The Mesa Boogie Electra Dyne is a stark contrast to the Mark V. No graphic Eq. No myriad of toggle switches for finetuning. Instead, the Electra Dyne is a no nonsense 6l6 based rock machine. With that in mind, Mesa Boogie still brings smart features to the table. The rear panel boasts bias select for 6l6/el34 function, a reverb that can be bypassed from the circuit, as well as a gain trim control. An effects loop is also present.
With all three modes (clean and vintage LO/HI) sharing a single tone stack, I found it difficult to find a true tonal balance between them. If you like very bright sounding gain yet far bottom heavy clean, you may have to compromise in one area. The Build quality is very rugged. I did not get to play this amp in a live setting but I did play it at giggable volumes in rehearsal. It is plenty loud enough, even when running at 45 watts.
Played with a Gibson Explorer. Mesa 4x12 cab. No pedals.
The cleans are very pristine on the Electra Dyne. Wonderful sweetness in chords and the onboard reverb pairs very well with the naturally dark voicing of the amp. I felt the Vintage LO mode suffered at lower volumes. The Electra Dyne is an amp that needs to be turned up loudly to be experienced. Vintage high permitted decent rock tones, but lacked enough gain to really deliver in more aggressive styles. I believe that if using a boost pedal, the ED could make a passable effort. The Gain trim was a very useful tool but may take time for a user to find the potential of it. Running the amp at 45 watts and pushing the master volume is the key to getting the ED to growl.
I enjoyed the Electra Dyne immensely, but I found it to be a strange offering. The cleans are not quite as rich as on other Boogies and the dark voicing of the preamp may seem sterile to some. Without boosting the amp, it is not capable of fluid leads or high gain riffage. However, the amp does maintain great clarity at all volumes and would excel as a rock rhythm guitarist's amp. I do not believe you could get the full potential of the ED at home. What is it then? A sensible, gigging musician's amp. An amp for someone who wants to blend in a mix and not overpower it. Is it worth the price of admission? Yes.
The Mesa Boogie Electadyne is another more recent attempt by the company to capture that stripped down and simple British vibe. It features (shockingly for them) a SINGLE channel with a very basic EQ structure of preamp volume (gain), master volume, bass, middle, treble, and presence. It's got a switch on the far left to switch between 3 different modes. There is a clean mode, a Lo mode (lower gain) and a Hi mode (higher gain). These modes are all footswitchable, so in theory you are still getting some level of versatility by being able to run different levels of gain/saturation at the touch of a footswitch. There is also an onboard reverb with hard bypass if you want a totally dry signal, as well as a switch to toggle between 90w of power and 45w of power. Here's the full list of specs:
Simul-Class Power Amp (Patents 4,532,476 & 4,593,251) featuring a 45/90 Watt Power Switch that incorporates concept elements from our Patented Multi-Watt and Duo-Class technologies (Patent Numbers 7,602,927 & 7,173,488) providing two power and two operating class options: Choose 2 power tubes operating in time-honored Class A/B producing 45 Watts or 4 tubes running in Mesas legendary, Patented Simul-Class Power that blends the best of Class A and Class A/B simultaneously to produce 90 Watts of pure tonal magic / 4x6L6 (or 4xEL-34), 7x12AX7
Bias Select Switch (6L6 / EL34)
Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance
Single Channel simplicity with the performance versatility of a Multi-Channel amp through 3 Footswitchable Modes (Classic Boogie Clean, Vintage Low Gain, Vintage Hi Gain)
Channel Control Features: Volume (Gain), Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence & Master Volume
Clean Level Control
Gain Trim Switch
All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb with Auto Reverb Defeat Switch for Vintage Hi and Lo Modes (Defeat Mode removes Reverb from Vintage Hi or Low Modes but retains Reverb on Clean Mode Normal Mode applies Reverb to all Modes)
Reverb Hard-Bypass Switch removes entire Reverb Circuit from amp
Fully Buffered FX Loop w/Automatic Hard-Bypass to completely remove when not in use
Slave Out w/Level Control External Switching Jacks for Vintage Low/Hi (Clean is default) & Reverb
17 Aluminum Chassis (rack-mountable option available)
2 Button Footswitch (Classic Clean, Vintage Low/Hi)
Getting a good tone out of this amp can be a little bit harder than other Mesas by comparison. This may sound strange, as they're normally very complex and hard to dial in anyway. However, I find that when I'm limited by a single set of EQ and gain controls and am trying to footswitch between different levels of gain that it can be a sheer impossibility at times. The biggest caveat I had when setting up the amp initially was trying to balance the gain level between all three modes. I prefer a very pristine and low-gain clean tone. However, in order to get this, the preamp volume had to be lower, and as a result the Lo and especially the Hi modes didn't have near enough raunch for what I wanted. Conversely, to get the amount of saturation I wanted on the gain modes, I had to dime the preamp volume which caused the cleans to be too broken up for my general liking. I ended up simply using the Hi mode with full preamp gain and just rolling down my guitar's volume when I needed cleaner sounds...
I've tried this amp with various Gibson, Fender and EBMM guitars. It's definitely got a lot of that classic British flavour on tap and sounds decidedly like a hot rod Marshall with a bit more of that atypical refined Mesa thing going on. The clean mode, when set for a more pristine clean sound, has that spanky and slightly scooped out hollow clean tone that reminds me a lot of an old Marshall JMP. It's got a bit more warmth a-la Fender, but it still is a very UK clean tone. The Lo mode basically sounds like a Marshall JMP head that's running full tilt to my ears, but with smoothed out highs and a slight bit more compression. The Hi mode takes things up one notch to be like a hot rodded Jose or Cameron modded JMP/JCM800. It has that really great set of even harmonics and overtones as well as that biting top end, but it never loses definition or muddies out at higher volumes. Very cool! I like the Hi mode a lot because it really does a good job at giving the storied Marshall hot rod tones, but STILL whilst retaining the feel of a Mesa amp.
All in all I think the Mesa Boogie Electra Dyne is a very admirable amp from the company. It's certainly a departure from their feature-ladden Rectifiers and Mark Series amps but it sounds every bit as good. Because of the single channel, it can be a bit more difficult to really dial in the sounds to go from clean to mean but if you compromise a bit on both ends you can make it work. At $1,800 new I'd say this amp is priced a bit on the high side for what you're getting, but they can be had for a fair bit less than that used if you look. If you like Marshall but want a Mesa, give this a go.
What I love about Mesa Boogie is the quality control of their amplifiers. They built immaculate constructed and sounding amps that honestly puts modern Marshall to shame. They have not wavered their ethics in their built what so ever, no matter how big they have gotten. There amps can take rigorous beating night after night gig after gig and still keep ticking.
This amp is a simple amp that rivals many combos out there on the market. it is a simple design with many features to boot. It is essentially a single channel amp that has three voicings or modes that give you many options. It also has a reverb feature that can be assignable to one or all three of the modes. You can also take the power from 90 watts down to 45 watts.
This amp has a nice custom look to it. It has a blue tolex covering and a gold grill cloth. It also has a nice gold piping that goes around the amp. The color combination is a nice color that goes well with the nature and tone of this amp. You get the same great features as the regular Dyne amp.
ELECTRA DYNE SPECIFICATIONS:
Simul-Class™ Power Amp featuring a 45/90 Watt Power Switch that incorporates concept elements from our Patent Pending Multi-Watt™ and Patented Duo-Class™ technologies providing two power and two operating class options: Choose 2 power tubes operating in time-honored Class A/B producing 45 Watts or 4 tubes running in Mesa’s legendary, Patented Simul-Class Power that blends the best of Class A and Class A/B simultaneously to produce 90 Watts of pure tonal magic / 4x6L6 (or 4xEL-34), 7x12AX7
* Bias Select Switch (6L6 / EL34)
* Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance
* Single Channel simplicity with the performance versatility of a Multi-Channel amp through 3 Footswitchable Modes (Classic Boogie Clean, Vintage Low Gain, Vintage Hi Gain)
* Channel Control Features: Volume (Gain), Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence & Master Volume
* All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb with Auto Reverb Defeat Switch for Vintage Hi and Lo Modes (Defeat Mode removes Reverb from Vintage Hi or Low Modes but retains Reverb on Clean Mode – Normal Mode applies Reverb to all Modes)
* Reverb Hard-Bypass Switch removes entire Reverb Circuit from amp
* FX Loop w/Automatic Hard-Bypass to completely remove when not in use
* Slave Out w/Level Control • External Switching Jacks for Vintage Low/Hi (Clean is default) & Reverb
* 2 Button Footswitch (Classic Clean, Vintage Low/Hi) and free Slip Cover
This amp get get a solid sparkly clean sound and it can go all the way up to blistering lead tones with a ton of saturation that Mesa is known for. I love coupling this amp with a Les Paul or humbucker style guitar and just letting notes ring out all day long. You can have a lot of fun with this amp at home or in a band setting. You can also slave it out if you feel the need for other speakers cabs such as a 4x12.
If you need solid practice amp or an am that will be small and portable then this is good pick. If you need an amp that doesn't have 400 channels and 1000 different modes then this is an amp for you. Not a ton of features but just a simple combo amp that has a ton of gain and blistering leads that can be put on top of a Mesa Boogie 4x12 cab and blasting your audience at a gig.
At new they come in at around $2030 which may be a bit high for the features it has compared to a Roadster or a Mark V. So if you need the combo this is a good amp but if your looking for more channels and features then maybe the MK V or a Roadster will do the trick.