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Mesa Boogie Subway D800 (or Other) for Metal?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zmebass76, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. zmebass76

    zmebass76 Makin' bass faces since '92... Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Port Neches, Tx
    I am on the verge of purchasing a MB Subway D800. Has anyone used one of these amps in a metal band setting? I read where it was ideal for reggae/etc, but what about hard rock/metal? And the Subway cabs, would they be ideal for use with the D800 and metal? If not, any other cab suggestions? While on the metal topic, if anyone has any recommendations for a lightweight Class D Solid State amp that's a great sounding "metal" amp, I'll take those in to consideration as well. Thanks in advance!
  2. I don't own one myself, but what kind of tone are you looking for? What genre? What kind of guitarists are you playing with? Is your drummer musical or do they just always play at full volume?

    Technically, you can use just about any amp for metal, if you know how to adjust the settings (ok, maybe an Ampeg B-15 would be pushing it, but you get the point).

    Mesa is renowned for their versatility in bass amps. Many metal bassists have used their M-Pulse, Titan, M6, and M9 amps, which share some of their voicings with the Subway.

    Best option is to give it a try. As for cabinets, there is no right answer, except DON'T CHEAP OUT. Mesa makes many quality cabs, and also check the classifieds on this forum. Some sweet Genz-Benz cabs have been popping up for a relative steal, lately...
    ZmeBass76 likes this.
  3. zmebass76

    zmebass76 Makin' bass faces since '92... Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Port Neches, Tx
    Our genre is more of a solid mix between hardcore, thrash, and straight up metal. My guitarists use Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier half stacks and Mark 4 half stacks respectively, and my drummer is pretty full on, but plays with finesse as well. As far as what kind of tone I'm looking for...I like a solid, fat sound, but I need my higher notes to cut through the mix because I do more than hold root notes. I play a little slap/pop over some heavy parts as well.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I think the Mesa D800 would be a great choice. The amp has great low end, good midrange, and clear highs. In addition, it has a very usable overdrive setting that sounds great to my ears. The sound of your instrument will definitely come through. The Subway cabinets would not be the best choice against two half-stacks and a fairly loud to very loud drummer. The cabs are nice, but I think you need more firepower here. An Ampeg 810e comes to mind, Mesa 610, and other big cabs. Do not skimp on the cab! If you do, no amount of wattage will get you a decent bass tone loud enough to compete.

    As for other heads that could work for you in the Class D world, I'd wager that ANY OF THEM will work just fine. If you want overdrive, get a pedal with a clean blend in it. No low end loss and crunchy bass lines at your disposal.
    /\/\3phist0 and ZmeBass76 like this.
  5. zmebass76

    zmebass76 Makin' bass faces since '92... Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Port Neches, Tx
    Great advice! I've pretty much decided to choose between the D800 and the.new Bugera Veyron BV1001T. I already own an SWR Workingman's 8x10 cab, and I'm really looking to down size to two smaller cabs that will fit in the backseat of my sedan. But I see your point in not skimping on cabs. Any advice on two smaller yet capable cabs?
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I'm using it in a band doing
    it's been kicking ass for me.
    Guitars are running
    EVH 5150 and 4x12 and Mesa Boogie with 4x12 and I have no problem keeping up and having plenty in reserve with my Subway 800 and Powerhouse 1000.
    ZmeBass76 likes this.
  7. onegunguitar


    Jul 1, 2010
    I use the D800 for metal with a PowerHouse 4x12. Put a DarkGlass in front of it and let it rip.
  8. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    I'm not in a metal band, but played the genre for years.
    The head would be a great fit, the cabs not so much, you would need more cone surface, and air movement than they would provide. And they were not designed for high spl, so this should be no surprise. The powerhouse cabs would be a good match, my personal faves are the 15's a 2x15 is impressive 2 of them would sterilize a rhino at 50 paces.
    Bear in mind your options are wide open with a 2 ohm stable head, :)
    tomydacat and ZmeBass76 like this.
  9. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Through my experiences, the Mesa head is about 1000 miles ahead of ANYTHING from Behringer. As for cabs, two identical 410's are usually a good choice. See what your local craigslist has - post the results here and we can help narrow down the choices.

    And yes, I currently own the Mesa D800. I really like the head. Do I want anything else? Nope. All the power and tone I need.
    ZmeBass76 likes this.
  10. zmebass76

    zmebass76 Makin' bass faces since '92... Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Port Neches, Tx
    I think that's what I'm sticking with. I was looking in to the Mesa Boogie Powerhouse 610 cabs, and according to the dimensions, I should be able to tote one around in my car. Now, should I go the Traditional or Standard route, if I decide to go that route? In the meantime, I'll hunt for some 410 deals...
  11. This... or use what I do, a Wampler Low Blow.
    onegunguitar likes this.
  12. doomwarwick


    Feb 6, 2016
    Do you happen to have any sound clips or videos of this set up? Don't really care for the Darkglass but would really like to hear how the D800 sounds through the PH412.

  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I think it will be great for you. Classic Mesa in your face tone, Loud!, and 5lbs
    doomwarwick likes this.
  14. Bassgeer

    Bassgeer Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2011
    It is great for metal! I am using it in an alternative metal setting, tuned an octave below Drop D, with some Bergantino cabs. Great clarity and not muddy in the least (especially with a B7K layered on top for overdrive :) )! It is super versatile though, which is one of the reasons I bought it. I play a wide variety of music, and it can fit well with most any genre in my experience.

    As for cabs, you might consider a pair of the new Bergantino HDN 212s, that should pack plenty of volume for you, and they are very light!
    doomwarwick likes this.
  15. hyp.spec

    hyp.spec Supporting Member

    May 14, 2006
    Warren, MI
    Reviving an old thread, but can confirm D800 is a fantastic choice for metal. I use mine with an Avatar 410 Neo, Avatar 212 Neo and a Darkglass B7K and the thing absolutely rips. My band plays thrash/death but the Mesa can easily cop just about any tone you're looking for.

    I'm surprised I don't see more metal bassists jamming with D-800. Easily the best head I've ever played.
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  16. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    The inherent OD on the D800 is pretty terrible. You'd be much better served putting an effects pedal ahead of it. Other than that, it's very clean and would do great. Not to mention it's loud as f*^k.

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