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20/20's ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheWoodShed, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Hello,

    Been on the lookout for a low wattage, rack mount tube power amp to replace my QSC PLX series amps, since I no longer gig. Has anyone tried the respective Mesa or Marshall 20/20 power amps?

    I found a decent deal on a Mesa 50/50 and am tempted to pull the trigger as these are be stepped down to 15 watts per channel. Some research indicated that the 50/50 is voiced to emphasize mid and highs, which may mean that without modification it may not sound decent for a bass.

    Does anyone have experience with these? I asked some custom amp builders, but the are asking upwards to $2000 to build one and am looking for something that costs less..
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Carvin does a 50/50 that is said to be smooth up the dial, though I haven't heard one in person.

    There's old Peavey 60/60 and 120/120. Peavey and poweramps go together like white on rice.

    I don't know that I've seen a 20/20 outside of corksniffer circles.....maybe Mesa?
  3. Mesa and Marshall both make El84 versions of a 20/20 amplifier. Part of what I am asking is if anyone has experience with these driving a bass rig or if there are any alternatives. I'll check out the CArvin though- thanks!
  4. Hi.

    AFAIK both the Mesa and the Marshall are primarily guitar amps, so the OT Fs is designed and chosen with 80Hz low E in mind.
    That means bad kind of OT generated distortion with lower frequencies on power output of 10W/40Hz upwards.
    The too small OT will act as a natural HPF though, so something good with the bad ;).

    They may sound nice, and for some purposes "period correct", but I'd either mod one with a heftier OT, or by reducing the output of the power tubes to half if using for bass instrument.
    Choosing an OT with AFe twice the 80Hz one for 40Hz use is a decent rule of thumb, even though it isn't quite that simple.
    (AFe being the iron path cross sectional area)

  5. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    I'd take an old mono 60 watt peavey 2-6l6 amp before I used either of the 20/20's. They sound decent for guitar but IMO they don't have enough low end for bass. (and not enough for some guitar applications) That said most of your bigger power tube rack amps would be fine.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    There is a deep mod for the Mesa 20/20. I don't think it's meant to turn the amp into a bass amp, but it does increase the bass response.
  7. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Registered Nihilist Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    +1 - the deep mod just involves snipping a couple of capacitors.
    If you like the Ashdown Lil' Bastard, you might like the 20/20. It is an excellent piece of gear. Just don't expect much clean volume.

    The Mesa 2:90, with four 6L6's per side, makes a pretty nice stereo amp for bass.
  8. anyone else try one of these? 1U and 15 lbs. sure sounds nice for a rack rig. i've gigged with 25 watt ampeg b15 and 50 watt fender bassman before so i'm wondering if 2x20 watts would work.

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