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Mesa Subway+ DI vs Broughton Messenger

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by The Diaper Geni, Apr 18, 2019.


  1. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I'm scheming to get an all-in-one preamp/DI for my IEM gigs (which are now far more numerous than my "normal" gigs).

    Both the Subway+ and Messenger seem like they'd do the trick. And I'll prolly be equally happy with either choice. But just thought I'd ask here. Ideally I'd like to get something for my electric gigs (70's pop/rick to Elvis tribute to contemporary worship to the occasional reggae gig) and my upright gigs (mostly a drummerless trio with piano and sax).

    Both have semi parametric mids. Both have low and high shelving. Both have HPF. Both have, I assume, top quality DI. Both can drive a power amp. Both have a Boost option via a footswitch.

    I like the LPF on the Messenger and the "utility" aspect of it. And the price. The Subway+ has the Voicing control that might come in handy, and a fx loop that also might come in handy. And the Subway+ has a tuner out and Mute.

    Can the Subway+ do clean if the Input is kept low? And can the Subway+ get some "color" if the Input is turned up? If that makes sense.

    Anybody here have any experience comparing these two pre's?

    @agedhorse @Azure Skies
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    saltydude likes this.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I've had both. The Subway definitely has more 'color' to it. It's clean by nature, but can dial in a bit of hair but nothing over the top. For bass I much preferred the Subway. The Messenger would have been fantastic for my acoustic/electric guitar setup but just didn't have board space for it.
     
  3. sambass0124

    sambass0124

    Mar 2, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Subscribed. I want to know too.
     
    The Diaper Geni likes this.
  4. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Thanks for the input!

    Did I ASSume correctly that by keeping the input gain low on the Subway it’ll stay clean(er) than turning up the input gain?
     
  5. cavemanbass

    cavemanbass

    Nov 5, 2010
    The messenger also has a LPF if that matters to you. I don't have either of these pedals but use both H and LPF all the time.
     
    The Diaper Geni likes this.
  6. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    For those keeping track I went with the Messenger.

    I was going to get the Subway+ but then I thought "Will it fit on my Nano board??" I just baaaaarely would fit. But after I add a tuner and MXR BOD there wouldn't be any more room if I wanted to add an OD or comp. So I went with the Messenger.
     
    Tad, nonohmic and cosmicevan like this.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I would call dibs just to maintain my streak but I’m out of the floor pre game - at least for this week ;-)
     
    The Diaper Geni likes this.
  8. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    :bag:
     
  9. sambass0124

    sambass0124

    Mar 2, 2013
    Hong Kong
    do you like it? does the Messenger has it's own color or it is transparent?
     
  10. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Don't know. Still in route. I'll (try to remember to) update this thread when I get it and gig it. But I'm more than sure it's a quality unit and it does what it's advertised to do. Broughton Audio is good stuff.

    Feel free to bug me in a week or so!
     
    sambass0124 likes this.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    1000% transparent.
     
  12. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Seems like a lot of gain on tap.
    Will the Broughton drive a set of headphones?
     
  13. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    No idea. I’ll find out next week.
     
    Jim C likes this.
  14. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Subscribing to this one
     
  15. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Got it yesterday! On my way to my church gig right now.

    Here’s da board, simple and effective (with a Terraformer on the way):

    8535861F-39BA-4230-A516-6C88278EF87D.jpeg
     
  16. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    And what did you think of the Messenger?
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  17. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Oh yeah....Sorry for the delay.

    What's not to like? L/HPF, Bass/Treble, two bands of semiparametric EQ, very nice sounding DI out, sounds great on 'lectric and upright, pretty small, nice price, seems to be very well built (like all Broughton stuff)....

    I've already dialed in a very nice tone or two. It's fun to use the LPF and Treble to create a little resonant peak up high that cuts but is not all zingy and fret-noisy. I also do the same for the bottom end. Set the HPF around 60-ish hz to thin out the bass then boost the Bass knob to taste.

    It's not a sexy pedal. It's utility. It's perfect for my small IEM board. I'm going to add an OD (got a Terraformer on the way) and call it a day. I won't use the separate DI and Line Out Levels that often but will be very happy to have that feature when needed. I guess my only gripe is I'd trade having a fully parametric EQ with the ability to bypass the EQ (via footswitch). I generally like a very narrow cut of about 4-5 db in the 250 hz range. But with a semi parametric EQ I find cutting around 250 hz juuuuust a smidge and then using the Bass knob to add some beef back in does the job, too.

    It's a great deal, really. Just a quality L/HPF and quality DI would run you about $250-ish, no?
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  18. SteIIa

    SteIIa

    Mar 5, 2018
    Hey. It's been a while.... anything different, now that you've had time to play with it some more?

    I'm looking at this exact choice: Subway+ or Messenger.

    Also, how's the Terraformer? I'm also trying to decide between After Shock, Terraformer, and DG Vintage Microtubes. Just looking for a bit of grit on the low end for motown/blues/R&B/soul type stuff.
     
  19. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I still like it quite a bit. Doesn't mean I don't have GAS for the Subway+ Preamp. (Just put up and ad in the Wanted classifieds.) Not because the Messenger and Terraformer aren't doing it for me. I've just got issues.

    The Messenger by itself sounds great. I know it's supposed to be transparent. But I do sense a little "weight" to my tone? But it may be just in my head. The H/LPF's and the Bass/Treble controls add a TON of useable tones to this pedal. And seriously....the price point can't be beat. It's a top notch piece of gear.

    I still can't stop thinking about the Subway+, or the Starlifter, either. Too much good gear out there!
     
  20. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I forgot to add....I think you’d dig the TF for what you’re looking for.
     
  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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