Since the rebirth of its predecessor, the Mesa Boogie Express, the Express Plus has acted as a diamond in the rough. I shouldn’t say it was love at first sight, given the front panel’s 15 knobs, 5-band EQ, and a host of intimidating switches, but nonetheless, I knew the Plus was an immense wiring improvement on the former clean channel and had a series effects loop which were my two greatest concerns.
Headroom was the name of the game as I was searching to find the right amp. The 5:50 Plus did more than just provide headroom, the clean voicing on channel one was glassy and pristine coupled by richness and depth. The Dyna-Watt patent opens up the clean’s potential by accessing 5,25, or 50 watt power. When the gain and master volume is cranked at 5w, a sparkly breakup occurs. Conversely, at 50w, breaking up is about as taboo as a long term relationship. The crunch voicing on channel one allows for great mid-gain edgy sounds comparable to a Wampler Triple-Wreck.
The blues voicing on channel two is a warmer version of clean voicing and has an increased amount of breakup at higher gain. The burn voicing can compete against any of the classic gain monsters on the Mesa line and beyond. This is especially true when cutting the mids on the 5-band EQ.
This amplifier had me at the clean channel. Everything else was just icing on the cake (and there’s a lot of icing). At 38lbs (5:25 at 27lbs), the 5:50 head is incredibly strong and durable. The all-tube spring reverb and equalization are individually programmed for each channel. The 5-band EQ can be modified and programmed through use of sliders or a preset rotary dial that provides a traditional Mesa V-shaped mid cut. It is important to note that the 5:50 model uses 6l6s while the 5:25 model uses EL84s for those with specific preferences. To top it all off, channel switching, EQ, reverb, and solo boost can be wired to a loop controller for enhanced programming during live sessions. In my opinion, the Express Plus was a worthwhile investment for how much it provides.
Exceptional tone for musicians on a budget
Outstanding versatility and features
Strong build and quality materials
Weight may be an issue. Try the 5:25
Looks will cost you. An upgrade in colored grills and tolex will boost the Benjamins.
Should You Buy One?
I believe this amp surpasses the expectations that many guitarist are seeking after and it’s a step down in cost from many of the popular boutiques on stages today. Go for it.
– By Gary Schmidt – Mesa Boogie Express 5:50 Plus Amp Review
you cant just have one amp!! 😀
With the JHS Pedals’ Bonsai you can get the classic sounds of nine Tubescreamers in one pedal. Let the Bonsai help you find your overdrive zen.
Opinions will vary about the lbanez Tube Screamer, but no one can deny the weight of its influence. Those that do love this iconic circuit often have an unquenchable enthusiasm for all of its many-splendored variations and modifications. It is for these players that the JHS Bonsai was created. The Bonsai lets one summon nine distinct and noteworthy versions of green dirt with nothing more than a twist of its rotary control. Being able to handily compare all of these circuits back-to-back is endless fun, even if your interest in TS tones is only marginal, so real Screamer fanatics wil find the Bonsai both irresistible and, in use, immeasurably satisfying.
01. Origin Effects – Cali76 Compact Bass Compressor
02. Morley – M2 Wah
03. Electro Harmonix – Soul Food Distortion Fuzz Overdrive
-Lead Foot A/B/Y splitter to Digitech – Trio+ Band Creator + Looper
04. Chase Bliss Audio – Brothers Analog Gain Stage JFET Boost/Drive/Fuzz & IC Fuzz/Drive/Boost
05. DIY – Mad Mule Distortion Fuzz (Durham Electronics – Crazy Horse clone)
06. Electro Harmonix – Op-Amp Big Muff Pi Distortion Sustainer
07. DIY – Green Russian Big Muff Distortion Sustainer (Sovtek – “GREEN RUSSIAN” BIG MUFF π clone)
08. Mooer – Black Secret Vintage & Turbo Distortion (Pro Co “The RAT” Distortion clone)
09. Roger Mayer – Octavia Classic Octave fuzz
10. Dawner Prince – Boonar Multi-Head Drum Echo
11. MXR – M290 Phase 95 Dual Phaser
12. Dawner Prince – Viberator Stereo Uni-Vibe
Now listen to this:
Improved tuning stability. Impregnated with PTFE. Increased harmonics.
The PS-8220-00 : string saver originals PRS Tremolo saddles is the perfect option to upgrade or replace the existing saddles on your PRS tremolo. They have a center intonation screw and a 2 1/16″ string spacing. They are a drop in replacement set to make for an easy install.
String Saver Originals are made entirely of our String Saver material and give you a more balanced tone than steel saddles. On first listen, some people believe that the top end has gone away. All that is missing is the 2KHz spike; what’s added opens up a whole new world of sonic possibilities! Once your ears get used to the new sound, you will start to hear all the added harmonic content that String Saver Saddles reveal.
costs: roughly 20 euros
3X3-05 or Free-Way Ultra.
6 Position switching but with an amazing 28 terminal connections for creating the most sophisticated circuits. Each of the 6 positions is accessible and can have almost any pickup arrangement you choose! The Free-Way Ultra enables pickups (or coils) to be connected in series, in parallel and out of phase with each other so that complex switching functions can be performed all in one place. The Free-Way Ultra looks and operates exactly like the other models and, measuring 35mm in diameter, it is still very compact and retro-fittable into most guitars. Available in Nickel and Gold finishes.
Free-Way Key Features: An entirely new dimension in guitar pickup selection and new potential for other applications.
High Quality Materials: The solid construction of stainless steel metalwork, gold plated terminals and glass-filled nylon mouldings has been endurance tested beyond 1 million operations.
Positive Index Positional Control: Providing a distinct switching action for fast intuitive changes between positions.
Expansive Pickup Configurations: Vast tonal flexibility from a single control. Coil-split, 3 pickup, piezo, series, phase parallel, HSH, HSS, SSS and many more custom schemes. Almost infinite possibilities.
Multiple Gold Plated Solder Pad Terminations: Making installation easy and eliminating noise from mechanical construction.
Compact, Concentric Design: Fits directly into 35mm diameter cavity for retro-fit into Les Paul style guitars.
Standard Toggle Tip: Available in black or cream, making it visually indistinguishable from a traditional 3 way toggle switch.
The BOSS FV-50L is light and compact stereo foot volume of low input impedance, therefore can be effectively used for a low impedance unit such as a keyboard or an effect, or between Pre-Amp and Power-Amp through the Effects Send-Return on a Tube Amp or Combo.
(The high-impedance FV-50H is designed to be directly connected with a high impedance unit such as a guitar before the pre-amp or normal input.)
The Minimum Volume allows you to set the lowest volume at any level you like, thereby freely set the minimum effect of the pedal depending on the type of performance you are aiming at.
Also, it features the Tuner Out Jack for quick and easy tuning during live performance. Convenient Tuner Out jack enables speedy tuning on stage. Connectors: Input x 2, Output x 2, Tuner Out.
Evolving from the award winning HT-5R and the limited edition HT-5TH, the HT-5210 adds a 2×10″ combo to the award-winning HT family. Equipped with Blackstar’s patented ISF control and studio quality digital reverb, the HT-5210 delivers outstanding valve tones at levels you can use in the bedroom, rehearsal room and even on stage.
The HT-5 is the ultimate studio and practice amp, packing all the great tone and innovative features of the award-winning HT valve pedals into a two channel, footswitchable valve amp format. The patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) circuit gives you infinite adjustment over the characteristics of the tone control network and takes you from the USA to the UK and anywhere in between. So now you can effectively design your own tone and finally find ‘the sound in your head’.
In making the HT-5 ideally suited to home and studio use, the aim was to develop a valve amp which sounded full and toneful even at the lowest volume level. With this in mind the Blackstar design team designed a brand new valve power amplifier topology. The HT-5 power amplifier is a low powered push-pull design which produces the crunch and break-up characteristics of a traditional 100W output stage but at a much lower volume. This is achieved by the use of a 12BH7 dual triode in push-pull configuration producing 5 Watts output, which is rich in valve harmonics and compression.
The HT-5 also has a fully specified stereo speaker emulated output which further enhances the studio credentials and allows any guitarist to get amazing valve tone straight to tape or disk, or through headphones. It also features the unique 4×12/1×12 voicing switch allowing you to change the tonal characteristics of the emulated signal between two emulated cabinet types.
For many Moons now, I was looking to upgrade my guitar, having had 16 guitars (and one Bass guitar) in my life so far I was looking for something different.
I knew I wanted a certain shape that felt good to my own body holding it, but should also be of high quality and perhaps a looker too.
And this time, no matter the price… kinda…
Easily said, not so easy to find, and I have had my fair share of shitty guitars, mostly because of budget issues, and also because it takes a while for me to find out if I do like something, or if it simply does not work out. So after a few moons processing I end up buying a guitar, and then a few moons later it needs to go again.
Reading my MoonBlogs one can see I have an affection for PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitars, most say because he makes guitars that sit somewhere in between Fender (Stratocaster) and Gibson (Les Paul), and while that may be true, what speaks to me, is his openness to share about his products, his own nerdiness in going all in in finding that tone through all the little components that make up a musical instrument, his factory, and so on.
Sure some of it is marketing, some of it is ego showiness, a little american sauce over it, but it’s good, I like it. I’ve learned a lot more about guitars and guitar making through investigating about their company and products, something that is much much harder to find out about with most other guitar making companies.
So I had a vague kind of wishlist of components, or elements that my next guitar should contain, where quality was probably the most important.
In the shop:
Alive, vintage tone, S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow
The S2 Custom 22 is a classic workhorse guitar. Known for its exceptional clarity and warm midrange, the S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow has been updated here with a semi-hollow single f-hole mahogany/maple body, giving this vintage-inspired guitar a classic look and outstanding resonance. Appointments include the patented PRS tremolo system, 85/15 “S” treble and bass pickups, and a push/pull coil tap on the tone control for versatile, alive vintage tone.
Traditional bolt-on feel with a sound all its own, to tell a new story, Reclaimed Limited: CE 24 Semi-Hollow
Since the dawn of rock and roll, the snap and response that comes from a bolt-on neck guitar has been an essential part of the mix. These attributes have, in turn, become essential to many players trying to tell their story through music. This CE 24 pairs the body combination of the mahogany back and Peroba Rosa top with a bolt-on maple neck and Brauna Preto fretboard. The neck sports a Pattern Thin carve and satin nitro finish for a natural, addictive feel. To further maximize the guitar’s inherent tone and clarity, the CE 24 features PRS 85/15 pickups, which Paul designed to have remarkable clarity as well as extended high and low end. The electronics consist of a volume and push/pull tone control with 3-way toggle switch for a total of six classic sounds.
From 1964 to now, the GHS Boomers® series has been the flagship set of GHS Strings. Used by musicians in every genre, the Boomers® have shown to stand up to any playing style. Now known as “The Power String”, GHS Boomers® continue to make their mark on music across the world. The roundwound guitar set is made with Nickel-Plated steel wrapped tightly around a round core wire. The combination provides the string with its bright characteristic and long-lasting tone.