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Difference between mesa 400 and 400+

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by epic!, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. epic!


    Jan 16, 2010
    As the title says, whats the difference between these two amps. Also does the 400 go down to 2 ohms? thanks
  2. I used to own a 400 YEARS ago... As I recall the 400 came with six 6550 power tubes and the 400+ was twelve 5881's. I don't remember my ol'400 going down to 2 ohms though....again it's been a LONG time! Nice finger style tone out of it though....until the transformer blew...
  3. epic!


    Jan 16, 2010
    Thanks, Im shopping for a 2 ohm tube head for one of my cabs, and came across a relatively cheap 400 for sale. Its either this or a Fender bassman 300.
  4. lorenk


    Apr 8, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    The main difference is the power tubes, the 400 can use both 6550 and 5881 tubes. Also the plus has one extra band of EQ. I believe they can both operate in two ohm mode but don't quote me.
  5. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The last year of the old 400 did in fact come with 2ohm speaker jacks just like the 400+. That version is harder to find, but do show up.

    Other than that I have use my 400 at 2ohms for years
  6. The bass 400 and 400+
    • have the same type of 3 band rotary EQ
    • 4 preamp tubes
    • have post output transformer DI
    • active and passive inputs
    • dual effect sends

    How they differ;
    • 400 has six 6550 (230 watts) or 6L6 (180 watts) 400+ has 12 6L6 at 350 watts or so.
    • the 400 has a bit more of a thick grindy mid forward tone to it, the 400+ seem to me to be a lot dryer sounding.
    • The 400+ runs its power section with much more headroom than the 400. So you have to really dime the EQ and push the output to get power tube crunch.
    • 400 has 6 band graphic, 400+ has 7 band with one extra higher eq slider.
    • 400 can only do 4 or 8 ohm loads (I called Mesa about this and they insist you will kill the ouptut transformer if you run 2 ohms). I have never seen a 2 ohm 400 but would love to own one!
  7. epic!


    Jan 16, 2010
    thanks for the help! since it doesnt run at 2 ohms im going go with the bassman 300
  8. NowI am curious. Do you have a single 2 ohm cab? or are you running two 4 ohm cabs. If its the former it wont happen with the mesa 400. If its the latter you can make a series cable (or series box) and turn two 4 ohm cabs into an 8 ohm load.
    Tube heads put out the same watts regardless of whether you are at 4 or 8 ohms so it will be just as good.

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