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which SS power amp for use with Mesa Studio Preamp?

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  • which SS power amp for use with Mesa Studio Preamp?

    I just got a Mesa Studio Preamp on craigslist this past week, and I'm looking for some opinions on solid state power amps to use with it. I have an old Lab Series L11 head and I've been running the Mesa into the power amp input and I dig the sound but I want a separate power amp.

    I'm not using the Mesa's lead channel. This is more of a clean platform for using with distortion pedals for a loud grungy tone a'la Kurt Cobain. I'm running a 2x12 Rivera cab with Celestion V30's. I'm not concerned about wattage being too much as I've read that it's OK to use a power amp with more wattage than your speakers as long as you're not running it full out?

    These are the ones I'm considering:

    Crate SPA200 - the cheapest one I've found at around $80 USD used, seems to get good reviews. made for guitar apparently. 200 watts bridged into 8 ohms

    Carvin DCM600 or DCM1000 - more modern features, only about $40 more than the Crate SPA used. more of a P.A. type of power amp though?

    Crest 4801 or CA4 - the loudest of the bunch as far as wattage goes and more of a P.A. type amp. also the heaviest at about 50 lbs. but aren't Crests built better and are known to sound better than most other SS power amps?

    I'm not really interested in trying any of the 1 space SS power amps as I've found them to be thin sounding (used to have an ADA Microtube 200).

    thanks for the help

  • #2
    Have you tried the Matrix XT800FX? It's a 1 spacer but definitely not thin.
    Good Deals


    • #3
      I've heard of those, but I think their price point is a bit high for me. For the $600-700 they go for I might as well just get a tube power amp. I'm looking to keep it around $250 or under.

      I'd really like to try the Crest CA4, but at about 50 lbs they're on the heavy side. I'm probably gonna go with the Carvin DCM600 used.


      • #4
        Around that price I would go for the Rocktron Velocity 300. IMO the Matrix is worth it. I'd take it over a tube power amp any day. Weighs practically nothing and no replacing tubes. The sound of it replaced my 2/90/2.
        Good Deals


        • #5
          Well I got the Carvin DCM600 in the mail yesterday. Sounds absolutely awesome paired with the Mesa Studio Preamp. Loud, powerful, great clean tones. And very good low end response, as good as any tube power amp I've used.

          I used to have an ADA Microtube 200 and the DCM600 sounds much better. I only need to use one side of the DCM600. I haven't tried bridging it, but it can get excessively loud with just the one channel so there's no need.


          • #6
            Good Deals


            • #7
              I tried to use a Mosvalve power amp with my Triaxis for a short time. It really sounded fairly terrible when compared to the Strategy 500 or 2:Ninety. It's not that the Mosvalve wasn't a decent, slightly warm solid state amp; it just could not deliver what the Triaxis had to offer like Mesa's tube power amplifiers do.

              I would fully suggest holding out for a Mesa 50/50 to match up with your pre.
              I missed that you already went with the Carvin.

              Oh well, if you get the chance to play a 50/50 with that pre, try it some time.