The pure Class-A, EL-84 Powered Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special features channel-assignable power (patent pending) that allows you to assign 1, 2 or all 4 EL-84s to either of its 2 Channels for independ... Read More
The pure Class-A, EL-84 Powered Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special features channel-assignable power (patent pending) that allows you to assign 1, 2 or all 4 EL-84s to either of its 2 Channels for independent power ratings of 5, 15, or 30 watts. Take that incredibly expressive preamp with its intuitive versatility, add the vintage magic of EL-84s running Pure Class A, and a classic is born.
Where its Big Brother boasts the huge warmth and headroom of 6L6 power, this Mesa Boogie amp delivers seductive, bubbly tone and a sensual, elastic feel. This Lone Star is short on weight but tall on personality.
Authentic retro tone is all about power and the way it clips. Yet in any given amp, the sweet spot of power clip is inseparably tied to its wattage and playing loudness. The Lone Star Special smashes this age-old limitation by offering 3 distinct power configurations, each with its own window of wattage: 30, 15, or 5. Perfect Power per channel—on demand.
With 30 watts, bold and pure from all 4 power tubes, the Lone Star Special punches through the mix and hangs with a band in mid-size venues. 15 watts cries the blues with passion, coaxing expressive soul from its pair of EL-84s. Both these circuits run Pure Class A in a Push-Pull configuration. But what really makes this amplifier is its ability to switch down to 5 watts of single-ended power bliss.
In push-pull circuits, the second harmonic is cancelled out when the two halves of the wave-form are re-combined in the output transformer. Unlike push-pull, single-ended circuits preserve this most musical of all harmonics. A subtle coating of warm distortion (an octave above the note you're playing) glazes the entire spectrum with a purring, golden halo of precious nuance perfect for individual playing or recording. All this bouncy Class A tone blooms naturally in the Lone Star Special's trim 1x12 speaker cab, roughly 3/4 the size of its big brother.
Reviewed by 6 customers
Displaying reviews 1-6
Well, I finally 'pulled the trigger' and brought one of these Lone Star Specials home. After the first week my only regret is not getting it sooner. This amp is simply amazing. I have finally found the tone I've been looking for and couldn't be happier. I have owned a number of amps prior to this one, most recently a Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb reissue (which I plan to keep). While that is a good sounding amp in its own right, for me the LSS has everything I am looking for, from a gorgeous reverb, to the to the selectable power output and the ability to switch channels. The DRRI and LSS would seem to be very different animals (6V6 vs EL84 output tubes), but really the LSS seems to do the Fender tone better than the Fender. And with the additional features of the LSS so many more possibilities open it up it is hard to compare. The sound of my Gibson ES-339 through the LSS clean channel is the stuff of fantasy...
This amp eliminates the need for stopmboxes. Set channel one to clean or to the verge of breakup. Best results for headroom are on the 30 watt selection. The clean tones are sweet. Then with channel two you dial in your pure tube overdrive (no tube screamer needed here). The footswitch also has a boost. Now you have your whole rig. Come on, what else do you need? As others have pointed out this amp excels at rock and blues tones. I cannot believe one of the other reviewers could not dial in a little Texas raunch. I can get a whole lot of distinctive pleasing tones from Stones, ZZ Top, SRV, etc. Man, I have been happy with this amp for the past 4 years that I have owned it. As mentioned, this amp is not for metalheads, as it will give you nice overdrive and gain but not into the metal regions. So if you want to play with a guitar, cord and amp this is it.
I've owned this amp for about two weeks, and if it's any indication of how it will perform for the stuff I play, I'm sold! This thing is sweet.... love the way you can dial in separate wattages for each channel. I'm really impressed with the way you can set it up as well. With the multiple options of tone and overdrive (not to mention the Solo button), I'm able to adjust the relationships between the two channels and keep that relationship if I need more gain (you know, that last set when everything is louder than when you started and you want to just crank up everything evenly...) I've owned a Mesa Boogie Mark IV for over 20 years and with the Lone Star in my arsenal, I'm retiring the Mark IV to the studio.... Great amp.
I chose to write this review because of the 1-star review I saw here. I own this amplifier and would like to set some things straight. Firstly, the entire pre-amp sections of the Lone Star and the Lone Star Special are identical. They are designed to sound almost identical except the Special is designed to break-up at lower volumes. Secondly, the option for 5W Single Ended operation is the very definition of being able to achieve good tone w/o wall rocking levels. True, it is very confusing the first time you try to dial in the tone you want because of the way the tone stack is set up, but as long as you remember to adjust treble first, you'll get the hang of it. This amplifier does everything short of metal, with the best built-in reverb I've ever heard. Oh yeah, and it's super heavy.
I can not believe no one has written a review on this amp yet. I've had this amp for about two years now. Our band plays small clubs and this am is perfect. The power switch is great. Reverb is KILLER. Well worth the cost. You can get black face, marshall, and classic Mesa tone. I use the effects-loop for delay, and chorus. It would have been nice if the reverb on/off switch was on the included pedal. I use a Boss swith on my pedalboard to control it. Can't go wrong with Class "A". No regrets. I'll be adding an ext cab soon.
I had intentions of buying one of these because I had heard they were a good bluesy/rock amp. They are not bad if you don't push them but they really fall apart with a little gain - really fizzy and nasty IMO without much punch. No Texas blues tone that I could find! Mesa really missed the mark with this amp which on paper looks like a real winner. It's big brother on the other hand has a nice rich clean tone and tremendous punch but really lacks a nice overdriven tone as well.
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