Mesa Boogie 400+ Settings

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by boogiebass, Sep 3, 2001.

  1. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Anybody using one of these amps? If so, what are your settings. I'm driving an Eden D215XL cab. Do you pull the knobs? What about the EQ sliders? On or off? This thing is taking me some time to dial in the perfect sound so far. Thanks!
  2. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Hey man, me too - I'm always messing with mine. So far I think the best sound I've gotten is with everything at 5 through channel 1. No pull-shifts, eq off. That's with my '66 Jazz. With my Rick I boost the bass to 6 and cut the mids to 4.
    I use two Eden 410XLT's.

    However I just installed Svetlanas the other day and haven't gotten to try it yet... I'll find out tomorrow.

    I asked a question a while ago and never got any response on here - does anybody know what "flat" is on this amp? I'd like to know what eq setting produce an even response, since it isn't boost/cut like an SVT.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Assuming the tone stack is still like that of a Fender, "flat" is 2-10-2 (bass/mid/treble).

    Bass and treble are boost only and mids cut only.
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Interesting observation, Brian. Could explain a lot.

    RBMan, I'm with ya. I started off with everything on 5, no knobs pulled and EQ off. But it's not getting me the tone I want with the Eden 2X15's and my Jaco Jazz. This Friday, I intend to roll the mid to about 2 or 3, pull the bass and treble knobs, run bass at about 6 or 7, treble at about 8 and plot a smiley face on the EQ. This is roughly Mesa Boogie guitar settings and I intend to try it and adjust from there. I've never liked the sound out of channel 1, always run out of channel 2. I'll keep ya posted.
  5. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I just got one of these Boogie Beasts, too, and am trying to figure it out. :) Flat seems to be with everything at 5, and so the EQ stack doesn't appear to be passive like the Fenders (though I may be wrong...)

    In the instruction manual it says that Mid, Bass, and Treble interact with each other, and that most bassists like to start with Treble at 3 or 4 so that Mid and Bass have a more pronounced effect. If you have Treble at, say, 7 or 8, then Mid and Bass don't have as much effect.

    I'm currently running it flat, knobs in, with maybe a touch of Bass boost, and for fatter tones I cut the mids and highs with the graphical EQ. Channel 2 is also my favorite.

    This may be coincidence, but I'm using an Eden D-115 and I don't like the overall tone I get with it, either, mainly because there's a huge hump at around 200Hz. So I've been using my Mesa 1x15 and JBL 1x15 instead.

  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yeah, I think I'm gonna run an Eden D115XL (8ohm) along with an Eden D210XLT (8ohm) on Friday and see what happens. I did some experiments earlier this evening and it seems possible that the "magic" tone may be a product of the rotary controls, the pull-outs and the EQ sliders. Everything seems to work together on this amp.
  7. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    I think I'm going to give Mesa a call soon to find out exactly what "flat" is on the tone stack. It's a guessing game so far, and I really want to know. If flat is really 2-10-2 (ala fender), then yeah, that would explain a lot.

    Boogiebass, what kind of sound are you going for? I'm after a snarling lower-midrange tone (SVT), and with everything at 5, it still sounds really bass-heavy to my ears... but this could also be a product of the room and my cabinets (410XLT's).

    I've tried the pull-shifts and the EQ a couple times and they neither did anything for me...

    Since I play a Rick, I'm also going to try out using both channels with the Rick-O-Sound... just for ****s and grins... :) Some have said they get great tone by splitting the signal into both channels.

    I've got practice tonight, so I'll post results tomorrow. This will be the first practice with my new Svets installed as well... heh!
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    RBMan, I'm going for a semi-modern sound with plenty of upper register definition while still retaining a certain amount of old-school thump. I play mainly classic rock, r&b, blues and dance music in a trio. I use a Jaco signature Jazz so I want the growl and top-end "boink" to come out. I also want the thing to ring out when I slap although I play mostly fingerstyle. So far, with the settings on 5, no pullouts and no EQ, I've got WAY too much bottom and little definition.

    I've been able to get pretty close to the sound I want with my two other amps, an Eden WT800 and SWR Bass 750 but they lack the body and harmonic richness of tubes. I also have a '70 SVT but don't like to lug it around and, of course, it's a whole different animal.

    I'm pretty sure the 400+ is capable of giving me exactly what I want, just a matter of mastering the "dial-in." I'll keep ya posted. Look forward to hearing your results after rehearsal.


    After talking with Tim at Mesa Boogie, I've set aside the Eden D215XLT in favor of two Eden 8 ohm cabs, the D115XL and D210XLT. I often use these cabs with Eden gear and, according to Tim, this combination will minimize mud. Makes sense. He also recommends starting everything at 5 and working in very small increments. If there's mud, he says don't reduce the mids, just lose a bit of bass and put some top-end on it. Interesting. This weekend I plan to master this beast, dammit! Stay tuned...
  9. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Well... I must say I didn't really get any closer to the tone I'm looking for last night. The new Svetlana's are definitely better sounding than the junk chinese tubes though - and more power too!

    I started off with everything at 5, which is how I used to run it (more or less). I was running through channel 2 with the gain at 5. Fiddling around, I ended up with Bass at 3, treble at 3, mids at 6. I had the master between 5 and 6 so I was certainly NOT low-volume.

    The sound was good, but not "Wow that sounds great!". I'm starting to wonder if the 400+ just can't give me the honking growling mids I'm looking for. It's got tremendous lows and highs, but the mids just aren't there no matter what I try (and I'm playing a Rick with a horseshoe pickup!?! it should be ALL mids!). I think I may just end up using my SVT, but damn I hate hauling around a 90 pound head in a 30 pound roadcase...

    On second thought, before I get mad at it I think I will call mesa and get some concrete info on the eq design. If the tone stack really is fender-like... as stated before, then the eq needs to be at 2-10-2 for a flat response. If I'm running 3-6-3 (like I was last night), then the mids are still scooped... which might explain a lot.

    Still going to try Rick-O-Sound into both channels eventually, as well...
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Interesting observations, dude. I'm not going for an SVT growl at all on mine so I dunno about the Boogie's growlability. It's that phat bottom and bell-like top-end with rich harmonics I'm looking for and I'm pretty sure the 400+ has got it....plenty. As to your need for an SVT type of sound, I think you should call Boogie and ask for Tim or better yet, send Tim McKee an email at [email protected] and ask him what he thinks. He was pretty helpful with me.

    I have "tone class part one" tonight at a medium sized club, 4 sets and part two will be tomorrow night. I intend to master the tone of this sucker by Sunday morning! I'm using the EQ with a footswitch, BTW, for soloing. I set up my "every song" sound on the pots and then set up a solo sound on the faders (sort of a frown face, Jack Bruce setting), triggering it when I need it with the footswitch. Pretty cool option. Please let me know what you find out (if anything) about the tone stack on the amp and anything they tell you about our ongoing objective to get the magic sound. Stay the course, amigo. WE WILL WIN!!!

    PS: I know for a fact that a lot of players don't have the patience to dial in this amp properly and end up selling them before they get the great sound. A shame, methinks.
  11. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Thundering lows and smooth ringing highs - I think the 400+ has those in spades. The pull-shifts may help you with that, too... The mids are my hangup. Maybe this amp just CAN'T do an SVT-type sound. Maybe it's not in it. It isn't, afterall, an SVT! BUT... I'm not giving up until I've tried every damn setting I can think of and I'm 100% sure it ain't there...

    The footswitch useage is a cool deal - if my band called for more than one type of sound I'd be right there with you bro. How about having a dual A/B box so you can channel switch too?

    BTW I'm not going anywhere until both of us find "the tone". And I sent an email to Tim about the EQ, thanks for the hook-up!

    Good luck tonite & tomorrow bro...
  12. This is it folks....enjoy.
    All pull shifts out (on) incl. bright.
    Bass, mid and treble flat (5).
    Split your signal and run through BOTH Ch.1+2. This will thicken your tone and push your driver tubes harder. Like playing through puddin'. Your bright knobs pulled will avoid any potentially muddy blanket tones.
    Avoid your graphic. Use for room EQ maybe.
    I use Warwick basses and Mesa RR cabs. Sounds like a rainbow. Wicked mid punch and growl. Read: better than SVT.
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Well, my 400+ tweaking hit the bulls-eye last night! Looks like it won't take me all weekend after all.

    What I ended up with was actually pretty close to what Mad Subwoofer recommends. Here's my settings for the pure MAGIC boogietone:

    Bass 5, Mid 4.5, Treble 6, all knobs pulled, Master on 5, Channel 2 Volume to suit the situation (usually around 4 or 5 with my band). I ran an Eden D115XL and an Eden D210XLT. Man, it sounded great! I've never heard better slap tone and I got the richest combination of top and bottom end you can imagine. My Jaco Jazz was like a magic wand, I swear. Fortunately, the club was packed with a fair number of musician friends and they all just raved about the bass tone. Very cool. I also set the EQ up and kicked it in with a footswitch for soloing with a very modest frown-face shape on the faders, below the flat line. Perfect compliment to the basic sound and allowed me to highlight my sound just a bit more for soloing.

    RBMan, I'm thinking you could dial in something similar and just boost the mids to maybe 6 or so and you might just be there, dude! Give it a shot.

  14. Yes, but you haven't tried running through both channels at the same's really something. Once i split my signal with a stompbox and plugged into both inputs I never went back. You'll wonder how you ever played through just one least I did. The sound is just so much fuller plus you get a wee bit more growl. Glad you had such luck with your's great when that happens, no?
  15. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I hear ya, MS. Channel stuff coming up. I've not combined 'em yet but I have experimented with the Boogie A/B box to get two different tones from 1 & 2. It's just that I like 2 so much better, especially with my bass! I'll definitely take your advice, however. Yeah, these amps are the bomb and really worth the effort to dial in--it's exciting when it finally happens! BTW, what kind of box are you using to split your signal?
  16. Any box w/ dual outs should do ya'. I used my DOD Meatbox at one point. Sadly I no longer own my 400+. I decided to "upgrade" to the M-2000 when it came out. The 400+ sounded great at a healthy volume...ooh say, 4-6 on the master knob? Lower than that and the sound tended to thin out ever so slightly. Those tubes want to be run hot! The flexibilty I have w/ the M2000 in terms of consistency of tone according to volume level is the trade off I made in losing the 400+. It doesn't come close to playing through all those glass bottles but it does sound good and is a HECK of alot lighter. I forever pine away for the ol' boy. Go figure.
  17. i set the rotary controls flat on 5. pull brite on channel one volume. i crank the preamp section to @7-8 or more, max the volume on my bass and set the master accordingly. i set the eq flat in case it gets turned on, but i always leave it off. i run svet 6l6 outputs, theyre great,......preamp tubes can be very tricky
  18. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    A coda to my weekend with the 400+: I played a somewhat smaller room last night and used a single Eden D410XLT. If anything, the thing sounded even better! I didin't change a thing. I've definitely found the settings that work for me. Thanks to everyone who responded. RBMan, I hope you get yours dialed in too, amigo. I'm betting you will. The Boogie 400+ RULES!!!
  19. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Boogie, I'm glad you've got it! Yeah, I looove my 410XLT's. They rock! I'm almost there with tone too... here's my story:

    My band played a party saturday night and I must say I'm closer now than I've ever been with my 400+.
    I used the Rick-O-Sound into both channels. :) I had the treble pickup going into channel 1 (gain at 6), and the bridge into 2 (gain at 4). I set the eq at 5/6/3 (bass/mid/treble) and let her rip. The tone that suceeded was enormous!

    Usually with the bass knob set any higher than 3 or 4 gives me too much low end and the sound gets muddy to my ears. Maybe splitting the signal helped that? BTW I do NOT like what the bass pull-shift does. WAY too much low end IMO. I'm not going for a fat bottom (flap your pantlegs) type of sound, I'm after the low-mid Rickenbacker growl/grunt/snarl.

    Halfway through the first song my guitarist yelled into my ear "you're too loud!" heh... the master was between 2 and 3! I guess playing through two 410XLT's had something to do with it. Oh also the new Svet power tubes! Holy power batman! When before I was at 5, I'm now at 2.5. :)

    But then halfway through our gig a strange thing happened. I flipped the switch on my bass to the neck pickup (to check the level between songs) and noticed the output was almost nil. Switched it to the bridge, and she was a-crankin'. I think the stereo cord I was using was hosed, so basically I was playing the whole time through the bridge pickup! Hope its not the preamp tube tho...

    Gonna fix that cord tonight and have at it again at practice on wednesday. I'm glad you got yours dialed Boogie! And I'm ten times closer than I have been before...

    I think the new tubes helped in spades also - anybody with a 400+ - go get some Svetlanas from Lord Valve!
  20. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Hey boogiebass, I got a reply from Tim @ mesaboogie... here's my question and his response:

    ===== Original Message from hampshire robert
    Hi Tim,
    I got your email addy from a guy I met on the internet who said you've been very helpful to him. We both own 400+'s and are both after the "magic tone". He's going for a different sound than I am, but my question pertains to both of us.

    What is a "flat" eq setting on the amp? An SVT is boost/cut, so with all the knobs at "0" is a flat setting. A fender tone stack is boost only on bass and treble, and cut only on mids. So flat on a fender stack is 2-10-2 (bass/mid/treble). Someone suggested that the 400+ may have a fender-style tone stack. Is this the case?

    I'm after a growling, honking, midrange-heavy overdriven "SVT about to explode" sound. I have a '72 SVT and know and love this tone. However with the 400+ I can't seem to attain it. I'm playing a Rick 4001 with a horseshoe pickup through two Eden 410XLT cabs...

    Take care,
    Flat.... is generally with controls around 5. If you want a mid heavy grind, check with those settings and then boost the bass on EQ a bit and work the volume 1 settings in the 5-8 range and work the front end.

    You will get that sound by pushing the pre and power amp sections. Volume 1 will push the preamp section while the Master controls the Power break up from the tubes.

    Tim McKee