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FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Help me warm up my Mesa?

Next 20 Messages  
joefender

USofA

Dec 30th, 2011 09:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a real nice Mesa Studio Caliber DC2 but I'm having trouble adjusting to the attack and tone. Such a beautiful little amp. Please help me find the mojo.

(This message was last edited by joefender at 10:37 PM, Jun 23rd, 2012)

CheapShoes
Contributing Member
****

USA/Missouri

Genetically modified since 4.8billion BC
Dec 31st, 2011 10:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Joefender: I have exactly the same thing in my Mesa Mark 2b. I tend to just run on the drive channel to get some compression to tame the harsh, but have difficulty when using the glorious cleans. The attack is tamed turning it up but whooee, that's too loud. I think is it the amp's archetecture, not the tubes. I'll all ears if you find a solution (other than needing to run a mild OD stomp box in front to add a teensy bit of compression to smooth it out). We may end up going there though.

joefender

USofA

Dec 31st, 2011 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I hear people rave about Mesa tone so I'm thinking there has to be a solution.

(This message was last edited by joefender at 10:38 PM, Jun 23rd, 2012)

RussB
Contributing Member
******

Connecticut

a little out of tune
Jan 1st, 2012 09:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You said you're a Fender amp guy. You're not a Mesa DC-2 guy. Sell/trade it and move on

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 1st, 2012 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

First, set all the tone shaping controls to their mid-point. This will give you the best fullness from the preamp, then all you have to do is adjust the frequencies you want to enhance from there.
But do note: Mesa has an active VS passive tone stack and must have all the tone controls set to mid-point or else it will not allow for a real cut/boost to the preamp settings.
I have a couple Mesa's and was getting really frustrated with the lack of tonal character, until I was advised here by an (FDP-poster) on how to use my preamp settings.
This brought back the enjoyment I had precieved from other artist who play these amps!

REMEMBER: to set "ALL" the controls to center....or else they "ARE NOT" active in the circuit--------Now you have to just adjust (slightly) from those positions to obtain the full bodied characteristics of your amp!

I'm, playing it forward--------Thank you FDP!!!

Best Regards and Happy New Year All, Woody

CheapShoes
Contributing Member
****

USA/Missouri

Genetically modified since 4.8billion BC
Jan 1st, 2012 01:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hmmm I think the issue described for a cleanish setting is too brittle (fast) attack with little compression at reasonable volumes... and not an issue with tone frequency shaping per se. At least my understanding and similar experience with the issue (also a fender guy). Same experience with a Mesa Mk2b and a Rivera V3. Though I have not heard that recommendation Mesa tone controls as Cal-Woody describes, and am very curious on what results for a clean setting.

joefender

USofA

Jan 1st, 2012 04:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What bothers me is that I can't use the same aggressive style with the Mesa as I do my Fenders . I am admittedly a Fender guy but I certainly don't want to rule out ever owning another brand. I have a couple of other amps that make me very happy so it's not something I need to address in a hurry. I am going to try Cal-Woody's suggestions and see if it helps. Thanks to everyone for your help.

(This message was last edited by joefender at 10:41 PM, Jun 23rd, 2012)

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member

USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Jan 1st, 2012 06:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds like bass and mids need to be backed down. Also, Mesa Boogies do not have a bias adjust Randall fixed the bias and as long as you use matched tubes, when you replace, no rebias is needed. I have a Lone Star Special. It also was too boomy turned down the bass gain and master, the moved each till I got the sound I wanted.

joefender

USofA

Jan 2nd, 2012 07:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Could it possibly be that simple? I had the amp out last night at house volume levels with the tone knobs all at 5. I needed a bit more treble on both channels but the difference in tone quality was immediately noticeable.

(This message was last edited by joefender at 10:42 PM, Jun 23rd, 2012)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
*********

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Jan 2nd, 2012 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another thing you can try is to use a cooler preamp tube in the V1 position, e.g., swap out the stock 12AX7 for a good quality 12AY7.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 2nd, 2012 09:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yo Joe,

Yeah, I was mega frustrated with my Nomad 100 combo and the Recto-Verb, when something so simple that I had overlooked or just didn't know made the amps very useable again and indeed felt a little more confident about my purchase!
I traded an old Fender amp to a guy for his F-50 and it is more of the Fender feel and tone, so I just had to get it, because it had those tones plus the Mesa Crunch and is simple to EQ....

Like Peegoo said, a little cooler preamp tube in V1 will give a less gain to the "Clean Channel" and allow you to get more volume before becoming brittle, but have also found that it did decrease the overall 'live feel' of the amp, so...
Try a true 7025(12ax7) but a little more tame 12AX7 with the correct voltages with a slight less gain factor, that still brings that Mesa Attitude of "I'm Alive and Ready to Rawk" edge to the amp, with a more controllable clean channel!

Best Regards, Woody

lockbody
Contributing Member
*

Boringham, AL

Everybody loved us, except the people
Jan 2nd, 2012 02:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"First, set all the tone shaping controls to their mid-point."

You can't run a Mark-based Mesa this way, it's not like a Marshall or Fender. Anything over 3-4 on the bass equals muddy, flubby bass. A good starting point for any Mesa is 7/3/3 T/M/B.

All Mesa tone control are interactive as well, so the higher the treble is turned up, the less effect the bass and mid controls have. Also, in the DCs the mid adds more gain as you turn it past 5.

You can also try an AT7 in the PI position to change the feel a tad. I use to run one in my DC-5, but didn't care for it in my DC-10 preferring the normal AX7 instead.

SoK66
Contributing Member
****

USA

We had the hit but Van got the money
Jan 2nd, 2012 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've never "warmed" to Mesa amps. Seemed like buzz boxes to me. Peegoo has a good idea. You can also see where it's biased and try shifting it within the correct range. Mesas usually don't have bias pots so you'll have to add one or change resistance values.

GoranS
Contributing Member
**********
***

Southern Sweden

What? Me worry?
Jan 7th, 2012 04:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had some issues getting used to my Mesa Express 5:50 when first getting it a couple of years ago. It was way too bright, harsh and ice-picky with my strats.

I started out with the tone controls all at noon as I always done in the past using other amps.

Tested different tubes, with no or little effect.

Turned out that way not the right approach. The tone controls interact with each other and I got the suggestion to start at zero and explore things from there. At zero there will be no sound and by raising each control you get the idea how they perform and interact.

None of the tone controls is now past 12, more like 9 to 11. And my tone is great! (IMO) I love the amp!

(This message was last edited by GoranS at 05:01 PM, Jan 7th, 2012)

GoranS
Contributing Member
**********
***

Southern Sweden

What? Me worry?
Jan 7th, 2012 05:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The guitar part in this song is recorded using a Strat with Hot Lace Gold, an OCD at very low dist settings and through the clean channel on my Mesa Express.
Gain approx 2 o'clock, treble 9, mid 11, bass 8. (all o'clock)

The volume is held quite low but way above "bedroom level". Even at this tone settings I've done outdoor gig's with plenty of headroom left.

A condenser microphone (SE-electronics X-1) was used and placed one and a half feet in front of the amp.

Recorded using the Mesa Express...

(This message was last edited by GoranS at 05:19 PM, Jan 7th, 2012)

RussB
Contributing Member
******

Connecticut

a little out of tune
Jan 9th, 2012 04:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The issue with 12AY7's in Mesa's is finding one that's not too noisey. I've tried, and failed. I did have success using some 5751's in my Mark and Caliber amps. A 12AT7 can work well as the PI (phase inverter)

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member

USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Jan 10th, 2012 04:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Were there any suggested settings in the manual? There was with my LSS and they were good starting point especially the Texas BBQ.

Pinetree
Contributing Member
**********
***

NWPA

USA
Jan 14th, 2012 08:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mesas are designed to RAWK.



Pinetree.
Mesa user since 1992.


RussB
Contributing Member
******

Connecticut

a little out of tune
Jan 15th, 2012 06:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Pinetree speaks the Truth

RussB,
Mesa user since 1990, an going to check out an SOB in a couple days

GoranS
Contributing Member
**********
***

Southern Sweden

What? Me worry?
Jan 16th, 2012 06:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So... You'll be a Mesa using SOB soon??

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Amp Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Help me warm up my Mesa?




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