Mesa tubes worth the$$$ ?

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by emitch.sr, May 14, 2020.

  1. emitch.sr

    emitch.sr Member

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    I’ve recently acquired my first Mesa amp a dual rectifier road king 1st model
    I’m gonna attempt to do the tubes myself since there’s no biasing it looks like something I can do my question is
    Is it really that important to use Mesa brand tubes in Mesa amps
    It cost an extra hundred dollars to have the Mesa brand rather than JJ’s which I’m pretty sure the same thing anyways maybe with the tolerance a little tighter

    Also I’m having a problem with the volume being very low I’m hoping replacing all the tubes including rectifier tubes will solve this problem
     
  2. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    Go ahead and get what you want. You could always get them at a later time when you have the extra funds that allow for it.
    The difference is that they are "handled" and will cost more for this service. You receive a *matched quartet for the amp you own. Simply marketing. They is your *key, though ;-) Others here with better knowledge.
     
  3. SteelLucky

    SteelLucky Active Member

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    I had 3 brand new Mesa SPAx7 preamp tubes. Put them in a Marshall. All 3 tubes failed within a year. I am going to say no, but that was my experience with Mesa branded tubes.
     
  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Masa does not have a bias circuit that is adjustable . Masa test thar tubes so all the amps sound the same . The Marshall’s have a bias circuit with a trim pot so you can adjust the bias so no to amps sound the same may be close but not the same .
     
  5. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    You can change tubes if you like.
    Personally, I would never (in a million years) buy tubes from Mesa.

    (PS: The tubes Mesa sells are re-branded JJ)
    I just buy a matched set of JJs. Then I test the bias.

    Take it to a Mesa service Center.
    These amps are very complicated.

    Yes, you bought the amp with the highest maintenance cost.
    If you want to maintain Mesa amps, you are going to spend more compared to other amplifiers.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
    Jethro Rocker likes this.
  6. texhex

    texhex Well-Known Member

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    If you aren't comfortable swapping them then take it to a tech but you will be paying them to basically remove the old ones and pop in the new ones.

    I retubed my Mark V with all Mesa tubes. Power, pre-amp and rectifier. Original tubes were all Mesa from 2012. There is no biasing, just be sure to get the matched power amp tubes and put them in the right sockets. It's super easy and very low risk.

    Yeah it's a way to keep you buying their products but "Mesa tubes" (it's no secret that they aren't manufactured by Mesa) aren't that much more expensive than other tubes out there and the way I look at it they just work.
    https://mesaboogie.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/219146088-How-are-MESA-tubes-selected-

    https://mesaboogie.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/203833727-Tubes-Fuses
     
  7. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    No, it is not even desirable.
    Randall Smith and his engineering group select tubes mostly on durability. Their perspective is that if they can have the tubes last as long as possible, without the end user having to change tubes frequently, then everybody is happy. Different eras, different manufacturers... I prefer to select tubes that sound "right" to me - your mileage may vary.

    Find the tubes that suit you best and go with them.

    :hippie::pirate::uk:
     
  8. saxon68

    saxon68 Well-Known Member

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    The benefit of using Mesa tubes is your sanity. You won’t be swapping a bunch of different brand tubes if you stay with them
     
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  9. SonVolt

    SonVolt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    If you're not a tube roller then save yourself some piece of mind and get the matched tubes from Mesa. For what it's worth, I've got a Mark IV from the early 2000s still with the stock tubes and it's one of the best sounding amps I've ever heard.
     
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  10. Lance Chambers

    Lance Chambers Well-Known Member

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  11. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    If you use the Mesa tubes it was designed for all will be good, simple put in and forget. Or you could go ahead and screw with it, maybe save $20 and see what happens.
    Not having to screw around with tubes is a big plus in my book. Not really sure about this BIG expense of owning a Mesa either, I'v owned several and never spent a dime.
     
  12. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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  13. Lo-Tek

    Lo-Tek Well-Known Member

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    I use Mesa for my power tubes but I don't worry about the pre amps being Mesa.
    I just do this for peace of mind since there is no bias adjustment.
     
  14. emitch.sr

    emitch.sr Member

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    OK also it says on the two
    OK also it says on the tube
    STR 430
    I cannot find a set online on Mesa or anywhere else that has that STR number I’ve seen STR 440 for sale is this important to get on that has the exact same number
     
  15. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    That amp is Made for a certain tube that test a certain way that only masa knows about That rating number . You can put a non masa tube in it may Run hot It not sound the same. It is part of owning a masa
     
  16. texhex

    texhex Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest submitting a support ticket with Mesa and ask them if they have a vendor or set they recommend. I've had extremely good results with their tech support.
    https://mesaboogie.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

    Alternatively you could contact these folks about this set:
    https://www.thetubestore.com/mesa-boogie-road-king-series-i-value-package
     
  17. emitch.sr

    emitch.sr Member

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  18. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    I had the same expert with the SPAX7 preamp tubes. Bought two for my DSL and had to replace them within a year. Starting getting wind noise and when I swapped them out the noise when away.
     
  19. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    Worth the extra? Probably not. Bit like the amps.....




    Sorry couldn't resist.
     
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  20. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Well-Known Member

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    In Europe all about from Mesa amps it's really expensive. With the money that I need to buy a Mesa amp I can buy 3 Marshall amps. I tryed a Mesa 5881quad but I prefer Sovtek or TAD. But I have a Mesa EL84 pair that I love it. Since 2011 they are working without issues.
    Of course I prefer the Marshall sound.
     

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