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New Mesa Walkabout-style high powered amp WD-800....and new cabs...


Musicman20

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I have a Titan V12 which has Bass, passive Mid and Treble that I'm happy to tweak in flight but it also has a single active parametric mid control that I've set once and never touched since.  Had an M9 Carbine that had a graphic which I find easier to use but fr my needs they could have left off the 'voice' knob. The Mpulse I just found too complicated to easily dial in a decent sound. 

  

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That looks great, but still disappointing.

I wish amp manufacturers would focus on making proper solid state, i.e. non class D amps smaller.
Old school iron, reimagined, just like HandBox have done.
It's great having a tiny lightweight amp, but there's some undeniable sacrifices made for that weight. I appreciate that these kinks are being ironed out, but they're still not quite there.

If only Mesa had worked on making, say a 400/500W old school power stage to go in that chassis, there's likely plenty of room as that amp is way bigger than their previous class D amps, and in real world use, it would spank any 800W class D setup every single time...

Just my 2p.
Eude

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I'm not so sure that the latest Class D can be criticised so much....I've even seen more and more guitar amps using them with a tube pre and the results are fantastic.

With the right engineering, it can sound just as good, and in some cases, better. 

We might all want a traditional bass amp, full tube, or even the traditional solid state like an old Trace or some of the new Orange rack mount amps, but then you will probably end up at a venue or rehearsal room and put your signal through a Class D PA.....

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4 minutes ago, Musicman20 said:

I'm not so sure that the latest Class D can be criticised so much....I've even seen more and more guitar amps using them with a tube pre and the results are fantastic.

With the right engineering, it can sound just as good, and in some cases, better. 

We might all want a traditional bass amp, full tube, or even the traditional solid state like an old Trace or some of the new Orange rack mount amps, but then you will probably end up at a venue or rehearsal room and put your signal through a Class D PA.....

The jury's still out for me, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise.

(I'm referring to the consumer units you get in bass amps - not the pro-audio stuff.)

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The Walkabout preamp is the best thing about it (it's just enough - I thought the M-Pulse pre was too much), and I don't have any Class D baggage, so this looks very very promising - I like the HPF, too.

I'd love to hear/try one, but it's gonna cost as much as a small car, so I can't see that happening for a good while... 😕

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12 minutes ago, Musicman20 said:

I'm not so sure that the latest Class D can be criticised so much....I've even seen more and more guitar amps using them with a tube pre and the results are fantastic.

With the right engineering, it can sound just as good, and in some cases, better. 

We might all want a traditional bass amp, full tube, or even the traditional solid state like an old Trace or some of the new Orange rack mount amps, but then you will probably end up at a venue or rehearsal room and put your signal through a Class D PA.....

I can only comment on my own experience, and to fair I've not tried any of the more recent higher end Class D efforts, or the previous two Mesa ones for that matter.
I've just found that with older solid state stuff, the wattage goes miles further, plus the low end is a lot more natural and completely effortless. I don't have any recent memory of cutting bass on any modern amps, yet used to on Peavey and Trace stuff I had to sometimes. I thought it was the nature of these lighter weight cabs, yet A-B-ing my class D head with an old ABM EVO, the ABM sounded amazing through my little cabs and wiped the floor with the class D unit without even breaking sweat at a fraction of the volume, knob-wise, if that makes sense...

I agree though, that it's all moot when you DI anyway which happens more and more, and the DI on my class D is absolutely gorgeous 😕

Eude

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1 hour ago, eude said:

That looks great, but still disappointing.

I wish amp manufacturers would focus on making proper solid state, i.e. non class D amps smaller.
Old school iron, reimagined, just like HandBox have done.

Several reasons why you will remain disappointed.

There is no such thing as "proper", just preferences.

Amp manufacturers will only make what they can sell. D class plainly outsells SS and valve so that is what they will make. You won't find valves in PA systems or recording studios, so while some remember the good old days, the majority of the bass world is moving on. All early adopters have to make compromises, but the development in D class design means that these are the amp of choice for most players these days. 

Both SS and D class are not trying to be anything other than what they are. I remember when you had to take your pick with valve amps. Some were good but many were terrible. I don't go glassy eyed for valves, I listen to the amp. There are good and bad in all categories.

You don't have to be disappointed. Valve and SS amps are still being made. Buy one of those and be happy.

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Just now, chris_b said:

Several reasons why you will remain disappointed.

There is no such thing as "proper", just preferences.

Amp manufacturers will only make what they can sell. D class plainly outsells SS and valve so that is what they will make. You won't find valves in PA systems or recording studios, so while some remember the good old days, the majority of the bass world is moving on. All early adopters have to make compromises, but the development in D class design means that these are the amp of choice for most players these days. 

Both SS and D class are not trying to be anything other than what they are. I remember when you had to take your pick with valve amps. Some were good but many were terrible. I don't go glassy eyed for valves, I listen to the amp. There are good and bad in all categories.

You don't have to be disappointed. Valve and SS amps are still being made. Buy one of those and be happy.

All good points dude.
Would you believe that I'm glassy eyed about hauling a massive Peavey rig around in the late 90's 🤣

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3 minutes ago, Muzz said:

The newer Class D power modules (the D800, Magellan, etc) are very good, and a different animal from the older ones.

So I've heard - this is encouraging.

Mind, I've also heard some people say 'it's not quite there yet', so I might wait until the next generation.

Until then, I'll carry on down the Handbox / WA path, where - to echo Eude's comments above - there's an authority to these amps which doesn't rely on volume. 

Hey, I typed that without using the word 'heft'!

😄

 

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Well done...I could hear the restraint from here... 😁

I'm sure Class D has a way to go, it's certainly improved over the various generations/iterations I've owned so far, and it'll get better. It's all a matter of degrees, and hinges on people's sensitivity/priorities. See 'Tonewood' or 'Are £3k basses six times better than £500 basses?', or 'Killing rock n roll', etc, for similar boxes of subjective frogs...

In general terms, though, I'm finding more and more that the old traditional amp-behind-you-providing-possibly-heft to the back of your legs isn't needed like it used to be, and in fact is detrimental to sound (on and off-stage), even in small pubs. I've still got a small rig (WA/212), but I use it less and less. A pair of in-ears, two tops and a sub* is sooo much more useful if you're gigging as much as I am. And if you're as old as I am... 😕

 

* We're even considering getting better tops and dropping the sub...

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1 minute ago, Muzz said:

In general terms, though, I'm finding more and more that the old traditional amp-behind-you-providing-possibly-heft to the back of your legs isn't needed like it used to be, and in fact is detrimental to sound (on and off-stage), even in small pubs. I've still got a small rig (WA/212), but I use it less and less. A pair of in-ears, two tops and a sub* is sooo much more useful if you're gigging as much as I am. And if you're as old as I am... 😕

 

* We're even considering getting better tops and dropping the sub...

I agree, but this only really works if you're gigging in one or two bands with a fixed set-up.

My gigging life is pretty mixed, so I have to be prepared for whatever the band / gig throws at me. Given that, an amp and a cab (albeit lightweight, even if it's not a class-D setup) works best for me, both logistically and tonally.

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I'll be honest and say the demos in the videos sound excellent, and I've not had interest in new bass amps for years. 

Obviously the players helps.

The cabs seem super light for Mesa. 

I did hear a rumour that Mesa prices may become 'fairer' over here, due to a change in how they are received over here, etc.  We can wish!

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26 minutes ago, Musicman20 said:

I'll be honest and say the demos in the videos sound excellent, and I've not had interest in new bass amps for years. 

Obviously the players helps.

The cabs seem super light for Mesa. 

I did hear a rumour that Mesa prices may become 'fairer' over here, due to a change in how they are received over here, etc.  We can wish!

Define "fairer", that amp is only $999 over in the US, and that's the launch price!
Even if they use the Apple currency exchange method of $1 = £1, it'll still be pretty pricey.
From reading a similar thread over on TalkBass though, I don't think they're going to struggle to sell this, at all.

You're right too, it does sound nice, and I especially liked the sound of the 2x15" cab.

Eude

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3 minutes ago, eude said:

Ha ha, and it would fit in your carry on luggage...

"Do you often take your Class D Bass Amp Head with you on holiday, sir?"

"You never know when you might need it, officer"

"And did you have many emergency Bass Gigs that you had to do whilst shopping in New York?"

"No. Not really."

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