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Steve Browning

New Mesa Subway head - UPDATE - they've arrived!!

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Just heard from Kris (the artist relations guy) that my amps are about to be shipped. Not too long to wait now. Very cheery news for Christmas!!

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Apparently mine is stuck in a warehouse in the Netherlands till first week in Jan.  Based on a quick online search, there would be the normal 20% VAT plus an extra import duty of 3.7% to pay if we default to WTO trading terms. Good news is that Andertons will honour the original order price regardless of what Brexit brings.

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16 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

I have booked a rehearsal room for Thursday and will report back after then. 

20201229_113424.jpg

I sense apocalyptic levels of sound being reported

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1 hour ago, Steve Browning said:

I have booked a rehearsal room for Thursday and will report back after then. 

20201229_113424.jpg

Letting the side down. You'll never be heard in that jazz cafe gig. You should have got 4. At least.

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2 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

I have booked a rehearsal room for Thursday and will report back after then. 

So a numpty question to may favourite VAT BC expert (and fellow Mesa fan): what's the thinking behind getting two of these and how are you planning on using them? It's not just for an extra 20% on top I hope?

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Oh you flatterer!! 🙂

I originally ordered one from Andertons (this is a story that played out on these pages). The original delivery date was such that it would arrive in time for me to use it at a small number of gigs I had in the diary. As time went on and the delivery slipped, I started to panic that the amps wouldn't arrive. In the meantime (and somewhat rashly), I had sold my 'big' amps, the two M-Pulses and my original Bass 400. I still had my Walkabout but would have preferred to use my usual rig.

The second M-Pulse was bought (here) because it had hung around on the FS page for a while and the price was attractive. I haven't needed a spare but (frankly) I thought having the pair looked quite cool.

As the delivery date slipped to after the gigs, I made contact with a very good friend (with whom I had toured) who is a Boogie endorsee and asked if there was anything he could do to help. He put me in touch with his artist relations guy and suggested I write some kind of impressive bio to try and get a deal of my own. I confess to being very pessimistic but thought 'what the hell' (I got my Rotosound deal in a similar way).

So, I wrote the email, dropped a couple of names (I had also toured with Barry Melton - in some ways, the very reason Boogie came into existence) and, lo and behold, it worked.

Now we get to the crucial bit. I asked Kris (the artist relations chap) how much a TT-800 and rack ear kit would cost. The price was considerably lower than the Andertons price and so I cancelled the Andertons order (I was shallow enough to enjoy telling them why) and reckoned, at that price, I'll get a spare. So that's it, the second one is a spare.

Of course, the trouble now, is that I'm thinking that the second one could drive a 2x12. I haven't asked Kris the price yet but my hold on to reason if slipping!!

Edited by Steve Browning
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Nice tale with a happy ending! 

No flattery involved when it comes to VAT, btw. Folk would be very wise not to compete with you on that (willies or otherwise) or on the number of Mesa amps they have... 😁

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Those amps look class! If I had two I would buy a second cabinet and run one amp on the Subway channel and one on the Boogie channel and then blend the two signals together at FOH. Complete overkill but it would be lots of fun.

As it is I stupidly sold off/gave away my other cabs this year but kept my amps. I now only have the Walkabout 1x15 and the 6x10 as cabs.

EE52890F-76D1-4345-B051-D807FC8509C3.thumb.jpeg.59ac67963ba2c3b2b53ae68269c4cfba.jpeg

The 6x10 is overkill for most gigs (well, all gigs) and the Walkabout combo can struggle when playing in a loud two guitar band. I am currently saving up for a Subway 4x10. However there is no urgency as I haven’t had a rehearsal or gig since March.

I love the look of the WD 800 and the TT800 though. I would need to try them together though to see which one I prefer. 

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I really like my Walkabout and was the same with the M-Pulse (pretty much the same in terms of preamp) but always really loved the sound of my 400. The fact that the TT used more valves in the path (and aimed to replicate the 400) was the clincher for me.

I can rig up the amps tomorrow (at some point) with one driving a 1x15 on Boogie and the other driving the other (1x15) on Subway and see what I get.

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21 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

I have booked a rehearsal room for Thursday and will report back after then. 

20201229_113424.jpg

WOW Steve that's a belter of a set up. Looking forward to your thoughts in next few days.

You've put me in the mood for the TT800 instead of the WD800. Having the twin channels allows me to set different EQ's for songs.

Andertons doing good prices compared to other shops.

Good luck and don't forget your ear-plugs. 😂

Dave

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1 hour ago, Steve Browning said:

Cheers Dave. 

Looking forward to tomorrow with great anticipation. 

You've given me great advice and help with the Mesa gear since i started with it and its all been spot on so i'm hoping for good things from you again.

I noted you will be using 2off 15"  cabs. Is that what you normally use now and how do they compare with your older Powerhouse rig.

Dave

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Yes. I have two of the Subway 15s. They didn't make a 2x15 when I bought them. 

To my ears, my sound hasn't changed from my original Bass 400 and Diesel 2x15 rig. I still just love the sound of it.

They're my usual cabs. The Walkabout is my rehearsal/recording rig.

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Just now, Steve Browning said:

Yes they are. 

At the rehearsal studio now. 

First impressions? Wow. Just wow.

20201231_105019.jpg

WOW says it all. Looks the business there Steve. Have fun and keep us posted.

Dave

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I've just added this to the reviews section.

These amps arrived from the US a couple of days ago and I immediately booked a rehearsal studio in order to check I'd wired up the rack correctly, and to give the amps a good go. As with all my Boogie amp purchases, I was buying 'blind' but I have never been disappointed so ordered one as soon as they were announced. My first Boogie head was a Bass 400 in the mid 80's and the fact that this used the same tone stack made it the amp for me (and my back).

You can see I was running through two Subway 1x15 cabs. The basses were an SVL Reserve with flats, an old Precision with rounds and my A/E fretless which is active) with flats. I was joined (socially distanced-like) by @rumblefish who brought along an active bass - and his ears! The signal path was bass - tuner - amp - rack EQ in the fx loop - cabs. The EQ's were in bypass mode. I got the unit merely because the 400 has a graphic and I did use it on my one.

The amps were rack-mounted using the Mesa kit. The ears weighed a good bit more than the amp I reckon!!

This review is a first impressions review and I imagine I've only scratched the surface of what it can do.

First of all, a big shout out to the manual. The best one I've read so far. Not only did it have all the info on the amp, it also had a comprehensive table of the ohm settings and power distribution for a number of cab combinations (1x8ohm + 1x4ohm etc). It's a question that comes up regularly and here was a table with all the permutations and the relevant ohmage setting.

So, on to the amp. The 'executive summary' is an emphatic 'wow'. The amp (I was pretty much just using the Boogie channel) has all the tone you need and the combination of gain and volume give you everything you want in terms of grind. By way of comparison, I had my channel gain (on the 400) at about 1 o'clock. I ended up at about 3 on this amp. This gave it that bit of 'bite' when digging in a bit on the bass.

The EQ section is typically Boogie with loads of variation on all the controls but the biggest differences coming in with judicial use of the mid controls. I had started off with the deep switch on but decided it was not needed in the end, the high pass filter remained fully counter-clockwise. With everything set at 12 o'clock it sounded wonderful and I didn't get a bad sound out of it. To my ears, the sound was pure 'me'. It's the sound I've had since those 400 and Diesel 2x15 days right through to today. It's a sound I love and always makes me smile.

This barely scratches the surface, as I said. There are so many possibilities on the amp that I neither had the time, or the ears, to fully explore all the subtleties in this brilliant package.

In my opinion, Mesa have delivered again. They took me from all valve to valve/mosfet without losing any of my sound and have now taken me on to valve/digital, again, without losing any of the sound. An exceptional amp and I now just have to wait until circumstances are such that I can run it up 'in anger'.

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