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Old October 6th, 2016, 12:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Let that boy [Mesa] Boogie (NAD)

Saw this 50W F-50 in the musical instrument section of the local CL, and decided I had to check it out. Paid the nice man $640 after about 15 minutes of noodle time. First impression is that it stands above anything else that I've ever played through. Seems super tight, no rattles, buzzes, or farting low notes. Very compelling tones with both my strat and Gibson on both channels and the additional "contour" mode (all foot-switchable, as is the reverb). Separate 3-band tone, gain, volume, and reverb controls for each channel. Back panel seems setup to facilitate any external speaker configuration, PA, Headphone, and recording scheme. Incidentally, it's red!

I think my HRDx, and maybe some effects pedals may be looking for a new home soon. I've heard good things about the company, but this is the first Mesa I've played through. The F-50 series is apparently defunct. Anyone else have experience with these?
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Old October 6th, 2016, 12:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Think this amp is looking for you, congrats for sure...............
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Old October 6th, 2016, 03:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had one for years then sold it when I stopped gigging. Great amps, probably the best amp I have ever had. Should have kept it really.

I started gigging again and bought the successor to the F50, the Express Plus
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Old October 6th, 2016, 11:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new amp. The one thing I recall about my friend's old Boogie was that it weighed as much as a small car! Seriously, it was heavy! How does it compare in weight to your HRDx?
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Old October 6th, 2016, 03:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mesas are great amps period! And you have obviously picked yourself quite a specimen.

They do have a signature tone, though, and if you like it, you're golden. As far as quality goes, they're second to none. Even Lee Ritenour says they're his favorite amps, so you're in good company.

I remember watching a great clip (I'll try to find it for you if I can) of Randall Smith being interviewed and he made the point that there is really a two-step process involved in building amps like this. The first step being getting a great design and prototype, the things that call for a lot of tweaking until you get it just right. All this is done using point-to-point wiring.

According to Randall, the second step is one that is significantly more difficult. They now take that perfected prototype and design a PC board based manufacturing process that reproduces that exact tone every single time. To me, that is extremely impressive.

He tells the story of Andy Timmons who, after trying several amps, was blown away by the Lone Star. Apparently Andy wanted that specific amp that he had tried out (which by then had either been sold, or was not for sale for some reason), and Randall tried telling him it didn't matter. Andy didn't believe him until he was on the road in Europe and they had to rent a Lone Star - and it was identical to the one that had blown him away.

I guess what I'm trying to say, Mikey, is that you've got yourself a total winner!

Oh..one little anecdote - when I worked, I used to travel all the time for consulting engagements, and I did one pretty long gig at Fireman's Fund Insurance, which was located at the northern edge of Marin County. Most of my team and I were staying a little further north in Petaluma, which I will go on record as calling one of my all time favorite towns. Whenever I could, I would drive by the Mesa plant. Little did I know then that I could have called them for a factory tour!

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Old October 6th, 2016, 07:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Did you say it was red! Heck yeah, let that boy Mesa Boogie!

Congratulations, may you play it long and loud.
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Old October 6th, 2016, 09:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the information, I have to say that I never imagined I'd own one of these. In spite of the fact that they're highly regarded by many notable pros, my unattainable fantasy amps were usually Marshalls and Fenders, maybe an Orange. I was surprised to see one in a price range that wasn't too discouraging and checked it out on a whim really.

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The one thing I recall about my friend's old Boogie was that it weighed as much as a small car! Seriously, it was heavy! How does it compare in weight to your HRDx?
The owner complained about its weight, and said that was the main reason it had to go (He's old like me). I don't think it weighs anymore than the HRDx though. I don't have a scale to verify that impression. The Fender has a mostly particle board cab, not sure about the Mesa. The Mesa's slightly deeper and narrower. I think a lot of us are desperately seeking a little, light amp. The Mesa doesn't qualify in that category. I bought the HRDx for less than half what I paid for the Mesa, but spent money on tubes and did the Fromel mod. The Mesa still has "Mesa" label tubes, and just seems like a more serious amp, especially when you consider the three switch pedal, triple speaker outs, FX loop level pot, and all the other stuff on the back panel. There's an aluminum cross bar to guard the tubes and maybe reinforce the cab? A bit strange to me that it's fixed bias. In the manual Smith insists that's a better scheme if an appropriate matched pair of new power tubes is used. This photo is the same as mine in black:
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Old October 7th, 2016, 03:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyH View Post
Thanks for all the information, I have to say that I never imagined I'd own one of these. In spite of the fact that they're highly regarded by many notable pros, my unattainable fantasy amps were usually Marshalls and Fenders, maybe an Orange. I was surprised to see one in a price range that wasn't too discouraging and checked it out on a whim really.

Infant:

The owner complained about its weight, and said that was the main reason it had to go (He's old like me). I don't think it weighs anymore than the HRDx though. I don't have a scale to verify that impression. The Fender has a mostly particle board cab, not sure about the Mesa. The Mesa's slightly deeper and narrower. I think a lot of us are desperately seeking a little, light amp. The Mesa doesn't qualify in that category. I bought the HRDx for less than half what I paid for the Mesa, but spent money on tubes and did the Fromel mod. The Mesa still has "Mesa" label tubes, and just seems like a more serious amp, especially when you consider the three switch pedal, triple speaker outs, FX loop level pot, and all the other stuff on the back panel. There's an aluminum cross bar to guard the tubes and maybe reinforce the cab? A bit strange to me that it's fixed bias. In the manual Smith insists that's a better scheme if an appropriate matched pair of new power tubes is used. This photo is the same as mine in black:
The HRDx is 45 lbs. I remember my F50 being slightly heavier than my Express Plus 5:50 which is 54 lbs, so yes the F-50 is heavier.
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Old October 7th, 2016, 08:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's red you say? It's awesome, I can tell from here. I'm not even looking for an amp but I would not have passed that one up if came my way.
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Old October 7th, 2016, 10:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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SAguitar:
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I'm not even looking for an amp but I would not have passed that one up if came my way.
That's a pretty good description of my pre-purchase state of mind. I already had two Bravos, a little Monoprice class-A 5W, and the HRDx, but I took the bait anyway. Pretty sure it was a good buy that I won't regret. Oh, and did I say that it's red?
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