Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special/Classic - opinions?

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31153
    imalrightjack said:

    @ICBM one for the experts, I imagine?
    Not really - all you have to do is swap the two pots. Six solder connections...

    You need to undo and move the clean channel controls out of the way to get at them, but not unsolder them.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 533
    @icbm Thanks. I’ll read up. Presume you would recommend it?
    My band, No Soap No Radio.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31153
    @icbm Thanks. I’ll read up. Presume you would recommend it?
    Yes, I thought it greatly improved the lead channel and made it sound almost exactly like a higher-gain version of the clean channel.

    How simply swapping two pots of the same overall value but different tapers does this, I'm not certain! But it shows that valve amps are often complex and interactive. You would think that you would get the same sound, just at different control settings - but you don't. Presumably the capacitance of the pot at different settings matters, or something...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • RiftAmpsRiftAmps Frets: 1166
    Every LSS I've had in my shop has been on fire at some point, each needing major repair work to the PCB along with a few mods. They were all earlier models, one needed a new PT also. I haven't had any later ones in at all, which I suppose is a good thing.
    Rift Amplification
    Handwired Guitar Amplifiers
    Brackley, Northamptonshire
    www.riftamps.co.uk
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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 533
    @RiftAmps ;

    Anything I can do to prevent that?  :#
    My band, No Soap No Radio.

    Trading feedback info here
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  • RiftAmpsRiftAmps Frets: 1166
    edited June 5
    @RiftAmps ;;

    Anything I can do to prevent that? 
    Buy a later one

    Mesa released a few repair bulletins to authorised service centres to fix any issues with the early amps. They were mainly based around not stressing the 5Y3 rectifier so much and cooling down the EL84 screen-grid dissipation. I think a few other component changes were included but I can't remember and I no longer have access to the TSBs. If you want to be safe just try and find one that's post-2011.
    Rift Amplification
    Handwired Guitar Amplifiers
    Brackley, Northamptonshire
    www.riftamps.co.uk
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31153
    I must not have seen any early ones!
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 533
    I emailed Mesa Boogie support and got this back:

    "The Lonestar Special is my favourite amp that Boogie have ever made and with my hand on my heart, I’ve never seen one on fire. Or ever been contacted by a customer who has had this issue.

    There was a couple of updates at the beginning to squeeze a little more life out of the 5y3. If you can find you serial number I’ll try and work out what version you have.

    If it needs an update and you need help then I’m here if you need me."

    Can't complain at that!
    My band, No Soap No Radio.

    Trading feedback info here
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 18147
    I emailed Mesa Boogie support and got this back:

    "The Lonestar Special is my favourite amp that Boogie have ever made and with my hand on my heart, I’ve never seen one on fire. Or ever been contacted by a customer who has had this issue.

    There was a couple of updates at the beginning to squeeze a little more life out of the 5y3. If you can find you serial number I’ll try and work out what version you have.

    If it needs an update and you need help then I’m here if you need me."

    Can't complain at that!
    My early one has so far avoided combustion too....
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  • RiftAmpsRiftAmps Frets: 1166
    I emailed Mesa Boogie support and got this back:

    "The Lonestar Special is my favourite amp that Boogie have ever made and with my hand on my heart, I’ve never seen one on fire. Or ever been contacted by a customer who has had this issue.

    There was a couple of updates at the beginning to squeeze a little more life out of the 5y3. If you can find you serial number I’ll try and work out what version you have.

    If it needs an update and you need help then I’m here if you need me."

    Can't complain at that!
    My early one has so far avoided combustion too....
    If you get a chance to open her up look for two 470ohm resistors (R101 & R103) either side of a ribbon cable on the main board, if they've been removed then your amp has had the TSB done and is probably OK.

    Rift Amplification
    Handwired Guitar Amplifiers
    Brackley, Northamptonshire
    www.riftamps.co.uk
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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 533
    @RiftAmps ;

    Do you know the easiest way to access the innards?
    My band, No Soap No Radio.

    Trading feedback info here
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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 533
    I’ve just gone to set up in 4-cable method with my Fractal FX8 and get no sound unless I bypass the loop. In which case I get no wet sounds. Anybody any ideas?

    I swear it did work...
    My band, No Soap No Radio.

    Trading feedback info here
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  • arayadisarayadis Frets: 0
    Versatile, rock solid, good for your taste I think.
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  • olafgartenolafgarten Frets: 1335
    I’ve just gone to set up in 4-cable method with my Fractal FX8 and get no sound unless I bypass the loop. In which case I get no wet sounds. Anybody any ideas?

    I swear it did work...

    Are you sure the wiring is correct, the connections should be 

    Guitar > Fractal Guitar In
    Fractal Loop Send > Amp In
    Amp Loop Send > Fractal Loop Return
    Fractal Output > Amp Loop Return

    Then make sure both the Fractal has the correct loop settings and the amp doesn't have a loop volume control that is turned down. 
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  • JMP220478JMP220478 Frets: 128
    @imalrightjack ; - check out Andy Timmons use of Lonestar and his tryout of the MKv25 - he gets some very tasteful tones out of both - I own a MKV 25 head - stunning bit of kit in a 8Kg box !
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