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Wow: Mesa Carbine, Walkabout, 2x12 and 6x10 - Short Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lefty007, May 3, 2010.

  1. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Just came back from JazzFest in New Orleans, and the venue I played at had all Mesa Boogie bass amps.

    The first night, the stage had a Carbine M9 with two 2x12 Powerhouse cabs. I just couldn't believe my ears. I've tried and owned Eden and SWR, played through many G-Ks and vintage Ampegs, and currently own a Markbass/Schroeder rig, but this thing was just incredible. Thick and punchy, super clear but still with a slight edge, and loud.

    The next night I played through a new-generation Walkabout with a 6x10 powerhouse. Equally amazing and that combination sounded very similar to the the one on the previous night, although the Walkabout seems a bit warmer and old school - but I did like the M9 even more. I ran out of headroom a bit toward the end of the set when things got heated, but it was just complete tone nirvana. With a passive P-Bass is was just heaven.

    Sad part is that I could never bring myself to carry equipment that weighs that much at my regular in-city gigs. But I also realize that there is no substitute for well-implemented tube circuitry and big cabs.

    My Markbass LMII and Schroeder 2x12 setup sounds amazingly loud for it's size, but I think I'm missing anything happening below 180 hz - it's like half of the sound is gone, in comparison to the Mesa. . . I've also tried Hartke, the Genz-Benz Shuttle, etc, etc, but nothing has come close to these Mesas.


    Oh, well, when I make it big and have a roadie I'll make sure to get a Mesa rig, so I can smile every night.
  2. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Now you know what many of us know... there is no substitute!

  3. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005

    Agreed. :D
  4. MN_Bass

    MN_Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2008
    Try a Walkabout Combo with a 12, great sound and portability, not a massive wall like the powerhouse, but really full and great sounding.
  5. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Same amps, lighter cabs, game over :)

    Mesa's cabs are made out of real authentic bricks, with rebar.
  6. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Banned

    Mar 29, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    I just bought the M6 Carbine 2 x 12" combo, and I am in love too.
    At approx. 114 lbs., it's massive and heavy. It looks much bigger in my house than it did at the music store too :)
    I brought myself to take on the additional weight and size because it just sounded so good. I'm not gigging right now, but if/when I get back out, I'll be excited to play through the Carbine on stage.
  7. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Actually, my current mesa rig is quite manageable... for small, coffee shop type gigs and rehearsals, I use a Diesel 115 with a Kapalite 3015 and for larger rooms, I use a 4 ohm Powerhouse 212. I can easily carry both cabs as they are both neo loaded. My M-Pulse 600 is in a SKG case, so everything is easily carried solo.

    And it still kicks @ss!

  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Love's me some Mesa bass gear. Consider what rpsands said, using a Mesa head, (maybe an M6), with lighter cabs. I'm always in tonal nirvana when I use my Walkabout and a lightweight 2x12. You could do the same with an M6.
  9. melodicly


    Oct 22, 2008
    New Orleans, LA
    where did u play? are u sure the venue owned the gear? i would love to crank amesa through my cabs!
  10. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    Those Carbine heads are killer. And the Walkabout is alright too :D
  11. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I played at the Blue Nile, dowstairs on Friday, and uptairs on Saturday. Don't think the venue owned the amps, but they were rented for the weekend. Soulive was the main act, and they are endorsed by Mesa, so maybe that's why they got all Mesa amps at the venue. . .
  12. Lurker79


    Jul 3, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    Can a mod please close this thread? My gas is so bad, my guts are gonna explode...
  13. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Oh, BTW, to add to my review:

    I played both amps almost flat, no graphic EQ on the M9, just boosted the lows to about 2 o'clock on both, and boosted the highs on the Walkabout only, but I don't know how the cab's tweeter was adjusted.

    I had a Tech 21 Bass Compactor with bass boosted to about 2 o'clock (I believe that's like 3 dB at 50 Hz or so), and I had a EBS Octave pedal going, so it was pretty easy to find a few "brown notes" on both setups . . . :D
  14. melodicly


    Oct 22, 2008
    New Orleans, LA
    Ah yes, Soulive.... I love bass players, but man that organist makes my organ tingle!!! I wish I had remembered they were playing this weekend, but I normally bail out of the quarter/marigny area come festival times unless I'm getting paid to deal with douche bags disrespecting my neighborhood (yeah I'm getting old! "get off my lawn you damn kids! :rolleyes:)

    I actually live right down the street from the Blue Nile! When I play Blue Nile with my rock band, my fEarful 12/6 has been plenty. It's just a 3-piece however with some seasoned musicians that adjust dynamics accordingly. Now that my 2nd 12/6 is done I can't wait to play there again so the band upstairs has to turn up to drown me out! Since I just carried it down the street 3 blocks, I was pretty happy all in all. Still want to try that Mesa through it though! :bassist:

    Hope you had fun, and hit me up next time your in town!

    Edit: If BN was as full of people as it gets on a Jazz Fest weekend when we played, I would have certainly needed a second cab. Probably 50-75 people milling around and such vs 2-300 people crammed in like sardines! I don't know how many people that place holds, but I have been amazed to see a line FULL of people outside, a FULL club inside and everybody making it into the club!
  15. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Soulive recently played the Hop Monk in Sebastopol... they sounded great!

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