Classic rock tones

Ace, Version 1 and 2

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JLBoogie
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Classic rock tones

Post by JLBoogie » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:01 pm

I am thinking of springing for a stiletto to add to the Mesa collection. Probably a ace model since I am a bedroom player looking doing the search for the holy tone. I have a lonestar but want to nail AC/DC, Zeppelin, Purple, Bad Company kind of tones of the classic marshall rock era. All the you tube videos I see of the stilettos (except Andy Timmons but its not his tone I am looking for with this question) show someone playing more modern speed and death style metal, not that I totally mind that but not really my thing anymore(getting old) and can't find someone playing the classic blues rock tones. Trying to decide if maybe I should just get a Marshall like the modern/vintage line but would rather keep the mesa family line going, after owning mesa amps marshalls look very cheaply made but really want that bluesy rock sound. nowhere near me to try one out so I usally try to buy used so I can try without a huge loss if can't be pleased. I know the ace has great cleans so really need to know if these tones can come from channel two and how close do they really come to a marshall. So HELP if you get these tones what channel and mode are you using?

SBG200
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by SBG200 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:21 pm

If you're looking for "holy tone" of AC/DC, Zep, DP, etc, at bedroom levels then the Ace is not what you're looking for. The only way you're really gonna nail that stuff convincingly is to turn the gain down and dime the output, which will blow your bedroom windows out. You can get pretty close with the preamp at low levels, but probably not as close as you're hoping for.

My $.02

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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by srf399 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:26 pm

I tried the Stiletto Ace and the Deuce II When I was looking. I tried the Marshall JVM head as well. In my opinion the Deuce was superior to the Ace. The Ace was brittle sounding in comparison. Although the two amps are identical in the preamp circuitry, they have different output transformers. They Ace to me was more like the low gain Led Zeppelin sound whereas the Deuce II (and therefore the Trident II) sounds to me more like the Van Halen brown sound. The Deuce can do the Ace bright when put into 50 watt mode with the speakers plugged into the 4 ohm output. But the Ace couldn't do the smooth brown Van Halen thing in my opinion. I got the tradition 2x12 but I would definitely go for the recto 2x12 if I did it over again. As far as how the Stiletto compares with the JVM. The Stiletto is a way better quality product. The JVM has the bells and whistles as far as the foot switch and channels is concerned but the Stiletto has more quality options.... (Half power, rectifier option, variac option). The cleans are a lot better on the Stiletto than the Marshalls. If you have any doubts you might want to pay a bit more and get a Splawn. But the Stiletto Deuce II is real close. Again... everyone has different ears and some may disagree with me.
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JLBoogie
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by JLBoogie » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:10 pm

Sounds like you need to send me your Deuce II to try ( I wish). can't really say it is the van halen brown sound I am looking for but more a marshall crunch like the AC/DC sound. I know they are all loud since I have a roadster and lonestar but don't want to give the neighbors the whole 50 watts to get it, maybe 40 they will have to live with (they could always move, right?) Any stomp boxs help? Just listened to a MI crunch box demo at pro guitars that sounds pretty good.

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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by MusicManJP6 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:52 pm

I tried a Deuce before buying the Ace combo and I'll admit there is a difference, but they are both great amps. The Ace seems to need more volume to sound like the Deuce, but it's in there. I just today found out running the channel master higher fattens the tone up quite a bit...
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progrockmike
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by progrockmike » Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:58 am

I've got an Ace and I'd have to agree that if you're looking for that classic rock sound you have to turn down the gain and push the volume a bit. That is, after all, how all of those recordings were made. I'm not sure you can truly nail that tone without doing that, no matter what amp your using.
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by SBG200 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:37 am

progrockmike wrote:I've got an Ace and I'd have to agree that if you're looking for that classic rock sound you have to turn down the gain and push the volume a bit. That is, after all, how all of those recordings were made. I'm not sure you can truly nail that tone without doing that, no matter what amp your using.
I suppose he could try this approach and stick a Hotplate into the mix. Anybody try that with the Ace?

As far as getting the brown sound, I can get it pretty good if I turn the Ace on spongy, switch into crunch with low gain and high volume (fx loop off). Seems to be the key to any tube amp though, especially Mesas--you have to crank them to really get them to sound decent.

Uh-oh, I feel a rant coming...

The fact that people buy high-powered Mesas for bedroom use has always baffled me. Hell, even having amps with like 100-150(!) watts on a stage is ridiculous if you're going for high-gain tones and don't need the clean headroom. It's like buying a Formula 1 race car but only having a driveway to use it in. There are plenty of little booteek 1-15 watt amps that can give you a sick power tube crunch at more reasonable volume levels. Far too few few people understand that power tube saturation is what gives that "holy tone," not buzzy little 12AX7s or transistor dirt boxes (although they're getting better and better over the years).

Sorry, but I get this way every time I see "Mesa" and "bedroom" in the same sentence! :lol:

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MusicManJP6
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by MusicManJP6 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:14 pm

I've not always been a bedroom player, but since I moved to an apartment in another state i've not been able to open up my Mesa like usual. I'm getting pretty dang good tone at fairly low volume, but I'm hoping an attenuator will help out with this - I bought one and it will be here this week...
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by JLBoogie » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:34 pm

I am sure Mesa and all the other amp manufactors out there are glad that there is bedroom players or they would be out of business. I see no reason that if someone wants to buy a Mesa or any other high quality amp, and wants it to play at home, they should go ahead and do it, never know when or if they will ever play out anywhere but they would be ready not wasting money on cheap crate or line 6 products. They could always use some kind of attenuator. The low wattage amps you mentioned are also very loud even for a rated 35 watt like the lonestar special is very loud. Maybe with the bedroom theory, as stated, they should not have high power amps and should just buy the guitar hero game I guess. I wonder why someone thinks that they have to play out places to enjoy the great world of guitar. I am proud to say I enjoy playing at home, in a bedroom, with my 3 100 watt mesas and have a feeling many others do also.

(pause) stepping off the soapbox

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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by srf399 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:32 pm

I have to agree with the point about people buying 50+ watt amps and wondering why they can't get the perfect sound in the bedroom. Even on most stages these are too loud. I used a Fender Deluxe through a Marshall 4x12 cabinet for years. 22 watt amp running 6V6's and cranked... and even it had to be baffled to prevent everyone complaining about me being too loud on stage. One of those THD Bi Valve amps would be cool.
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stephen sawall
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by stephen sawall » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:55 pm

A Hot Plate is pretty much need to get the AC/DC sound in real volumes.
That is power amp distortion.

To get the classic rock sounds from a Stiletto (I have a Trident) use tite clean. That well get you very close to the gian/tone range of the old Marshall/Orange/Hiwatt/etc. thing.

This channel well get you there faster with or without a Hot Plate.
The fact that Stephen appears from nowhere, is sentenced to death in an emotional public trial without anyone interfering at all and is then altogether forgotten as if nothing happened, is already suspicious.

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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by Duece2 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:50 pm

I've been liking the channel 2 crunch mode / spongy/ 50watt /gain full - with a clean boost pedal MXR-401c. It really sounds good for alot of the classic rock stuff been digging the John Sykes Whitesnake era lately.

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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by stephen sawall » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:52 am

The crunch is a lot like a 800 that was about ten years and one more gain stage than the stuff in the 1st post. Crunch is the sound I use the most. You can get them tones there. But it well be a little less open than the amps from the early 60's/70's.
The fact that Stephen appears from nowhere, is sentenced to death in an emotional public trial without anyone interfering at all and is then altogether forgotten as if nothing happened, is already suspicious.

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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by jab » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:26 am

I did a lot of a/b'ing with the Ace and a Marshall dsl50. Set them up side by side, using the same 2x12 Stiletto cab. I found them very similar in crunch tones for classic rock. The Ace seemed to have more distortion headroom, and was a bit more versatile on the clean side of things. And of course when you play with an Ace and pick it up, and do the same with a Marshall you get kind of spooked that the Marshall simply isn't up to the same quality standard. I thought the JVM and Vintage Modern weren't up to either the Ace or dsl50's standards.

I'm in a classic rock band, and primarily use the Ace on Fat Clean with an Xotic AC pedal to add some crunch. Don't be afraid to stick a high quality pedal in the Ace chain. You can get the best of both worlds of a big fat tone (Fat Clean) and a great crunch that quite frankly sounds almost exactly like the Ace's crunch on its own (Xotic AC).
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Re: Classic rock tones

Post by Paulie » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:12 pm

I have a Stage I Deuce and it just DRIPS classic rock tones. That's what we play mostly these days and this amp has it in spades. For an ACDC/Zep sound, lots of amp/guitar combinations will get you there of course, but if you want to stay in the Mesa family of amps for classic rock tones & gain, you can't go wrong with a Stiletto.

As for the bedroom player thing, Ibought a Fender Blues Jr and an OCD for practice and learning tunes at home and find myself playing the Deuce in the basement. I just can't get away from it - the tone is addictive. Sure, I'm deaf, but this amp just sounds amazing to me cranked up.
And now for something completely different...

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