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All user reviews of 4/5 for the Mesa Boogie TriAxis

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Average Score:4.6( 4.6/5 based on 10 reviews )
 7 reviews70 %
 2 reviews20 %
 1 user review10 %
Audience: Advanced users Value For Money : Poor
Not satisfied with those reviews?
James...09/03/2011

James...'s review"One of the best tube preamps out there"

Mesa Boogie TriAxis
5 preamp tubes. 8 channels. 90 presets. midi. fx loop. And most any routing you could need. In terms of tube preamps, this is a fairly modern unit in terms of features. It's made to be used in conjuction with the most modern gear. Most mesa stuff follows this design concept, which is kind of a no corners cut philosophy. While it is technically a digital unit, the audio path is still all tube. This is really mesa's best effort to cram all its best amps into one preamp unit. And when paired with a good mesa power amp, this should theoretically get you all those sounds.

UTILIZATION

One thing I really like about this unit is the ease of control. Every parameter is controllable in real time just like a real amp and Mesa has taken every effort to make it feel like a real amp. There aren't any crazy menus to wade around in for hours. This isn't the easiest preamp to use, but given all it can do, it sure could be a lot more complicated. The manual is great, like most Mesa manuals. There's a lot of sounds in here and the literature reflects that.

SOUNDS

I'm using this preamp in a rig right now with a Mesa Strategy power amp and a VHT fat bottom 4x12. It's quite loud, obviously. But I reserve this rig for really big shows. I control the Triaxis with a Ground Control Pro.

I feel like I should just go through each channel.

R Green - This is really Mesa's shot at a blackface clean. They tend to do this very well, however while I really like this channel, I feel like the clean channel on the Studio preamp they make is better.

R Yellow - Not a fan of this one. If you've played the Mark IV clean channel you know what I mean. It's just meh.

Lead 1 - This is your early santana and overdriven fender sounds. You can get some good clean sounds out of it though. I play a lot of santana covers and this channel gets that tone in spades.

Lead 2 - The Green and yellow channel are basically your Mark II through Mark IV sounds. Metallica and Dream Theater is your tonal pallete here. In my opinion this is the best sounds in the box right here. The high gain sounds of the Mark series are delivered with a vengeance.

Lead 2 red - Recto tone. Plain and simple. And it's actually done pretty well. Although for anyone who's never played an older Recto, this does not sound like the new ones. This is based on revision 1 so it has more mid action going on.


OVERALL OPINION

The cleans on the triaxis are pretty good but not insane. The mid gain and high gain sounds range from great to amazing. Value is good but not cheap. This is not really a budget preamp and I would rather recommend the Studio preamp for people on short change. That said I really love this thing. It has the classic mesa sounds and does most of them really well. Unfortunately if you are looking for something other than mesa/blackface tones this will NOT do it. Forget about it. Go get a JMP preamp or something else. Otherwise, this is your guy.
iamqman04/06/2011

iamqman's review"Solid build solid buy"

Mesa Boogie TriAxis
This is an all in one Mesa Boogie bonanza! This preamp is covering a lot of history with Mesa's tones throughout the years. Though it does have a slight limitation of the feel of each of the offerings such as the early Mark l series or the Mark llc+, it still comes very close to those original tones.

FEATURES:

Handbuilt in Petaluma, California

5x12AX7

8 Modes (MK I / Vintage Fat Clean, MK IV / Hyper-Clean, MK I / Lead, MK I / Gain Boost,Classic British Lead, MK IV / Medium Gain, MK IIC+/ Classic High Gain & MK III / Searing Gain)

90 User Preset Locations/128 Midi Program Locations

Midi In/Out/Thru

Midi Continuous Control (any or all parameters)

Midi Data Transfer

Phantom Power (for Footcontroller)

Programmable FX Loop w/Stereo Returns

4 Programmable Function Switches (Controls Smart Power™ “Deep, Half Drive or Modern” on select MESA Power amps or controls other outboard gear)

Stereo Main & Recording Outputs
Available as:

TriAxis Pre-Amp • 1 Rack Space

UTILIZATION

Eight Preamp Modes

Rhythm
Green
Vintage Fat Rhythm (Mark I, Black-face)

Rhythm Yellow
Modern hyper-clean Rhythm (Mark IV)

Lead 1 Green
Vintage Mark I Lead

Lead 1 Yellow
Mark 1 Gain Boost

Lead 1
Red
Classic Boogie Lead

Lead 2 Green
Medium Gain Boogie Lead

Lead 2 Yellow
Classic Boogie Lead (Mark IIC+/Mark IV)

Lead 2
Red
Searing Boogie Lead

SOUNDS

This unit can produce some searing Mesa sounds in a one space preamp rack unit. Couple this with one of Mesa's power amps and you will have nice arsenal of Mesa flavors at your disposal.

I know that some people aren't a fan of the early Mark series amps but the ones they have simulated in this unit are amazing. However, if you are going to do this unit any justice you will have to play it on the Lead 2 red mode. Here you will hear what this thing was made to do and that is balls to the walls Mesa heavy riffing. Couple this with one of mesa's 4x12 cab with Vintage 30 Celestion speakers and the mesa power amp and you will be good to go. Deep rich chunky rhythm is what makes Mesa so unique and all of that sweet tone-age is pronounced in this unit.

OVERALL OPINION

I would recommend this unit to any Mesa Boogie lover and especially the Mark llC+ users who don't want to put out the money for a real one or simply can't find one. At new these units come in at around $2000 which is kind of high for a preamp you would think. However, this unit does cover a ton of ground. Why should you buy this over a Mark V which is less money and comes with a power amp....well this is midi function able.

My personal preference is to buy a used Dual Recto or a Mark lll which is my favorite two amps that Mesa ever produced. For the price of those two you could probably come close to one of these new.