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Mesa Boogie 400+

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rugrat, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    Just picked up a brand new 400+ in Chicago over the weekend. Anyone have advice in regards to tubes, settings, cabs, maintenance, or dealings with Mesa? I play a Spector USA and I have an Aggie 112, a Trace 4x10, an Eden 1x15 w/horn and a G.K. 2 x 10. Thanks!
  2. kingbrutis


    Aug 10, 2003
    Phoenix AZ
    It's loud!!!!!!!!!!!! Joe
  3. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I have a G&L L-1000, a 400+, and an SWR Goliath III. I play hard rock, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Tool, etc. I use input 2, the passive channel, i put the gain at 4, the treble at 9, the mids at 4, the bass at 6.5, and i pull the bass knob out. i love this tone. it took me a while to find it, but i absolutely love it. i get compliments on it all the time. great amp.
  4. See Mo'Phat below. He took the words out of my keyboard.
  5. Do yourself a favor and use BOTH inputs. I have one, and I split the signal from my bass to both Input 1 and 2....I can't really explain what it does, but it just makes the amp come alive. To really open things up, use both inputs, pull out all the knobs you can and fine tune with the Graphic EQ. The frequencies this thing can reproduce are pretty incredible.

    To split the signal, I either use an effects pedal (like the Boss Flanger or Chorus) that splits into a stereo signal, and run two cables back to the amp. Radio Shack and other places sell Y cables that can do this as well, but instead of taking two signals back from the pedal, it will split one signal, so you might not get the full effect and less volume. The amp can compensate for this, however. You can also use an A/B/Y signal splitter box like the Morley ABY...just a suggestion.

    As far as cabs go...If you can use the Trace 4x10, the Aggie 1x12 AND Eden 1x15, I think that would be the best combo and a pretty cool looking rig. Should be a 2.67 ohm load (all 8 ohm cabs?), so plug your speaker cables to the 2 ohm jacks on the 400+ and daisy chain the Aggie to the Eden. IMO, the GK cab isn't up to the quality of the other 3.
  6. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I don't know why you'd want to use both inputs at the same time, unless you only own one bass....
    With that said, I play both active and passive basses: Active goes in channel 1, Passive in channel 2.

    The input volumes I have turned up about to 2 1/2, all the rest of the knobs including the master volume are turned to 10 (none of my knobs are pulled out), and I taylor the tone with the EQ.
    My volumes are set this way so if I dig harder into the bass the tone gets more gritty (just like a guitar player would with a tube amp). On the EQ, the lows are about 3/4 the way up, the mids are almost at the bottom, and the highs are only about 1/4-1/3 up. This gives a very close "Tool" sound, and hits you in the chest.

    Once a year I remove the top and bottom lids and clean and dust everything especially the cooling fan. Tubes? This will be totally subjective because Mesa doesn't have any bias adjustment switch, you can always have an amp tech install one later on that way you can get more life from the tubes.
    I don't care about the cost of tubes and replace mine every 2 1/2 to 3 years reguardless, mainly because of all the vibration and banging my head sustains from frequent gigging and road life.
  7. ...because that's what all the cool kids are doing. ;)

    You run your Master at 10, I run mine at 3...my input gain on channel 1 is about 7, channel 2 about 4.5. Still makes my stomach hurt when I lay into the strings.

    I think the variance between our settings and how we do it is a testament to the versatility of the amp.

    ps. If you haven't tried the 2 input thing, don't knock it. I use both actives and passives as well, but I run a wireless with a gain control and that adjusts the overall volume of the bass signal going into the amp, so I'm covered.
  8. *Slight threadjack*

    How are you digging the NV-610 with the 400+? I bet it's smokin'!!

    One of these days, I'm gonna add a 400+ to the arsenal. :D
  9. Of the 25-35 different amp configurations I've had throughout the years, this is the best for me and my playing style, by far. That NV610 is unreal. All the punch and 'hugeness' of a vintage Ampeg 8x10, but the clarity of an Eden 4x10XLT with great low end extension. I'm sure it would struggle a bit pushing anything below a low B with authority, and without a horn or tweeter, the upper highs (like fret noise) are subdued, but I really like it that way.
  10. Yep, It's an awesome cab... With the SVT, it sounds more like the old Ampeg 810s than the new 810s do... It does the B quite well (I'm using an SR5) but it would probably not like anything much lower than that. Need to get an NV-215 to put under it.... :D:p
  11. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    Great stuff guys, keep it coming! I've had so many high end solid state amps over the years but what I really wanted was that phat tube sound. I just didn't want to mess with tubes, mainly because of the cost. Now days, I am a little better off financially than I was as a young rocker.

    I didn't realize that I could chain another speaker off of my Eden. Cool!

    I'm not sure about the tube thing. I paid for an extra 2 years on top of the 5 year warranty, I wouldn't want to screw that up. They say that using other tubes will invalidate the warranty. Can they really tell??????????
  12. If your Eden is an 8 ohm cab with at least 2 jacks on the back, then you can chain another 8 ohm cab to make a 4 ohm load on the amp. The 400+ can drive a 2 ohm load, so you can add another 2 8 ohm speakers or a 4 ohm speaker as well...hence the 3 cab setup I suggested.

    Does the warranty say, "Warranty void if you install anything other than Mesa brand tubes."? or does it just say something about installing the wrong tubes? The 400+ takes 4 12AX7 preamp tubes and 12 6L6GC tubes. If you install tubes other than these, your amp won't work quite right, and Mesa can't be blamed for incompetence of the end user. However, Mesa might require you to re-tube with Mesa-licensed tubes (which are Svetlana's or Sovtek's I think) in order to get the re-tube orders from their customers. Since Mesa charges, on average, about $100 more than a re-tube at any place else, it's in their best interest to require that clause as a condition of warranty. Yes, they can tell if you send the amp to a Mesa certified technician or back to Petaluma, since the tubes are stamped Mesa Boogie. Others aren't.

    For what it's worth, don't get too hung up on re-tubing and 'what brands sound better'. The stock Mesa's will still crank and sound better than any solid state thingamabob you've ever used.
  13. Saetia


    Mar 27, 2003
    How much does the 400+ go for now a days, new and used?