Well, so much for being low key this year. I bought the Mesa Boogie Throttle Box yesterday.

The hi-gain sound from a Mesa amp has that growl that I’ve always been fascinated with since the late 90’s, Metallica notwithstanding. I am sure due to my inability to recreate sounds faithfully on my multieffects/other brand amps has something to do with it, but no way in hell any other patch on the Boss, or even err… the MT-2 Metal Zone, could recreate that nu-Metal early Incubus Harley-Davidson-like grrrrrrl distorted tone on a err… drop-D power chord.

I cannot afford a Dual Rec. OK, I can now, but my neighbours can’t, lest I am happy to have the police over regularly slapping me with an ASBO. They used to make the V-Twin (“sired by the Dual Rectifier Head and raised by a Hog-riding armadillo”) but these babies cost a bomb on eBay these days.

Then, one fine day, I saw this video:

All that tone in that small box? The video was professionally recorded/edited of course but my interest was piqued. It came on the market a few months ago, and I kept my open on the online guitar shops for it to appear. I almost forgot about it until come last Friday night, I saw shops in the UK were stocking it and the local store 5 minutes drive from my house had one. I popped in first thing and there it was. Picked up a Les Paul and tested it with a Hughes & Kettner combo on clean, with the gain slightly up at 8-9 o’clock, and all else rolled at 12 o’clock.

I was in tears. It won’t do a slightly overdriven Fender Blues Deluxe tone obviously but[1] imagine the vast spectrum of hi-gain tones I discovered in ten minutes[2] in the booth. You can pick between the two modes – Lo- and Hi, which is obviously does what it says on the tin: Lo for a more medium crunchy tone and Hi is for metalllll! As there are three other knobs apart from LEVEL to play with, that’s where you can tweak to your heart’s desire. Turning the MID-CUT clockwise increases the scooped tone (they called it the “classic Boogie ‘V’ EQ curve”). The TONE mainly stayed at 12 o’clock, neither cutting nor boosting the high frequencies, but the most important knob was GAIN. Trying it from the start at 8 c’clock to max, I love the 12 o’clock “just nice” setting. Any more the gain saturates like mad although a singly-played note will be sustained much longer. And the harmonics jumping out were like orgasmic.

That’s it. The most affordable Petaluma-made[3] Mesa product that can do this… thingie is now mine.

And here’s a shoddy vid of mine, without any professional audio editing, showing you what this small metal box can do. I can’t play so it’s three chords. OK, four.

[Amp setting as described in the vid, and the Throttle Box has all at 12 o’clock except for the gain which is varied as per the vid.]

[1]I really can’t do this, so sod it – I will explain it to the best of my abilities with the limited jargon I know.
[2]I could stay there all day, but I knew by then I was gonna take my wallet out.
[3]Hand made woo.