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Mesa Carbine M9 VS Mesa D800 VS Mesa 400+ VS your favorite like these

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DAcat, Nov 21, 2017.


  1. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    I have a Mesa 400+, which is an extremely loud and rowdy all tube head approaching 485 Watts. Its good for rock and blues with a little grit and growl, but its not a very subtle amp, more of a pants flapper:)laugh: lol- for sure)! I've played a Mesa M9 only in a store thru a new J bass ( can't recall the cabs) but I keep coming back to that day in my memory as a very happy one. Seemed easy to dial in tone to die for. And finally the amp I've read so much about but have'nt found out here in the boonies of Iowa to play on yet- the Mesa D-800. How would you all compare these three amps? I know that the 400+ IS GOING TO BE TOTALLY DIFFERENT! Part of me would like to try something different and another part wants to keep the 400+ because it is different from my other amps( Mesa Titan, GK RB1001, TC Electronics Classic 450). And why was the M9 discontinued? Any suggestions? Please feel free to throw other amps into the mix (I'm esp hearing good things drool about the new Genzler Magellan 800). Thanks.:roflmao: DAcat.
     
    chaosMK likes this.
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I played Mesa 400/+ for a long time. Pretty light for a higher powered tube head. No way it makes 485 clean watts though. They never were clean enough for me, even with really clean tubes in them. Just my pref tho.
    M9: way more clean power than I ever needed. Bought one because the graphic eq and compressor let me control the massive low end of the M6 more betterer. Clean, bright, snappy, everything I like.
    Replaced it with the GK MBF 800, which sounds pretty much the same and weighs 4bls and packs in a tiny gig bag.
    Mesa 800: too dark for me compared to M9 and MBF.
    Mesa 800+: Nice. The additional High Pass Filter, deep and bright switches, and three ban semi para eq make it a big winner.
     
  3. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    Thanks for your thoughts Chef. Let me clarify, so your favorite was the MBF 800 or the Mesa 800+.¿¿¿Thanks, DAcat
     
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I thought the 400+ was closer to 200w. Mine certainly breaks up fairly early.

    The M9 goes much louder and much deeper than the 400+.

    They both sound awesome, just different.
     
    gelinas666, DAcat and dukeorock like this.
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    probably a tie. I still have and use both.
     
    son_of_mogh, DAcat and dukeorock like this.
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    126L6's, which are more or less good for 25 watts per; which is 300...I believe when I had one of mine bench tested it put out 285...but it broke up too early for me. For sure it wasn't 285 clean watts. Still great at what it does and waaaay lighter than the SVT I had before it.
     
    DAcat, dukeorock and Dave W like this.
  7. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I have a GK MB800
    Mesa D800
    Mesa M9
    And fond memories of the 400+ :)

    Chef is right in the the M9 and MB have a similar vibe, but I wouldn't say the same. I prefer the M9. The 400+ is a beast and one of my favorite amps ever. You could say the M9 is a cleaner 400+

    The D800. Again, Chef is right that they are darker, but I actually love mine, so depends on what you're after, I suppose. D800 sounds really 'classic' and full. Closer to the Walkabout (but way louder) in a way. I find it to be a great all arounder :)
     
    son_of_mogh and DAcat like this.
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Hey Mark!
    Yeah; all that "this or that sound" is totally personal pref, not right or wrong.
    Not many people are gonna hear the diff b/t M9 and MBF800. Maybe I liked the M9 better? Been a while now; but at any rate, the weight and portability of the GK totally had the M9 sold in short order.

    Now: in a rock band, when you need "a rock sound" the Mesa 400+ and a G&L played with a pick was totally unbeatable. Whew. Great at that.
     
    son_of_mogh, FlyingV73 and DAcat like this.
  9. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    I've never tested my 400+ paired with a couple 4ohm Mesa PH410 cabs with an SVT (I had an old SVT in 1969-1970 with two 810 Ampeg cabs...) but to my ears the 400+ would have won hands down in a volume contest...but that's subjective and I can't prove it. The SVT seemed to get lost in the mix more in live gigs but sounded great by itself,in contrast, I always thought the SVT sounded nicer than the 400 +alone (a little honky).
    Peace, DAcat
     
  10. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Hey Alan! It is tough to text what music sounds like. Does it have 'heft?' Is it 'quick?' 'Wooly?' Tricky stuff for sure :)

    That makes total sense to me and you're probably right. My MB800 went down awhile back and I keep forgetting to send it back in for repair...nice amp though.

    One of the best at that! I miss having that kinda sound on rare occasions. Lots of folks use pedals to simulate that feeling, but I've yet to hear the pedal that gives me the same feeling. @JGR's Gasoline OD comes closest and I've found it to be very useful though. Them OmniCabSims seem kinda neat too. That said, I'd love to have a 400+ for that occasional thing :)
     
    DAcat and JGR like this.
  11. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    Any idea why M9 was discontinued?
     
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Nope
    I bet there are more cool things on the horizon
     
    Element Zero and agedhorse like this.
  13. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    THANKS to Chef and dukeorock for the informative posts.
     
    Low84, dukeorock and Chef like this.
  14. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland, Hardwire
    I have played all 3. The 400+ crushes the other 2. The M9 was too sterile for me. The D800 was good but not great IMO.
     
  15. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I owned a M6 Carbine 212 combo for a brief spell and loved the tone - and it was loud. Only problem was that my ears are on my head and not my knees, and I'm tall. I needed an extension PH212 and it would have been incredible.

    Currently I play a Mesa 400 (non +) through an Ampeg PR810h fridge. It is loud and sounds majestic; I get plenty of clean volume out of it and if I push the power tubes into saturation it is just too much for any venue. If you can't get clean enough sound out of a 400/+ you need more cabs! It doesn't care so long as you keep the impedance correct.

    I compared a D800 to a GK Backline 600 at a local shop once and while the D800 tone was fine to me (GK was brighter) it did not reproduce transients the same way the GK did. Nor does it the same way the 400 or Carbine do. If you need more natural compression than a tube amp then get the D800 - it sounds like a CD to me, even and refined. That's not how I like my live sound to be - the others just slap you silly with authority.

    OP, IMHO you will regret selling the 400+ as there isn't anything else out there that do what they do. Add the M9 if you must and either keep or sell it after you have tried it out, but most here, having owned and then sold their 400+, miss it dearly.

    Raz
     
  16. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    That's what I'm afraid will happen.
     
  17. Mesa Strategy eight:88!
     
  18. DAcat

    DAcat

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    Oh yeah that sounds some expensive fun. I've heard some great sound clips of the eight:88.drool
     
    Dr_Feelgoood212 likes this.
  19. Buy used. That's what I did
     
  20. BadB

    BadB

    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    Probably because 25 lbs is too heavy for most people these days and their sales couldn't support it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017

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