Mesa Boogie Walkabout 112 vs Fender Bassman TV

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by NathanT96, Jan 22, 2013.


  1. NathanT96

    NathanT96

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    Hey,

    I don't know which one to buy, the Mesa Boogie Walkabout 112 or the Fender Bassman TV 15 or Duo Ten. I've found from video's that the gain knob on the Bassman TV really gets that tube distorting. I've also played the Mesa Walkabout and it was loud and bassy, but the tubes didn't distort that much. Has anyone played the Bassman TV or heard someone play it in person? Does it have the volume/power of the Mesa (for gigs).

    Thanks,

    Nathan.
     
  2. Rooster009

    Rooster009

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    I checked out both amps before finally deciding on the TV15. The walkabout is a great amp and does clean tubey really well. The TV15 IMO out shines it in everyway except the fact that you can't add a extension speaker. The Gain on the TV15 does give it some grit if you adjust it beyond about 7-8. Makes a great recording amp also.
     
  3. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

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    The fact that the Walkabout can be used with any assortment of different cabs, vs the Fender's all-in-one nature, with no possible way to expand, is the most important issue. If you are absolutely 100% positive that 350 watts through a single 15, or pair of 10's is all you'll EVER need, than that's fine. But to get bass guitar up to volume in a band, it's all about the spkrs. Oh, and the WA, when the gain is pushed bewyond noon, will break up like a tube amp, too. But neither one will do full on distortion, if that's what you want.
     
  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

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    Other than price, IME/IMO the Mesa wins on all counts: tone, low end extension, flexibility etc, etc. Obviously, the TV15 will be louder than a 12.
     
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  6. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

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    I previously owned a Fender 2-10 combo (don't remember the model, but it was from '02) and now have the Walkabout that I bought in a 1x15 cabinet. The head is now sitting on two 10" speaker boxes, and I have a lightweight, great sounding rig that whups that Fender in every way. As Lomo pointed out, the M/B gives you endless flexibility. You can plug it into about any speaker configuration you want, as long as the load is correct (the head needs to see a 4 ohm load, but reports are that it will work well down to 2).

    Another plus for M/B is tech support. I've dealt with them twice in three years, and had very positive results (the first time required sending the head back to Petaluma, where they upgraded the circuitry to current spec; the second was handled with a phone call). If you're buying a used Fender from a private party, you'll have to eat the cost of fixing any problems. If from a dealer, some dealers stand behind their gear and others don't. You need to find out about that first. I had problems with my Fender and ended up trading it back to the dealer -- which is a local mom and pop store, not GC.
     
  7. jdelemus

    jdelemus

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    Not sure others experience but my walkabout 12 gets a lot of fuzz.
     
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

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    This. I'm sure the TV sounds great and I know the Walkabout does (I own one). But I would never buy anything I couldn't expand if need be. Plus, you can pop the Walkabout right out of the combo and borrow a friend's huge cab if you really needed to get lout. Or just take your head to a provided back line show and set it on top of the (usually dreadful) head they brought and run it through their (usually Ampeg 8-10) cab. It doesn't hurt that the Walkabout sounds great IMO. But you have to learn how to dial it in. "Too boomy" is only a right out of the box thing. But you can certainly dial in clear mids and highs. I do it all the time even with the 15" version.
     
  9. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    I have no experience with the Walkabout 112, but from what it looks like - it's basically the MPulse head (albeit slightly abbreviated) in a 112 combo (correct me if I'm wrong)

    In which case I can offer some opinion on that. I own (and am currently selling) the MPulse Venture, which is the Mpulse head with a 2x12 combo:
    http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Bass_Amps/Venture/Venture.htm

    And I've owned a Bassman TV15 for a few years as well.

    My experience with the Mesa (and this all varies on your personal goals for tone), was that it was fairly clean and a little too complex for me to EQ to a sweet spot (obviously this could be the difference in wattage between the Scout and the Venture, cab construction, speaker config, personal preference, experience, etc). It was capable of a lot of power (bearing in mind the Venture is 600 watts as opposed to the Scout's 300 watts), but its character didn't really speak to me. The preamp tube saturation and overall tone has a very different feel to it than the Fender. The Mesa will be capable of a more modern voicing than the Fender (not to mention the size of the driver will lend itself different characteristics) so it's kind of up to you at what you want to accomplish tone-wise. The 15" will carry a deeper bottom than the 2x10s or a single 12".

    At 350 watts, the TV15 has kept up nicely with the band volume-wise (2 guitarists, keyboards, drums - listen to my sig link for style reference) but as mentioned before there is no expansion capability on it. That being said, I would imagine with 300 watts and a single twelve on the Mesa, you would want and maybe even NEED additional speaker coverage to get the kind of volume out of it that would hang with a band. It may not be the case, but I personally would be worried about not having enough juice with only a single twelve combo.

    The Fender has held its own wonderfully for stage volume indoors and outdoors (always with PA support for a crowd) and it is capable of a very good amount of volume. In addition, this amp LOVES dirt pedals (much more in my experience than the Mesa). The TV15's tone overall is warm, round and punchy, whereas I found the Mesa to be punchy as hell, but I always had some problem finding its right place when it came to sitting in the mix (again, this depends on your playing style and where you want to sit frequency-wise in a band setting).
     
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

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    The mPulse 600 and Walkabout share some similar design features but do NOT sound the same.....at all. Many Walkabout lovers have tried the 600 hoping for a "same but more powerful Walkabout" only to be disappointed. The 600 is a great head, but not merely a larger WA.
     
  11. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

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    +1 the Walkabout has magic inside, where the MPulse 600 doesn't. They have the same basic preamp design, but are more different than alike. Those Fender TV combo's sound awesome, don't get me wrong. The ONE thing that makes them a fail in my book, is the inability to expand. If you need more volume, more speakers is the answer. Can't do that with the Fender.
     
  12. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    I see.
    Without having personal experience on the amp and only Google images to my ready - it looked like the same amp (Mpulse 600) minus some extra EQ control and 300 watts less- so as to the tonal differences in the MPulse heads, I cannot confirm nor deny. It very well might be magic inside that little guy! :D

    I can speak, however, to the great tone and surprisingly loud volume of the Bassman (speaking for the 15 exclusively), so if the worry of expandability is the only thing holding you back, when in actuality that tone may better suit your style preference or your band (and assuming you don't play with guys who don't recognize what controllable volume or dynamics mean), don't let the expandability issue hamper your decision too much, as the amp is capable of some big volume.

    Likewise, it would probably boil down to price. The Mesa is capable of expanding (for sure winning over in functionality of the Bassman), but if you guys say 350 watts via the TV won't cut it, then 300 watts via the Mesa will surely not cut it (right?), and you'd be looking to purchase a secondary cab right off the bat. In which case you would probably be better served looking for a more powerful amp/cab combo, unless the Mesa really is that magical (and it may be).

    Just a thought.....

    I guess it just depends on what the OP plays, and his tone preferences. It sounds like they both have their fan base, so it's up to you to decide your tonal goals, or style preferences.
     
  13. NathanT96

    NathanT96

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Does the Bassman have the same low end boom as the Mesa? The no cab extension doesn't worry me too much because it's mainly going to be for practice and small gigs and both of them are loud enough for that right? If I wanted more volume I would probably upgrade to a Fender Super Bassman and 410 cab.
     
  14. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Well... if you've got the money for a Super Bassman and 410 cab you should be going that route and not even wasting your time thinking about which class D combo amps will suit you better. ;)

    NEITHER amp is going to give you the TONE or feel of an all valve head and a big cab like that.

    The only reason you should be choosing to go with a combo is for size, portability and hopefully price. In the Bassman's case, I feel its appeal was in the voicing, its looks, and that fact that it was a "vintage take" on amps that wasn't available in the market at the time without going with actual vintage gear or spending an arm and a leg on an amp/cab combo that suited my particular tastes. Not to mention it was in my price point.

    That being said, to answer your question - the TV15 is definitely not lacking in low-end response. My guess would be that it would even edge over the Mesa 112 in that arena, due to the larger speaker size and the TV's "Deep" switch. But keep in mind it's a different voice and may not be up to par with what you hear and like about the Mesa. You also need to consider that the size speaker is going to have a different response overall. Some people don't care for 15's. I love 15's.

    As far as volume - I've been gigging it for 3 years now and it's always had plenty of juice for practice and gigs (including a handful of outdoor festivals and on a party boat a few times) with PA support. You only need to hear yourself on stage, and it's got more than enough for that. If you're not playing with PA support, I would imagine neither amp is ideal - but the Mesa as mentioned before can be paired with a bigger cab.
     
  15. NathanT96

    NathanT96

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    Thanks. The main reason why I want to get a combo like the WA/TV is because they're they're less trouble to haul round especially if I'm just playing with mates or playing gigs with PA support. Also the Super Bassman with a cab is too pricey for what I would be using it for, but it has a beautiful tube grit when that gain is cranked. I'm going to try and find a TV to play, because it looks like that might be the one because it's only $999 compared to the $1650 Mesa. Once again thanks for all the info.
     
  16. rodl2005

    rodl2005

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    Walkabout, hands down! Can get a huge amount of tube overdrive by cranking the gain.
    Everything else about it is a win for my $$
    Portability, 8/4/even 2 ohm operation, superb eq, , quality etc etc
     
  17. NathanT96

    NathanT96

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    When I cranked the gain on the WA I didn't get that much overdrive compared to hearing the TV on YouTube. I`ll try one out again sometime before I buy anything just to make sure but I`m pretty sure I cranked that thing.
     
  18. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

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    One more thought: the Walkabout has very variable and musical tone controls. The Fenders always seem to have one basic sound.

    There is an upside and a downside for both. You can make a Walkabout sound bad (I didn't believe that until another bass player used my Mesa/Boogie without my knowledge and "dimed" all the controls -- which, if you are familiar with the way the EQs are laid out is totally idiotic -- and when I plugged in the next time, it sounded like hell. A quick glance at the position of the knobs revealed the cause) so you have to have an understanding of what you're doing, or, at least, the ability to remember what's worked in the past.:D

    The Fender sounds like it does, and it's relatively difficult to mess up. If you like its sound, you're good. If you don't, too bad.

    The Walkabout is the only bass amp I have owned that can be run at relatively low volumes because its tone cuts through so well.
     
  19. Rooster009

    Rooster009

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    At $650 more the WA just wasn't worth it IMO, so I went with the TV. Plus I own a M-Pulse 600 and powerhouse 1000 for the outdoor gigs.
     
  20. NathanT96

    NathanT96

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    Thats exactly what I'm thinking at the moment. Is it worth another $650? Rooster009 what type tone can you get out of the TV is it just solid vintage tone or can you get a mix of modern and vintage?
     
  21. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

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    The TV15 is cheaper and sounds good, but in terms of flexibility it can't compete with the eq section of the WA IMHO.
     

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