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Switching to a modular rack....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by K-Funk, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I've been debating selling my Mesa Bass 400 for a while in order to buy something more modern-sounding and more flexible to accomodate my new addiction to Warwick basses.

    Just yesterday, a local gentleman offered to trade me a pile of gear for my Mesa: an SWR Interstellar Overdrive preamp, a QSC RMX1450 power amp, and a pair of Eden 410XLT cabinets, all in great condition. In essence, I'd be trading my head for this full rig.

    I won't get a chance to try any of this stuff out until later next week or beyond, but it certainly looks very cool. The QSC power amp is a little too much for my applications, but I don't have to turn it up all the way :p

    I'm just searching around for opinions on this; any input would be greatly appreciated!
  2. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    Any ideas at all?
  3. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    If you can use the additional cabs, it is an OK swap. On just the electronics, there is NO WAY I would trade that Mesa for the SWR/QSC unless my back was giving out!

    When you add in the cabs it is a decent deal but only if you need and like that sound.

    BTW - I like Mesa but my Shuttle 6.0 and Glock HeartCore suit me better.
  4. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I agree on the electronics part in terms of value..... the thing is, I'm kind of getting tired of the tube thing, and would really like to get back into higher-power, high-headroom solid state amps. The best setup I ever had was an SVT4-Pro paired with an SVP-Pro preamp... however, I was considering the benefits of the QSC amp because I've been hearing a lot about reliability issues with the SVT4's power section. I didn't own it long enough to really allow any problems to surface.

    I'm not getting out of tube amps for the weight; it's mostly the tone. The styles of music I play now aren't really suited to big tube heads, which are great for rock and metal but not "softer" styles.
  5. I think it sounds like a fair deal. I don't know much about the SWR preamp, I run an RBI, but I definitely like being modular. If something goes out, I can just replace the failed member. Also gives the option of using various preamps while retaining the same power level, which I haven't done yet. Still, a Mesa 400 is a sweet head......I'm glad it's your decision and not mine.:D
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've never understood this. I spent 20 years playing a huge variety of music on an SVT/810. I don't get where the softer styles automatically rule out tubes.
  7. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I don't understand it either, but my ear does. Maybe it's too much coloration? I'm considering hanging on to the Mesa for a little longer, and maybe trying out some new tubes. But right now, it's one of the most aggressive heads I've ever heard. Play the most singing, sweet line, and it still puts a fist through your teeth. I'd like to replace the 6L6's with KT-88's for more cleanliness, but because my amp originally came with 6L6's, that means new screen resistors, a whole bunch of work.

    I'm not sure I want to rule out tube amps in general, but for what I'm doing right now, the Mesa isn't really working. I need a pure, natural, singing sound that's somewhat mellow but still strong. Sorry for the flurry of adjectives, but it's what's in my head. Most importantly, it needs character. I don't want dead and sterile, but I do want pure. Maybe I can get my dream sound from a tube amp, but as the Mesa stands at the moment, it's not quite cutting it (no pun intended).
  8. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    Overall, I think it is a decent deal. I would consider a different preamp though. I liked the interstellar overdrive I tested out for a overdrive/distortion, but I would not want it as my main preamp.

    Just my 2 cents,

  9. What I thought. Tubes "creamy," unless overdriven...? I'd guess the secondary market for the Mesa is just going to improve over time - can't say that for the SWR stuff ("Buy my SuperRedHead, Please! (snare roll)"). Would one of the new SS microamps work for a while so you could hang onto the Mesa?

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