Mesa Express 5-25- Not Cutting It for Me

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by Sacalait, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Sacalait

    Sacalait Well-Known Member

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    A good friend of mine loaned me this amp. It's a head and I have the 1X12 cab. I've used it a few times but man... I just can't seem to wrap my heart around it. It's hard to describe but I'll use the word "cold" sounding to me for an all-tube amp. The notes don't sustain well an just doesn't have much character. Strange for an American built amp that's relatively pricey. I'm thinking it needs re-biasing? Maybe different tubes? To compare, I have a Marshall SV20 (beautiful and full of character), a Marshall JVM205 (same), a Vox AC15 (def more character than the Mesa), and an Orange Tiny Terror (kick ass little amp). So I know what I'd "like" to hear from a tube amp like this. Any suggestions welcome.
     
  2. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    If you played a Orange TT and a Marshall you don't need a Mesa.
    Mesas all have that over compressed fuzz that dulls out the expressions of the player. It just sounds that one way not much variables. Or on the clean channel Mesa sounds like a Fender (which is what the clean channel really is...)
     
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  3. Drinkingdeath01

    Drinkingdeath01 Well-Known Member

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    Not all Mesa's have a dull and overly compressed sound, just the newer ones. I have a Mark V and I'm not impressed. The early Marks are where Mesa shines. I have a bunch of the early ones and they sound amazing. The ii, iii and the iv's are totally different then the newer versions. They are full and rich sounding with great smooth mids.
     
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  4. 6550

    6550 Member

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    Mesas...... you just summed them up.
     
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  5. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    The Mark series is not voiced "British" at all, I had a 90w V and didn't like it either. Mesa is one of the few companies that each amp series goes after something different, you might love an RA100 or TC100 amp. I have a TC100 and it rocks! Don't compare "Mesa" to another amp, compare each Mesa differently and you'll find what your after. If you only like one sound from an amp you really don't need a Mesa amp at all. When I play my TC100 I play differently when I play my X100 or my Chupa, if you played clean a lot you may like the Mark's especially the EQ. Everybody seems to compare the Mark series amps to a British voiced amp then decides all Mesa's are bad. It's not comparing apples to apples, and by doing so they miss out on a lot of great amp's, don't let this happen.
     
  6. slide222

    slide222 Well-Known Member

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    I have the express 5/50 combo , going tru a extension cab , and I love this amp it has great bass, and great depth , like most mesa'a

    I was on holiday 3 or4 years ago , and I heard a guitarist playing black magic woman , with a backing track , and before I saw the amp he was using , I knew it was a mesa , purely because of the depth of the bass , and when I got round the corner it was an express plus , basicly the later version of mine with the graphic.

    with 4 tone gain levels , i'd have though the express could please most people .

    no bias on a mesa

    the general thought has always been if you wanna do it with a combo mesa's do it well-I had an early 80's mk2 60/100 , and I used that for years in a 3piece ,with me singing and we did pretty much everything , covers wise , several chilly songs , led zep , alsorts , that amp was a monster , never used a pedal , and I could do Hendrix , feed back , distrusruction , bombs dropping , exploding , all with no pedal , and after using that amp for years , my love for the mesa sound was born and grown
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  7. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Well-Known Member

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    I've played many Mesas and owned a few.

    Some of them have that hard coldness and some do NOT

    I do not care for the later Mark series. The rectos don't do it for me either. But....the Subways were really cool, and the Triple Crowns are amazing. Dynamic, responsive with Rich harmonic content.
     
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  8. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to dial in a MV to suit just about any situ IME.

     
  9. Sacalait

    Sacalait Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I haven't worked enough with it. On this model I'm finding it sounds pretty good on all the different settings but just doesn't have the vibe I'm looking for. I WANT to like it but every time I use it I'm left uninspired! In fact the last time I used it I was into the first set and was thinking "why did I bring this amp!" Anyway, I appreciate the feedback from everyone.
     
  10. Robus

    Robus Active Member

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    I have a Mesa v25 head. It is the amp I keep coming back to.
     
  11. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    I’ve never owned a 525 but I did have a 550 and I agree with you. The Mark V however I think is a fantastic amp that can do pretty much anything
     
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  12. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    MESA=Killer amps
     
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  13. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    not cold sounding at all.

     
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  14. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Andy Timmons can make a Super Twin Reverb sound warm lol.
     
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  15. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    hell a First Act starter kit for that matter. folks like him and Pete Thorn
    boggle my mind.
     
  16. Robus

    Robus Active Member

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    That is the video that sold me on the amp.
     
  17. slide222

    slide222 Well-Known Member

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    had a good couple of hours on my 5/50 express with matching extension cab this afternoon on 50 watt , and I forgot how loud this set up is -it sounds more like a 100watt , I had both master's really low , i'll give you my settings to give you a starting point and you can go from there
    I was going to play my high treble thin sound strat and my American special with texas specials , more middle , but I never got to the American special- I used the clean channel , and the burn channel
    clean, was- gain 7.8, -treble 2.6, -mid 4,-bass 2.8, -master-1,
    burn, was - gain 4,...………...3,...………..6,...……..7.5, -master-1.5

    bear in mind you might wanna turn the treble up a bit depending on what guitar you put tru it , even with the master's that low it was loud

    I forgot the contour , on the clean , it was 4.5, and on the burn it was 6
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  18. Sacalait

    Sacalait Well-Known Member

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    Cool bro. I'll try it. And I certainly don't want to imply that I think the amp isn't a righteous piece of gear. I may just haven't worked with it enough. It just doesn't vibe me the way my other tube amps do. Appreciate it.
     
  19. slide222

    slide222 Well-Known Member

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    you might not like what I like , and some amps do seem to have endless fiddling possibilities , to the point where it can take a while to bond , but it is a good positive thing , as you won't get bored and have lots of avenues to wander around
     
  20. Sacalait

    Sacalait Well-Known Member

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    Well... after watching the above video I may need to revisit this bad boy! Ha!
     
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