Should Mesa Have Called it Something Else?

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There's absolutely no way it's coming back round, though. The tipping point has been reached, you don't have to make meaningful tonal compromises anymore when going digital and digital QoL is just so much better. (Also, anybody on this board under 40? Anybody?)

Pandemic was the final straw, man. People who actually want to make music all discovered that digital was just better for that. Tube guitar amps are already like tube hifi amps or project cars, this niche money pit thing for men that's more about the object itself than the use of it. I'm in a sunk cost situation with the tube amps I own, I've built a physical space and digital workflow around them that I like but that's because I already had the amps. If my space burned down I wouldn't buy new tube amps with the insurance money.
Yep.. popular music -scene doesn’t need guitar anymore 🤣

Just a hobby for old farts.
 
There's absolutely no way it's coming back round, though. The tipping point has been reached, you don't have to make meaningful tonal compromises anymore when going digital and digital QoL is just so much better. (Also, anybody on this board under 40? Anybody?)

Pandemic was the final straw, man. People who actually want to make music all discovered that digital was just better for that. Tube guitar amps are already like tube hifi amps or project cars, this niche money pit thing for men that's more about the object itself than the use of it. I'm in a sunk cost situation with the tube amps I own, I've built a physical space and digital workflow around them that I like but that's because I already had the amps. If my space burned down I wouldn't buy new tube amps with the insurance money.

Well, I mean, this is the Boogie forum, not the Fractal forum.

Speaking for myself, yes I'm in my mid-40's. But I'm lucky enough that I still get paid to play out around 50 times a year. I've went the digital road a few times (actually started there back in 2000). But I always come back to tube amps. I like the simplicity, and it always sounds great. Heck, so far I haven't even bothered with the CabClone IR on the Badlander except for playing at home with headphones.

Sure, I'll admit, I don't bring 4x12 cabs and 100W heads anymore, but I won't go under 50W (EL84 and high gain just ain't right IME, was really disappointed in the Badlander 25W). The volume on the Badlander has a nice taper, I'd rather have the option of more volume and not use it, than run out of headroom faster.

That's me though. I see other people playing Kempers and Fractals, I always find their tone generic and boring. Best sound I heard last year when sharing the stage was a guy in his 30s with a Single Rectifier, a Mesa OS 412 cab and a Gibson Explorer. He wasn't playing traditional Recto music either, but he made it work and it sounded killer. And it's not cause I saw the amp on stage and then liked the sound, we were hanging back stage then the band started playing and we were all like "**** that sounds good" so we went to see what it was.

Haven't seen anyone using a Badlander on stage yet, but the sound guy sure loved the sound I was getting out of mine last Saturday.
 
you don't have to make meaningful tonal compromises anymore when going digital and digital QoL is just so much better.
Just one man's opinion :)

Agree the digital stuff has come a long way. Have gone back and forth a few times over the years between digital vs tube amps but alas for me there was something still missing, especially live. What I hear and feel is an underlying similarity of the amp models. No question they sound good. I often use digital models in recording pre-production tracks or scratch ideas. They are very convenient and you can dabble with different models and not have to fork for the real thing. Now I like that. However the overall dynamics between different tubes amps is not recreated to the same level between say different digital amp models. The pick dynamics and overall feel between, say, my IIC+ and Stiletto or the BAD are all very different. I dunno the real amps just sound and feel a bit more organic to me.

For me it's not an either or, they are tools to use to achieve a tonal goal. Both have their place.
 
There's absolutely no way it's coming back round, though. The tipping point has been reached, you don't have to make meaningful tonal compromises anymore when going digital and digital QoL is just so much better. (Also, anybody on this board under 40? Anybody?)

Pandemic was the final straw, man. People who actually want to make music all discovered that digital was just better for that. Tube guitar amps are already like tube hifi amps or project cars, this niche money pit thing for men that's more about the object itself than the use of it. I'm in a sunk cost situation with the tube amps I own, I've built a physical space and digital workflow around them that I like but that's because I already had the amps. If my space burned down I wouldn't buy new tube amps with the insurance money.

Disagree completely

I'm 31. Next to no one in any of the original music scenes around here is using digital. A larger percentage in the djent/prog metal world but it's still a minority. All of this scales up to beyond the local level too 🤷‍♂️


Most of the gen Z kids are playing fender tube combos with pedals
 
Digital has its place, but in over 20 years of gigging I could count the number of live modeler rigs I’ve seen on stage on one hand.

Granted, that was ‘99-‘19, and the technology really has come a long way in the last 5 years or so.

I’m not a digital hater, I love my Iridium, either by itself or in the preamp loop of my Boss GT-6, through a mixer and in headphones. Man I could noodle with that all day. Same goes for my Eleven Rack. I’ve got an old Behringer V-Amp Pro that sounds surprising good too and is a lot of fun to play.

The live experience just isn’t the same for me. The dynamics and nuances that you hear in headphones gets lost on a loud stage. That wide stereo landscape is gone.

You lose that ‘feel’ of a good tube amp too, even when the stage mix is terrible. Digital doesn’t give that same tactile feedback as a 100W head on a 4X12 that’s for sure.

Dom
 
I’m not anti modeling by any means, but the comments of it taking over and tubes going the way of the dodo have been around for decades and it’s still just as silly as they ever were


A lot of the cleans on my bands recordings are axe fx 3
 
Hey there, oldster/rare poster nowadays here. I recently picked up my... 8th? Mesa in preparation for a road trip in which we'll be using IEMs and the preference is for direct/IR rigs, which (as if I needed an excuse) gave me a good reason to finally pull the trigger on one of these. So I got a BAD25 1x12 combo, and I love it! It's such a fun amp to play, super controllable and easily gets into the neighborhood of my 2204 in terms of sparkle and dynamics and texture. Close enough that it's worth any sacrifice to have it in a 36 lb grab-n-go package.

I did notice that these are being fairly steeply discounted nowadays, which seems indicative that it'll be discontinued before too long. I am hoping to get hold of a 50w head before they disappear, because I really dig this amp. EL84s obviously have their "thing" and the BAD25 inherits that in its way -- not a ton of headroom, bounce transitioning to spongey/squishy sometimes too early, etc. but when it's dialed in -- which is really easy to do -- it's a joy to play. On the lower gain settings it's pretty Voxy, and transitions into more obvious Marshall vibes as you go up, until it's resting right between Marshall and Mesa in that huge, fat singing lead gain place.

I don't have a ton of Recto experience, though I do have a Mini. Having dipped my toes in via the Mini I can appreciate the vibe a little bit, and I can see where the BAD runs kind of parallel in some ways, but it does seem pretty different at the same time. I feel like Mesa cut down the middle between some of their classic voicings with this amp, which means it's a little of this and a little of that, and maybe perceived as not different enough to matter? Which is, IMHO, too bad because I do think the Badlander is a remarkable amp.

Probably going cheap if anyone is thinking about pulling the trigger, worth a spin.
 
Been curious about the 25 and especially the Celestion 65 and how that differs from the MC-90. Are you going to use one of the stock IRs or go with something else?
Thanks, yeah for now just rolling with the stock IRs. I think they sound fine. I've seen folks complaining about them, but I don't have a problem with them at all. At the moment I'm just using the Lone Star 23" 1x12 IR, and it sounds great for both Clean and Crunch.

I have a Suhr PT15IR too and I use it a lot for recording etc. It sounds different obviously, different amp and IRs, but I think they both sound good.
 
Where does mesa do marketing? I don't think I've ever seen a digital ad anywhere from them. You can't rely on influencers to sell your gear, and guitar magazines aren't anywhere near as heavily read as they used to be.

Maybe I'm in the wrong territory (outside the USA and Europe) to not be important enough.

Plus, I don't think the Gibson buyout did them any favours in the short term. It'll settle down but Gibson isn't as well regarded these days..
Guitar magazines are all but dead in the water (except to a few die hard boomers and gen Xers) and they have been replaced by YouTube for quite some time now as people's primary means of learning about new gear.
 
Been curious about the 25 and especially the Celestion 65 and how that differs from the MC-90.
I neglected to address this bit, but I don't have too much to say about it. I haven't compared 1-1 against the C90 since the amp came with the 65, which sounds fantastic after a little bit of break-in (it seemed a little on the bright side at first). I've come around on the C90 after a long time kinda hating on them, they're a good basic speaker that can cover a lot of bases, really a pretty decent default if you need to pick one. Just extrapolating from my memory-impressions, I feel like the 65 has a little more sparkle and maintains some of the higher, glassier highs? Maybe a little "sweeter" if that makes sense. I feel like the C90 has more muscle somehow.
 
they're a good basic speaker that can cover a lot of bases, really a pretty decent default if you need to pick one.
Thanks for chiming in. Yea totally with you on that. It just doesn't have a wow factor... the proverbial jack of all trades, master of none. Was totally expecting Mesa would have gone with that in the BAD combo but the 65 got me thinking. hmmm I have a Heritage G12-65 gathering dust, probably time to swap that in my WB cab and give it a go.
 
Honestly, I think the badlander was supposed to be the tighter, more tamed dual rec rev f. That's why it's in the DR family. I played a Drec rev f #1904 for 15 years and it was amazing. I had a rev g also but it just didn't have the rev f MOJO. The rev f is the bad *** of all rectos. Even the reborn rec just couldn't get to it. Close but just too fizzy and didn't feel as good as the F. I saw the badlander 2 channel and my first thought was, Yes. The rev f is back. So I went to the music store and they had a 50 watt bad. The tone character was the rev f. The gain was not fizzy just like the re f. 2 channel just like the F. Clone channels like the F. Sounded great, but.! Not the bottom end of any DR, or the amount of gain of any Dr. Especially the rev f. If it had 30% more gain and 30% more bottom end like the crushing bottom end my rev f had, I'd be playing one today. I left the store heart broken. Now we have the Mr Scary mod that sounds like it's really close. But you can't just go try one out with it installed. You gotta buy the amp and the mod together just to hope it is, and with the rev blue that I play now through my 2 mesa 2x12 reco cabs with 25 watt greens it's the closet yet to my rev f. And no I will not mention the brand in respect of the mesa forum. If you know a rev blue then you know. Now when I get an extra 4000 to by a rev f, I'm going to get one. But until then I'll be happy with my rev blue that was a steal at 1900 total. Now this is just my opinion on the subject as the bad being basically a re do of the ref f. But from playing a rev f mesa for 15 years and then playing a badlander at the store through my on 2x12 cabs that I brought to the music store, that's just the way I feel about it. It's so close character wise that I feel like they missed a chance at the greatest reissue of all time. I even thought about calling them up and asking if they would mod it themselves to duplicate the rev f. But I figured they would give me a resounding no. Anyway just my thoughts. I'm probably 1000 miles off track on my theory. And I am 60 years old, play in 2 heavy metal bands and I lug around a 100 watt tube head, 2 2x12 mesa recto cabs and a 30" by 34" road case with The amp head, rac wah, wireless, power conditioner, tc effects and other crap and I tried the modeling stuff and it just doesn't get the sound or feel. If I had started on digital amps 43 years ago I probably wouldn't like real tube amps. But 43 years of all tube, nothing else sounds or feels right to me. Again that's just me. GOD bless and be cool yall. I guess the " yall " tells you I'm a southern USA guy.
 
The tone character was the rev f. The gain was not fizzy just like the re f. 2 channel just like the F. Clone channels like the F. Sounded great, but.!
I for one appreciate the post... insightful coming from a DR player, since I'm really not one... but do dig them :) FWIW running a GEQ in the loop and boosting the bass freqs does give it alot more bottom end, it starts to sound more like that classic DR sound to me. But I'm not going to claim to be Rect expert, far from it. Gain wise, yea it doesn't have that real deep saturated feel inherently, bu tit responds well to being boosted. So it scratches my DR itch while doing alot more. But everything else you describe about the tone I do agree with.
 
I can see one thinking the BAD was a remake of sorts, It is not even close to any DR sound. It is different. Too much of a Hybrid to call it a Rectifier. They could have mixed in the Stiletto series in with the Rectifier amps, that is what they basically were to some extent but yet more of a Marshall than a SLO thing. If it was a true recto it would be RAD. I do not think Radlander sounds like a product I would buy though. Mesa could have modified the one gain stage to switch between a cold clipper and the overdrive stage of the Mark. They can do a lot of things with relays.
 
I feel like the 65 has a little more sparkle and maintains some of the higher, glassier highs? Maybe a little "sweeter" if that makes sense.
Well finally did make the move and swapped in the G12-65 in the WB cab. Not sure how close the Heritage is to the 65 that's in the BAD but would agree there is more sparkle and top end with it. A bit more overall character and tone sounds slightly scooped in comparison to the C90. With the Marks it was good, not a bad alternative. With the BAD it is a really nice fit.
 

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