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Boogie in a box?

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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99
I'm new to this forum, so I apologise in advance a topic that's probably been covered.

I'm playing through a Blues Junior and I love it -- I'm not gigging anymore, and I don't need a lot of volume. But I used to play Mesa Boogies, and I miss the tone. The trouble is that where I live now, the only small Boogies you can get new are the Transat or the 5:25 Express. And they're over a couple of thousand dollars ... and have a ton more features than I need. No used Studio 22s or anything hereabouts.

Is there a good effects unit I can maybe get shipped in that'll give me a sound reminiscent of the old Mk Boogies? Thanks in advance!
 

jrgtr42

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Mar 24, 2005
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Boogie themselves offers several stompbox distortions. I haven't played them myself, but I;d think they should bring that signature Boogie sound to the party.
Blues Juniors take pedals really well, so that mught be an option.
Or I can offer my Boogie Rocket 44 for sale - good condition, though it needs new tubes.
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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Thanks for the offer and the tip: I'll look into the Mesa stuff.

I'm 220 volts here, though, so to buy US I'd need a Boogie set up for 110/220 -- which Mesa did do -- or I'd have to replace the transformer and that's not hard but it can be expensive ... and a pain in the neck, if I recall Fender one time making it difficult for me to get a new one?

It'd make more sense to have a used amp shipped in from Europe. Big customs duties though. :-(
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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The regular Mesa peddles don't sound too subtle in YouTube clips, but the "all-tube" V-Twin sounds good -- also it has lines out, and I have a Roland Cube 30X I could run that into as well.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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I bought my 15wt Trans Atlantic new for under a grand. I thought they quit making them?? Used from $700-$800. 5:25 heads a bit more but no way 2K. Haven't found a pedal that gets Mark tone. Find a distortion box you like for the BJ and dial it in.
 

metropolis

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Sep 14, 2018
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Where are you based? I'm surprised there's no Studio 22s around, there's always a few for sale in the UK and Boogies are relatively rare over here. I also have a Studio preamp which could achieve the same thing if you had an amp with an effects loop return or a power amp to use with it.
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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I'm based in Antalya, Turkey. On the Mediterranean coast

I don't see the TA-15s around here, just the TA-30s -- and I can get one shipped to my door but it's 14,000 Turkish lira for just the head and the 5:25 is 16,000 lira, with the lira trading between seven and eight to the dollar ... so toward a couple of thousand bucks. TA-30 on n11.com 5:25 on n11.com

I do see Studio 22s for sale and shipping from Europe. And that'd work with Turkish current, plus I'd really like something as basic as that. In fact, there's a head for sale on Reverb right now that would cut down on shipping I assume. But shipping's still going to be a hundred dollars insured, and customs duties several times that.

I could put it off 'til I can get to Istanbul and check the consignment stores -- domestic shipping is good and there'd be no duty ... IF I find something. Big if. Big Al's probably right: get a Mini Tube Screamer and try and dial it in. It's a cheap fix, and if it doesn't work, the Mesa Boogies'll still be out there.

Thanks as always for the advice.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
575
It may not be what your looking for but I would recommend that you have a look at the Mesa V Twin, Pre Amp.
It came as a floor mounted unit and as a rack unit.
It has outputs for amp inputs and more significantly an output voiced specifically for the input of power amps including the return of an amplifiers effects loop.
It also interfaces with desks for direct recording and works well with its speaker voiced output.

I used my V Twin as the front end of my 66 Vox AC30 for club gigs where volume was an issue for example and in studios many times due to its versatility and compact design.
I could go on but if you've got this far there is a wealth of info online regarding this discontinued pre amp.
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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Thanks, Sol.

I did refer to the V-Twin earlier in the thread and I watched a few clips. There're a bunch of current-compatible units in Europe and one in Australia right now. And a Mini Tube Screamer is almost a hundred bucks here so a couple of hundred more for the V-Twin is not such a stretch.

Besides the Blues Junior, I have a Roland Cube, and both the V-Twin and the Cube have in/out, so that would give me versatility, as you say. Recording is a definite plus. And it's very helpful getting a personal-experience recommendation on it. Thanks again.

I'll contact a few sellers and see if I can find reasonable shipping.
 

Sol

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There were two versions made I have the second. It allows you to reverse the blues mode and the high gain mode, by accessing a removable cover on the underside of the unit, where there is a simple switch.
This increases the versatility somewhat.

Try to get one where the owner hasn't been doing tube swaps and has the original Russian 12ax7s if possible. I've damaged mine slightly doing endless tube swaps as this strains the tube sockets. Be sure that changing from blue to red channel is consistent with no glitches before you buy.. Good luck.
 

metropolis

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Sep 14, 2018
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The only thing I'd flag about the V-Twin is it's based on the Dual Rectifier type sound and therefore not the Mk series you mention wanting in your first post. Appreciate it must be hard tracking gear down in Turkey, especially something fairly niche like this. That said I've bought and sold MB gear across Europe - bought a 20/20 preamp and sold a Quad preamp (which I regret!) to/from Spain and France so with a bit of patience the right amp will turn up.
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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Hmmm ... the last Boogie I actually owned was a Mesa Boogie Mark III Simul-Class combo which I liked less well than the previous Mk II B, so I appreciate the heads-up. On the other hand, real Mesa Boogie tube overdrive without shipping an entire combo amp and paying the customs duties is a huge advantage. I did ask about shipping the Studio 22 head I saw on Reverb, but I never got an answer, I don't think.
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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Since I've got some expert fans helping me out ... what about the V-1 Bottle Rocket? Only one channel, no line in/out, no MID control, but still two 12AX7s.

Same sound? I've listened to YouTube clips but it's not like actually hearing live.

A hundred bucks less.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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Mesa have released a number of non tube drive pedals over the last few years they should be worth checking out.
The V1 has its fans, but as I'm not familiar with it I can't advise you.

The blues mode on the V Twin is unique to the unit but as I'm familiar with early boogie amps, the blues mode is something of a combination of the finest boogie tones without sounding like any one in particular. (I happen to love the sound ). I've recorded using the blues mode, it interacts well with all type of drive pedals.

You may or may not like what you hear, from the Blues mode, however the red high gain mode is an astonishingly accurate rendition of the classic dual rectifiers characteristic roar we're all familiar with, and used by more bands than I could list.
.
 
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El Gringo

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The regular Mesa peddles don't sound too subtle in YouTube clips, but the "all-tube" V-Twin sounds good -- also it has lines out, and I have a Roland Cube 30X I could run that into as well.
I have the Mesa V Twin . This came with 2 -12AX7 pre amp tubes . I also used 2- 12AT7 pre amp tubes which worked better with my Silverface Twin a billion years ago . This pedal delivers the goods and then some . The reason I used the 12AT7 pre amp tubes was that I was better able to control it with the 12AT7 versus the 12AX7 . This is one very strong and rugged pedal that is housed in the diamon plate steel box and is very sturdy and well built . This could be what you are looking for ?
 

Sol

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Just to confirm that the previous poster correctly stated that the standard 12AX7 can be exchanged for the lower gain 12AT7 in the V Twin.
Personally while this does give a lower gain, I found the tone less than pleasing. However there is a
lower gain 12AX7s such as the 5751.
The 12AY7 for further gain reduction. (caveat. I think the 12AY7 is okay to use but check the specs and proceed with caution).
It's really important you don't put 12AU7s in the V Twin. They are NOT compatible..
 

Big Al

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Unless you get a HIGH VOLTAGE pre amp tube overdrive stomper, you're wasting money. There are several, high voltage tube channel boxes out now. Cascaded high, (amp voltage), voltage tube channel effects if voiced well will get you there. Any good overdrive/distortion box in a decent sounding, dialed in amp will do the trick, easy. This isn't hard. You just need to look around and define the tone you want and then refine it.
 

Sol

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I agree. I have a Budda Zendrive, its a very early model, serial no under 90. It uses a 1amp 12v AC input.
Once inside it goes to a transformer where the voltage is converted to DC and boosted to levels used inside valve amps.
In the first year of production this was a superbly voiced and musical pre amp.

What may surprise you is that the Mesa V Twin uses the same exact method of delivering the desired voltage as that used by the Budda Zendrive. In point of fact Budda were simply following the path that Mesa had already trodden several yrs before.
 
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