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I Really Liked My Little Mesa Amp, but...

321 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Tone Chaser
I got my Mesa Mini Rec 25 amp a couple years ago used, and learned what I thought that I needed to do to like it. I learned how to get the most from the Mesa tone stack, learned what I felt I needed for a cab and speaker.

The amp is now 4 years old, and I was finally wondering if I could do anything to make it sound even better.

I dug out a pair of new Sylvania USA 6BQ5 tubes from 1975 that I had, and replaced the possibly original, Mesa EL84's.

Hot Damn, I now love my little Mesa amp!!!!

Expressive, dynamic, loud, everything a good amp should be. I guess it was time to change the power tubes. I have to remember to swap tubes on a regular basis. It is certainly worth it. I don't remember it ever sounding this good!!!
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I've never been a fan of Mesa's tubes; all my Mesa amps have benefited greatly from better tubes.
For 6BQ5's I've had great success with The Tube Store's 7189's.

And congratulations, it's always nice to "rediscover" an old favourite!
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I have the Tube Store preferred or premium 7189 tubes in my Dr. Z Maz 18R and found that they brought that amp back to life, but not necessarily shocking better. They also cost me over $120 CDN for 2 tubes by the time the USD to CDN conversion, premium shipping costs, and taxes kicked in. This Z amp was the most impressive, expressive, amp that I have owned in a long time. The little Mesa, with the new power tubes, now rivals the Z, and offers additional channel choices, with easier to dial in shades of dirt, that can be reliably repeated.

I bought a good supply of new in the box, 1975, grey plate, American made Sylvania 6BQ5's for a little over $5 CDN a piece. I hope that there are enough to last me until I can no longer play.
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