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Which would you rather?
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Author:  JMMP [ Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Which would you rather?

Assuming you were going to pair the options below with a 2:90, would you rather have:

A) A quad preamp, Formula preamp, and a GCX type device for routing and switching the preamps and power amp, or

B) a TriAxis?

And for what reason would you choose one or the other?
The quad can be MIDI or non MIDI, and revision you want, Formula can be Andrew modded or not, and the TriAxis can be any version (1, 2, phat, or no phat, or TX5).

And why would you choose that combination?

Bonus points if you've had or played both setups!

Author:  Mike0 [ Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

This is actually really close to the predicament that I've been in for the past month or so. Currently building my first rack setup (have power amp, rack, power conditioner, and midi switcher all ready to go) and have thoroughly weighed the Quad vs the Triaxis. I ended up deciding that I'll probably like the Quad more, so I'd have to go with option A.

I absolutely adore the Mark II, III, and IV tone, and from what I've heard the Triaxis does its best to replicate those, but doesn't really nail it as well as the Quad (at least for II and III) - mind you, this is all based on conjecture and past internet discussions comparing the two, I haven't played either. Incidentally, I already purchased a Midi Octopus under the assumption that a Quad will pop up on the internet sooner or later, but I haven't seen any for sale anywhere online for at least a few months. I'ts killing me inside :lol:

The search is actually what brought me to this forum. Hoping one will turn up sooner or later.

Author:  IronSean [ Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Mike0 wrote:
This is actually really close to the predicament that I've been in for the past month or so. Currently building my first rack setup (have power amp, rack, power conditioner, and midi switcher all ready to go) and have thoroughly weighed the Quad vs the Triaxis. I ended up deciding that I'll probably like the Quad more, so I'd have to go with option A.

I absolutely adore the Mark II, III, and IV tone, and from what I've heard the Triaxis does its best to replicate those, but doesn't really nail it as well as the Quad (at least for II and III) - mind you, this is all based on conjecture and past internet discussions comparing the two, I haven't played either. Incidentally, I already purchased a Midi Octopus under the assumption that a Quad will pop up on the internet sooner or later, but I haven't seen any for sale anywhere online for at least a few months. I'ts killing me inside :lol:

The search is actually what brought me to this forum. Hoping one will turn up sooner or later.


I'd offer to help, but I just let mine go a couple months ago.

I think what would make the Triaxis would be an external graphic EQ that could compare to the Mesa graphic it can only emulate.

Author:  Mike0 [ Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

IronSean wrote:
I'd offer to help, but I just let mine go a couple months ago.

I think what would make the Triaxis would be an external graphic EQ that could compare to the Mesa graphic it can only emulate.

No worries. I'm confident one will pop up, hoping sooner rather than later.

And how would an MXR 10 band in the loop of the Triaxis fare? There seem to be plenty on the market at the moment, and I'm really tempted to pull the trigger on one since I haven't seen a single Quad for quite some time.

Author:  r33per [ Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Quote:
...how would an MXR 10 band in the loop of the Triaxis fare?


I don't use the MXR, but I did get a TC Electronic 1128 recently (wanted the MIDI capability, really...). It has been SUPERB to add an EQ into the loop - if you thought that the tonal spectrum was good on the Triaxis already, an EQ makes it pretty close to limitless.

If both Midi and a pedal format are important to you, check out Source Audio's Programmable EQ - NB: digital circuits, not analog.

Author:  Mike0 [ Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

r33per wrote:
I don't use the MXR, but I did get a TC Electronic 1128 recently (wanted the MIDI capability, really...). It has been SUPERB to add an EQ into the loop - if you thought that the tonal spectrum was good on the Triaxis already, an EQ makes it pretty close to limitless.

If both Midi and a pedal format are important to you, check out Source Audio's Programmable EQ - NB: digital circuits, not analog.

Hm, that might be an option. I just remembered that I have an FX8 in the mail in addition to the MXR that I have laying around, I wonder how Fractal's Parametric and Graphic EQ blocks compare to a dedicated outboard EQ unit.

How close do you guys think the Triaxis could get to the Quad using a post EQ? The Triaxis seems like an incredible piece of gear, but I'm extremely picky and am really chasing those tones that I've heard the Quad pump out - or at least the Mark IIC+ and III.

(Sorry to derail topic)

Author:  JMMP [ Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

I've had two Triaxii, and my two experiences couldn't be more opposite of each other. My first one was the newest model with the TX5 board, and overall it sounded muddy. I couldn't find much good in lead 1 at all. If you have never played a mark amp, or it's been awhile, the sound could have fooled me, but played back to back with the quad, there was no contest.

Flash forward to about a year ago and I got a V1 TriAxis with sovtek 7025 tubes. Don't know if it's the revision, the tubes, or both, but it killed. Lead 1 was a little tough to dial in, but cleans and lead 2 were barely distinguishable between the TriAxis and the quad. I only sold it because I couldn't justify having the quad, Mark IV, and TriAxis, and I was more emotionally attached to the other two. Even the DV circuit in the second TriAxis seemed to work and sound better. I never tried it with an external EQ, but I didn't have much of a desire to.

If space matters to you, get a TriAxis. If you feel like you can do your own work (soldering and such) the quad will be more open to that, but the TriAxis audio portions didn't look terrible. The quad has 8 tubes, and has to be removed to switch, and if you want a high gain 2C+ out of the 1st channel, good luck on the clean. I purchased a formula to act as the clean channel. My quad is only doing rhythm 2, lead 1, and lead 2. Oh, and while it is supposed to be 3 spaces only, mine takes up 3 1/3, which basically means it takes up 4. The flip side is that extra space forces you to use ventilation, which never hurts. I think with the right TriAxis, you wouldn't miss a quad at all. Honestly, if I had the extra cash, I would have both my quad and the TriAxis I sold, as I need a good 1U MIDI preamp, but if I was starting over, I'd get just the TriAxis and be done. No external EQ. It also means my rack could be 12U instead of 16U!

Author:  Mike0 [ Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

The power amp that I'll be using it with is a VHT Classic... This isn't a rig that I plan on moving out of my house at all, except maybe for recording or moving it into my band's practice space. Just having the VHT in my rack alone is more than enough to make me never want to move it, I don't even want to think of what it will be like with a Quad in there. But due to that, weight isn't an issue.

The disparity between the two Triaxis pres you've owned is something that makes me cautious about buying one before being able to play it. There aren't any locally, and there seem to be many versions, mods, etc. that differentiate each unit; there doesn't seem to be one standard sound as to what exactly i should expect out of one.

Is your Quad bigger than normal, or do all take up an extra 1/3rd of rack space? The extra space won't affect my setup at all, I'm just curious.

Author:  IronSean [ Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Mike0 wrote:
IronSean wrote:
I'd offer to help, but I just let mine go a couple months ago.

I think what would make the Triaxis would be an external graphic EQ that could compare to the Mesa graphic it can only emulate.

No worries. I'm confident one will pop up, hoping sooner rather than later.

And how would an MXR 10 band in the loop of the Triaxis fare? There seem to be plenty on the market at the moment, and I'm really tempted to pull the trigger on one since I haven't seen a single Quad for quite some time.


I'm sure it would work well. I use one in the loop of my Mark V for some extra flexibility. A possible complication being the fact that the effects loop on the Triaxis is stereo. So maybe that Kerry King MXR 10-band that takes one input and two outputs would be the key.

Author:  Mike0 [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Just snagged a Quad! Ahh I'm so happy, can't wait to play around with it. Thanks for all of the info on both it and the Triaxis, guys.

After looking in the manual, it seems that the Quad has the same mono-out/stereo-in for the effects loop, which reminds me, what is the point of an effects loop in a preamp? I was under the impression that effects loop was just the part of the signal chain between the pre and power amp. Either way, if I were using the mono send into the stereo return, would it really sound that bad?

Author:  IronSean [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

In the mesa preamps the only real difference is that you get a little bit of post-effects loop control: The final output knobs run after the loop. But plenty of people do run from the effects send into a power amp directly (especially since the recording outs load the output a bit, reducing brightness by a touch).

I'd say the biggest benefit is just that you get the option for a mono send into effects that can take that and return stereo results. If you were going to put the effects after the outputs you'd need effects with a stereo input as well. Also, you want have effects that need a smaller input signal in the loop(low master), and then a larger output signal for the power amp(high output).

If you're just doing from the send, to an effect, the splitting into the two effects returns that'll be fine as well. It won't really be truly stereo if the signals aren't different in any way, but you'll get to use both amp outputs and both inputs of a stereo power amp for a doubled up mono signal.

Author:  JMMP [ Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

I couldn't imagine Mesa making my quad with a "special" case to make it larger. I searched high and low, and could only find one other person state the quad is larger than 3 spaces. With that in mind, it may be that MIDI Quads are the slightly larger ones to "force" the user to offer some cooling space above and/or below.

I run my quad straight from the effects send, skipping the main output knobs. I find the sound less polished/ more raw, and it helps me balance the levels between my channels easier.

WRT the TriAxis, there shouldn't have been any changes to the rhythm or lead 2 channels in between my two versions, which means it was likely the Sovtek 7025s I liked more (which is why I mention them everywhere, in case I buy another Tri, I know which tubes to buy). The lead 1 sounds probably benefitted as well, and I think I jived with the "British Shred" more so than the "Classic Boogie Lead." I never owned any of the Recto revisions, but I have a Roadster for that tonal palette.

I just finished playing through my Quad into my Fryette/VHT 2/50/2. You are in for a treat when yours arrives! My suggestion: Use one of the lead settings from the manual (especially if you have never used anything from the mark series before), and plug straight into the quad, then quad's effects send into the input of your VHT Classic. Turn up through some Mesa V30's, and enjoy the sound enveloping you. 8)

Author:  tazzboy [ Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Triaxis. Although I would like to see Mesa Boogie improve a few things. Like Make effects loop true Stereo Send and Return and Mono Send and Stereo Return. Also for the effects make it option for either Parallel or Series.

As for power amps I like Mesa Boogie 2:100. Just my personal preference.

Author:  Mike0 [ Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Wow, the Quad sounds even better than I thought it would. Seriously, this thing floored me. I've read a lot online that the Mark series take a lot of time to dial in and find "that" tone, I must have been incredibly lucky, because the first time I dialed things in it was pouring sweet juicy tone out of every channel. Couldn't be happier.

As of now I'm running mono effects into the Return A of the Quad. I don't really have a stereo setup at the moment, so it would just be a waste of a cord sending another line from my pedal board to the Return B. I might try just doing mono out into my board and then straight into the power amp, as mentioned. I still have plenty of time to find my way around that monster; so much tinkering to do.

As for the size, mine fits the 3 spaces and nothing more. Were the midi Quads built by Mesa themselves, or were all of them modded by third parties?

Author:  MkIII Renegade [ Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which would you rather?

Quad all the way for me. I am a dyed-in-the-wool believer in the mighty tones of the MkIII, although the Quad is a opportunity to have that DNA but with a separate EQ for cleans. I own a MkIV and III, and the III Lead channel gets me every time!

I've read far too much about headaches and confusion relating to the myriad of versions of the Triaxis, which is an example of where Boogie probably outsmarted even themselves with high ambitions and tweaks. There is something to be said for the simplicity of lots o' knobs as used on the Quad.

The only question remaining for me is Stero Simul 295 or the newer generation Simul 2:90 to power it? They are in a similar price range at the moment. From what I've read, the older 295 is noisier, but I have no doubt it would more than make me happy paired with a Quad.

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