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Thread: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

  1. #81
    Ultimate Tone Member jrbowen81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    I'm also about to invest in some recording software & equipment so that I can go back to recording my own stuff again, which also makes me wonder which amp would be best and most versatile for recording mixed genres... The JCM 900 or the DC-5? Gah! I still feel like getting rid of the Marshall is a bad idea.

  2. #82
    Ultimate Tone Slacker eschoendorff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    I'm more familiar with the .50 Cal than the plus, but they're pretty similar AFAIK. The Dual Cal (DC) and .50 Cal OTOH really don't have that much in common. The DC is essentially a Recto Red Channel paired with a Mk IV clean channel & non-simulclass mark series power section. The .50 Cal is based on a Mk IIC / Mk III preamp with a EL-84 or 6L6 (obviously non simulclass) power section. Tone-wise I found the DC to be quite similar to the F series, while the .50 Cal (non plus) sounds like a Mk III with some Vox-ish qualities.
    Are you saying this based on what your ears tell you, or do you have some concrete evidence of this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jessie's ghost View Post
    I like having the stop bar all the way down. Sue me. I've got like six dollars.

  3. #83
    Mojo's Minions everdrone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    looks like the jcm900s are worth about $500 minus the ebay fees: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marshall-JCM...#ht_1340wt_102

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    The DC series gain channel circuit is nothing at all like a Rectifier Red channel or anything else in a Dual Rec. I love the DC series and mod them, Mesa should still make them but instead they devolved into less versatile amps. I could draw that circuit from memory, trust me, it isn't anything from a Recto. The clean channel had two versions, both were modified classic Fender clean circuits. The latter version was much closer than the earlier version. If it bares resemblance to any other Mesa circuit it's only because Mesa's started evolution as modified Fenders.

    The DC series were very well thought out amps. The clean and gain channels share no early gain stages at all, only coming together after all gain and tone shaping was done. The clean channel is very close to a Fender and can be made into a Fender copy easily if you want. The gain channel had the tone controls at the end of the gain staging where they should be, unlike a lot of earlier Mesas, but ALSO gave you the post gain, post tone-stack switchable 5 band. The Mark series relied upon the 5 band as a substitute for the post-gain tone stack since their tone controls were far too early in the gain staging to be of much use on the gain channel. The DCs had the tone stack where it should be to start with, unlike the Marks, plus the added versatility of the 5 band after that.

    Brilliant.

    They were the best of both worlds between Mark and Recto, having the best aspects of both and the shortcomings of neither. If people were aware of what those amps are capable of with a few simple mods, they'd sell for more than the used Recto's easily. The F series were a step down, abandoning the switchable 5 band, as are the 5:50s with thier switchable circuit that does exactly the oposite of what you'd want it to do in order to be useful in a live situation. Another case of a company saying, "hey, we've got a great product here, let's see how we can ruin it by F*ing with it!"

  5. #85
    Super Toneologist Frogman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    Which version has more "grind"?

  6. #86
    Toneologist Maynardo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    Quote Originally Posted by RayBarbeeMusic View Post
    The DC series gain channel circuit is nothing at all like a Rectifier Red channel or anything else in a Dual Rec. I love the DC series and mod them, Mesa should still make them but instead they devolved into less versatile amps. I could draw that circuit from memory, trust me, it isn't anything from a Recto. The clean channel had two versions, both were modified classic Fender clean circuits. The latter version was much closer than the earlier version. If it bares resemblance to any other Mesa circuit it's only because Mesa's started evolution as modified Fenders.

    The DC series were very well thought out amps. The clean and gain channels share no early gain stages at all, only coming together after all gain and tone shaping was done. The clean channel is very close to a Fender and can be made into a Fender copy easily if you want. The gain channel had the tone controls at the end of the gain staging where they should be, unlike a lot of earlier Mesas, but ALSO gave you the post gain, post tone-stack switchable 5 band. The Mark series relied upon the 5 band as a substitute for the post-gain tone stack since their tone controls were far too early in the gain staging to be of much use on the gain channel. The DCs had the tone stack where it should be to start with, unlike the Marks, plus the added versatility of the 5 band after that.

    Brilliant.

    They were the best of both worlds between Mark and Recto, having the best aspects of both and the shortcomings of neither. If people were aware of what those amps are capable of with a few simple mods, they'd sell for more than the used Recto's easily. The F series were a step down, abandoning the switchable 5 band, as are the 5:50s with thier switchable circuit that does exactly the oposite of what you'd want it to do in order to be useful in a live situation. Another case of a company saying, "hey, we've got a great product here, let's see how we can ruin it by F*ing with it!"

    Hey could you share some of the mods you do on DCs?.

    I have a DC-5A (yes can find them even here at the end of world) with three mods, one is a switch for changing the treble cap from the original ceramic to silver mica, the tipical "remove the resistor" from the output level pot and the mod that changes after V6 the 75pf cap that ties pins 1 & 6 of V6 together. Replace this cap with a 47pf Silver Mica cap. Then, remove the 2 120pf caps across the 82K & 100K resistors that are located just to the Right of the 75pf cap. That mod gives you much better dynamics in the clean channel.

    Monsta-tone from the boogie board posted them.
    Last edited by Maynardo; 08-02-2012 at 12:11 PM.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    You put in a switch to change from a ceramic to a silver mica? Thats a whole lot of effort for almost nothing tonally. The other stuff is removing some of Randall's fiz filtering, which is definitely an improvement but not the whole story.

    The main issues I hear with Mesas are due to the way Randall Smith does his fizz filtering in almost every amp he designs. The result of the mods I do are to make the gain channel tighter and less mushy, make it more responsive to pick attack and not fight the pick attack at lower gain levels, and basically make it more responsive and sound better at any gain level. The clean channel things basically make it more Fender like.

    If what you're asking for is a schematic or technical explanation then sorry, no. I do this commercially and it takes a huge amount of R&D to come up with a good mod, I don't give that away for free. The stuff you posted above isn't what I'd call a mod, it's more a component change. Similar to "black-facing" a silver faced Fender, more a component change than what I'd call a mod. A mod is much more involved and makes a much bigger difference in the amp. E.g., I do black-facing almost routinely when I get a silver face in because everyone wants it, it doesn't amount to much. An actual mod I do to vintage Fenders is turn the non-verb/vibrato channel into a high gain Marshall sounding channel, but with more tonal versatility than a Marshall.

  8. #88
    Toneologist Maynardo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    Oh Ok I can totally respect you not wanting to share your mods.

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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    I was very happy to have found this thread, as it's right up my alley! I currently play a JCM 900 (100 w), and an old Randall head through a Marshall 4 x 12" each, and I'm looking at picking up a .50 Caliber Plus head (likely to use in place of the Randall). I play in a very loud band (overdrive channels only). I'm curious if any of the previous posters (or anyone else) might have any input as to how the .50 Caliber Plus and the JCM 900 two compare in terms of overdrive-channel volume, cutting through the mix, etc. Any input would be fantastic. Thank you!

  10. #90
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    Are you going to be using these in an A/B amp setup; or will one be used as a back up, or the 900 for big venues and the .50 for smaller venues?

    Both are good amps and the .50 Cal can certainly hold its own, but they won't sound anything alike--no matter how much you adjust the GEQ on the Mesa.

    BTW, the Mesa is only capable of 4 or 8 ohm operation--most Marshall 412 cabs are 16 ohms, so the Mesa won't produce full power unless the cab is re-wired.

    Bill
    When you've had budget guitars for a number of years, you may find that your old instrument is holding you back. A quality guitar can inspire you to write great songs, improve your understanding of the Gdim chord while in the Lydian Mode, cure the heartbreak of cystic acne--and help you find true love in the process.

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber

    I'd like to A/B the 900 and the .50, provided the .50 can keep up volume-wise! Both of my cabs have 4 ohm ins, so that's no problem. I'm definitely stoked on it sounding different from the Marshall, and am very interested to hear how the amp sounds in the flesh. My main concern until th is the wattage/volume. Thanks, Bill!

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