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Mesa 400+ Price Ranges..?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rockstarbassist, May 5, 2006.


  1. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I haven't been able to find many of these in the bass market, so I've been checking the 'Bay, and just wanted to see what I'm looking at here.

    I've seen anywhere of no rack and need of retubing around $700-ish to near minty in full Mesa shock rack for $1200 or so.

    I guess it'd be somewhere in the middle, just by averaging it out, but don't want to get ripped off either... ;) I'm kinda new to this tube-thing, so if I have to retube, I've heard what, that costs around $150-200?
    What about the 4-space shock rack? Cause I'd want one too!

    (and I did btw do a search for this but to no avail... sorry!) :meh:
     
  2. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    It can be hit or miss when you cant really inspect them first hand.

    I got my Bass 400 for $850 in barely used/mint condition without a rack. There are better deals, but I had some correspondence with the vendor and took the plunge because I trusted them.
     
  3. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    There's a MINTY 400+ in a 3" foam shockrack case right now on the 'Bay for $900+... Hmm.
    Looks good.
     
  4. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I just bought one for $925.00 + $40.00 shipping on eBay. It didn't come with a rack. I may have paid $100 too much for it, but since the 400 + has been out for so many years, I was interested in getting one that was as new as possible. At some point you just have to pull the trigger and be done with it. The one I got is about 5-6 years old. Cosmetically it's not perfect - but very close. It has the original tubes, which is a good thing for me, because I wanted one that had not been messed with at all, even though these amps are amazingly clean and simple. You don't need to be concerned at all about the complexity of a tube amp - especically this particular one. The guy I bought it from was very honest and flat out said in his auction that it just didn't sound like an SVT, and this was the sound he wanted. He must not have realized the amp has a fixed (non-adjustable) bias setting until later in the game, because after the sale, he asked me if I wanted a complete set of 12 brand new JJ 6L6's that didn't bias correctly in the Mesa. Of course I said "absolutely" because I can use these is some Fenders I have, etc. Also, you *can* have bias trim pots installed in these amps so that you are not limited to using Mesa tubes, but unless you can do the work yourself or have a friend who's a good amp tech, I wouldn't go near something like this - too risky and too expensive. I've heard the life expectancy for power tubes is about 3 years, but again, my 400 + is almost 6 years old and it sounds perfect. The 4 12AX7 preamp tubes can last forever.

    One thing to look for if I were you is; look at the back pictures if your buying on eBay, and see if it has the removable AC power chord, or the fixed connected one. The ones with the removable chord are the newer ones. It's kind of like a car, and you want one with low miles if possible. Newer can't be anything but better IMO. As far as retubing - you can always replace only the bad tube(s). With a Mesa, you don't have to replace all 12 power tubes unless you want to. Normally it is recommend that you replace all the tubes at the same time, I'm just saying you don't *have* to. If you aren't real familiar with tube amps you are making your life much easier to just use Mesa tubes, and Mesa themselves has lots of printed documentation with tips on how to isolate a bad tube, plus you can call them for help as well - they seem to really like helping people not get ripped off on tube amps, and they are the first to tell you that the majority of tube amp problems end up being a bad tube.

    Good luck - these amps sound really good.
     
  5. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    I have A Mesa 400+ when I got it it had the original Mesa tubes in it. The sound was ok but nothing to speak of. I changed the tubes out with tubes from Bob at Eurotubes and let me tell you what a difference it made. Lows deeper and tighter. Mids cleaner and much better articulation throughout. The highs are present and crystal clear but not harsh Or Overly agressive. And they are matched to the 400+'s bias so they work great. It is now a totally different(betterIMHO) sounding amp than it was with the mesa tubes.
     
  6. Visirale

    Visirale

    Mar 23, 2003
    Orlando
    I just pulled the trigger on a Mesa Bass 400 (non plus). I was sick of losing auctions at the last moment, and I finally decided I didn't care if it wasn't cosmetically pristine. I got mine in an official Mesa road case (not sure if it's shock mounted... It should arrive today) for 775. I'm pretty much planning on having to retube it, but we'll see. I'm excited :p.
     
  7. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    The 400+ is a great amp, but dont rule out the Mesa 400-(non plus) or the Mesa D-180. These are both very close to the 400+, and meybe better for some poeple.

    Six months ago I was gassin bad for a big tube amp. I started looking everywhere I could think of, I found these two:

    I found a bargain on my near mint 93 Mesa 400+ w/sus-4 shock case and a Mesa 1516be(r.r.) cab. (pawn shop). The amp was blowing fuses. It was origanally priced at $1500, but I rolled this rig out the door for $500+ tax, as-is...... (loose tube)... :smug:

    Last week I found a nice, Mesa D-180 w/new tubes, in a rack case for $400 on Craigs list. (pic on "rigs of doom" thread) This is a very-very cool amp.

    Tube price:
    3 months ago a 400+ full set of 16 cost me $229.00 delivered. (JJs)
     
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I bought my 400+ from a TB'er (who unfortunately doesn't hang out much around here anymore)...It's a 97 in extremely good condition. It came with a Mesa 4 space shock rack and a full set of extra tubes, including more than 4 preamp tubes. The total cost was 8 or 850 (Can't remember exactly).

    I did eventually replace the stock Mesa tubes with a set of JJ's. That was close to 200 bucks.
     
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    So the JJ's make a huge difference? I have all Mesa tubes, but they are damn near new. Wonder if it's worth burning the cash on new ones at this point. If the tone is THAT greatly improved, maybe it is? I could also try the pre-amp tubes first (I don't even know what the stock ones are, any suggestions on those)? Sorry to derail this thread, but this have moved to tube talk...
     
  10. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    How do you guys replace the stock tubes with JJ's, for example? Have you had bias trim pots installed, or do you buy tubes from someplace that tests until they get 12 that meet Mesa's bias specs, or do you just throw the tubes in and not worry about the bias?
     
  11. BadB

    BadB

    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    Just use the stock tubes until they have worn themselves out. They're good tubes.
     
  12. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    BTW - I realize the tubes, especially in these Mesas *are* the amp, but in my experience, which isn't huge, but not small either, I've heard quite an improvement in tone by changing to different tubes (not in the Mesas - haven't tried this) but to my ears, the amp still maintains its tonal characteristics - I've never seen different tubes change the basic personality of an amp.
     
  13. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Man, I can relate big time. I hate waiting forever, loosing auctions - life is too short. And as for cosmetics - I love a nice looking piece of gear, and I take good care of my stuff, but I am OVER worrying about cosmetics. Some of the best stuff I've ever had looked like crap. And when I read "The tube amp book" by Aspen Pittman and saw pictures of Jimi Hendrix' and Eddie Van Halen's Marshall's - you want to see some bad cosmetics!! Can you say RATTY? But those amps sounded like they were from another planet. Cosmetics mean nothing except that you have some well deserved battle scars.

    Skel
     
  14. xshawnxearthx

    xshawnxearthx

    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i paid 1100 for a brand new(it was like 2 months old) mesa 400+ with a gator 4 space shockmount case, and eq footswitch


    im very happy with the sound, the weight on the other hand makes me wanna go back to ss.
     
  15. Visirale

    Visirale

    Mar 23, 2003
    Orlando
    Haha, this weighs rouglhy the same as my old SS amp. I had an SVT-350h and it had all that useless vintage casing. I mean, sure it looked awesome on an 810, but it didn't have the SVT tone.

    In fact, I think it weighs slightly more than my bass 400...
     
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Quad, I do find there to be a difference in tone. I did what you're thinking, and I ordered in a set of preamp tubes from Bob at Eurotubes. I thought that they made a big enough difference that I bought a set of power tubes...a few months later. Do the preamp tubes first and see what you think.



    Also, if you get a good set of matched tubes from someone who knows what they're doing, you won't need to worry about a biasing mod. They should be able to provide a set that works within the amp's range of operation.
     

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