NAD Aha!!!

Discussion in 'Amps' started by supersoldier71, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Mesa DC3 combo off Reverb from a guy in PA. He did a great and very thorough packing job, but the amp had a squeal/rattle at certain volume levels and freqs. I’ve chased that noise since I bought it in March, even let two really knowledgeable amp techs look at it.

    The first guy got rid of most of it, the second guy tightened everything again and suggested tube dampeners.

    Yep. Solved. Mostly. The sound is still there, but only when the amp’s at don’t-wake-the-baby level, and it sounds terrible that low anyway.

    I got to FINALLY spend an afternoon finding out what this 20 year old box of uranium can do.

    The clean channel alone is worth what I paid for it. It’s got that dimensional quality that Fender amps—the good ones—have that works great with single coils. It works equally well with humbuckers, but I have to dial back the mids a bit for the best sounds.

    Clean channel works great with a Rat and really makes the pedal sound organic to the amp, which is ideal. Triangle Muff didn’t seem to work with either my Jet City or my Peavey, works great with the little Boogie. I may keep it now.

    The pedal I mean, the amp stays for sure.

    The Lead channel is harder to dial in, or rather, requires a different approach than my other amps. It’s a LEAD channel, not a crunchy rhythm channel or a slightly dirty channel. No, the gain goes from OFF to Santana or Purple Rain-era Prince from about zero to one, and I don’t even know what to call it after about three.

    So instead of using my Rat (or whichever distortion floats my boat that week) as a solo boost on top of either channel, I’ll use the Rat as an OD Rhythm channel, and the Lead channel for...yeah, leads.

    Also, the Lead channel has a smooth, refined type of sound that isn’t my favorite. I like the raw, open sound I get from my Jet City’s Overdrive channel. I like the Mesa, but I prefer aggro to face melting.

    The parallel effects loop is a bit of a niggle as well. That might have to go, but really the only time I use multiple effects in the loop is when I’m using a looper or Trio+ for songwriting and jamming, not live, and this amp is a gigging amp.

    Oh and about that. This little Mesa is a physics-defying loud 35 watts. I mean it’s got like six preamp tubes and four EL-84s, which is more than my 50 watt Peavey. The tech said it seemed louder than the Marshall Origin 50 he was modding. It is definitely louder than my Peavey, but I’ve got some pretty low gain tubes in that, which really sound great but I lost a little top end loudness.

    The Mesa might get the same treatment to tame the Lead channel, but right now, I’m enjoying the differences.


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