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Steve Browning

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

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Just waiting for mine to be delivered by Andertons next week - allegedly!  The amp has been out in the US since June and the  dedicated Talkbass thread (which started even earlier) is a mine of information.  I kid you not when I say that it's one of the few things that helped me survive lockdown.  Designer Andy has been a major contributor from the start, posting on a daily basis with guidance and in-depth answers to all queries.  Deeply impressive!

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1 minute ago, Steve Browning said:

You will not be disappointed. It's a stunning bit of kit.

Based on my previous Mesa amps and what I've read on Talkbass I'm sure I'll be blown away.  There's certainly lots of love for them on the US forum.

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1 hour ago, Steve Browning said:

You will not be disappointed. It's a stunning bit of kit.

Look, we need to see pictures of your rehearsal room lying in rubble after you played an open E. Oh, and if you set someone on fire as well that would also insinuate that the amp either has a flamethrower or possibly a pop out cigarette lighter that can "get a bit out of control."

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Glad you liked the manual. I wrote it along with a LOT of contribution and detailed editing by a couple of seriously seasoned TalkBass members, one who is a very technically inclined and one who is a journalist, both are solid players. The primary focus of the manual was to provide accurate, detailed information that is useful to players and form a player perspective. These guys started with the WD-800 manual and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that it was a no brainer to continue this way. 

Writing manuals is unbelievably time consuming, and these guys stepped up to the plate to make it clear and player friendly, especially when describing features that have not been implemented before. 

Here are links to the WD-800 and TT-800 manuals, they might help those who are interested better understand the amps to determine if they might be a good fit or not.

WD-800:   https://mesa-boogie.imgix.net/media/User Manuals/070556_Subway_WD800.pdf

TT-800:   https://mesa-boogie.imgix.net/media/User Manuals/Subway-TT800-web.pdf

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The manuals for both heads are very impressive. In general I think that the Mesa manuals are really good. (I own a Walkabout, Big Block and Rectoverb 50 combo). However, I think that the manuals for the WD-800 and TT-800 have set a new standard for how I would like instruction manuals to be written for amps. 

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15 hours ago, agedhorse said:

Glad you liked the manual. I wrote it along with a LOT of contribution and detailed editing by a couple of seriously seasoned TalkBass members, one who is a very technically inclined and one who is a journalist, both are solid players. The primary focus of the manual was to provide accurate, detailed information that is useful to players and form a player perspective. These guys started with the WD-800 manual and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that it was a no brainer to continue this way. 

Writing manuals is unbelievably time consuming, and these guys stepped up to the plate to make it clear and player friendly, especially when describing features that have not been implemented before. 

Here are links to the WD-800 and TT-800 manuals, they might help those who are interested better understand the amps to determine if they might be a good fit or not.

WD-800:   https://mesa-boogie.imgix.net/media/User Manuals/070556_Subway_WD800.pdf

TT-800:   https://mesa-boogie.imgix.net/media/User Manuals/Subway-TT800-web.pdf

Anyone who’s been told to write up their processes at work can attest what an ache it is to make them detailed yet succinct, self-explanatory but not simple, simultaneously.

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56 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Anyone who’s been told to write up their processes at work can attest what an ache it is to make them detailed yet succinct, self-explanatory but not simple, simultaneously.

The table of cab impedances and amp settings is particularly welcome I expect.

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51 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

The table of cab impedances and amp settings is particularly welcome I expect.

Its surprising how the different cab impedances confuse people. I'm probably lucky that i have an electrical and electronic background so understanding it was relatively easy for me.

The chart does simplify it very well tho.

I need to stop following you on BC Steve. I keep wanting to buy new Mesa gear 😂

Once the band starts gigging again i'm going to look at prices. Fancy that TT800 amp to give me 2 different EQ settings at flick of a switch plus that new Subway 215 cab looks the business and only 60 pounds in weight. That's approx  a bag of sand from builders yard. That's a skoosh to lift.

Do the TT800 amps come with a padded gig bag or just out of the box. ?

Dave 

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They come with a padded gig bag.

There is a footswitch that will handle the channel switching if you want to do it on the fly. 

There wasn't a 2x15 when I got my cabs but they're a great pair. 

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Well, mine finally arrived yesterday.  Amazing piece of kit!  Still getting my head round it - more later.

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Scrumpymike’s Mesa Subway TT-800 review

When choosing a bass amp, there’s always an element of compromise.  As a gigging musician, I have to look (well, listen mainly) for one that has a broad enough palette of tonal colours for the different kinds of music I play in diverse bands.  That’s the practical side of things, but it’s not all.  Like most bass players, I also carry within me that ‘holy grail’ sound that lives somewhere in the magic triangle between my head, my heart and my soul and grew from a seed that was planted in my teenage years.  This personal ‘gold standard’ is an emotional rather than practical aspect – but it’s an equally important requirement that has to be adequately addressed by my amp of choice.  In my case, I guess you would describe it as warm and round but at the same time punchy and coherent enough to cut through the live mix.  So, that’s the starting point for my subjective review of the TT-800.

The amp I sold to make space for the TT-800 was a Subway D800+, which in turn replaced a D800.  Both of these were extremely capable, much loved, and tough acts to follow.  However, the respect I have for Mesa Engineering after gigging those two amps together with the glowing reports from Talkbass forum members led me to expect even more from the TT-800.  Another factor for me was my liking for the GK MB800 Fusion that served as back-up for my earlier Subways.  I loved it for its punchy delivery and valve flavour but it was just too lively for me.  My reasoning was that the addition of valve goodness to Mesa’s signature voicing would be just what I needed – and so it has turned out to be.

The design brief for the TT-800 was for a two-channel amp that combined the best of the D800+ (the Subway channel) with the much-loved tones of yesteryear’s Boogie 400+.  Sounds like a great trick if you can do it!  So did Mesa manage to pull it off?

I’ll start with what I’m familiar with, namely the D800+-inspired Subway channel.  The short answer is yes!  On this channel, you get all of the D800+ positives enhanced with that subtle valve colouring.  The features that were game-changers on the ‘plus’ upgrade of the D800 are also present and correct on the TT, namely: the high-pass filter and the high and low boost switches.  You truly would have to work hard to get bad sounds out of this channel.

The Boogie channel is new to me, never having heard the classic 400+.  My initial feeling is that this is a great rock amp offering authentic classic valve tones with all the usable sweet overdrive that I will ever need – and then some.  For my purposes, it is the ideal partner to the Subway channel.

I could go on about some of the more subtle features of this amp (and probably will do at a later date) but don’t want to comment further until I have used it at gig volumes – or even at actual gigs!  We and our adoring public remain hopeful.

Last of all, I can’t sign off without mentioning a couple of arguably trivial aspects of my TT-800 purchasing experience.  My amp arrived 6 months after I placed my order with Andertons Music and had obviously spent much of that time outside Mesa’s control.  I must say I was expecting the worst (it’s called the covid mindset) and was pleasantly surprised when the carton arrived looking like it left the factory the day before.  Top marks to Mesa for their packaging.  Inside the box, there was clear evidence that this is a company that cares.  The wire wraps used to close the internal packets had been carefully – almost decoratively – tied in a way that would do credit to Harrods’ gift-wrapping department.  Inside them I found a headphone adapter socket, a set of thick felt insulation pads to go between the amp’s rubber feet and your cab’s, the best user manual I have ever come across – and a wonderful black card hand-signed in white marker by no less than 14 members of the assembly and inspection teams.  I can’t derive names from all the signatures but you all know who you are and, in case you ever read this, I salute you.  We all know it’s often the little things that tell the true story.

Edited by scrumpymike
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Ooops, just edited the Boogie para to read it's the 'ideal partner' to the Subway channel.  Must learn to read as well as write 🙂

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Interesting review. You come to the amp from the opposite direction from me so yours is another perspective of a wonderfully versatile amp.

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Some sound clips to let us hear what we're missing would be nice if you get the chance guys.

Curious to hear the comparison between the two channels.

Dave

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Have to agree with Dave's comments and decide whether I have to sell on the 800+ I bought from you last year, Mike 😎

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3 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

Some sound clips to let us hear what we're missing would be nice if you get the chance guys.

Curious to hear the comparison between the two channels.

Dave

Not very good at this sort of thing but unless Steve B can oblige I'll see what I can do.

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I aim to go back to the rehearsal space and have another play. I can only really use my phone but maybe that's better than nothing.

Maybe I'll end up a wealthy influencer!! 🙂

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23 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

I aim to go back to the rehearsal space and have another play. I can only really use my phone but maybe that's better than nothing.

Maybe I'll end up a wealthy influencer!! 🙂

Phone recording might work OK. We record our rehearsals on singers phone. Need to keep an eye on your amp volume as if too loud it seems to overload the phone microphone but worth a try Steve.

Is recording it at home at lower volumes an option for you guys using your phone ? 

Don't want to inconvenience you guys in any way ............ but if you're not busy today that would be good. 😂

I''m just kidding of course. If and when you get a chance is fine. 😂👍

Dave

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I've got a nice little Zoom H4N recorder that I've lent to a mate of mine.  I'll get it back and record something.  I've only ever recorded stuff using the onboard mic's so can anybody tell me how to DI into it from the amp?  IIRC, the only other inputs on the Zoom are a couple of jack sockets.  It can record WAV files or MP3.

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I have the cheaper version of the Zoom and usually just leave it in the room somewhere to record the band or even my bass at home. Not sure how to di straight to it.

Dave

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1 hour ago, dmccombe7 said:

I have the cheaper version of the Zoom and usually just leave it in the room somewhere to record the band or even my bass at home. Not sure how to di straight to it.

Dave

That's how I've used mine but I'd prefer to DI so that I'm recording the amp's output rather than how it sounds through my cab.  I'll  see if I can get help on the technical forum.

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3 hours ago, scrumpymike said:

That's how I've used mine but I'd prefer to DI so that I'm recording the amp's output rather than how it sounds through my cab.  I'll  see if I can get help on the technical forum.

So if you can get a converter for a 1/4” Jack down to a 3.5mm (I haven’t looked) then that may do it.

Alternatively get a small mixer like a Xenyx 502 and a stereo to Jack cable and that will record - I have done that

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