Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 Combo

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Given To Fly, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    Jul 15, 2004
    Tucson, Arizona
    Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 Combo

    Ease of Use
    This is certainly an amp you have to learn. I have had the amp since September and I still sometimes have to pull the manual out. I'll talk more about it in Expressivness/Sounds but the gain and tone controls are all connected meaning if you change one, you change them all. This is frustrating if you don't know what you're doing (like me in the beginning) but over time and with the help of the people on the Mesa Boogie Forum I started to get a handle on find the tones I wanted. Overall, once you get past the learning curve its not such a difficult amp to use and the rewards are huge.

    Read Mesa Boogies Website for all the features...seriously.

    4 independent channels, 3 modes per channel which are all easily useable, standard gain, tone, and volume controls for each channel. The On/Off switch is actually labeled Bold/Spongy. Bold is basically full power while spongy is described as a Variac. So on the front end alone you get 24 different tones.
    * The Front End also has Master Output and Solo function. The Solo function is controlled by the foot switch.


    Each channel has what Mesa Boogie calls a "Channel Strip." it controls the wattage which is variable from 100 watts to 50 watts, FX loop on or off, and Diode of Tube Rectification (labeled Tube Tracking), and last but not least, REVERB which is the best reverb I have heard in a combo amp! I won't go into the effects loop because I never use effects and frankly know very little about it. All I now is the the Effects Loop output control acts as a 2nd Master Volume when engaged allowing you to play this beast at bedroom levels! So in the end, if my math is correct, the switches only create 98 different tones and if you want to add reverb into the mix you get 102!!! I have not tried nearly a quarter of them but I also haven't found a bad one yet!

    The amp weighs 100lbs. Enough said. It also has caster which make rolling it around possible. As far as electric guitar gear goes, this amp is the highest quality product I have ever purchased. I hate to use the cliche "it's built like a tank" but "it's built like a tank!" :)

    Nothing is 100% reliable. But I will be sooooo surprised if something more serious than a tube goes out. See the tanks comment above.


    I bought mine used at an obscenely low price. In the end I got a great amp and the seller got rid of an amp he never had time to play and some money to help with a cross country move. Win - Win!
    At $2600 new is it a good deal? I'm not sure because my perception is skewed but I imaine Its as close to a good deal as you will find on the new amp market. I can't name a better way to spend $2600 on an amplifier.

    Customer Support

    I have not needed to use it but I hear its outstanding and I still have about 2 years left on the warranty.

    Expressiveness Sounds

    Minus the Road King, I don't think there is an amp on the market that can offer anywhere near the tonal character and variety the Roadster can. Its truly a remarkable amplifier. Would I buy one again if it were lost, yes, once I raised the money! :)

    Overall Rating: 5

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