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Mesa F-30 combo...love it or hate it?

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  • Mesa F-30 combo...love it or hate it?

    Maybe an impulse buy...who has/had one or played one, I'll be demoing it soon but I want to know what HCAF thinks...

    yeah, I know
    GIBSON | PRS | SQUIER | EPIPHONE | BLACKSTAR | PEAVEY | MARSHALL | JET CITY | CRATE (ZOMG!!!)

    The Band

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    Originally Posted by Ovid9


    I thought it was more the fact your walls were covered in pictures of skinny guys with long hair.

    How did you fap in a room like that?



    Proud owner of the first NAD of the new HC

  • #2
    Meh...ok amps. Resist the impulse.

    Not a bad thing to ask for opinions of ppl who have played the gear.

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    • #3
      The F-series is cool, but the tone stack on the gain channel is in a really weird spot in the signal chain (iirc, it's in between gain stages 2 and 3 out of 4), so the versatility is pretty limited, and the Contour function is WAY over-the-top and isn't adjustable, it's either on or off, and both settings are a bit much.

      But, you can get some good tones if you can play LOUD...they're terrible at quiet volumes.

      The cleans are really good, however.
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      • #4
        I really liked the F-30....it's no recto...but it's a great amp!
        Good transactions with:

        Erock503, NixerX

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        • #5

          Not a bad thing to ask for opinions of ppl who have played the gear.


          The facepalm was more about asking HCAF in general...ask at your own risk
          GIBSON | PRS | SQUIER | EPIPHONE | BLACKSTAR | PEAVEY | MARSHALL | JET CITY | CRATE (ZOMG!!!)

          The Band

          Good Transactions







          Originally Posted by Ovid9


          I thought it was more the fact your walls were covered in pictures of skinny guys with long hair.

          How did you fap in a room like that?



          Proud owner of the first NAD of the new HC

          Comment


          • #6
            FWIW, you can get a Mark III for not too much more money, and it's 100x better of an amp for everything but cleans.
            Good Transactions - Peavey VTM Mods Lounge
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            • #7
              The facepalm was more about asking HCAF in general...ask at your own risk


              Fo sho.

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              • #8
                The F-series is cool, but the tone stack on the gain channel is in a really weird spot in the signal chain (iirc, it's in between gain stages 2 and 3 out of 4), so the versatility is pretty limited, and the Contour function is WAY over-the-top and isn't adjustable, it's either on or off, and both settings are a bit much.

                But, you can get some good tones if you can play LOUD...they're terrible at quiet volumes.

                The cleans are really good, however.


                Six, I don't know whether or not you've played one, how would you compare the mesa to a Peavey Bravo? I really loved my ol' Bravo, wondering if it's similar or a totally different beast.
                GIBSON | PRS | SQUIER | EPIPHONE | BLACKSTAR | PEAVEY | MARSHALL | JET CITY | CRATE (ZOMG!!!)

                The Band

                Good Transactions







                Originally Posted by Ovid9


                I thought it was more the fact your walls were covered in pictures of skinny guys with long hair.

                How did you fap in a room like that?



                Proud owner of the first NAD of the new HC

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have zero experience with the Peavey Bravo.
                  Sorry.
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                  • #10
                    i think the f30 is pretty meh. its kind of lifeless sounding to me. it's usable but I wouldn't really want one unless it was dirt cheap. I also concur with whomever mentioned the tone stack controls being ineffective.

                    totally different than the bravo.

                    bravos are fun amps and you can get them cheap.

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                    • #11
                      i think the f30 is pretty meh. its kind of lifeless sounding to me.


                      I totally disagree with "lifeless". I had one, and only returned it because I needed something bigger at the time, (bought a Stiletto Deuce when they were $899 closeouts before release of Stage II and later Stiletto Ace)...

                      For as small as it is, it sounded big. I ran an MXR 10-Band in front as a boost/EQ, and the lead tones, especially, were sick! I plugged into an Avatar V30-loaded 2X12 cab for awhile..It can get as heavy as you want, with a boost. Cleans were lush, and mid-gain blues tones were very nice as well. The EQ was tricky, (as with all Boogies). You either hit the sweet spots, or you didn't. Plain and simple. EQ, and patience, yields some pretty good tones. Again, playing leads on that amp were especially entertaining. VERY responsive, harmonically rich, and gritty.

                      If I found one cheap, I'd be all over it. I've considered MANY times, of getting another. I'm sure there's others out there, but a single 1x12 little monster the F30 can be!
                      Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus - Cherry SunburstGibson Les Paul Standard Translucent AmberRandall Diavlo RD45HMesa Boogie Single Rectifier(2) Mesa Boogie Thiele 1x12'sMXR Wylde ODMXR Black Label ChorusMXR 10-Band EQBoss DD-3Hardwire RV-7 ReverbISP Decimator

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                      • #12
                        The F-series is cool, but the tone stack on the gain channel is in a really weird spot in the signal chain (iirc, it's in between gain stages 2 and 3 out of 4), so the versatility is pretty limited, and the Contour function is WAY over-the-top and isn't adjustable, it's either on or off, and both settings are a bit much.

                        But, you can get some good tones if you can play LOUD...they're terrible at quiet volumes.

                        The cleans are really good, however.


                        No I think it is not between gain stages 2,3 but rather input, gain stage 1 tone controls(tone stack) and then the rest of the gain stages. Also the first tube that the signal crosses is V2 and NOT V1...To solve any discussing matters, the preamp is basically the same and is under the same patent number, with the dual caliber series with a preset graphic eq just before the loop (post graphic eq preset in a "mark IIc+ V shape according to randall smith). The contour setting brings in this preset eq and changes the negative feedback current increasing pressence. All in all, it is markish distortion wise to say the least rather than rectoish. Of course you can mod the post eq or what ever you like, I have the mesa boogie studio preamp and if set accordingly they sound very similar save the extreme setting on the post eq of my studio preamp.(eg 6,6khz sizzle).

                        The basic tonestack is not a typical (?) tone stack at all, as it reacts in my mind just like the studio preamps and mark series amps, letting you decide which band (treble mid bass) will be distorted the most. So versatility is there only that it is not in spades but rather, in the tricky pre gain tone stack...You will discover if you test it that depending on the settings raising treble or mid on the eq will not actually raise treble or mid content but actually, will the raise the amound of treble initially that will be distorted and it will provide as a result more gain. Still it is "limited" beacuse it is based around the same sound in variations. And the more gain you raise the more it becomes thick and eliminates the tone stack effect. Still sounds good though!

                        Think of them as boosters that you run in front of an amp. But now they are perfectly integrated in the amps signal chain. Tricky. This is something that you cannot in any way do with a recto or marshall design.

                        Randall smith said that the f-preamp draws from the first studio amps, and the clean path is the same with the famous mark 1 save (but changing the sound because of) the circuit bringing the reverb into the chain.

                        It is a great amp but with some minuses.

                        First of all sixtonoize it is almost impossible to compare it with the mark III. The power section is completely different. But if they are alike from a point of view is that the mark III is horrible for setting three sounds (clean crunch solo e.g.) without compromising one(same with my studio preamp). Not so much with the f-30. It has a seperate clean channel with its own master and "eq". Also in many regards the f-series clean is ahead than any mark amp but it usually refers to the 6L6 based f50 and f100.

                        So the problem lies in the gain and contour channel. In a band situation, I like to play rythm with the "contoured"(scooped V somewhat, cuts great) sound and lead with a boosted non contoured sound raised some db's above.

                        The way to do that is (because the contour channel is somewhat louder than the normal gain due to the V shape and such) to control the volume through the loop...But the ****************ing loop goes as far as 90% parallel mix!!!So it nevers works as completely serial!!!and as a result it does not work, satisfactory for me at least, with and effect that requires the full signal of the amp(e..g post eq, volume boost) to pass through it. It still works but blurs the sound a bit. My next move would be making it a push pull serial/parallel switch.

                        What the mix control offers you as sixtonoize said in the f-series lounge is that if you put a volume control device in the loop, you drive the preamp tubes harder(pushing them to provide more signal beacuse you will again bring it down in the loop with the volume pedal) AND bring the tube bufferd loop into play. There is a tube (V4 I think) driving the loop. The more it is used the more it tightens and compresses the signal in a very very good way
                        regarding low volume playing. For me it negated the need for an attenuator (even though I think that the f-30 on its own is good on low volumes as its gain is mostly preamp based and the bass lite el84 are comparatively clean at low volumes) and also offered me some great tonal variations of the amps sound. Edgier crisper more aggresive sound.

                        The power section is Dyna watt. It will completely take down the bias in some points to increase the amps output. In terms of experience especially in the contour channel it reminds me of a built in compressor in the output section. Some times is a blessing some time it takes some things...

                        The output tubes are of course el84 and only two of them. This along with the small cabin design (original boogie size) affects the end result greatly. Firstly the el84 character is there but not one british style sound is to be found in there. (my theory that the ouput tubes colour the sound but the rest of the circuit is the real tone shaper...) Don't expect to sound marshall/vox/laney lc-30. It will sound more akin to a fender running el84's.

                        If you like el84's then it s great. If you don't then yeah it is hate. I love it in the gain department:cleaner and more raw sounding and even not deafening in rehearsals. I like the bass lite sound cause it is more percussive than any f-50 clip I ve herad.

                        But I do hate it in the clean department. Clean sounds are bouncy jangly and generally not sterile at all. If you plan on gigging with an amp and you do want or need a good clean sound with no break up, don't buy this amp! You can play clean/rock and roll dirty just with your pick attack but you cannot strum and play loud clean parts with great effect...I'd prefer a solid state monster of an amp for that that almost any tube amp below 50 watts on open air gigs...

                        All in all a great LITTLE amp. Meaning studio use? Great! Rehearsall's small giggs? Great(but with limited versatility stock due to the 90% mix loop). It will fit a trunck and will drive and 8-ohm thiele cab parallel with it;s own speaker: Perfect portable mini stack.
                        Frequent demanding live use? Power section not adequate for my taste...

                        That said I think I will never part of it as I love the way it sounds. I had the chance to sell it for 800 euros (meaning close to 1000$) and buy a "true" mark with the same amount of money. But I just could not. It may not be the vintage or sound correct mark series or recto amp? But it is nice to know that I definately will keep a product due to its sound. Afterwards I read about a guy that had a mark IV (nice he said) then a roadster (nicer he said) then traded it for an f-30...May be he could just hear himself as I do through this amp.

                        Here are some of my favorite f-30 clips by andershoeg

                        http://www.soundvenue.com/artist/mandenmedhegnet
                        all but the first are f-30 I think through sm57?

                        http://netmusicians.org/?value=Mesa%20F-30%20combo&section=amp

                        Here are some by dtrax He took the effects send out and put it through speaker sim. It works better than the recording out of the amp. I plan to use it along with a mike in a live situation.

                        This
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtYU4nB7Jpc
                        is with a boss eq through the loop and a marshall 4x12. Curiously it works but I can still hear some of the blurring I mentioned

                        In your place: For the right amount of $ I'd get it
                        "is this tone obtainable using the HD500 or Axe Fx? Overall, for convenience and volume control, should I buy the Axe Fx over actual tube amps? I don't plan on playing loud; just playing at home and recording on my Mac. Thanks man, you are awesome!


                        short answer: no...

                        long answer: no way..."

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                        • #13
                          wow thanks for the info on it...
                          I am still considering this amp if I find one...as I'd really like a versatile el84 amp (as I like my VJ but for a totally different application)
                          Turns out the amp that was at the shop was actually a F-50, and was priced a little higher than I was ready to drop on an impulse purchase.
                          GIBSON | PRS | SQUIER | EPIPHONE | BLACKSTAR | PEAVEY | MARSHALL | JET CITY | CRATE (ZOMG!!!)

                          The Band

                          Good Transactions







                          Originally Posted by Ovid9


                          I thought it was more the fact your walls were covered in pictures of skinny guys with long hair.

                          How did you fap in a room like that?



                          Proud owner of the first NAD of the new HC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I played one and really liked it. If the price is right, I say go for it. There's some hate for it due to the fact that it's not one of Mesa's "flagship amps", but I think they sound great and are pretty underrated (and I have a Mark IV oke.
                            Wes

                            Parker Guitars
                            Budda Amplifiers

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                            • #15
                              Actually, it's (was) the most budget mesa!!! Negotiate the price accordingly!
                              "is this tone obtainable using the HD500 or Axe Fx? Overall, for convenience and volume control, should I buy the Axe Fx over actual tube amps? I don't plan on playing loud; just playing at home and recording on my Mac. Thanks man, you are awesome!


                              short answer: no...

                              long answer: no way..."

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