StudioPre or F-50 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2004, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 60
StudioPre or F-50

Hi guys,

I'm looking to get my first tube amp or preamp. I'm looking used, and I'm strongly inclined toward the Mesa sound. I don't like Fender disto and Marshall is not my bag...

I'm mostly interested into getting a "Mark" sound but once in a while would like to get a harsher "recto-style" distortion. I mostly play classic rock and trying to play jazz :P And I dip into nu-metal once in a while.

Any Mark, even used is out of my budget. So I'm considering a StudioPre or a F-50. 2 things worry me about the StudioPre: shared control and afraid I could not get an aggressive enough distortion. I'm not gigging but I don't want to stop in the middle of a tune to tweak the EQ...

I tried an F-50 for about 20 minutes so far (which is not enough to really appreciate a Boogie from what I understand). In those 20 minutes I could get an aggressive enough distortion (although tone was far from perfect).

Clean is very important to me and I like Fender clean (which the F-50 is reputed to have) but 20 min where not enough for me to dial a good one on the F-50. (Those control ARE sensitive....)

I've located two potential deals: a studioPre and a F-50 with a tempting price... And won't have that much time to play with them about 15-30 min when meeting the sellers...

So any insight, advice would be welcome...

Last thing I'm mostly jamming with friend and recording at home...

JFT is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2004, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
You didn't mention it, but I was recently blown away by the Mesa Quad Preamp. They made them in the late '80's and its basically a MKII and a MKIII preamp in one box, completely isolated for 4 distinct channels. I just started looking into them after my friend got one for somewhere in the $400's, and they seem to be going used for between $400-$600US.

If they don't have the footswitch you need some kind of midi function switcher. If you will use midi, find one without the footswitch for big savings, since it needs some kind of switching to operate. You can't just push buttons to change channels. With no switch at all, you can't even get sound out because none of the channels are on! It's a pre-recto sound, but everything else matches exactly to what you're asking for. I think the V-twin and Recto pre's are lacking that classic, flexible, and versatile Mesa MK overdrive. So I'd rather have all the capabilities of the Quad.
frankfalbo is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2004, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 60
Thanks for the suggestion. However there's none available in my area and last time I saw a Quad (in canadian pesos) it didn't make much sense money wise

Here's deals I'm considering:
StudioPre 500$Can (roughly 350$ US) in mint condition (never gigged apparently)
F-50 1200$Can (around 800$ US)

I considered DC-5 but from what I read (while researching I never played one actually) the clean is so-so and the dynamic is lacking.... Dunno if it's true though...

Only got a solid-state based amp so I'll have to get some better power amp if I go with the StudioPre...

I read all I could find on these models on Harmony Central and here on Jemsite. Nobody seems to have been dumb enough (except me :P ) to compare the StudioPre with the F-50...

Any trick things to check or advice are welcome I'm to met one of the guy tomorrow night and the other on saturday....

JFT is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2004, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
I had a DC-5 when they came out and dumped it for the reasons you stated. It was lifeless for a Boogie. Plus I didn't need an amp at the time as much as I needed a rack pre. The first guy I tried to sell it to had a MKIII, and he was ready to buy it until he started A/B-ing the two. He kept the MKIII. The only Quads I've looked at were in auctions, but there always seems to be a couple around. Anyway good luck I can't shed any more light on the Studio/F-50 debate, except that very same guy used the Studio pre for his clean sounds in conjunction with the MKIII set for metal overdrive the whole time. Why he never used the channel switch I'll never know. But I thought about buying that Studio Pre and to me it was a little cold. And I came pretty close so I do mean a "little." It still sounded great. But their newer pres all seem to be built with more of a dual purpose, and therefore duplicate the feel of a whole amp, rather than the preamp section.
frankfalbo is offline  

power amp , rack pre , tube amp

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