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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:39 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am
Posts: 13
hi,
got rocket 44 (used of course, about 15 years old)
few questions (i am new to valve amps - this is my first, long waited, one)
- is the popping sound i hear when going from standby to on sometimes, after the amp is warmed up, normal?
- could i keep the amp in a tilted position to project the sound upwards or will it affect the valves in some obscure way?
- i have also noticed stepping on the foot switch gives a bit of funny noise, it lasts a few seconds and then disappears

Being new to valve amps, my first description is that the amp feels much more organic and i send that valves behave in their own way and are a bit sensitive to what happens so I am wondering if what i am picking up is something that solid state amps, by their very nature, would not pick up on.
PS: i love the amp

Another question: how are people transporting theirs on public transport? somebody had told me the rocket 44 are about 18kg. i have not weighted mine yet, but it does feel heavier thatn 18kg. I am considering getting a suitcase that fits it nicely to transport it around the bus/underground etc, but i wonder if people have found certain troyles etc to do the job well. i think i could lift a suitcase with it inside and maybe cushion its side, but again i want to protect the amp and have a sturdy solution since i plan on carrying it on a regular basis (1-3x per week) outside.

any suggestions? cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:48 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am
Posts: 13
just trying to bump for some (if any) replies.
cheers


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:03 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:17 am
Posts: 88
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
Hi,

I have had a Rocket 44 for about 5 years. It weighs around 20-22kg. It's a very compact and loud amp and you will have to be pretty fit to be getting it to gigs on the bus or train. A small pack trolley could help. You shouldn't have to worry about tilting the amp back a bit if you have some way to brace it. I find getting up off the ground helps -- a seat or a milk crate for example. Just make sure there is good airflow around the tubes whatever you do.

Mine does pop a bit when switching to standby. I don't think it's anything to worry about. Probably just turn the volumes down before using standby.

I had an issue with mine when switching to Contour mode. There was faulty component that caused it to automatically switch between regular OD and Contour by itself. I had a tech fix this and have had no problem since. If you notice anything amiss with the switching it might be an idea to get someone have a look at it.

Different preamp tubes also affect different sounds on the amp which can help you troubleshoot issues. You can see this in the manual which you can download freely off the Net at:

[url]mesaboogie.com/media/User%20Manuals/Rocket%2044%20Manual.pdf[/url]

It's a cool amp and not really rated or talked about much, even on the Boogie Board. It's also awesome because it can keep up with Marshall 100w half stacks without a problem but it's such a compact package.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:00 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am
Posts: 13
Thank you so much for your reply.Indeed, the rocket 44 does not get much press these days, but it certainly impresses me.
Following up on your answers:
- Yeah, I tried to weigh the amp, at least 20kg. I am planning on getting something to carry it for sure because just walking with it will not work - it is too hevy for that - even a 10kg amp would be heavy to carry by hand, not on your back, but the 44 could not be put on one's back anyways...
- I tried turning down the volumes to see if popping from ON to STANDBY would stop but it made no difference, whether it was the amp or guitar volumes (or both) - so it still makes a harsh popping sound when going from ON to STANDBY - no other switch does that.
- Sometimes I get a few lighter popping noises going from COUNTOUR to RHYTHM but they are basically gone within seconds and happen so infrequently I think it might be that I just play my amp so quietly that when the levels switch I get to hear the amp readjusting.

I got another question, if that is alright. So far I have been playing the amp mostly at bedroom levels, but today i played a bit with the knobs, following the manuals indication for 'sparkling clean, etc' and noticed the following:
- Turning up master volume above 2 produces a significant more noticeable humming/buzzing on both rhythm and lead channels. The gain knobs on both give noises that are what I would expect, increasing slowly as you turn it up, but is it normal for the master volume to make such a leap/jump noise wise from 2 onwards? PS: this does not drawn out the guitar sound, but it is just that below master level 2, the amp is so quiet, that i was surprised it got the humming/buzzing sound after the master volume was set to 2.5 or further up.
Do you have the same issue? Is this something I should worry about/take it to a tech?

I honestly can not see myself needing the master above 4 at the moment, but in the foreseable future, I may well need it, so I'd rather know if this is just normal 'valve behaviour' or whether I ought to take it to a tech...

Cheers again. I am learning slowly about tube amps so I appreciate my questions might be a bit naive at this stage.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:05 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:17 am
Posts: 88
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
The amp is inherently noisy, especially on the gain channels. The clean is acceptably quiet on mine. I think the V2 tube is the one to check if you are having noise issues on the clean channel. Maybe try ordering one of Mesa SP12AX7s which are expensive but chosen for low microphonics and noise. A lot of Mesas are actually quite hissy -- a byproduct of their cascaded gain circuitry. I find the effects loop with a long cable run adds a lot of noise too but you don't notice any of the hiss etc when playing at band levels as the drummer's cymbals tend to mask this. I have modded my FX loop to be switchable between parallel and serial - it comes stock with parallel which doesn't work that well with pedal effects. I have found using the loop in serial mode is a bit quieter and is easier to balance with pedal delay effects. Parallel is better for line level studio effects which are capable of 100% wet mix.

The master is very touchy in the lower ranges on the gain channels -- I actually practice with it on zero and the gain in the 6-8 range which still lets through a bit of volume. Once you push the master up to 1-2 there is huge jump in volume in a small notch there. Something to do with the pot taper they chose.

These amps are about 15-16 years old now and are headed towards needing a cap job in the next few years -- something to consider. I like mine for singing leads and OD sounds -- I have a Twin that does cleans and reverb better but the Rocket is compact and can do a lot of stuff well. One trick with the amp is to drive the clean channel by cranking the gain up to about 9 -- you need to roll the bass right off and turn up the treble up but it makes for a very nice bluesy crunch that is responsive to volume and tone changes on your guitar.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:59 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am
Posts: 13
thanks again wildschwein
i have spent some time looking into the FX loop and learned my ME70 gets to either live in front or in parallel with the amp and maybe not ideas (it does not have the ability that the GT models do, which apparently allow some pedal effects in front and some on the parallel, but with some compromise, from what i heard).

i am thinking the hissing i am getting comes with the teritory. i found it even with headphones, without pedal board, with short/quite cable, etc.

i think the mesa tube you suggested is likely a worthy investment. it will wait until i move home for now but certainly will look into it.

just wanted to say thanks for putting your experience there. as i play with the amp more, happy to share.
PS: this is my main (an only) amp really. i got another one for my classical guitar but that does not even compare and i got a practice 5w solid state which has been laying around. i love the 44 rocket.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:24 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:17 am
Posts: 88
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
sumpe wrote:
thanks again wildschwein
i have spent some time looking into the FX loop and learned my ME70 gets to either live in front or in parallel with the amp and maybe not ideas (it does not have the ability that the GT models do, which apparently allow some pedal effects in front and some on the parallel, but with some compromise, from what i heard).

i am thinking the hissing i am getting comes with the teritory. i found it even with headphones, without pedal board, with short/quite cable, etc.

i think the mesa tube you suggested is likely a worthy investment. it will wait until i move home for now but certainly will look into it.

just wanted to say thanks for putting your experience there. as i play with the amp more, happy to share.
PS: this is my main (an only) amp really. i got another one for my classical guitar but that does not even compare and i got a practice 5w solid state which has been laying around. i love the 44 rocket.


I just spoke with the Mesa authorized tech in my country Sate and he says it's best to run the official Mesa tubes if you can. JJs and stuff are okay but the amp will never sound its best. He also told me that the effects loop driver stage in these amps requires a very specific tube and that the caps are probably getting on and may need replacement -- this could also attest to some of the noise I have been having. I am actually going to take mine in for a service in the new year. A bit of money spent should help mine sound a bit better because it has been a little on the noisy side in the last 18 months and I have always just put JJs into it from Eurotubes sets (that are in the correct bias range of course).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:50 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:15 pm
Posts: 114
Location: San Jose, CA
played one today and its fun, does have hiss and all that. I only used the dirty channel and turned down the gain, since I was comparing guitars, not the amp. Tremolo is fun, but not as good as an old 65 gretsch. Surprisingly fender sound.

since I have a markI ri boogie, I think I will just build a cab with 4-10" speakers. I made a 2-12" closed-back for it and like the results

_________________
2006 Fender Lite Ash Strat
2012 US Gibson Firebird V
1990 Boogie Mark 1 Reissue
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Music: from blues to thrash and back! (allman bros, exodus, saxon, tcf, robert johnson)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:29 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:17 am
Posts: 88
Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
As an extra --- the FX loop for in these is a cathode follower type and requires a Chinese 12ax7. Apparently Russian, and I guess the Slovakian (JJs) tubes are not suitable for this. Mesa's general advice is to use one of their 12ax7s but make sure it is the Chinese type.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:21 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am
Posts: 13
Many thanks! Will do


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