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What's an optimum Mesa Boogie cab rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GManfromOz, Sep 1, 2017.


  1. GManfromOz

    GManfromOz

    Jul 27, 2016
    Start with a D800 head, what cabs would you go with from the Mesa range? (Specs: Medium size gigs, minimal FOH support, classic rock, loud drummer, using Fender Jazz and Sadowsky Metroline)

    Subway 1x12 and a 1x15?Subway 1x12 and a 2x10?
    Mesa Powerhouse range?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I use a SW 112 and 115 and they are impressive even outside - great low end and lots of clarity/articulation. If I wanted more low bass for larger gigs I would think two SW 115's would more than do the trick, and I suspect I wouldn't have to give up anything in clarity through the mids.

    For me the perfect rig that could do most anything I can imagine would two SW115's and a 112. As much as I like the 115 (it's exceptional), that 112 is a great cab for projecting clean full mids with enough low end push to feel full.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
    GManfromOz likes this.
  3. Anyone have experience with the traditional 1x15 and the D800?
     
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    A pair of Subway 115's for me. The 112 is not my cup o' tea. Although we have an outdoor gig coming up soon and I will use both 115's and the 112. Because I can!

    But normally, just the pair of 115's. Keep in mind the Subway cabs are generally louder, and go lower than the Powerhouse cabs. Plus they weigh 1/3 as much!
     
    Federighi, Al Kraft and GManfromOz like this.
  5. GManfromOz

    GManfromOz

    Jul 27, 2016
    You get the full 800w through the two cabs, yes? I'll probably go for the 115 I think. It's the right price point if nothing else.
     
  6. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Yes, the D-800 delivers 800 Watts into a 2 or 4 Ohm load (e.g. two Subway cabs) and 400 Watts into an 8 Ohm load.

    To my ear, the SW 115 is simply an exceptional cab, and while the 112 (haven't heard the 210) is excellent, the 115 is truly a standout. It's not at all tubby sounding, and actually has a great mid range voicing that I hadn't expected.

    If I had it to do over, I might have gone with two 115's. Make no mistake, I'm very pleased with my 112/115/D-800 rig, but will probably add another 115 to the arsenal at some point.
     
    Fred312b and GManfromOz like this.
  7. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    That hasn't been my experience regarding the SW115 vs the PH115... I have both, and have A/B'd them extensively - IMO/IME, the PH115 is louder and will go deeper... However, the SW115 is no slouch - and weighs a little more than half what the PH115 weighs...

    Don't get me wrong - the SW115s are great cabs, and I'm definitely keeping both mine - but there is no need to exaggerate about them...
     
  8. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Actually, the F3 and F6 of the Subway is slightly lower than the powerhouse, with about a dB higher sensitivity in a smaller, lighter box.

    It's not a huge difference, but was clearly measurable in the lab.
     
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas

    Maybe your Subway wasn't fully broken in at the time? Once broken in you should be able to hear the added depth and sensitivity of the Subway.
     
  10. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    Maybe it's just a perception thing, or the room acoustics where I A/B'd them - I have absolutely no reason to doubt you, Andy...

    One other thing just occurred to me - I was using a Streamliner 900 amp for my A/B test - maybe it was just how those cabs reacted to that amp?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  11. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017

    I'm pretty sure they're well broken in by now, but as in the above post - maybe it's just a matter of perception of room acoustics...My post on the weight differences is correct, though - the SW115 weighs 37lbs, the PH115 weighs 72lbs...
     
    ELG60 likes this.
  12. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    I will say that regarding the OP's parameters, a pair of the SW115s is an excellent choice... FWIW, I've owned the following Powerhouse cabs: PH810, 610, 410, 210, 212, 215, (3) 115s, PH1000, and a RR115 - and have kept the 210, 115, and 215 cabs - in addition to a pair of the SW115s... That said, I *plan* to keep all of those, but am definitely keeping the pair of SW115s - as I feel sure they'll cover my gigging needs for the rest of my playing days, but are also very convenient for this soon to be 55 YO bassist... In fact, I recently had custom covers made for my SW115s - that's how committed I am to keeping them long term...
     
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  13. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    That PH210 is perhaps the most unique of the PH line IMO. IMO it outperforms any other 210 I've heard in terms of being able to comfortably handle volume and low end extension simultaneously.

    When I tried out the PH115 (years ago) I thought it sounded good, but really was drawn to the PH212. Weight-wise it was almost a wash and the 212's had round full mids that reminded me of Steinway Grand - I bought two of the 212's.

    The PH410 I already owned suddenly started seeing less action and I suspect at some point it will move on to a new owner. Owning the Subways is not helping that heavy 410 look any more attractive either!
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  14. Hounddog409

    Hounddog409

    Oct 27, 2015
    ohio
    I use two Epifany UL2 1x15 with my D800.

    Would like to try out the Subways, but not on the immediate list
     
  15. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    Yeah, the PH210 is an excellent 210 cab - probably one of the best ever made, IMO... I really like the 210 stacked on top of the PH115 - they work really well with one another with my Streamliner 900 or Shuttlemax 12.0... I hear you about the PH410 - I flipped mine to raise funds for a 2nd SW115, and don't miss it at all - mine was like new, with a Tuki cover...

    I didn't really like the PH212 that much - to me, it had a baked in upper mid tone I didn't like as much as the PH115 for the music I typically play... One way I like to use the PH115 as a stand alone is on it's side with the horn up, and the cab tilted - it works really well that way...
     
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  16. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    I'll be watching this one. I'm really interested in a Subway D-800+ head and cabs. Just not sure which Subway cabs I want to match up with this yet. Despite their differences, I like the way all of them sound in the clips I've heard. There's not many music stores around me, and only 1 that carries Mesa products, but it's about an hour drive away. Going to try to get out next week and try them all out.
     
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There's really very little breaking in with the Subway cabinets, the real world parameter shift is probably less than 5%.

    There's certainly quite a difference between the Streamliner and Subway amps, the Streamliner is more heavily voiced in the low end. This combined with the system damping differences between the cabinets could easily account for perceived differences. The Subway response combined with the looser low end (around 80-100Hz) of the PH can make the low end appear to grow at the expense of articulation.
     
    sludgetail likes this.
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    What covers did you get?

    I'm like you, the Subway 115's after my cabs for life so I got Studio Slips clamshells for mine. I love them, worth every penny!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  19. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    This is the balance that I think makes the Subway 115 such a standout. We have a lot of speaker area to get some good volume, nice full lows that aren't on the verge of feeling out of control, very articulate, but warm (for a Mesa) mids, and a nice transition to the horn that doesn't feel like someone left a hole in the frequency response coverage.

    The PH 115 is still a great cab! I just like the voicing on the SW 115 a bit better, and I like the size and weight a whole lot better. :)
     
  20. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    Makes sense to me - and again, I have no reason to doubt you, since you've never steered me wrong...
     
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