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Mesa Boogie Buster Bass - voltage modification & your opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jetofuj, Sep 8, 2008.


  1. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Jun 16, 2008
    PL
    Aloha!

    I'm very interested in Buster Bass amp as I can buy one in my place at the moment. First of all, I wonder if I can converte it for 230V. I emailed Mesa with no replay on this issue.

    I'm also curios of your opinions about this amp.

    Cheers, Kris
     
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Yes, they can be converted to 220v, but it may be expensive. You might want to talk to an amp tech and get an estimate before you invest in the amp.

    As for the amp, they are generally well liked on these boards. Do a search and you'll find quite a bit about them.
     
  3. wizay

    wizay

    Mar 5, 2008
    Norway
    buy a transformator:) Not really sure whats the name of it in english. It should be easy to find, but it cost a bit. I use that, cuz 230V here in Norway:)
     
  4. In English they are called a "transformer". Pretty close :)
     
  5. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Jun 16, 2008
    PL
    Thanks. I don't really want external voltage adaptor, as I don't like to carry extra gear. So I'm really interested if it is possible to change voltage by reconnecting or resoldering few wires inside (just like Ampegs or Edens). I know that it is possible with older Boogies (400 and 400+) and is not with newer ones.

    Cheers, Kris
     
  6. cacio

    cacio

    Apr 24, 2005
    Italy
    an original mesa transformer are very expensive here in europe:crying:
     
  7. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    outside of the power conversion issue, I can offer some impressions on the amp itself.

    I owned one for about 2 years, and sold it on TB about 6 months ago.

    - Great sounding all tube amp overall
    - to my ears, sounded like a very big 200w Fender Bassman 50, but with more EQ options
    (I think the pre is based on the Bassman tone stack)
    - Very loud for the 200w rating, Mesa is pretty honest about its wattage ratings I think
    - Very "quick" sounding for an all-tube amp, almost has a SS quality in that respect
    - Character is definitely Mesa, and tends towards a mid-agressi ve rock tone
    - You will have to really push it to get it to break-up, so it will be loud if you want tube distortion.

    In the end I sold it because it did not provide as much tube tone and feel that I wanted. Oddly enough, I go the tone I wanted out of a Mesa hybrid .. Walkabout 12.

    Still a nice amp though

    good luck


    -
     
  8. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Jun 16, 2008
    PL
    Thanks! I wonder what do you think about those active or interactive bass/middle/treble controls. I've read that using one of those knobs affects the other ones, for example: if I add a lot of treble, it also cuts some frequencies of middle and bass.

    Cheers, Kris
     
  9. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    06
    I have 2 Buster's! :)

    The rotary tone controls do interact with each other. It is most noticeable at extreme settings & the "bass" knob doesn't really seem to kill the highs or mids when cranked up (although it certainly adds a ton of thump!). Honestly, I think that the way the "treble" & "mid"" controls interact makes for very pleasing tones - that is until you crank them too far,... which there is little need to do anyway, IMO. Plus, the graphic eq works independent of the rotary knobs, so if you cut the treble rotary for a smoother tone, but still want clarity & definition, you can use the graphic to add those specific frequencies back in. It really works great like this!

    +1 to pfschim's comments above. The Buster is sort-of "ss" in how it reacts. It's definitely not "slow" or "mushy"! Also, the preamp section doesn't really want to "break-up" on it's own, but it does react well to a booster or overdrive pedal in front of it! I've used an Ampeg V4-B (another 200w tube amp) many times & I have to say that the Buster does seem louder to me. It definitely coaxes a lot of power out of those tubes!

    If SVT-style grind is what you're after, the Buster isn't the best choice. But, if you want a rich, powerful amp with lots of tonal flexibility it's a great amp!

    I'm afraid I have no info for you regarding the voltage issue, sorry. :meh:
     
  10. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Hey scotch, those V4/V4B's are only 100 watt heads.
     
  11. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Whoops!!!!! I'm an idiot......:scowl: I guess the Mesa would be louder then, wouldn't it?
     
  12. Yep. A LOT louder. I have a 200 watt Buster combo (2x10 wedge) and it is louder than most 300Ws. A clean boost of any sort is all it takes to enter grind city, and without one, there is TONS of clean headroom and a huge range of tonal possibilities; don't let anybody tell you it's "just" a rock amp!

    That said, I'd imagine an outboard transformer of some sort would save a significant amount of cash.
     
  13. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    As I said in my original post, I used my Buster for a while, and worked on the tone settings quite a bit. While I'd agree that the tone stack and the tube driven EQ section provided a lot of tonal range and flexibility, my feeling always was that it seemed to be mostly happy to run in that low-mids punch and mids-agressive kind of tonal range that I personally associate with a "rock" tone. Not meant as a criticism.

    I don't seek any distortion or "break-up" in my playing, more of a tube warmth/saturation sound, but I was always surprised that the Buster was so clean even cranked to the top of its levels.

    Still, a great amp with a lot of possibilities. I also thought that it was a very cool looking piece of gear.

    good luck
     
  14. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Jun 16, 2008
    PL
    As always I appreciate all of your replays ;) Unfortunately I can't find Buster's schematics anywhere.

    Cheers, Kris
     
  15. jetofuj

    jetofuj

    Jun 16, 2008
    PL
    Hi!

    I emailed Boogie one more time and I got the answer and the answer says: no. I mean it is possible to adapt it for 230V but it requires changing entire transformer. New one costs like $400 and I will have big problems with buying one in my place, so it's not worth it
    I think I will look around for 400 or 400+ as I've got the schematics.

    Cheers, Kris
     

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