Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

5:25 and 5:50's

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markoz
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Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by markoz » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:15 am

I've never owned a MB before , strictly Fender ('79 Twin, '90 HR Dlx), but now I've decided to Boogie.

I've narrowed it down to a Express Plus 5:25 (which I tried & loved) or a Express Plus 5:50, which I haven't tried yet 'cuz it's on back-order at the local MB dealer.

So my question is this: is there anything the 5:25+ can do that the 5:50+ can't ? Or vice versa?

(I won't move it much, so size/weight differences don't matter much to me here.)

I really like the lower power modes (5w/15w) on the 25+ ... how do they compare to the low power modes on the 50+?

I went in yesterday to try the 25+, knowing they didn't have the 50+.
I was skeptical about the 25+, since it was EL84 and I only knew 6L6 .

But I really liked the 25+, and almost bought it on the spot; so now I can't decide if I should get the 25+ or wait & try the 50+.

Has anybody else tried both? What swayed you one way or the other?

many thanks!
- Markoz
obligatory gear sig : Strat+ Dlx w fralins, ASAT Classic SH, Ibz ST200 w p-rails, LP Classic, Yam THR10c, AD30VT), <Boogie TBD>

polarbare21
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by polarbare21 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:53 am

I tried them both, and took home the 50+.
The decision was all about the sound at 5 & 25 watt comparisons.
50 watts was awesome, but I figured apples to apples at the same power levels.

Play em both and go with what your ears like.

This was my first Mesa, and I couldn't be happier. Its also my first brand new amp purchase - ever in 40 years of playing!

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midifail
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by midifail » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:15 pm

What kind of music do you play?
Do you use the amp for giging, for rehearsal at home or for recording?

It's hard to give good advice without proper information.

I own a 5:50 Plus. I switched from a 5:25 (old Version) a year ago.

The difference between 25 (Dyna-) Watt from 2 EL 84 and 50 Watt from 6L6 is more about Headroom and sound than Volume. 6L6es tend to be a little bit fatter and "round sounding" than EL 84.

If you like clean Cleans and a pronounced lowend, even a giging Level, you might prefer the 5:50.
If you want your Poweramp to clip early and nicely, the 5:25 might be the better choice.

I took the 6L6 Version, because i think it is more flexible in terms of volume and headroom.
The amps mentioned in your post lead me to the opinion, that you might end up with a 5:50.
But, as i said, it's difficult to give advice without more information on your taste and what you want the amp to do.


Both amps are great.
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SteveB
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by SteveB » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:11 am

polarbare21 wrote:The decision was all about the sound at 5 & 25 watt comparisons.
50 watts was awesome, but I figured apples to apples at the same power levels.
If you do the 25 watt comparison, just keep in mind that the 25 watt setting on the 5:25+ runs in class A/B, while the 25 watt setting on the 5:50+ runs in class A.

I own the 5:25+ and use the 15 watt (class A) setting a lot, for both the clean and blues voices.

markoz
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by markoz » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:11 pm

midifail wrote:What kind of music do you play?
Do you use the amp for giging, for rehearsal at home or for recording?
....

If you like clean Cleans and a pronounced lowend, even a giging Level, you might prefer the 5:50.
If you want your Poweramp to clip early and nicely, the 5:25 might be the better choice.

I took the 6L6 Version, because i think it is more flexible in terms of volume and headroom.
music : classic rock (Stones, Faces, CCR, etc), funk, blues, some country
use case : Just home & rehearsal for now ...
tone preference :
- clean to dirty (no need for shred),
- warm rather than edgy, but would prefer to have something that has the ability to do both

Sounds like the 50 is the way to go ... local MB dealer has one on the way, so it's somewhere between Petaluma & Durm.
I'll check it out as soon as it lands.

It's been almost 20 yrs since I bought a "real" amp, so I'm pretty stoked.

markoz
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by markoz » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:26 pm

got the 5:50 yesterday. It was quite a bit bigger than I was suspecting, but I liked the additional clean headroom available when playing my Les Paul. For my Strat, the diff was probably negligible.

It sounds great at low volume. The tone controls are extremely powerful (especially the bass), so it's gonna take me a while to get just the right mix, but there's a lot of awesome in there.

I'm thinking my existing collection of OD pedals are likely to gather dust hence. Except for my RAT.

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midifail
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by midifail » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:37 am

I think, it was the right decision.

I've got mine for over a year now and i am still very happy with this amp.

I found the Sound-Examples in the Manual to be a very helpful starting point.
Or try everything (except the Master) at noon and tweak the sound from there.
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ifailedshapes
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by ifailedshapes » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:42 pm

midifail wrote: Or try everything (except the Master) at noon and tweak the sound from there.
This. Also, don't rely on the Contour/EQ for your sound. With the EQ off, get the tone controls as close as you can and use the EQ sparingly. :) Another note many of us have learned from experience is to keep the bass knob low, because it can get a little farty. If you need more bass, make up for it with the Contour/EQ.

Most of all, HAVE FUN!
Guitars --> Pedals --> Amps

Past/Present Boogies
Express 5:50+ 1x12"
Stiletto Ace 1x12"
Electra Dyne Head
Lone Star Special 1x12"
Stiletto Ace Head
Express 5:25 1x10"
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markoz
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by markoz » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:23 pm

what's up with the hiss ?

If I boost the top EQ slider on the clean channel, hiss is pretty evident (even with no cable connected to the input).

Is this inherent or a possible defect? It's not noticeable most of the time, but I can heat it when I stop playing.
Are there any other indicators of a problem?

Take it back? Get it fixed? Deal widdit?

polarbare21
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by polarbare21 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:29 am

SteveB wrote:
polarbare21 wrote:The decision was all about the sound at 5 & 25 watt comparisons.
50 watts was awesome, but I figured apples to apples at the same power levels.
If you do the 25 watt comparison, just keep in mind that the 25 watt setting on the 5:25+ runs in class A/B, while the 25 watt setting on the 5:50+ runs in class A.

I own the 5:25+ and use the 15 watt (class A) setting a lot, for both the clean and blues voices.
True dat!

markoz
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by markoz » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:30 am

Does anybody have a problem with hiss? Even gain low on the clean channel , if I boost the treble at all, the hiss is pretty noticeable.

Is this "normal" or should I send it back?

polarbare21
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by polarbare21 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:25 pm

Mine has no hiss, call Mesa or your dealer.

Good luck!

amrose57
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by amrose57 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:34 am

markoz wrote:Does anybody have a problem with hiss? Even gain low on the clean channel , if I boost the treble at all, the hiss is pretty noticeable.

Is this "normal" or should I send it back?
I know yours is a 6L6 based amp, but the 3 EL84 based Boogies I've had have all hissed to some degree. My DC2 has the lowest hiss, followed by my Express 5:25+ and my Studio 22+, which hissed like a snake. I would suggest a tube set from Doug's Tubes. I put a set in my Express and it tamed the hiss down significantly. Since then I've been rolling NOS tubes in the Express and the DC2 and the hiss hasn't returned. So my conclusion with the Express (which was brand new) was it was a preamp tube.

Unfortunately, with respect to hiss, most Boogies have 4 gain stages, as opposed to say a Fender that has 2. That allows for more chances of an increase in noise, or in this case hiss, into the power section. It also allows for more tonal flexibility, which is a great thing. So there are always tradeoffs. Call Doug at Doug's tubes and see what he says.

There is another thread here with regards to hiss, so you might want to do a couple of searches. I hope this all helps.

Al

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midifail
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by midifail » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:44 am

My amp seems very quiet to me.
Changed v1 and v2 to Mesa SPAX just in case....
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melodiusthunk
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Re: Express Plus 5:25 vs Express Plus 5:50

Post by melodiusthunk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:44 am

midifail wrote:My amp seems very quiet to me.
Changed v1 and v2 to Mesa SPAX just in case....

5:50 owner here; midfail and others give good advice. Try swapping preamp tubes with either Mesa SPAX or other quality supplier AX7, one at a time, beginning with the V2 position.

If doing that doesn't reduce hiss to your satisfaction, then either learn to love the beast for what it is, or return it. A knowledgeable tech in my area tells me that Mesa amps tend to be a bit noisier than many other brands he has worked on. Not a problem for me playing with others, but I could see there might be an issue when recording.

One more option might be to put a good EQ pedal in front of the amp and see if you can get the EQ you want with less noise.

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