Mesa M-pulse 600 vs Subway D800+

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by OgWelchy, Jan 21, 2018.


  1. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    I am wondering if there is anyone on here that has been able to A/B these two amps. I’ve owned a m-pulse 600 for about 10 years and am very satisfied with the tone. That being said I recently have ran into a problem where my amp is in need of a new power block and for a few hundred $$ more than the repair I can just get a D800+. I am aware of their inherent differences, size, control configuration; More interested in tonal similarities, differences, how does the gain (input) on the d800+ compare to the m-pulse, etc. I’m going to be running it through a Mesa PH6x10 and Im using a Rickenbacker 4003 and a MM stingray HH as my Basses and primarily playing rock/hard rock. Thank you all in advance!

    Ryan
     
  2. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I had a MPulse 600 some time ago, and currently have a Walkabout which uses a similar (but tonally different) hybrid amp design.
    I have tried out a D800+ and I liked it ok, but I was not in the market for an amp so I did not listen quite as critically as if I had been in need of a new amp.
    Both the 800/800+ come with some mighty nice features.
    The MPulse series amps have tube preamp sections and a tube driver(s) for the mosfet power section. They also have pretty hefty torrodial output trannys.
    The D800/D800+ has no tubes in the signal path, and use Class D power sections - so big differences right there as far as overall design.
    The D800/D800+ tone control section is supposed to have several classic Mesa bass amp flavors baked in - particularly with the Voicing control.

    Judging by the response on TB, the 800/800+ is a winner, but it may be the kind of thing that you have to try before you can really tell if it'll work for your gigs.

    good luck
     
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  3. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    I gigged an M-pulse 600 for a few years, and currently own a D800, FWIW... IMO, the M-pulse 600 got closer to the sound and feel of an all tube amp than the D800 does - BUT, I also have to say that it's been several years since I sold the M-pulse 600 and I really haven't had much opportunity to gig the D-800 yet, so *maybe* those differences are much smaller than my memory perceives them to be... Also, it's possible that the extra features of the D800+ may narrow the gap...

    I will say that despite the above, I'll be keeping the D800, and don't see myself buying another M-pulse 600... The M-pulse 600 became a bit expendable when I got a Streamliner 900, and even more so when I also got a Mesa Bass 400... I got the D800 because I wanted something a bit different than them - even though it still has "the Mesa sound" that I like, it is different - but not in a bad way...

    Sorry if this isn't helpful, but it's the best I can do...
     
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  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    Used to have mP600, now have D800+....have had Walkabouts continuously. I love the mP600 but it doesn't OD dramatically, and I think you can get awfully close to it (as in, likely could not tell the difference with your eyes closed in a live mix) with the very flexible eq of the D800+. The only thing you might miss is the onboard compressor, but since the D800+ is about the size and weight of the pedal for the mP600, so what? The newer, smaller D800+ is more powerful, pushes into 2 Ohms, has more features.......5 more years of warranty.......I cannot see opting for the mP600 repair unless you want to do so for the good of the planet (in which case, Kudos to you) or you're so attached to it on an emotional level that it's time to meet the parents :)
     
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  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Our own @agedhorse may not be as familiar with the Impulse but should be able to answer pretty much any question about the D800+.... since he was involved in its design.

    Welcome to TalkBass @OgWelchy !!!!!!
     
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  6. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    My main gigging amp right now is a D800+, but for about 5 years it was an mPulse 600 (which I still have). I love them both. Subjectively, the mPulse has a warm tubey smoothness the the D800+ doesn’t quite capture. However, using the voicing knob on the D800+ you can get pretty close - closer to the mPulse than any other amp Mesa Boogie has ever made. The D800+ is probably more tonally versatile than the mPulse because while you can get close to the tubey warmth of the mPulse with the D800+, the D800+ can also produce “quicker” and more modern tones that the mPulse can’t touch.

    I miss the compressor on the mPulse, but the variable HPF on the D800+ is one of the greatest additions to an amp EQ section I’ve ever heard. It’s a lifesaver on many gigs. And the voicing knob on the D800/D800+ is, without a doubt, the most useful and powerful single-knob EQ tone control I’ve ever heard.

    One other thing: I can see how some people would prefer either the mPulse or the D800+ because they don’t sound exactly the same. I suspect that most of us could not hear the difference between the 2 in a live mix. I’m a pretty picky, and I know I can’t.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  7. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    This helps me quite a bit. I know I’m not going to get the same tone if I get another amp but this may have just sealed the deal. I can always run a compressor through the fx loop to fix that problem. I was concerned mostly about losing that grind that the MP has. If I can get 80% there with the D800+, I can maybe use my Maxon tube screamer to the signal chain and lightly turn up the tone to probably make up for the loss of gain. Thank you!
     
  8. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    Also kind of a side question that may be in another thread, anyone try rackmounting the D800+?
     
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  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    For accuracy, neither the M-pulse or the Subways contain an output transformer. Both contain power transformers, the size is smaller on the Subway because it operates at a much higher frequency and is more efficient.

    The Subway will get into the M-pulse territory pretty easily but there are a lot more possible tone/feel options on the Subway that the M-pulse just can't convincingly achieve.
     
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I provided detailed information early in the Subway club thread for rack mounting.
     
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  11. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    thank you for the info!
     
    agedhorse likes this.
  12. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    One of the problems with talking about tone is that we hear things differently and describe them differently. For me, as much as I love the mPulse (and I do!) I would never describe it as having any real "grind." When I describe the mPulse as "tubey" I am trying to describe the soft attack of the note, and an inherent warmth. And the D800+ gets pretty close to that. When I want some tube-like overdrive I run a Creation Audio Grizzly Bass Overdrive in front of it.
     
  13. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    I think grind might have been the wrong word to use. Maybe saying I like the amount of breakup the gain channel gives the tone when it’s around 1030/11 on the gain knob. Maybe that more accurately describes what I’m hearing.
     
  14. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    Perfect! I typically ran my mPulse with the gain between 10 and noon, so I know exactly the tone we are trying to describe. The D800+ can get close to that tone, while also giving you others that the mPulse can’t.
     
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  15. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    What are your settings on the D800+ to get close to this?
     
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  16. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There is some overdrive available on the Subway amps with higher output pickups, but if you play with a light touch and low output pickups, a clean boost might get you into that territory better.
     
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  17. OgWelchy

    OgWelchy

    Jan 21, 2018
    El Cajon, CA
    More of a medium to heavy hand with occasional picking for certain songs. All my basses have stock pickups and rather high output
     
  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Then you should be fine for overdrive. Read the manual, it covers input levels and gain control.
     
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  19. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    I run the gain at about 11:30 (with active basses) with the active/passive switch set to “passive.”. The voicing control is set to around 9 pm. I vary the HPF to deal with stage sound issues and “room boom.”. EQ to taste.
     
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  20. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    I'd read in the past that the m pulse 600 was very loud, but I never got one, because the seller backed out
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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