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Question on Mesa M-6 Bass Heads.....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shoot-r, Feb 4, 2016.


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  1. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    Been gigging my friends "old" M-6 bass head, (serial number back in the 400's).
    It's never had any of the upgrades/improvements made to it from Mesa.
    It is absolutely the best sounding bass head my ears have ever come across!

    My question: what are the upgrades that have been made to the M-6's over the years and has these up grades had any effect on the tone and unbelieveable output of the M-6?

    I know they added a second fan and placed cooling holes in the amp cover but was any of the circuits changed?

    I'm thinking about going with a new M-6 and want the same everything from it as this old one has.....

    Thanks to all.....
     
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I don't believe any changes affecting power output or tone have been made to the M6. M9 is another story, but IMHO, you can't go wrong with a new m6 as long as it is enough power for your needs. I would also not be afraid to buy a used m6, even an early serial number. BTW, I am the owner of serial #34 of the M9 heads. Mine had lots of upgrades, but never the power downgrade of the later days.
     
  3. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    I did pick-up a used M-6 a few weeks back.
    It's a late 2010 model.
    And, unfortunately it sounds just o.k., weak, mushy, lost in a band mix, nothing remarkable.
    It just doesn't have the clarity/fullness/cut/feel of power/throw the notes out of the cabinet/cut through the band abilities that my friends old M-6 has.

    Either my friend's M-6 is one in a million or there might be a problem in the one I bought.
    That's why I was wondering about how the newest models we're sounding before investing in a new head.
     
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Bring your head to your friend. A/B them.
     
  5. grimmchaos

    grimmchaos Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2007
    Albany, NY
    I had an older one for a time and it sounded great. The volume knob was just too touchy for me and I didn't need all the power, even at 8ohms. AFAIK, the one I had was from 2010 and was never sent to Mesa for the upgrades. Sounds like there might be an issue with the one you purchased.
     
  6. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    Still have my friend's M-6, and the used M-6 I bought, and have A/B'ed them a bunch in our family room at home.....several times I've brought them both to gigs and A/B'ed them on different sets.....I've brought both of them to rehearsals for comparison.....mine's just not in the same sonic ballpark as my friend's.

    I contacted Mesa about repairs/upgrades to my used M-6.
    With the cost of the used head and cost for repairs it'll be close to the cost for a new M-6.
    I'll trade-in my used one and go new if a new one has the sound of my friend's old M-6.



    This is what I'm trying to confirm, that "all" M-6's (especially new one's) are supposed to sound like my friend's old M-6, fast, punchy, powerful, clear, stands out in a band mix, ect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Seems to me there is something wrong with your M6. I have never heard one sound anything but punchy, clear, etc.
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 agreed. Perhaps a set of failed MOSFETs (or two)?
     
    Jim Carr likes this.
  9. cfsporn

    cfsporn

    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Bad tube?
     
  10. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    This is what I'm wanting to hear.
    I'm seeing a new M-6 in my future!





    A problem in the power section, this is what I think also.
    (I believe there's something not quite right in the pre-amp section also.)

    My friend's M-6 with the gain set at 10:00, master at 8:30 to 9:00 is LOUD in our family room.
    My used M-6, gain also at 10:00, needs the master around 1:00 to 2:00 to reach even close to the same levels.

    On stage, my friend's M-6, gain at 10:00, master at 11:00, is plenty to cut through the band's mix.
    On stage, my used M-6, gain at 10:00, master at 3:00 to 4:00 is lost in the mix, boomy, no clarity.





    First thing I changed out was the pre-amp tube.
    Put in a new, Mesa 12AX7, no change in clarity, tone, output, ect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Rather than rampant speculation about some of the more unlikely possible causes, may I suggest that the OP have the amp properly diagnosed and repaired.

    You can always contact customer service help get this taken care of.
     
    Jim Carr and cfsporn like this.
  12. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois


    When I first got my used M-6 I contacted Mesa C.S. for a "guess-ta-mate" of what the problems probably were and a guess what the prices for upgrades and repairs would be.
    (I figured they had a real good idea of what the problems are from my descriptions, but having the head on site would "for sure" be better.)

    I'm just not sure, (and more importantly, my wife isn't sure.....:D.....), I want to invest even more in this used M-6 and have it come back NOT sounding as great as my friend's old, untouched, non-upgraded M-6.



    A few weeks back I did try to contact Mesa's Service Dept. about what the return for repairs procedure would be for my M-6.....they haven't gotten back to me.


    I have located a Mesa dealer that has a new M-6 in stock, (and a Subway D-800!)
    We're driving there probably in the next week or so for some A/B'ing of new and old.


    .....
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  13. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    Made the three hour, one-way drive to the Mesa dealer for the A/B'ing of the new and old M-6 heads.

    (And, of course the Subway D-800 was sold the day before I got there. I was told the D-800's sell as fast as they come in. Maybe I'll get to try/hear one another time.)

    I truly hate to say this.....Yeah gang, there "IS" a difference to my ears between the old, untouched M-6 and the new one.
    Both sounded great in their own way, but the old one of my friend's just sounded clearer, even when the voice control was at one (full mid cut) even with the bass rolled up it still has a clarity and presence I've not heard in another bass head.

    I've decided to send the used M-6 I bought to Mesa and ask if they can put it to the specs that was used in the early Carbines just as they we're being changed from the Fathom name.

    Anyone have a e-mail address for Mesa's Service Dept.?
    I've still not heard back from them by phone, (probably something I messed up on my end when I called in.)




    ....
     
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Shop is closed on Fridays, call again Monday, or use the contact info on the website.
     
  15. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois

    Gonna call em' again tomorrow.....hopefully get this ball rolling!
    Thanks agedhorse.
     
  16. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    And Mesa has been e-mailed.....
     
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Mesa CS seems to prefer phone contact, IME. I would bet they will find something is out of sorts in your M6, not related to any thermal upgrades. My M9 was upgraded twice, and sounds the same as it did back when it was unmodified.
     
  18. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois

    Yes sir, you are correct!!!

    Just read their e-mail, they want me to try to call Rich.....again.....

    I'll give him a call Monday.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016

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