My love affair with Mesa bass gear

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Oct 6, 2023
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I used to have a Fender BXR 300 amp. I then bought the best sounding bass amp I ever heard; the Mesa Boogie 400+. Boy what a sound that amp had. I purchased it with the Mesa Boogie four 10 cabinet. Sadly the cabinet was so heavy and wide, I could not fit it in the back seat of my 4 door car. I ended up returning the cab and getting a SWR four 10 cabinet which was not as big and about 15 pounds lighter. I absolutely loved playing my bass with this amp every time I used it. The problem was playing gigs with it was such a challenge due to the weight of the head and cabinet and then rolling it onto a stage. When Mesa Boogie came out with the Buster amp which was a two 10 wedge I traded in my amp for it as it had the personality of the 400+. It was easier to get around with this amp though the weight was not balanced and with its small luggage wheels and handle, it got to be a challenge. But it had the same character of them 400+ just in a smaller package.

Once Class D bass amps got popular, I ended up switching to a Aguilar 500 Tone Hammer. I also purchased their two 12 cabinet which was about 20 pounds lighter than their four 10 cabinet so it was a good compromise. Now every time I play bass with a worship band, the sound team has me plug into a DI. Therefore, the amp ends up staying in my home studio. The only time I take the bass amp out is if I have a gig outside which is very rare these days. I tried the newer Class D Mesa Bass amps, but they were cleaner sounding compared to the warmer Aguilar amp so I never ended going back to Boogie bass heads. The one head with preamp tubes seems appealing but since I am content with the Augilar, I never went back to Mesa.


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Feb 22, 2013
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North Carolina
For some time I wanted to get the Strategy or Prodigy with the KT88 tubes. When I was ready to buy, they were discontinued. Settled on the Mesa TT800. Runs three 12AT7 preamp tubes. those were Tung Sol brand. I did an experiment with the RFT 12AT7 and the JAN/Phillips 12AT7. Now that added some musical character to the amp. I never played through the 400+. Not sure what I am missing.


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