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Mesa 200 Buster club

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stevosimpson, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Stevosimpson


    Dec 31, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB
    Don't know if there's one of these but if you have one and wanna share settings and talk about it post here maybe!

    My favorite thing to do is slightly scoop high mids and boost the lows, with a little extra high treble for sparkle, sounds gnarly!

    Attached Files:

  2. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    I ran mine at Bass- 4.5 Mid - 10 Treble - 4 . Cabinets play a big role and I was playing through a Berg HS410 . It was a very clear sounding rig.
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    High gain tubes in the pre (JJ Long Plates) brought this amp to life for me. To really change the voicing on the amp I find that I have to roll things down to 9:00 and as high as 3:00 for things really start happening. Slight changes around the noon range do very little for me. It's a very loud and clean motha.

    My default setting for a huge midrange tone that favors precision fingerstyle mutes-

    Gain: 2:30
    Treble: 9:00
    Midrange: 3:00
    Bass: 3:00
    Graphic: Slight boost to low mids, slight cut to lowest lows and highest highs.

    I use a PH 4x10 with Buster.

    I'll upload a pic when I can find my camera which has been missing for weeks. I took mine out of a wedge and made a case for it.
  4. Stevosimpson


    Dec 31, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB
    Whats your experience with ruby tubes? I got mine retubed with them and I'd say it really has a nice light overdrive at 2:30 on gain. I'm wondering how that would compare to JJ longplates!

    Man this amp really thumps out a lot of clean punch!
  5. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen Banned

    Dec 25, 2012
    Stock shot of my Buster 210 Wedge.

    When I bought this, IT was the "Micro" amp of it's time, insofar as it was touted as an alternative to the larger all-tube rigs. How far we've come!

    Waaaay to cool for the room; a 96-lb PITA to move all-tube Combo! What was Mesa thinking???

    Well, it worked. I have some great rigs: TFunk, MB Fusion and more, but the BUSTER has a character and tone that can only be done by an all-tube power section.
    New, it had Sovtek 6L6GC's; when re-tubed, I had Mesa's Chinese brand installed, no problems for me; they have a very sharp & defined tone.

    Settings: (Generally)
    Bass around 2 O'Clock
    Treble 10 O' Clock
    Mids very low; almost off.
    Graphic EQ works well for the room & when strings are a bit dead.

    I hope these rigs get the respect they deserve, mated with the combo's EVM drivers- it's a keeper for me.

    Attached Files:

  6. slagbass

    slagbass Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    I want to be a member of this club!

    On the clock:
    Gain - 11
    Treble - 10
    Mid - 12
    Bass - 11
    Master to suit
    EQ off (typically)

    Through one (or two!) ancient Hartke 410 XLs it gets, for me, a nice blend of punch and warmth. Plays particularly nicely with P basses.

    The knobs on the Buster can take a bit of getting used to. The manual is quite helpful. I find the knobs cand get you a certain tone but if you need boost/cut at certain frequencies, the EQ is your only hope.
  7. Former buster wedge owner, currently using a buster head with a PH115 - more rig than I'll ever need!

    I typically use a Barber Deep fryer for boost/OD, but my clean settings for a P-type bass with thuddy old fender flats look something like this:

    Gain 11 o'clock
    Treble 8 o'clock (!!)
    Mid 12 o'clock
    Bass 11 o'clock
    Master to suit (but HIGH for clean headroom)
    EQ off, but set to boost low mids/cut high mids when necessary
  8. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    This may be a small club, but I'm in. :D

    ChaosMK is inspiring me to do some tube rolling...

    bhendrix and TAZ like this.
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I have a 400+, but I've always wanted a Buster head. There's just something so classy about those amps.
    Lance Bunyon likes this.
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    This is my Buster! Bass :bassist: JJ's in the pre and power section.

  11. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Nice re-housing!
  12. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    Former Buster Bass 200 210 owner...

    Now it's a head. :smug:

    I'll get a pic up this week but for now, nekkid shots:

  13. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen Banned

    Dec 25, 2012
    Did you have a thread about building that enclosure a while back? Someone did, and it was a very well done project.

    After hauling my 210 to many gigs, I'm the first to (sometimes) wish it were a mere 40-lb rectangle I could put atop a 410 or 15, etc. (preferably MESA:D) instead!

    But I do like the way the drivers react to the head in the combo.
    I had and foolishly sold a Mesa Diesel 15 cab I would use, lifting the Wedge on top.:eek:
    Added a major nice dimension to the sound too!
  14. Stevosimpson


    Dec 31, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB
    Matt your amp is CLEEAAN man, great condition. Chaos I love the finish on yours.
  15. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Holy Miss Moley.
  16. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    I'll get up in this club... Mesa Buster (head only) owner here. Still fairly new to me, but I have a few gigs under my belt with it.

    I've owned a few tube amps, and for my money, the Buster nailed it as far as the features you want with a tube amp. You get a lot of stuff with the Buster that are hard to come buy with a vintage amp.
  17. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    I got a Buster head a few years back. Put all JJ tubes in it and had pretty poor results. The preamp tubes got noisy, one output tube burned out or loss vacuum (turned white) and another output that recently shorted out. Lucky that the fuse protected the output transformer and related circuitry.

    I replaced all the outputs with SED "Winged C" tubes. Great improvment even though they were pretty expensive. I have Tung-Sol preamp tubes arriving today so I'll see what difference those make.

    I haven't really used the EQ much. Something I need to play with.

    I'm pretty basic:
    Gain 1
    Treble 10-11
    Mid 9
    Bass 12
    Master to volume level needed.

    I'm looking forward to checking out some of the settings posted here.
  18. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    It's my understanding that the buster has a fixed bias and is set up to use mesa tubes. Mesa sells "mesa" tubes that are specked out specifically to work with the way they set the bias on their amps.

    I think they do this to sell tubes, but also so you can buy a set of tubes from Meas and change em out yourself without having to bias your tubes or having to take it to a tech.

    You may have poor results from your JJs because they were essentially not biased correctly. If you ended up with tubes that were biased way to hot, this would result in you burning up your tubes like you described.

    The previous owner of my Buster has a Bias pot installed so that you could use any set of tubes... but that means a trip to the tech to have the new tubes biased. I am considering having that mod reversed, and just buying the tubes from Mesa. Pretty nice to be able to change em out by yourself... and I'm not a tube roller, so no big deal to me.
  19. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    IME, reading up on the EQ section in the manual has been very helpful with this amp. The EQ section is not as it seems, and is quite different from the old "Cut / Boost" type EQ you see on an Ampeg. Buster is more of a take on a Fender Tone Stack, where the "Treble" is really a high pass filter. The Mid control almost seems to be more of a mid-voicing knob.

    http://www.mesaboogie.com/manuals/Buster Bass 200.pdf
  20. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    These days most sellers of tubes who test/rate them are familiar with Mesa's specs. It turns out Mesa's specs are in the middle range for the tube types (say ~35mA for 6L6's). I've bought a lot of power tubes over the years and grill my sellers about it every time. If anyone has more detailed info or knows differently, I'd be curious.

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