Mesa Boogie Stiletto Deuce Tone Amp
Published: Apr 11, 2014 Filed under: Gear
Note: from guitarhoo review archives originally dated December 6, 2004
The Mesa Stiletto is a new amp from Boogie. Designed to use EL34 tubes. It is voiced very differently than the Rectifier Series. (ie: the mids are not scooped out in the perma metal smile graphic eq).
Some specs on this amp Stiletto Deuce Features:
• Handbuilt in the USA
• Channel Assignable Power Section allows you to assign either 2 or all 4 EL-34 Power Tubes to either Channel for Power Ratings of 50 or 100 Watts of Class A/B Power / 4xEL-34, 5x12AX7, 2x5U4
• 2 Fully Independent Channels with 6 Modes
• Channel 1 = Fat Clean, Tite Clean or Crunch, Channel 2 = Crunch, Tite Gain or Fluid Drive ( Independent 50/100 Power Output Switch & Rectifier Select Switch (Silicon Diode or Tube Tracking - patent pending) per Channel
• Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence & Master Controls per Channel
• Bold/Spongy "Variac" Switch
• Output Level Control (over all channels, when activated)
• Solo Level Control (over all channels, when activated - patent pending)
• 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 with Level Control
• External Switching Jacks for Channels 1, 2 & Solo
• Chrome Chassis
• 2 Button Footswitch (Channel 1/2 & Solo)
• Slip Cover
Upon plugging into this amp (We used a Marshall 1960a cab. mostly because we like them. The boogie cabs sound to brittle to me). We were greeted by a super smooth clean sound. If you have ever played a Recto, you are aware that the clean sound is a bit lacking. To my surprise the Deuce was a clean machine. We also liked the fact that you can set each channel to either 50 or 100 watts, so we set the clean to 100 watts to get extra headroom.
There are more ways to taylor your sound with more front panel switches.
Channel 1 Gain Select: Channel 1 offers two traditional-gain Clean choices, the blooming sweetness of FAT and the urgent focus of TITE or, choose the mid-gain authority of CRUNCH for grinding rhythm sounds. This channel offers so many great sounds that alone, Channel 1 would be an amazing amplifier!
We liked this channel on Fat.
Next we explore Channel 2: Again it is selectable to 50 or 100 watts. For the crunch channel I chose 50 watts. As the amp dove into overdrive a little faster (and we are a sucker for 50 watt el34 tube heads).
Channel 2 Voicing Switch: Channel 2 offers a clone of Channel 1's mid-gain CRUNCH mode and two different HI Gain voicings. TITE-GAIN slices like a blade with focused mid attack and howling sustain, while FLUID-DRIVE adds layers of thick, rich harmonics that spread wide for the definitive solo voice or an ultimate modern grind.
Either way you play it the Stiletto takes EL34 expression to a new realm.
We liked it on the Tite gain.
It is a very different amp than a Recto... more Marshall-esque.. We could see it being used by rhythm guys in metal bands or lead guys in straight ahead rock bands.
All in all it was pretty cool. The one we tried also blew a tube only 3 minutes after being turned on. This is an easy fix but for the money we would go with a Marshall DSL (but that's our opinion).
If the Boogie was cheaper or equally priced to a Marshall, it would sell tons we're sure.
It is worth checking out and we did like it alot.
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