NBBDAD (w/ a side of Brain :) ): It's a Mesa :D

Sid Nitzerglobin

Country Gent
Jun 8, 2015
3,867
fROMOHIO
I've been staying away from the music stores & sites the past few months, but it sounds like the guys will be getting back together to play some music for the 1st time in ~2.5 years here on Sunday so I wound up swingng by the local GC for some strings & a long-ish speaker cable & kill some time this afternoon while they were working on my laptop at the day job. I was planning on breaking my running tradition of getting myself some kind of musical gear for my birthday this year, but this one caught my eye in the used amp section & after giving it a fairly thorough test drive I wound up taking it home w/ me:
2MIJtoJ.jpg

It's a Mesa Express 5.25 of yet undetermined vintage, seems in pretty good shape cosmetically & electronically & grabbed me pretty good w/ the clean-ish tones, feel, & practical footprint & output levels. Grabbed me hard enough that it wound up being a New Belated Birthday Amp Day for me :)

I'm really quite impressed w/ the touch & dimension of the cleans/edge of breakup/light crunch sounds this one is producing so far for me. The built in spring verb is also pretty nice & I see it pretty much eliminating the need for a pedal to fill that space for me when I'm plugged into it. So far I've kept it on the Dynawatt 30 side of the power scaling switch as it seems to turn down super well w/ the master on either channel, but the idea of being able switch between push/pull class AB or single ended Class A seems like it could be a welcome feature as well.

It's a more complicated amp than I've come to usually like, but doesn't seem too over the top for me so far. So far I think it will mostly live in the clean voice on channel 1 & the blues voice on channel 2 w/ neither gain up past 12 o'clock leaving their contour circuits bypassed & pedal my way to more drive when needed as it seems a bit ratty &/or strained &/or somewhat flattened &/or pinched sounding when pouring on any more gain in the preamp at volume. I'm thinking it might be worth trying a newer set of EL84s & 12AX7s in it but I wouldn't be surprised if that's just its natural character when juiced up, similar to some other small-ish EL84 amps I've had.

Very pleased w/ the sound of the single 10" speaker in it for solo use & was happy to find Mesa themselves seem to indicate I won't blow it up running anywhere between a 16 & 2 ohm load on it so I've got a pretty good range of extension cabs I can use w/ it when the need or whim strikes. All around seems like a very solidly built amp w/ a good approach at engineering this many bells & whistles into a fairly small grab & go kinda combo. I felt having both an almost completely full featured multipin footswitch & providing the individual 1/4" jacks for those functions as well as for the contour bypass for each channel was particularly nice & bonus points for including an effects loop to boot. It's definitely got some mass to it for the footprint but doesn't seem like it will present much of a risk to my back when it winds up travelling w/ me. All around at this point I think I'd be pretty darn happy w/ the purchase at ~175% of what they rang it out at, so extra Yay! for me. So far I'm liking it enough w/ the Eman 620, 6120, Korina Jazzblaster, & my Franken-Cyclone that I'l likely be taking this one to the jam Sunday :)

As a bonus, they had a bargain priced somewhat worn but great sounding 2008 Dyno Brain in a pretty unique looking colorway so it got snatched up as well:
cw41t4W.jpg

vyNaXjG.jpg


Anywho, I know we've got several Mesa enthusiasts on here & certainly plenty of Nocturne fans too so figured I'd share my haul w/ you all ;) Thanks for taking a look!
 

capnhiho

Country Gent
Feb 16, 2013
1,362
California
I've been staying away from the music stores & sites the past few months, but it sounds like the guys will be getting back together to play some music for the 1st time in ~2.5 years here on Sunday so I wound up swingng by the local GC for some strings & a long-ish speaker cable & kill some time this afternoon while they were working on my laptop at the day job. I was planning on breaking my running tradition of getting myself some kind of musical gear for my birthday this year, but this one caught my eye in the used amp section & after giving it a fairly thorough test drive I wound up taking it home w/ me:
2MIJtoJ.jpg

It's a Mesa Express 5.25 of yet undetermined vintage, seems in pretty good shape cosmetically & electronically & grabbed me pretty good w/ the clean-ish tones, feel, & practical footprint & output levels. Grabbed me hard enough that it wound up being a New Belated Birthday Amp Day for me :)

I'm really quite impressed w/ the touch & dimension of the cleans/edge of breakup/light crunch sounds this one is producing so far for me. The built in spring verb is also pretty nice & I see it pretty much eliminating the need for a pedal to fill that space for me when I'm plugged into it. So far I've kept it on the Dynawatt 30 side of the power scaling switch as it seems to turn down super well w/ the master on either channel, but the idea of being able switch between push/pull class AB or single ended Class A seems like it could be a welcome feature as well.

It's a more complicated amp than I've come to usually like, but doesn't seem too over the top for me so far. So far I think it will mostly live in the clean voice on channel 1 & the blues voice on channel 2 w/ neither gain up past 12 o'clock leaving their contour circuits bypassed & pedal my way to more drive when needed as it seems a bit ratty &/or strained &/or somewhat flattened &/or pinched sounding when pouring on any more gain in the preamp at volume. I'm thinking it might be worth trying a newer set of EL84s & 12AX7s in it but I wouldn't be surprised if that's just its natural character when juiced up, similar to some other small-ish EL84 amps I've had.

Very pleased w/ the sound of the single 10" speaker in it for solo use & was happy to find Mesa themselves seem to indicate I won't blow it up running anywhere between a 16 & 2 ohm load on it so I've got a pretty good range of extension cabs I can use w/ it when the need or whim strikes. All around seems like a very solidly built amp w/ a good approach at engineering this many bells & whistles into a fairly small grab & go kinda combo. I felt having both an almost completely full featured multipin footswitch & providing the individual 1/4" jacks for those functions as well as for the contour bypass for each channel was particularly nice & bonus points for including an effects loop to boot. It's definitely got some mass to it for the footprint but doesn't seem like it will present much of a risk to my back when it winds up travelling w/ me. All around at this point I think I'd be pretty darn happy w/ the purchase at ~175% of what they rang it out at, so extra Yay! for me. So far I'm liking it enough w/ the Eman 620, 6120, Korina Jazzblaster, & my Franken-Cyclone that I'l likely be taking this one to the jam Sunday :)

As a bonus, they had a bargain priced somewhat worn but great sounding 2008 Dyno Brain in a pretty unique looking colorway so it got snatched up as well:
cw41t4W.jpg

vyNaXjG.jpg


Anywho, I know we've got several Mesa enthusiasts on here & certainly plenty of Nocturne fans too so figured I'd share my haul w/ you all ;) Thanks for taking a look!
Dang, Sid!
Your GC certainly has a nicer selection of used gear than mine!
Congratulations and enjoy your BD!! (mine is approaching rapidly - I’m hoping my new Mystery Brain will arrive around my special day)
 

gtttrrr

Country Gent
Dec 7, 2011
2,048
United States
Wow! Awesome stop there! The express I recently bought is my all-time favorite of any amp I have owned, GREAT amps, pretty much any sound you like can be found out of these beasts! Congrats!
 

Sid Nitzerglobin

Country Gent
Jun 8, 2015
3,867
fROMOHIO
Thanks a bunch guys!

More time w/ the amp today w/ an additional gamut of guitars & the latest small orange themed board w/ the Mystery Brain pulling preamp duties plugged into it & I'm entirely hooked :) Managed to find a sweet spot for the blues voice on the 2nd channel to where I don't feel like I'd need any drive pedals to get to a glorious variation of the dirtiest of OD sounds I'd need for the most aggressive of stuff I play outside of specific lead or noisemaking situations where I "need" a fuzz in the mix.

Still remains to be seen how it holds up for me at earplugs/full band levels, don't really have much doubt that the cleaner tones will continue to blow me away it's more dirtier sounds I might have some uncertainty about, but seems like chances are very good that this will indeed have been an incredible find for me. Should have a better idea on that after tomorrow, although w/ the addition of another guitar player who had previously been more of a blues/blues rock/classic rock guy to the usual trio we'll likely be going a bit lower key in the song selection & vibe I'd assume (totally good by me, will just be great to play & hopefully do some fun improv w/ some other humans again).

Still trying to decide what extension cab I want to pair up w/ it. I spent about half the day today w/ the GVT-112EW w/ an 8 ohm Swamp Thang in it hooked up & was liking what I was hearing at decent practice volumes but thinking maybe the open back pine Allen 1x12 w/ a Weber Signature Alnico in it might be an awesome compliment for the clean channel? Hopefully my 1960A that's been living at the drummer's house for years now is still functional as I think the dirty channel might work pretty darn good w/ it. Had also checked out the Dr. Z 2x10 w/ an Eminence Legend Ceramic & Alnico pairing loaded at fairly good volume last night & was liking it but I think getting a 12" in the mix w/ the combo's 10" would fill out the top & the bottom a bit better for me. Anyway, I'm rambling now... 😳:oops:

Dang, Sid!
Your GC certainly has a nicer selection of used gear than mine!
Congratulations and enjoy your BD!! (mine is approaching rapidly - I’m hoping my new Mystery Brain will arrive around my special day)
It can be a bit hit or miss at times, but yeah they do seem to get some pretty cool gear in there on the somewhat regular so I consider myself lucky when I'm in the gear acquisition mood :)

& thanks for the birthday tiding & backatcha! They seem to be more dreaded than anticipated for me any more as each one goes by but a good dinner w/ my mom & sister last weekend for the celebration bit & now this delayed gift to myself both seemed to have put a more positive spin on the yearly reminder that I'm only getting older ;)

Yessss mesa and Nocturne, great Combo!
After checking out the Mystery Brain in front of it most of today I'm totally feeling that. Sounded great last night w/ a Tumnus doing the boosting but unsurprisingly I think it'll definitely be a Brain I want in front of this one too at least 95% of the time.

Wow! Awesome stop there! The express I recently bought is my all-time favorite of any amp I have owned, GREAT amps, pretty much any sound you like can be found out of these beasts! Congrats!
I fully believe that w/ another day of more critical tone hunting under my belt w/ it. Definitely still getting the hang of the tone stacks & the contour knobs & I haven't spent more than 5 minutes in the crunch & burn voicings combined yet, but so far I'm super impressed w/ the tonal versatility on tap & the fairly straight forward accessibility of finding different great sounds. I'm big time appreciating that both channels are 100% full featured & independent. Just having the separate verb controls alone is a huge thing for me, being able to set all controls independently for each channel is turning out to be all the better.

Congrats! I've got the v2 of that amp, it sounds great.
I saw they brought the Express line back somewhat recently w/ the "Plus" versions when I was trying to track down some info on the acceptable loads & pin down how they handled biasing before I entertained any further thought of trying some other EL84s I've got on hand in it. From what I was noticing on the marketing page it didn't seems like they changed too much other than making the combo a 12", which seems like it would likely be strictly upgrade over the 10" in mine, as good as it seems to sound for being a single 10" :)

While my 5:25 seems like it will have plenty of volume & headroom dialed clean for me, I could actually be low key on the prowl for a 5:50 Plus head or rackmount version to try mainly for the 6L6 power section & the 5 band graphic seems like it could be real useful as well.
 
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