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Mesa Vs. Ampeg... A Comparison


The Bear Jew

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OK, so...

As some of youse know, I have been playing through a rig that consists of an SWR SM-500, an old-ass Ampeg 4x10 and an Ampeg 1x15. The rest of my signal chain is either my P-bass or my new MM Stingray, a Korg Pedal Tuner and an MXR DI+.

 

This set up sounds f-ing great, OK? Any rocker would be happy with it.

 

However, a few of you guys might also remember that I have another set of bass cabinets... a Mesa 2x10 and a Mesa 1x15.

 

I haven't used them in ages.. not since I got the Ampegs for the AMAZING low price of $75 for the two cabs. Yeah. I know... ridiculous... the guy just wanted to get rid of them immediately. Oh well.. his loss was my gain.

 

Anyway... I recently got the jones to see how my old Mesas sound versus my Ampegs... so I did a lil' shoot out last night.

 

I played with the Ampegs half of the night... and the Mesas for the other half.

 

Here's what I discovered:

The Ampegs are all-round louder, somehow... There was no need to pump the output in order to get an amazing bass tone than can easily over-rule any decisions made by a loud drummer and two guitarists with half-stacks. Now, I guess that could be due to the extra two 10" speakers in the top Ampeg cab.... or perhaps the SWR head just likes those cabs more... I dunno. The Ampeg cabs are also... rounder-sounding... somehow. They are warm, fuzzy cabs, and I can literally make drumsticks jump off of the floor tom when I play low notes... It's pretty fun.

 

The Mesa cabs are... no-nonsense. They basically take the sound of the bass and go, "Here's what you gave us. If it sounds crappy, it's because you suck. Don't come to us with your problems." They sound kind of rigid and punchy... but definitely unforgiving. I actually really like the sound of the 1x15... but the 1x15 mixed with the 2x10 are kind of... flat-sounding? I had to kind of pump the volume up a bit to get into the same volume feeling as the Ampegs, and when I got there, I noticed even more "clank" out of my P-bass than usual. These cabs have a very sturdy, workman-like tone...

 

At the end of the night, I asked the other guys what they thought, and the general feeling was that the Ampegs sound better, but the Mesas are definitely cleaner.

 

The guitarist said, "The Ampegs seem to put the bass tone all around us... the Mesas kind of put it right THROUGH us..."

 

 

Hmm.

 

Anyway. Yeah. I dunno. I might get rid of the Mesas now.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Anyway. Yeah. I dunno. I might get rid of the Mesas now.

I'll give you $75 dollars for 'em. (+ shipping)

 

Then it will be like the Ampegs were free!

 

No ... really!

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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Originally posted by getz76:

there is also something to be said for keeping both...

and get yourself a crossover and a couple of those sick-ass peavey power amps. that would be the sickest. rig. ever.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Just a note.....because of the 2 extra 10's in the Ampeg rig, you have more surface area producing sound, thus you will hear greater volume. Also, The mesa's have a much thicker cone, and will produce a much cleaner, but harsher sound at high volume levels. The Mesa speakers cone is almost 4 times as many layers as the Ampeg's, and they are coated also which adds to the ridgidity of the cone.

 

I play through JBL E-110's and an E-155 (4x10 and 1x18) I have been using this set-up for 25 yrs, and will never change. You have to play through what pleases you sonically, and just enjoy it.

I seek knowledge from the winds of destiny , Wisdom from the seas of time, and honor from within myself. Lost in a land where bass and time collide.
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Ya gotta love that whole "this is what ya gave us sound". But thats just me. I recently did the same thing with a home-made cab and old Peavey P.A. head combo that I started out with and a Hartke cab with a Behringer head combo that I use to gig with. Using the former in a gig is how I found out that I've actually improved...more that I thought.
Donnie Peterson
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Depending on what you can borrow in case of cab trouble, I like the idea of the Mesas as a back up.

 

That "surround" vs. "through" thing could be a factor in certain types of rooms. For example, the next time you play the gym at a all-girls high school, you might appreciate the Mesas because the Ampegs might get muddy.

 

I can see why you like the Ampegs given your description of the sound and knowing/hearing you play. And no matter how "in your face" you get, I never thought of you as a clanky guy.

 

ba dump dum.

 

Musiclogic - I saw a band Friday (Rat Race Choir) and the bass rig was right out of the 70s. Alembic pre, some unreadable giant power amp, "Voice of the Theater" style cabinet with giant horn fins sticking out. More than I'll carry, but I gues, as you said, that's his sound. Truthfully it was uneven at times, but I'm sure it sounds good to him.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Yes! YES!!!!!

 

My plan is all coming together!

Ampeg cabinets will rule the world!

mwwhahahahah!!

mmmwhahahahhahaahah!!!!

MMMMWWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAAH! :evil:

 

(And they're black!)

:thu:

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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It's interesting... I used to LOVE the sound of my Mesa cabs.... but then I got the Ampegs, and now I really know what love means... hahah...

 

I am seriously considering getting rid of my Mesas on Craigslist or E-bay. They're just going to sit there unless I need to use them as a back-up.

 

I'm thinking it might be neat to have one of those Ampeg 6x10s or something similar. Maybe the SWR 8x8 or two SWR 4x10s for a back-up.

 

I dunno. All I know is that the Mesas ain't workin' for me anymore.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I've never played through Mesa's, but I'm happy with my Ampeg rig (SVT-450 through SVT-410HLF.)

 

A guy in a local band that I sometimes see plays an SVT 1000 through the 610HLF. They are a very loud band and he sounds thunderous. I can't even conceive of him needing more juice unless they start playing stadiums.

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If you like the sound of the Mesa 15, why don't you try pairing it with the Ampeg 15? Or just keep the 15 for a spare/backup/practice rig. Never know when you'll need it.

 

I've never really been impressed with 2x10 cabs myself.

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Originally posted by CMDN:

I'm thinking it might be neat to have one of those Ampeg 6x10s or something similar. Maybe the SWR 8x8 or two SWR 4x10s for a back-up.

 

I dunno. All I know is that the Mesas ain't workin' for me anymore.

Get two ampeg 8x10's! he-he.

I knew a girl that was into biamping,I sure do miss

her.-ButcherNburn

 

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