TC 50 observations, FWIW

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Bottle Rocket
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:26 pm

TC 50 observations, FWIW

Post by Txmack2 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:56 am

I read on forums a lot but don't post often. But I really wanted to share my experience here.

Ok, so I bought the combo version TC-50 6 or 8 months back. (I actually returned a more expensive boutique head that sounded good in some aspects but was;t versatile as I'd hoped for.)

I had never heard a TC-50 in person. i had not even noticed they had come out. But I have come to trust Mesa's value (and Sweetwater's return policy,) and I was keen on the features and the portability in one package. I was not disappointed. I really love it. I have gigged it a lot and always came away happy with the tone.

So, when I saw how easy and reasonable they made the customization thing, I ordered a head with custom covering. It arrived yesterday.

These two facts I found interesting and thought may be helpful to others. (These may seem kind of obvious, but it's how far beyond the obvious that caused me to post):

First, I have mostly gravitated towards 6l6 amps, especially for cleans, and in a room by yourself the little combo really breathed better on the cleans with 6L6. But I tried them live two different times and the difference in cut that is normal with 6L6 vs EL34 is SO pronounced I couldn't figure out what was going on at first. I thought I had a faulty cable or pedal, but no. The amp just sinks in the mix comparatively, particularly in the mids, even clean. It was good tone, but a lot different in the mix. I have never experienced this so dramatically, even going between 6l6 and el34s in the Heartbreaker.

Then I got the head in. Here is another "duh" thing but to such an astonishing degree to me...
I had never plugged to combo into a cab. I had only ever used it as a 1x12. And was so surprise that I was happy with a 1x12. But I own several good to great cabs. A Jubilee 4x12 with V-30 types, A PRS 2x12 with V-30 types, and a new cheap acquisition, a Laney open 1x12 with Greenbacks, and a cab with a V30/Heritage mix. So I wanted a head to use them with.

It's stunning. The addition of one, or three speakers is beyond just what I assumed I'd get. The tones, particularly clean, gain a tremendous amount of definition. That elusive "3D" quality, and the reverb becomes Fender beautiful.

Now, not to knock the sound of the combo. As i say i have been amazed how good a job it does with one speaker.I will still use it that way in certain situations.

Has any one else had these same reactions?

Where I am coming from:
I have had lots of amps; high end-low end, vintage, cutting edge, big and small.
I love pretty much all amps. They all will have something I love about them.
But I gig a good bit and I need a very versatile amp from old swampy blues, bright percussive funk chords,
crunchy hard rock, and I like a good thick warm lead tone for improvising.
The amps I have used the most over the years are the Boogie Heartbreaker, Marshall DSL 50's and old Black or Silver Twins.

Triple Recto
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Location: North Carolina

Re: TC 50 observations, FWIW

Post by bandit2013 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:26 pm

Keep in mind that the TC-50 has different plate voltages than the other amps to make use of the 6V6 tube. The same would apply to the TC-100. In relation to its predecessor, the Royal Atlantic, similar tonal changes will occur when swapping in the 6L6 tube. That amp in particular has a lower plate voltage than the TC series (as I was told by another). Each amp will have its own character to it as well as differences in the preamp section and power section. Hey I love my Roadster with the 6L6 but do not favor it with EL34's.

The TC series was design basically for the EL34 power tube and it does an excellent job at that. Basic tuning of the preamp and phase inverter to obtain the most out of the EL34 tube may result in less than spectacular character with the 6L6 tube. However, the 6V6 has some interesting character with the TC-50 but at a cost of half the power output. That is what sold me on the amp in the first place and now I am eager to get another pair or a matched quad to try out in the TC-100.

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