Help me pick a mesa head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Visirale, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    So I've dropped my music major and sold my soul to the business world, and my bass playing is changing accordingly. I used to be all about pretty, commercial, and marketable sounds, but I don't have to impress peers who only listen to jazz (don't get me wrong, I love it, but there are kids who ONLY listen to bebop in my program) or professors any more. I'm making bass more about me and playing what I love instead of trying to do something to make a living out of.

    So accordingly, my gear is changing. I have a sadowsky M5-24 that should be here tomorrow and I have no plans of parting with my ray. I'm going for an aggressive sound along the lines of a perfect circle or smashing pumpkins. I was initially drawn to the big block 750 because I heard a few users on here compare it to a SS version of the 400+. I had the 400 and loved it, but my unit was old and had a lot of problems. I know a few will point me to the 400+ but after the LMII I have to say I am a fan of the SS power section (or simul-state or whatever). I am also wary of the 750 because I never plan on playing in 2 ohms and the 4 ohm rating seems a little weak. The Impulse 600 sounds nice but I never really tweak knobs. I don't know if I'll need its clean sounds because I am somewhat convinced (as of right now) to keep my LMII for its clean sounds for my other applications.

    I've been thinking a little more seriously about the titan V12. It seems kind of overkill, but I like how it's peak output is at 4 ohms and it's enough to drive my cabs fully (I'm planning on picking up another PH212). The two channels is also tempting so I can have a dedicated channel for each bass with their own EQ sections. I can't help but to feel that it's a little overkill though...

    I'm also trying out a carbine (hah, gotta love that name...) because my closest mesa dealer only has the titan and it in stock.

    Any thoughts on which head I should get?

    Also any opinions on the mesa PH412 vs 2 PH212s? I think I'd prefer the modular two part rig and it'd be easier to transport, but maybe someone wants to convince me otherwise?

    Thanks guys, always appreciate your advice.
  2. OK, I am probably a little biased here but the BB750 really is a wonderful amplifier. Its simple and omg does it have phat punchy warmth, imo its the V12's younger brother. Dont get me wrong the V12 is awesome but yeh maybe a bit overkill. I was also very interested in the Mpulse but if you are keeping your Mark Bass go with the BB750, plus it has killer overdrive.

    As for cabs, I agree go for the 2x212. IMO you wont notice much difference in tone, if you have the paired all the time its onyl gna make a fraction of a difference. However the 412 would be cheaper than 2x212 but i noticed you already have one , so go get that BB750 and the other 212 !
  3. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    The Titan is probably the best sounding Hybrid head I've ever tried.
    I played it through a Mesa 4x10+1x15 stack.
    The best feature about this head is that is has 2 foot switchable channels. I was able to get a very warm, round tone out of this head and also an overdriven, aggressive sound. I'd dedicate one channel for each if I had this unit.
    You might think its overkill, but remember, it has a volume knob. And its never a bad thing to have a lot of headroom.
    The only thing I hate about this head is the bloody price tag - $2,195.00 (Canadian)
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The m-pulse is really clean, wide, and shiny with a great comp. Doesn't sound like that is what you're looking for, even though I think it would kill with the sadowsky for slick funk and modern sounding rock.

    I'm sure the BB750 would be loud enough for you with the pair of cabs, but with a single cab it might not quite cut a loud gig. If you go Titan with the 2 PH212-8s I think you'll be really happy, since it would be nice to be able to get by on a bar gig with just one cab.

    The other great thing about the titan is the front end. So many options, such great tone. It is a monster dirt machine, and it has all the features you want in a head. Way less sparkle up top than the M-pulse, and way tighter down low so it doesn't "wow" quite as much in the showroom ... but with the band rocking it really sounds amazing especially with a passive bass. My active modern sounding bass sounds better through the M-pulse. The Titan is going for a much more old school sound.

    Basically, they're all A+ grade amps with different sounds and features. Can't go too far wrong.
  5. phoenix742


    Apr 19, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I just picked up a Titan last week and I frickin' LOVE it. The headroom is pretty much infinite, and the versatility in the two channels with two separate overdrive controls (and a solo channel) is crazy. Back to back, it blew away the Ampeg SVT 4 Pro I was GASsing for. Yeah, I had to sell a couple minor organs on the black market to afford it, but I don't think I'll need another head anytime soon. Now I'll just have to get more basses.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I wanted either a Titan, or BB750 as my "big" amp. I have a Walkabout, and love the Mesa bass amps. I ended up with an SVT 6 Pro, and I'm not at all unhappy. I think it boils down to this, If you're gonna have 2x 212's at 4 ohms, go with the Titan. If you'll have a spkr set up with 2 ohms, go with the BB750. And yeah, 2x212 over 412, if for no other reason than ease of transport. You're tone will remain intact.
  7. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Thanks for the input thus far guys.

    I guess as always it will boil down for me trying them out in real life. I just wanted to get an idea about them before hand.

    I really like the idea of having two completely separate channels each with footswtichable overdrive. That's a big thing the titan has going for it.

    I think the numbers may be scaring me a bit. I think the LMII's 500 watts would cover a big majority of the gigs that I have but I guess 1200 isn't that much more in practice. Just a few dBs louder.

    I guess ultimately I want a hyrbrid head that sounds like the mesa 400+ does. Eventually I might pick up one, but for now I want something that does the same type of sound in a SS package. Am I correct in assuming the BB750 and the Titan are voiced closely to the 400+? I loved the breakup my 400 had but I wanted it to have a lot more clean headroom.

    I also need to try some mesa 10s. SWR really soured me to 10s, but maybe I could find more to like with the mesas... although I absolutely love their 12s :).
  8. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    It seems like the Titan is a replacement for the 400+ as the line's flagship, and while I have not played a 400+, the voicing descriptions I've heard seem similar.

    Don't worry about the 1200 watts being too much. Just keep it turned down. I did a rehearsal with mine and kept it on about 2/10 the whole time.

    I also set up the second distortion channel to be a thinner, quieter but fully distorted sound for a part where the band drops out and I grind away. At full volume it is jarring and I feel a bit silly blasting away by myself, but at a lower level it was killing, and then I get a dynamic push going back to the other channel (w/ mild overdrive and plenty of bottom) when the band comes back in. Name me another head that can do that :)
  9. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    So I've been putting off trying out a V12 because I know I'll probably do something stupid to get the money and buy it...

    I wanna look into the M-Pulse 600 some more. It would obviously cop the tones that my LMII does (and probably do them a little better). I like the weight of the LMII but it's not like the m-pulse 600 weighs enough to make a difference to me at this stage in my life. My question is how dirty can the m-pulse get? Can it get close to the Big Block/v12?

    Oh no... what if I end up owning the M-pulse 600 AND a V12...
  10. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Come on, I know there are a lot of M-pulse 600 fans out there. I found a good deal on one online... I'm tempted to sell the LMII.

    Also, how good is the DI on the M-pulse? Right now I'm only using my avalon as a DI and not really recording or anything with it. If the DI on the m-pulse is halfway decent I'll probably end up selling it too so I don't have to spend any out of pocket money on the m-pulse.

    So I know it does the smooth and nice sounds well... how does it do gnarly and mean? The Mesa site lists Paz Lechantin, Justin Chancellor, and Ben Kenney as users, so I know it can't be all nice and pretty...
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    No worries ... I do :D

    The 600 will sound nothing like the mark bass. The MB will be your tight solid state head and the m-pulse will be your tube head. The 600 is the tubiest sounding hybrid head I have ever played.
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The DI on the M-pulse, in post-EQ mode, with some compression from the onboard ... is instant huge, 3D, and pristine bass tone on tape. I'll PM you a link to a recording I did with mine.

    The 600 can get very aggressive sounding if you need it to. The EQ setting I'd use for that is all 3 EQ controls on about 2 o'clock, no parametric, with the gain close to or over the edge of breakup. I love the way the 600 sounds overdriven, not everyone does, it is nasty when it breaks up, not at all smooth.
  13. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Both the walkabout and M-600 can get a lot of harmonics and grit to them, once you push the input past 2 o'clock.
    I never do that, cause grit ain't my bag.
    You can accentuate or minimise this by playing with tube choice.

    The di's on both are very nice-quite plenty of gain, and they post eq they pass on my sound to the FOH really well.
  14. I have the most recent 600, with the mute - a little word of warning:

    The DI can be set to the either POST or PRE.

    In PRE, the mute doesn't mute the DI - only the speaker feed.

    In POST, the mute only mutes 99%, and any changes to your master volume affect the level of the DI too.

    Not a great 'feature', but... a great head nonetheless.
  15. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Well as it goes, I was considering selling the markbass.

    I do like the idea of it being so tubey. I assume it does clean well too, right?

    Can't wait to check out the clip you PM'd me... my computer at work doesn't have speakers. But I'll go home and listen to them through studio monitors :).

    Are most FOH guys cool with running it post-eq? I would love to have a compressor thrown in for my PA sound, and the idea of "my" sound going through the PA is enticing. I just thought FOH guys weren't too thrilled when the bass player wants to run post EQ. I'll tell him to shove it ;).

    I am sure that I'm selling the avalon. It's a great unit, but way overkill for me, since I am just using it as a DI. If I was doing any recording I'd consider keeping it, but I'm not...

    Thanks for the input so far!
  16. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    post eq to FOH:
    I find when I say "please and thanks" and smile a lot, folks will generally do whatever I ask them, long as I'm polite and reasonable about it.
    I always take time to introduce myself to the sound guys on the way in, and shake their hands on the way out.
  17. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    That's how I'd go about doing it I think. I'm always a nice guy, especially to strangers... but sometimes too nice to a fault. I guess it's the right mix of being polite enough to convince him, and being firm enough to get it how you want.

    I was purely kidding about the "telling him to shove it," haha. I know better than to piss off the guy behind the sliders :).
  18. +1
  19. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just get the Titan Man...

    I'll make you a deal...if you get the Titan, I'll go get the Powerhouse 810. :D
  20. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Haha, My bank account is not liking your advice... but I guess it would be worth saving for it.

    Can the Titan cop the clean sounds of the impulse 600? Or is it more just aggressively voiced like the big block? Am I asking too much out of one head?