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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I am looking for a tube amp (my first one!) to do different sorts of things:

- Must have very nice cleans and must take pedals of all kind very well (to play some ambient/post rock)
- Must have very good hi gain sound (to play some metal/metalcore and modern punk rock)
- I want to play at home too so I need an attenuator
- No budget restrictions for now

I narrowed it down to 2 brands, and two amps for each:

- H & K Grandmeister deluxe 40. But I heard it might no take pedals really well. Anyone have any experience with it?
- H & K Tubemeister deluxe 40. I am wondering, as there is no digital effects included, if this one would take pedals better?
- Mesa Boogie mark V. My concern was that there is no attenuator. However, I heard that with this amp for some reason there is no need for an attenuator? It that true? Why?
- Mesa Boogie Triple crown 50 : I think it got realeased recently. Anyone tried it and can comment? How does it compare to the Mark V?

Finally, is there an obvious choice? Or a better choice than these?

Any suggestions or comments will help! Thanks!
 

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What about a mark V:35?

Edit: check out the fender supersonic 60 as well. Surprisingly good.
 

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I think the best thing you can do is just find out for yourself. Go to a nearby Long & McQuade and see what they have there. L&M is licensed retailer of both brands, so if you have a big enough one there's a good chance one of the four will be in there. Almost every L&M I have ever been into (besides the one I frequent most, funny enough) has had a Mark V in it.

I've never tried any of these amps, but just from my research on the ones you listed I'd have to go for the Triple Crown 50. I like how it is more simple than the Mark V and apparently it's a monster of tones; very good with cleans and lots of gain. One youtube personality I follow did a review on it & sometimes he composes entire songs for gear reviews; when he does it he says he's used the Triple Crown for his bass tone on the recordings. So at least in a recording situation it could be used for both guitar and bass; pretty cool to me!

Lastly, if money isn't an option, then I would consider looking into the Friedman Runt 50. In terms of cost it actually fits right in with the amps aforementioned & it is such an amazing sounding 2-channel amp.
 

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I have a Mark V 90 Watt head and would not trade it for anything... perhaps I would take another early 70's Hiwatt DR504. Some don't like it because they find it hard to dial in, but I was able to get a lot of usable settings by playing around with it for an hour or so. Every channel is independent so you can have it set for 10, 45 or 90 watts. I use a few different OD and distortion pedals with it and it makes the tonal combinations almost limitless. That being said, I have not playing any HK stuff outside of the first run Triamps which was a killer amp.

If you are looking at Boogie, even a Dual Rectifier will get you what you want at less cost... I always found the cleans to be very usable plus the reverb was decent.

Get out and play each of them if you can.
 

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A Mark V must be close to three times the cost of those H&K's. And for a reason. Build quality alone is no contest. Nothing against the H&K's - those two are built to a certain price point well below either Mesa mentioned. H&K do make amps in that price range, if you're looking to spend $3k.

Regarding the Mk V vs TC50, the Mk V covers a bit more ground. Considering the graph, some of the back panel settings, the extra power, it's just more amp. But you may prefer the TC, which has a different voice and a bit less range. Both are built as good as any amp and aren't one trick ponies. It may take you a year to hear all the different things either of those amps has to offer. But if don't have 'knob anxiety', it can be a great year.

{edited] I realize now you may not be talking about the big dog Mark V, but either the Mk V:35 or Mk V:25, both closer in comparison to the H&K's you mentioned.
 

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Are you open to buying used?
 

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Another very happy Dual Rectifier user here, used in almost exactly the way you describe. Get a good 1x12 cabinet, so you're not blasting db thru multiple speakers. I got excellent tones out of mine in a very volume sensitive basement band. These days, $7-800 used is the ballpark on the DR.

I also had a MkV, which was very good but ended up being redundant. I actually like the high gain on the Rec better, though not quite as much tone shaping flexibility as a MkV.
 

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Personally I'd get a H&K--I like them better and as an added bonus they aren't as heavy--at least overall.
 

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Can't comment on H&K stuff

I've owned every Mesa Mark except for the II
The 1 does its own thing (not really high gain)
I liked the IV better than the V, and I liked the III better than the IV
The III can do a bunch of tones too, is voiced very aggressive in the highs and just has more balls than the V
It also happens to be half the price of the V on the used market
So I would definitely give the III a look if I were you
 
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I love the sound of III's but getting both channels where you want can be a challenge. I really love the IV and would buy one if they dropped in price. I've hardly ever seen them less than $1200 - I had high hopes that they would really come down when the V came out. That didn't happen, some people love their IV's too much to replace them and some just added the V to their arsenal.

They are all great amps, IMO, just a wee bit heavy. Especially the combos.
 

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Pauls boutique in toronto has a mark III head with EQ and high end tubes for $1k fyi.
 

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Owned a Mesa Rectoverb Combo 50 watts and had great cleans, dirt and solo boost is very nice. Only thing is carrying it in and out of the drummers basement killed me. I then had a Budda SD 30 watt 2x12 combo for awhile then ended up with an H&K Puretone head 25 watts but actually 40 watts with an 8 ohm speaker. It does cleans well but needs to be cranked to get some overdrive. I'm using pedals for that anyhow and the built in power soak feature keeps the neighbours from complaining. This amp worked out best for me.
 

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Used can help--reminds of one time I saw a used H&K Tubemeister 18 combo for a great price--but actually--no--that was the price of the used H&K cabinet--the combo was about 75% more--so out of my price range at the time.
 

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I recently bought the TC 50 and run it through a 2 x 12 recto cab. I replaced a Triaxis/2:90 rig with this amp. I cannot say enough good things about this amp. The clean channel is lovely (you really need to turn the amp to a decent level to really appreciate it) and I really like it on the drive setting for that pushed clean, channels 2 and 3 do everything from blues to metal, no OD pedals required (although no reason why you still can't, I do for some solos). There is PLENTY of gain on tap and a tight low end with the bass set below 10 o clock, for metal I use an ESP eclipse with EMGs and gain at 12:30 to 1 o clock on channel 3 is plenty. I have used Mesa Mark 4s and 5s before and the Triple Crown makes it far easier to dial in a good tone than any Mark amp I have ever used. Other useful features on this amp would be the midi capabilities and ability to change tube type with just the flick of a switch. I'm still up in the air with the 6L6s and El34s. One thing I wish had is the smart rotary control technology like the Hughes and Kettner stuff. You cannot store your gain, EQ or normal/tight (norm/drive on channel 1) settings via midi on the Mesa, you can only store channel, reverb, boost and FX loop on or off. This amp takes FX pedals really well, through the front or in the loop. However I have noticed , in my humble opinion, that the clean channel takes OD and distortion pedals A LOT better when set to drive, so if you are someone that likes a pushed clean, then no issues at all there. Quite frankly though, the distortion channels on this amp are so good I can't imagine why you would ever use a pedal. By the way I was looking into a Grandmeister 40 when I bought this, there were none for me to try anywhere so I got this. I just loved the sound when I played through it. One of the guitarists in a band I play in uses the Tubemeister 20 and it sounds great. I don't think you could go wrong with either amp, see if you can try 'em out and see which you prefer.
 

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I recently bought the TC 50 and run it through a 2 x 12 recto cab. I replaced a Triaxis/2:90 rig with this amp. I cannot say enough good things about this amp. The clean channel is lovely (you really need to turn the amp to a decent level to really appreciate it) and I really like it on the drive setting for that pushed clean, channels 2 and 3 do everything from blues to metal, no OD pedals required (although no reason why you still can't, I do for some solos). There is PLENTY of gain on tap and a tight low end with the bass set below 10 o clock, for metal I use an ESP eclipse with EMGs and gain at 12:30 to 1 o clock on channel 3 is plenty. I have used Mesa Mark 4s and 5s before and the Triple Crown makes it far easier to dial in a good tone than any Mark amp I have ever used. Other useful features on this amp would be the midi capabilities and ability to change tube type with just the flick of a switch. I'm still up in the air with the 6L6s and El34s. One thing I wish had is the smart rotary control technology like the Hughes and Kettner stuff. You cannot store your gain, EQ or normal/tight (norm/drive on channel 1) settings via midi on the Mesa, you can only store channel, reverb, boost and FX loop on or off. This amp takes FX pedals really well, through the front or in the loop. However I have noticed , in my humble opinion, that the clean channel takes OD and distortion pedals A LOT better when set to drive, so if you are someone that likes a pushed clean, then no issues at all there. Quite frankly though, the distortion channels on this amp are so good I can't imagine why you would ever use a pedal. By the way I was looking into a Grandmeister 40 when I bought this, there were none for me to try anywhere so I got this. I just loved the sound when I played through it. One of the guitarists in a band I play in uses the Tubemeister 20 and it sounds great. I don't think you could go wrong with either amp, see if you can try 'em out and see which you prefer.
I've been waiting to try a TC50 at our local L&M, they haven't got one in yet. I'm happy with my mod'd 2.5 channel LSS, but, ya know, GAS never sleeps.

Mesa seems to be gently going in to this 'Midi world'. Most users are happy that this amp at least has some midi control but I expect in the future Mesa, will get in to rotary encoders and the ability to store actual amp settings. The tech is there but Mesa is either not completely happy with how it works yet or they are afraid of alienating their customer base. The did obviously use them in their Triaxis so they are certainly aware of them.

And welcome to the board.
 

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I've owned the Dual and Quad Statesmen - didn't bond with either, and had issues with the Dual. They don't compare to the quality of a good Mesa, in my opinion.
 

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Since I just bought one, I gotta say the Mesa TA-30. Discontinued, but can be found on the used market. It does exactly want you're looking for.
The 1x12 combo is lightweight and sounds good at low volume. It can also hang with a loud band.
I believe the TC-50 replaced the TA series so there may be overlap between the two.
 
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