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Mesa Subway D800+ Still Satisfies... Gawd Does She Ever...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sludgetail, May 6, 2019.


  1. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    Man, if the Mesa D800+ was a woman, the mods would ban me for what I want to say about her... sheesh. I've been playing her for the better part of a year now since I first got her and my 210/115 subway cab setup.

    The video that got it all started for me, was this one, played through some nice monitors:



    I gotta say, the Subway line of cabs blew me away when I first heard 'em in person. Aside from being stupid-light (as their namesake StupidLite implies), they sound absolutely mind blowing, especially paired with the D800+... as Aged Horse promised, no weird issues mixing drivers or anything -- it's loud, proud, major authority there with the 115 and its big bottom, plus the 600w 210 and horn are just rippers -- they tear through the mix in a band setting and my goodness if they don't sound good with both a pick, fingerstyle, and with plenty of slap...

    The thing that got me about this Mesa D800+ head is that it sounds good with EVERYTHING I've ever plugged it into... even for cabs that I was going to go buy for another head.

    Example: I recently went to purchase a NOS vintage Acoustic LA-Made 810 sealed cab... eminence drivers, 13 ply baltic birch, high-end crossover and tweeter, wanted it for my Super Bassman 300... but damn if the D800+ didn't pump the heck out of that 810... it sounds superb -- hit you in the gut with one slap of the E string on my Stingray Special.

    IMG_1095.

    What prompted me to write this post, was today, I went to go buy a 215 Acoustic Cab... it's their 70's 106 model... Big fat GAUSS 15's in there, 400w a piece, nice and heavy.. for the rehearsal space, possibly pair it with the 1983 GK 800rb I got coming... what can I say, I love Duff, and grew up on GNR... from what he mentions in the transcription book -- he says he recorded two tracks for bass, one DI and one lower 15' on the Acoustic cab mic'd... his was loaded with EV's.

    00101_4LPAUI1ef67_1200x900.
    00z0z_7LeAv97Ufqm_1200x900.

    So I go try out the cab, of course I'm taking the D800+ to check it out, the thing is light as a feather and easy to setup. Plug in. Check to make sure I'm on 8/4Ohm...

    BOOM!

    That same chest hit, this time with the Passive P with flats on it!! Big pendulum swing with each string, big thunder in the nether regions... money leaves my wallet. Come home and jam on it some more with the D800+.

    Damn it sounds good.

    This thing is truly remarkable. I'm going to the Bass Hang event over at Bomb Shelter Studios on the 18th with Tony and a few guys from the forum. They will be debuting or sneak-previewing some of the new GK Legacy heads. I'm a MESA dude, through and through... but like any bass head and gear freak, I want to see the latest and to see what they've done with their latest work in Class-D, and what kind of homage the amps pay to the 800rb legacy...

    That said, for anyone reading this, on the fence about Mesa -- the D800 or D800+, please do yourself a favor and jump off the fence. This amp kicks some serious butt, and has a lot of tones in it -- from that classic thump and rumble to the grind and grit to a lot of funk and soul, all the way down to the 5 string knee-taker-outer.

    For anyone reading this who has a WD800 -- can you school me on how it sounds and if you've compared it against the D800+. I am kinda edging towards the new WD800 amp and have to get to Mesa Hollywood to get on it, but anyone with some basic opinion of what they get out of the WD's EQ or hybrid-tube -- pls feel free to chime in....

    Anyhow, sorry for the long rant TB'ers. Love y'all.

    Ps - I don't work for Mesa. Growing up down the street from their Hwood location, I could only dream of the day I'd own one while banging away on a PA Head and cabs.

    D800Subway.
    Subway babes wanna sit on my lap :p
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    petch, lomo, One Way and 29 others like this.
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Please stop! I don't need this right now! I'm buried in gear! :wideyed:

    :wacky:

    Seriously, great post. It's great when your gear sounds so good it's FUN to play! :bassist:
     
    lomo, Mastermold, kesslari and 5 others like this.
  3. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    Hehe I feel you man, I am getting a lot of it over to our new rehearsal space so my 'family room' can once again be for my human family :)

    Thanks for the good word, always enjoy your posts and responses and insight here... I never want to resurrect old threads, but see your posts often and am like, I love this dude's posts.

    Have a great week my friend
     
    RiffwRiter and two fingers like this.
  4. No reason to apologize (IMHO at least), I hear nothing but awesome things all the time about anything from the Subway line. I'm starting to think one of these (800+) could be a long term answer for an amp head for myself.

    I've got a Tone Hammer right now that works for my situation for the most part. I've had issues in the past where once in a blue moon it would have a bit of trouble in the mix of a loud, rock situation. Or on separate occasions, the sound would be too woolly for my taste no matter how it was adjusted, or I'd have issues with boom-y sound..

    Enter the idea of a Subway D800+. I recently upgraded to a 4 ohm cab, so I'd have the benefit of the full 800 watts (likely more than enough power for my situation/cutting through). On board high pass filter to hopefully eliminate any potential issues with boom-y sound. Loving the added tonal options of the "deep" and "bright" switches if needed. Also, just believe it's known for a more clear sound which is more what I feel I'm leaning towards nowadays.

    I'm sure the fine people of TB could come up with endless reasons why I shouldn't need the upgrade. My gut feeling however tells me I wouldn't ever need anything else in my lifetime but a back up head if I ever pull the trigger though.
     
    sludgetail likes this.
  5. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    For sure man, I feel you on not needing another one after this one... it's got enough in there to please, and not just the class-d crowd -- there's a lot of tone dialed-in that I can't find with even my Tube Head... I've heard a lot of people refer to the D800+ as the most tube-sounding non-tube amp on the market... yes it gets clean, but never sterile clean; it's definitely got it's own thing going on, and it's fat without being wooly or lost in the mix, at least with my cabs...

    Which 4ohm cab did you pick up? Like I said, this thing sounds great through more than just the Subway stuff... as cool as it is, it's expensive and I'm saving for either the 215 or 212, possibly just another 1x15 to throw along with it when the room calls for it.

    That said man, keep me posted on your Subway adventures, I know it's pleased me to no end having it and it's tough justifying any other head purchase after this one... though again, that WD800 has my ears perked up. It does what I need and sounds great doing it, the rest is just G.A.S. problems :)
     
    agedhorse and infamusblkdeath like this.
  6. Mingo Sanders

    Mingo Sanders

    Mar 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    We are living in the good old days.
     
  7. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    indeed brother, a bass gear lover's paradise and a lot fresh stuff out there. great mix of time-tested old and new as well :)
     
  8. Mingo Sanders

    Mingo Sanders

    Mar 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    The individuals who will develop the technologies that eclipse today's amazing gear have likely already been born.
     
    chris_b and agedhorse like this.
  9. My cab is a Genz Benz Neo 2x12. Best part is TB'er agedhorse is affiliated with the development of both of these products (can't remember in detail 100% how this is exactly, someone will likely chime in). So that said, despite being two separate brand names, I'm still quite confident they'll pair quite well with each other.

    Anyway, the Subway 2x15 looks intense.. Can't think of too many companies that have offered 2x15 cabs past or present. The thing must push some serious air!

    I will stay posted for sure. Unfortunately, I'm playing a waiting game for the time being as I wanted to try the 800+ in person. However, we have only one Mesa dealer in the area, and naturally they sold the only one they had in stock already. Perhaps I may eventually decide to take a shot in the dark and have them order another in once I figure out the means I need to do so.
     
  10. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    I hear you man, the GB Neos are some bad boys brotha no shame in that game at all! Crisp and solid plus yes, anything with the AH stamp on it, I’m all over it because I know it was done right.

    Sucks about them selling the one D800+. You ever make it out this way hit me up you can play mine whenever brotha. I’m still the same kinda curious about the WD800.

    I am in the same saving mode now for either another 115 or the 215, like you said though they are outrageous... in a good way. The old Mesa Diesels were cool as heck too, lots of people ran those with the GK 800rb from what I’ve been reading here.

    Let me know what you end up doing whenever the time comes man, would love to hear your feedback. For me as a former SWR fan from back in the 90’s, I never could find my sound after they got bought out and closed... once I played this thing, it was everything I’d hoped for and more... anything else I get will be held to this standard and will most likely just be backup or for fun/rehearsal :)
     
    pfschim and infamusblkdeath like this.
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    I’m a previous owner of a D-800+. I also have the Subway 112 and 115 cabs. Man what a killer setup. I used it for a few country gigs, some prof metal, classic rock, at church too. All around solid performer. However, I did sell the + and jumped on a WD... and have ZERO regrets. It’s fairly similar but there’s a textural thing goin on in the MIDS of the WD that is just so... complex to my ears. Notes feel thicker and richer...

    IF
    the D800+ is kinda dry sounding, then the WD is kinda wet sounding.
     
  12. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    Man you’ve got my attention!!! Anymore you can add about the WD for anyone considering making the jump??

    Thanks again and yes I totally feel you on the dryer tone — not dry as in boring by any means, but I get what you mean as a guy who plays one.

    Would you attribute it to the tube or para EQ? More of a grind and grit there?
     
    Element Zero likes this.
  13. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    It’s strange. Yeah there’s more midrange presence in the WD (which I’m pretty sure is something like tube saturation/harmonic content mumbojumbo that I know nothing about) and it’s more pleasing to my ears when you start to drive the input into clipping that the D-800+ was. I wouldn’t say at all that the WD is grindy, although it can do it and do it well incredibly easily. Gonna sound strange but I REALLY enjoy getting a smoother sound out of the WD. Not that I’m in any way comparing but, have you ever heard an Aguilar DB750 or 751? Smooth yet aggressive at the same time without even trying. That’s where my happy place is. The D-800+ would do that in a way, but I felt it was happier in a more aggressive setting. The VOICING knob, the HPF and DEEP switch in the right settings are the true magic of that amp. But ultimately, the WD was just more my cup of pure Kona Coffee.
     
    /\/\3phist0, ELG60 and sludgetail like this.
  14. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    You the man!! I haven’t tried the Aggy, but I totally get what you’re saying with that - man I gotta try one of these WD’s.

    Will report back, as all these things are always player & ear preference but judging from what you’re saying it’s right up my alley... I wholeheartedly appreciate your details and insight brother, thank you so much!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    Element Zero likes this.
  15. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    No problem brotha. Not every amp is gonna be liked by everyone. I Was absolutely NOT a fan of the Aggie Tonehammer 500 and SL112 but for many, it’s an amazing setup. What is lacked, the D-800+ and Subway 112 more than made up for it. I was real happy with my rig and if I’d never tried the WD, I don’t think I’d be missing out on anything. But now that I know, I can’t UN-know.
     
    bdplaid and sludgetail like this.
  16. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    Hehe sounds like exactly where I’m at and what I’m in for *rubbing palms together*

    Thanks again my friend
     
    Element Zero likes this.
  17. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Preach, brotha! Love my D800+ as well. It's been great for every situation and every cab I've tried. Now I'm out of live band situations for the moment, and using it as a studio preamp, and no surprise, it’s great for that too :)

    C745695F-FC41-4AB5-B2D9-B7CA090FDC5E.
     
    DrMole, sludgetail and Element Zero like this.
  18. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I am using the D800+ with a single, or pair of Genz Benz Neox12T's, and they really match-up well. It's as if the same guy designed them or something :)
     
  19. Who'da thunk it?!?!
    :roflmao:
     
    sludgetail and ThinCrappyTone like this.
  20. Honestly Mesa stuff in my personal opinion has always been top of notches, however their Subway lineup of amps and cabs is truly remarkable! The D-800/800+ I feel is one of the best amps out right now and the Subway cabs are great sounding when paired it makes for a truly superb rig. Congrats on fulfilling your dream of being a Mesa owner too by the way.
     

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