Boogie on down!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flipper43, Mar 9, 2010.


  1. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    ..Ok, i realize we're not in the 70's anymore x]

    Now that's out of the way, i can get to the point.

    I currently have a Mesa Boogie BB 750 that i love. It's loud as all hell, and i don't even dare hook it up to both of my 4 ohm Mesa 115 cabs.. a 2 ohm load on that thing just sounds scary. Lately, i have been looking at Mesa 400+'s, and have been putting good thought into buying one. The fact is, i'm no tube expert by any means. I know that the BB has tubes in the preamp, but if i recall right, preamp tubes don't really have to get changed unless they're broken or something, but i could very well be wrong. I'm starting to think that i would favor the sound of the 400+ a little more for the more tubey sound, and i can see that working well with my band even though we play heavy music and it's good to have a faster attack in that situation. My BB already gives my band a pretty heavy sound, but i'm dying to know what it'd sound, and for the most part feel like to be running through one of those bad boys.
    My question is, is it worth it? How long will i have in-between re-tubings, and which tubes do i have to buy/ how much will it cost to replace them? For that matter, how the hell do you even replace tubes??

    Sorry for all the questions. I hope you guys can help me out--you've never failed before.. except that one time... no wait, that was guitar center

    X]
     
  2. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    I've also been thinking about the things i've heard about the bass 400+'s regarding how they shine when they are pushed into overdrive. Would it be such a bad idea to get an 8 ohm 115 PH mesa cab and run it into that to get that overdriven tone at a lower volume..?
     
  3. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    ....Anyone?
     
  4. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Tube amps use output transformers, and the power output doesn't change (or at least doesn't change much) whether you are driving a 8/4/2-ohm load (presuming that the amp in question was designed to run such loads). So, your main control over the amount of overdrive will be by tweaking the various gain stages on the amp. Choosing a less efficient cab would let you drive the amp hotter, but just swapping to an 8-ohm (versus 4-ohm) cab won't make a difference (provided that each was run off of the appropriate tap).

    Great head, by the way! :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :cool:
     
  5. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    That makes sense.. thanks man. Another alternitive i've been thinking about is (i run an active bass) using my ABY box to run into both inputs and get a blended clean/ dirty sound from it. Maybe run a dirt box into the passive input and keep the other one clean..?
    It's nice to know that tube amps produce the same load no matter what- now i won't have to use money for more cabs :D
    (and i can finally buy an MIA P! )

    I just really hope that getting the 400+ will do me and my band some justice and be worth the maintenance of an all tube amp...
     
  6. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You certainly can use both inputs at the same time, and in fact, some folks use a Y-cable to drive both inputs with the same signal (I have not tried this on my Bass 400).

    Regarding maintenance, if your amp is in good working order, and it is not abused, other than possibly replacing power tubes (very) occasionally, you should not have anything too major to deal with.

    Tom.
     
  7. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    Sounds cool, man. I just have to wait until i find one and the price is right for me at the moment, if you know what i mean..

    Also, aside from the 400+ question, i was starting to wonder after reading a couple of threads whether or not the 15" PH cabs i have will end up sounding too boomy. I was looking at the PH 2x12 and the 4x12 and they seem nice, and tight while being able to produce good low end (from what i've heard), but my band plays tuned to CGCF, and sometimes lower, so, needless to say, i'm worried that if i switch to 12's they'll start to crap out and i'll start missing the 15's for their ability to push out extremely fat low end.
     
  8. as far as driving a single 15 to get a more 'driven' tone. Yes the Mesa 400+ puts out the same watts regardless of speaker load. However one 15 will be less efficient than 2x15 so you will have to crank it louder.
    Regarding having enough attack. Mesa 400/400+ heads do not suffer in this regard. While they do sound tubey, they are almost solid-state sounding in how solid and clean they can sound. Compared to Ampeg, Traynor and Fender tube heads I have owned they are a whole different beast.
     
  9. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    I assume you mean that in a good way..?

    So with a faster attack while maintaining that tubey sound, it'd be great for heavy music, eh?

    I'll most likely just hook it up to one of my 115 cabs while at practice (we only practice in a small-but free- garage, and my guitarist/ singer just has an old musicman head and a 2x12 cab. I should be able to keep up easily), and use two cabs whenever we have gigs. I'll most likely end up buying 2 more 115's and wiring them all in series so i can just have a wall of doom...

    I'm a little worried about the passive EQ on the 400+. Will i still be able to get different sounds? Only being able to cut frequencies sounds kind of bad...
     
  10. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Right like Cal says, Mesa tube heads don't have any lazy attack, they're fast. I've played in speed punk bands with my 400.
    As far as maintenance...it really isn't that often you need to get in it.
    I like telling people who buy used amps to just get new power tubes once you've gotten familiar with the amp, so that you know old they are. The old ones mainly fail because of being subjected to shock, so if you start with new ones, they'll last for years and years before needing attention.

    Overdrive is easy, just play with your master vol and input vol knobs, you'll learn how to get drive without ear bleeding volume.
     
  11. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    That's awesome :D Which power tubes do i buy, and where could i find them? Ebay?
     
  12. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    Anyone have any suggestions as far as what racks this thing will be able to fit into? It looks like a pretty big head, and i noticed that the fan comes out of the top.. so i assume that i'll need a rack that has room in the top for it to be able to breathe?
     
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I like the Mesa SUS-4 shockmount racks.

    IMG_6783.jpg

    IMG_6787.jpg

    They can be a little hard to find, but well worth the effort, IMHO.
     
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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