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Steve Browning

New Mesa Subway head

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15 minutes ago, 40hz said:

No doubt this will be an utterly sublime piece of kit but surely going to carry an astronomical price. Somebody please feel free to tell me I'm wrong but are Boogie not seen as a sort of mid/upper level brand in the US? So why the borderline boutique UK pricing?

Extra mouths to feed in the supply chain.

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6 minutes ago, obbm said:

Extra mouths to feed in the supply chain.

Yes, in part, including shipping to and within the UK, UK import fees/taxes, UK Customs clearing/brokerage fees, and let's not forget an additional 20% UK VAT. It should be noted that these additional costs are borne virtually entirely within the UK, some of which go towards social programs that we do not have to the same degree in the states.

If you knew how much we have to pay for heath care insurance, you might better appreciate what you currently have (supported by those fees/taxes).

Different countries of origin pay different fees/taxes so there is some difference here too.

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10 hours ago, agedhorse said:

Yes, in part, including shipping to and within the UK, UK import fees/taxes, UK Customs clearing/brokerage fees, and let's not forget an additional 20% UK VAT. It should be noted that these additional costs are borne virtually entirely within the UK, some of which go towards social programs that we do not have to the same degree in the states.

If you knew how much we have to pay for heath care insurance, you might better appreciate what you currently have (supported by those fees/taxes).

Different countries of origin pay different fees/taxes so there is some difference here too.

I would guess that Mesa sell directly to their dealers in the USA whereas in the UK there is the additional layer of the UK Distributor. Their costs probably include purchase of inventory, warehousing, local shipping, warranty and service support plus marketing costs including cost of demo equipment, advertising and exhibitions. I would presume that there would be a hedge against currency fluctuations and finally there are the distributors and dealers staff costs and profit. 

All this is unseen by the average buyer who, through the wonder of the Internet, just compares US v. UK prices and uses the exchange rate of the day to make a comparison.

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, agedhorse said:

Yes, in part, including shipping to and within the UK, UK import fees/taxes, UK Customs clearing/brokerage fees, and let's not forget an additional 20% UK VAT. It should be noted that these additional costs are borne virtually entirely within the UK, some of which go towards social programs that we do not have to the same degree in the states.

If you knew how much we have to pay for heath care insurance, you might better appreciate what you currently have (supported by those fees/taxes).

Different countries of origin pay different fees/taxes so there is some difference here too.

I know you defend Mesa pricing over here on that basis.

But pretty much ALL other US manufacturers manage to get their product to UK customers at broadly the £ equivalent of the $ price. Which given that works out at about 30% more than the $ price accounts for VAT, shipping, customs handling, distributor margins etc.

Mesa products currently seem to then add another 25% to 30% on top, which kind sticks in the throat! And I say that as a huge Mesa fan. The WD-800 is a classic case in point and this issue was discussed at length on another thread: $999 /£785 in the US and $1,649 / £1,299 in the UK. A whopping 65% price differential!! Unsurprisingly there have been very few takers at that price, certainly here on basschat where folk are not averse to spending £££ provided they feel they are getting fair value. 

Edited by Al Krow
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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

I know you defend Mesa pricing over here on that basis.

But pretty much ALL other US manufacturers manage to get their product to UK customers at broadly the £ equivalent of the $ price. Which given that works out at about 30% more than the $ price accounts for VAT, shipping, customs handling, distributor margins etc.

Mesa products currently seem to then add another 25% to 30% on top, which kind sticks in the throat! And I say that as a huge Mesa fan. The WD-800 is a classic case in point and this issue was discussed at length on another thread: $999 /£785 in the US and $1,649 / £1,299 in the UK. A whopping 65% price differential!! Unsurprisingly there have been very few takers at that price, certainly here on basschat where folk are not averse to spending £££ provided they feel they are getting fair value. 

Hmm... I'm going to need some help with that one. Quite regularly I see an item for sale in the States being the exact same price here except the dollar sign becomes a pound sign. 

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2 minutes ago, ClassicVibes said:

...Quite regularly I see an item for sale in the States being the exact same price here except the dollar sign becomes a pound sign. 

Yup, that's pretty much exactly what I was trying to say. Apologies if it was not clearly put.

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Back onto the amp, I am really interested to see how the 'Global Gain' and  'O/D symetry' works in practice/practical use. I can hear a difference from the video but it is very subtle. I think I would need to physically try the amp to really appreciate it. However, I really the idea of the feature.

It would appear from my initial read of the specs that the hi/low gain, 'Low' and 'Bright' presets) apply to both channels, rather than being able independently assign them to a specific channel. If so, I actually prefer this as having separate presets for each each channel would make the front panel of the amp very busy and create a bit of option paralysis on my front. Also, I like that there is a tube in the front end of the Subway channel as well which is a nice touch. 

My only other comment is that I would have liked for the footswitch to include the ability to switch from 'Low gain' to 'High gain' on the Boogie channel to enable the player to change from a nearly clean bloomy setting  on the 'low' setting to more of an overdrive on the 'high' setting). If the low/hi gain setting is more subtle than a obvious 'clean to overdrive' change though isn't really a big issue. In practice I would probably just use a separate overdrive/boost on top of whatever core tone I wanted out of either channel, or even use the Subway channel as the 'clean' channel and the Boogie channel as the 'dirty' channel. 

I really like the amp and feature set overall.  Probably my favourite feature set of the current Mesa bass line. 

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33 minutes ago, thodrik said:

I really like the amp and feature set overall.  Probably my favourite feature set of the current Mesa bass line. 

Me too!  I recall the concept of building a 'classic' valve front end into a D-class package being promoted several times on here and/or Talkbass.  Full marks to Mesa Engineering for doing that in such an imaginative way.

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41 minutes ago, scrumpymike said:

Me too!  I recall the concept of building a 'classic' valve front end into a D-class package being promoted several times on here and/or Talkbass.  Full marks to Mesa Engineering for doing that in such an imaginative way.

I don't know anything about the technical details (so just asking):  How is the Mesa approach for this TT800 different from something like the Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion heads?  Isn't that what GK has done?

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13 minutes ago, tvickey said:

I don't know anything about the technical details (so just asking):  How is the Mesa approach for this TT800 different from something like the Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion heads?  Isn't that what GK has done?

Interesting question, especially as the Fusion 800 has switchable clean/dirty channels.  I've got one but obviously don't know how it will compare with the TT in actual performance terms.  I also have a Subway 800+ and can tell you how those two compare:  the Fusion is more mid-range-punchy with valve flavouring always present and sounds better through my BF Two10 cabs; the Subway has overall warmer, slightly darker tones and sounds better with the Bright switch on through my BF SC3 cabs.  I love both combinations, but the Subway/SC3 stack edges it in my classic rock covers band.  As I understand it, the TT is designed to function as two entirely different, switchable amps in one package while the Fusion is a two-channel D-class with valve pre-stage. However, given that both the Fusion and the TT have lots of sound-shaping controls, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a fair degree of overlap in the tonal footprints of the Fusion and the TT.  On the other hand, each may be capable of making sounds that the other can't - and that's the part I guess we're all really interested in.  Sorry if all that sounds a bit obscure but I did my best 🙂  I'd love to be able to do a back-to-back comparison to find out what the REAL difference is.

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12 hours ago, obbm said:

I would guess that Mesa sell directly to their dealers in the USA whereas in the UK there is the additional layer of the UK Distributor. Their costs probably include purchase of inventory, warehousing, local shipping, warranty and service support plus marketing costs including cost of demo equipment, advertising and exhibitions. I would presume that there would be a hedge against currency fluctuations and finally there are the distributors and dealers staff costs and profit. 

All this is unseen by the average buyer who, through the wonder of the Internet, just compares US v. UK prices and uses the exchange rate of the day to make a comparison.

 

This is certainly a significant part of it IMO. Yes, there is distribution which also includes warranty support and customer service. I know from talking with UK players and the service folks at Westside Distribution (UK), that they also take customer service seriously and provide a quality experience to the customer. 

12 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I know you defend Mesa pricing over here on that basis.

But pretty much ALL other US manufacturers manage to get their product to UK customers at broadly the £ equivalent of the $ price. Which given that works out at about 30% more than the $ price accounts for VAT, shipping, customs handling, distributor margins etc.

Mesa products currently seem to then add another 25% to 30% on top, which kind sticks in the throat! And I say that as a huge Mesa fan. The WD-800 is a classic case in point and this issue was discussed at length on another thread: $999 /£785 in the US and $1,649 / £1,299 in the UK. A whopping 65% price differential!! Unsurprisingly there have been very few takers at that price, certainly here on basschat where folk are not averse to spending £££ provided they feel they are getting fair value. 

I'm not defending the pricing, simply explaining that there are additional costs that are responsible for some of the difference.  I don't really know why the differences are larger.

9 hours ago, tvickey said:

I don't know anything about the technical details (so just asking):  How is the Mesa approach for this TT800 different from something like the Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion heads?  Isn't that what GK has done?

Good question. The TT-800's Boogie channel is a re-imagination of one of our most classic, iconic bass amps (Randall Smith's design) from over 20 years earlier (the Bass 400 and 400+) with the benefit of such hindsight. The Subway channel is my re-interpretation of the D-800/800+ concept using tube gain stages, something that I was able to take artistic license from my own original design.

I don't believe that GK was re-interpreting any of their earlier iconic designs as I can't recall them using tubes in their earlier designs. If I'm wrong about this, please let me know.

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1 hour ago, agedhorse said:

Good question. The TT-800's Boogie channel is a re-imagination of one of our most classic, iconic bass amps (Randall Smith's design) from over 20 years earlier (the Bass 400 and 400+) with the benefit of such hindsight. The Subway channel is my re-interpretation of the D-800/800+ concept using tube gain stages, something that I was able to take artistic license from my own original design.

Thanks a lot for your reply @agedhorse.  I guess my next question would be: How different is the Subway channel on the TT-800 to the WD-800, which also uses a tube in the preamp?  BTW: I just happened to recently acquire a WD-800. ;)

 

wd_800_at_home.jpg

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The WD-800 is quite different as it was modeled after the Walkabout. The Subway channel on the TT-800 has more or less the tone of the D-800/D-800+ but with some added texture (like the WD-800) due to the tube driven nature.  That's the best I can do with a description, I'm sure there will be more posted about this when players start receiving them and posting their experiences.

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Seems like it won't be until almost the end of November!!

M original order stated that it would be received by the supplier on 30/9. Today, the day before, the order is updated to 25/11.

Considering I was informed my amp was being built a good few weeks ago (on this very forum) it seems a real pity that the date is updated so very late, and by almost 9 weeks. My first Mesa based disappointment in 32 years. Guess I had a good run.

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13 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

Seems like it won't be until almost the end of November!!

M original order stated that it would be received by the supplier on 30/9. Today, the day before, the order is updated to 25/11.

Considering I was informed my amp was being built a good few weeks ago (on this very forum) it seems a real pity that the date is updated so very late, and by almost 9 weeks. My first Mesa based disappointment in 32 years. Guess I had a good run.

Sorry to hear this Steve - I had a real concern this would happen but still very interested to hear what you think when this eventually arrives

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13 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

Seems like it won't be until almost the end of November!!

M original order stated that it would be received by the supplier on 30/9. Today, the day before, the order is updated to 25/11.

Considering I was informed my amp was being built a good few weeks ago (on this very forum) it seems a real pity that the date is updated so very late, and by almost 9 weeks. My first Mesa based disappointment in 32 years. Guess I had a good run.

That’s not good, hope it’s simple production line delays as opposed to quality control issues 

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17 hours ago, Steve Browning said:

Seems like it won't be until almost the end of November!!

M original order stated that it would be received by the supplier on 30/9. Today, the day before, the order is updated to 25/11.

Considering I was informed my amp was being built a good few weeks ago (on this very forum) it seems a real pity that the date is updated so very late, and by almost 9 weeks. My first Mesa based disappointment in 32 years. Guess I had a good run.

Big disappointment for me too!  The first European supplier ad I could find was Thomann so I ordered based on their initial delivery date of 20 September.  Cancelled with them when the date was pushed back and re-ordered with Andertons, who were offering the same delivery (i.e. 6 October) and a slightly lower price.  Next news from Andertons was delivery put back to 20 October - now even later to 25 November!  The absolute worst thing any manufacturer can do is to create a demand and then fail to supply.  I've been gagging for one of these since the topic started on Talkbass at the beginning of June and unfortunately sold my D800+ to fit in with the first delivery promise!!  However, must give Mesa credit for reducing their prices over here and MASSIVE thanks are due to Agedhorse for the way he has personally engaged with the bass-playing public on here and particularly Talkbass.  His design and communication skills are exemplary and, compared to others, he is giving above and beyond the call of duty.

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1 hour ago, scrumpymike said:

Big disappointment for me too!  The first European supplier ad I could find was Thomann so I ordered based on their initial delivery date of 20 September.  Cancelled with them when the date was pushed back and re-ordered with Andertons, who were offering the same delivery (i.e. 6 October) and a slightly lower price.  Next news from Andertons was delivery put back to 20 October - now even later to 25 November!  The absolute worst thing any manufacturer can do is to create a demand and then fail to supply.  I've been gagging for one of these since the topic started on Talkbass at the beginning of June and unfortunately sold my D800+ to fit in with the first delivery promise!!  However, must give Mesa credit for reducing their prices over here and MASSIVE thanks are due to Agedhorse for the way he has personally engaged with the bass-playing public on here and particularly Talkbass.  His design and communication skills are exemplary and, compared to others, he is giving above and beyond the call of duty.

Yes, although it's galling because he said that my amp was being built on 4th August on this forum. I think (in hindsight) I'd not have known. It gives the impression it's just sitting around somewhere.

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Just FYI - Andertons have a habit of putting quite optimistic dates on their ETAs....unless they have changed significantly it is also a pain to just put down a deposit. I mean, who wants £1000+ tied up in something that is late by a few months....

 

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29 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

Yes, although it's galling because he said that my amp was being built on 4th August on this forum. I think (in hindsight) I'd not have known. It gives the impression it's just sitting around somewhere.

I'm guessing that they'll export in consolidated consignments to keep costs down so yours may well be waiting until they have enough to make up a shipment.

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35 minutes ago, scrumpymike said:

I'm guessing that they'll export in consolidated consignments to keep costs down so yours may well be waiting until they have enough to make up a shipment.

if that's the case, although it makes good logistics sense, it's very poor business sense. Anyone in Europe thinking of ordering one has just been put off doing so. Steve is like me, a Mesa fan, I've no doubt that had Boogie spent £50 or so getting it to him on time, the detailed and knowledgable review he would have provided here, one from the perspective of a professional musician with a leaning towards Mesa gear, would have paid for Mesa's one-off shipping fee a few hundred times. This seems to have undone all the great PR @agedhorse did on behalf of Mesa earlier in the summer?

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1 hour ago, Beedster said:

if that's the case, although it makes good logistics sense, it's very poor business sense. Anyone in Europe thinking of ordering one has just been put off doing so. Steve is like me, a Mesa fan, I've no doubt that had Boogie spent £50 or so getting it to him on time, the detailed and knowledgable review he would have provided here, one from the perspective of a professional musician with a leaning towards Mesa gear, would have paid for Mesa's one-off shipping fee a few hundred times. This seems to have undone all the great PR @agedhorse did on behalf of Mesa earlier in the summer?

Good point, although inefficient transatlantic shipping would take a big slice out of their profit.  Personally I'm so impressed with Mesa that I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt, i.e. that they're handicapped by covid-related issues and doing their best.  My D800 was very good, my 800+ great, and I'm expecting the TT to be better still.

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12 hours ago, scrumpymike said:

Good point, although inefficient transatlantic shipping would take a big slice out of their profit.  Personally I'm so impressed with Mesa that I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt, i.e. that they're handicapped by covid-related issues and doing their best.  My D800 was very good, my 800+ great, and I'm expecting the TT to be better still.

This is true. Over the years I know of several people who have bought Boogie gear because of the sound of my rig.

A good chum is a Boogie endorsee so I am pursuing other avenues. 

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In defence of Mesa and the dealers, first shipment of any electronic product is always a movable feast. As a manufacturer, you plan for a specific first shipment date but that is based on each step from design, to full production running smoothly.

At Panasonic we would always do a pre-production run to test the production process, one month before full production. Any problems found on pre-production could lead to one or two month's delay in first shipment depeding on the severity of the problem. The products made made on the pre production run were used as demo samples. So there could be demonstration units around some 8-10 weeks before sale stock was available.

Of course each company is different but that is how it was at Panasonic when I was there.

 

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Posted my feelings of disappointment on Talkbass forum and got this reply from Agedhorse:

"Bummer for those in Europe, but I know there have been some (serious) COVID related parts delays on some products on the guitar side of things that have held up some shipments. Since the shipments are containerized, a delay in the guitar products also affects the bass products unfortunately.

Everybody here is (very) sorry for these delays, we aren’t happy about it either. It’s inconvenient for everyone concerned."

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