Back in the Boogie club, '82 SOB

The Boogie Board

Help Support The Boogie Board:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

scottjpatrick

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Messages
16
Reaction score
7
Been looking for a while at various things to principally use live, 1x12 combo with about 50/60 watts, all valve, reasonably portable. Saw this and pulled the trigger after making an offer, 1982 Mesa Boogie SOB (Son of the original Boogie) 60 watts through 2 x 6L6's, 2 x 12ax7's plus a 12at7 phase splitter. Hardwood cab and wicker grill combined with a Celestion G12 100 speaker doesn't help with the weight but it looks and sounds lovely. Serial number is S208 making it a very early one. Original Mallory caps have been replaced, don't know when unfortunately but they look ok, amp has been well looked after but might rewax the cab with a darker more original stain.

These amps have a very mixed reputation on here but as an early one with the phase splitter and an actual presence control this has all the good things I was looking for. 2 separate inputs, input 1 adds half of the first 12ax7 for more gain but input 2 bypasses this and gives a lovely Fender on steroids type of sound, very full. The Celestion is from 1981 so period with the amp and gives a lovely thump to the sound, bass notes are very piano like (similar to a really good acoustic, quite 'woody' if that even is a thing) and has nice midrange and smooth top end. Reverb would have finished it off nicely but I can add some from a pedal if necessary, adding it to the amp is possible but probably too expensive to justify.

52lbs overall which is more than I would like but still manageable, next practice with the band is on Tuesday so will really find out then how it performs. Won't be using the higher gain input unless I have it fairly tamed, 2nd input with pedals is the way I'm going, will take some tweaking.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_5448.jpg
    IMG_5448.jpg
    442.8 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_5449.jpg
    IMG_5449.jpg
    307.1 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_5450.jpg
    IMG_5450.jpg
    217.4 KB · Views: 0
  • kxrcppfndctkalx5mc07.jpg
    kxrcppfndctkalx5mc07.jpg
    392.9 KB · Views: 0
  • oqrkijqqu0xeiwyxuxdg.jpg
    oqrkijqqu0xeiwyxuxdg.jpg
    360.2 KB · Views: 0
Very nice.

Sprague caps- better than standard factory service (though someone recently had Mike use ATOM's in a IIB loop mod and service- not cheap these days). There may be an angle you can read the date code on them.

I don't see enough of these SOB's and mine is a non-typical from 1985. I've wondered which ones had the presence so now I'm wondering if it was the early ones. A handful from 1000-2500 I've noted have the oh-so-loved limit.
 
Very nice.

Sprague caps- better than standard factory service (though someone recently had Mike use ATOM's in a IIB loop mod and service- not cheap these days). There may be an angle you can read the date code on them.

I don't see enough of these SOB's and mine is a non-typical from 1985. I've wondered which ones had the presence so now I'm wondering if it was the early ones. A handful from 1000-2500 I've noted have the oh-so-loved limit.
When I was researching SOB's online before I bought this one there seems to have been a fair few variations including some with eq and or reverb, different cabs, 12at7 splitters, 12ax7 splitters, no splitter, presence knobs that were actually limit controls internally, some had both but I think only on the 100 watt versions. Mine has been wired as a presence control but whether it was done that way by Mesa or not I'm not sure, plenty people modded the limit pot as it's easy enough to do.

It's probably no wonder that there is a great deal of people either loving or hating these amps, if you get the right one that's properly sorted then you'll really hear what they are capable of. I'm really happy with the basic 60 watt version, onboard reverb would be nice but there are plenty pedals out there to choose from, can't imagine adding it to the amp would be realistic cost wise.
 
When I was researching SOB's online before I bought this one there seems to have been a fair few variations including some with eq and or reverb, different cabs, 12at7 splitters, 12ax7 splitters, no splitter, presence knobs that were actually limit controls internally, some had both but I think only on the 100 watt versions. Mine has been wired as a presence control but whether it was done that way by Mesa or not I'm not sure, plenty people modded the limit pot as it's easy enough to do.

It's probably no wonder that there is a great deal of people either loving or hating these amps, if you get the right one that's properly sorted then you'll really hear what they are capable of. I'm really happy with the basic 60 watt version, onboard reverb would be nice but there are plenty pedals out there to choose from, can't imagine adding it to the amp would be realistic cost wise.
Agreed. There are pedals that do reverb better than a typical mesa.

Interesting on the PI- some with none? You don't see many with EQ or 100W. I've had a graphic fuzz since the 80's which blows away the 5-band. I've liked it on some amps but am also very happy with all my marks without. My non-converted IIC S is perfect as S and that bare bones seems to sing through better for me. Besides the limit thing it's prob the lack of GEQ that "keeps these sons of dogs down". All the better.

I've got a DRG red stripe I've never bonded with. I'm not kicking it to the curb but would like to try a S/SR or H/HR to see if I like that any better.

When you say different cabs, do you mean headshell/combo and black/blonde or something else?

Do you know if the PI headroom was needed on some amps vs allowing more gain on others? The 12AT7 was used in the early 80's on V2 for the Mark IIB as was pointed out to me and I'm not sure when that stopped so it seems they played around with different configs.
 
Agreed. There are pedals that do reverb better than a typical mesa.

Interesting on the PI- some with none? You don't see many with EQ or 100W. I've had a graphic fuzz since the 80's which blows away the 5-band. I've liked it on some amps but am also very happy with all my marks without. My non-converted IIC S is perfect as S and that bare bones seems to sing through better for me. Besides the limit thing it's prob the lack of GEQ that "keeps these sons of dogs down". All the better.

I've got a DRG red stripe I've never bonded with. I'm not kicking it to the curb but would like to try a S/SR or H/HR to see if I like that any better.

When you say different cabs, do you mean headshell/combo and black/blonde or something else?

Do you know if the PI headroom was needed on some amps vs allowing more gain on others? The 12AT7 was used in the early 80's on V2 for the Mark IIB as was pointed out to me and I'm not sure when that stopped so it seems they played around with different configs.
Lots of information if you look through these threads on here, including the usual 'why are we talking about these, I heard they suck' posts from people who have obviously never actually played through one.

Search results for query: SOB

I have seen some with just two 12ax7's, some also have a 12ax7 splitter, some have a 12at7, both marked as such on the chassis so presumably for more/less gain. The 100 watt versions seem to be heads, may well be some combos out there. EQ and reverb were factory options as were black cabs, white cabs, snakeskin cabs, hardwood cabs, wicker fronts, you name it, they would do it! I saw a price list for extra factory mods somewhere but can't find it now, it's on here somewhere!

12AT7's were commonly used on older Fender amps in V1 to keep gain down, you have to remember that in a lot of Boogies V2 is actually the first pre amp valve in the signal path, V1 gets added up front when you engage the drive channel, the SOB only uses one half of the 12ax7 on the 2nd 'clean' input, if you plug into input 1 you get the full 12ax7 for higher gain. Wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people who didn't like the sound of the SOB plugged straight into input 1 and didn't know any better.
 
Wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people who didn't like the sound of the SOB plugged straight into input 1 and didn't know any better.
Good point.
I know for certain people have got rid of old marks because they don't realize the bass is inversely proportional to the volume and sell it cuz "the tone sucks".
 
Another good thread on TDPRI, has the original pamphlet (different one from last post) which states reverb and eq are not options at the time but there is one post which has the Mesa receipt with an effects loop as a factory add on, same guy had reverb fitted at a later date by the factory, info on these things is simply all over the place, seems Mesa would do pretty much whatever you wanted if you asked them!

Mesa "son of boogie"
 
I have an SOB, straight 60, with limiter. The limiter triac failed long ago so it's configured as a second master volume which is kept dimed at all times. I'd like to think of a more creative thing to do with that control.

It had a harshness to it I did not like, which was cured by removing the .003 capacitor. Check the schematic, figure it out.

I've never particularly like its tone circuit shaping. I want to make it more Mark II-like. Or even mark III- like.
 
Another good thread on TDPRI, has the original pamphlet (different one from last post) which states reverb and eq are not options at the time but there is one post which has the Mesa receipt with an effects loop as a factory add on, same guy had reverb fitted at a later date by the factory, info on these things is simply all over the place, seems Mesa would do pretty much whatever you wanted if you asked them!

Mesa "son of boogie"
That is what I recall but not 1st hand. I always thought it was a budget thing- most people would take the channel switching Mark if they had the dough where the SOB saved money.

If options were never advertised or advertised only at the end there were enough people that new the factory would add them so maybe someone that wants a SOB faceplate could get brazilian walnut, wicker, simulclass EQ and reverb.

I do plan to pick up a couple more of these at some point down the line. My 85 is a KOB initialled by RCS. It may originally have gone to someone he knew since he also initialled a purple stripe I had that was 1 of 4 made for Eddie Money. Or maybe it was a one off at the end of the run.

For the price point they make good bread boards to experiment.
 
Used the Boogie tonight at a practice so had the chance to really try it out for the first time. Loud, good clean voice, didn't miss having reverb. Pedal board will take some tweaking to suit the amp, currently set up to go through a Rivera Super Champ. Had a quick go using the 1st channel and might go down that route, volumes set to about 3 to give it an edge of breakup tone, replace the Timmy on the board with a TS9 and ride the vol control on the guitar, lots of possibilities.
 
I have an SOB, straight 60, with limiter. The limiter triac failed long ago so it's configured as a second master volume which is kept dimed at all times. I'd like to think of a more creative thing to do with that control.

It had a harshness to it I did not like, which was cured by removing the .003 capacitor. Check the schematic, figure it out.

I've never particularly like its tone circuit shaping. I want to make it more Mark II-like. Or even mark III- like.
I didn’t like having a post P.I. Master Volume, I thought the distortion sounded harsh compared to the pre P.I. master volume. I decided to put a resonance control in the negative feedback loop. It works okay.

I liked the 0.003uF in the P.I. stage, I tried 0.01uF and it was too big. I then tried 0.001uF but lacked bass and thickness. I found ceramic caps sounded best in my SOB (I put silver micas in) the top end wasn’t harsh sounding.

I have a Boogie Celestion speaker in the amp, but I recently put a Vintage 30 in it and I liked it. I understood why it went into the Santana amp.

Regards

Mark
 
I once owned a Son combo. **** good little amp! Although regarded as Mesa's first reissue, the Son had its own thing going on, while still keeping it close to the family. At lower gain settings, it was big bold and clean, ballsy and round, with great low end. The MS-12 speaker played a significant part of that magic, plus there were still a lot of American tubes in use back then. When using the low input, the background noise was so low that the amp could be fully cranked and ya might not even notice that it was switched on, and that was back when my hearing was still fairly sharp. Then strum a chord and things got magnificently seismic. I enjoyed limited success with running a preamp into the front of it. When using the high input with higher gain and volume settings, the normal background hiss was there, but not as much as one might expect. It did have good breakup, but it was more of a Bluesy, Classic Rock, Southern Rock character. At the time, I was going for Metal, so I let it go and ended up with a Caliber and several Mark Series models. As I recall, it was a 50 or 60 watt model with a duet of 6L6GC power tubes, reverb, limiter, and Sus-4. Quality of build was top notch and on par with all other Mesa front line models of the era. Oh, and it smelled like a Boogie... presumably from the adhesive or the vinyl/Tolex. I bought it out of the Phoenix area late 88 and sold it in California in late 91. s/n S552. Wherever it's at now, I hope it's being enjoyed and cranking out some great tones. DDR
 
Last edited:
Another good thread on TDPRI, has the original pamphlet (different one from last post) which states reverb and eq are not options at the time but there is one post which has the Mesa receipt with an effects loop as a factory add on, same guy had reverb fitted at a later date by the factory, info on these things is simply all over the place, seems Mesa would do pretty much whatever you wanted if you asked them!

Mesa "son of boogie"
I went to the factory when I purchased my SOB, and Doug was the salesperson, and yes, they would do most anything you wanted, that was available. Not sure, now with such a large company, and making so many amps that this is still true. Most people in the Bay Area during the 70's 80's could just make an appointment and check out different amps at the site in Petaluma CA. The Bay Area seemed to spawn most of the Boogie sales at that time. Prune Music in the early days was the place where you could buy a Boogie Amp.
 
Another good thread on TDPRI, has the original pamphlet (different one from last post) which states reverb and eq are not options at the time but there is one post which has the Mesa receipt with an effects loop as a factory add on, same guy had reverb fitted at a later date by the factory, info on these things is simply all over the place, seems Mesa would do pretty much whatever you wanted if you asked them!

Mesa "son of boogie"
Here is a Price List
Price Sheet.jpg
 

Latest posts

Back
Top