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Thread: Mesa F50 Tube Upgrade

  1. #21
    Senior Member matrixman_397's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa F50 Tube Upgrade

    I also tend to have my gain at no more then 3 o'clock. I find it gets too buzzy and loses definition as mentioned if set any higher!

    Should also mention one of the reasons I'm going for JJ's and Tung Sol's is they seem relatively well priced. Not looking to spend that much on this tube set at the moment!

    Going to purchase from Rototubes:- http://www.rototubes.com/Mesa-F50-Hi...-Tube-Set.html

  2. #22
    Senior Member matrixman_397's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mesa F50 Tube Upgrade

    Hi guys, thought I'd update you all and for anyone else in the future who needs help on upgrading tubes with a Mesa Boogie F50 amp.

    The combination that finally worked for me was JJ Power Tubes and pre amp tubes, I used a Tung Sol for V1 + V2 and a JJ's for V3 + V4. I found this setup gives me all of the tone, clarity and and punch I've been looking for. The Tung Sol's in V1 + V2 helped provide the clarity and sharpness of tone I was looking for, while the JJ's in V3 + V4 definitely add a bit of a growl to the tone.

    I tried many different combinations with the JJ and Tung Sol preamp tubes. All JJ tubes were way too dark as mentioned and it felt like someone putting a blanket over my amp, not enough highs or treble! I also tried all Tung Sol's, again I didn't like this, sounded way too flat, thin and not enough depth to the sound in my opinion. When I added the two JJ's in V3 + V4 that all changed, I found my tone!!

    This experience has taught me there's nothing like testing a few tubes out for yourself so you can really hear the difference, doing your research helps but nothing like hearing it with your own ears! Thanks to all the guys in this thread who helped share your opinions!

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Mesa F50 Tube Upgrade

    Worthy of resurrecting...

    I'm unhappy with the current Mesa tubes.

    My 1st year production custom F50 head and cab purchased 2nd hand in '09 came with STR430's and Russian 2, 12ax7's.
    The seller neglected to pull the power tubes for shipping and one was broken all over the bottom of the box, but he was cool enough to pick me up a set of early STR440's which I had no issue with at the time.

    I loved the amp from day one, but as I replaced the tubes in '13, I found that the SPAX7's sounded quite a bit different than the original tubes..

    I was able to find a pair of STR430's NOS and along with the SPAAX7's sounded okay but a bit brighter than the last set.

    This amp is a studio amp only so i replaced the tubes again in late '17 with a full set of Str440's and SPAX7's and the amp is just too gainy and what made this amp special to me is gone.

    Mesa goes back and forth between tube companies like a young school girl with boys during the '80s.

    I think the current Chinese tubes are more 3d and way more touch sensitive, but they are just uncontrollable gain wise in the contour position which is really all I use the amp for as my Marshalls and Super revrbs get the rest far better. the new tubes lack the musical qualities of the original spec tubes.

    I get it... as a mfg. you always want the best, but why sell us tubes for old amps if they don't allow the amp to sound the same.

    I recently purchased another F50, an '07 combo and a closet queen with FEW hours on the original tubes... The amp sounds exactly as my fist when I had initially purchased it.

    I'm going back to Russian tubes , no matter the reliability... I change the NOS vintage glass in my 70's Marshalls once a year whether they need it or not... Modern tubes are cheap, I'm not running tubes that weren't part of the design of my amps character sounds.

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