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power tube distortion or headroom? (oh, and 2x12s)


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I guess some things to consider are portability, and volume, and the sort of power tubes you'd like to have. A strategy is alot heavier than a 20/20, I should imagine :D A 20/20 is plenty loud, and I don't know that you'd often be in a position to crank it loud enough to saturate? If you gig all the time then I'd say go for something with more wattage if you like a really tight tone, otherwise I think the 20/20 will be more than enough for you. Personally I went for a 50/50 and I hardly ever run it past 6, which is rare in itself.

 

I'm also running a Mesa 2x12 and to be honest, I love it. I don't feel the benefit gigging with a 4x12 but then I only (and rarely) play at small venues. Besides, if you mic up, you're not going to be cranking the HELL out of your amp anyway, it's just going to be loud enough so you can hear yourself onstage without drowning everything out. Depending on the size, I'd say go for a 50/50 if you're worried about headroom and want something inbetween. And if I were you, I'd go with a 2x12 closed back.. but that's just me. I prefer the sound of my Mesa 2x12 with V30s over my friends Marshall cab, but then the speakers are different so I guess it's not a fair comparison

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I had to make the very same desicion about a year ago. I also use a JMP-1 in my rack. I tried two different amplifiers, a Mesa 20/20 and a 50/50. I ended up with the 20/20 for the simple fact that I could get good power tube saturation without going deaf. Keep in mind though, that little beast is LOUD!. We have a very agressive drummer so our stage volume gets a little out of control sometime, but I still never get more than 50% on the 20/20. I swapped out the tubes in both the JMP-1 and the 20/20 with some JJ's and my rig came alive. I can get a very warm tone or all out distortion.

 

As for cabinets, I ended up finding an old set of Peavey floor wedge monitors and loading them up with Celestion 90W Black Shadow 12" speakers (disconnected the horns in the wedges of course). It works out very well since I can place the two wedges wherever I want to on stage and they are point up at me so that I can hear them easily. It's also pretty cool to place them on either side of you so you get a stereo effect from them and makes it that much easier to hear.

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oh yeh, and there's the whole thing of i think the Strategys have much more options on them. what are they? how good are they?

 

oh, and how exactly is it that the 20/20, a 40 watt amp, is found for not much less (on ebay at least) than the bloody strategy 400? and the 50/50 is usually a damn sight more. just seems weird.

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Originally posted by sp_spaceboy

oh yeh, and there's the whole thing of i think the Strategys have much more options on them. what are they? how good are they?


oh, and how exactly is it that the 20/20, a 40 watt amp, is found for not much less (on ebay at least) than the bloody strategy 400? and the 50/50 is usually a damn sight more. just seems weird.

 

 

Couldn't tell you. I do know that I have heard many people trying to either sell their 50/50 or trade in for a 20/20.

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I have a Strategy 500, and honestly, although I love having seemingly infinite headroom, I've only gotten the thing up to full power maybe three times in the last couple of years. I'm 90% sure that I could have gotten by with a 2:Ninety just as easily, which is actually lighter and hypothetically it's only 3db quieter at full volume.

 

The Strategy 400 (or Simul 295) has no options you'd be missing out on. The Strategy 500 (along with the simul 395) has Deep and/or Half-Drive along with a 2nd pair of volume and presense controls per channel set up on "tracks". You can switch from one track using deep or half-drive to a different track with either deep or half drive at a different volume setting. The 2:Ninety has Deep, Modern and Half-Drive all individually controlled.

 

Honestly, for the most sound options, the 2:Ninety probably wins out with the added "modern" and individually controlled deep and half-drive over the Strategy 500's 2nd set of volume and presence controls.

 

Strategy 400 and Simul 295 amps are cheap because they're old. The market price for them has fallen. Same with the 500 and 395. The 20/20 is still relatively new in comparison, so the price hasn't dropped severely.

 

The 50/50 also has 6L6's. Some guitarists might lean towards that over the 20/20 just because they're worried about the EL84's being able to handle the bass response that they're used to. I haven't had the fortune of trying out a 20/20. I really don't know if it could match the bass response of a Strategy 500 with GE 6550A power tubes and the "deep" mode engaged though.

 

And 2x12 cabinets are great. They fit into cars much more easily than 4x12's.

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