Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Dual/Triple Rectos, Maverick, Blue Angel, Nomad, Road King, F-Series, Lone Star & Stiletto

Moderators: Guitarzan, Grandor, ned, Platypus

Post Reply
Mesa.22
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:33 pm

Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by Mesa.22 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:19 pm

I'm considering a Fillmore and there's ton of talk (on TGP) of it lacking headroom on the clean setting, even on the 50w version. Players claim it can't keep up with a band and does not have that big glass umph that other 50w amps have.

I'm looking for more discussion/opinions/perspective on this topic (outside of TGP). I played a 50w combo in a store once and did not get this impression, but not in a band setting obviously. I also do not play in sparkly clean mode myself, but rather on the edge of breakup, ala Blackface or tweed style.

I'm torn between the 50 & 25 models after reading up on the lack of headroom claims. I don't gig out much anymore and thinking the 25 head paired with my current 1x12 Thiele cab would be fine. Oh, and I also own a Power Station 2 that could be used if more power was ever needed past the 25 watts.

discuss....

User avatar
jediguitarist
Mark II
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: East Coast, New Jersey

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by jediguitarist » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:29 pm

I really wish they would find another way to measure the perceived volume of a guitar amp. Perhaps list dB at certain distances.

I gig a Mark IV 90% of the time. I also gig a 40W Traynor YCV40 similar to a Hot Rod Deluxe. I don't play crystal clean, and use pedals for the Traynor. Never had a volume issue, but then I've never needed the headroom at least from my experience.

I used a Peavey 5150 2x12 combo for a decade. I thought it was overkill for even the bigger clubs and Atlantic City casino stages. Hell, the Mark IV is overkill but at least I can go class A on that.
I did play through a Supro 25W on a backline gig outdoors and it was more than enough volume. It was a halfback, so that may have had an impact on how "loud" it sounded.


The Fillmore 25 combo has my interest. Wish it wasn't $1599. :lol:

93 97 98 PRS CE24
94 98 G&L Legacy
94 G&L ASAT Special
95 G&L S-500
99 Peavy Wolfgang
11 Gibson LP Studio 60

69 Bandmaster Head
88 Quad Pre
91 & 92 Simul 295
92 DC-5
96 Mark IV Maple/Wicker
98 5150 combo
08 Mark IV Wide

Mesa.22
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:33 pm

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by Mesa.22 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:01 pm

I picked up a 50w head today and can see what people are talking about on low clean volume. If you run the clean mode below 11 o’clock gain you have to dime the master to get it up to stage volume.

Fortunately I rarely play that clean and I don’t play out much anymore so I’m good.

I tired it with a 1x12 Thiele cab and a bassman cab loaded with V30s @ 4 ohms. I like both, but it opens up with the V30 for me.

I also have two Marshall 1965 cabs (4 x 10s) and will try those next. I can run both cabs @ 4 Ohms with the Fillmore.

User avatar
jediguitarist
Mark II
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: East Coast, New Jersey

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by jediguitarist » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:19 am

That's interesting about the Master. I would actually like it if all amps worked the same way. The Boogie stuff I have has that 5% to 95% volume jump from 2.5 to 3.0 :lol:

Buddy of mine had the Marshall 4x10. He played an ampeg head through it and I thought it sounded sweet. I'd like to hear it with the Fillmore

93 97 98 PRS CE24
94 98 G&L Legacy
94 G&L ASAT Special
95 G&L S-500
99 Peavy Wolfgang
11 Gibson LP Studio 60

69 Bandmaster Head
88 Quad Pre
91 & 92 Simul 295
92 DC-5
96 Mark IV Maple/Wicker
98 5150 combo
08 Mark IV Wide

Mesa.22
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:33 pm

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by Mesa.22 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:39 pm

jediguitarist wrote:That's interesting about the Master. I would actually like it if all amps worked the same way. The Boogie stuff I have has that 5% to 95% volume jump from 2.5 to 3.0 :lol:

Buddy of mine had the Marshall 4x10. He played an ampeg head through it and I thought it sounded sweet. I'd like to hear it with the Fillmore
>.5% to 95% volume jump

yeah, I always run a vol pedal in the loop of my Sutdio .22+ for this exact reason. It gives me the taper missing on the Mesa volume knobs.

bandit2013
Triple Recto
Posts: 3143
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by bandit2013 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:30 am

Not sure how this relates.... is this claim on the combo or the head? Also since this is a different of different design, the question comes to mind about impedance matching. I do not have the Fillmore but I do have the Cali tweed combo. Running the 8 ohm load is ok with either the single speaker of the combo or 212 cab at 8 ohms. However things definitely change for the better when the amp is loaded with a 4 ohm load (two 8 ohm loads in parallel). Just curious if the Fillmore responds similarly running a 4 ohm load vs 8 ohm load. Just a thought.

Daxman73
Mark III
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:16 am
Location: Bellwood, PA
Contact:

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by Daxman73 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:18 pm

I'm looking for some info here as well. I just picked up a Fillmore 50 Head and a Mesa Vertical 2x12 cab. I've watched just about every demo on Youtube regarding this amp and really liked it a lot. So, I head to my Boogie dealer and play one through said combination. Sounded great, sold. Took it home, plugged it in and started to mess a round. I'll label each channel, ch1 and ch2, for this discussion. As far as volume "issues" go, ch2 really opens up around 1:30-2, not terrible. This is with it on HI mode with the gain around noon. No problems in my opinion, plenty loud enough for live purposes and I gig regularly. Is it "under-powered" for a 50 watt amp, probably, just not much room to wiggle (I'm not talking watt numbers, they don't really matter to me, only actual volume). As far as ch1 goes, it's a little different story. I set it up in CLEAN mode with the gain around 10:30-11 and it really doesn't open up all that much. At around 3 I could gig with it, but it still seems "under-powered". I have a VOX AC15C1 and it gives the FM50 a run for it's money volume wise. But that's not even my main problem. There is no "pristine" clean on this amp at all. Even with those settings or with the gain set lower, I get a very mild break up in tone. This is a brand new amp, so I can't imagine the tubes would be bad. It's still quiet, so I'm not hearing anything obvious in that regard. I also physically looked at the tubes and didn't see anything obvious there as well. The over all "lower" power output, or precieved output, I can accept, but I need a "clean" tone, not a semi-clean tone. Anybody have any input on this?
...Bleed Boogie forever...

Mesa Fillmore 50 Head
Mesa Electradyne Lg Head
4x12 Recto Slant Cab
2x12 Recto Vertical Cab

Daxman73
Mark III
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:16 am
Location: Bellwood, PA
Contact:

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by Daxman73 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:10 am

I spoke with a rep from Mesa yesterday and got some clarification. Being the design style the amp is, getting a pristine clean tone is not really what the amp is about, unless you use single coils. Very tweed-esqe in that way. I also didn't point out in my last post that I primarily use humbucker guitars. And the whole "under powered" perceived issue is due to the circuit design as well (and no, it's not a flaw). Most Fenders styled in this circuit type used smaller transformers as well. So, all is as it's suppose to be lol. Now, on to exploration in tone!
...Bleed Boogie forever...

Mesa Fillmore 50 Head
Mesa Electradyne Lg Head
4x12 Recto Slant Cab
2x12 Recto Vertical Cab

User avatar
plan-x
Single Recto
Posts: 1109
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:20 pm
Location: CA, Mojave desert

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by plan-x » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:20 pm

My 25 really struggles in the band to stay clean, but it's dirty clean is sweet. 8) I've gotten used to it so when I play my Lone star, I can't get the clean as dirty and I miss it.
Fillmore 25 head
Lonestar Classic (LSC) 2x12
.
Plan-x
https://myspace.com/wichmanbrewster/music/songs

Daxman73
Mark III
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:16 am
Location: Bellwood, PA
Contact:

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by Daxman73 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:20 am

I feel like an idiot here Boogie peeps and feel the need to come clean and be true to the Mesa brand. After my ordeal with the Fillmore 50 and said issues above and after talking to a Boogie rep, I have resolved, at least, my issue. I decided to take a closer look at the tubes and check further. Turns out that some of the tubes weren't fully seated (must have been from the transport home). I checked each one and turned it back on and low and behold "pristine" cleans with no break up at "normal" settings. Just goes to show you that you show check all possibilities before judgement lol. And yes, this amp is incredible.
...Bleed Boogie forever...

Mesa Fillmore 50 Head
Mesa Electradyne Lg Head
4x12 Recto Slant Cab
2x12 Recto Vertical Cab

User avatar
plan-x
Single Recto
Posts: 1109
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:20 pm
Location: CA, Mojave desert

Re: Mesa Fillmore - Claims it lacks volume/headroom

Post by plan-x » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:40 pm

:roll:
Fillmore 25 head
Lonestar Classic (LSC) 2x12
.
Plan-x
https://myspace.com/wichmanbrewster/music/songs

Post Reply