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Discussion Forum for Mesa Boogie Products
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
Thanks for the tips! I may give those a shot tonight before I trade it off.

Brandon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:08 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2135
Location: North Carolina
Funny, Never noticed any fizziness with my Roadster. Good luck with the other amp. I had been eyeing up the JVM410 a few times when I wanted something different. Before I decided on making the change, the JP-2C came out and it was hard to resist. I should play though one just for fun and see what I thing of it.

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Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:49 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 83
Location: New Jersey, USA
Also can depend on how the listening environment is set up. If you are directly in line with the speaker, you will hear more high end.

There are a lot of amps out there that are really designed to be run moderately loud, especially if they are 100 watts Tube, and when they are not they can sound kinda weak or fizzy. Running the channel volume higher allows you to get the preamp tubes more saturated, often even the non gain stage ones. Many amps have a post phase inverter master volume, so you can get some smoothness out of those as well.

This is one reason I really like the Mesa Boogie amps that have the Variac power as well as the ability to run the power amp class A and/or Class A single ended. You can get a better sound at a lower volume.

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Guitars: Hamers, Heritages, G&L Legacies, EBMM Steve Morse, Carvin Bolt, Fender Tele
Amps: DC-5 1x12 w/Master Volume + EFX Mods, Maverick 2x12


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:01 am 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
Thanks for the replies, guys. My local GC actually had a used JVM410 in stock so I brought it home with me so I can properly compare the two amps side by side. Its a harder decision than I first thought. The Marshall definitely has an awesome crunch, but it seems the crunch is almost exactly the same on every channel, with just varying sometimes unusable amounts of gain. I only had about 2 hours with them last night. My wife was up there (our bonus room is a quasi-studio) with me listening. It's a toss up at the moment, which is actually a bit frustrating. I also think there may be something to be said for doing some tube swaps in the Mesa to see if the harshness I hear on attacks goes away. I'd hate to give up on this amp prematurely, so I'm wanting to do this as right as I can.

Brandon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2135
Location: North Carolina
For starters, download the user manual for the Roadster if you did not get one with the amp. (may have to look for it in the product support section as the amp is now discontinued). Pay attention to the suggested settings in terms of power setting and diode vs tube.

Roadster is a beast and sounds best in its sweet spot. However you can run the amp at lower volume level if you use the FXloop set to active for a master volume control. Confirm the send level on the FX loop on the back panel is centered. If the amp is too loud, select 50W settings for each channel. You can also use spongy mode for a reduced output. Best to start with the suggested settings in the manual. Adjust controls after you narrow down what you want and then you can relate of they react based on gain or presence settings.

It seems the amps that I did not like on first run though I actually love now. I thought the Mark V had more gain, Roadster is actually capable of delivering much more. Actually a reduction in gain setting when using Modern voice on CH3 or CH4 actually sounds better than a higher gain setting. Note that with the Dual Rectifier (which includes the triple and Road King) the tone controls follow several gain stages which is different than most amps as they usually have the tone stack after the first gain stage and not nested after the 3rd or 4th gain stage. My first trial with the Roadster was not rewarding by any means and I came home with a Mark V instead. Later on I just ordered the Roadster head and it was the same as the first time I used one. I did not know how to set the controls to get the sound I wanted until after looking at the sample settings. Roadster is one of my favorites now. I am glad I have one now that the model has been discontinued. Also keep in mind that power tubes when new sometimes need a few hours of use before the desired tone emerges (always the case with EL34 for some reason, or at least the EHX EL34).

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Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
Thanks, Bandit. I've read through the manual, but haven't spent enough time with it. I'm going to do that tonight and see if anything changes. There's this weird almost like a light static distortion I hear on the attack that is driving me bonkers... could be the EH 12AX7 I put in V1 or something else that is causing it, though. Not entirely sure. Need to do some tweaking and experimenting. Those freaking tubes are so, so hard to replace without taking the chassis out, though. Its really annoying the way they're sunk down into the chassis. :evil:

Brandon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2135
Location: North Carolina
I found the Roadster was easy when compared to the Mark Series amps. No room.....

All of the 12AX7 preamp tubes point in the same direction. The gap where the missing pin is faces towards the front of the amp. Power tubes I believe the key way in the socket is to the right. It has been a while since I changed tubes in the Roadster.

The static issue as described could be a preamp tube. Confirm that there are stock tubes in V3 and V5 (mesa branded 12AX7 JJECC83s tubes). Those will hold up to the two cathode follower circuits used by those positions. The rest is fair game. Stock tube in V1 will make the amp a bit dark especially with CH4 on modern. You can also move the EH tube to V2 and move the tube in that position to V1. You should not get any static noise from the attack. What type of guitar are you using? If it is a strat style or one with a large plastic pickguard those can store static energy. I generally use a nano-wax on my plastic pickguard as that helps reduce static much better than the fabric softener sheet.

If active pickups, you may need to confirm you are not sending DC into the output as that will make things noisy (I have 5 guitars with active tone controls and if the jack does not make the ground properly the battery connection internal to the guitar will have issues and result in noise).

I forgot if you mentioned if the amp was new or used. If it was used you may need to re-tube the preamp section if you have not done so already if you are having issues with the tubes that were in it when you got it. If it was new, your warranty should cover your tubes for a short while.

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Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Donating Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:57 pm
Posts: 4441
Location: South of Heaven
NeveSSL wrote:
There's this weird almost like a light static distortion I hear on the attack that is driving me bonkers...


When playing heavy rhythm I tend to roll the tone pot off on my guitar to 8 or 9 to take some sizzle off the attack. Makes the notes sound fatter and clearer.

I also tend to run the presence around 9:00-10:00.


FWIW... these have generally been my settings for the last 15 years.

Gain - 11:00 (rock) or 1:00 (more rock)
Treble - 12:30
Mids - 11:00
Bass - 12:00 (will drop it to 9:00-10:00 with muddy pickups)
Presence - 10:00
Master - ideally, 10:30 or above... but your situation will define the answer.

(the above is with the effects loop bypassed. With the effects loop engaged I tend to run the channel master between 9:00 and 10:00 on the loudest channel and turn up the master output as loud as I can get away with.).

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Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

| Les Paul | McCarty | CE22 | SC245 |
| D800 | Dual Rectifier | Electra Dyne | Rectoverb:25 | Strategy Eight:88 |
| Powerhouse 410 | Recto 1x12, 2x12, 4x12 | Subway 112, 115 |


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:32 am 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
Thanks for the help, guys! I am using an Ibanez PRS-ish guitar from around 2004. I can't remember the model. It's a solid body with routed, passive pickups.

I ended up selling the Roadster yesterday. :( The Marshall JVM just sounds so much better to my ears and is a ton easier to dial in. I hate spending a ton of time tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. The Marshall was plug it in, set a few things, play, set a few more things, bingo. Plus I can mod it and customize it a bit more. :)

Brandon


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:45 pm
Posts: 221
NeveSSL wrote:
Those freaking tubes are so, so hard to replace without taking the chassis out, though. Its really annoying the way they're sunk down into the chassis. :evil:


The trick to changing tubes on the Roadster Combo is to turn the whole amp upside down. It makes everything much easier.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:22 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
I had thought about doing that to have gravity on my side... I probably should have.

Brandon


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:09 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2135
Location: North Carolina
Since I have had mine for a while, I do not have to constantly adjust anything. Same goes for my other amps. I may sometimes change things, settings, and such but generally leave the tone controls as is.

Some amps you can get some really awesome tones with some minor changes.

Good luck with the JVM. Sorry the Roadster did not work out for you. Sometimes you win and sometimes you find it may not be a fit for you.

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
Thanks, Bandit. If I'm honest, it was hard for me to let it go. I'd been coveting Dual Rectifiers since my teens... And it just wasn't the amp for me. Last night, though, with the Marshall, I just couldn't stop playing it! I knew without any doubt at that point I'd made the right decision, even if I didn't want to let go of the Mesa.

Brandon


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:17 am 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2135
Location: North Carolina
Hey, it happens and nothing wrong with that. I may have been a Mesa fan ever since my first Mark III in 1989. At that time I want from a Marshall to the Mesa. (note that the Marshall was not a tube amp, it was a MOSFET 100). Was not very loud and the Bass and drummer were drowning me out. The table changed when I got the Mark III.

Also the Roadster is similar but different than the other Rectifier amps. I think it is darker in tone. I love mine for what it is. The JVM has midi right? Also a programmable footswitch pedal. I thought that was cool when I saw the demo. Perhaps my next amp may be something different.... will see...

_________________
Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:51 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 3:53 pm
Posts: 32
Yep, has MIDI built in, which is pretty nice (and means I can sell my Amp Gizmo :) ). I absolutely love the way it sounds and will be modding it a bit to see what other tones I can coax out of it. :)

Brandon


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