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Walkabout Scout vs. MPulse Venture Combo--Knucklehead Questions (long)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by emor, Jul 27, 2004.


  1. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    After reading lots of good things on TB about the Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout, I visited a local store on Sunday and "took it out for a spin". I played through the 12" model alone and with a 15" extension cabinet. They didn't have the 15" version in stock. The 12" combo sold for $1149, and the 15" ext. cab was $599. The 15" combo sells for $1249. The salesman told me that Mesa doesn't allow any movement on these prices, so I'm wondering about that, first of all.

    Keep in mind that I didn't spend a lot of time messing around with the EQ, etc., but I have to say that I was pretty knocked out by just the volume coming out of such small cabinets.

    At this point let me say that I am looking for something relatively small and portable, but loud enough to play in a blues/rock band. While the 12" combo was impressive by itself, I think it would be necessary to have the other cab as well. Actually what I am thinking, is that it might be better to get the 15" combo and add a 2x10 cab at some later time; which brings me to the MPulse Venture Combo (1x15").

    I know that this amp has more features, but what I'm thinking about at this point is mostly volume. Would I be better off going ahead and getting the more powerful head and not have to worry about it, or is it overkill (I know this is terribly subjective, but I'd appreciate any opinions). I would be getting the 15" version with the possibility of adding a 2x10" at a later time.

    Also, I am very curious about something I read in the Gear Review about this amp:

    I was looking for portability and a great sound. I was tired of hauling a head plus one or two cabs to gigs. I tired this out at the Guitar Center in our area and fell in love with the sound and the flexibility of the footswtiching system. I can change channels (for solo or use it for different basses (eq passive and active)). The footswitchable EQ and compressor are also cool features. You also have a footswitchable FX loop. This amp has tons of possibilities. I have the 2X10 speaker configuration (also comes in a 1X15 or just a head - same basic amp as the Mpluse 600). This handles my 5 string with no problems. The 600 watts can handle most any venue from clubs to outdoor gigs (as a stage monitor). The catalogue says that you can add extra cabs for larger venues but when I talked to a Mesa rep he said it was not recommended for extended periods at higher volumes. BEWARE - - this combo is very heavy. Mesa does not list the weight but my guess is well over 100 lbs. Over all I like it much better than my SWR rig (which I leave at practice) - much warmer tone. My advice is try it out. I gave it a "9". The only thing that kept me from giving it a "10" was the weight.

    So, what would the point be of having such a powerful amp if you couldn't add an ext. cab and play at higher volumes for extended periods? Seems counter-intuitive to me.

    Finally, any recommendations for buying online, or any other comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    emor
     
  2. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    Bump for the morning crowd.
     
  3. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    I have the Mesa 1-12 Scout Combo and the Scout 1-12 extension. I play with a two guitar classic rock band and have no problem with the combo by itself and with the extension it is amazingly loud! :hyper: The last gig we played I was running both cabs and plugged into the pa and one of the guitarists said "Don't hate me but you are way too loud". There was a rock n roll loving teenager watching us sound check and when asked he said that we were "painfully loud". This was in a 400 seat room and I was running the volume on four! I finally unplugged from the PA and still had to turn down. It may have been the acoustics of this room, but that gives you an idea. I haven't played thru the other Mesa combo, but the real attraction of the Scout was the portability. Since I got the Scout and my Incase Tour bag I can usually carry everything I need in one trip! Without compromising sound quality or volume. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    We at Mesa set our prices to what we think is a fair price of a handmade, American amp should sell for. We don't want you to make your buying decision based on price; we think you should decide based on tone, service, reliability, etc. This levels the playing field for everybody, so GC can't undercut a price to beat the little guy down the street, and also eliminates the possibility that you pay more than your buddy does and you feel screwed. The truth is, the "suggested retail" thing feels a bit dis-honest to us; we don't want to jack the price up so the store can bring it right back down again to make you feel like you got a good deal. Keeping our prices set the way we do not only gets you a great deal, but also solidifies the value of your amp for years to come. Most used Boogies keep a high re-sell value - some are actually fetching more cash now than what they cost 20 years ago!

    First of all, I think the Walkabout Scout 12 is just about loud enough for ANY gig. It's crazy loud, and is only 49 pounds. I love mine, though my downstairs neighbors don't care for it much. Technically it's rated at 300 watts into 4 ohms, which should be plenty for most people. However, we've been torture testing a Walkabout at a 2 ohm load at the factory for a while, and have yet to get it to even get hot. I think it's safe to say that you could add another 4 ohm extension and run it at 600 watts for when crazy loud just isn't enough, and you need to push it into stupid loud.

    The Venture is a killer amp as well - the 2x10 is really punchy and very loud. I'd say that both are going to get loud enough for you, so it might be best to base your purchase decision on tone, features, and portability rather than loudness. Even set flat, the Venture and the Walkabout will sound a bit different. Choose wisely, young padewan.

    I don't think that we've determined whether the MPulse 600 is stable at 2 ohms yet. Running at 2 ohms would push it into the 1000 watt territory, which I wouldn't recommend running for long periods of time. The Venture is setup at 4 ohms from the factory, so you are already getting the full power out of it as is. If you need more volume than what it can provide, you may need to consult with your doctor. :)

    The MPulse 600 is available in a head format as well. If you want to run multiple cabs, you can get the head separately with two cabs (may I recommend two Powerhouse 1000s?). If we set the combo up at 8 ohms, you could run two cabs, but you wouldn't get the full power out of it when used by itself.

    We don't allow Boogies to be sold via mailorder nor the internet. I would suggest finding a dealer in your area, take your bass in with you, and give them a thorough test drive. Buy it from the dealer that you feel deserves your hard earned cash. Good luck!
     
  5. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    Thanks so much for the answers.
    Just a couple more, if you please...

    If I'm understanding this correctly, the Walkabout is rated at 300 watts into 4 ohms, which is what the Scout cab is. When you add the ext. cab (also 4 ohms) the head is now performing at 600 watts into 2 ohms? Doing this will not void the warranty?

    I see that the Scout cabs are loaded with neodymium speakers. If I wanted to get the Scout combo with a 15", and add a 2x10" cab at some point, would it be recommended to stick with the neodymium speakers, or would it matter? [I was kind of thinking about the Ampeg Portabass 210H--also very light and portable (32 lbs.) and loaded with neodymium speakers--also a 4 ohm cab.]

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    I spoke with Mesa a good deal before I settled on the 1-12 4ohm extension cab for my 4ohm Combo. The tech at Mesa told me exactly what Benjamin was saying they had tortured that puppy at 2 ohms with no problems at all. I like the Scout extension cab because it has the downward firing radiator as well and it is crazy light! and crazy loud. And Benjamin you sounded like a very professional factory rep :)
     
  7. waxcomb

    waxcomb

    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    The Scout by itself works for me in my 5 piece rock band. We just played a small party without PA for the instruments and it held its own with ease. I play mine with flat eq and it puts my old SWR rig to shame. The 12 has plenty of booty and it is so easy to haul anywhere. My Steinberger and Scout takes up the least amount of space,gearwise, and it sounds killer. Buy with confidence and look for one used. I just found one locally and I jumped on it. I bought it without trying it in a band setting, and I'm sure it is the best purchase I have made so far.
     
  8. Thanks for the great info in this thread, looks like i'm buying a scout
     
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    We aren't officially saying that it's stable at 2 ohms, but unofficially we are. :ninja: At 2 ohms it's pushing 600 watts. This doesn't void the warranty necessarily - we're not pretty strict with warranty stuff anyway. If there's a problem, we'll make things right.

    I wouldn't think it would matter too much what kind of speakers you matched it up with - use your ears and get what sounds good! :)
     
  10. vacman

    vacman

    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    This is one open and knowlegable Mesa rep!!! I played a Venture Combo, the 2-10, at GC the other day and was very pleased. LOUD. Mesa always seems to nail that in your face rock tone with volume. The Venture is 100 lbs if I am not mistaken so its heavy but so is its tone.... :bassist:
     
  11. emor

    emor

    May 16, 2004
    kcmo
    Thanks again for the informative discussion.

    Now for the really important question.
    Which is it going to be...?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ;) :D
     
  12. jacochops

    jacochops

    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Hey Benjamin Strange,
    Thanks for the inside info! Very, very cool of you to share your knowledge and experience with us! Since you are involved with the company, maybe you can pass this along to whomever makes new products happen!
    I tried the Wakabout head and LOVED the tone. Low mids out the kazoo even with the EQ set flat, and a meaty low end. The size was great, and Mesa has a great rep for customer service.....but I ended up going out and tracking down a Walter Woods Ultra. About 7 pounds, fantastic tone, and 1200 watts at 4 ohms. I bought the Woods, because I wanted to buy the "last" amp I'd ever need.
    However, the Woods was 2200 bucks, which I would do again IN A HEARTBEAT for the combination of power, portability (a 1200 watt cigar box...no kidding!), and tone. They simply hold their resale value, as well (not that I'd ever part with mine).
    At the time, if Mesa was able to offer a higher watt version of the Walkabout IN THE SAME SIZE PACKAGE, even at a price point of 2000$ (I know you offer the M-Pulse 600...great sound and wattage, but too big for what I was looking for...), I would have bought it! Walter Woods has a loyal following because of the features I mentioned...Mesa has some considerable resources at its disposal (I'm sure moreso than Walter Woods does)...have they discussed the possibility of putting out a digital amp that would produce 1000 watts in as small of a package as Walter's or the Walkabout head? He really owns the market in that category, and if Mesa could put something out to compete with it (especially without the year-long wait to get one), I'm sure bass players would FLOCK to get one! They could probably bring the price point down due to more mass production than WW, and deliver a great product! The technology is decades old, and I'm sure it would be duplicatable in a production setting.
    WW isn't a young man, and when he does finally retire, it would be great to be able to fill that niche! Until that time, I'm going to be happily plugging into my little red box and pumping out some seriously portable, toneful watts!

    So....could it happen in the near future?
     
  13. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Well, that sounds interesting, but I kind of doubt we will do anything like that in the future. First of all, we've never made anything digital, and I doubt we will. Randall likes to build things with tone in mind first and formost. He's never really made an amp just to fit a niche. He's a tube guy, and probably would still be making nothing but tube bass amps except that most bassists aren't using them anymore.

    I'm sure I will be making some suggestions here and there, so I will keep yours in mind next time we sit down for a talk.
     
  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Oh, by the way, I'm not a rep. I just build them. All my Boogie cheerleading is mostly for fun. :)
     
  15. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    And while I'm at it, here's a pic of my Scout:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Ben, can you get them to make a 1000-1200 watt @ 4 ohm head?

    I'd offically switch to Boogie if you did.
     
  17. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Can we call it the Bearded Boogie?
     
  18. just to add my $.02..I just bought a scout cab(1x15) and let me tell'ya,this thing kicks serious a$$..almost as much as my RR powerhouse 1000.in fact I'm almost considering selling my PH1000 to get another scout...and the scout is ultra light,and I love light...also, I used to own a m-pulse 600(great head) and I sometimes ran it at 2 ohms(RR2x15+modifiedRR2x10) and it never broke a sweat..I only got rid of it to get a big block 750.which is bassically the same head with less bells and whistles,but for some reason sounds different than the 600,in a good way..to me, the 750 is more like the 400+ in sound...and as far as price goes,if you compare prices with other brands out there(Ampeg,SWR,Eden ect.) you will find that Mesa is not really that expensive.and I'm a firm believer in you get what you pay for.with Mesa you get a great product and a great company who stands behind their product..BTW, I am not a Mesa rep,builder,or paid salesman...just a working bass player(25+ years) who likes great tone and reliable gear and Mesa fills that niche for me..
     
  19. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Maybe not, but I like the headroom of 1000+ watts. Could I wing a Big Block 750? Sure, but I'd feel better if it was 1-1.2 kwats.

    Ben: I'd rather call it the Beared Brendan Boogie Buster.
     
  20. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    This isn't cool. We try very hard to answer EVERY email, no matter how ridiculous it may be. Perhaps yours slipped through the cracks. Boogie's talking about putting me into the customer service spot once I've done some time on the factory floor, so perhaps you will have somebody you know on the inside answering your questions from then on. :)

    There's supposed to be metal inserts in those handles. We should send you another set if you want them.