MESA/Boogie Express 5:50 (non plus) | Warehouse Guitar Speakers

MESA/Boogie Express 5:50 (non plus)

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10/08/2014 7:25am



I just signed up for this forum so I haven't had a chance to peruse many of the threads/posts yet. I have, however, looked at the WGS website in search of a different speaker for my MESA/Boogie Express 5:50 (non plus) combo. The stock speaker in this unit is a Celestion MC 90 Black Shadow. I also have an Express 5:50 (plus) head that I run through a MESA LoneStar 23" cabinet loaded with a single MC 90 Black Shadow. The Celestion sounds pretty good in the LoneStar cab, so for now, I'll leave that setup as is.

I'm not totally satisfied with the C90 in the combo amp. I've narrowed my choice down to either the ET65, or the ET90. Right now I'm leaning more toward the ET65, for two reasons. #1. I'm a little "nervous" about the the ET90 sounding too close to the Celestion C90. #2. The ET65 (according to stats & soubd clips) appears to be more "round". To me, the C90 Black Shadow isn't as smooth as I would like and I'm searching for a speaker that not only rolls off the highs (just a little), but also has a "tighter/harder" sounding bottom end. 


The final consideration is weight.  At age 64, the combo gets a little heavy with the C90 Black Shadow installed. The ET65 is listed at 10 lbs. My final goal with this amp is good tone at a lighter weight.


I would appreciate your thoughts/suggestions.





10/13/2014 1:23pm

I went ahead and purchased the ET65 and installed it last Friday. Even with playing through it just a short time (less than 5 hours), this speaker sounds better by the hour. The tone and "touch sensitivity" are great. I can sctually adjust my playing according to the dynamics of this amp/speaker combination.

In reality, it's a matter of individual preference, but the 65 (for me) matches well with the MESA/Boogie Express 5:50!!!*


*I like tghe ET65 so much that I might try one in my 2011 FENDER DRRI.

10/15/2014 11:32am

Yea ... and MAN will you LOVE the ET65 in the DRRI!!!

The "Black Shadows" are ... as Forrest Gump would say ... like a box of chocolates, you NEVER know what you might get!  They re-brand everything from the original black shadows EVM12Ls ... down to total pieces of Chinese junk "Black Shadow".  Kinda stinks if you ask me...

10/20/2014 9:17pm

Thanks for the response and info!!! 

I have 2 MESA LoneStar (23" - 1 X 12") cabinets that I use under an Express 5:50+ head. I think I'm going to purchase another ET65 and trial it in one of those cabs. I'm going to designate one of those extension cabinets as a "test station". At some point I might try an ET90, although the LoneStar cab seems to "darken" the effect of speakers somewhat.

The  3 Celestion MC90s that I have were OE to both MESA Express amps that I own. [The Celestions that MESA uses in their Express (5:50) series amps are "propriatery" and are 2 of the few Celestions still being made in England]. That being said... I think I've definitely found a winner with the WGS ET65!!! I'm convinced and definitely a fan!


*I had a Chinese made Celestion V30 that was OE to a TRAYNOR WCV40WR I owned a few years ago. I wish I had known about WGS  back then. The Celestion was very "spiky" and harsh in that amp (even after a long break in period)!

10/20/2014 11:13am

I'm thinking about trialing an ET 90 in the 5:50 combo and putting the ET65 in my FENDER DRRI. I could be mistaken , but it seems like the MESA combo likes speakers with a little more "punch". Then again I could be mistaken.*

This morning when I practiced, I A/B'd the ET65 vs the stock MESA MC90 Black Shadow and the Black Shadow seemed to have more "punch, but the ET65 was smoother and "sweeter" sounding... with a noticable drop in volume. In some cases that can be a good thing, especially where "ear splitting" volume isn't required.

So... my question is this, tone wise, would there be a significant difference in tone between the two speakers mentioned? Don't get me wrong, I really love the ET 65 in this amp (and it probably isn't near finished breaking in), but I'm wondering if the ET90 might not sound better in a really high volume situation (such as an un-mic'ed outdoor gig).  How does the ET90 hold up and sound when "pushed" really hard?




*My comparisson/contrast was done with 2 different cabs though. I have the ET65 loaded in my combo, the MC90 in a MESA LoneStar single 12" speaker cabinet. The Lonestar cab has yje same width - depth as the combo, but the combo is slightly taller with more components inside.



10/20/2014 8:33pm

"I A/B'd the ET65 vs the stock MESA MC90 Black Shadow and the Black Shadow seemed to have more "punch, but the ET65 was smoother and "sweeter" sounding... with a noticeable drop in volume."

Yep, that's a good way to summarize it.  And, yes, the ET90 does generally "sound better in a really high volume situation (such as an un-mic'ed outdoor gig)."

The ET90 isn't quite as "organic" as the 65 ... but does have more "punch" as you say.

11/23/2015 7:12am

Vaughn... You were correct about the MESA MC90 being "hit & miss" (unreliable). I have one in a MESA LoneStar cab that I use with my MESA/Boogie Express 5:50+ head (23" single 12" speaker loaded cab). In general, I actually like its tone, but there's a problem...

Up until May of this past year it sounded great. Due to a "not so little" health issue I had to lay off playing until recently. Last week I was playing through that amp and noticed that the speaker had developed a severe case of cone cry when playing notes (especially bends) on the high E string above the 12th fret. I haven't played through my other two MESA cabinets yet, but I have a feeling that the same might apply to those.

People on several other forums have recommended the ET-90 as a great replacement for the MESA MC90. In the near future I plan on getting one to replace the "offending" MC90 in this cab. If I like it I will replace the MC90 in my other LoneStar cab. An ET-65 will eventually go back into my MESA 5:50 combo