Mesa/Boogie Subway D-800 vs Tech 21 VTB 500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by grocker, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. grocker


    Dec 1, 2007
    Ormond Beach
    I'm thinking the Boogie? although i love my VTRM and VTdeluxe..
  2. Spector2112


    Jan 7, 2011

    Curious about this as well.
  3. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    The VTB-500 has fx loop. Just saying.
  4. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Yeah but Mesa has Agedhorse.

    Just sayin'.
    kobass, Matt Dean and agedhorse like this.
  5. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    2 very different heads. The Mesa has more power, 2 Ohm capability and aux in. Unless you want the built in OD effect of the VT, the Mesa is a pretty clear choice for me. If you want the built in effect, or if you insist on using an FX loop, then there's no reason to even consider the Mesa.
  6. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Cort, Traynor
    Aren't these 2 different price and spec points? Shouldn't you compare similar price/spec points?

    The VTB-500 would be in a similar range of general comparisons to, say MB500, SB500H, PF500, and a plethora of other fine 500 watt amps.
    The Mesa is an 800 watt amp and maybe should in general be compared to the MB800, the Magellan 800, PF-800, and other fine 800 watt amps.

    My advice is not to jump on any popularity of any particular amp, but listen to everything you can in your budget range (and take YOUR bass to listen with and preferably your cabs) and pick what makes you shiver when you hit an open E note about 9 times. Sometimes that is going to be the lower price/spec and sometimes that will be the higher. Sometimes we are surprised as a preconceived notion is blown away. Use your ears; just because one person likes something with their bass doesn't mean you are going to like it with yours. Pre-amp, bass construction, strings, playing style, genre, cabs - all add into the equation.
    mussa, crguti, grocker and 1 other person like this.
  7. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    heard the mesa at bass player live, it's a beast, but the the tech 21 might be little better choice for me, because i already have an all tube mesa, the vt is cheaper, and i don't usually bring od pedals to shows
  8. Acoustic356

    Acoustic356 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    I own the Tech 21, and took about 30 minutes today to play with the Subway D-800.

    First impressions? It's a nice, clean, easy to use head. They did what a lot of manufacturers are - adding deep switch. I think it's a cool feature and to my ear anyway.

    I wasn't really impressed with the voice knob. It seemed to just be a mid scoop and not give you the tonal variation that you get with the Tech 21.

    If the Mesa tone i your tone... I say grab it! But if you like to play around with vintage or modern tones, I would say the Tech21 wins hands down.
    alaskaleftybass, Bufalo and bebass like this.
  9. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. In Memoriam

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Thanks for your review.

    I think it's a fair consideration between the Tech21 and Mesa. The common denominator is their diminutive size. Yes, the Mesa has 800 watts, but that is close enough to 500 for me.

    Anyone out there tried these two heads-- I'm interested in more opinions...
  10. onegunguitar


    Jul 1, 2010
    I can't comment on the Tech 21,but I grabbed the D800 a few months ago....totally a killer little amp. I run a DG BK3 in the front and the combination of the two just sound great. And,the Mesa gets stupid loud,lol. At practice I plug it into and old Peavey 15inch speaker and the two guitar players told me I was too loud,and those guys are always too loud with their Mesa Rectifier half stacks,hahaha.
    TMARK likes this.
  11. TMARK


    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    The D800 voice control is not just a mid cut knob. There is a lot going on with that knob. It extends lows below 40, boosts highs, cuts some mids but also does other magic with gain and q points. It is an incredibly useful feature.

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