tried a TA30 combo today...

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boogiemon
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tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by boogiemon » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:34 am

much like the lonestar except that ch1 sounds better: goes from real clean to moderate gain: *very* nice.

ch2: ick.

(follow up: re: gain, ch2 picks up where ch1 left off & then gets mushy, in fairness though, this was a low volume eval.)
Last edited by boogiemon on Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by phyrexia » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:59 pm

Thanks for the overwhelming level of detail. :lol:
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by MBJunkie » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:17 pm

lol..... :wink:

Alright...I'll bite with my honest opinion so far with my TA-30 112 combo. I have only owned mine for a little over a week, but so far....I am very pleased!

Channel 1:
1. Fantastic cleans in both modes of Ch1 (normal and top boost). INCREDIBLE vintage crunch rhythm and solo sounds available in Ch1's "Top Boost" modes with the "volume" knob set higher!......Definitely pull the "cut knob for master volume control" of Ch1 if "Top Boost" mode is too loud when set at higher volume (gain) levels.....even if in 15W power mode. This is a very useful feature IMO for this channel.
2. I hate to say it, but I will......the "Top Boost" mode of Ch1 is worth the price of this amp stand alone.......and yes, I admit....this amp is expensive!! If you are after a very close approximation of the classic vintage VOX high gain sound.....it is here!!

Channel 2:
1. Tweed - A fantastic clean sound is available in this mode of Ch2. One can easily think "alternate clean to Ch1....especially if Ch1 is set to "higher gain sound in Top Boost Mode". Many may find this to be the "best clean sound mode" of the amp.
Personally, I do find this to be the best "clean sound of the amp", but I normally set Ch2 to HI 1 mode for obvious footswitchable reasons! :-) The clean sound offered in Ch1 are also incredible so it is all about great options and flexibility with ease of dialing in great sounds!
One other thing regarding Ch2 "Tweed Mode"...I found this mode of Ch2 to sound great slightly and highly clipped as well. Lot's of great sounds available in this mode of Ch2.....definitely experiment with all gain/tone settings as well as power settings. Many awesome sounds available in this mode alone......don't just gravitate to Hi-1 and Hi-2.
2. HI 1 - This is the bomb for high gain "Marshallesque" sounds. It seems to work well with several different gain/tone control settings and in all power modes offered. It also sounds great for high gain leads depending on how everything is set! AWESOME mode!!
3. HI 2 - While this mode can sound decent for high gain lead soloing...so far...I consider it a far fetch from my preferred MB high gain lead sounds of the Mk series. That being said, I never expected it to....the great thing is that I find my lead and crunch sounds offered in the HI 1 mode to exceed my epectations.....not to mention the high gain vintage crunch sounds offered in the "Top Boost" mode of Ch1. All that being said, I am sure that I will be able to dial in "very nice" hi gain lead sounds in this mode. I really haven't spent much time with it yet.

The reverb offered sounds great......even though I usually set it very low or even off!

Final thoughts.....If you are looking for a very versatile amp to achieve fantastic vintage sounds (including VOX crunch and Marshall Crunch and leads) in a low powered tube amp.....you really need to check this one out!

Don't expect it to be a modern gain monster with its new pull gain feature of Ch2. However, do expect it to sound like a classic vintage classic rock amp and a real joy ride to play!!

I am very impressed so far and absolutely loving it!! :mrgreen:

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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by Birdy » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:14 am

Nice review MBJ.
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by axman53 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:46 pm

I played one of these at the local GC and I have to agree with MBJunkie, although I don't have near the experience he has with one. I did find that I gravitated to the clean tone of channel 2 more than channel 1. I normally use my LSS with channel 1 set clean, channel 2 set dirty and then use dirt pedals to vary my lead tone on channel 2. With the TA-30, I'd really like to have the channel 2 clean on channel 1 so I could switch between that and Hi-1 on channel 2, but hey, you can't always get what you want. I'm going to go back and spend some more time with the TA-30. I've got my LSS for sale on the local craigslist, so if I can get some cash for it I'd really like to get the TA-30. The TA-30, to me, has much more character than my LSS, at least for what I play, and it's around 20 pounds lighter than the LSS! I will miss my LSS solo switch however.

My LSS listing: http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/msg/2347158676.html
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by MBJunkie » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:35 pm

axman...

I used to own a LSS and I set it up like you...Ch1 clean and Ch2 dirty and I also experimented with the use of OD boost pedals. This worked well, but I was never really happy with my Ch2 sounds with or without the addition of a boost pedal.

Regarding the TA-30.....My preference of clean sounds in Ch2 "tweed" over the clean offerings in Ch1 "normal and/or top boost" is only very slight. In fact, many people may prefer the cleans offered in Ch1. Next time you audition the TA-30 be sure to spend more time with the clean sound offerings in Ch1 (be sure to try 15 and 30W modes) I think you will find them pleasing as well.....which of course frees up Ch2 for the awesome Hi-1 mode! :lol:

Just a couple of other observations to add to my previous review that some may find helpful:
1. While the new gain boost feature offered in Ch2 doesn't turn the amp into a high gain modern monster by any stretch......it does offer a slight boost, and more importantly, added sustain (especially when playing through single coil combinations of an HSS type guitar). I find great sustaining lead sounds with the gain set in its lower to middle region (9 - 12 o'clock) when boost is engaged.
2. I actually prefer the sound in both channels better with the effects/reverb toggle switched on.....even if not running effects through the loop (which I haven't yet). The manual mentions that many players will likely prefer to always have the loop circuit engaged for a more 3 dimensional sound, and I agree with their assessment.

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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by axman53 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:05 pm

MBJunkie wrote:axman...
I used to own a LSS and I set it up like you...Ch1 clean and Ch2 dirty and I also experimented with the use of OD boost pedals. This worked well, but I was never really happy with my Ch2 sounds with or without the addition of a boost pedal.
Bingo! Exactly the way I feel about my LSS. Thanks for the additional pointers. I read the manual today and can't wait to get back to GC to play this amp some more.
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by Sebber » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:09 am

I love the TA-15's Channel 1 "Normal" mode for cleans, it's just got that VOX ACXX sparkle to it that responds beautifully with Fender-style single coils. While I liked the "Tweed" mode on Channel 2 for cleans, I found it was just a little too scooped in the mids department for my tastes, and although I've not tried it in a band/live environment, I worry that lacking mids with a clean tone is one way of getting lost in the mix. The other reason I use Channel 1 for my cleans is I'm using Channel 2's "H1" mode for moderate levels of crunch/dirt: it can be tipped nicely over into insane levels of gain with OD/distortion pedals.

While the TA-15 has been my main gigging amp since I got it last August (I think it was), I also have an LSS 2x12 combo that I still occasionally use when we're playing in larger venues. I absolutely adore both amps, I can't say which one I prefer... aside from the fact that the TA-15 head and two 1x12 cabs in mini-stack configuration is a damned site easier to lug around than the LSS 2x12, which is a beast. Perhaps it's just me, but I have no problems with the LSS's Channel 2: like the TransAtlantic, I don't use Channel 2 for much more than light crunch, which can be pushed very nicely with pedals. I don't use the Drive switch for the extra gain.
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by bigbean » Fri May 06, 2011 1:34 pm

How much does the TA-30 112 weigh?

Does it have a fan like the head?

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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by MBJunkie » Sat May 07, 2011 8:06 am

Yes, the combo has a very quite and effective fan.

Regarding the weight of the 112.....I really don't know, but I would say it is about 35 pounds (I don't have a scale or I would weigh it). It does come with removable casters, but I find it very managable to move without even using the casters.

BTW....I am now loving my clean sounds in Ch1 at least as well if not more than the tweed mode of Ch2! Fantastic sounding amp and very versatile!! :D

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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by bigbean » Sat May 07, 2011 9:24 am

Can you hear the fan in a studio situation? I didn't see a "fan Off" control anywhere.
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by MBJunkie » Sat May 07, 2011 9:53 am

There is not an on/off switch for the fan, but I do not feel that it will be any problem at all in the studio.....it is very quite and mounted at the rear of the combo. The only way I can even tell that it is on is if I place my ear right up next to it, or place my hand near it to feel the air moving.

Hope this helps.

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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by bigbean » Sat May 07, 2011 11:11 am

It does help. Thanks.

I'm definitely a low wattage Mesa fan. I prefer EL-84 products. So this amp intrigues me. I have been looking for one amp that could replace two amps that I own now.

The other things I'm concerned with: 1. How well does it deal with the differences between single coils and humbuckers with various gains 2. Does the reverb / effects loop implememtation work with the pedals I like this week, are things that I can probably only figure out by buying one and trying it for a week or so.

Since both models have fans, the head is probably the way for me to go. Maybe with a single 12" light weight Vox night train cab for club work and a 2- 12" slant top cab with some celestions for bigger rooms, both, if I feel like being annoying.

Did you notice any added hum when using the effects loop?
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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by MBJunkie » Sat May 07, 2011 11:13 am

I did a google search and the "unofficial" weight of the TA-30 112 combo is 43 pounds.....maybe 42 pounds without the casters! :lol:

The closest comparable combo by MB regarding power tubes offered (4-EL84 power tubes and also a 2 channel amp) would be the Lonestar Special 112 combo and it's "unofficial" weight is 58 pounds. I believe the cab size of the LSS is larger, and it does include the solo boost circuitry which probably accounts for most of its additional weight.

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Re: tried a TA30 combo today...

Post by MBJunkie » Sat May 07, 2011 11:22 am

I do not notice any additional hum with the FX/Reverb toggle engaged in any mode of either channel regardless of power settings, however, other people have indicated otherwise...mostly head owners it appears. Check out the other thread.

I do notice more of a "hum" in 30W mode of both channels when not playing, but it isn't enough to bother me......especially since I prefer the sounds offered in 30W mode. That being said, I don't experience any additional hum in either channel regardless of the FX/Reverb toggle setting. In fact, I prefer the sound of the amp with FX/Reverb toggle engaged even when not using effects in the loop.

I am using my Nova System in the loop of the TA-30 with exceptional results.

Best of luck!

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