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Mesa Madness - does it have to be this way?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by tubster, Apr 11, 2014.


  1. tubster

    tubster

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Called Mesa to ask about getting a Walkabout converted to 220volts for European work for an extended period. "It can be done but you have to take it to the dealer in the country that you are going to", was the response.

    Not what I was looking for as:

    a) There is no MESA dealer on their site listed in the country I am playing in;
    b) The turnaround time would be prohibitive from a neighboring country;
    c) The cost is likely to be extortionate;
    d) I want to hit the ground running and gig from Day 1.

    I will be exhorted to use a converter - sorry I have too many bad experiences.

    How does Mesa assist international artists or are they only interested in preserving margins for dealers for their gear overseas?

    I am aware of EU regs on gear.

    Look forward to your thoughts.
     
  2. magic papa

    magic papa Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Mate, I hear you. Same problem here in Australia, big time. If you want quality gear you must be prepared to wait months and pay stupid price.

    Or buy in the US and convert or use transformer.

    Many US manufacturers would get way more business down here if they sold directly. But they keep telling themselves that having a dealer network is better even though they probably sell negligible amounts of gear that way. People are forced to look around and buy something else. How is that working for anybody?

    Mesa is probably one of the worst offenders. I'm cured from GAS for their gear. No more rip-offs for me.
     
  3. wateroftyne

    wateroftyne

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Location:
    The Geordie Delta, UK
    Yip... I get the impression MESA don't really care too much about sales and service outside of the US.
     
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    Can you find a non Mesa authorized tech to do the work?
     
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  6. magic papa

    magic papa Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    They will probably need to swap the mains transformer. Not sure if this could be done by a non Mesa authorised tech. I'm guessing the reason they referred the OP to the Mesa office in the destination country was because they would have access to the correct parts there.

    I'd just buy an external step-down transformer. They are not that bad. Benefits: no waiting time and no messing with the amp.
     
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    One of the main characteristics of musicians is to travel in many places.

    I don't understand how pro oriented gear manufacturer (Mesa is one of them, Ampeg is too) can release amps that don't switch automatically toward whatever voltage they are fed.

    It makes no sense to me.
     
  8. magic papa

    magic papa Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    They don't care. As simple as that.

    Edit:

    Actually Ampeg is not that bad. Portaflex series have switchable voltage. I've got SVP-Pro preamp and it's also switchable. Mesa on the other hand - no.
     
  9. anton72

    anton72

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Moscow, in some traffic jam)
    I've just converted my MarkBass F1 to 220 V. Cost me around $25. I bought it used from TBer and even having $85 shipment plus $25 Voltage conversion on top of the amp cost it turned to be twice as cheaper than buying new one from MarkBass dealer here in Moscow. As for MESA....I was trying hard to find MESA dealer here but found it's no way neither ship it from USA (cause they claim that MESA product is sold only in USA) nor buy it locally. So MESA is "no go" for me. Finished with it even had not started...sad that such prominent manufacturer does not care of sales worldwide...
     
  10. Musicman20

    Musicman20

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
    +1!
     
  11. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    What kind of converter have you used in the past?

    You want a big beefy step down transformer to handle the juice of an amp.

    May be easier to look at renting locally too.
     
  12. vin*tone

    vin*tone

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Ballaarat, Ostraya
    A transformer needs to be built to spec but yes it can be done.

    I had a Walkabout which had a transformer made by BJ Amplifiers in Brisbane (Australia).

    Tubster I think you might need to suck it up and grab something like a TH500 which will switch over.
     
  13. MKA

    MKA

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Europe
  14. Musicman20

    Musicman20

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    To be fair, 20% VAT in included in the €uro price, while taxes are excluded from the US price.
     
  16. magic papa

    magic papa Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Mesa quality is just a marketing hype. I have never had so many problems with any other amp as I did with an M-Pulse. Perhaps it was coincidence, but when you pay $4100 for a bass head you don't appreciate coincidences like that. Took 3 months to fix too :scowl:

    Never again, better amp out there for much, much less $$$...
     
  17. vbchaos

    vbchaos

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    After approx 300 rigrundowns I have seen so far here is what I saw again and again:

    Most acts have power converters in the amp-racks or the venue provides whatever the rack needs (different outlets, in-house-converters etc)
     
  18. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    PL
    Mesa dealer and SERVICE in my country is one big joke. Now imagine spending $4200 on new Strategy...
     
  19. teemuk

    teemuk

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    ...and then finding out Mesa had reduced its output power to half without bothering to inform anyone about it.
    [​IMG]
     
    The_Lucek likes this.
  20. tubster

    tubster

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    I forgot to mention that in addition the MESA tech guy said the conversion could be done quite easily (new transformer and a couple of other bits) and that they would NOT sell me the parts.

    I have just bought a TC Electronic amp head that is auto voltage switching. Not a happy MESA customer I can tell you.
     
  21. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Location:
    Swiss Alps
    You can get good fused step down transformers rated for 1000w for around 50€ from German eBay.

    I looked into the WB a few years ago but ended up getting an Eden instead mainly because it is easily switched over between 110v and 230v, just by moving a few jumper cables.
     

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