I’ve used Mesa amps for most of my life. What are my impressions of the California Tweed 6V6 4:40?
Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.
Welcome to the show! This is a bit of a departure from the norm. Regular viewers will know that we don’t really do ‘reviews’ on That Pedal Show… but I’ve sure done my fair share in my time as a guitar journalist!
Much more interestingly, I’m a long-time user of Mesa amps in my playing life, right from when I was about 15/16, which was in 1989/1990, just for the record. Ha! So when the Cali Tweed came out, my interest was piqued as it’s quite a different deal for Mesa/Boogie. You can read all about it on Mesa’s website, but the single-channel format, classic Tweed-era-inspired tones and all-new Jensen Alnico speaker are all significant departures for the company over the past couple of decades.
In this video I plug in with a handful of classic guitar types as well as do a very brief comparison with my 6L6-loaded 100-watt Lone Star Classic (ie NOT an EL84 30-watt Lone Star Special… which is also an excellent amp).
Clearly there’s always more to explore – the finer details of settings, speakers, cabs, mics and all that – but hopefully this gives you an outline idea of what it does.
How this is recorded…
Both amps have Sontronics Delta 2 ribbon mics placed in the same relative positions from the speaker grille. The preamps and subsequent EQ settings are //exactly// the same. There are also stereo room mics (in a mid-side) configuration, so you may hear some slight differences in the stereo field based on the amps’ physical position in the room.
What Lone Star is yours?
The Classic 100-watt. Not the 30-watt Special.
ETHICS STATEMENT: No gear manufacturer has ever paid to be featured on That Pedal Show. We do not accept payment from any manufacturers. Mesa did not pay for this video in any way, and nor did they ask me to make the video. They sent the amp for me to try (as a long time Boogie fan and user), and in the hope that we may use it on the show during its stay… if we like it.
Then Covid came along, lots of people asked me to make this video in our social media comments, so I did. I hope that’s clear.
Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro loop: 0:00
- Hello – what am I doing?: 3:55
- Mick has a long history with Mesa: 4:30
- What does the Cali Tweed sound like next to the Lone Star – Strat? 7:35 (8:10)
- Pedalboard? 8:00
- Dropping the wattage: 9:57
- Max gain and two watts: 12:29
- Try some ES-335: 15:15
- What about the low input? 17:00
- Back to high and more gain with ES-335, and Bad Bob Boost: 19:00
- P-90s – Collings 290 DCS: 20:42
- Setting up the last loop: 22:48
- And some Gretsch: 23:40
- Closing thoughts: 25:46
- A Thomann Jam: 26:35