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Author Topic:  Does Anyone Use a Mesa Boogie Tube Amp for their Steel?
James Simiele


From:
Oneida, New York
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 9:23 am    
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I am using a Mesa Dual Rectifier Amp for my Mullen S10. Its quite a powerful amp and it has a switch to convert from a tube to a solid state sound. Are there many players that use a Mesa for their PSG?

I also recently purchased a Peavey Session 115 with the 115 speaker cabinet. I see a lot of players use the Peavey as well and am currently trying it out. I'm trying to see if the Peavey is a better steel guitar amp than the Mesa. So far, I'm not sure. Any thoughts out there from experienced players?
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 9:50 am    
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Quote: "I am using a Mesa Dual Rectifier Amp for my Mullen S10."

A Dual Recto?

What kind of music are you doing?
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James Simiele


From:
Oneida, New York
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 10:35 am     Mesa Dual Rectifier
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ajm wrote:
Quote: "I am using a Mesa Dual Rectifier Amp for my Mullen S10."

A Dual Recto?

What kind of music are you doing?


I'm playing mostly country music with my PSG.
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 11:46 am     Does anybody use a Meda Boogie amp for their steel
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I think Herby Wallace used one in a rack set-up. He sounded great but it was a different sound from any thing I had ever heard. I got a MesaBoogie pre-amp and a TubeWorks power amp. I never sounded anything like Herby I got an OK sound, but not worth keeping. The whole thing was too heavy for me, so after a couple of months, I ditched it and moved on.
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Steven Welborn


From:
Ojai,CA USA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 12:57 pm    
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I've got a MB Mark 1 which I acquired for steel but never get a chance to use it as I haven't had the need for the power yet. I expect it to sound great if/when I do though as it's basically a Fender on steroids right?
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Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 1:00 pm    
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I have a Mesa Lonestar, the original version. It's very similar to the Dual Rectifier, 100w from 4 6L6s. It's a great steel amp IMO, I use the clean channel and solid state rectifier settings for steel, it sounds and behaves pretty much like Fender Twin, but with a bit more versatility in the controls. I also have an old BF Twin Reverb and can use them interchangeably without much concern as far as a consistent tone. It's also really heavy like a TR, over 60 lbs
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Tal Herbsman


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 2:06 pm    
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I own a rectoverb25 which I love. with a good speaker it's a very pretty clean amp with plenty of headroom and has a whole lot of distortion options on tap if that's your bag. That's an EL84 based amp.

The rehearsal space we occasionally use has a full-on dual rectifier into a mesa 1/2 stack. it's a shockingly great clean amp with more head room than I would know what to with. I've tried it with both rectifiers and can't really tell a difference.

the SS vs tube debate is a hornet's nest I'd avoid. I have a nash 112, and some other tube amps. the PV is fine the others are finer IMO
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 2:29 pm    
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I used Mesa/Boogie amps for most of my career. Most recently, a mid-90s Mesa Maverick prototype was my gigging amp for over 20 years. I switched to a Milkman Half and Half a couple of years ago, but I still pull out the Boogie now and then if I think I'll need the distortion channel.

Before miking amps was a thing, I had a Mesa/Boogie Mark IIB stacked on top of a Webb 614E. Big, LOUD! I also used Mesa preamp and power amp in a rack system that I used for a few years.

Love that tube sound. Smile
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Jack Stanton


From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 4:27 pm    
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Doesn't Mickey Adams use one? Also, don't overlook the fact that before he switched to Little Walters, Paul Franklin used the Mesa Pre Amp for an awfully large chunk of his recording career. There's a whole bunch of hits out there with that Boogie on it.
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Larry Dering


From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 6:42 pm    
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Mesa preamps are well respected in the musicians world and widely used. I'm sure their amps are capable of a clean tone as well.
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Gene Tani


From:
The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 25 Mar 2020 11:08 pm    
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factory mods, swapping out 12ax7 etc:

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=353393
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James Simiele


From:
Oneida, New York
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2020 3:23 am     Mesa Boogie Responses
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Thank you all for the insightful replies. they are all consistent with what I have experienced. I have the old Maverick Dual Rectifier. I've played it on both rectifiers, and like the one comment "I cant tell a difference", neither can I. My amp is very clean, and of course you can get distortion if youd like. It weighs a ton, and its loud (but can certainly be kept in check with the various gain channels) It's about 25 years old, and before I started playing PSG 3+ years ago, I always used it for my 6-string guitars. I've just read that there are so many steeler's choices out there, I wanted to get steeler's opinions on the Mesa. I certainly do thank you for your opinions And I agree, tube vs. ss is not an argument that will ever be solved. The Peavey Session 115 sounds really clean and impressive. Jim
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2020 8:42 am    
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The difference in rectifiers is subtle. The "Vintage" rectifier tube acts like a compressor on the initial attack, especially at dance band volume. The "Bold" diode bridge responds more like a solid state amp, with crisp peaks on those attacks. Neither of them changes the tone or introduces distortion.

FWIW, the classic 80's Mesa/Boogie amps didn't have tube rectifiers - they used solid state diodes which are more reliable in the long run. When I first got my Mesa Maverick (a prototype model, BTW), I tried the tube off and on for a few months. I decided that I liked the instantaneous headroom of the diode bridge better, and kept the switch on "Bold" from then on.
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Last edited by b0b on 26 Mar 2020 8:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2020 8:47 am    
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b0b,
Didn't you used to use a Mesa Boogie Studio preamp?
Erv
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2020 8:52 am    
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Erv Niehaus wrote:
b0b,
Didn't you used to use a Mesa Boogie preamp?
Erv

When I had a rack system, I used a Mesa/Boogie V-Twin Rack preamp and their 50/50 power amp. I later switched to the 20/20 power amp which weighed less and sounded better. I still have the 20/20; haven't used it in years. I should probably sell it. Oh Well
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Evan Pachal


From:
Saskatchewan, Canada
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2020 9:07 am     Mesa Boogie for Steel
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I'm using a Mesa Boogie Simu-Class Satellite, wood cabinet.
Used that for guitar for years... So far it sounds pretty good, just trying to nail down effects. Looking at the Benado Steel Dream
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Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 26 Mar 2020 10:04 am    
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I tried putting steel through my '87 Mark III once. Didn't work well enough to repeat the experiment, although it's a fine six-string amp.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 9:02 am    
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Larry Dering wrote:
Mesa preamps are well respected in the musicians world and widely used. I'm sure their amps are capable of a clean tone as well.

I still occasionally play through a Mark IIC+ Combo I have owned since around ‘84. It was my 6-string workhorse before I decided to lighten the load. The clean tone is comparable to Fender Twin, with tighter low midrange, more highs than you’ll ever need, and plenty of headroom. It’s a great sounding amp for steel, just have to keep the bass control in check and the preamp volume under 5.

Dave H. - I always wanted one of those woody-tweedy combos, but I doubt it would have survived some of the misfortunes my tolex-covered job endured.
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Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 9:20 am    
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Fred Treece wrote:
Larry Dering wrote:
Mesa preamps are well respected in the musicians world and widely used. I'm sure their amps are capable of a clean tone as well.

I still occasionally play through a Mark IIC+ Combo I have owned since around ‘84. It was my 6-string workhorse before I decided to lighten the load. The clean tone is comparable to Fender Twin, with tighter low midrange, more highs than you’ll ever need, and plenty of headroom. It’s a great sounding amp for steel, just have to keep the bass control in check and the preamp volume under 5.

Dave H. - I always wanted one of those woody-tweedy combos, but I doubt it would have survived some of the misfortunes my tolex-covered job endured.


Fred-- Funny you should ask! Mine got a swimming pool's worth of Fire Department water dumped on it during Denver's Trail Dust Town blaze on Mother's Day Morning 1999.Fortunately,the stage area didn't burn(but it got smoked and soaked good and proper) and I'd put the cover on it before I went home the nite before.When the City released the site and let us get our gear I let it dry in the garage for a couple of days and made with the Febreze. Good as new!
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Marty Broussard


From:
Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 3:15 pm    
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Bob,
Is your Maverick a 1x12” combo? I’ve always loved the looks of a wood cabinet Mesa with that cool grill like Dave’s. I’d probably spend money on one that I knew would be good on steel just to have for my personal enjoyment. The Mark series amps seam too powerful but I’d really like a 1x12 even if it was a custom amp. Maybe a Son of Boogie? I’m getting too old not to dive into one at least one time. If anyone knows where there is an amp tech that could set one up for steel I’d like to know.

Thanks!
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www.martybroussard.net

"Technique is really the elimination of the unnecessary..it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to achieve the smooth flow of energy and intent" Yehudi Menuhin


Last edited by Marty Broussard on 28 Mar 2020 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Marty Broussard


From:
Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 3:24 pm    
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I just remembered that a guy loaned me a DC3 one night and he set the controls while I played the show. Two songs later it was dialed in and the rest was euphoria.


So, do they have a 1x12 around 80 watts that could be “tuned” for steel? I want one in addition to an Evans FET amp—just once once.
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Marty Broussard-Steel-Guitarist for Tracy Byrd
www.martybroussard.net

"Technique is really the elimination of the unnecessary..it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to achieve the smooth flow of energy and intent" Yehudi Menuhin
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colin mcintosh


From:
Australia
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 4:56 pm    
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I have an early '90's Calibre 50 + that I use for steel. 2x 6L6, 6 band EQ and 12" speaker. Excellent sound.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 5:19 pm    
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Marty Broussard wrote:
So, do they have a 1x12 around 80 watts that could be “tuned” for steel? I want one in addition to an Evans FET amp—just once once.

The Mark IIc 1x12 is 60/100w switchable. After swapping out the Black Shadow speaker for an EV, I never thought about doing anything with it except re-power tubing every couple years. People are still asking ridiculous amounts of money for them.

Dave H. - nothing that exciting ever happened with mine. They really are tanks, aren’t they?
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Chris Reesor


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 7:21 pm    
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I personally liked the sound of my 60 watt, no graphic eq Mark III much better for steel than the Session 500 I also owned at the time. Even with the EVM12L it was still lighter than the Session, and not even in the same galaxy as a six string amp.

Better reverb, and plenty of volume and headroom too.

What speaker is in your Hardwood, Dave H? Is it a SimulClass circuit?

A couple of friends had SimulClass Mark III's and mine sounded better as a clean amp. Not just to me; they both thought so too.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 27 Mar 2020 7:43 pm    
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Marty Broussard wrote:
Bob, Is your Maverick a 1x12” combo?

Yes. I have a 12" Tone Tubby Alnico Hempcone in it, and another in an extension cabinet. The power is four EL84's, class A; Mesa rates it at 35 watts. Last time I was in the shop Mike had mine up on the scope. He said it was actually more like 28 watts. He was running an 8 ohm load - it's probably higher with my two speakers.

I don't give much credence to wattage ratings on tube amps anyway. They don't relate directly to volume. The natural compression of a well-designed tube circuit makes "low wattage" amps plenty loud enough for use on today's stages. I never ran across a gig where I felt under powered with the Maverick. On big gigs they mike everything anyway.
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