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Mesa 400+ Problems

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zentner, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. Zentner

    Zentner Supporting Member

    Just wondering about any problemns with a mesa 400+...I'm supposed to be buying one in 10 hours, so i'd like to know if this is a good decision.

    In particular...

    1. I've heard tis amp is "loud." What would one consider loud??? Since it's all tube, what would it sound like in comparison to an all solidstate, or hybrid??? (Volume-wise)

    2. How often do you re-tube, and what kind of tubes do you use? 6L6's? 5881's??

    3. How heavy is this huge mother????

    ANY and All answers are greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks TBers!!

  2. seccho


    Jun 7, 2003
    Newton, KS
    I'm considering buying a Bass 400+ myself. The only question of yours I can answer involves weight. According to everyone I've ever talked to about it, it weighs somewhere between 40 and 45 lbs. Pretty light by tube amp standards.
  3. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo MusicMan & Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
    -1. By definition. Loud-adj. loud·er, loud·est
    Characterized by high volume and intensity. Used of sound.
    Producing sound of high volume and intensity.
    Clamorous and insistent: loud denials.

    400+ is all of these. I love this amp and it is the only amp for ME. It's awesome, you won't be disappointed. "Tube Watts" are generally double by my ears to "Solid state watts" or volume.

    -2. Every 2 years or so if you play really often. Look to spend about $200.00 in that time. Really you don't have to sweat it. I know cats that have'nt changed them in 5 years. Basically just swap them out at your discretion. I believe it can use either 5881's or 6L6's. The 5881's I'm sure of since thats what I'm running. I'd recommend when you buy it (if new) swap out the stock Mesa tubes for Svetlana 5881's when you get the chance, the best tubes for this sucker to my ears anyway.

    -3.secco's correct about 45 lbs. well worth the weight to lug around.

    I know I'm biased but to me it's the best amp around in that price range and the only amp for me. What can I say I'm a Mesa man :rolleyes: ;) :D .
  4. Zentner

    Zentner Supporting Member

    Thanks for the replies, i got the amp this moring, and it's just too sweet. So warm and full, as well as being punchy and articulate!!!

    This amp owns me. I was supposed to be getting an SWR 750x, but since Fender bought out SWR, my order was cancelled. As well, the last thing i wanted was an "SWR - (made by Fender)" sticker on my amp. The 500W (or so they say) is just as loud, if not louder than the SWR, plus it's got better tone, a nice 7-band EQ, and A BLUE LIGHT!!!!! I think i'm happy i picked up a full tube amp. It's real loud, (which was suprising for me)and i think it fits in just fine with everything. I'm realy happy with this piece of Equipment!


    (Anymore comments on it would be greatly appreciated)
  5. Congrats! The 400+ is a great sounding amp. Well built and reliable too. The only comments I'll make are that it's not really a 500W amp, it's 300W max. Mesa advertizes the "peak" power rating not the continuous power rating. 6l6s are good for a maximum of 25W per tube, and that's being generous. It's a bit of creative advertizing on Mesa's part....
    Anyway, it's not important, I've never heard of a 400+ not being loud enough in any situation.
    The other comment I'll make is that there isn't any prescribed schedule for retubing. Quality tubes can last the life of the amp. I suspect the tubes Mesa uses won't last that long, but you only need to retube if the amp's not performing well or the tubes are noticeably microphonic.

    Enjoy your amp!:bassist:
  6. 6L6s come in 25 and 30 watt versions. I have the 30 watters in my Mesa. I would guess the 25 or 30 watts is measured at a certain level of distortion (more power more THD). It might be that these ratings are some hi-fi guy's idea of what's a tolerable limit for accurate reproduction of recordings, which would be lower than a bassist's limit for production of a musical sound. Tube peak is roughly 2.2 times RMS so I don't think that's why they say 500 watts.
  7. Zentner

    Zentner Supporting Member

    If 6L6's are 25-30 watts each.. is there any way i can get more power out of my amp?

    waht i eman, is would some 5881's put out more power (ie. more than 300W) or just more sound, while still stayed at 300W???

    BTW, i'm new to the tube business, i'm just trying to increase my knowledge of the subject.

    Edit: Also, as well, how does this amp compare (power, tone, etc.) to An Ampeg SVT-CL, and The Aguilar 200W all tube?????

    Thanks, and Thanks again!

  8. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    There are lots of threads o this. Do a search and you will get a mountai of info. I bought mne last year used and it's KILLER! I did however get a set of JJ Tesla 6l6GC tubes with the ECC83 JJ preamp tubes. It is highly recommended to get them through LORD VALVE or Bob Pletka at www.EUROTUBES.com . Both these guys know the voltage bias requirements and will match them for the amp. I believe it is 34mv. Svetlana tubes are highly regarded also, but maybe more prone to microphonics.
    Anyway, WELCOME! You have stepped into a brave new world!
  9. mthoople


    Nov 1, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Yep, 45 pounds, with the 400 weighing in at 40 pounds.

    Watts is Watts, but people tend to perceive maximum tube watts as louder because you can run the tube power section at a higher THD without "hearing" distortion. The Mesa D-180 is rated for 180W at 5% THD. My QSC PLX1602 was rated for 300W (into 8ohm) at 0.03% THD. The D-180 could push a SWR Bass Monitor 12 to the same perceived volume as the QSC at clipping.

    LV and Mr. Pletka know how much current Mesa spec tubes draw on their respective pieces of testing equipment, and match the tubes they sell to their measured Mesa spec. The actual current will vary with the voltages in the amp or tube tester.

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