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Thread: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

  1. #1
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    I just put cupcake knobs on my Fillmore 25. I think they look better and are easier to read, but that's not why I changed them. I changed them because simply putting the cover on the amp moved the chicken head knobs! I played at a jam on Wednesday night and, when I went to play the amp the next day, the green channel master was bumped to 0 and the red channel gain was turned all the way up.

    I think they look extra good on the brown amp.

    Also, I replaced the C90 speaker with a G12M-65 Creamback.


  2. #2
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Nice! Looks right

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    Nice! Looks right
    I agree. The vanilla cupcakes are more visually-pleasing than the OEM chickenheads and more ergonometrically functional.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Thanks!

    Unfortunately, the speaker only partially addresses an issue that I'm finding with the amp-

    -With the stock Mesa C90 (Celestion) speaker, the clean mode has a tight bottom, but thin mids and highs. A Les Paul is fine, but a Strat sounds kinda hi-fi and artificial. The dirty mode is fine.

    -With the American voiced speakers that I’ve tried, the clean mode can be like a Deluxe Reverb, but the dirty sound becomes thin and shrill.

    -With the Celestion G12M-65 Creamback speaker, the dirty mode can sound a lot like my JCM 800, and the clean mode sounds good with a Strat, but the clean mode has a soft bottom, especially with a Les Paul. I tried a Scumnico in it and it had the same soft bottom.

    I'm thinking about either trying an American voiced speaker with a larger magnet and voice coil or a different heavy magnet Celestion like a G12H-75 Creamback or G12H-30.

    It's funny- my Dr. Z Monza is an awesome sounding one trick pony- I'd love it to be more versatile. This amp is a jack of all trades, master of none.
    Last edited by Don; 11-11-2021 at 04:19 PM.

  5. #5
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Have you given any thought to an alnico driver? I'm thinking a vintage Jensen P12N or something from Weber. A Celestion Gold 12 might also deliver the goods.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  6. #6
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    Have you given any thought to an alnico driver? I'm thinking a vintage Jensen P12N or something from Weber. A Celestion Gold 12 might also deliver the goods.
    I installed a Scumnico in the amp a couple of months ago. It was better than the stock speaker, but had a soft bottom end like the Celestion G12M-65 Creamback.

    I've also run the amp through the old Weber 12A125 in my tweed Deluxe clone and it was very bright, especially in the amp's dirty mode.

    It was super bright through the Eminence GA10-SC64 in my Princeton Reverb.

    It sounded pretty good through the Dr. Z branded Eminence 12" speaker in my Dr. Z Cure. That speaker was supposedly designed to sound like an early Oxford speaker.

    BTW, these speakers all sound awesome with the amps they're in.

    I think part of the problem is my expectations. I have a lot of great sounding amps and the Mesa is just an okay sounding amp. In the pic above, it's surrounded by a JCM 800, Avatar 45, and a Dr. Z Monza. On the other side of the room there's a 1966 Vibrolux Reverb, awesome clones of a tweed Deluxe and Princeton Reverb, and a Dr. Z Cure. The Mesa isn't in the same league as any of them, tonewise.
    Last edited by Don; 11-11-2021 at 08:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    If you find it impossible to fish with the Mesa then perhaps it's time to cut bait......
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    If you find it impossible to fish with the Mesa then perhaps it's time to cut bait......
    I can fish with it just fine, it's just that I have better options, but I think you're correct about maybe moving on. That seems to happen to me with Mesas- I get lured by the dream of an all in one grab and go amp, then reality hits. I'm in no rush to move on.

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    You might consider adding a graphic equalizer to your pedal board -- it may open up some new windows for your Mesa.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    The amp looks great, & I'm sure it's built like a tank. It looks like a Princeton on steroids. It's a shame it isn't giving you the tones you want

  11. #11
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    The amp looks great, & I'm sure it's built like a tank. It looks like a Princeton on steroids. It's a shame it isn't giving you the tones you want
    It is kinda like a Princeton on steroids, but my Princeton sounds much better clean! It's a shame, because at 18 watts and 35 pounds, it's "just right"- bigger and ballsier than a Princeton Reverb and smaller and about as loud as a Deluxe Reverb. My Dr. Z Cure is a similar size and output, but it's more of a small tweed sounding amp with awesome gritty cleans, and sometimes I like clean cleans.

    I'd like to try an American voiced speaker that has some grunt with a bottom that has some grunt, enough mids to get the job done without sounding honky, and highs that aren't shrill.

    I'd love to see the schematic. It's been my experience that Mesa takes old classic circuits (I think this one is tweed Bassman based) and over filters them, takes away highs in some places then puts them back in others- same with bass. I know that the clean mode has a 120pF bright cap on the volume control. I removed it and found that the amp sounded kinda dull, so I put it back (not an easy task in these amps).
    Last edited by Don; 11-13-2021 at 07:37 AM.

  12. #12
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    I'd like to try an American voiced speaker that has some grunt with a bottom that has some grunt, enough mids to get the job done without sounding honky, and highs that aren't shrill.
    A vintage Jensen P12N......no question about it.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  13. #13
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Changes to my Mesa Fillmore 25

    Some friends and I had a little blues jam on Wednesday night- vocals/harmonica, bass, drums, and me. I decided to take the Fillmore to see how it worked out. I brought a Strat and my pedalboard as well.

    It sounded great! The clean sound really brought out the Stratiness of the Strat (a surprise, because it doesn't at home where it sounds a little sterile, hi-fi, and modern). The dirty sound was very nice- not overly Boogie-like (on overwhelming mids).
    I found myself mainly using the modes like two different amps- the clean mode with a clean boost for solos or the dirty mode with the guitar turned down for rhythm (it cleaned up nice) and turned up for leads. I had my pedalboard, but only used the clean boost, tremolo, and delay.

    Overall, though I feel that the amp can't compete with my Dr. Z Cure, I was pleased with it. Does it do enough of its own thing to be a keeper?

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