Mesa boogie stiletto review

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Reviews > Mesa boogie stiletto review

Polera

Guitar Hurricane

Joined: 01/12/02

Posts: 917




Ive owned this amp for about 6 months. Heres the run down...

I originally wanted a JCM 800 to deal with Slash type tone as being one of my original reasons to play guitar. I ended up coming to some problems trying to find an amp or choosing a model. There are a million JCM 800s and reissue models and what about 50 or 100 watts? I ended up with my heart set on a silver jubliee which is slashs model. Well these amps are hard to find and expensive in costs. Long story short i ended up taking home the stiletto duece 100 watt with 5 year transferable warrenty and 6 month tube warrenty.


Features are switchable 50/100 watt output PER channel. 2 Channels with three modes per channel. The first channel has Fat clean, Thin clean, Crunch. The fat clean is excellent. It makes even thinnest single coil sound full till the point that you may want to roll back some bass. Thin clean gives a blues breaker claption type sound thats great with humbuckers. For a strat you may find it a bit thin depending on different variables. Crunch is awesome. It ranges from plexi to a hot rodded marshall JCM 800. Ive dialed all my tones from crunch and its great. Things that should be noted is that treble and presence domiant the sound. Mesa are notoious for having very wide and sensitive eq knobs, so if u dont find the sound use em first, complain second.

Channel 2 has a reproduction of crunch channel voiced with a tad higher gain due to a alternete circuit root. Tite gain is increase the gain over crunch by 1 gain stage. This is great for humbuckers or strats, and can pull off rythem or solos. Fluid drive is the highest gain stage and adds some thump to the low end.

As with most modern mesas, the option to use tube rectifers or silicion is available, but unlike most mesa's this is available for both channels and not the amp as a whole. A spnongy/bold variac switch bumps down the power supply 20% ala Van Halen. Solo switch bumps up the volume to a predesigned amount adjustabe bia a dial. Loop in serial effects loop can be removed totally from the amp via switch to remove any negitive impact or sound drainage.

Some general comments to be said. This amp is voiced brightly but it doesnt mean that it doesnt have any low end. The more you increase the volume the better it sounds. The clean channel is the best el 34 warm clean i have ever heard. I play this through a traditional mesa boogie 4 x 12 recto cab with vintage 30's that seem to take to this amp best although i m sure greenbacks would sound just as fine.

Ive now saved the best for last...although i might not have given the greatest review i have done one better...clips! These clips are from the manual given settings given a good representation of the great versiltility. It was done with a 2x12 cab, although im sure more umphhh would come from a 4 x 12, also im not sure if it has vintage 30's which would create more distortion from the low wattage speaker break up...


http://www.digitalsoundplanet.com/VirtualStudios/Listen/usersong.php?userid=152371
WWSD? What would stevie do?

#1




Ive owned this amp for about 6 months. Heres the run down...

I originally wanted a JCM 800 to deal with Slash type tone as being one of my original reasons to play guitar. I ended up coming to some problems trying to find an amp or choosing a model. There are a million JCM 800s and reissue models and what about 50 or 100 watts? I ended up with my heart set on a silver jubliee which is slashs model. Well these amps are hard to find and expensive in costs. Long story short i ended up taking home the stiletto duece 100 watt with 5 year transferable warrenty and 6 month tube warrenty.


Features are switchable 50/100 watt output PER channel. 2 Channels with three modes per channel. The first channel has Fat clean, Thin clean, Crunch. The fat clean is excellent. It makes even thinnest single coil sound full till the point that you may want to roll back some bass. Thin clean gives a blues breaker claption type sound thats great with humbuckers. For a strat you may find it a bit thin depending on different variables. Crunch is awesome. It ranges from plexi to a hot rodded marshall JCM 800. Ive dialed all my tones from crunch and its great. Things that should be noted is that treble and presence domiant the sound. Mesa are notoious for having very wide and sensitive eq knobs, so if u dont find the sound use em first, complain second.

Channel 2 has a reproduction of crunch channel voiced with a tad higher gain due to a alternete circuit root. Tite gain is increase the gain over crunch by 1 gain stage. This is great for humbuckers or strats, and can pull off rythem or solos. Fluid drive is the highest gain stage and adds some thump to the low end.

As with most modern mesas, the option to use tube rectifers or silicion is available, but unlike most mesa's this is available for both channels and not the amp as a whole. A spnongy/bold variac switch bumps down the power supply 20% ala Van Halen. Solo switch bumps up the volume to a predesigned amount adjustabe bia a dial. Loop in serial effects loop can be removed totally from the amp via switch to remove any negitive impact or sound drainage.

Some general comments to be said. This amp is voiced brightly but it doesnt mean that it doesnt have any low end. The more you increase the volume the better it sounds. The clean channel is the best el 34 warm clean i have ever heard. I play this through a traditional mesa boogie 4 x 12 recto cab with vintage 30's that seem to take to this amp best although i m sure greenbacks would sound just as fine.

Ive now saved the best for last...although i might not have given the greatest review i have done one better...clips! These clips are from the manual given settings given a good representation of the great versiltility. It was done with a 2x12 cab, although im sure more umphhh would come from a 4 x 12, also im not sure if it has vintage 30's which would create more distortion from the low wattage speaker break up...


http://www.digitalsoundplanet.com/VirtualStudios/Listen/usersong.php?userid=152371
WWSD? What would stevie do?

PRSplaya

Full Access

Joined: 09/19/02

Posts: 3941

Great review! That looks and sounds like a pretty sweet amp. I'd love to get my hands on one to try out. Honestly, it sounds more like a Marshall than a Mesa. That's a good thing though ;)
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW

#2

Great review! That looks and sounds like a pretty sweet amp. I'd love to get my hands on one to try out. Honestly, it sounds more like a Marshall than a Mesa. That's a good thing though ;)
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW

Polera

Guitar Hurricane

Joined: 01/12/02

Posts: 917

Oh for sure...cuz im a mesa virgin i kind of dont fallinto that mesa expectations...but ya, marshall is the goal intentions...i think it does a great job and then some...
WWSD? What would stevie do?

#3

Oh for sure...cuz im a mesa virgin i kind of dont fallinto that mesa expectations...but ya, marshall is the goal intentions...i think it does a great job and then some...
WWSD? What would stevie do?

PRSplaya

Full Access

Joined: 09/19/02

Posts: 3941

I would agree! I've got some major GAS going on now :rolleyes:
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW

#4

I would agree! I've got some major GAS going on now :rolleyes:
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW

z0s0_jp

Riffologist

Joined: 07/08/05

Posts: 1584

that sounds bitch'n ...excellent choice .....a lot people i know rave about the stilletto. how much??
"Dammit Jim!! I'm a guitarist not a roadie...so haul my gear"

#5

that sounds bitch'n ...excellent choice .....a lot people i know rave about the stilletto. how much??
"Dammit Jim!! I'm a guitarist not a roadie...so haul my gear"

Polera

Guitar Hurricane

Joined: 01/12/02

Posts: 917

currently its 2300 cad but im not sure usd.
WWSD? What would stevie do?

#6

currently its 2300 cad but im not sure usd.
WWSD? What would stevie do?

PRSplaya

Full Access

Joined: 09/19/02

Posts: 3941

Mesa sets their own prices, so anywhere you go they should sell for the same amount. I think there's a price list for all the Mesa products somewhere on the net, just can't remember where.
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW

#7

Mesa sets their own prices, so anywhere you go they should sell for the same amount. I think there's a price list for all the Mesa products somewhere on the net, just can't remember where.
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW

Polera

Guitar Hurricane

Joined: 01/12/02

Posts: 917

if you type "mesa boogie board" in google youll get a forum where u can search the price list.
WWSD? What would stevie do?

#8

if you type "mesa boogie board" in google youll get a forum where u can search the price list.
WWSD? What would stevie do?

sanfender

Registered User

Joined: 03/01/05

Posts: 11

Just to answer a few questions posted here and there.

1. the stiletto is $1700 USD (at guitar center, at least). I'm told that hte next shipment of the stilettos will go up $100 as per mesa's independent price-setting.
2. a 2x12 cab is 599 USD; I believe the 4x12 is between 800 and 900.

Also, important to note: the stiletto sounds nothing like a boogie rectifier. so if you want that unreal rectifier sound, get a rectifier. the stiletto is much more "marshally." It also allows you to set the clean channel at 150 w and the distorted channel at 50 w.
I recently played both the stiletto and the dual rec. 3 channel side-by-side and ended up going with the dual rec. simply based on the sound i was looking for (in addition to the increased versatility with the 3 channel set up).

although i favor the rectifiers, the stiletto was certainly sweet sounding.
all depends on the sound you are going for.

go pick either the stiletto or one of the rectifiers, or both, before mesa jacks the prices up again.

#9

Just to answer a few questions posted here and there.

1. the stiletto is $1700 USD (at guitar center, at least). I'm told that hte next shipment of the stilettos will go up $100 as per mesa's independent price-setting.
2. a 2x12 cab is 599 USD; I believe the 4x12 is between 800 and 900.

Also, important to note: the stiletto sounds nothing like a boogie rectifier. so if you want that unreal rectifier sound, get a rectifier. the stiletto is much more "marshally." It also allows you to set the clean channel at 150 w and the distorted channel at 50 w.
I recently played both the stiletto and the dual rec. 3 channel side-by-side and ended up going with the dual rec. simply based on the sound i was looking for (in addition to the increased versatility with the 3 channel set up).

although i favor the rectifiers, the stiletto was certainly sweet sounding.
all depends on the sound you are going for.

go pick either the stiletto or one of the rectifiers, or both, before mesa jacks the prices up again.

Polera

Guitar Hurricane

Joined: 01/12/02

Posts: 917

nice post, to clearify, the trident is the 150 watter, but i assume thats the price your quoting?
WWSD? What would stevie do?

#10

nice post, to clearify, the trident is the 150 watter, but i assume thats the price your quoting?
WWSD? What would stevie do?