Mesa Nomad 55 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Mesa Nomad 55

I'm looking at a Mesa Nomad 55
What do you think?
Good, bad, or indifferent?
What are your thoughts.
I already Have a Dual Rectifier half stack and a Peavey Classic 50 410 that I run in a dual amp setup and was thinking that the nomad would be a cool piece of equipment to use in a 3 amp setup and a nice little amp to jam at friends places with, without having to carry the half stack.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 10:47 PM
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Couple thoughts.

1.) the Nomad is a killer amp, but tonally one of it's percieved strengths around here is that it sorta bridges the line between Recto and Mark-IV. Since you already own a recto, why not look for a tone that'll stand out a bit more?

2.) You already have enough wattage/speaker output to take over most small countries. If you're just jamming with friends... How about instead of buying a new amp, you buy a good dictionary and look up the following words- "overkill," "deafness," "back pain," and "Napoleonic Complex?"

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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what amp would you suggest as a new tone.
I prefer the stalin complex, rule then be displayed forever. as compared to conquer rule exile. I found that funny.
the idea behind the nomad was a small combo that i could just plug and play in a jam without having to take an hour to setup an hour to tear down and not to mention the backache the next day.
I'm really looking for a good combo amp that will give mewhat I have in my dual amp setup now. smooth clean, heavy crunch, and texas grit. without having to carry 300lbs of equipment.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 11:49 PM
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I tried a nomad 55 the other day at the store. Easy to get great lead tones out of it.

But I for the life of me couldn't get anywhere near the rhythm tone I wanted. Very, very different to a dual recto....That said, great lead tone that's easy to dial in.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:39 AM
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I think the Nomad would be a great choice for what you described (practrice/jam/more variety in your full rig). I use the 100 watt 212 combo as my main amp and I have never been so happy with my sound. The clean channel is fantastic with tons of headroom and reminds me of the 80's red-knob "Evil" Twin (one of my favorite cleans). The distortion channels do a very good job in the moderate to high gain territory. If you want over the top distortion like your Dual Recto then you may find this amp a little lacking, but it handles everything I need (AC/DC, Kiss, Sabbath, early 'tallica).

I've never played the 55 but I did play my friends 45 and what I noticed about it was that it had considerably less headroom than I expected. Obviously 100 watts vs. 45 is going to make a difference but I thought it broke up too early. He speculates that it's because he used EL84 power tubes and I use 6L6, I dunno. Just check to make sure the 55 has the headroom you want.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 11:33 AM
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The thing you're forgetting, though, is thateven a 55-watt tube combo is hardly portable. Sure, in comparison to a half-stack plus combo dual rig, it's a peice of cake, but in terms of portability... the 2x12 i checked out was probably in the range of 60-80lbs (great amp, but the presence control on the one i played was screwed up, so i passed).

The selling point of the 55 over the 45 isn't the added wattage as much as the ability to run either 6l6 or el-34 tubes, as opposed to the el-84's of the 45. On the other hand, a lot of the guys artound here prefer the sound of 84's- a little more agressive, especially with the lower wattage. The 45 also has a curvacious/bold switch (i think it's called that- something to that effect, anyway) on the rear panel that i believe is left out of the 55 and 100.

Of course, the 45 still isn't a sack of feathers... I'd say for tone and portability, nothing tops the Tech21 Trademark series. the 10's probably too small for your needs, and the 60 doesn't get super-heavy, for some reason... a trademark 120 combo, perhaps? Sure, it's solid state... but it sounds better than nearly every modeling amp i've played, and a good number of tube amps.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 12:13 PM
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i bought my nomad 45 1x12 for portability as it was the first small amp i've really seen that i can stick in ANY car trunk and take it in/out of a friends house and jam w/o being annoyed at a lack of good tone (no need to bring your pedalboard either). At home i just use the nomad attached to the 2x12 combo amp speakers for more low end.

if you get the 55, get the 1x12 combo or it's not really "portable" imho. if the amp is never leaving the house, i'd probably consider the 55 2x12 choice of tubes (i'd put it in el34s) and probably a bit cleaner/louder ch1 but the 45's toneortability ratio is unmatched.... glen
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 01:23 PM
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I have the 45 2x12 and I can attest to the fact that it is one heavy mother. However it does still fit in the backseat of my mustang with no problem at all, much room to spare. I schlep the thing out at least 4 times a month, up stairs in and out of cars and although it is heavy, I enjoy the girth provided by the extra speaker. I was running a head with a mesa 2x12 and the combo is a much better set up for less trip to the car = less hassle and less chances for crap getting stolen. It is actually more difficult to move around than my bogner 4x12, mainly because of the single handle. Having two handles on the top would be better, one single handle on something that weighs this much is just awkward

The el84s are more aggressive than your normal 6l6 powered amp, but the 45 version has a power amp voicing switch (referred to by Drew above) that goes from extreme to normal. In extreme mode, it is a very aggressive tone and it will push more volume. The normal setting (I think that's what they call it) is quieter on the amp noise and produces a more refined tone, less aggressive, more warmth, maybe a little darker tone. I like the normal mode, the clean channel just sings in that setting.

It's a fantastic amp, I guess it comes down to whether you need a 1x12 or a 2x12 from a portability standpoint. The 2x12 is going to sound more full, but it still will lack the low end that you're used to with a 4x12. Like Glenn said, running it through closed back cab will give it right back. Through my mesa 2x12 it sounds great, and through the bogner it sounds incredible.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 02:25 PM
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I have a related question dealing with the Nomad 2X12s...

Are they stereo or mono amps? I ask, because I have a G-Major, and I was wondering, if it IS indeed stereo, how do I run the G-Major in stereo mode?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 03:14 PM
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The Nomad combos are mono.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 03:16 PM
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All the Nomad power amps are mono... so you really don't have a good option for running stereo unless you buy a second amp! Or get a 2:90, which is stereo!

Quick fixes are to only use one side of the G-Major (and run it in mono) or get a Y-cable to merge the left and right stereo signals into a mono signal.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. enjoyed the reading.
I agree the 1x12 wolud be more portable.
however the store only has a 55 2x12.
and a texas tone 2x12.
they did'nt renew their agreement with mesa(damn shame)
they do carry the marshall and peavey lines as well and I don't live in a big metropolis so I guess the other 2 are the soup du jour of the moment.
with that being said they have only a few mesa items left and they are cutting me one hell of a deal to buy the 55 now. I have yet to really play it with a couple of my guitars. I did stop in last night and play it for about and hour or so with esp ltd mh301 and I did like the sound of the 3rd channel. not as deep as my amp but I expected that nothing that sealing off the back of the cab a little more couldn't solve I did get an ok sound out of the 2nd channel but I would like to put my strat through it to hear the twang a bit more the mh301 has the EMG hz pickups in it and they are pretty hot. the clean channel was better than I expected wth the pickup selector in the center position. I will be going back saturday with my fender strat and my jem7 bsb. If I like what I hear then it will probably come home with me. the 2nd channel is going to be the real selling point for me if I dial up a nice gritty strat sound then I will buy it. If not maybe I will just save a few more dollars up and try out a road king combo.
I'm sorry this is very long winded.
Again thanks for the comments all are appreciated. I give an update on saturday/sunday if I am playing all night with a new amp.
You know how that goes with a new toy.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-20-2004, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry its taken so long to get back to this.
A couple of things came up and I was not able to try the amp on saturday.
However I did play it during the week and it was great with the jem and pretty good with the strat. I think I am going to save for alittle while longer and get the road king combo.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 01:06 PM
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how much do the Nomad 45 & 55 go for new? used?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 05:43 PM
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you can find them on evilbay every now and again, the 45's that is...they seem a little hard to come by. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $750-$900 should be close on a 2x12 combo used in very good condition.
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