Mesa Roadster 2x12

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by 0mn1p0tent, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. 0mn1p0tent

    0mn1p0tent SS.org Regular

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    Nov 11, 2007
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    Dallas, TX
    After chasing that distinctive Mesa Tone for years with various modelers, pedals, eqs, and HOURS of patch downloading and settings tweaking, I liquidated some gear and purchased a used Mesa Roadster 2x12 combo from a local Craigslist post. After 3 months of practice and gigs I can safely say that this is without a doubt the best amp I have ever owned and couldwuite possibly be the last amp I ever purchase.

    Features:
    • 4 channels X 3 modes per channel for 12 distinct tone settings.
    • Diode or Rectifier switch per channel deliver solid state or all tube signal path.
    • 50/100 watt switch per channel.
    • Reverb saturation contorl knob per channel.
    • (See a pattern here?)
    • Bold / Spongy variac.
    • Solo setting adds a little something something to get you above the mix.
    The sheer possibilities of dynamics and tone you can get from this amp is staggering when you consider all of the combinations of settings at your disposal. The 3 channel eqs with presence control build on each other so that two channels configured in exactly the same way will sound and feel completely different.

    Clean, crunch, dirty, balls out roar. Jazz, country, blues, rock, metal. With a little experimentation you will learn which channel to start with to dial in any sound you want. This amp delivers it ALL.

    I play an Ibanex 2027-XVV with a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge. I use a GT-10 with the 4 cable method for wah, chorus, flange, phaser, delay, and noise suppression. Patches are programmed with 100% native 75% saturated mix to preserve the tone of the amp through the effects processor.

    Strum a chord then pick individual strings and they articulate then blend back into the chord. Harmonics abound. Feedback loops are easy to achieve and can sustain forever. The tube reverb is like glass. Even the lowest chords on the low be string sound defined. It has added a new level of enjoyment to playing.


    My only complaint is that the solo level remains active when you switch channels. That means if the song goes clean after a heavy bridge you must either double tap on opposite ends of the footswitch to toggle solo off and then change channels OR do a heel toe rock simultaneous stomp
    on both at the same time. I would prefer that once I switch to another channel that the solo mode disengage.

    Bottom line:
    While pricey, this amp is worth every penny. You will not be disappointed at all.

    This concludes my review if you want to hear how/why I selected this amp read on:
    I owned a solid state full stack which reproduced the tones that the GT-10 delivered to it accurately without coloring them or adding the complexity of a second EQ or preamp. By using the insert jack on the back of the head I could control all EQ and volume at the board/ patch level. I could get some good tones through the models but the dynamics, harmonics etc were very reliant on the patch volume and sometimes only effective within a narrow volume and even pitch range. A patch that sounded great for deep chords on the low B string might sound terrible for higher pitch bar chords and vice versa. Getting the models to deliver predictable results across multiple patches while maintaining a constant level proved impossible for me. That is not to say that it cannot be done, rather that I was unable to achieve it. The software always seemed to over or under compensate resulting in harsh and uninspiring patches. Even my best sounding patch pales in comparison to what I get from the Roadster. It is simply no contest.
     

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