Studio 22+ Combo to Head conversion?

Pre Recto days. Boogie modified Fenders, Mark I-IV, Dual Calibers, etc

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Bottle Rocket
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Studio 22+ Combo to Head conversion?

Post by andygprs » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:27 pm


I've just joined, so hi :)

The story is that I played a jam night a few months back and the other guitarist was playing a Studio 22+ EQ 1x12 combo and the tone was amazing.

I also have a bad back and finding out that I could get an actual Mesa Boogie I could lift without putting my back out was a revelation!

I started looking for one and found a mint example, with flightcase about 4 hours' drive from me. But I was due to be within an hour of there for a rehearsal weekend with a guitarist friend of mine who is getting married and is doing his own wedding band....long story short, I made the diversion and bought the amp last weekend.

It's an extremely quiet (in terms of lack of hum / static) example on both channels which is great.

Truth be told, if I hadn't heard the original amp, I wouldn't have bought it. The clean was beautiful, but I wasn't so taken by the lead channel. I certainly needed the EQ to auto kick in to get rid of some harshness and warm it up. That said, I've read lots about how interactive the tone controls are, so just went for it.

I played it a lot over the weekend, and it worked well with my existing effects board that has a channel switcher that allows me to easily pre-select one of two drive pedals (currently an AT BB Preamp and a gold CM Plexitone) to be in circuit on the clean channel. All good, but still didn't have the outright high gain sound I had in my head, either from the rhythm channel with pedals or the lead channel alone....I thought I was going to try a Sansamp GT2 or something on the clean channel to achieve that.

Back home this weekend, I tried it in my own studio. Was less pleased with the lead channel...a bit boxy to my ears. After all, it is a small box.

I could tweak the EQ (in auto setting to come on with the lead channel) and it helped to an extent...but was still there.

I then tried putting it through my 2 x 12 cab and it was like the heavens were shining down on me. Completely and utterly gorgeous on both channels.

One aside, my cab is 16 ohms and I've read conflicting things about hooking about an 8 ohm output to higher rated cab. Some amp output transformers tolerate it better than others. I erred on the side of caution and didn't use the amp for long. I could always re-wire the speakers to 4 ohm and problem solved.

Unfortunately, it makes no sense to lug around a combo and a 2x12 cab. So now I have to decide if I try to sell this amp and find a head version of the amp....or whether I look into the cost of making or having made a chassis to convert this into a head.

Any ideas, opinions, experience on this?

Anyhoo, sorry for my wordy first post, and good to meet you all :)


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