Ok...got a couple questions for you all that are kinda specific and hope you have some good informed suggestions. The first question is about a functional issue/problem my amp has been recently exhibiting. I KNOW 15 people are going to say "take it to a tech" but unfortunately our local tech just retired and the closest one is now a 2 hour drive away. So... If I can avoid two half days in the car in ANY way Im really happy to. Anyway... Recently I started getting a crackling popping noise on louder lower notes. Its only at practice/performance volume and only on the E string usually, so it seems it has to do with the force of the note and the power draw. At first I thought it was the tweeter of the cab crapping out. nope. Then I thought, cord? nope. pedals? nope. Dying battery in my bass? nope. Speaker cable? nope. Preamp tube being unseated or going bad? nope. Crackling pot? nope. Bad output jack on the amp or input on the cab? nope. I also tried working the effects loop jacks to make sure there was no corrosion/dirt. I THOUGHT that was it because it didnt make the noise for almost 20 minutes of playing, but it came back. It does seem to be an issue moreso after the amp has warmed up a little instead of an immediately apparent phenomenae... any ideas? That aside, this amp has been a work horse for 15 years but Im toying with the idea of getting another amp. If you look thru my gear list youll see Ive tried alot over the years and few things lasted for me. What im wondering (especially from guys who have used the Sunn1200 or Bassman 1200) is what other amp has the great clear SOLID tone of this thing and most importantly the heft and low end slam of power? Ive had soooo many amps that had great tone but lacked "ass" in a dense mix no matter how you EQd it. That attribute has been its main attraction to me, not to mention its versatility and reliability up til now. My "main contender" is the Mesa M6 or M9 Carbine as from what Ive seen and my brief use of one seem to have the same character of raw heft. BUT.... whats the long term reliability on those now? I know they both had heating issues that were "fixed" but are they really? Is either REALLY reliable at duration and volume? Especially the M9, as that on board compressor is a nice feature. Ive seen a few for sale still at the original 900 watts. Is that just tempting fate or.......? responses from guys that have used either my current amp or the mesa are really valued for their insight. are there other amps I should consider? (no class D please).