A curious talk with the Mesa people....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DTravz, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. DTravz


    Sep 2, 2001
    I recently purchased a Mesa 'Road Ready' 2-15 cabinet, (which was love at first sound), that didn't come with any specs regarding it's tested performace. Since I wanted to know where the cabinet rolled off at the bottom end, I called Mesa's Tech Support who informed me matter-of-factly that Mesa only uses the 'ear' method to build cabinets. They don't publish specs!
    Has anyone else heard of this? It seems strange that, in a world full of computers and cabinet-building software, a company would resort to......gasp, using their EARS ? Whatever they do, they do it well IMO!

  2. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    This is why I won't buy Mesa stuff.

    I've heard it's great, but I feel uncomfortable with their non-specs and inflexible pricing.
  3. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    If you love the sound of it, what does it matter what the specs are?
  4. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    E String-
    I'm npot bashing you in particular or anythign, but I don't understand your's and many others theory. They DO release their watage rating, so I don't understand why specs should be a factor. If you know how much you should be powering it, and it sounds AMAZING, which IMO, mesa gear does, then whats the big deal. If their cabs handle the low B well from personal experience, but there are no specs to tell you "technically" that this cab is built to handle these frequencies, then why should that matter. If it does the job, why complain?

    Showdown- I get the vibe that you are confused, but still like the gear. Welcome to the world of old school mesa gear. I just picked up the completion of my mesa gear, and I LOVE the sound. Fatter than anything else I've heard. Let's hear some more about you...what kinda tunes you play, whats your complete setup....You have any pics of your rig...

  5. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    No one in my area has Mesa cabs in stock, and I don't want to buy without trying one, even if it isn't the particular model I would be interested in. I would feel more comfortable if I at least had some specs to see how Mesa cabs compare to others in terms of general frequency range, efficiency, etc..
  6. I gotta say, they're feeding you the kind of horsecrap that guitarists swallow all the time. If you're building a ported cabinet, the "ears method" will probably produce an inefficient, power-hungry cab--and I've never heard about Mesa cabs being particular efficient in the way Eden or Aguilar are.

    Point is, don't believe the hype. Mesa doesn't publish specs because if they did, it'd be pretty clear that their product can't compete with the "big boys" at Eden and particularly SWR in terms of low-end response. As long as you love the tone, that's cool, but it takes maybe a half-hour to run frequency response tests using a sine wave generator and an SPL meter, so I'm not buying that one bit.
  7. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    Have you played the older heavy duty EVM loaded mesa cabs. The black grill ones...like the diesels?

    You can't honestly tell me that those can't "hang with the Big Boys". I've never tried their newer cabs, but I hear they leave much to be desired, but their older stuff is right up there with every other top of the line brand when it comes to mass produced amp companies such as swr, eden, aguilar...
    Also, it's also the fact that all cabs have their own specialty.
    SWR - The scooped mids sound
    Eden - Real solid lows/low mids..."hi-fi"
    Acme - Amazingly flat and even sounding
    Ampeg - The classic rock/mid boosted sound.
    Old Mesa - Fat meaty tone...

    I think that alot of it is opinion, but you gotta give their older equiptment credit. It gets the job done...and then some.
  8. Point taken. I've never played old Mesa stuff, except for an old Buster combo that didn't do a thing for me. A year or so ago, though, I played a couple of chrome-grilled Mesas--a 4x10 and a 1x15, I believe--that were singularly unimpressive, especially considering that I was A/Bing the 4x10 with an Eden D-410XLT. Now, I've never liked 15s in the first place, so if Mesa does those well, more power to them; their 10" cabs definitely leave something to be desired, IMO.
  9. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah, the chrome girlled stuff is their newer stuff...but if you ever get a chance, I suggest testing out the older diesel and/or road-ready cabs that have the larger black grilles...those were mesa's prosperous, quality production days...
  10. I have owned three different Mesa cabs, two of which were roadready and three Eden cabs, one 2x10xlt and two 2x12xlt. While I love the unique sound of my current Eden cabs there is NO WAY IN HECK they come even close to the quality and balance of any one of my previous Mea cabs.....repeat: NO WAY. I ditched the Mesa stuff after a time largely due to the weight factor but not B4 I had a chance to AB my 2x10RR, 1x15RR and 2x15 Diesel against the Eden stuff. The Edens were "slushy" and "soft" in comparison. If this translates at having more "bottom" for some folks then they are welcome to it. "Blurry" and "squishy" would be a more apt descriptions IMO. eden makes good stuff to be sure but when compared side by side to the Mesa's focus and clarity....the "mud" factor is very apparent.
  11. ...I'd like a chrome Girl...Hubba hubba..:rolleyes:
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I've got an older Road Ready 215 with EV's and it's one of the best cabs I own. Also one of the heaviest. Because of the weight, it doesn't see much action these days. Every Mesa cab I've ever heard and certainly all I own (I have older RR, 210, 118, 215 and 410) sound superb in an "old-school" sorta way. Driven by a 400+, they've got a special kind of low-end heft that's hard to beat, especially with a vintage Fender.
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    But even when they do it's not reliable info, e.g. with the 400+, and this doesn't build much trust...

    The amp is rated 500W on the website, but with 12 x 6L6 it's actually more like 300W (25W each).

    Only if you read closely you eventually find that the 500W are "500 watts of transient power peaks ".

    Car audio salesmen?
  14. Well, I owned one of those for years. EVM 15" in a diesel cab. IMO wasn't nearly as good as the Edens I owned next or the Acme I own now. Just goes to show, mileage varies. For my personal tastes, Mesa indeed does not hang with the big boys--but that doesn't mean it's not perfect for someone who wants something other than what I look for.
  15. I wouldn't say those Diesel cabs were outstanding or anything...just well built. The EVM loaded 15's were an "industry standard" for stand-alones for a while. The Road Ready stuff sounds very fine. The Mesa 15's had more of a mid-punch thing and less of that "wide bottom" that you'd want for lowend/biamp extention. They were made for their solo abilities I'd say. The RR stuff is far punchier and solid sounding then any Eden stuff. I've compared them both. I have a hunch that the Mesa cabs may sound best with Mesa heads.....tuned or whatever.
  16. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Absolutely correct. I own 4 of each.
  17. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I also agree with the above statement. I've owned nearly identical setups of both brands. Also, the mesa cabs must have been pretty efficient because they seemed as nearly as loud as my edens...

    The the construction was top-notch!

    (of course, this was the previous series, not those chrome thingies!):eek:
  18. Maybe you should try PLAYING through one...mine had the voice of GOD. It had 16 tubes and is still the loudest amp I ever owned. 500w was extremely conservative IMO. It was frighteningly huge...
  19. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I doubt it has (significantly) more power than a SVT, which they imply with that rating, that's all.
  20. I recently purchased a1x15 w/horn and it absolutely rips. I don't believe you can compare them to an eden or swr because they are coming from a completely different place tone wise.I agree that the latter two manufacturers produce some quality gear but it is gear that simply doesn't give me the tone i need for what i am doing. the mesa does that.all of this is so subjective at any rate but there is my.02
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