Mesa 50 Cal +. Any good?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Fretwreck, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Fretwreck

    Fretwreck SS.org Regular

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    As the title says. These any good? 1200$ish. I’ve watched demos. But as usual some sound good and some not so good. Any input would be appreciated
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire neuken in de keuken

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    That's pretty high for a 50 cal + from what I've seen. They tend to go for 700$ or so.
    As far as sound, they're in the vein of the mesa mark type tones (which is a pretty huge range of tones), though bands like Corrosion of Conformity used them for thick sludgier southern metal. I played around with one for a few weeks and it did thrash/dm/sludge tones really well. It could do more modern tones if need be, but like a lot of the mesas from that era, you need to pump some master volume into them before they really come alive.
     
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  3. MatrixClaw

    MatrixClaw Whoaaa No Way!!!

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    50 Cal+ is a cool amp. Similar to the DC and in the realm of the Mark series. However, $1200 is way more than I'd spend on one. @KnightBrolaire is right, I'd say like $800 max if it's in great shape.
     
  4. protest

    protest SS.org Regular

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    Don't buy a used Mesa for like another year at least unless you somehow find one for a normal price. A 50+ should be $500 - $700.
     
  5. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    I flipped an F100 a few months back for $550... 1200 is wildly over the top. That's desirable Recto territory.

    Unless you're in a country with few to none available (international amp shipping often being like $300-400).
     
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  6. Fretwreck

    Fretwreck SS.org Regular

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    It’s Canadian prices. Just curious. Got my eyes on a duel rec and royal Atlantic as well. 1800$ish for the duel and 1600$ish for the royal. Shipping and taxes are a bitch though.
     
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  7. MatrixClaw

    MatrixClaw Whoaaa No Way!!!

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    Ah, in that case, probably not terrible. I'd pick the RA over the 50 Cal+ though, maybe the Recto depending on which one it is.
     
  8. SSK0909

    SSK0909 SS.org Regular

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    I've always been somewhat curious regarding those amps.
    I see a lot of them on the used market, and they never sell quickly, because people primarily go for Recto's and Marks.

    So I've always wondered wether they were sub par, or some kind of "hidden gem".
     
  9. MatrixClaw

    MatrixClaw Whoaaa No Way!!!

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    It's a nice amp IMO. Between the .50 Cal+ and the DC-5, they are very similar and very Mark-like. I owned both at the same time and I'd say the .50 Cal is smoother, whereas the DC-5 is more aggressive.
     
  10. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    They are great sounding amps; very much in the Mark III vein, but stripped down. If you’re going to spend that much on one: make sure to have them pull the chassis out and send pics, or be able to inspect the board in person. They are notorious for having a few resistors get too hot and severely damaging the board. The board is a real pain to get out too.

    My current 50+ had pretty severe damage to the B+ rail and I had to cut the traces, scrape the carbon off, replace a handful of components, and solder new wire jumpers where I cut the traces. I caught it just in time to save the amp. I’ve seen some that burned a hole right through the board. At this age it’s a good idea to replace the capacitors as well, though they do use some of the best Sprague caps you can buy, so they might still be within tolerance.

    If you do see damage: maybe send the pics to a tech and get a quote for a repair and recap, and use that as a negotiation tool on the price.
     
  11. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    Should be like 1/2 that price ;)

    It was good enough for Chaosphere
     
  12. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    You can get a dual rec for $1200 used in canada, do not pay $1800.
     
  13. Roadsterjosh

    Roadsterjosh SS.org Regular

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    The .50 cal plus is a fantastic amp, and is capable of some really good tones. But as previously stated it is an old amp, it will need service and repairs , and the price is high. I am sure you can find a much better deal.
     
  14. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    I'd probably pay 1200 CAD for one
     
  15. Thrashman

    Thrashman Got Groove?

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    The .50cal+ is one of Mesa's best amps ever made IMHO. That, the MarkIII purple stripe and the Mark IV are absolutely bonkers amps.
     
  16. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    I used one in a rental rehearsal space for several years. They're very Mark-ish, kinda in 2B-2C territory with some Mark III mixed in but less refined. The GEQ is everything in that amp, but you can get some very cool tones out of them.
     
  17. Fretwreck

    Fretwreck SS.org Regular

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    Gonna pass on it. No reputable techs in my area
     

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