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Any one use (used) a Mesa Strategy 400/500 with bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by screamingdaisy, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Any opinions on it?

    I'm currently running my bass through my guitar rig and I really like the tone, but I can tell that I'm not going to have the volume I'm after.

    Will 200w/channel run into a 4x10 and 1x12 (on separate channels) give me a similar overall volume to a 300w or 400w mono tube head powering both cabs?

    Also, for anyone who's used these power amps, were you using 6L6 or KT-88s (or other)?

  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a Mesa Strategy 400, but I only recently got it back from the shop (had a very minor, but hard to track down - and from what Mesa Boogie service says, uttterly unique - issue that was easily resolved, once found). So, I have spent some time with it here at home, but it hasn't seen gig duty yet. I do like it quite well. The mids are full and clear, the high end is harmonically rich, but not muted, and the lows are slightly blooming and round, but not woofy or muddy. It definitely has mojo, but of course, this changes with the tubes you choose to run with it.

    As for tubes, it is my understanding that you can run six 6L6's per side, or four 6L6's and two EL34's per side, but not 6550's or KT-88's. I decided to stick with 6L6's, but since it is two channels, I thought I would try two different tube choices (as I was having some trouble deciding). I ended up with JJ 6L6GC's on one side (with more clean headroom) and Electro Harmonix 6L6 EH's on the other (for a bit of pleasing breakup and full tone). To keep things consistent, I went with a pair of JJ ECC83s' and a pair of EH 12AX7's to round things out.

    All in all, I'd call it an excellent amp. The only downside is having to use two cabs, but this is kind of a minor nit to pick.

  3. Thanks.

    What's your preamp and cab setup?

    And if you remember this thread, could you let me know how it works out at a gig?
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Lots or preamps and lots of cabs...

    But yes, I will report back after gig time!

  5. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I used to use a Strat 500... an excellent bass amp, and all-around amp in general. You'll have absolutely no problems with volume with this or the Strat 400... i.e. you'll be in the same position as a 300W or 400W monoblock tube amp in that the Strat 400 / 500 amp will cause the surrounding building to topple before you run out of volume. The 500 uses both 6L6s and 6550s (at the same time).

    Eventually sold it as I usually didn't use the 2nd channel, so wasn't really using the amp to its full benefit. I also slightly preferred the tone of the Strat 400, but both are excellent (was using a Kern preamp at the time).
  6. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I don't see why the 200/side won't give you the same volume and such as the mono head.
    I've had NO trouble using just one side of my Strat 500 and a single Mesa Powerhouse Jr. against a pair of guitar half stacks (Marshall and Line 6).
    For a long time I was running a J-Retro stompbox as my preamp, but I've been toying with a few true pres lately.
    My Strat 500 is as MG stated: 6550s and 6L6s all run together. As I inderstand it from Boogie, the later 500s didn't use 6550s because it was getting harder for them to get the smaller type 6550s to fit in the housing of the amp.