Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Leeds, UK - San Antonio, TX
My mesa nomad review - (JP settings included)
Info for anyone interested in mesan nomad amp and JP + DT, i posted it on the JP forum...
Hi this is for anyone interested in the Mesa Nomad amps + looking for a JP kinda tone. Mineis the 1x12 combo. This is an edited version of the email i sent disco stu about it, so if it sounds like i'm getting personal dont wrry! lol
So I've had a few months to get to grips with the amp...and geez man its like learning a whole new instrument i never knew there was so much to amps. I've had some technical troubles but that was sorted (although i'm still on to mesa about the ac hum that comes off extreme mode), but i'm getting there.
The amp is mainly for my gigging bands, my dream theater tribute band and a funk jazz thing we do around the city. So the 3 channel noamd has been very versatile. But actually learning how to get good tone out of it has taken lots of hours.
Basically i've come to think that the extreme mode is (for the moment anyway) the most useable setting (for heavy stuff). In extreme i find that the sound has power and lots of tight response...the gain actually does something to the tone rather than make it mushy. However I am getting used to the normal mode...finding settings that work well and all - however i think the main reason for the difference is volume.
I think that if i turned up the normal mode volume, the bottom tightness would come out with the saturation of the tubes. Why i love the extreme is cause it seems to make this happen a lower dial volumes.
The normal mode does shine however for the middle road crunch, and just dirty blues funk. Also the clean channel IS THE NICEST clean tone i've ever heard.
I've gotten plenty of good john scofield funk dirty clean tones. In fact more than i can write down. Those tones just jump out of this amp cause of the relativly lo gain and volume (plus scofield uses a Mark I himself), but the main tones i've been tweaking and tweaking have been to get good petrucci heavy hi gain tones.
And i'm nearly there. I've managed to nail most of his basic tones with the nomad set to extreme mode. But first i'll clarify how I see the 3 channels and what I use them for. All these settings relate to the extreme mode...however with some careful adjustments i've found they are ok in normal mode too.
Channel 1[green]: This obviously is the clean channel, for a multitude of styles. But in its "normal" mode it also can be a wicked blues tone, if the gain is all the way up so its just breaking up, and the eq is helping the gain [pushing it some more] then you get a perfect SRV tone. I kick in a tube screamer for a nice blues lead, and its so amazing. Or sometimes a vintage ds-1 for a more blues rock tone.
On the pushed mode on Channel 1 you can get some obvious blues/rock tones fairly simple really.
In general Channel 1[green] is like the fender amp they never built. Its a blackface/twin with a raging vox/marshall hidden mode.
Channel 2[orange]: I see this channel as the "Mark Series" channel. It sounds very mark like to me...fat and round, and creamy tone. In vintage its like a mark I (where i get the scofield tones) but with the gain cranked some there are some quite nice hi gain metallica, (a couple of petrucci tones in there IIC+ i think but ihaven't played one to compare very well). I think the Vintage mode goes around sounding like a Mark I - III. And then Modern Channel 2 goes Mark III - IV, crossing over nicely. Of course this isn't precise but close ball park tones.
The modern mode, at first just seems like a volume boost of the vintage mode. But if you mess with the gain and tone ratio a more modern hi-gain comes out, making LOTS of useful Petrucci type tones. Infact I've got the live scenes from new york tone down to a tea. I've been practising along to erotomania on that live DVD and it sounds very very similar. So I think really if you're after a petrucci "live" tone of the present day...then perhaps channel 2 is the one to use.
Channel 3[red]: Finally this channel is a real beast. I haven't found it as uncontrolable as you describe, but you are right it is scooped. But I think that it can recreate the album sounds of petrucci very well. Modern = Awake, 6 Degrees type tone and i think that Vintage = Images and Words, and Scenes From A Memory kind of tones. I've just found that in a band context you need to give a little more MID than you do if playing alone, for it to cut through as well...other wise your fightening for frequence with the bass and drums.
I'm really torn now between using the "live", tones i've found..and the more "album" like tones. What i'm finding is perhaps setup a rhythm sound on channel 3 and a lead on channel 2.
Of course the rectumfier stuffs in there, and especically on the extreme mode it can definately do a korn, creed or whatever, however i'm not into that too much. However The Glass Prison tone i have shakes the ****in earth when i turn it up its sooo phat!
Anyway here are the settings. All settings are in the o'clock format.
IMAGES & WORDS + SCENES = Vintage Mode
Gain: 12 - 2
Master: 10 - 3
Treble: 1 - 2
Mid: 9 - 10
Bass 12 - 1
AWAKE + 6‹ Inner Turb (well TGP anyway)= Modern
Gain: 1 - 3
Master: 10 - 3
Bass 2 - 3
Channel 2: Vintage or Modern
Channel 3 live (triaxis type or old skool DT live tone)
Presence: modern = 2 vintage = 4
Ok dont forget all you mesa expert tone gurus. I'm a beginer with good tones and good amps. (athough i've been playing half my life!) and the comparisons i make are form my research and what my ears tell me. I very well maybe wrong! Dont scream at me.
Anyway hope this helps anyone looking for a petrucci type tone out of the nomad. It is a fantastic amp and for the money probably the best mesa you can buy, considering what you get. It can be fiddly cause there are sooo many options and switches but i'm finding that its definately worth the wait.
p.s. if anyone is interested in using the nomad for other styles, i.e. john scofield jazz funk, blues srv, or more classic rock stuff...then let me know and i'll do a run down of the way i get those sort of tones form the amp. a little secret though is...add a vintage boss ds-1 into the mix - instant Marsha-Boogie tones he he