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Ordered new Power amp and cab today. Good choice?


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  • Ordered new Power amp and cab today. Good choice?

    Since I use rack units, I use tube power amps. I have been using the TS-100. I am satisfied with it. It is transparent. Although I have ran my HD500 and 1101 through the 6505 power amp by bypassing the pre amp section and was blown away. The, "color," of the tone I actually liked. I liked there being a lot lof low end due to the resonance knob working on the 6505 power amp, where are the Carvin TS-100 does not have that.


    Today, I ordered from Sweetwater a brand new 2x12 rectifer V30 cabinet. I normally wouldn't go with V30's but they seem to be differnet in Mesa cab's. This will be my first ,"pro," cabinet. Keep in mind, I do still enjoy emulating cabinets with my 1101 an HD500 with a real cabinet if I turn the cab sim off, it sounds like crap. I switched from 4x12's to 2x12's as I liked having two on both side of the stage and more option's to record with. I have no doubt I'll be satisfied. 


    The other thing I ordered is the original Mesa/Boogie fifty/fifty. I was tempted to go 2:90. I had the budget for it, but I thought 90 watts might be too much.

    My Carvin TS-100 is 100 watt all tube, with EL34's, what most of the time is run bridge mode through one 2x12. Sometimes I run two 2x12's by running stereo but making the one input go into the second channel instead of hooking it up stereo. I do not run two amp chains and things like that.

    I currently have a Carvin 2x12, which I like, but it's only 10 inch's deep and has carvin brand speakers. For 300 dollars it's nice. But for 249 I got the Jet City 2x12, which blows me away. Because it's so flat it emulates the cabs I'm emulating very very well. It's very thick and deep. And it goes over a drummer very easily. I can drown out most 4x12's with it. I also have a 4x12 b-52 Cabinet, 400 watt, not one of the real cheap ones. I'm not a fan of the way it sounds. 

    My question is, now that you know my background, does anyone have experience running an axe fx, HD 500/PRO, 1101, or any pre amp through the 1101 and the Mesa Fifty/Fifty? Did I just waste a lot of money? Because I literally love the 1101. I can turn it all the way up and control my volume with my pre amp, and at bedroom levels, all the way to over a drummer I get the same exact tone.

    I do not look for tube saturation so much. As these pre amps kinda emulate that, the reason I prefer tubes is when they are loud in a band situation they are more clear and they have a feeling to them that can't be replaced.

    I have tried to do some research. Do you guys think the original Mesa/Boogie fifty fifty is better than the new one, which is like 2:fifty or something like that? 

    Are there any major tonal difference. I realise the old verison only takes 6l6's. I'm an EL34 guy but I have the carvin and ohter things for that.

    Thanks for reading all of this. I still have more cash and I may end up buy yet another power amp if you can get me something good posted. I looked at the VHT 2:90, and it sounded like just a more powerful Carvin TS-100. I arready have that so I don't want to replicate that. I have transparacy. Now I want color. Especially for the metal tones..

    I'll give you an example, the threadplate on the HD500 sounds BRUTAL throuhg the 6505 power amp, it doesn't sound great and needs EQ'd through the TS-100, yet the ENGL fireball doesn't sound great throuhg the 6505, yet it sounds brutal right out with no EQ on the Carvin TS-100.

    The HD500 is mostly my midi controller for the 1101. As it doesn't compare to the realism of the sounds of the 1101 through a tube power amp. I will be controlling the Axe Fx when I get one soon with the HD 500 also.


    Here is a video of my current rig. 


    Sorry I did not EQ the MIC in this recording. I was recording it via the H4N field recorder with a Canon 5D Mark iii. So it never with into final cut or anything like that. But you get the jist of it. No double tracks, no drums. All 1101. 

  • #2
    I've personally not used the TS100 but I used to be fairly regular on the Carvin forums and have owned several Carvin amps (including the Nomad, MTS, and currently the V3) and they are fabulous on their own. I have heard that the TS100 is incredibly transparent, which to me is somewhat of a downside for it being a tube power amp. I would assume you'd want some type of tube coloration there in the power section if using it for that purpose. On that note, I have a rack rig that includes a Sansamp PSA1.1 and I used to run it through the tube power section of the Nomad as I lacked a proper rack-mounted power amp at the time. The sound was great but still lacked the clarity and punch I was looking for, which to me was surprising as the Nomad in itself is very clean and punchy as an amp on its own. However, I paired the Sansamp with the Carvin DCM200L solid state power amp and WOW. What a huge difference. The Sansamp is all analog so you don't really lose any "warmth" so to speak, and paired with the SS power amp, it will absolutely RIP any amp I've encountered over the years. Even compared with my V3, there have a been several times I've chosen the Sansamp/DCM200 preamp/amp combo over the V3 and not regretted it one bit. Just my 2 cents. Hope you enjoy the new rig. Just for reference, I run both the V3 and Sansamp rigs through the V3 412 cabinet loaded with Vintage 30's.


    • HKSblade2
      HKSblade2 commented
      Editing a comment

      I also run a GSP or Axe FX at times. I was never a fan of using pre colored speakers like V30's or GK12's when using cab modeling. Instead I prefer Fane Soveriegn series coaxial drivers. I have used them with VHT 2502 power amp, Mesa 5050, Peavey Classic 50/50 and QSC SS power amps (RMX850). For some amp models they work better with the tube rack amps, but for most amp models I prefer the QSC. Maybe because it has the clean headroom for using the Fanes which require a lot of headroom to drive them properly.

      I can tell you for sure I have tried so many different FR powered speakers like for PA and they suck. It's not even close to being like a guitar amp even though a lot of Axe and other users prefer them. You never know with those guys either since their forms of amplification they f'ing rave about changes every 6 mos. They do like to push their own products pretty heavily. My co player has that new  CLR from Atomic and its not the super end all be all modeling wedge they say it is. Sounds alright but I like the guitar cabs with SS amps better. They have that pound you in the chest sound and the powered wedges just don't get it done.