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PostPosted: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 9:53am 
Rock God
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Location: Clarion, PA
I've had one of these (non-eq version) since the early 90's as my "throw and go" jamming amp...open mics, impromptu jam sessions, rehearsals, etc. Recently it seemed somewhat lifeless (no crispness to the highs and loose, undefined lows...much more boxy sounding than it used to be) to me so I figured it was time for a retube. Since its fixed bias, I've always just used Mesa EL84 and 12AX7 replacements with no issues. This time, the amp seems even more lifeless than it did before retubing.

What tubes does Mesa re-label and have they changed them in recent years? I've been retubing with stock that I bought back in the 90's but finally ran out and purchased new ones.

Any recommendations that might wake this thing back up?

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PostPosted: Thu, Sep 01, 2011 9:50pm 
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I have the Studio 22 with eq. (no lead volume knob) and it is doing the same thing. I replaced the EL84's with EH, and it seemed to wake it up a little. I have never re-tubed mine, as the preamp tubes are probably the originals and have no markings.

I have been researching what to put in it as well, I know I want tubes in (I think V2) the lead channel at least that are 'harder" so the lead channel has more definition and doesn't break up so quickly and will be more responsive to volume changes.

I have researched until I am more confused than I began.

Mesa also has a "premium" preamp tube which they call the SPAX7-a but sell them for $21.50 a piece!

My only advice is avoid Rubys. Had a complete set take out my rhythm guitar players Rebel 30.

I love the EH's in the power section though. Good and crisp without being cold.

My 2 cents


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PostPosted: Thu, Sep 01, 2011 11:44pm 
Supah Stah

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Maybe a re-cap job will wake it back up. How old are these amps? 25+ years? You could call Mesa and see if the recommend a tune up beyond just replacing tubes.

BTW: those are killer amps. Love them!

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PostPosted: Fri, Sep 02, 2011 12:17am 
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Sounds like it might need a re-cap(?) I am pretty sure that Mesa uses Sovtek el84's. Save your money on the SPAX7's to me they didn't make that much of a difference, if you want to roll some NOS pre amps I would check out Brent and Jessie recording service for their tubes. I used to buy from the bargain/ white box stuff for the same price as the Mesa stuff.

Bogner, Boogie, Gorilla.

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