I'm in blues heaven! This is the amp I've been looking for forever. Tons of bass on tap if you want it, incredible full-sounding clean highs and creamy crunch that is so smooth it needs sunglasses. I've never known anything to respond so beautifully to fast notes, slides, hammer-ons etc. The gain is really, really transparent even at high settings. And the sustain is to die for. All of this without a pedal in sight!
The one downside is that the reverb is not noticeable even at full setting. I may have done something wrong there, so if I find I have I'll post an update. UPDATE - I had the footswitch plugged in but the reverb was switched off on the footswitch. Doh! Loads of the most beautiful, sweet reverb on tap now. Another pedal gone. Happy chappy :)
I currently also have a 50W JVM and an 18W H&K amp but honestly this leaves both of them in the dust. I can't see I'll ever need either of them again. This amp gives everything they do and more; without the over-kill gain of the Marshall and the too-tinny cleans and no bass of the H&K.
Every Pedal Steel Player knows that the holy grail for sound is/was the Fender Twin Reverb with its clean and powerful tone. However, it was not only expensive but also very heavy, even for Mesa Boogie standards. Now, this Express 5:50 clean channel gives you all you want for getting a clean-clean and sparkling tube tone out of your steel. The reverb is fantastic and with the graphic EQ you have an additional means to get exactly what you want to hear. On the distorted side you can easily achieve a driving and still distinctive sound with your steel without getting muddy. But in case you also have an electric guitar as second instrument, you have the option to choose the clean channel for the steel and the blues channel for the guitar. With the possibility to reduce the Wattage down to 25 or 5, you can take your sound anywhere from coffee shop to large venues.
Of course the Express is heavy, but still not as heavy as my WBS pedal steel in its flight case, and by far not as heavy as the old Twin. Of course the Express is expensive, but when you were able to buy a new pedal steel you might also be able to save some money for an excellent sound.
There are of course other, cheaper steel amps on the market who also do their job. But, in case you dream of the Twin sound but cannot carry its weight any more, and also want to have some more flexibility, try this amp!
The only caveat I found is that the main power control gets loud very fast with not much additional gain after, say 12 o'clock - but this I found in a lot of amps.
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