows the true inner workings of what the R&D folks have built.
 however, once that part is understood, the tone, amp, efx pallette is incredibly vast.
 and, yes, as i mentioned, even a tube snob like me is very impressed with how to dial up tones of fat warmth, any amount, any colour of gain/distortion, trem, delays, reverbs, and bunch of other effects I don't need or use.
input gain trim pot, brilliant for different guitars.
 dail up the perfect sounding amp, tone settings, efx combination for any one guitar. hit "save". done.

here's the stupid part, these amps are discontinued, I found one new, from a smoke free house near Toronto, never left the guys bedroom, for $300 CDN, (that's about $100 USD. 

Just sayin' if anyone sees one of these around, you're not scared off by the high tech aspect, it's really the most vesatile amp I've owned.
again, this is an old guy veteran tube snob guy speaking here.
 so what's that about old dogs and new tricks?
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2016, 05:04:13 PM »

Kevin, congrats on finding one of the Cyber-Deluxe amps... the Cyber-Twin is so HUGE, but the Deluxe version is much more manageable, with the same "guts" (I'm pretty sure).

These are now old technology, but you're right - they still sound great. I've never owned one, but I've been tempted by a few used ones here and there...

Old technology isn't necessarily unusable: a few years ago Yamaha had an amp (and floor unit) called the DG Stomp that was highly regarded, and is still used by many players who have learned how great they can sound. I've been on the lookout for a used one in excellent condition for years...

As to amps and downsizing and "What do I really need?" - I'm now down to 3 guitar amps, and I think I'll hold there. I have the above mentioned M/B Express Plus, an old Fender Acoustasonic Jr. (another old technology amp that still sounds excellent for acoustics) and a recently purchased Roland Jazz Chorus 40 (the new design that just came out before Christmas - got mine in January). So for electrics, I have one tube and one SS - and often plug into both together, which sounds very rich and full!

Now if I can just downsize my guitars to about 9-10 (doesn't that sound ridiculous? But not as easy as you might think!). 
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
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