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Recommendations For New Amp Head to Replace Mesa....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shoot-r, Aug 8, 2017.


  1. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    Been gigging "two" Mesa M-6 Carbine heads for awhile now, absolutely LOVE them.

    One of them decided to blow it's power section recently, (the other one has been rebuilt/up-graded by Mesa and is doing fine.)

    I took the blown one to my closest, authorized, certified, Mesa Service Center and was told, "They DON'T service M-6's or M-9's at local Mesa Service Centers, they have to be returned to Mesa in Calif." .... :banghead: :banghead:

    (Something to consider if your thinking of picking-up a Carbine while their still available.)

    I'm not sure I really want to put shipping charges and even more money into these heads.

    I'm keeping my working M-6 and will to continue to gig with it for as long as it'll last, but I'm looking for recommendations for another head that will have that feeling of power and speed with the absolute clean low end, the bell like chime of the attack of the note, and the clarity, clarity, clarity of the M-6.

    I've heard it said here at T.B. that a Glock head would be a near replacement, but I've never even seen one let alone played through one.

    Some say the M-6 was Mesa's answer to the clean G.K. sound.
    I've a G.K. MB-500 that I'm using as a back-up right now, and the MB-500 compaired to the M-6, it's no contest.
    To my ears, the G.K. seems to have a blanket over the cabinet in comparison.

    Looking for any and all recommendations for a head with the above M-6 attributes.
     
  2. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Why not give customer service a call and see if it makes sense to you?

    The (primary) reason for servicing these at the factory is to insure that you get the best possible repair (and whatever updates necessary). The guys working on the Carbines know them inside and out, and have the needed test fixtures to be sure they are fixed right. In the end, this represents the best value to the customer as well as minimizes the time consuming hassles of dealing with walking unfamiliar techs through the service processes without the benefits of the factory test fixtures.
     
  3. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    FWIW, I'd follow agedhorse's suggestion of contacting Mesa just to see what they can do for you. The factory guys are great to work with and I've sent 3 heads to them from the East Coast - the quality of service makes the shipping well worth it IMO.

    As for similar heads, the GK MB800 will get you close IMO and the new Mesa D-800/800+ will get you even closer. The new Subway head has the added advantage of being able to cop other classic Mesa bass amp voicings as well. If high frequency and open sound is especially important, I'd recommend the D-800+ with its greater voicing options (although I only own the D-800).

    To be clear, I'm not pushing class D heads over AB, I own all three Carbine models, a Walkabout and a Steve Rabe era vintage SWR. I have simply become convinced that in a mix, a head like the D-800/800+ gets me everything I like about Mesa heads without the size and weight. I also own the GK MB heads (played my 800 this weekend and there was no blanket covered sound coming from my Berg CN212).

    Good luck with your decision!
     
    murphy likes this.
  4. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    +3, send it home. An "Authorized Service Center" is a double edged sword to most manufacturers. They are usually not owned or controlled by the manufacturer. Factory service is the best bet if you can swing it, and this case you can since your spare is down.
     
    Al Kraft likes this.
  5. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    Awwww :( it was so young too, a tragedy
     
    agedhorse likes this.
  6. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois


    Yes sir, Mesa C.S. is among the best IMHO. I've had one of my M-6's rebuilt/up-graded by the Mesa Service Center in Calif. a year or two back if you recall, so I know the costs of up-grades/shipping, ect.
    Just not sure at this time that would be the best way to spend (plus or minus) $500.00.
    Five hundred puts me in very close striking distance of a new 800+ head.
    Now, "if" I can just locate one to audition!
    Been trying to locate one at a stocking Mesa dealer somewhere near central Illinois since the we're released, NO luck.
     
  7. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois




    Al, thank-you for your recommendations.

    I owned and gigged with a G.K. MB-800 head for over a year, very reliable and powerful.
    I could just never seem to bond with it, was constantly turning knobs for the sound in my head that I never did find.
    Traded the G.K. MB-800 even-up for my first M-6, there was what I was looking for, my ears haven't been the same since.

    I'd like to stay in the Mesa family. Hopefully I'll stumble onto a 800+ and all my boxes will get checked!
     
  8. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois




    Aaaaa....O.K.

    Not sure how this is a helpful recommendation, but I thank-you for the time out of your life it took to post this....:confused:
     
  9. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    You're right about the cost difference between the repair and new 800+. I can't imagine you'd be the least bit disappointed with the 800+ and that NV610 you recently acquired. :)

    I only have the base 800 model and it's pretty impressive...goes from almost WA to almost Carbine with an inherent Carbine quickness and touch less high end bite than the Carbine.

    Good luck with a tough decision!
     
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Another advantage of a D-800+ is that you will get a 5 year transferable warranty, this plus whatever you might be able to get for your existing unit might make this a better "big picture" option.

    You really should call customer service to see what updates your amp might already have. This is one reason why these are factory service, to be sure you only pay for what needs to be done. It may not be a $500 repair, I really don't know but based on the serial number history we should be able to get you a better idea.
     

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