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Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special Review

Date:June 5, 2005
Manufacturer:Mesa Boogie
Author:Ned

Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special Features

  • Pure Class A, Channel Assignable Power Section allows you to assign either 1, 2 or all 4 Power Tubes to each Channel for Power Ratings of 5, 15 or 30 Watts per Channel (patent pending) / 4xEL84, 5x12AX7, 1x5Y3
  • Incorporates Rectifier Tracking™ (patent pending)
  • 2 Fully Independent Channels each with Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb & Master Controls
  • Channel 1 is dedicated to Boutique Vintage Clean/Breakup
  • Channel 2 is switchable between Clean/Breakup (Cloning Channel 1) or Cascading High Gain
  • High Gain Mode activates separate “Drive” Control (Multi-Stage Cascading Gain Circuit)
  • Thick/Normal/Thicker Voicing Switch (Channel 2)
  • All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb with Bright/Warm Reverb Tone Switch
  • Output Level Control (over all channels when activated)
  • Footswitchable Solo Level Control – Patent # 6,724,897 (over all channels when activated)
  • All-Tube FX Loop with Send Level Control (over all channels when activated)
  • True “Hard” Bypass Switch that removes FX Loop, Output Level & Solo Level Controls from signal path
  • Slave Out w/Level Control
  • Fan Cooled with On/Off Switch
  • External Switching Jacks for Channels 1/2 & Solo
  • All Aluminum Chassis
  • 2 Button Footswitch (Channel 1/2 & Solo)

    Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special Sounds

    The amp is quite versatile going from clean to crunch (not Recto crunch) with ease and could easily work in any rock band settings. As you switch the channel wattage from 5 to 15 to 30 the amp seems to open up much more the higher you go. On clean settings the 30 watt has some serious spank to it and really gets that Vox vibe happening. Lower wattage setting seem to get a little on the muddy side. Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special

    Even on 5 watts this amp is very loud but managable when you engage the effects loop which brings the output control into the picture. This allows each channel volume to be set then controlled with the output for a overall volume level.

    The other key item to note is the tone controls which are very interactive. However, the amount of gain or drive dialed in will play a role in the effectiveness of the tone controls. More gain/drive the less effective the tone controls become. Also, as you progress from treble to mid to bass to presence each control has a effect on the next one in line. I suggest reading the manual and writing down the instant gratification settings before heading to the store. You cannot just set the tone controls to noon and expect to get good results.

    Conclusion

    The only negative is that the medium head is very large, noticeably wider than a Stiletto or Recto head, and heavy. So far I'm enjoying playing through the Lone Star Special and tweaking with the sounds. The range of tones available is HUGE with this amp. Both the amp and the cab are built like tanks and I would not hesitate to gig with either one. However, because the look so good I will definatel invest in a road case for each to protect the tolex.

    Sounds clips below feature the Lone Star Special with a Boogie 4x10, Jensens in the top and Eminence in the bottom. The mic (e609) was placed on the outside cone of one of the Jensens. Clip 1 is the clean channel set on 15 watts, clip 2 is the drive channel with the first lick on 5 watts and the second on 15 watts.

    Sound Clip Lone Star Special Clean
    Sound Clip Lone Star Special Drive

    Don't forget to checkout Lone Star Special and Classic settings in our amp settings database. The Mesa Boogie section contains settings for many Mesa Boogie amps.

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