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Masa M3 vs TH350?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MMStingRay, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    Hi gang, I'm looking for a new practice amp head and have looking at many.

    TC electronic BH250 (played the BG250 comp)

    Aguilar TH350 (none around here)

    MG500 (not played)

    Mark bass (played but not my sound)

    Last night I went to GC and found an amp I know little about, the Masa Boogie M3. It’s a close out item and it's marked at $550.00...
    It sounds really nice! I found some info on this amp but not a tone. I'm not crazy about heavy old school rigs and have been getting rig of my old school hardware over the last few years. (I’m down to 2 main amps, Genz 6.0 and Ampeg PF500) ATP I plan to only keep my SVT-410HLF and keep downsizing. But this Boogie sounds nice and it will spend 75% of its life sitting at practice.

    Long store shortened:
    What’s the M3 weigh, anyone spend time with it, is it loud enough and how's to compare to the others listed for the price?
  2. The M3 is basically the M6 front end in a reduced feature version, with the old MPulse300 power section. It is a nice sounding amp, and is an honest 300 watts. It is closer in tone (to my ear) to the GK MB500 if you are looking for a micro (bright, aggressive, wide low end). Not that big and heavy, and I always found those extreme 'boost and scoop' mid voicing knob on the M6/M9 relatively useless... so you don't miss that much.

    Never heard this as a stand-alone amp though... .I've only played the combo version. My guess is, it should be relatively similar to the Walkabout weightwise, if you check the website.

    IMO. The TH350 will be warmer, more mid present, more controlled down low, and more organic, warm up top... quite different.
  3. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    This is the feedback im looking for, thx. The boogie has a great old school look and sounds nice but your saying the mb500 can reliever the same and th TH350 maybe a knotch up in warm tone. I like the solid heavy tone of my Genz n the growl of the Ampeg pf500. I play modern country n classic rock.
  4. Which Genz amp do you have?

    The TH350 will be more organic and less treble extended up top than either the GK MB500 or that Mesa. It will growl a bit, but more low mid growl than the classic mid mid Ampeg distortion. Hard to make these amps sound anything like one another with EQ... all have a strong, baked in voice that stays regardless of the knobs.

    I do believe that the GKMB500 is relatively close to the Mesa M series (M3/M6/M9) tone.. bright, aggressive, bit... to much for me personally, but a great tone if you like the zing and boom!

    I LOVE the TH350/500 myself with a P Bass. With a brighter, more modern bass, the fat, warm, top end organic tone of the TH350 MIGHT be a bit too much of a good thing.

  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I like the M3 Carbine head alot, but have a different use for it. I use it with a 4 ohm 210 as a synth monitor, and it's sparkling clean yet warmish tone are perfect for my needs. I like it much more than the bigger M6 and M9 because the circuit is simpler without the mid shift knob, graphic, etc. It's a very simple, great sounding amp, which believe it or not, I've never plugged a bass guitar into. I imagine it would sound great with bass too,. but can't back that up.
  6. bb03


    Mar 1, 2009
    Buy the Mesa, take it home and compare it to your Genz, and Ampeg. You can always take it back for a refund...but you won't, after you sit there dumbfounded that this 300 watt head just blew away your two higher powered micros! :bassist:

    And this advice is coming from someone who has the BH250 you want for a nice price in the classifieds;):

  7. While I agree that the M6 and M9 power sections are otherworldly in their output per watt, the M3 is a bit different, and again uses the MPulse300 power section (after that amp was discontinued). The output of the M3 is IMO and IME much closer to the Walkabout, which is an honest 300 watts but nothing 'surprising' (e.g., like an M6 at 8ohms, where those 300 watts sound like 600!).

    Nice sounding head. Kind of like a Walkabout with a very crisp, modern voicing.
  8. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    KJung, I have the Genz Benz shuttle 6.0 with the matching 210 cab, which is my main gig rig. I gig the Ampeg PF500/PF210 on smaller stages. I think the PF's tone really comes through on smaller stages and the GB has thicker/bigger sound and more head room for larger jobs. Love them both for different reasons. (something to be said for the GK 1001 as well).

    I did like the tone of the M3 (whats the weight?) the volume seemed to be effected more in the gain knob then the master. 300w seems a little light, maybe the mini level for me.

    I'll have to check out the MB500 if I can find one, I don
    t think I'll find a TH350 anywhere around here and does the TH350 put out enough?
  9. I didn't read your OP close enough. So, you are looking for a 'practice amp'. What cab will you be using with it.

    Again, not sure of the weight of the M3, but it should be a bit more than the Walkabout... let's say a touch under 20 pounds/upper teens. Not much of an issue in general, and really not much of an issue if it will rarely be moved. It will perform similar to your Shuttle 6.0, with more true low end IME.

    It surprises me that the Ampeg 210 rig is meaningfully smaller than the Shuttle 210. I would just keep that Ampeg in your practice space, use the Shuttle 6/210 to your gigs, and bank some cash:)
  10. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    Well, no one's got the MB500 around here. Not sure if this is good or bad but I didn't want to miss out on 15% off. Called the local GC and ordered one over the phone. 15% off, no tax, no shipping, $425 OTD... I think that's a good deal? They understand if I don't care for it they'll have one in his store soon.

    Now, Thinking I may take my Yorkville Bassmaster XS800 down and trade it in on the Boogie??:bassist:

    I think I'm losing it?

    Funny side note. The girlfriend said I don't need the boogie that my Yorkie is just fine and bigger, stupid to trade. So I asked her if she had a nice $200 purse and could trade it in on a smaller $400 Coach purse, what would she do! Her answer, Get the Boogie!:hyper:
  11. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    atm, running the MB500 on a spare SWR 410 cab... (with band #2)

    If I swap the Yorkie for the Boogie it'll end up on a SVT-410hlf (with band #1)

    The Genz the go to gig amp, the pf500 is the house/small gig amp.

    I think four amps will round out the mix (yes it's over kill)! Some guys have 4, 5 or more basses, I like amps.

    I don't understand the part when you said bank the cash? How does that get me more gear? LOL! :confused:
  12. Well, if we are in 'want' versus 'need' land, that makes things much more simple. Buy it all!
  13. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    I wish I could play a tone hammer, maybe some day? I will make a review next week when I get the MB500. Thanks for the help!
  14. bb03


    Mar 1, 2009

    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. :)

    According to Mesa, the M-Pulse 360 uses 12 tube driver power mosfets, while the M3 uses 8 (non tube) power mosfets...as does the M6. I've directly compared the M3 vs. the M6 through both a 6x8, and a 2x12. The M3 is very close in output. Of course the M6 will beat it, but that is at stupid volume levels. I would have no problem saying that if you're not maxing a M6, a M3 would meet your needs, no problem. I have also owned a Walkabout, and the M3 kills it volume wise. If the Walkabout had the output of the M3, no one would be asking for a higher powered version.;) I could have kept either head...the reason I kept the M3 was I liked the simpler controls, and the M6 would fetch more on the used market. Power-wise either was more than enough. :D

    Here is a review from Bass Gear Magazine where Chef agrees that this is a VERY strong 300 watts:


    I think the fact that you played the combo version is throwing a wrench into your view. That 112 didn't give the head a chance to show it's stuff. :)

    Anyway as you like to say, IME and IMHO. ;):)
  15. bb03


    Mar 1, 2009
    The weight of the M3 is 20 lbs.
  16. +1 Could be that I wasn't able to get the full ooomph out of it. Again, nice head that had a similar bright, agressive tone as the M6 to my ear. I did not sense more power than the Walkabout Scout compared to the M3 combo, but both sounded very good!

    Edit: I remember the deal now (been a long time since I thought about the M3... same power amp as the M6, smaller power supply from the MPulse360, reduced feature front end. I remember they were trying to hit a lower price point within the 'M' line, but the size of that head (I believe the same as the M6) and the lower wattage kind of killed it in the market. There has been an M3 combo at Gravity Strings in St. Louis for years now. Always enjoy playing out of it, but gosh it weighs a ton).
  17. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I have a M3 combo and love it I've played or owned more than a few heads and combo's
    and to me the M3 is the sound I had in my head it was love at first sound :) it is warm and can give you some punch when needed it has all the features I need. I love this amp and I also love how Mesa stands behind it's products.
  18. MMStingRay


    Aug 17, 2004
    Got the GK MB500 last night and was able to try it out at practice with Band #1.

    Used my SVT-410HLF and a P-Bass.

    It's a thumpy SOB... Maybe someone can explain, why? I ran my XS800 (single tube pre) and it sounds good, solid and full. The MB500 at the same volumes was "thumpy" in a good way. I could feel the thump in my chest.
    The volume was level across fret board and strings. I did have to dial back the bass knob for that cabinet and it seemed a little muddy for country music, this amp would be top notch for Rock of any kind (That could be the cab).

    Am trying it again tonight through my SWR 410 with band #2.

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