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onehappybunny

Mesa 400+ tone in a lightweight package?

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I still miss my Mesa 400+... although not the weight (sure you've heard that line several times before!)

Interested in whether it is possible to get a similar rich clean valve-y tone from a less back-breaking amp. As well as being blooming heavy, the 400+ seemed to give a 'weight' to the notes that I haven't experienced with other amps

Wondering if a less heavy Mesa (walkabout or similar?) or GK Fusion / Fusion 550 or something else could get close?

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I haven't used a 400+, so take this with a pinch of salt, but... the Walkabout has magic going on, and 'weight' that I haven't experienced with any lightweight amp (or any solid state / hybrid amp, for that matter).

It's quite unique in Mesa's line-up - have a rummage around on TalkBass to see if there's any comparisons with the 400+.

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I'd agree to a point with Michael, but only to a point. I've a Walkabout and I love it, but it simply doesn't do to a bass note what the 400+ does, neither do any of the other Mesa amps I've owned. The 400+ is a PITA to get a tone from compared to the Walkabout for sure (the semi-para on the Wlakabout is lovely), it weighs a ton, is expensive to re-valve, and in a shockmount case is the same size as a small cab, but it has something special. The Walkabout is a very very very good amp (I've got three amps and the 400+ and the Walkabout are two of them), but I don't think it's in quite the same league.

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I always found that the Walkabout get grunty quite quickly, so whilst it produces a lovely tone, at higher volumes it's not got the clean tubey sound that the 400+ has when you push it (I think that's what Gary was referring to above). I guess it lacks authority compared to the 400+. OK, 'lacks' is a strong word to use in relation to the Walkabout, perhaps better to say that the 400+ is one of the few amps I'd rate above it. The Walkabout is an outstanding amp, and likely ticks more boxes in relation to the problem above than most other amps, and in a smaller and very user-friendly package. I guess the only way to find out if it does the job is to give it a go.....

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Thanks - found a couple of articles on TB and an interesting quote (which I kind of suspected):

[color=#000000][font=verdana, geneva, lucida,]"Your Bass 400+ is at the all-time pinnacle of bass amps, so forget ever trying to replicate its tone."[/font][/color]

Links below to help others:

[url="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/mesa-boogie-bass-400-a-918437/"][color=#000000][font=verdana, geneva, lucida,]http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/mesa-boogie-bass-400-a-918437/[/font][/color][/url]

[url="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/compare-mesa-walkabout-mesa-m-pulse-600-mesa-400-fender-pro-300-a-613872/"]http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/compare-mesa-walkabout-mesa-m-pulse-600-mesa-400-fender-pro-300-a-613872/[/url]

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A lot of the guys in that second thread seem to suggest that the M-Pulse 600 is a lot cleaner than the Walkabout. To be honest that wasn't my experience, I found that the M-Pulse had very little over the Walkabout apart from greater size and a more fiddly EQ section. That is, it wasn't hugely louder and - all things EQ-wise being equal - the sound seemed much the same as the Walkabout through the same cabs. However, there seems to be some consensus on TB so if clean and warm is your thing the M-Pulse might be worth a try over the Walkabout, and there's a couple for sale very cheap at present as well. Only downside of course is that it's still quite big and heavy, not 400+ big and heavy for sure, but neither is is Walkabout light.

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I've got both a GK Fusion 550 and a MB Fusion. The 550 is like a GK RB but warmer and "thicker" sounding although still relatively clean unless really driven. The MB Fusion similar but with less "grunt" and interestingly will drive easier (channel 2). Not used a 400+ so can't compare I'm afraid. But also bear in mind that whilst its not in the same league weight wise, the 550 is no lightweight.

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[quote name='Beedster' timestamp='1350842651' post='1844149']
Lightweight?
[/quote]

i forget people have wimpy arms haha

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1350857387' post='1844456']
Compared to a 400+ most stuff is lightweight, even Fender Bassman, aside from the massive one.
[/quote]

There's a guy in one of the TB threads above who says that his 400+ is his lightest head!

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what about a carbine m6 then?
I find it has also the big bottom and presence of a full tube head and one of the most defined tone to buy.

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Rich, clean and all-valvey in a lightweight package ?

Markbass TTE 500. Using the colour knob, you can make it as detailed or thick as you wish (although it sounds subtle out of the mix).

Try one. I didn't think a hybrid could get "there" but it does.

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I'm another that thinks the old MB 400+ sound cannot be replicated. The closest I've heard is the POD simulation so maybe that into a power amp may get you very close?

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Hmmm... from what I've read it seems like the Mesa Walkabout, Markbass TTE500 and GK Fusion 550 would get closest (...but no cigar) to what I'm looking for - thanks for your help!

Only way to really find out is try them, so feel a bit of research coming on :)

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Someone asked me if I used a 400+ at a gig at the weekend as he couldn't see my rig from the back of the venue .......

Orange Terror Bass 500 with Sovtek valves and a Barefaced Super Twelve!

Go figure? :blink:

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I'm one of those daft individuals who is happy to cart around a Bass 400 (or 400+) and accept it as a price worth paying but I fairly recently bought an Ampeg PF500 (and matching 1x15) and have been more than happy to use that for recording or gigs where the Boogie rig is too big (physically).

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[quote name='grunge666' timestamp='1350986876' post='1845802']
Someone asked me if I used a 400+ at a gig at the weekend as he couldn't see my rig from the back of the venue .......

Orange Terror Bass 500 with Sovtek valves and a Barefaced Super Twelve!

Go figure? :blink:
[/quote]

Probably the same guy who asked if my Phil Jones Super Flightcase was made by Ampeg......

Having said that the TB is a monster amp, and I think that - with the right tubes (mine with the stock tubes became grunty very quickly) - could be something that the OP should consider also?

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[quote name='Bassman Steve' timestamp='1350986971' post='1845804']
I'm one of those real men who is man enough to cart around a Bass 400 (or 400+) and accept it as something that real men do without worrying about it.
[/quote]

Fixed that for you Steve :D

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