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Axe FXIII with Mesa Boogie 50/50 and 2x12 stereo Mesa Boogie Cab

trancegodz

Power User
I used to use a Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp with a Mesa Boogie 50/50 stereo power amp and a stereo 2x12 Mesa Boogie cabinet. I pulled it out tonight and tried it and it still sounded good. I then decided to try the Axe FXIII with the 50/50 power amp and stereo 2x12 Mesa cab for the first time tonight. I hooked it up as the manual suggested and turned off the cabinet modeling and power amp modeling. I expected it to sound great, but it sounded terrible. Really thin and totally unusable with distorted sounds. No matter which amp I tried or how I dialed it in. I was able to get a pretty good clean Marshall sound.

I know some of you guys are using the Axe FXIII with a power amp and real speakers and are happy with the sound. How do you get it to sound good? I am guessing that you have to use a solid state power amp like the Matrix so you can keep the power amp modeling on.
 
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Griff_NZ

Inspired
I run my Axe 2 through my Jet City HDM loop and have PA modeling on actually. It sounds slightly better that way. But you can mix and match, for instance, turn PA modeling on in global and the amps that don't sound good with it on, turn the Sag off in the Power amp block to have similar effect of no power amp on. I have run my Axe 2 through 4 different tube amp returns and they all sound excellent. Makes me think you might have a parameter or levels set wrong somewhere.
 

Jupiter

Inspired
I then decided to try the Axe FXIII with the 50/50 power amp and stereo 2x12 Mesa cab for the first time tonight. I hooked it up as the manual suggested and turned off the cabinet modeling and power amp modeling.


I am sorry but am I missing something?

Turning off the cab modeling/not using any cab in the grid makes sense since you use a guitar cab, so you want that particular sound of this Mesa cab.

But why would you want to turn off the power amp modeling in this case? You use a power amp not an guitar amplifier so something should take care of the "actual" guitar amplifier sound and in this case that would be the AxeFx.
 

Jupiter

Inspired
he's turning off power amp modeling because he's using a real power amp.

OK, now I am lost.

He is using a Mesa Boogie 50/50 stereo power amp which in theory just amplifies whatever is being fed. According to the AxeIII manual page 25, that should qualify as a "neutral" power amp, am I wrong?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Which amp models did you try this way?

My understanding is that most Mesa amps get the majority of their character from the preamp, so most likely the 50/50 isn't too colored.

Using that with no power amp modeling and an amp that relies a lot on the power amp for it's character will likely not sound good.
 

trancegodz

Power User
Has OP tried it with cab modelling and power amp modelling back on?

I did try that and it sounded a little better, but not right. I tried it with amp and cab modeling off like it says to do in the manual; with amp modeling on and cab modeling off; and with amp modeling off and cab modeling on; and with amp modeling and cab modeling back on, to see how they affected the sound.

If I want to play through real cabs I think I probably need to use a solid state power amp like the Matrix so I can keep the power amp modeling on in the Axe FXIII.

I may eventually try it again with a solid state power amp and real speaker cab, but for now I've given up on using the Mesa 50/50 and 2x12 Mesa cab with the Axe FXIII, and went back to playing it through two powered PA speakers.
 

trancegodz

Power User
Which amp models did you try this way?

My understanding is that most Mesa amps get the majority of their character from the preamp, so most likely the 50/50 isn't too colored.

Using that with no power amp modeling and an amp that relies a lot on the power amp for it's character will likely not sound good.

I was using Marshalls and Friedmans so that makes sense. You are right, especially for the Marshalls.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
the 50/50 is a tube power amp.
  • 50 Watts per Channel, Class A/B Power / 4x6L6, 3x12AX7
tubes are not neutral. they color the tone and increase power amp distortion depending on how loud it's run. this is pretty much the opposite of neutral.
Tubes can be neutral (or fairly close to). It's the rest of the circuit that does the majority of the colouring. A typical guitar power amp (even rack ones) are tailored for guitar, and are heavily coloured and dependant on the speaker load. A hi-fi tube power amp is closer to a SS power amp than a tube guitar power amp.
 

Ibanezguy88

Member
I'm currently using a Mesa 2:90 with my Axe III live and at home with amazing results. I'm going through an oversized Mesa 4X12 and a Mesa 2X12 w/ Vintage 30's. Power amp modeling/ cab off. I've also used a solid state ISP Ultra Lite in a live scenario with power amp modeling on with also great results, also feeding a separate signal with a cab block/ eq to front house and my IEM system.

If I got time, maybe I can send you a patch to try out? PM me with details of what guitars/ style of music you use and type of tone you're after.
 

Roadrunner

Power User
Prior the Matrix GT1000FX I used the Axe with Mesa 2:90 (power modeling ON) and out to a 4x12, the sound was brutal!

However, the 2:90 do color the sound, in a good way.
 

la noise

Power User
I'm currently using a Mesa 2:90 with my Axe III live and at home with amazing results. I'm going through an oversized Mesa 4X12 and a Mesa 2X12 w/ Vintage 30's. Power amp modeling/ cab off. I've also used a solid state ISP Ultra Lite in a live scenario with power amp modeling on with also great results, also feeding a separate signal with a cab block/ eq to front house and my IEM system.

If I got time, maybe I can send you a patch to try out? PM me with details of what guitars/ style of music you use and type of tone you're after.

Care to update?? :)
 
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