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TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:03 pm
by DarthWombat
G'day all...

I'm new to both Mesa and this forum, so I thought I'd post something, even if just to thank everyone for the all the good info I've already found here. I have just bought my TA-30 head second hand, and it really helped to know what to look out for. I think I scored a good one, and I've got a couple of years left to run on the warranty. I'm hoping it will be my "Forever Amp". :)

I have to confess to being pretty much a tube noob, so be gentle with me. The last tube amp I owned was a Fender Twin Reverb a loooong time ago, and I sold it mainly because I thought it was a one-trick pony, tonally speaking (except maybe when run at obscene volumes). After spending a long time running a digital modelling rig straight into the desk (for doing a wide range of covers), I've now gone back to basics: just a guitar and a TA-30 head and cab, with a view to gradually introducing selected effects later (if I can get the TA-30 effects loop to work for me). The TA-30 covers a lot of tonal bases, and, right now, I'm having fun exploring all of them. I'm definitely loving rediscovering the dynamics that I get from a "real" setup, as opposed to digital modelling.

Anyway, for low-volume, home use, I managed to score an ex-demo, custom Mesa 1x12" open-back cab loaded with a 16 Ohm Celestion Greenback at a great price. It's nice and portable, and it sounds absolutely gorgeous with the TA-30 (to my ear, anyway), but I was a bit concerned with the low 20W rating on the Greenback. The sales guy assured me that it was OK, since the safe impedance mismatch running the 8 Ohm output into 16 Ohms will give me some extra safety margin and it will aso let the amp run cooler. I will need to exercise some caution if using the higher wattage settings, which really isn't that hard in a small room - it's pretty loud even at just 15W. What do people think about this setup? Is it OK? Am I risking the speaker? Am I sacrificing too much tonally with the impedance mismatch? Expiring minds want to know.

The sales guy has given me the option of returning the Greenback-loaded 1x12" if I have any reservations. I do eventually want to start playing live again in the near future, so I'm sure I'll really want to crank up the TA-30 at some stage. Should I bite the bullet now, take back the little cab and go for a 2x12" cab or higher-rated 1x12" cab? Another option is to run a 16 Ohm Cab Clone in parallel to soak up half the power and get the load down to 8 Ohms. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Alex.

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:56 am
by DarthWombat
G'day again...

I had a happy Sunday in the man-cave today tooling around with my "new" toy. I reckon my neighbours must hate me by now.

I got the TA-30 effects loop to work perfectly in a four-wire setup with my venerable Boss GT-8, and the amp control jack on the GT-8 even switches the channel on the TA-30. The total flexibility the old GT-8 gives me with the signal path is great - I can put a noise gate after the preamp (in the TA-30 effect loop path), and I can choose whether to put the volume pedal either before or after the preamp to either control drive or provide a progressive master volume control going into the power stage.

The TA-30 reverb still buzzes a bit too much for my liking, but the rest of the effect loop is pretty quiet. I just turned the amp reverb to zero and used the quieter digital delay instead, but I will play with this a bit more later. I had no problems with level differences in the effect loop return between the two channels - I just tweaked the return level in the GT-8 so it was the same volume with or without the effect loop bypassed.

I've only scratched the surface today - there's lots more fun to be had. The more I use the TA-30, the more I like it!

I'm looking forward to getting people's thoughts on the cab.

Cheers,

Alex.

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:09 pm
by WMHaze
Hello Alex,

I do not own the TA-30 but I do own the TA-15 and it has been one of the most versatile and best sounding amplifiers I have ever owned. I run mine through an older Mesa 1x12 23" wide open back cab loaded with the Black Shadow 90W. It sounds great to my ears.

I would think your open back Celestion Greenback cab would be just fine. 8ohm into 16ohm is safe, but you may lose a little volume/projection. 30W is plenty loud for gigging in a band. It's all about cabinets, ohms, and how many speakers you use.

I think cabinets are one area where a lot of guitarists either don't experiment or are afraid to mix and match. I would say go for more adventure and perhaps get a cab with a different yet complimentary speaker and run both at the same time. You may be amazed at how full the sound is. Maybe a Blue Alnico with that Greenback? Just a thought.

Anyways, welcome to Mesa Boogie! The Transatlantic is a true gem!

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:59 am
by KH Guitar Freak
I use mine with the horizontal 2X12 Rectifier cab. Works great

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:30 am
by DarthWombat
KH Guitar Freak wrote:I use mine with the horizontal 2X12 Rectifier cab. Works great
Is that a closed back?

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:16 am
by KH Guitar Freak
DarthWombat wrote:
KH Guitar Freak wrote:I use mine with the horizontal 2X12 Rectifier cab. Works great
Is that a closed back?
Yes, fully closed back

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:08 pm
by Dreamtheaterrules
A lot of cabs and speakers work great with the TA. My favorite is an Eminence Private Jack. Greenback tones, 50 watt handling. Not expensive! Use your cab and grab an 8 ohm PJ. You will not be sorry!!

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:32 am
by DarthWombat
Dreamtheaterrules wrote:A lot of cabs and speakers work great with the TA. My favorite is an Eminence Private Jack. Greenback tones, 50 watt handling. Not expensive! Use your cab and grab an 8 ohm PJ. You will not be sorry!!
I've seen a few posts where people have raved about the Private Jacks. I was considering maybe a Celestion Creamback, but I might have to give the PJ a listen. Thanks!

P.S: Is there any difference between the "normal" grey-basket PJs and the "Redcoat" ones? Do the red ones really go faster? I could pick up one of these locally: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/172680951735

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:47 am
by DarthWombat
I wound up going with the Celestion G12M-65 Creamback in my open-back 1x12 Mesa 19" cab.

I've only just installed it this afternoon, so I haven't given it a proper work-out, yet. I'm visiting family at the moment, so it's hard to gauge how different the sound is when I'm in a completely different room and I can't wind it out. It sounds good so far, though.

Re: TA-30 Learner Driver - G'day / need cab advice

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:27 pm
by Dreamtheaterrules
I think the differences are only cosmetic, but the red ones (like mine) are prettier! :mrgreen:

That said, what you got should be great, along with the Warehouse equivalent model. A higher power greenback type should be great with the TA30. ENJOY! And let us know how it works out for you.