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Mesa F-30 Combo (!)
Published by zimbloth
06-02-2006
Mesa F-30 Combo (!)

After sitting around from noon to 8:30pm waiting for this to show up (I had to sign for it or else they would have brought it back to their regional warehouse), it finally showed up. It's in mint condition and came with a really nice leather slip cover too. This thing is real classy looking.

Anyways for those who don't know, this amp is a modern incarnation of the old Dual Caliber amps (DC30 in this case). It has 2 EL84 tubes and is VERY loud. I must say that thing thing has the best cleans I've ever heard in a Mesa - combo OR head. It smokes the old Studio .22+ Caliber I had not too long ago. The reverb is also lush and musical. The distortion is just absolutely incredible. With the "contour" switch enabled, it sounds very much like an older Dual Rectifier head - it has all the things people love about the Recto sound, and DOESNT have all the things they don't. It's the most articulate heavy distortion I've ever heard in a Mesa, even more so than my Triaxis/2:90 combo. It's definitely a different sound than the Recto, all I'm saying is it has all the crunch and heavy distortion and more so. No fizz, sag or mud... just miles and miles of incredible tone.

Another thing which is a first for the countless Mesa amps I've owned, is that it doesn't feedback, even at VERY VERY loud volumes with VERY high gain, even standing right next to the thing. So far I've only tried it with my Ibanez K7 and S7420FM, but it's been extremely quiet. It's very tight and with stacatto stuff it shuts up the second you to stop picking.

This amp kicks ass. I can't think of ONE downside to this amp. The EQ and contour function lets you sculpt so many different sounds. Just amazing. It has a sweet low/mid gain sound, perfect for blues/prog/rock, then out of this world crunch and ROAR with the high gain modes. Blistering cutting leads and heavy tight rhythms are had with ease. The amp is also VERY dynamic, el84s are extremely sensitive to pick attack and your own technique, it feels so alive.

I give it 5 out of 5 Cousin Larry's. It'll take time to really gauge if this is my favorite amp ever, but I've been lusting over this amp at GC for years, and this is the first time I really got to crank it, and I'm in heaven. BUY THIS!

Featured Reviews
  #1  
By bostjan on 06-02-2006, 10:18 PM
Only downside is that it's a combo, but one of the best things about it is that it's a combo. I guess that didn't make sense…

at the cousin Larrys. Is that better than five Balkis?
  #2  
By The Dark Wolf on 06-02-2006, 10:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostjan

at the cousin Larrys. Is that better than five Balkis?
Yes, but not as good as 5 Soda Popinskis.
  #3  
By zimbloth on 06-02-2006, 10:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostjan
Only downside is that it's a combo, but one of the best things about it is that it's a combo. I guess that didn't make sense…

at the cousin Larrys. Is that better than five Balkis?
It has a vintage 30. Perfect for recording. It's certainly loud enough and full enough on its own. I think its all a positive, it doesnt weigh that much and you could easily use extension cab with it.

Cousin Larry > Balky for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Wolf
Yes, but not as good as 5 Soda Popinskis.
Touche my friend, touche...
  #4  
By The Dark Wolf on 06-02-2006, 10:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbloth
Touche my friend, touche...
I figured you'd appreciate it.

Glad you like your amp, you big ol' gear whore you.
  #5  
By zimbloth on 06-02-2006, 10:52 PM
I just played it with my Jackson DK7 COW guitar. Never heard EMGs sound so brutal and organic.
  #6  
By Leon on 06-03-2006, 12:40 AM
sweet! glad you found something that you might hold onto for a while . so, is your TriAxis/2:90 in jeopardy?
  #7  
By zimbloth on 06-03-2006, 12:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon
sweet! glad you found something that you might hold onto for a while . so, is your TriAxis/2:90 in jeopardy?
No my Triaxis/2:90 isn't going anywhere The F-30 is my home amp, my rack setup is at our room in town. The F30 I do think sounds unreal, at its sweet spot I think it sounds as good as anything I've ever heard or played.
  #8  
By dpm on 06-03-2006, 12:51 AM
How's it sound through a 412 cab?
  #9  
By zimbloth on 06-03-2006, 12:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpm
How's it sound through a 412 cab?
I don't know yet. It has a V30 speaker just like my Mesa 4x12 cab has. It sounds great. I have a Mesa 2x12 cab here at home that I'll try it out with (alone and together with its internal speaker) first. My 4x12 is at our rehearsal space, I don't think I'll be having both in there anytime soon...

...BUT! A while back when I had the Mesa .22+ Caliber combo, I ran it through my 4x12 and cranked it up to 5-6 master volume and it sounded incredible.
  #10  
By Jason on 06-03-2006, 01:01 AM
Ahhh mesa f series are the shiznit...
  #11  
By Vince on 06-03-2006, 01:07 PM
is the front chasis 19" across? I know a lot of the Mesa Mark series is, which makes it pretty rackmountable.

Jake Skylyr rackmounted his Mark III.
  #12  
By zimbloth on 06-03-2006, 01:13 PM
It's more like 17-18. But its a combo amp not a head. Dunno really why I'd rack it but I suppose you could. I did find out, upon reading the manual, that the fx send can also act as a power amp in because the fx loop is before the power section. I may try running this through my 2:90 just for kicks.
  #13  
By Vince on 06-03-2006, 06:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbloth
It's more like 17-18. But its a combo amp not a head. Dunno really why I'd rack it but I suppose you could. I did find out, upon reading the manual, that the fx send can also act as a power amp in because the fx loop is before the power section. I may try running this through my 2:90 just for kicks.
the FX send should be a preamp out, not a poweramp in.

The FX return will be your poweramp in.

You can run the FX send into a 2:90 and it will work just fine.

You said you don't know why you'd rack the combo, but there are many guys out there that love the sound of their combo amp, but want to use that sound with more speakers. Generally, it's easier to carry around a self-containted rack with your amp & effects in it than a 4x12, a separate combo amp, and a rack. It's just simplicity. Rackmounting combos is a long-standing tradition with Mesa's Mark series. IIRC they even have a rack kit for those amps to make it easier to fit in a rack.
  #14  
By zimbloth on 06-04-2006, 04:02 AM
I understand all that. I was just speaking about me personally. I just would never do that except just to mess aorund. The F30 alone is basically perfect. I could run it with my 2x12 or 4x12, but that's what my Triaxis/2:90 is for

As for the Pre-Amp out thing, that's basically what I meant.
  #15  
By sepsis666 on 06-05-2006, 11:51 AM
ok, this is an important question: How does the F30 work with pedalboards like Zoom G9 etc. Is it a good idea to buy this amp and use it with the above pedalboard or is it a waste? Will it sound better or worse?
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