1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Mesa Prodigy vs 400/400+

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NotTylerHendley, Jan 6, 2018.


  1. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    Hello all!

    I'm looking to get myself a monster tube amp to take on tour soon. I have a '71 Amp V4 that I love, but it weighs 80lbs without a case.

    So my question is, the newer Mesa Prodigy heads as well as the 400+ can be had for around the same price. I can't find a straight Mesa 400 or I'd have gone for that already.

    I've seen a lot of threads on either/or, but does anyone like one over the other? Any reliability issues to report? (I will be bringing a small SS head as a backup)

    One thing that the Prodigy has on the 400+ is the ability to half the power section. However the 400+ is rack mountable and has the additional graphic EQ.


    Let me know what you all think (and if you have either for sale :smug:)

    Thanks!
    Tyler

    *EDIT* I have also considered the Ampeg SVT-II and 2Pro. I am generally happy with the tone of my V4 (though not the same as an SVT) but the cost of tubes for the II and 2Pro is heartbreaking. Even if the Mesa's are just slightly cheaper, it seems the tubes of the Ampegs may become more scarce. What are your opinions on this as well?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  2. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The vintage V4B weight is listed at around 65lbs IIRC (manuals in the wiki say 60lbs).

    The SVT and one of the Mesa amps use the same/similar power tubes (Mesa uses KT88 or 6550 I don’t recall which), and all of them use the same standard production preamp tubes, so tubes going out of production should not be a concern of one versus the other.

    As far as price, the 400+ usually sell for around or under $1000 which is half the new cost of the prodigy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    FlemptonBass likes this.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    If you concerned about weight, the SVT II and II-Pro both weigh around 80lbs.
     
    chaosMK, Kro, baxter_x and 1 other person like this.
  4. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011

    I was concerned about this too, the main reason I am considering that route is because there is one up for a great deal in my area. Any experience with them?
     
  5. bassboysam

    bassboysam Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Ottawa, Ontario
    the II is basically an SVT in a rack format with some extra bells and whistles. the Mesa amps never sounded tubey to me so i'd go ampeg. the closest tube sound i got from a mesa amp was from the walkabout.
     
    Furious_Man77 likes this.
  6. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011

    Funny you mentions that. Of any Mesa amp I've always heard the best of the Walkabouts hahaha
     
    baileyboy likes this.
  7. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    The II rocks, a really beautiful sound and feel. I loved it but my aging back required selling it. I briefly owned the Strategy and didn’t think it was tubey or warm sounding at all.
     
    Tim1 likes this.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I own both, along with a 400+. They're all great amps. The SVT will have more clean headroom and more push in the low mids, whereas the 400+ has more aggression in the high mids.

    I previously owned a Prodigy. I was not a fan of it's EQ or overdrive tone. I found it to be mid scooped in all Voicing settings with no ability to dial in a mid boost while retaining the amount of low end I wanted. It's not exactly the tubiest sounding tube amp either.

    The 400+ has a better balance and much better EQ options with the GEQ, but I rarely use it because it sounds great at the typical 2/10/2 flat setting.
     
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Yup.

    OP if you like your V4B but want to shave some weight, have you considered the new V4B reissue? Sounds just like the vintage amps, specs at 41 lbs. Uses all standard production tubes (no 6K11 or 7027A) and has a built in DI.
     
  10. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    That's another quote I'd heard about the Prodigy. A bummer that you'd almost have to purchase an EQ pedal just to dial in your desired midrange.


    I played through one a while back and while it sounded pretty nice, for some reason it didn't grab me. The one I have now is the V4 with the reverb tank - not very SVT like, but a good clean platform to run a bunch of fuzz and distortion through (and I DO :bassist:)
     
  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I use the same, have had three of them through the years. They do have their own character in the gain staging and the big (relatively for 100 watts) clean power amp, but I think the SVT and V4 are a few knobs twists away from each other. On my current V4 I swapped the coupling caps to V4B values and you get a hair more low end but it doesn't sound like a huge difference. Going to the SVT adds another 20+ pounds and adds the restriction of needing to use a 4 ohm cab. I tend to find the V4 to be the more flexible amp.

    GB567iX.
     
  12. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    Sweet Jesus and Lynyrd Skynyrd that’s quite the tone stack!!
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Other players disagree with me.

    I'm the type that wants "my" tone straight out of the amp without adding anything to it. I do love and use effects all the time but I don't rely of them just in case something goes wrong.
     
  14. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    Corey, I used to have a B-25 with 2- 215 JBL loaded cabs. Sounded amazing but ran out of steam. Wish I had a V-4 then.
     

    Attached Files:

    Moosehead1966 and coreyfyfe like this.
  15. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    Not a surprise. Mine (1972 ish), still has mid 80's 7027A tubes and is incredibly powerful!
     
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    the subway d800 can get you some d180 character, but cleaner and deeper
     
    Joshbazz likes this.
  17. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    I haven’t heard of the d180 previously. Is the character similar to the 400 series?
     
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    the d180 is more mid focused and it has a gain structure that allows for crazy od with a hi output bass, it's been great for me with two orange 115s, but i don't need svt type volume
    it definitely has the vintage mesa tube sound, but the 400 series was designed to be louder, deeper, and less overdriven
     
  19. NotTylerHendley

    NotTylerHendley Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    I appreciate the info! I strangely haven’t run across it in my searches
     
    mpdd likes this.
  20. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    I think it depends on what you're looking for. I have the Strategy and I have to dial back it's mids to keep it from drowning out the rest of the band. I A/B'd it side by side against an SVT/410 and chose the Mesa because I felt it had a more aggressive sounding midrange compared to the SVT, which was of course very classic (and good) sounding.

    I don't use the Strategy's graphic EQ except to cut some low end at home so I don't shake sh*t off my shelves... never needed it live. Can't see why one would be necessary with a Prodigy unless you're trying to make it sound like something it isn't.

    IMO, the problem with the Prodigy/Strategy isn't that they lack mids or that they don't sound "tubey"... it's that they don't sound like an Ampeg, and lets face it... when people think "tube" they typically think SVT.

    Also IMO, you should get a Mesa if you like the sound of a Mesa, not because you think it's some sort of lightweight Ampeg.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.