Anyone tried a Mesa Flux Drive?

Quick version: Can the Mesa Flux drive be used to drive a gainy amp tone to generally approximate the mesa mark series liquid lead tone? (Think Petrucci, Sfogli etc.) Or are there any other pedals that could a similar job?

Long version:
Recently bought a Victory Kraken (6L6), and enjoying it very much. The gain 2 is awesome for metal rhythm but not quite thick enough and a little too compressed on the top end with high gain for a fat, singing lead tone. Gain 1 is thicker and sounds great, but doesn’t quite have enough gain. I’m currently using a TS808 to push the amp a little and focus the mids and it works well, but wondered if there are any other drive pedals to give a bit of liquid gain sparkle to an already gainy amp tone.
I love the lead tone of the Mesa boogie mark IV, V and iiC+ amps as a reference, but I know that trying to get those tones with anything but those amps is probably a fools errand…

I think the Grid Slammer was their tubescreamer style drive, so the flux would definitely be a different flavour than what you’ve got.

Cool, thanks for the reply. From what I gather, it is more akin to the bb preamp (another classic that I haven’t had a chance to try!). Pain in the backside that I have to drive a few hours to try them!

I’ve got a BB, it’s great

Awesome. Assuming you have the original version - have you tried any of the other variants? (MB, bb +, timmons).

I’ve only tried the basic one.

I have the throttle box from Mesa, and man that distortion does sound like a rectifier.
So I think the Flux Drive must be equally satisfying. Try it at a music store if possible.

Have you tried the Giggity from Voodoo Labs?

In this video he is going for a different thing than petrucci, but I think it sounds like a good pedal for shaping the tone. Perhaps it could work for you as well?

Really intetesting product! Thatnks gor the suggestion.

I’ve been meaning to check out a Flux Drive for pretty much the same reasons - a “Mark IV in a Box” pedal to take to blues jams (mostly for lower gain smooth singing sustain, but blues jam ettiquite demands that if someone else shows up and starts playing shred licks, you kinda have to put them in their place and then steer things back to a blues context, so…) would rule. I need to check one out one of these days.

Like…ask them to play a chord?

Round these parts we have the opposite problem; we try to set up an alternative/rock/metal jam night and people turn up and start playing Mustang Sally

You don’t happen to be the same ‘Drew’ in either TGP or Jemsite forums do you? A Drew there was interested!

Yeah, I’m hoping it will stack well at low gain with a higher level of amp gain so that it gives it saturated but smoooooth tone, something that works with your amp rather than take over… of you know what I mean…

Not sure - I think my username is Drew over at Jemsite, but I only post there sporadically. TGP, I may have an account (I honestly don’t remember) but I don’t really post. I’m more active at metalguitarist.org and sevenstring.org, though.

Well, I snagged a Flux Drive for £80 off reverb. So, I guess I’m gonna find out what it can deliver! Should come in a couple of days.

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Was out of the country for a bit there, just getting caught up here, and I’m really curious to hear what you think here. What are you plugging it into, and would a “Mark IV in a box” be a fair description, in your experience?

I was hoping to play more (and to cover a few different tones) before posting again, but things have been a bit hectic of late so I might as well give you what I have so far. I’m plugging into a Victory Kraken at the moment, but want to hook up my marshall jmp1 preamp (into the Kraken loop) soon for the cleaner tones. I have mostly used it as an alternative to the Maxon 808, with level high and Gain off/very low. It does a similar job, but you have more flexibilty with the EQ, thanks to the bass and treble pots (808 has the ‘tone’ pot’). Here is where it gets interesting and infuriating - the bass and treble operate a bit different from the usual Marshall type tone stacks where adding bass and treble does just that. The FD bass pot to me is more of a bass ‘focus’ when cutting from 12 o’clock and the treble seems more like a presence knob to me. For a lead tone shaper, I find I’m using bass at 9 o’clock and treble at 3. Regarding the level and gain knobs, its a similar story in that its a delicate balance. If running into high gain channel, I find adding gain on the FD to get ugly pretty quickly. In a cleaner/crunch amp tone, you can add more drive only if you reduce the level to match. I actually quite liked using a lot of gain with the flux drive with the Kraken gain as low as I could - plenty of distortion, but that was at very low volume, I wonder if I cranked the amp, would it be better or worse???

Do you have any reference tones on records that I could hear - it would be interesting to see if I can get it close-ish to what you were thinking.

Having never played a mesa mark series amp :pensive:, I’m not sure that I am qualified to answer! I think that it does some solid tone shaping qualities that point it in that direction, but it doesn’t completely dominate your amp tone. I think that it is the feel that changes the most. I’ll try and commit some tones to video.

Yup, that sounds like a Mesa. :smiley: bass set VERY low is the normal story for a Mesa preamp.

Um, this is a demo I threw together with my Mark V when I first got it, I guess, to give you an indication:

Cool, I love the vid, many thanks! I’ll try and get a video of the FD.

I would seriously consider selling a kidney for a mark V or JP2C.