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Unread 09-14-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
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Mesa Boogie 20/20 - Worth it?

I'm talking to a guy willing to sell me his Mesa 20/20 for $595 (and shipping, I assume though that hasn't been mentioned yet). I'm really into the power amp but it seems like prices for this power amp are all over the place. I tried talking to a guy selling one for $300 but he never responded to my emails. I've seen some for sale for up to $1000. I can't figure out what a good used market value for these amps is.

So I'm forwarding the question to you. Is $595 for a chrome face Mesa 20/20 worth it?
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Unread 09-14-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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$400-$500 is pretty regular for the Mesa 20/20 and the Marshall 20/20. $300 would have been great, at $1000 you could have bought 2 from someone else and had money leftover.
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Unread 09-14-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
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Well the other problem is that it seems that no one is selling any right now. This guy seems to be the only reasonably priced one among all the others. I mean, if you know of anyone selling one for a good price, let this guy know. I'll buy it up quick.

Last edited by gtrbmart; 09-15-2009 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 09-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #4
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Unread 09-15-2009, 10:41 PM   #5
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A Marshall 20/20 just went on eBay for < $500. I actually significantly prefer the Marshall. The tone seems to be a little tighter, plus the unit is actually a little shallower, and will fit (barely) into a shallow rack (like the SKB x-rack), where the Mesa is too deep.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
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Too expensive

Mesa 50/50 the originals go for 400-500 on ebay all the time. just sold mine for 425. More head room.


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Unread 09-17-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMM View Post
A Marshall 20/20 just went on eBay for < $500. I actually significantly prefer the Marshall. The tone seems to be a little tighter, plus the unit is actually a little shallower, and will fit (barely) into a shallow rack (like the SKB x-rack), where the Mesa is too deep.
I've heard a lot of problems with ventilation with the Marshall though but I suppose that's not something I can't fix.

I'm really torn between spending less money now and getting a 50/50 or a Carvin TS100, having to buy a new rack case, then eventually getting a 20/20 in the future (maybe) or getting the 20/20 now, throwing it in my rack and being done with it.

I am mainly asking if $595 + 30 shipping sounds like a lot in the current Mesa market. Judging from Harmony Central reviews, it looks like about the same amount people are buying them used now, with them going for 400-500 a few years ago before they raised the list price.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #8
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If ventilation is a problem, take the top of the chassis off. It's going into a rack case anyway, right?
I'd advise to spend less money now, and save for the 20/20 since that's always going to be nagging you. $595 + S&H sounds about right, I was looking form a 20/20 last year. Everybody trying to sell them were asking for $600+ to $900+.

Why? Because I want my distortion to be like "the perfect woman"...Unique, versatile, thick (with lots of low-end, balanced high-end) and classy enough to make your knees buckle in it's presence and pretty much an all around jizz-in-the-pants to be around.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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Yeah, it's fixable for sure.

I mean, if the price sounds right I might just go for it. I may not get a chance for a while because it looks like they're all disappearing off the used market. It will definitely make my rack more portable in general which I find a good thing because I'm going to be bringing it around with me to school etc...

...but it's money!

Quote:
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A Marshall 20/20 just went on eBay for < $500. I actually significantly prefer the Marshall. The tone seems to be a little tighter, plus the unit is actually a little shallower, and will fit (barely) into a shallow rack (like the SKB x-rack), where the Mesa is too deep.

Woah, I never actually looked at the dimensions of the 20/20. Now that I know that it won't fit in my rack and now that I've found a TS100 for sale in its own 2space rack, I believe that tips the scales enough for me to save $200 and not get the 20/20!

Last edited by gtrbmart; 09-17-2009 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 10-27-2009, 09:10 PM   #10
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Well the other problem is that it seems that no one is selling any right now. This guy seems to be the only reasonably priced one among all the others. I mean, if you know of anyone selling one for a good price, let this guy know. I'll buy it up quick.
Are you still looking?
I have pm'd you....I am selling my 20/20

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Unread 10-28-2009, 12:32 PM   #11
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Send me that PM, I'm in the market for a power amp, as well.

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Unread 10-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #12
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I may as well throw my 2 cents in since we're talking about an amp that I've researched to death with my buddy and I and he got one, I got the other, and I'm still using mine, and he burnt 2 of his up.

Yes folks, we're talking about a friendly competition between friends about who's got the better power amp, and I won that bet.

The marshall sounds great, and it would look good in a rack where you have all marshall, and since I use the JMP1 you'd think I'd prefer it, but the mesa has a darker sound, way more options on the back pannel, built like a tank, and of course, has enough fans to keep it cool.

I'm now going on over 8 years with my 20/20 and it's NEVER given me trouble, until lately where it's hinting for new tubes. It does have a darker sound than the marshall, but that just adds to the warmth you want with Tube warmth anyway, and putting something like a Marshall JMP1 or even an Engl e530 like I tried this weekend, sounds GREAT!

Basically, unless the mesa is $700.00 bucks, it's well worth it. a new Mesa 2:fifty goes now for $1099.00.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 09:45 PM   #13
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This is not a 20/20 4 sale thread, I do not want to see anyone else trying to sell one in here.

My on topic is the Mesa is the pick of the 1RU's however you are better off grabbing the less expensive 50/50, try to make room for it. It is a better amp and it has more head room, the 20/20 can be just enough for most situations but only just.
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Unread 10-31-2009, 10:45 PM   #14
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This is not a 20/20 4 sale thread, I do not want to see anyone else trying to sell one in here.

My on topic is the Mesa is the pick of the 1RU's however you are better off grabbing the less expensive 50/50, try to make room for it. It is a better amp and it has more head room, the 20/20 can be just enough for most situations but only just.
Listen Dick! The only reason I posted my 20/20 for sale is because there were a few (see above) looking for one.

Did I start a thread "20/20 for sale"? Nope! Whats the big freagin' deal, this site is supposed to be a way for folks to share ideas and network a bit. If one wants one and I have one, then more than one benefit and everyone is happy - except for the "Superior Moderator". Give me a break.... Douchbag!
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Unread 10-31-2009, 10:53 PM   #15
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Your first post was to spam your gear without following forum guidelines which was correctly deleted. Your second post is to insult a me a moderator for doing my job. Go network somewhere else
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Unread 10-31-2009, 10:59 PM   #16
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I owned a 20/20 many years ago, it was really nice. I liked it a LOT more than the 50/50.

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Unread 11-02-2009, 02:59 AM   #17
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So, the Mesa 20/20... big question for me is 'is it loud enough'? Like s7eve said, I'd be paranoid about running out of volume
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Unread 11-02-2009, 03:11 AM   #18
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^I think you'd be more worried about whether it has the headroom for you, rather than volume. Unless you had to do a stupidly loud gig, I really can't picture not having enough volume with 20 Mesa Boogie watts through a serious 4x12.
You currently run a 6505, which suggests to me you favor the tone of modern tube amps which rely more on preamp gain than power amp saturation, and in that case 20 watts probably wont be enough if your gigging and rehearsing.
My general experience with fairly low wattage tube amps (15-30 watts) is while that power amp saturation does some sexy things tone wise if you're looking for a less modern sound, it's the complete opposite of what you want for modern styles really, which is where high wattage heads come into their own by having power amps that don't break up easily.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 03:30 AM   #19
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^I think you'd be more worried about whether it has the headroom for you, rather than volume. Unless you had to do a stupidly loud gig, I really can't picture not having enough volume with 20 Mesa Boogie watts through a serious 4x12.
You currently run a 6505, which suggests to me you favor the tone of modern tube amps which rely more on preamp gain than power amp saturation, and in that case 20 watts probably wont be enough if your gigging and rehearsing.
My general experience with fairly low wattage tube amps (15-30 watts) is while that power amp saturation does some sexy things tone wise if you're looking for a less modern sound, it's the complete opposite of what you want for modern styles really, which is where high wattage heads come into their own by having power amps that don't break up easily.
Yeah... Decided to go this route as well... I'm set on a Peavey Classic 50/50 now for the rack i'm building, that I'm going to run with very clean tubes, so as to minimize the power stage distortion I'm getting. I want most, if not all, my distortion to come from my preamp

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Unread 11-02-2009, 07:01 AM   #20
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Interesting... I've always thought a bit of powertube distortion was quite desirable. I guess, though, I never run my 6505 with the volume over 3, so I never get any kind of help from the powertubes. I'm thinking a Stereo 2:50 might be perfect for me.

What I'm also wondering is maybe the 20/20 in stereo into my cab might give me enough oomph. Am I right in saying that Mesa poweramps don't run independantly from one another? I notice the Marshall poweramps have power and standby each side, whereas the Mesa's don't.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 07:25 AM   #21
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Interesting... I've always thought a bit of powertube distortion was quite desirable. I guess, though, I never run my 6505 with the volume over 3, so I never get any kind of help from the powertubes. I'm thinking a Stereo 2:50 might be perfect for me.

What I'm also wondering is maybe the 20/20 in stereo into my cab might give me enough oomph. Am I right in saying that Mesa poweramps don't run independantly from one another? I notice the Marshall poweramps have power and standby each side, whereas the Mesa's don't.

The whole idea of amps like the 5150, Dual Rectos/Triple Rectos and other similar high gained amps, is that they have so much wattage on tap they essentially stay "clean" even at high gain levels, something not possible with the Plexi heads, which you had to crank to 10 to get it working and then the power amp was at full juice.
This was super desirable back in the days when raging men doing death growls with guys playing 7 string guitars tuned to drop A didn't exist, but as always, music changes and develops, and thus the gear with it to accommodate that.
Yes, it's true you can't have 6505s at volume level and expect anything resembling good tone, they are the kind of amps that wants a little kick from the power amp due to their tube nature, kick them into too much power amp distortion and they lose definition and become looser and over saturated.

You're running yours at 3, which is a good level to have it.
5150/6505s pretty much do their thing in technical metal best at 3 to 4.
Every single clip I've heard confirms this, and all my tones in Peavey Revalver MKIII worked out best when I kept the power amp at a moderate volume, relying on the preamp stage and a TS to get my saturation.
Too much power amp volume seemed to just make it flubby and make it harder for me to fit my guitars in my recording mixes.
So in fact, your amp having so much headroom is the desirable thing, and being able to get it to sound so good at 3 as well.
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