Mesa D-800 vs TC BH800 vs a dark horse

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by burk48237, Jan 18, 2017.

Choices- Life is good

Poll closed Feb 1, 2017.
  1. TC BH800

    3 vote(s)
  2. Mesa Subway D-800

    15 vote(s)
  3. Quilter BB800

    3 vote(s)
  1. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I had a rig I loved for years, a Thunderfunk 550 with a 210 LDS UL. It sounded great and with just the 8 ohm 210 I could play some surprisingly large rooms. I LOVED the Thunderfunk sound, punchy, warm with a little bit of old school grit, and it never seemed to run out of headroom. Sadly I had to sell (still have the 210) :rollno:

    So now I need to replace, and I'm going to move on something used this spring. I'm leaning toward the Mesa D-800. I've heard good things as far as headroom, and I've heard it could nail T'funk low mid punch. I'd love to hear from someone whose owned both.

    The TC 800 on the other hand seems to run $50-100 cheaper used on TB. I KNOW ABOUT THE RH SERIES ISSUES THIS IS NOT A THREAD FOR THAT DISCUSSION. I haven't had a chance to hear the TC except with sound clips but I know some serious guys playing them who get great tone, like Allan Snoop Evans, Ben Jones, and Chip Shearin who play some serious gigs with them. I like the foot-switch and tone print idea because I use effects very rarely and board is costly and a hassle to haul around especially if the amp provides a good DI and pre-amp. I also tried an RH series a few times and really dug the tone.

    The Dark Horse is the Quilter. It has loads of headroom, but while I like the tone when I figure it out and get it dialed in (it's not intuitive). I don't like the Post pre DI with no ground lift and while I don't won't a mega mixing board strip full of EQ, I'd like to be able to adjust for the room a bit. The Quilter may have the best power section of all of them, but I suspect I would lust for a good pre if I had one.

    Note I do intend to pick up a 112 LW 8 ohm used at some point to supplement the 210, I may just have LDS build one.

    Things I want:
    Headroom that won't hit the wall for a loud but not metal loud gig.
    A good DI ( I play churches a lot) that can go pre or post and an amp that will work as a pre with no speaker load
    A punchy tone that sits in the mix for R & B, Funk, Urban Gospel, Blues/Rock, Modern Gospel
  2. Headroom without actual wattage behind it is not headroom. Disqualifies the TC.
    lomo likes this.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    TC doesn't even belong in this list with the Mesa and Quilter. Replace it with the Genzler Magellan then you'll have 3 fantastic amps to choose from. I personally don't see how you're going to beat the Mesa though, especially for the DI which is just in a whole different class than the other amps.
    chaosMK, lomo and blubass like this.
  4. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    only experienced the mesa, but it was a great experience at bassplayer live
    blubass likes this.
  5. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Yeah, I felt the same way.
  6. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba

    I play the TCBH800
    absolutely love it!

    The tone prints maybe gimicky but I love that it has a onboard tuner and aux in/headphone out
  7. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    TC fan here. Although I haven't tried any of the Tone Print amps... My TC experience is with "Red Heads."

    Tried the D-800... Definitely kicks! Good clarity. Somewhat crisper than the RH heads I've been using. If you run a complete pedal-board, The Mesa will give you a great sound. I missed all the features of the TC head, and didn't think the tone of the Mesa was better than the TCE. So, the Mesa went back...
  8. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Have you tried the DI of the Genzler 800? I think the Mesa 800 and the Genzler both have the best built in DI's I've ever used with the Genzler edging it out a little for me. Both are simply superb heads. I haven't found any Class D that touches them.
    Sav'nBass likes this.
  9. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I'm a long term satisfied Mesa customer and the D-800 is keeping that smile on my face. While there are probably equally great choices depending on your goals, the D-800 is top drawer in all respects and the 5 year transferable warranty that backs-up Mesa gear is also confidence inspiring.
    PeaveyPlayer likes this.
  10. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    The "DI" from my RH heads has surpassed "others mentioned" (although I haven't tried the Genzler), if for no other reason than the compression. Most modern amps and DIs are "straight wire with gain" (IMO). Few manage compression well. Yet compression is a necessary ingredient in modern music!

    I have used many different DIs. The best I've found are the 2 RH heads I've used (RH450 & RH750), primarily due to the built-in, 3 band compression schemes.

    Compression adds to the consistency of sound (when a player has no self control, the compressor helps ameliorate imperfections, and smooths the note's attack and duration - such as when I play! Samples upon request!).

    I'm certain that professionals will say they can manage note attack, sustain and duration. But the "producer" and/or recording engineer may disagree. This is where a good compression scheme excels! Few are better for bass than TCE!
    But I digress...
  11. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Thanks for the help so far. I'm going to try to check out the D-800 with my cab soon, I have a buddy whose close by who has one. The Quilter sounded really good the one time I pared it with my cab at church, but I haven't had the chance to really play with it for any period of time. With my buddies Bergie 112 (at church) it sounds a bit boxy, usuable but not great. But to be honest the lack of control of the EQ and the DI with no ground lift and post only to me are not pluses. I really wish they would have dropped the DI in on that amp and put a better DI out.

    To be fair I know a lot of guys rag on the TC and the power thing. But I had a friend who played some serious corporate stuff when the RH450 came out and it handeled it. And I do prefer the RH tone to the Agular which I think naturally has too much pillowy (hard to manage low end). I like punch and immediacy with warmth. And I also know two guys who are playing REAL serious stuff with the BH800 and haven't told me of any hit the wall power issues.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  12. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    One other thing, while I've heard great things about the Genzler it's not on the list because frankly I haven't many (if any) used for around $500. I've also encountered the same thing with use Thunderfunks, it's real rare to see a clean 550B for less than $650.
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