Verdict on Electra Dyne

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werdna
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Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by werdna » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:07 pm

I compared my ED to the following amps: Mark V, Marshall plexi with brown eye mod and the Marshall AFD 100.

Both the Marshalls had way better standard rock tone, especially the plexi. The ED sounded woolly and too bassy, with none of the bite of the Marshalls. The difference was massive and really shamed the ED. The clean tone on the ED was great as long as you didn't try to turn it up too much. If you turned it up, it started to affect the tone controls and also it became distorted. And you couldn't effectively footswitch between the dirty and clean on the ED without having serious issues with your tone: either it was right for clean and bad for dirty or vice versa. This is where the Mark V outshone the ED: the clean could go loud, and you could switch between clean and dirty and retain great tone control. Plus the dirty tone on the Mark V has way more bite than the ED. In fact I could dial the Mark V closer to the Marshalls than I could the ED. All this goes to show that the ED was a great idea that Mesa couldn't pull off. I tried the ED with both 6L6s and EL34s, but either way, no Marshall.

I conclude that there are only two ways you can get Fender cleans and Marshall dirty is to have a Mesa Mark V or similar, a Marshall head, and a head amp switcher; or a Randall MTS rack system with both EL34 and 6L6 tubes and get suitable preamp units. I also bought the MTS rack unit so I have tested this.

Some of you may dig the ED dirty tone: good on you. But it isn't close to being Marshall.

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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by screamingdaisy » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:19 am

I don't think it was supposed to be a Marshall. JMP/modded JMP levels of gain combined with Mesa's low mids. Due to the way it feels I've always thought of it as a low gain Recto, although that description isn't 100% accurate either. The ED is its own thing.

The ED generally gets more comparisons to Bogner due to the low mids.
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werdna
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by werdna » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:08 pm

The ED was marketed by Mesa as American cleans, British dirty. British means Marshall. Fail.

Shame that noone has figured out how to put a plexi and a twin in the same head - unless you buy a huge Randall rack.

It would take a creative company like Mesa to pull this off, but they have been going for years and haven't managed it.

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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by Hollis » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:43 pm

Wow, of all the years I've been an Electra Dyne fan, reading reviews, forum discussions, etc. I've never, ever heard anyone bash the Electra Dyne's tones. Maybe someone will say it's too heavy (my 1x12 combo is stupid heavy), but never a negative word on tones. Maybe something is wrong with the one you were playing? Idk.

British does not equal Marshall. I really hate to say this often sung Internet banter but it's true: If you want a Marshall, buy a Marshall. If you want a Fender, buy a Fender. You are right, though. The Electra Dyne does not sound like an authentic Marshall. It has the vintage British(Marshall) gain structure, but it has more low end and is smoother and less raunchy. "like a velvet hammer, or a leather-wrapped baseball bat"

Mesa's marketing describes it perfectly:
"Deeply rooted in the Best of the Brit lineage, the Electra Dyne takes modified English gain sounds and sorts them into LO and HIGH regions. These two choices are combined with a retro-minded, American-voiced clean “channel” and linked to one mini-toggle that gives you three of the most classic sounds in Rock and Roll on one switch!"


If you had exactly both amps in one chassis people would still bitch about the lack of continuity when switching channels. You'd have a shockingly different tone.

There are other amps you could try for a more authentic Fender/Marshall combo in one amp:
Bogner Shiva, PWE Event Horizon, Mesa RA-100, Suhr PT-100, and I'm sure there are many others as well.
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Hollis
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by Hollis » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:58 pm

screamingdaisy wrote:I don't think it was supposed to be a Marshall. JMP/modded JMP levels of gain combined with Mesa's low mids. Due to the way it feels I've always thought of it as a low gain Recto, although that description isn't 100% accurate either. The ED is its own thing.

The ED generally gets more comparisons to Bogner due to the low mids.

+1
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YellowJacket
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by YellowJacket » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:07 am

HAHA werdna, thanks for your review and some much needed 'controversy' here!!! :mrgreen:
werdna wrote:I compared my ED to the following amps: Mark V, Marshall plexi with brown eye mod and the Marshall AFD 100.
Is your 'Dyne a head or a combo? Tubes & Cab make a huge difference! That being said, I heard a review comparing the Electra Dyne to a Marshall Superbass head and that was more similar. BUT, Vintage Hi on the Electra Dyne is shocking similar to 'Mark I' mode on your Mark V. Please tell me you noticed =-p
Both the Marshalls had way better standard rock tone, especially the plexi. The ED sounded woolly and too bassy, with none of the bite of the Marshalls. The difference was massive and really shamed the ED. The clean tone on the ED was great as long as you didn't try to turn it up too much. If you turned it up, it started to affect the tone controls and also it became distorted. And you couldn't effectively footswitch between the dirty and clean on the ED without having serious issues with your tone: either it was right for clean and bad for dirty or vice versa. This is where the Mark V outshone the ED: the clean could go loud, and you could switch between clean and dirty and retain great tone control. Plus the dirty tone on the Mark V has way more bite than the ED. In fact I could dial the Mark V closer to the Marshalls than I could the ED. All this goes to show that the ED was a great idea that Mesa couldn't pull off. I tried the ED with both 6L6s and EL34s, but either way, no Marshall.
Dyne beats the Marshalls on feel any day! I like the fact that the amp has a unique voice and that it does expressive playing so well.
Brightness... Did you adjust your treble & presence? What about the mid knob? High mids & low treble are engaged as you turn up the mid controls. This amp will crunch but it is smooth / polite. It doesn't have the brash mid bark of a Marshall.

Shared EQ don't get me started. It was almost a deal breaker for me and even now, it is a huge frustration. Running the knobs near 12:00 is workable but you start to explore the really fun dirt tones, and the clean is garbage.
I conclude that there are only two ways you can get Fender cleans and Marshall dirty is to have a Mesa Mark V or similar, a Marshall head, and a head amp switcher; or a Randall MTS rack system with both EL34 and 6L6 tubes and get suitable preamp units. I also bought the MTS rack unit so I have tested this.

Some of you may dig the ED dirty tone: good on you. But it isn't close to being Marshall.
Wasn't the Stiletto series the Marshall knockoffs!? As others have pointed out, Jim Marshall isn't the only awesome thing that Britain has provided us with. I bought an Electra Dyne because I tried one and dammit, I had to have that tone. If I wanted a Marshall, I would have bought one. Oh wait, I don't want my amp melting in 10 years.

We happen to love this thing but different strokes for different folks.
screamingdaisy wrote:I don't think it was supposed to be a Marshall. JMP/modded JMP levels of gain combined with Mesa's low mids. Due to the way it feels I've always thought of it as a low gain Recto, although that description isn't 100% accurate either. The ED is its own thing.

The ED generally gets more comparisons to Bogner due to the low mids.
This amp is basically Mesa swinging around their design clout. ::look how much we can do with a simple tonestack:: From a design perspective, what they accomplished is incredible. The amount of variation between tones is incredible, especially with how powerful the mid control is for tone shaping. Scooped mids = traditional mesa / recto type voicing while turning the mids past noon imparts a distinctly 'british' flavour on the amp. I say playing this amp through one of the Electra Dyne / Royal Atlantic cabs with a c90 is something you have to try. It's a low / mid gain lead machine and it's such a great, fresh voice for older styles such as blues and classic rock. Amp has Mojo, especially in terms of feel.

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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by jnoel64 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:49 pm

"Amp has Mojo, especially in terms of feel"

+1 a million times over
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by lespauljoe1 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:14 pm

I think the only Marshall amp that may possibly compare to the Electradyne would be one of the earliest bass circuit amps, but as has been stated, the ED is smoother. I love the ED just the way it is. If I wanted a screaming, crunchy, upper midrange amp, I would definitely look at a more modern Marshall. I personally like the lower midrange tone of the ED, but I also primarilly play blues/blues rock. A boogie sounds like a boogie, but the clean channel of the ED does a very good impression of a black face Fender imo. The great thing about Mesa is there are lots of variations. Although Marshall's have changed a lot over the years, they still have a similar base of tones imo.
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by elvis » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:58 pm

I don't disagree with this review. I don't agree that it is a fail, nor do I agree that it is reasonable to compare it to a particular Brit amp. I wouldn't try to replace a particular Marshall with a Dyne. It is more Marshally than a Mark, that is for sure. I might compare it to a plexi that is not dimed, but even then, the Dyne has a more low/low-mid focus. To me the Dyne sounds simply incredible, plus it has amazing feel. Sure, when you turn it up, the clean channel gets dirty. But I find it to be a nice breakup, and it cleans up with the guitar volume. I also hate Marshall amps. They sound like very loud mosquitoes to me...

I have come to see the Dyne as a step on the path to the RA100, which is way closer to Marshall. But even then, it is not a Marshall. It does scream, though. And it has separate clean and vintage controls, so it's a lot more useable. And the power soaks make it more viable than the Dyne at Human volume levels. I love the Dyne, but I use the RA pretty much exclusively due to its more extensive features.
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by Hollis » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:31 pm

I have a close friend that has 2 RA-100's and we've compared them quite extensively. The RA definitely has a similar gain structure, but more upper-mid focused. It's one of the best sounding gain channels I've ever heard. However, the Electra Dyne's clean channel is substantially better than the RA in my opinion.
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by danyeo1 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:21 pm

If you have the mid below halfway on the ED forget it, then it is woolly and too bassy. Turn the mid upto 7 or so, LOWER the bass. Add a BB Preamp, and there you go. Stock the ED is a no go for me, add a good OD pedal and it's a different story.
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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by Nomad100 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:01 am

danyeo1 wrote:If you have the mid below halfway on the ED forget it, then it is woolly and too bassy. Turn the mid upto 7 or so, LOWER the bass. Add a BB Preamp, and there you go. Stock the ED is a no go for me, add a good OD pedal and it's a different story.
Have to agree with the above. While I do like the ED stock, it does become a different amp with a boost in front.
Using a Bad Monkey with my ED, I can get a very convincing Bogner Ecstasy type sound.

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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by kramerxxx » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:49 am

I have both Electra Dynes and Stilettos. For most of our shows, I take a Stiletto, but I'm not getting rid of the ED. Having said that, I have done shows with me ED and was completely happy with it's performance/tone.

A lot of what is brought up here is fact, but you have to read between the lines on almost every data point to understand the Dyne.

The shared EQ controls makes this a quasi-Mark I reissue-rereissue, without some of the footswitchable options IMHO. (*I also have a Mark III) It is a pain, but a workable pain if you're in a Band, playing a show.

If you are OK with a somewhat Dirty Clean, or using OD pedals out front and/or a GEQ in the loop, then the ED is a GREAT amp.

I typically play all my amps with a few pedals out front, and a delay/reverb in the loop. Though, I really like the Reverb of the Dyne, it need a bit more 'push' out front to cover all the sounds I like to hear. It also sound Fantastic with an MXR 10-band GEQ used as a solo boost through the loop.

For playing live, the above requires some tap-dancing and/or working your guitar's volume/tone controls. This is a sometimes forgotten skill that guitarists should have in their bag of tricks.

I owned a Mark V for a few years and with a OD pedal in front of it, I like the ED's Lead tones better. You have to give versatility to the Mark V, no question, but I let my Mark V go, I still have my Dyne.

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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by MBJunkie » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:44 pm

I agree with the OP in some respects, but not all.

I owned the ED, and did like some of the sounds that I could get out of it in all 3 modes when dialed in independently. However, I didn't think any of the sounds that I conjured out of it were "Epic" as so many others have achieved from this amp.

My biggest complaint of the ED was that it was marketed as being a "simple format 3 channel foot switchable amp" which couldn't have been farther from the truth from my experiences.

I found it unusable live as a 3 channel "mode" foot switchable amp" because it was impossible for me to balance a good clean, mid gain, high gain sound tonally with the shared EQ controls...not to mention trying to balance volume levels between the 3 modes while playing live!

That said, I don't consider the ED a big failure because it could be dialed in to sound great in any given mode...., but rather a big disappointment to me that it didn't even come close to delivering as advertised being a "3 channel foot switchable amp". It was definitely not that for me!

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Re: Verdict on Electra Dyne

Post by YellowJacket » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:28 pm

MBJunkie wrote:I agree with the OP in some respects, but not all.

I owned the ED, and did like some of the sounds that I could get out of it in all 3 modes when dialed in independently. However, I didn't think any of the sounds that I conjured out of it were "Epic" as so many others have achieved from this amp.

My biggest complaint of the ED was that it was marketed as being a "simple format 3 channel foot switchable amp" which couldn't have been farther from the truth from my experiences.

I found it unusable live as a 3 channel "mode" foot switchable amp" because it was impossible for me to balance a good clean, mid gain, high gain sound tonally with the shared EQ controls...not to mention trying to balance volume levels between the 3 modes while playing live!

That said, I don't consider the ED a big failure because it could be dialed in to sound great in any given mode...., but rather a big disappointment to me that it didn't even come close to delivering as advertised being a "3 channel foot switchable amp". It was definitely not that for me!
I almost didn't buy this amp because of the shared EQ. The lack of flexibility definitely impacts the usability of this amp. Had it been equipped with the usual Mesa features, I'm sure many players would have been far less frustrated with it.

Like another poster said, I make copious use of my volume knob and I have been judicious with pickup selection, equipping all my guitars for the best possible result from this amp. But, for some, this would be prohibitively expensive.

RE Mark V. After spending some time with one it would be difficult for me to choose. I much prefer the Mark V for high gain (Metal / Prog rock) and I much prefer the Electra Dyne for everything else.

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