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My own Mesa M-Pulse 600 Review (vs Ampeg SVT4 pro)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by baxter_x, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'm a long time Ampeg SVT4 Pro user. This amp just provides me pretty much everything I want and need.
    But for the last two years I really got attracted by the Mesa M-Pulse 600. I liked the finish and wanted to give a try to Mesa. I found a good deal: Both the amp and the 410 Powerhouse and the amp controller for 1000$. I have the stack for a several days now, and just wanted to share my review on this amp.

    The amp:
    First it needed to cleaned up a little and the tubes were just flat dead. I could here this typical glass sound in the background and some microphonic noises when playing.
    Once the tubes were changed, it got way better. The head was going way lower was also more dynamic and dead quiet.
    I really had troubles finding a good sound with just the preamp EQ. It was cold, clonky.... However with the help of the parametric EQ things got wayyyyy better! I could find the dynamic and the sound I'm used.
    A big fat low heavy sound. Pretty much the same as my SVT4 Pro, not to say 95% the same. The SVT4 is just a bit cleaner.
    The only difference was the master volume set at 100% for the MP600 and 50% for the SVT4. Which is pretty normal as the MP600 is rated at 600W ant the SVT4 1200W. About this, I've heard many times Ampeg over estimate their rating, and Mesa under estimate theirs. I thought that was pretty much respected in both cases. Only the gain was not set perfectly identical.

    The cab:
    I have to say, that thing really impressed me. I'm a long time SWR Goliath III user, and the Powerhouse is pretty much the same with something even more dynamic. Almost aggressive. On the other side the SWR was smoother. To my ears, I still prefer the SWR but there is no doubt the PowerHouse probably doesn't have any trouble cutting through the mix. I also really appreciate the real casters on the Mesa cab and the way you can take it off. But I'mselling it. Not that I don't like it but it can't really compete with my pair of GIII. If I would I have owned only one GIII I would have thought about it twice.

    I now have to choose between my very trusty SVT4 Pro or this new Mesa M-Pulse 600. And it's a real though case as both heads are great.
    I only regret the fact that I have to constantly use the EQ on the MP600. I usually use this feature as a second channel.
    I'm probably going to use extensively the Mesa head for a several weeks/months, and then go back to my Ampeg and see if I regret it or not. If I don't, I might sell it, if I do, I might sell the Mesa ;)

    Any inputs, comments, feedback will be appreciated
    omie likes this.
  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Way back in the day of my first real band my bass rig was an SVT-4 with Ampeg cabs. Nice loud rig with good 'Peg tones. One night we had a flash show and I got to plug into another bassists M-Pulse with the PH-1000 cab. I will never forget that experience as I was living in a very dark world up until then. I was sold on Mesa after that.
  3. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Well.... To me, once you dial in the sound you want, they sound pretty much the same. About the cab, yes it's great. But I already own 2 cabs and it's enough for me. And I have to say I love my SWR Goliath III
  4. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Question, How and why do you need that much power?
    Do you set the preamp gain low?
  5. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    the master volume at 50% doesn't mean necessarily half the maximum power. The volume could be behaving logarithmic.
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  6. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    No I don't set the gain low. Pretty high actually.
    Why so much power? Just because I just want to make sure I can power up anything I want. Espacially when I can use two 810 at some gigs.
    But I admit it might not be totally necessary.

  7. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    It wasn't a sarcastic question, i actually set up my Master up to 50% with my gain pretty high. But i have a Shuttle6.0 with an ClassD poweramp which are known for a lack of power.
    Actually, i don't know.

    On the Master/Power ratio, it depends on brands.
    But with a Linear POT half way, you got 50% of the full scale signal going into your power amp.
    With a Logarithmic, it's more like 30% with a halfway pot.

    Except, many brands uses LIN pot to make you feel you have a very powerful head, but pass half way course on the master, you don't feel the power increasing.
  8. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Je ne l'ai pas pris comme tel ;)

    I'm aware that the SVT4 Pro is a real beast. And 600W should be enough. It's like going from a V12 to a V8. It's more in your mind.
  9. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Do you guys know of the MP600 can sound the same as a Titan V12. I'm interested in the Titan, but I just want to make sure I'll be able to dial in the sound I want.
    How the V12 sounds? Will I be albe to get the massive fat christal clear sound I'm used to with my SVT4 Pro?

    I'm interested in the V12 as I'd like to have 2 independant channels and OD.
  10. Looks like an old thread, but I've recently fallen under the Mesa spell, myself. My journey transpired thusly:

    I like to keep no more than the equipment I need for whatever I'm doing at the time, but even that has become complicated. I pulled out the stops about 4 years ago and decided I was going throw myself back into playing as I had done heavily through the 80s and 90s, and I was starting from a pretty minimalist equipment platform. One Jazz bass and an Acoustic B100 amp that I'd picked up used about seven years ago. And a Hartke 3500 head with nothing to drive (old Sonic cab had been destroyed years ago in a basement flood, so the Hartke was orphaned). I've been playing out a lot over the past three years, and have progressed from small rooms and barroom jams to larger venues, outdoor shows, and just about any other performance environment that can be found within 100 miles of home. The B100 was a great little jam and practice amp, but I traded it against a B200 as the former wasn't really "full band" capable. Next step was the addition of an older GK1001RB head and an Acme Low B 210 for a little more oomph when needed. Between those two, most bar/restaurant gigs and close-quarters outdoor events were covered, with easy load-in and load-out. Things continued to progress, and both rigs wound up being sold to fund a MarkBass CMD121P with NY121 extension, a great portable rig with all the power I needed to handle medium sized indoor venues. It pretty much did everything I needed with one rig instead of two. I did not find it to be very workable on outdoor events, particularly where no backwall was available (rear ported), and I also found that for playing in venues with glass boundaries for a backwall - three of the venues I now regularly play are set up like this - it took a lot of EQ jockeying to even approach a giggable sound and presence. I sold the NY121 extension cab and kept the CMD121P for use in some of our smaller venues with more accommodating acoustics, and in these situations I now usually use the combo by itself on a tilt-back stand. It sounds great in the right rooms and it's incredibly portable, so I see no reason to let go of it.

    I decided awhile ago that since the gig settings were becoming ever more unpredictable, I wanted to try my luck on sealed cabs. I saw this as a good way to cover the outdoor, large venue, or acoustically difficult situations. It was also a great excuse to pick up a nice used SVT 810, which has turned out to be a great performer on outdoor gigs, and until recently I had driven it with the Hartke 3500. Wonderful head, though in all honestly, I just plain wore myself out on it years ago. I was ready for something different. So I sold it, and had been taking my time deciding what I really wanted out of my next head. In the interim, I picked up an SVT410HE to handle acoustically tricky indoor spaces. I gigged it immediately in a medium-sized venue, unplugging the internal 12" from my MarkBass combo and hitching up the SVT instead. Wow. Huge difference, beautiful broad tone with a tight bottom end. It compelled me to be even more selective with the head I would buy, but crunch time was coming as the end of this year has a number of gigs that will require either the 410 or 810. Whatever I wound up buying would have to do the 4 ohm 810 justice on outdoor shows, and the 8 ohm 410 justice indoors. I wanted to get away from graphic EQ, opting instead for semi-parametric...and I do love sweepable mids. So I started my search by checking out a variety of amps in the 500-1000 watt range. Included were the Mesa D800 (killer), GK MB800 and the Fusion, Peavey MiniMega, Aguilar ToneHammer 500, and also revisited the modern GK1001RB. I even checked out a Bergantino B|Amp, which was an amazing piece of gear...just pricey. Lots of good options among these amps, and all had their ups and downs. I loved the EQ offerings on the Berg and Aguilar, loved the raw force of the Mesa, MB800 and MiniMega. Decisions, decisions.

    I was about to pull the trigger on an MB800 Fusion (loved that tube front end), when along came a used M Pulse 600. I was familiar with that head by reputation only. Having never tried one myself, I demoed it to find out what the hype was about. Tube front end - check. Semi parametric? Check, and then some - five band, fully sweepable, in addition to the pre-shaping controls. Very musical, relevant onboard compression controls. And sound-wise, oh, my...yes. Big ol' meaty bottom, abundantly musical through the mids, creamy in the highs where so many other amps tended toward strident and ganky. Nice, warm tube breakup with the right pre setting - great for adding just a little hair to the sound. And it turned out to be a winning partner for both of my SVT cabs, broad and deep without the bottom-end flab. Plenty of low-mid punch. On most gigs I take a passive MIA Jazz and a Yamaha TRBX505 (active), and this amp gets along beautifully with both instruments. I switch the semi-parametric controls off when using the TRBX and get a wide, articulate sound that's decidedly modern but still plays off well in the context of "vintage" music. I engage the parametric section to use the Jazz, and likewise get a nice wide sound with some added snarl and burp when I want it. And while I'm not a big effects user by any means, I like having the FX loop with blend control on this amp. I can loop in some wet chorus and dial the FX mix up to where it just starts to swim and shimmer a little over a mostly straight sound - I really appreciate having that flexibility if I need it.

    It's a long way of saying that I've done the whole OCD thing like a pro, considering all the different options and chasing my own tail until I was nearly clueless about how I really wanted to proceed, but then this particular head fell from the sky and made up my mind for me. I won't go so far as to say it's the last head I'll ever own, but it'll be one I know I'll keep for a long, long time.
    Willicious and baxter_x like this.
  11. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    I'll trade the MP600 against a Carbine M9 tomorrow.
    I finally got used to the sound of the amp, but I felt my SVT4 Pro was still better to my ears. So, I'll see with the M9 ;)
  12. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    M-Pulse 600 traded today for a Carbine M9. A review soon ;)
  13. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013

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