Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

screamingdemon69 and I were getting a little far afield on the "New Marshall Stack" thread, so I thought I'd break this out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
[Off-topic]

Have you played the Express 5:50 yet? I've only played the 5:25, but it was unimpressive enough that I didn't even bother to give the 5:50 next to it a try. The clean is almost as good as the F-30 clean (which flat-out rules), but while I could see the "Blues" mode being fun in 5-watt mode cranked waaaay up with a Strat, the "burn" mode was sort of an anemic version of the F-series distortion that proceeded it. If you're already planning on buying a F-series, I don't really see the point of going for the 5:50 as well, especially since even in 5-watt mode it's still impractically loud for a bedroom amp. I'd say either just get an F-series (the F-30 is probably both loud enough that you can use it for anything you'd use the F-50 for, yet low wattage enough so you can still drive the poweramp a bit), or get an F-series and something else, like maybe a Lone Star Special or Stiletto Ace, that's different enough from the F-series so it makes it worth having both.

[/off-topic]

Quote:
Originally Posted by screamndemon69 View Post
Yep. I've played the Express and F-50 extensively and the 5:50 is a completly different animal than the 5:25. The 5:25 uses EL84's and the 5:50 uses 6L6's which are a day and night difference. I own an Ampeg amp (Jet II 1x12) with EL84's that has an amazing tone but VERY different from my 6L6 equiped Fender Deluxe Revrb and my Mark IV 100wtt head.

If I had $ to throw around I'd actually buy the Roadster 2x12 or half stack and road cases for both.

On a side note: I sold my 5150 head a couple years ago to a buddy and I am actually getting it back thru a trade (he needs a back up RG). I plan to mod the bejesus out of it
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Hmm. My experience was based on the EL84 equipped F-30, to be fair, but the 5:25 struck me as a F-30 with less gain and a less appealing high gain tone, with a low-gain mode added and a clean that was missing something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by screamndemon69 View Post
That is what the 5:25 was replacing, the F-30
I know... That's why I was so underwhelmed with it. I didn't think the clean sounds OR the high gain sounds on the 5:25 could really compete with those on the F-30. The 5:25 is certainly more versatile, and I really dig the power cut function and I'm glad to see Mesa gradually exploring low-power designs, but the F-30's clean is probably the best I've ever played in a Mesa, and the lead channel both has a TON of gain, and while like anything which is actually "better" is personal preference, I thought in sheer quality and "musicality" of the distortion the F-30 was a totally viable alternative to both the Marks and the Rectifiers - it was crunchier than a Mark, by far, but had a nice roundness and warmth to it that you don't find in the Rectifiers until they get seriously loud.

The 5:25 I played, meanwhile, had maybe half the gain of the F-30 (admittedly, that's still a lot of gain) in the "burn" mode and lacked some of that warmth. The "Blues" mode was pretty cool, I admit, and would probably only get better as it got louder, but considering how much I've been impressed by the newest Mesa offerings (I've played and been quite impressed with the Road King and Roadster, loved the Lone Star and Lone Star Special, and haven't gotten my hands on a Stiletto Ace yet but have been told I'll probably want to trade kidneys (plural intended) for one when I do), I was surprised just how little this amp did for me, considering on paper a F-30 with a new low gain mode and a 5-watt option on the power amp should have appealed to me.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

For blues players, they have a great vintage vibe. I prefer the 5:50 and the F-50 (F-50 has a little better Metal edge to the gain ).

The Roadster is a bad MF but that price tag is too

The 5:50 is sweet for what it is in quality, featuers, tones and price point for a handmade amp in the US.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

Oh god, don't get me started on the Roadster. One day, I WILL own a Roadster head. they've started to bias all the rectos a little hotter for one, but it's basically a three channel Rectifier with channel assignable rectivication and power amp wattage with an added clean channel and two additional clean modes. That rules.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

I like the 6L6's in the Mesa's over the MArshall-ey EL34's. I get a little cleaner tones with the 6L6's so i really like the fact that they have them set up to flip a switch and swap tubes easily.

The store I teach out of sells Mesa and has a Roadster head and a 4x12 cab to match but it would be like $2600 for the pair (daydreaming moment..........).

I will be very happy with an F-50 and an Express 5:50. They both have cool features and simliar tones. I can use the smaller 1x12 combo for smaller clubs and the head version for the bigger and ourside venues. I like the idea of having similar amps so my tones don't chage tremendously between the combo and the head versions.

I'm VERY tempted to trade a couple nice axes for the Express and the F-50 - I'm fighting turning loose of Elvis, my 7VWH for one
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 07:26 AM
 
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Red face Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

um...er...like...how do the F-50 and F-30 compare to the Lone Star, and the Lone Star Special?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

i played the lonestar, stiletto and 5:50 the other day

5:50 won it for me, no contest, those cleans are INCREDIBLE i had the ****er on full crank and it stayed pretty clean.

the gain was tight and more focused than my nomad..but i;d have to spend time with it to get a lead tone i think..but the rhythm tone was there with eas.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby simcox View Post
um...er...like...how do the F-50 and F-30 compare to the Lone Star, and the Lone Star Special?
The F-30 is a different animal than the F-50 due mostly to the EL84's (F-30, 5:25) versus the 6L6's (F-50, 5:50). You get a more "vintage" sound with EL34's having a smooth, fat tone while the 6L6's have the classic clean and I usually associate them with Fender cleans.

I don't know much about the Lonestar but I think it also uses EL84's and is full of features and if I remember correctly, the Lonestar has three power modes so you can get more natural tube "breakup" when using the lower settings. I would say the 5:25 is a little brother of the Lonestar, but again, I don't know alot about the Lonestar specifically - check the Mesa website.

The F-50 and 5:50 are two of my favorite amps in that price range. To be able to get a hand made amp that is built in the USA the nails a great dirty AND clean tone for less than half the cost of most boutique amps sold me on them.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

all i know is i do not like the rectifier series.. i would like to try a triaxis, mark iv, etc etc..
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

I have never been a double or triple rec guy myself but with the amount of features Mesa has on their amps you can actually change the settings to use or not use the rectifiers (at least it's that way on the Roadster). With a little time and patience you can dial up MANY different tones and even with the rectifiers ON you have enough control over the amp to NOT get that chainsaw, buzzy tone that Triple Recs have gotten a bad rep for. Whenever I hear Rec sounding like that, it is due to user error. Just MHO.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2007, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby simcox View Post
um...er...like...how do the F-50 and F-30 compare to the Lone Star, and the Lone Star Special?
They don't, simply. The F-30 (the one I'm most familiar with) has a very dark-yet-sparkly clean channel. I know a lopt of amps get the "fender cleans" tag, but this is actually the read deal - it sounds like a fender with a bit more.... Idunno. Think SRV does Little Wing, like the amp is chill and being nice and all, but also sounds like it could rip your head off if you wanted it to. The lead channel, meanwhile, is pure metal. Huge amounts of gain on tap - I never needed to go over 5 with my UV, and lots of crunch but also lots of warmth. It doesn't have the versatility of a Rectifier, Nomad, or even Mark, but if you just wantyed a creat heavy crunch that also worked well for leads married with a godly clean, then this amp would be a perfect match.

The Lone Stars, meanwhile... It's one of my favorite Mesas I've ever played, but also one I'd never buy as my "main" rig. I guess the only way I can really describe it is that it's Mesa's take, evidently, on the Dumble sound. The clean channel is the only time in my entire playing career that I played a multi channel amp, plugged into it, fired it up on the clean channel, and didn't even notice that I hadn't checked out the distortion sounds for a full half hour. It's this crazy dark, "chewy" sort of clean that just begs for clean single-note playing. I've never played a Dumble, but I've been told this is about as close as you or I are likely toget for less than $20k. It's an amazing clean, and this and a singlecoil-equipped Strat or Tele would be the only thing I'd ever need if I was playing blues or blues rock.

The leads are very Mark-I - it does the soaring, smooth Mesa thing to a T, with a little bit more of a Texas vibe. It's just a great, great, great medium gain lead sound (the amp never gets THAT saturated, even with the gain cranked," but it'd never "crunch" enough to do heavy rhythm sounds.

It's a seriously cool amp, and one day if I can afford it I'm totally going to grab a Lone Star Special as a recording/gigging rig for bluesier stuff. If you ever get the chance to play one, do so, but my experience has been the amp (due to it's natural dark compression) really likes singlecoils. I spent a bit of time playing one with my UV a few weeks ago when I ended uip taking home a Recto-verb, and I had fun on the humbuckers, but really Ispent most of the time on my middle singlecoil with my Tremol-no locked up, playing blues.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2007, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by shogun View Post
all i know is i do not like the rectifier series.. i would like to try a triaxis, mark iv, etc etc..
Screamndemon's right - I was a long time Recto hater who bought one a couple weeks back. Now, I'm hooked. Part of it was I never knew how to set one, but also part of it is it's an amp that really needs to be auditioned LOUD, as at typical GC volumes the preamp is just all fix. It's only when the poweramp begins working that you really begin to hear the amp as it was designed to sound.

Anyone who "hates" rectifiers has never heard one running hot enough to get some tube amp compression in "Raw" mode with the gain maybe half up and plenty of mids, with a boost set at unity up front for a little extra tone shaping. It rules.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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Red face Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
They don't, simply. The F-30 (the one I'm most familiar with) has a very dark-yet-sparkly clean channel. I know a lopt of amps get the "fender cleans" tag, but this is actually the read deal - it sounds like a fender with a bit more.... Idunno. Think SRV does Little Wing, like the amp is chill and being nice and all, but also sounds like it could rip your head off if you wanted it to. The lead channel, meanwhile, is pure metal. Huge amounts of gain on tap - I never needed to go over 5 with my UV, and lots of crunch but also lots of warmth. It doesn't have the versatility of a Rectifier, Nomad, or even Mark, but if you just wantyed a creat heavy crunch that also worked well for leads married with a godly clean, then this amp would be a perfect match.

The Lone Stars, meanwhile... It's one of my favorite Mesas I've ever played, but also one I'd never buy as my "main" rig. I guess the only way I can really describe it is that it's Mesa's take, evidently, on the Dumble sound. The clean channel is the only time in my entire playing career that I played a multi channel amp, plugged into it, fired it up on the clean channel, and didn't even notice that I hadn't checked out the distortion sounds for a full half hour. It's this crazy dark, "chewy" sort of clean that just begs for clean single-note playing. I've never played a Dumble, but I've been told this is about as close as you or I are likely toget for less than $20k. It's an amazing clean, and this and a singlecoil-equipped Strat or Tele would be the only thing I'd ever need if I was playing blues or blues rock.

The leads are very Mark-I - it does the soaring, smooth Mesa thing to a T, with a little bit more of a Texas vibe. It's just a great, great, great medium gain lead sound (the amp never gets THAT saturated, even with the gain cranked," but it'd never "crunch" enough to do heavy rhythm sounds.

It's a seriously cool amp, and one day if I can afford it I'm totally going to grab a Lone Star Special as a recording/gigging rig for bluesier stuff. If you ever get the chance to play one, do so, but my experience has been the amp (due to it's natural dark compression) really likes singlecoils. I spent a bit of time playing one with my UV a few weeks ago when I ended uip taking home a Recto-verb, and I had fun on the humbuckers, but really Ispent most of the time on my middle singlecoil with my Tremol-no locked up, playing blues.
Thx fer the Great comparison,Bro, sounds like the Lone Star is what i'd run w/!!!
i Love Yer passion,Bro, never lose it!!!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mesa F-30 and 5:25 thoughts

Short of, say, a fatal heroin problem, I wouldn't worry too much - I've been living like music was the most important thing in the world FAR too long to stop now.

Well, I've already got a Rectifier, so if I was to buy another Mesa (sadly, I'm sure it's a matter of time :/) the Lone Star (or possibly the lower wattage Lone Star Special) is the way to go. It's just a VERY musical amp that even at low-ish volumes is responsive enough for some very liquid lead playing.

However, as I sort of go back and forth between moderately heavy prog stuff and bluesy Floyd-like excursions, if I had to pick just one I suspect it'd be the F-30.

Both amps rule, though.
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