Meas Bass 400+ VS. Fender Bassman 300 Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Captain_joe6, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Captain_joe6

    Captain_joe6 Guest

    Mar 15, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    So these are the two that I've got it narrowed down to. They'll both run at 2 ohms, which is important to me, they're both around 300 watts, and they both seem to have fairly powerful and extensive preamp/eq sections. I've tried the 400+ at the GC near me, but they don't have a Bassman 300. What I want to know from people who have (preferably) had occasion to try/hear both of them: how flexible are they? Will I be able to run them dirty in a modern rock setting? Will the same amp do me nicely under clean jazz conditions? Do the compressor and the dirty channel on the Bassman come in handy? I run passive instruments (i don't want to have to deal with batteries and all those knobs and junk), so having hi/lo inputs (such as on the mesa) is of no importance to me.

    Thanks all!
  2. The 0x

    The 0x Guest

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The bassman is so versatile, you can make it sound like a solid state amp if you wanted to. It'll stay very clean, or get dirty with the overdrive on. The compressor is split-band, so you can compress the lows & let the highs ring out, or vice-versa. Great amp.
  3. I have a 400+. I have looked into getting a Pro 300. Both are pretty clean and versitle. However, I have noticed that with the Bassman you can do either very clean or distorted, with not much in between. The Mesa can do pretty clean to pretty overdriven, boardering distortion. It seems to me that the Mesa is in between the two stregnths of the Bassman. Also, I have noticed that the Mesa has got more clean headroom and will get a bit louder. Both are plenty loud though.
  4. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    IMO, and of course there a lot of factors, tubes, cabs, etc that could make a difference...

    I have owned both. Both great amps, but different. The Boogie is not as flexible. It's pretty flexible mind you, but it has its tone going on and you're pretty much limited to shaping that tone. BUT--that tone is GREAT! It's not "transparent" or "hi fi" at all. Some people say it's a "naturally scooped amp," but I don't get this at all. The mid knob acts as a cut only. This doesn't mean it has no mids, it has gobs. And you've got the graphic to play with. Those 2 inputs can actually be fun. They sound different, and you can run one or both with an ABY box. I used to split my signal and run effects into one input. It doesn't want to distort. Stays pretty clean all the way up to "way too loud." I tried to get it to distort by pegging the pre volume, but it was a bad sound. My tech that looked at it was very impressed with the components.

    The Fender (I have the Sunn version but it's the same) has, for a tube amp, a very clean, clear sound. With the switches, compressors, and EQ it's incredibly flexible. This one WILL distort if you want. It's not a nice smooth Ampeg distortion, but a harsher sounding one, almost like a modern attempt at the old Sunn tone. I don't really like it with the gain up high by itself, but it mixes with the clean so you can get as much or as little as you like. I had a problem with my cabs, my big tube heads and detuned 5 string were just too much for the speakers. I found that by compressing the lows and setting the compression mix to favor the highs I was able to save the poor old speakers the agony they were enduring. I have a suspicion the components are not as great as those in the Mesa.

    Both are great heads, I sold my Mesa because I found a D-180 and had too many amps. I may someday sell the Sunn, I still have too many amps, but it won't be because I don't like it. It is, however, at least as heavy as my car. The 400+ is small and light, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.