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Discussion Forum for Mesa Boogie Products
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:23 am 
Donating Member

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:49 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Waterbury CT
Traded my 6505+ 1*12 combo in for a 5150 III 2*12 combo (and cash of course) for no logical or economically smart reason!

Initial thoughts:

*It's freakin' HUGE, probably 4 or 5 inches taller than my Stiletto 2*12 combo, but it weighs 3 lbs less due to the Greenbacks being lighter than the Vintage 30's. It does have folding side handles though

*Mostly due to the shared EQ between channels 1 and 2, the cleans kind of suck if you want to have a really clean sound. Listen to the intro to Big River off the latest Van Halen album - that's about as clean as I can get it while keeping sufficient gain for channel 2 - Actually, it sounds almost exactly like that. It cleans up more with the volume rolled back. Out of around 85 songs I play with my band, I think I require clean for 4, so it's not that big of a deal. If you aren't looking for clean cleans, you have some interesting sounds on that channel. It is not Fendery to my ears like some people say

*The crunch KILLS. If this were the only gain channel on the amp I would be satisfied. There is more than enough gain for what I play. It has a nice thick midrange quality that may sit in a bit of an odd spot for some people - If you ever tried a Wampler Pinnacle distortion pedal, the mids are very similar. I am running the gain on around 10:30 to keep balance with the cleans. It is just enough for me, but I prefer a little boost from my SD-1 at that gain level to really have it where I want it. At higher gain settings it is perfect. I would have no need to go past 1:00 on that channel.

*The lead channel is really good. To me, it is similar to the 6505+, but clearer, punchier and less noisy. There is a definite shift in the mids between the two channels. I think that leads actually sound thicker on the crunch channel, but I still have some dialing to do. The amount of gain is absolutely ridiculous. I have the gain set at around 9:30 and there is possibly more gain at that setting than there was at 12:00 on my 6505+. I don't know why anyone would need that much, but it is nice to have! If you like the 5150/6505 lead sound, this is it, but a little less raw

*The reverb is awesome. I was a little turned off when I read that it is DSP, but once you hear it you won't care.

*I like the power scaling feature - You can go from 1-50 watts and anywhere in between. I don't know if it is just a gimmicky name for a global volume control like my Stiletto has, but it works very well and you can retain your tone all the way through. The cleans do sound better at higher wattage settings though. My one complaint is that it is too loud at one watt. It's not like you can crank your masters to 10 and be at bedroom levels or even a comfortable at home listening level, but I was able to bring it to gig levels at 50 and scale it back to about the loudest I would play at home using that control.

Overall, I think I like it. Pinch harmonics jump out on every channel, even the clean. Every review I see says that the amp is perfect for any kind of music. I honestly think that these guys are told to say that because they all are. It is a great product overall, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is not primary playing rock or metal. I was also considering the Mini Mark V, but the thought of having to learn to dial in another Mesa is exhausting - I HATE constantly tweaking controls - This amp is pretty much plug and play. I just wish that I didn't have to wait until next weekend to try it at a gig

Mark V Combo
EVH 5150 iii 2*12 Combo
1987 Marshall Lead 12 Combo
Les Paul Studio
Peavey Wolfgang Special
Fender EVH Wolfgang Special Hardtail
Fender EVH Wolfgang Special Stealth
1987 Kramer Pacer
American Deluxe Strat

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:18 pm 
Mark I
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:17 pm
Posts: 45
I had the little 50 watt head for awhile. I loved that thing but couldn't keep up with my drummer. Ran out of headroom pretty quick, but the 100 watter is about twice as much.

I will have one again, someday.....

"the reptilian brain is now the one involved"

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:36 am 
Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:29 am
Posts: 7
Awesome amp \m/!

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