MESA/Boogie Celebrates Fifty Years of Amp Design with the California Tweed 6V6 4:40

MESA/Boogie is excited to announce the addition of the California Tweed Series 6V6 4:40 guitar amplifier, 1x12 23 and 2x12 extension cabinets to its line of products built in the company’s Petaluma, California shop. You can check out a demo in the video above. 

The all-tube California Tweed is powered by 4x6V6 power tubes and its preamp features 5x12AX7 and 1x12AT7 preamp tubes. A quick glance at the front panel reveals single channel simplicity that MESA claims delivers everything needed for golden tweed-based tone. The single channel features include Normal & Low (Cleaner) Inputs, Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb and Master controls. MESA’s vintage, all-tube, long-tank spring reverb with external reverb switching jack is featured (reverb footswitch and cable sold separately), and a fully buffered, tube-driven series FX loop round out the core of the amp’s feature set, leading to the amps patented centerpiece feature — MESA’s Incremental Multi-Watt. 

While staying true to a minimalist, vintage design in most every way, MESA draws on 50 years of R&D to bring the project forward with some of Randall Smith’s patented designs for a wide range of tone and power control. The California Tweed draws power from their newly-patented Incremental Multi-Watt Power Amp, featuring Duo-Class and Dyna-Watt technologies that provide five power, two operating-classes, and three wiring options via a single 5-Way Power Switch. As a result, players can choose from the following power options: 40 Watts - 4x6V6 Class A/B Pentode, 30 Watts - 2x6V6 Class A/B Triode + 2x6V6 Class A/B Pentode, 20 Watts - 2x6V6 Class A/B Pentode, 10 Watts - 2x6V6 Class A/B Triode and all the way down to 2 Watts - 1x6V6 Triode + 1x6V6 Pentode, Single-Ended Class A Parallel.

“What better way to kick off a celebration of 50 years here at MESA/Boogie," said Doug West, Director of Marketing at MESA/Boogie. "In the twilight of the '60s, after coming to a deep appreciation for the ‘50s Tweed circuits developed by Leo Fender, Randy was inspired to start building his own amplifiers. He loved the organic sounding voice, powerful controls and the way these tweed circuits smoothly transitioned from clean to clip and back again. It was here that we see Randy’s — and the world’s — first venture into boutique guitar amplification. The very first Boogie amp design was inspired by that wonderful, timeless sounding preamp. So here we are, five Decades later returning to pay homage with the California Tweed…a perfect way to celebrate and apply what we’ve leaned over 50 years!” 

Focused on pure, vintage tweed tone, MESA reports that the speaker selection process for the new series was extremely challenging as expectations were high and, as always, no compromises would be made. After testing numerous brands and models searching for a speaker capable of delivering the magic they were after, the design team chose the all-new Jensen P12/100 BLACKBIRD Alnico. MESA claims that the resulting combination delivers a tonal character that’s perfectly matched for the California Tweed.

“MESA/Boogie has been a key partner for Jensen since the very beginning of our new Blackbird venture," said Ignazio Vagnone, Marketing & Communication at Jensen Loudspeakers. "Knowing that MESA/Boogie selected our flagship speaker, the P12/100 Blackbird, for the California Tweed amp is very rewarding. The Blackbird, as all the models in the Jet series, is an original design. A powerful, yet sensitive speaker, with the feel, the sparkle and the detail that everybody expects from a traditional Alnico design, paired with a strong, warm bass range and a gentle midrange. With a 2” voice coil and its unique membrane, the Blackbird is simply one of the most sophisticated speakers available today. The new MESA/Boogie California Tweed is a wonderful amplifier, with a soulful and inspiring voice, and the Jensen Blackbird fits very well into its sonic imprint, for a very impressive overall tone.”

To further complement the California Tweed, MESA is introducing a new vintage tuned California Tweed Cabinet Series. Players will have the options of a 1x12 23 or 2x12 extension cabinet formats. Made in Petaluma, California, the vintage open back designed cabinets are constructed from Marine Grade, Baltic Birch and feature the all-new, rear-mounted P12/100 BLACKBIRD Alnico speaker from Jensen. 

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.