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Old 09-19-2021, 10:33 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Default Mesa Amps--Your Thoughts and Experiences With The Brand

I'm considering a new Mesa amp and leaning toward the Mesa Boogie Fillmore 25. Please share your thoughts about and experiences with any Mesa amp. Any love for the new Fillmore line? Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:46 AM
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posternutbag posternutbag is offline
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My main amp is a Mesa Boogie Mk V:35 combo. Itís a fantastic amp. It can be a complicated amp; I am the first to admit that I never enable the equalizer, I just use the bass, mid and treble knobs. Mesa amps are known for their overdriven tones, and it has several very usable overdrive voices, but the cleans are really nice. I play a lot of Grateful Dead, so loud cleans are my go to sound, and the Mesa produces great cleans.

Sorry, I donít have any firsthand experience with the Fillmore. I will say that some people have complained that small Mesa combos can sound ďboxyĒ compared to their amp and cab configurations, but I find my Mesa to be open and full, but focused.
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:25 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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They're voiced a little dark for my taste, especially with humbuckers. Better with a guitar with single coil pickups. I don't think I'd want one as my only amp.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:49 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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I have a Mesa Subway Rocket from the 90ís, and itís a small 20w combo amp with a 10Ē speaker. It has great cleans, and two overdrive/distortion channels that sound great. This amp can do everything from classic rock to the heaviest metal. My only complaint is that at just 20 watts, it doesnít have much headroom, so it can be hard to get a loud clean tone without breakup.

I have heard nothing but great things about the Filmore. But Iíve never played with one.
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:24 PM
Paleolith54 Paleolith54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
I'm considering a new Mesa amp and leaning toward the Mesa Boogie Fillmore 25. Please share your thoughts about and experiences with any Mesa amp. Any love for the new Fillmore line? Thanks!
Practically every amp I've had has been a Mesa: Lonestar, Lonestar Special, Mark V, Express, Express Plus (25 and 50 watters.) Currently gigging with a Triple Crown 50 head and Mesa 1x12 cab. Very solid build, good warranty, good repair options (seldom needed.) They take pedals well, generally have good effects loops. Complicated? Nonsense, you just have to read the manual and take your time. But the tone stack is definitely different and can take quite a while to get used to. Maybe that's why some people say they're "dark" though I don't find that to be the case (which amp? With which speakers? With which guitar?) I certainly don't find them to be a "single-coil only" amp at all, quite the contrary, I think they love humbuckers.

I've used Gibson-scale humbucker guitars to play a very wide range of clean and distorted tones through Mesa amps, and I think they are very good at everything and that they excel at some things. Not as chimey as an AC-30, not the same growl as a Plexi, not the same clean as a Twin, but it'd be hard to find an amp that can do as well in all those areas as a Mesa does but still has its own voice. In fact, I played a gig last night and during a song was marveling at how good the clean channel is on the TC-50, how it has that top-end cut that most people love so much in a Twin.

Down sides? Well, not everyone can repair them so that can be a problem depending on where you live. The built-in CabClone is pretty crappy. And they're Mesas, not Marshalls or Fenders: if you have to have those exact sounds, buy those amps. And yeah, there is a learning curve on most of them (perhaps not the case with the Filmore, though.) But in terms of an actual tube amp that is a good channel-switching swiss army knife it'd be hard to beat most Mesas. At least IME.
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:54 PM
jklotz jklotz is online now
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I had a Mesa 50 watt head a while back. I needed more headroom for what I was doing. CS at Mesa bent over backwards to help me, including follow up calls. I can't imagine better cs than I got from Mesa.
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Old 09-19-2021, 02:04 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Although I generally prefer handwired amp, Mesa uses heavy duty circuit boards and traces so I don't worry about them, so yes, I am a fan of Mesa Boogie amps, especially their lower wattage amps. I've owned a Studio Caliber+ 22, DC-3, and a DC-2. I've owned the DC-2 for many years and it has been a very effective studio tool.

I recently I've been recording a lot with my DC-2. I've always liked this amp, but I just put a Weber 12A125A into it, and now it sounds GREAT. And no, it's not too dark. With this speaker, I can plug any of my guitars into it, with any pickups. I use Gibson (PAF and P90), Gretsch (Dynasonics and Filtertrons), Fender single coils (Strat, Tele, Jaguar, and Jazzmaster), and they all sound good.

Listen to this song, all the electric guitar parts are the Strat I just built into the Mesa (especially the solo where I am bringing out the Fender style tones)...



Funny thing though, I have NEVER used the dirty channel of any Mesa amp that I've owned, as they are generally too much mids and dirt for me. It seems like the are voiced for long sustaining like leads, (think Carlos Santana). And when I would set up a lead tone on the dirty channel, it never sat right with the clean channel. So much so that all three Mesas that I own(ed), I never used the channel footswitch, I don't even know where my current footswitch is in my house or studio, I just like the clean channel that much

Even with the clean channel though you need to master using the EQ. Mesa does this thing with the mid control where anything past the midway point and tone gets thicker and darker (more so than any mid control on any other amp that I own). But when I record a lead solo I notice I love having that because I always add just a bit more mid than I thought I needed to make it sit in the mix.




I've never owned a mesa 6v6 based amp so I can't comment on that.

Last edited by rockabilly69; 09-19-2021 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:19 PM
DanR DanR is offline
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I had a Mark IIB that I gigged with for over 20 years. It was a great versatile amp. Their customer service is terrific. I ended up selling it as my tastes had changed. But for an amp with one great clean tone and one great overdrive tone, that Mark IIB was great.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:45 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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I use a Mesa M6 Carbine as my main bass amp.

Mesa quality is excellent and they stand behind their products. I can see one of their guitar amps in my future. Highly recommended.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:07 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi SpruceTop,

I went with my son to a MESA workshop/performance at our local guitar store by Andy Timmons. He was using a Mesa Lonestar, and it was a very memorable experience.

I have never played a MESA amp, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I really, really like the sound Andy Timmons gets from his guitar and amp. He uses an Andy Timmons signature Ibanez which has a long, Strat-like scale but uses DiMarzio Cruiser pickups, which are humbuckers with single-coil harmonic overtones. My son has an Andy Timmons signature Ibanez and it sounds really good.

This is Andy Timmons playing "Resolution:"



He does some YouTube videos to promote MESA amps, such as:



I'm thinking that Maury sells MESA amps.

Hope this adds to your information...

- Glenn
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:51 PM
al_az al_az is offline
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I just got my Filmore 25 3 days ago and I am loving it.

I have been a boogie player for decades and have owned MKIRI,MKIIc+,MKIII,MKv,heartbreaker, lonestar special.

My current lineup: MKIIc+,Mkv,lonestar special,Filmore 25. Each has its own personality The LoneStar has EL84's, I have EL34's in the MKv, 6L6's in the MKIIc+, and 6v6's in the filmore.
The MkII is 38 years old and is currently back at Boogie getting a once-over and possible re-cap as it is not sounding its best anymore.
I have had a few minor issues with a couple of the amps over the years but boogie has always been great and fixed them (the Lonestar has probably had the most issues, all rectifier tube issues. All better now though).

I wanted the Filmore because I really wanted that fat fender clean sound. I was looking at Princetons but they are not master volume. It is nice not needing to use my Ox.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:11 AM
M Sarad M Sarad is online now
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If I didn't have 2 Tweed Deluxes, a Deluxe Reverb, a PRS H, a GK, and a Hughes and Kettner BluesMaster,my first choice would be the Fillmore.

When I got my Boogie in '79, the lack of reverb was a factor in selling it. I was unaware of the Fender Reverb units and such. I never got the sound I was looking for.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:37 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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I just checked it out on Sweetwater's site and watched video demo. What a great tone with both the Strat and the Les Paul.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:53 AM
Telejonz Telejonz is offline
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I had an Express, Fillmore, and currently have a California Tweed. The Tweed is by far the favorite of the three. I also have a Tone King Imperial Mark II. You might want to check that our if you want the Fender Blackface tone.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:04 PM
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I had a Mesa LoneStar Special 1 X 12 Combo and loved it. It was however pretty heavy for me to lug around (about 60 lbs I think) So eventually I sold it to fund a much lighter Head and speaker cab option.
If I were looking for another amp I would seriously consider the LoneStar Special head and separate cab ...
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