MESA BOOGIE

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by GODSBASSMAN, Apr 8, 2014.


  1. GODSBASSMAN

    GODSBASSMAN

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    S. Carolina
    MB 400, 400+, and VBA 400 amps. Are these all the same basic platform bass amp with changes? What are the differences?
     
  2. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    400 and 400+ have entirely different power sections and output levels. 400 runs on 6550/KT88's and the 400+ runs on 6L6's. I'm sure there are other differences as well.

    I believe the VBA400 is a Marshall, not a Mesa.
     
  3. chaosMK

    chaosMK Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Disclosures:
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    The 400 and 400+ have the same preamp. The D180 is also very similar. These heads have a characteristic midrange voice and clarity that I have not found in any other amp.

    Bass 400: Stock with 6x6L6 power section, but you can put 6550's or KT88's in it for more power. 4-ohm minimum load.

    Bass 400+: 12x6L6 power section. 2-ohm minimum load. Graphic EQ has one more slider than the 400.

    The 400+ is going to have a little more output than the 400 even if you load the 400 with 6550's or KT88's. I personally use a 400 with 6550's.
     
  4. MesaBoogie

    MesaBoogie Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Location:
    Petaluma, California
    Disclosures:
    Customer Service/Product Specialist: Mesa Boogie
    Most of the 400's shipped with 6550's until the supply of good tubes dried up - then they began shipping with 6L6's. ANY 400 (non+) is set to take 6550's.

    400+ should be run on 6L6 (or 5881) only.
     
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  6. chaosMK

    chaosMK Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Disclosures:
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Hey MesaBoogie... Maybe you know the answer to this- Does the D180 have a different preamp/tone stack from the 400/400+? For example... is the Mid control on the D180 "cut only" like it is on the 400/400+?

    I recently did some A/B testing with my D180 and 400 with approximately the same settings dialed in and found them to be pretty different.
     
  7. MesaBoogie

    MesaBoogie Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Location:
    Petaluma, California
    Disclosures:
    Customer Service/Product Specialist: Mesa Boogie
    The transition from the D-180 to the Bass 400 saw the elimination of the Limiter/Master, and the inputs side by side rather than in series. The preamp is similar, and the power section is very close in both units. Thanks!
     
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If I may nitpick for the sake of clarity:

    Surely by 6L6 you mean 6L6GC. As 6L6, 6L6G and 6L6GT tubes still crop up, I feel that you should be more accurate with tube designations.

    While I grant that the specifications between tube types has become more than a little blurred, NOS tubes have not. The 5881 had an industrial title of 6L6WGB. As such it is a member of the earlier 6L6GB family with a lower plate dissipation and voltage rating. They will not perform as well as a 6L6GC.
     
  9. GODSBASSMAN

    GODSBASSMAN

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    S. Carolina
    Ooops, yes, you are right. VBA400 is a Marshall. I would love to hear waht these heads all sound and play like.
     
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Of course there were some changes done on each model as the years went by:

    D180 started out with no graphic eq panel, then was added in on later units.

    Bass 400 of course could be run on either tube choice. Also most units only have two 8ohm jacks and two 4ohm jacks. And the very late runs also included two 2 ohm jacks.

    Bass 400+ started out with the same 6-slider graphic eq panel like the Bass 400, then after about a year changed to a 7-slider graphic panel.
     

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