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Mesa 400+ & Rack questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Thanks to TB I finally got my hands on a 400+, got it home last night and spent the day in my practice room across town. I'm using it with an Avatar SB112 and an old Carvin 4x10 reloaded with newer speakers.

    ...and it sounds completely stunning after 12 years of using a Hartke 3500. I simply love it. I love tubes (having several old tube guitar amps). And it's a great match with my playing since I play reggae...both ol' roots and more modern dancehall. But I do have some questions for the well versed amp people in these parts...

    1) The amp came mounted in a HUGE Mesa shockmount rack. Too big for it to be regularly mobile unless I get roadies. Sooooo...I'd like to put it in a smaller case. BUT...my ol' four space rack case is too tight and in trying it out, it was obvious that it was getting too hot due to lack of ventilation even with the fan on high. I took it out and it runs perfectly cool without the case. Right now I have it in the case for transport and will remove it to play...but that seems maybe a little dicey, even though its all snuggly in the case and can't shift or get harmed.

    Sooooo...would a 5 space give enough room for ventilation (that side fan would still be mostly obstructed)? Six spaces is a bit too big for me to transport with the size of my car & the quantity of gear I normally carry.

    Are there other options for reasonably priced racks with ventilation? Any ideas or suggestions would be very helpful.

    2) Also, for anyone who plays or has played this amp...I'd love to hear ideas/secrets/suggestions on how you ran the tone/vol. controls. I dialed in a pretty nice sound fairly easily but there's so much adjustablity, I'd love to know any tips y'all might have. I get the feeling I could take years to learn all the nuances of this layout.


  2. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    There are many people here on TB who are far better versed in the 400+ than myself but I did own one for about 6 months. Totally great amp...a tube and volume monster..to say the least. I got rid of her after I realized tubes were just not what I am looking for in terms of sound/tone. However the Mesa 400+ is definately the king in my mind when it comes to tube bass amps...

    As far as the ventilation concern goes...the Mesa shockrack should be ideal, it SHOULD leave enough space for proper ventilation. If you don't feel it works for you you could do what I did for a while until I got a custom 14 space shock rack...all I did was get a 4 space Gator rack (like the higher end SKB hard plastic racks) and I took a very small drill and drilled numerous, tiny vent holes in the side of the plastic to increase airflow. I still use the rack with no problems whatsoever even though the 400+ isn't around.

    Since you really dig your 400+ it would be even less of a concern in my book, besides the fact that most hard plastic 4 space racks can be had on the used market for around 50-75 dollars.

    Hope this helps.

  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Cool. I was looking at my four space rack today and thinking about my drill. I saw a 5 space rack on that 'auction site' that was selling for a pretty good price...then I could use my rack tuner too!

    I'm loving this amp. I can't believe how differently I can hear myself with it...I'm looking forward to hittin' the stage with it in a week or so.

    Any other suggestions from anyone?

    Or setup ideas?
  4. I have mine in a 4 space Grundorf case. It has about an inch on both sides. That seems to be enough for coolin as I run the fan on hogh always. I also thought of putting it in my 6 space SKB case, but the recessed handles are right in the way of the side fan vent. The grundorf is light and is protective enough for regular band use. I was also thinking about a Mesa shock case until I saw the size of it.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yeah, the shockmount rack is very cool and is built like a tank...but it's huge, especially since it's the deep version. But it weighs almost as much as the amp itself and is awkward to carry by myself, and no one else in the band wants to risk their manicures and help me with it. I nearly herniated myself carrying the amp up to my second floor flat last night. I figure I'll keep it for when I either hit the road or move outta town. The good news is that in a regular sized case, the amp is very mobile.

    Do you know which model/line your rack is? I visited the Grundorf site, and they've got a ton of stuff! I don't understand why no one seems to make a 5 space rack thats not a special order. :confused:

    Heh. I like your signature. While in the room today about an hour into playing...I could smell those 16 tubes and it IS a cool thing.
  6. Naw, I got it with the amp. It has removable front and back covers with regular latches and a handle. It weighs only about 2 lbs empty. I think it is 3/8 or maybe 1/2 ply with reinforcements.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    still looking to hear rack or setup ideas...