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Fractal Audio AMP models: TX Star (MESA Lone Star)

yek

Moderator
Moderator
* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *



TX STAR: based on MESA Lone Star

MESA is a very famous amp manufacturer, founded by Randall Smith in ‘71 in California. Smith started off with the “snakeskin” Mark amp, a modded Fender Princeton with increased gain and sustain, which made Santana famous (or was it the other way around). More.

The MESA Lone Star is famous by its long-time use by Andy Timmons.

MESA is rather proud of this amp:

"THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING CLEANS, CLASSIC BREAKUP AND HIGH GAIN TONES WE HAVE EVER OFFERED IN A SINGLE AMPLIFIER​

From its conception, the Lone Star was targeted directly at exceeding players' expectations of both tone AND versatility from a vintage and/or modern boutique amp, without accepting compromise. Tonally it must be experienced to believe, as there are not enough adjectives and expletives to remotely do it justice. Simply put, the Lone Star is a sonic flood of Texas-sized proportions! The most ridiculously amazing cleans, classic breakup and high gain tones we have ever offered in a single amplifier! It is "stranded island" good and if you only try one amplifier, make sure it's the Lone Star – But be forewarned, prepare yourself for a new vice because it's not just an amp – IT'S AN ADDICTION! The Lone Star will change the standard by which you measure all other amps!"​

As far as I know, Fractal Audio modeled the original Lone Star ("Classic"), not the Special edition.

The Lone Star is a two-channel amp. Channel 1 is similar to a blackface Fender. It's also capable of blues-like distortion. Channel 2 has two faces. It can be a clone of channel 1, with slightly more gain. Or extra gain stages can be added ("high-gain" Drive mode) by flipping a switch, in which case an additional gain control comes into play. A Voicing switch (Normal / Thick / Thicker) lets you finetune the Drive mode.

Fractal Audio modeled the Lone Star's clean tone as well as channel 2's Drive mode. The clean tone is featured extensively in the first video below.

The current version of the Lone Star amp is driven by 6L6 (modeled) or EL34 tubes, and lets the player choose between 10 watts (Class A), 50 or 100 watts (Class A/B) power, per channel. And just like with the Rectifier, the player can also choose between Tube and Diode Rectifier Tracking (see the Recto thread for more information). The amp has a single input. The Lone Star has a built-in Variac ("Tweed" setting) and Reverb.

Each channel has Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence and Master controls. There's a separate Drive control for channel 2's Drive mode.

Looking for Andy Timmons' clean and dirty amp settings? Check the videos below.​

Here's the manual, with in-depth information and sample settings.

Review in Guitar Player

MESA delivers the Lone Star with Celestion Custom 90 (C90) speakers, just like its Boogie series. We've got a couple of those as stock cabs: #19 and #150.

Cab Pack 10 provides more IRs of a Lone Star cabinet.​



 
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stm113

Experienced
It says High Gain tones, could this be a sleeper amp for us modern high gain guys? I'll have to check it out just to see.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
I wouldn't call it a modern high-gain amp, it's Mesa's statement. They say it's similar to the Mark I Boogie.
 

∞Fractals

Power User
Seems to be a great candidate for single coils (my latest mission, finding amps to complement SC PUps) ... will have to give this a go - thanks again yek!
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
FWIW, no, this amp doing modern high gain sounds like farts. Literally.

But I concur with everything else said about it. It's a great, great clean platform and has really nice mid gain breakup. Absolutely love it.

Fun Fact:

The picture you used at the head of this thread (from the Mesa website, http://mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/electric/lone-star-series/lone-star/index.html) is one of a pair formerly used by George Pajon (Black Eyed Peas, others, http://mesaboogie.com/media/Amplifiers/Electric/Lone Star Series/Lone Star/lone_star_george_pajon_black_eyed_peas.jpg), and it's anything BUT a stock Mesa Lonestar ;)

How do I know this? I had her twin... https://reverb.com/item/24691-friedman-mesa-boogie-lonestar-classic-artist-owned-figured-maple-1-of-a-kind

Now, THAT Lonestar could do immaculate cleans and high gain for days ;)
 

rich2k4

Member
The settings for Normal, Thick, Thicker. What do those correspond to in the Axe Fx? Also, for channel 1 I am assuming Input drive maps to Gain, but for channel 2 what does the additional Drive knob map to?
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
The settings for Normal, Thick, Thicker. What do those correspond to in the Axe Fx? Also, for channel 1 I am assuming Input drive maps to Gain, but for channel 2 what does the additional Drive knob map to?
When amp models have two drives/gain knobs in real life like this a second knob appears for the in the ii/ax
 

ben ifin

Inspired
FWIW, no, this amp doing modern high gain sounds like farts. Literally.

But I concur with everything else said about it. It's a great, great clean platform and has really nice mid gain breakup
.
Never were true'er words written about and amp .... all I would add is that even in the mid-gain region it still needs a modest "boost" in front of it to get its low end tight ..... but yes, if you want to build patchs / scenes with an awesome clean [and slightly-gained amp] "base" amp, this is about as good as it gets.

Ben
 

Fl7x

Experienced
Fun Fact:

The picture you used at the head of this thread (from the Mesa website, http://mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/electric/lone-star-series/lone-star/index.html) is one of a pair formerly used by George Pajon (Black Eyed Peas, others, http://mesaboogie.com/media/Amplifiers/Electric/Lone Star Series/Lone Star/lone_star_george_pajon_black_eyed_peas.jpg), and it's anything BUT a stock Mesa Lonestar ;)
Ehmm... Nope.

That picture is from a combo, not a head.
You can order the amp with figured maple (Amber Maple they call it) directly from Mesa.

 

lwknives

Experienced
Never were true'er words written about and amp .... all I would add is that even in the mid-gain region it still needs a modest "boost" in front of it to get its low end tight ..... but yes, if you want to build patchs / scenes with an awesome clean [and slightly-gained amp] "base" amp, this is about as good as it gets.

Ben
CRAZY TALK!!!!!

I have found this amp gets a great heavy metal high gain tone! I use a boost to get tightness and drive out of it but I do the same with a Recto. It depends a lot on the guitar you use to, I get a pretty good heavy metal tone using a Tele with vintage broadcasters and the Texas Star! I use a TS808 drive sim to get it tight and gritty but the amp is great for this!
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
Fl7x, hot damn! Looks just like I remembered his!

Lwknives, I meant the actual amp. With the model, sure, there's enough parameters to tweak to make it, or any of them, do whatever you want.
 

NightWalker

Power User
One of the best sounding amps I ever owned. Just such an outstanding and versatile tone machine. I have a Lonestar preset in my regular go-to banks.
thank you for the preset,how do you compare the sound of the real amp vs the one on the fractal audio
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
thank you for the preset,how do you compare the sound of the real amp vs the one on the fractal audio
The real amp did sound different. By different I am not saying better or worse. It just sounded different. The Lonestar had the "amp in the room" sound and it was an awesome amp. I finally sold it to one of my guitar students. The real amp had a bit more clarity than the FAS model, but when I run the FAS Lonestar through a FOH, it has the same great tone. I do run a compressor in front of the amp, and I love the way it responds and the dynamics of the Lonestar model. The Lonestar and the Carr are my go-to clean amps.
 
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