Mesa Boogie Stiletto Ace 50W

Head/Combo: 
Combo
Price Paid: 
$1650
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
USA
Tube Type: 
EL34
Features: 

2x12 combo with Celestion v30's, 2 channels - Blue has "Fat Clean", "Tite Clean", and "Crunch" options, Red has "Crunch", "Tite Gain", and "Fluid Drive". Series effects loop which can be taken out of the circuit. Switchable rectifiers (solid state or tube), "spongey" or "modern" options (variac or full voltage).

Pros: 

Extremely solid and well built, quality controls and components, versatile without being overwhelming as many Mesas can be. Easy to dial in compared to most other Mesas. Excellent clean sounds.

Cons: 

EXTREMELY heavy at ~80 lbs. Distorted tones can be a bit bright. Interactive tone controls are a little tough to figure out.

Sound Quality: 
5 (excellent)
Reliability: 

Amp is built like a tank and has been gigged a lot since I bought it, with no problems. I keep it in a case when it's being transported in the band trailer.

Customer Support: 

Awesome.

Summary: 

This amp is Mesa's take on the Marshall/British sound, and it manages to get in the same ballpark while still having its own thing. I replaced an extremely unreliable Marshall DSL50 with this for gigs with my band, and have been very happy with it. After going through several Marshalls, THD heads, a Dual Recto, a Sovtek Mig 60, and a Line 6 AxSys, among others, trying to find an amp that was not too big for club gigs yet could still deliver the goods in a band situation, I've been very happy with the Stiletto. The "Crunch" setting is very similar to a plexi Marshall, and on the red channel the gain goes up from there. I normally use the Tite Gain setting, and the Tite Clean setting on the Blue channel. The clean sounds out of this amp are gorgeous, especially with a little chorus and delay. The amp has a lot of bite and probably resembles a hot rodded HiWatt more than a Marshall in the higher gain modes. Great amp for hard rock and classic metal. The amp has a lot of midrange and it isn't really intended to do the scooped mid thing, so if you need that I'd buy a Dual Recto. If you're looking for a 2 channel amp that gives the British vibe while having its own voice, without the reliability issues that Marshalls are known for, this amp is a good choice. You may need an EQ in the higher gain modes to get a little more low end out of it, but other than this, the amp does exactly what it sets out to do.

Overall Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)