Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

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V:35 or TC50

V:35 combo
TC50 combo
Total votes: 9

Bottle Rocket
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Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

Post by slashfan7777 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:29 pm

Hello everyone I'd like to introduce myself and ask a few questions. My name is Boris, and I am in search of a Mesa. I love this forum, and I am excited to become a part of this community. I am making the switch from a 90's Marshall jtm30 2x10 combo that has treated me well for the past 7 years. It is my first tube amp and I bought it second hand not knowing much about it, except that it was the only Marshall tube amp I could afford at the time. Lucky for me the previous owner had removed the heat cage and installed a pair of Mesa 6L6's in it, never had a problem. However it has become stale.
Now I am in search to spark my passion and creativity, and Christmas is coming up. I want the community's knowledge and expertise to help guide my purchase. My budget is $2000. After researching, listening, and demoing I am between the mark v:35 and the triple crown 50 combos. Although I haven't played a TC50 yet, I did get to play an RA100c and immediately fell in love with it. I play rock and metal mostly, but I love versatility. By rock and metal I mean: Cream, Pink Floyd, GNR, LedZep, Metallica, Pantera, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Trivium, etc. but I also play jam band stuff and funk like sublime, black crowes, phish, pigeons playing ping pong, etc.

pros: 3 voicings per channel, graphic eq, attenuation, 4 power tubes, independent solo boosts
cons: 2 channels, no footswitchable reverb, EL84 tubes?, 35 watts
Summary: Took me a while to dial in, graphic eq was overwhelming but awesome I know I could achieve any sound with enough tweaking, very loud for 35 watts but I imagine headroom for cleans is comparably lacking, no experience with El84 tubes and cannot change them, mid boost is cool, do not like how crunch isn't separate and is included with channel 1 but it makes sense, have to rely on solo boost for a "third channel"

pros: 3 channels with 2 modes each, El34 or 6L6, 50 watts, vintage 30, midi
cons: no attenuation?, 2 power tubes, more expensive
Summary: never actually played one but RA100c was easy to dial in and "felt" right, unsure what output and master volumes mean(is master basically "channel" volume and output "master" volume??), many of my heroes swear by vintage 30s, feels better having 3 channels at my feet, love the option of switching to 6L6 for more oomph, don't mind not having independent solo boosts or graphic eq(can use my tubescreamer and boss ge-7), probably won't utilize midi

Wow that was a lot of typing I apologize for the long read. I am amazed how helpful simply listing this out was to me though. Can anyone explain to me what the difference between the TC50's output knob and V:35's attenuation switches is? I need to be able to play at bedroom volumes. Will this be possible with the TC50? Is there anything else I may have missed comparing the two? What would you choose and why? Any recommendations, information, and advice you can offer is much appreciated. Please vote in the poll. Also whats up with the recent price increase for Mesa products? Leading online retailers have raised their prices by like 8%, I am hoping this will drop during black friday deals. Thanks in advance!

Mark I
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Re: Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

Post by nault.jama » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:49 pm

I stongly advise that you join the mesa boogie facebook page. This place is dead as f%&# and his in serious need of a revamp.

sh!t talk done, you really cant go wrong with either. But if i was you , i think the tc 50 will suir your need better. I mean the mark are super cool but they always retain a metal tone in it. I always had a hard time dialing a good classic rock hard rock tone out of mine. Will do metal all day long though, and even more. Without having played one, i believe the tc 50 would be a better choice for the band you have listed.

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Re: Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

Post by screamingdaisy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:58 pm

The TC-50 is my new favourite amp. It has a great transition from clean to crunch to lead, and the master volume is smooth with no big volume jobs at bedroom levels.

IMO, you should get a Mark if you want the sound of a Mark and get the TC-50 if you want to be able to cop various eras of guitar tone.
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

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Re: Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

Post by mace » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:25 am

Having a TC-50 and Mark V, and based on what you’ve said, I’d recommend that you give the TC-50 a serious look. It is very versatile and has a great many tones. Even at very low volumes it sounds really, really good and the volume sweep is great. You can knock the power down to 25W by running 6V6 power tubes (these also give a slight change in tone).

I find the Mark sound, in general, to be thicker and more “mid tone forward” than the TC-50. I gig with both and love them both.
Rankings: #1 Mark V head, #1b TC50 combo, #3 Rectoverb 25 head

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Re: Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

Post by bandit2013 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:32 am

I will chime in too, Considering the investment, I think there is more bang for the buck with the TC-50. It can deliver similar tone (almost the same actually) as the RA100 head or combo, but it does not stop there......The amp response is a bit similar but the tone characteristics (depending on channel) are a bit different. The biggest difference is in the Hi gain channel, also the Lo gain channel may be slightly different but yet familiar to the RA100. The clean channel is also similar and different but with drive selected it is comparable. I would highly recommend the TC-50 head with the Vertical 212 cabinet. I have not been more impressed with a new amp and that combination works very well together. V30's in a closed back cabinet is the way to go. However some have said the combo is great too. You could always add another cabinet later on if that is the better route to take.

Pros for the TC-50: power tube choices is the #1. EL34, 6L6, and 6V6. That should in itself speak flexibility as each tube has its own characteristic. Con for the Mark V:35 tube choice is EL84 (sorry no other options to choose from). Not that the EL84 is a bad thing. I have a small 50W combo amp that uses the EL84 tube (not a mesa amp though). Still I like the tone of the EL34's and being able to run the 6V6 in the TC-50 has been a treat to my ears just as much as the EL34 tubes.

Pro for the TC-50: Clean channel is unsurpassed by other amps in this price range. I cannot compare that to the Mark V:35 though as I do not have that amp to reference.

Pro for the TC-50: Midi controller. This feature in itself is a huge blessing in disguise. The Footswitch controller also uses the midi buss to mange channel selection and other features. Since I also have the JP-2C, I have been overjoyed with this feature. I have had many issues with the footswitch controller on the Mark V (90W version) such that I do not use it any more. Not sure what the MKV:35 uses for switching logic.

Power attenuation: you can run the amp at reduced volumes using the global master control and still have a bedroom amp if that is desired. You could also opt for headphones via the cab clone (TC50/MKV:35).

I would personally find a dealer to try each out. Best to get help from sales person who understands the two products to help you dial in your tone. Actually the TC-50 is easy but some of it may not be as forthcoming on CH2. More bass, center mid and reduce treble as this channel is very bright. Not at all different from the RA100. Since you are the one to be buying the amp, best to try each and decide which is best. Even if you have to wait on your decision. Look at the several videos on the two amps. Not just the professional sessions but the average consumer videos as this will give you a better feel for how each amp will sound.

As for the 5BEQ, the TC-50 does not need it, but if you feel it does you can add that in the FX-loop if you so desire to do so. However, in more general terms, the Mark series amps do require the 5BEQ since the raw tone is well saturated without the EQ ( it is okay but sounds better with the EQ turned on when using the higher gain channel voices).

Why is it that when I find the videos done by Sessions is when I decide to jump on the amp. Probably because the demonstrator adjusts the amp like most people would. I cannot understand German but the amp speaks for itself. ... ORM=VRDGAR

I found this on the Mark V:35 that walked through the amp in some detail that may be helpful. ... ORM=VRDGAR

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Re: Coming to the dark side (Marshall->Mesa)

Post by Mrpetersen13 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:22 am

Did you already make a decision? If not the recently announced Triple Crown 100 might be something to consider as it does have a power attenuator. Hope that helps.

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