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Trying to emulate a Mesa Boogie all tube head


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I am trying to get as close to that tube driven, warm, yet round and unique Mesa Boogie distortion, like a Road King 2 head delivers.

What amps are you guys starting with to build a patch to get as close to this kind of sound as you can?

I am playing through a Mesa 4x12 and Les Paul


Im in a working band and needed an amp in a pinch and only had $500 to work with so after looking at and trying many amps I landed on the Spider V 240hc and I really like it.


BUT, I am having a tough time getting this dialed in and I figured maybe someone else has also been working on a good tube driven distortion / tone to sound like the Mesa heads already and can help me out.


I really wanted to buy a Mesa but even used the ones I want are $1800 which I would gladly pay if I had it, I am out of work and disabled without an income I am.

Obviously I am not going to get it 100% but I know I can get a lot closer than I am right now.


The virtual heads within the software that you would think would give this tone, sound muddy to me and too bassy, so ive been sitting here tweaking the amp settings on each high gain amp.


The Line 6 insane or whatever it is one of the closest and thats annoying too, I know a rectifier would do it, but the treadplate amp which I think is line 6's version of a Mesa Rectifier, just doesnt sound anything like it, they have tube assignment options on those amps for different voicing and the software has nothing like it.


I prefer a Godsmack type deep drop D distortion for the type of stuff I play, palm muted percussive drop d heavy rock riffs.




And at low levels I can get a few close, but as soon as you turn up to get in the mix, it starts distorting a bit and breaking up some, I had my spider 4 dialed and it sounded fantastic, I know it is in there, I just need to find it and while I am doing that, I figured asking might help me find some assistance with it and maybe a close patch someone else made.
Thanks for any help, I appreciate it.





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Hi Matt, if possible try dialing in your tones closer to the volumes you plan to use them at. The parametric EQ that is placed after the amp in the signal chain can be very helpful in accentuating or taming frequencies. If you haven't already I would recommend trying one the high gain amps paired with a drive like a tube screamer, gain set low and level set high. 

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Hi, thanks for the reply.


I did start with the high gain metal plate amp , 2001 Cali, etc...which I think is a triple rectifier or dual, not sure, and then from there use the EQ and then of course a tube screamer and I also tried the tube dist, but none at volume are any good.


Just the basic amp controls should be able to dial in a nice heavy tight low end dist, I know I can on a dual or trip rectifier, half the settings arent even available that you would find on the amp.


I am going to try downloading tones from the cloud to see if maybe someone else came close already, hopefully I can find a decent base to build off of.


I tried from scratch, just start with an amp, then dial it in then add EQ but I get no where close to where I need, and by the time I add a pedal jut because I cant get a smooth dist I then get plenty of feedback, uggg so frustrating.

I like to say, "You had one job!" LOL.










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Well after grabbing some cloud pre set patches and looking at them, I was able to direct my attention to a single amp that really helped me get going in the right direction.
modeling amps always get me close to break down mode before I find what I am looking for, but I think that is my anxiety more than the amp.

Once I found the amp I was trying to emulate, things got a ton easier and with a little patience I know I can get this amp so sound exactly as I need it to.

I was overwhelmed by the number of environmental factors that you can adjust.

Something I found, if you want to run the xlr's out in mono or stereo to the board, you have to use the cab emulator, obviously I just hadnt thought of that, sometimes my cab sounds a lot better without that and so I think live at times I might opt for 2 mics over the xlr's

Anyway very cool amp when you start to get your tones working.

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