TC-50 Guidance

Discussion area for the new TC50

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rrguitars
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TC-50 Guidance

Post by rrguitars » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:41 am

Okay, so new to the forum but a long time Boogie user except I haven't played a Mesa Boogie for 20 years! Yes, I'm 60 but I assure you I can hold my own. To the story...Since the late 70's I've played mostly Mesa Boogies except for a couple stints with a Marshall JCM800 in 1980(?) and a Marshall Solid State (because I was broke and needed to work until I could replace the MKIIc that was stolen!). I've owned a MKI, MKIIc, MKIII, MKIV, Quad Pre with the 295 Simul-Class power amp and my last Boogie was a TriAxis with 290 Simul-Class and 2 4x12 cabs, California Blonde acoustic rig in 2000.When my original band went belly up and with kids on the way I sold all of it but I never stopped playing. I just down-sized to a more economical means by way of a Line 6 Flextone II XL. Don't Laugh. I've been ripping with this thing since 2000 and it's been keeping me going (recent solo clip available on my Bandmix page - rrguitars). I bought my MKIII, MKIV and my TriAxis without even hearing them out. I didn't need to. Just a couple of weeks ago I bought a TC-50 rack new unheard and a Line 6 Pod HD Pro X and FBVII (used from GC...another story!). My expectations were very high with the idea of running 4 cable. With that said I have 2 2x12 Harley Benton cabs loaded with V30s waiting to pass through Customs from Germany (don't hate on me). In the meantime I bought a Blackstar open back 2x12 cab with Seventy/80s from GC for something to play through until they arrive at which time I will return. I AM NOT HAPPY!!! I'm sure the Seventy/80's have something to do with it but I get a lot of mid-range "boxiness" (for lack of a better description) that I just can't seem to dial out. I don't feel the tone of this amp is as clear or as flexible as I expected. (YouTube, you suck!) I have about 5 more days to return it and I need some guidance as to why I shouldn't. I've played through a friends seasoned V30 cab and neither one of us could dial in a good starting tone. The amp is aggressive but I find it mid rangey, a bit buzzy and the gain pixelated and not as fluid as I'm used to. (pixelated - meaning if I were to look at a picture close up you can see the dots and the picture is blurred but as you pull the picture away the pixels come together and the picture comes into focus - maybe like an oil painting you need to see from across the room to appreciate it). I'm used to a more focused distortion. Any comments welcome as long as they're helpful (no haters please - I'm just struggling).

mace
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by mace » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:25 am

Not sure I'll be of any help as you have more experience with amps than I do. And, you obviously know what tone you are after. I love the TC-50 but keep coming back to the Mark V. The Mark seems to be my "home base" amp.

I have the TC-50 combo and for me it is pretty easy to dial in and I do not get too extreme with the settings all between 9 and 3 o'clock). I've loaned it quite a few times to the lead guitarist in my band for gigging. I've been surprised how he dials in the high gain channel using pretty much 3-5 o'clock on the tone dials. He also has the channel master up at about 3 o'clock. I can get details on settings he had from last weekend's gig if you want and I think we have videos up somewhere you could give a listen.

Good luck experimenting!
Rankings: #1 Mark V head, #1b TC50 combo, #3 Rectoverb 25 head

Daxman73
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by Daxman73 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:54 pm

Hmmm, how long have you given the tubes a chance to burn in? I have a TC50 Head and run it through a OS Recto 4x12. I don't find it super mid-rangey, but it can sound "boxy" if the amp/tubes aren't broken or with different types of cabs. Read the posts on the forum by bandit2013 on here. Very informative and thorough. Like most amps, and maybe more in this particular case, it really needs to get some time on it before the amp starts to blossom. After a day or two of heavy jamming, the amp really opened up. To me, this amp is extremely articulate, detailed, quiet and musical. It's the perfect blend of a Recto and a Mark. Not to mention that it's one of the most versatile amps I've ever heard. There isn't a genre that this amp couldn't do in my opinion. And I've never had a hard time dialing it in. Not sure if any of this helps, but I hope you give it a chance. It's one of the best amps to come out of Petaluma in quite some time.
Last edited by Daxman73 on Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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bandit2013
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by bandit2013 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:21 pm

I too came from the Mark series starting from my first Mesa, a mark III combo blue stripe, then a Mark IVb widebody combo. I draw the line on the Mark V 90W, it is a good amp overall but a bit different than a traditional tone of a Mark. At least the JP-2C made up for it. As for the TC-50, that amp in particular is definitely different especially with a heritage of Mark series amps and now acquiring a TC series. Some do not like the amp for what it is, I actually like it but to be honest, it was not an instant out of the box admiration. Most of the classic rock I listen too has that tone so the amp does deliver. If it was not for my liking of the Royal Atlantic 100 I probably would not have kept the TC-50. I guess the same would apply to the Rectifier series, they sound great if you know how to dial them in but without any experience they seem lame. Now I am an avid follower of the Rectifier Multi-watt Dual Rec just as much as I am with the Roadster.

For starters: the speaker enclosure does matter a great deal. I have an egnator 412 cab I bought on a budget a few years ago when I first got the Royal Atlantic. Did not like the stock speakers so I swapped the out for the old V30 that I removed from my oversized recto when I rebuilt that cab with EVM12L black labels for use with the Roadster. I did get around to installing some Celestion Creamback G12H75. TC-100 is okay with that cab but the TC-50 sounds woody, boxy or just lack the ideal characteristic I admire about the amp. I do have a few of the vertical recto 212 cabs which is my preference for use with the JP-2C, TC-50 and TC-100. That cab has a more balanced tone as it works well with just about any amp I channel though it. Speaker enclosure does make a difference. TC series does have ample amount of gain on tap so the tendency of grittiness in the gain structure. The amp can be brittle if you dial in too much treble or presence with moderate gain settings. Right out of the box the EL34 will be on the harsh side but they do mellow out after a few hours of use.

I made a comparison video of the TC-50 with EL34 compared to the TC-100 with the 6L6 tubes. The musical content is not spectacular as I only did this to compare the tone. I guess the TC-50 can sound boxy. If you want more of a Mark tone, you could always try a set of 6L6 tubes. Mesa has added a few other varieties to their offering. They now have a JJ6L6GC (Mesa STR445) and TungSol 6L6GC (Mesa STR441). The Standard STR440 may seem a bit softer for the TC-50 but works well with the TC-100 due to the more iron on the OT. I have tried the Mesa STR425 which is a Russian 5881 tube. It has a different character than the STR440.
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rrguitars
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by rrguitars » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:41 am

Thanks for all of the replies. Very much appreciated.
I do believe it is starting to mellow out a bit and you definitely need to crank it to find the sweet spot in those V30's.
I am going to try the 6L6s which may be best for me.
I never played a Rectifier so now it's no wonder I was a bit thrown off.
And I didn't expect Mesa to try to expand on classic Marshall tones.
When I first turned it up I was only inspired to slam AC/DC chords!
I'm learning more about how my Pod HD Pro X (FX only) interacts with the amp and I'm pretty close to what I want.
The 6L6s may be the final piece of the puzzle.

bandit2013
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by bandit2013 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:40 am

To some the TC series may be their dream, to others it may be something a bit too different and what to expect or how to set the controls to get the sound you need. I had my first hand experience with the Royal Atlantic so the TC series was not too far off from that in terms of how to dial in the settings. I like the 50 for its dryer character as the bass is tight but not as saturated as say the TC-100 or the RA100. My favorite aspect of the TC series is the clean channel on the drive setting with the gain nearly maxed out, dial back on the bass control and adjust midrange and treble to characterize the gain structure. Set presence last for tone shaping. That is one sweet plexi styled tone. I never had a Stratocaster but decided to get one after I got into the TC series. Now the Stratocaster has become a favorite axe. Sure I had similar guitars like Carvin Bolt C (still have them too but have been modified with different pickups). Something about the Fender guitar, could be the scale length or neck width that has driven me to the Strat. I could never do finger style playing even though I have tried over the past 30 years but now I have improved on that technique. Then there is the volume control pot, I normally used to just set it to max and leave it there but now I have learned there is more to the guitar than going all out with the volume and tone controls. TC-50 and similar amps like the TC-100 and Royal Atlantic have become my favorite amps. Multi-watt Dual Rectifier is also similar but very different in overall tonal spectrum but you can hear the similar root tone of the British voiced preamp. TC series does not have a cold clipper gain stage like the Recto series (That came from the Marshall 2203 -JCM800 series). For something quite interesting if you do not mind 25W would be the 6V6 tube. For a 6L6 tube, I would have to try the Mesa STR445 (JJ6L6) to compare to the 5881(STR425) and 6L6(STR440). Mesa did release two 6L6 tubes (JJ6L6 STR445 and TungSol STR441). At least there are some other tubes available that will not void warranty. Note that it is only the power tube that the warranty applies too unless it was changed to include preamp tubes.

rrguitars
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by rrguitars » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:28 pm

Thanks everyone but seriously, does anybody's TC sound even close to this??
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wQyE4GRYZI

Or remotely close to anything in any internet video?

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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by bandit2013 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:09 am

Yes it gets close but.... that recording is definitely processed as that is not a single track recording as it does sound like there is track doubling or some sort of stereo effect which will change how things sound especially with other instruments in the mix. I did not see any mention how it was recorded and if using a device like a two-notes torpedo processor/attenuator you can literally make any amp sound like something else. I have recently gone back to the TC-50 just for kicks. For a while I have been running two Royal Atlantic RA100's in stereo so that has been my resident evil of late. I was trying the TC-30 with the Mesa 5 Band GEQ in the FX loop which does help to bring out the low end a bit more. I had though it was more ideal with the TC-100 since it has more low end and midrange but the TC-50 can rip out some awesome tone too.

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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by domct203 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:39 pm

There is definitely post track processing and multi layer guitar tracks, but the core TC tone is there.

If you find the bottom end a bit anemic try an Amptweaker Depth Finder in the FX Loop. Makes a huge difference, I love mine. It really fills in the missing lows, especially for someone like me who has been playing Rectos for two decades. I also use the De-Fizzerator, with both of them on the output of my G-System (into the FX return) as my “final EQ”.
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rrguitars
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by rrguitars » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:34 am

Lot's of great support here! Really appreciate everyone's comments and input. Much thanks.

Question - When you received your new Triple Crown was there anything unusual about the packaging for the foot pedal?
When I received mine new in the box the foot pedal package had a couple slits at the cable hole just enough so the cable could fit in.
I visited a Boogie dealer about a month ago to hear a Triple Crown to compare it to mine. The foot pedal was in the package with similar cuts. He told he did it so he could demo the amp without scratching the pedal.

Question - Does the date hand written on your chassis coincide relatively near the date of purchase?
I bought mine 2 months ago and the date shows 2017. I find this very unusual.

Thanks.

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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by Authorized Boogie » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:04 pm

In final play-test we test the amp with all accessories, just as you receive it. That means the footswitch, reverb tank, and in a combo amp - the speaker. In initial play-test we simply use a bench foot controller, bench reverb tank, and same cab for every amp - but in final we test with everything the amp ships with.

(EVERY amp goes through a full tech bench test, play-test, 24 hour burn-in, and final play-test before being boxed up.)
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domct203
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by domct203 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:59 pm

rrguitars wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:34 am
......... Question - Does the date hand written on your chassis coincide relatively near the date of purchase?
I bought mine 2 months ago and the date shows 2017. I find this very unusual.

Thanks.
I bought my amp in Jan ‘19 & it has a 6/14/18 build date. It was a demo, but is flawless. I don’t recall the foot switch packaging, I was too busy getting it unboxed and plugged in.
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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by rrguitars » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:45 am

I bought my amp in Jan ‘19 & it has a 6/14/18 build date. It was a demo, but is flawless. I don’t recall the foot switch packaging, I was too busy getting it unboxed and plugged in.
That sounds reasonable knowing it's a demo and I would guess you paid demo pricing.

From what I understand through a local dealer is all Mesa amps are purchased in full up front.
I couldn't imagine any dealer risking holding inventory for 2 years so I questioned my dealer but I was assured the amp was new.
My dealer blamed it on being a rack mount and today's guitarists are more interested in buying heads.

The logic seems odd considering I'm sure Mesa is placing these in combos, heads and rack mounts based on the order.
The orientation is the same for a combo as it is a rack so maybe they don't sell as many combos and racks as they do heads.

I asked Mesa to track my serial number for any service or returns. They told me it shipped in February of 2019.
It just seems strange. Maybe these aren't selling as it may appear.

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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by rrguitars » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Okay, I'm sure most everyone has lost interest hearing about my grief but there is positive progress here.
It took awhile but my ears are finally settling into the tones of this amp
I realize I don't like the tone from EL34s. I am definitely a 6L6 guy. There's a certain volume you need to reach before it begins to enter its sweet spot. Just glad I found it and I'm happy with it but it is a bit loud for my home practice environment.
I haven't brought it to my band practice yet but that volume will be just right.
The remedy for the practice volume are the 6V6 tubes.
These are the perfect low wattage alternative to the 6L6s.
I am absolutely thrilled I can now get what I want (pretty close, just enjoying the current tweaks right now) at high wattage with 6L6s or low wattage with 6V6s. And I think I might be able to get away with these for my band practice, too.
Thank you Mesa Boogie for providing this option.

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Re: TC-50 Guidance

Post by mace » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:56 am

Glad you got settled in! The TC-50 is very, very versatile.
Rankings: #1 Mark V head, #1b TC50 combo, #3 Rectoverb 25 head

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