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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:51 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:21 pm
Posts: 16
:oops: I may or may not have ordered a tc50 combo from Sweetwater yesterday.

Whoops.

It all happened so fast. Now I'm reading forums, manuals, blood shot sleepless eyes, considering sending the family somewhere I can't afford to send them. Then enjoy a sweet romantic honey moon phase with the new gal.

What wines do you think the tc50 likes? Is she a three date kinda gal?

The suspense... the "out for delivery" notification. Knowing the FedEx truck doesn't usually come around for another 7 hours to my area.

How will she compare to the road king. Think they'll get along? Will she get jealous?

Oh my.

:lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:14 am 
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Mark III
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:45 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Southwest Michigan
I know your pain. I felt the same way after I placed my order.

I can't comment on the wine preferences for the TC50, but I can say she is not a 3 date kind of girl - at least mine wasn't. She moves much quicker than that. You may not sleep for the next few days, either. Just remember to hydrate.

I also have a RK1, and I have yet allowed them to play together, but I imagine they will get along famously, given all the tonal options of the RK. Surely, there are several different combinations of tones that will make beautiful music together.

If your TC50 doesn't blow your mind from the first get-go, definitely give her some time to blossom. And, don't forget the different tube options available to you. The TC50 has it's own thing going on, especially with 6V6 tubes in place. I'm sure you have read post after post stating the same thing, and for good reason. But, to each their own; you may find you prefer the stock tubes, or even 6L6s or 5881s (my current power tube compliment).

One thing I can say with certainty, I have been gigging with mine since I got it, and it has never let me down, and has often surprised me again and again. There's not much it can't do.

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TC-50, Electra Dyne, Mark V, Road King I
Mostly Fenders with Duncans
EVM, Eminence, and WGS speakers


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:50 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:21 pm
Posts: 16
Image

She's came pretty quick! (We should get along perfectly :wink: )

I did read quite a bit about the variations, and many preferring the 6v6s. Kinda kicking myself for not adding a pair to the order from sweetwater, could have tried them right away. I have some extremely old 6L6s from my Road King. I replaced those with JJ 5881s.

I'll give the 6L6s a shot. I want to try the 5881s, but with this being brand spanking new (first NEW amp I have ever purchased). I don't want something stupid to happen and void the warranty with non mesa tubes. At any rate I'll have them kicking around with me at gigs as a quick back up (the old 6L6s)

I do know it'll take some break in. Was thinking about popping a speaker in that I know is broken in already, unfortunately all I have are 16ohm speakers. I know that is a "legal" mismatch, but also sounds like it's an impact on tone as well.

I am hoping she's not as bright as the MkV. Had an used combo for a couple weeks that was plenty broken in. Even with treble and presence to zero it was still ear piercing. On the ground, fine, but on my amp stand and in the beam... ouch! 100% of the time I use my stand with a pretty good tilt. Keeps the beam from hitting the audience.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:21 pm
Posts: 16
Okay... Well I intended to push through all the channels.

Never made it past the first channel.

Dusted off the HSS Deluxe Strat for the test (it's a first year deluxe, before this fender called them custom shops?), my gigging guitar is typically my custom ESP with the styles we play (9/10 people think it's a PRS when they first see it, she purty).

After reading the manual I had a rough idea what I don't like as far as piercing frequencies, I prefer a warm tone the sits in the mix. Treble pretty low, mid to about 9~10, bass around 12, pres around 12. Didn't sound bad at all. A little muddy when I moved to the neck pup. What I liked out of the gate is that it didn't get piercing like the MkV did. I could actually start adding in some treble and not get my head sliced off, a nice starting point. Impressed, especially for a new speaker.

Did some light strumming with the gain back a bit, blues travelers, doobie brothers, crazy little thing called love. Very nice!

Pump the gain a little more. Hendrix little wing sounded superb, and of course had to cliche with Hey Joe.

Pump the gain hard... cold shot and Mary had a little lamp... nice!

Next reverb. Kick that on... play for a bit. Sounds pretty darn good.

Crank the reverb ALL the way up. Almost has a particle verb feel to it. Dial the gain back down. Led to playing Lillium (elfen lied. I play a full finger style chord melody of this)... beautiful! Next, Moonlight sonata... Very nice.

I lost a couple hours on just the first channel and never made it to the next two. Lol

Wife says she wants to take my mother in law to the hobby store. Sure. Oh wait, now?!?

4 year old and I fertilize the yard. By this I mean I spend most of the time trying to keep him out of the fertilizer and explaining to him why he can't let the dog out or spread it himself.

Come back in and realize I left the amp on with the reverb cranked. Strange sorta high pitch buzz/hum coming from the amp. Unplug input. Still there. Turn off reverb. Gone. Well sh!t. Turn it back on and turn reverb down. Noise is still there but quieter.

Amp was quiet as a mouse before. Could I have burned up the verb tube by leaving it cranked while I was outside?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:27 pm 
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Mark III
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:45 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Southwest Michigan
Your image didn't come through... I assume you got the head version and not the combo, right?

Others have cited the amp is a bit bright, so they dial the treble and presence way down. My tone settings are a bit lower on the treble and presence than my other Mesas, too.

One thing I found for myself (and I know some others have felt the same), the more you play it, the more you want to.

I recently acquired a V and I think the V is brighter than the TC50, but also differently bright. The V has that "ice pick" brightness that can be annoying without the AT7 mod. The TC50 has more upper mids, which was an adjustment for me coming from an Electra Dyne.

I spend more time on the clean channel than any other as well. But, that is mostly due to the genre of the band I am in. Don't neglect the dirty channels, though. She will know you aren't using her to all her potential and could get fussy. I let a friend crank through mine when I had a moment of insanity and considered selling it. Once I heard channels 2 and 3 appropriately cranked, I knew there was no way I would ever part with my TC50.

Like you, though, the TC50 was my first brand new Mesa amp, too.

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TC-50, Electra Dyne, Mark V, Road King I
Mostly Fenders with Duncans
EVM, Eminence, and WGS speakers


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2507
Location: North Carolina
Not my first new Mesa, Actually that was back in 1987 for me (Mark III combo) Only two amps I have and love them both that I bought used are the RA100's.

TC-50 did not sit well with me at first (CH2 and CH3). Very bright and harsh but that is the EL34 tube and may take a few hours of break in time. I found I was running the treble about the same as I would with the JP-2C (actually higher than suggested) since I dial in by ear vs reference to position. Depends on the cab you are using. Sounds killer though the Vetical 212. Ch1 is by far my favorite channel (clean and or drive). Ch2 also is great once you figure out how to dial it in. Ch3 great too. This amp did take a bit of time to grow on me and now it is tops. Similar to the RA100 but yet a bit different.

Mesa does offer 5881 tubes (STR425). The only place I could find them was the Mesa on-line Store. I have plenty of the 6L6STR440 tubes, those are not too bad either but I like the 5881 a bit more. Note that the perceived volume levels may seem a bit softer or lower with the 6L6/5881 tubes when compared to the EL34. Obviously the 6V6 will be lower in output volume too since they drop output power to 25W.

I have a Roadster if that counts..... I have run both amps simultaneously and they blend quite well together (once you balance out the volume on the amps). Modern voice CH4 with the TC CH3 is a fun sound to enjoy. If you want to keep the noise level to a minimum and avoid ground loop issues, get a splitter with an isolation transformer. That has to be one cool device and you can use it to master slave amps too.

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Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:45 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:21 pm
Posts: 16
It is a great amp. Wednesday is a bad day for me to test. Wife has the day off and we keep the boy home from daycare. My studio is the original living room before rear addition. Working at home I catch family related distraction Wednesdays.

I'll get more time tomorrow.

I grabbed the combo. And it still needs break in.

Learning from the road king and MkV made me realize, with mesa vs other manufacturers, that I did need to read the manual and forums when adjusting EQ. Mesa's eq much differently and learning how each eq/gain stage effected the next made it much easier to dial in. When I got my first road king I had a hell of a time. Started at noon and went from there. I was in a rush so I dismissed it. But after diving in to the literature and others experiences my second road king was a completely different experience. But for example. The treble on my Road King is suddenly too high .... when it's all the way off. I actually drive channel 2 on the RK by riding the treble, but taming the frequency with the presence.

The TC50 seems to eq quite a bit differently than the RK. With the RK you lose latter eq control without treble as it feeds the next stages. On the tc50 I thought it was easier to dial in. Can't get quite as creative as I can with the RK, but... in a live setting in a new room I can see the tc50 being easier to dial in on the fly.

I was planning on this setup:

Ch1. Easy strumming style cleans for queen, doobie brothers, etc. Add an OCD if I want a light crunch (Brightside by killers intro).
Ch2. I wanted to get a grungier type sound. On the RK I have ch3 on raw, el34, triode, rectifier, 2 oclock gain. I get this to almost sound like a creamy fuzz. Would like to get close to that on Ch2. Think meat puppets Backwater. Add screamer for solos if needed.
Ch3. Modern distortion ... diesels version of Funky Music would be a good example.

It's fun. It's late. Gotta bounce.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:38 am 
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Mark III
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:45 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Southwest Michigan
I installed the 5881s and tried them at practice last night. I was surprised that the volume was very close to the 6V6 tubes, but the clean tone had more punch. Haven't heard the other 2 channels yet. I did flip the switch to Drive, but kept the gain just below noon to maintain a completely clean tone. Aside from no dramatic difference in perceived volume, I liked the tone. I have yet to use the stock EL34s for my clean tone.

I haven't dusted off my RK in a long time. I used to set Ch 3 to modern and Ch 4 to Vintage - kinda opposite of what most others do. I am not a huge fan of the Recto modern tone myself, which is another reason (aside from the weight) I don't use the amp much. But, there are many other tones available from the RK, some the TC50 won't cover.

Hopefully, today you will have a more productive, and enjoyable experience with your TC50. I love every minute I play through mine.

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TC-50, Electra Dyne, Mark V, Road King I
Mostly Fenders with Duncans
EVM, Eminence, and WGS speakers


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:18 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:21 pm
Posts: 16
So today I played with ch2&3 a bit. Yup! Tons of high end even with presence and treble at 0. Raising the gain seems to roll it off a bit, but I wanted to use ch2 a little cleaner.

I have some ecc83MGs I may try out, and one gold pinned ecc83mg. See if that makes a difference.

In reference to the warranty. Doesn't matter with preamp tubes?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:30 am 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2507
Location: North Carolina
Since you have a combo, this may take longer as your speaker is green (needs a bit of break in time). (I question if Mesa does any speaker break in runs on the raw speaker before they use them, However, fresh out of box the Vertical 212 just blew me away as did the Horizontal 212 and they both still provide the same tone after a few months of use). The Mesa EL34 do need some run time on them as I had found, about 20 hours or so and the mids will peak more vs how they sound new. I had the same thoughts how bright the amp was at first. Even put in a Mesa SPAX7 in V3 in hopes to cube the top end (V3 is the first gain stage of the Hi/Lo channels). I found it was not necessary so I put the stock tube back in. My patience paid off and the TC-50 sounds great with the Mesa EL34s. To be honest, I do not like them in the RA100 but as a back up tube they are fine. Give it some play time and you may notice you need to raise the treble once the tubes settle in. Since the RA100 is similar in some respects to the TC-50, generally I found on vintage hi or vintage low was to drop the treble, boost the bass and adjust the midrange to tailor the tone as the treble seemed to be linked to the midrange control. The TC-50 is similar but does not respond to tone control changes like the RA100. I found that the TC-50 tone controls to be more responsive or reactive and the presence control raises the bar even further as you can adjust the edge of clip (this is lacking in the RA). My first impressions were a bit negative and my first post was not very convincing to get one. Considering I have two RA100s, Mark V, JP-2C and Roadster to compare the TC-50 I may have been hard to please. Once you get some time with the amp it will begin to sound better and after a while that will all you want to play through. (at least that was my case, the amp just kept sounding better every day and was hard to stop and plug into my other amps. It will grow on you or at least it should.) I would hold off on preamp tube swaps until you break in the EL34 tubes. Not sure if preamp tubes other than Mesa will void warranty, power tubes will. Makes me wonder if the Mesa NOS Siemens EL34 are allowed. When I first tried the Mesa 6L6STR440 tube in the TC-50, the amp only had less than 10 hours of use and I was not overly impressed. However after a few months I tried them again to compare to the Mesa 5881. I actually like both but prefer the EL34 tube in this amp. The 6V6 is also a fun tube to use. In my opinion, I believe most that return the amp if they feel it is not right for them have not given it enough time to break in properly. 20hrs at best on the Mesa EL34 tubes. Also getting used to the tone controls and how they interact with each other as well as the channel volume mater and gain interaction. This amp in particular is not too difficult to dial in compared to other Mesa amps (Roadster, Mark V, Mark III )

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Current amps:
TC-50, JP-2C, MK V, Roadster, RA100
Old friends I sometimes miss:
Mk III (blue stripe), Mark IVb-WB


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:09 am 
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Mark III
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:45 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Southwest Michigan
Sometimes, I leave an amp on for 24 hours with new tubes. I just turn the volume all the way down and come back the next day. That has tamed some harshness of new tubes - or at least it seems to do that according to my ears. I never did that with the TC50, though. I was in too much of a hurry to use the amp. So far, it hasn't disappointed me. But, I may stop using my BBE with this amp. I feel like it's unnecessary.

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TC-50, Electra Dyne, Mark V, Road King I
Mostly Fenders with Duncans
EVM, Eminence, and WGS speakers


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