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 , 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.