An old dream came true with the MESA/Boogie V-Twin

25 years ago or so, I wasn’t surfing on the Internet but received every month the ‘Guitar & Bass’ magazine and one day (1993), I saw this fabulous baby I felt in love with at the first sight: the MESA/Boogie V-Twin.
Of course, I had no idea how it would sound like at the time, but hey, do love need any reason?

These days, I am mostly playing acoustic on my Marshall AS100D and the reason I bought the V-Twin is I wanted to try my LPs and ES-339 with crunchy sound on that amp.

The V-Twin version 1 I received was not in a great shape but, hey, this thing is 27 year old!

Out of the box V-Twin

How about the sound? Well, not that bad with the original 12AX7-As! A bit noisy (very noisy on the solo mode), but the warmth I was expecting is there on the clean and blues modes.

Though, some little detail soon bugged me so hard I had to stop playing: the green LED (clean mode) never lit up!
OK, that does not affect the sound, but my nerves… it does.

Let’s check this out and open the beast:

V-Twin disassembly

It took me a loooong time to find out what was going on but finally found that this little white bastard wire (shown by the arrow on the next picture) was clipped with an angle, making the green light go on… to weak light… to off… randomly.

I took my finest screwdriver and forced it to go back tight into the connector and… let there be light!

Later on, the SPAX7-As arrived (aka 12AX7-As selected by MESA for their very low noise). Let’s plug them in:

Did you notice the pedal looks “newer” than before? That’s because I cleaned it up and also buffed the aluminium pad to remove most of the scratches (it is impossible to remove the dings of course):

V-Twin cleaned and buffed!

OK, let’s forget about the details and let’s start talking sound.

Did the SPAX7-A improve anything? YES.
The noise is lower but still present, especially in the solo mode. By the way, I don’t know how people can use this solo mode without a noise gate…
But, it does not matter to me, because I was more interested in a crunchy sound that the blues mode gave me as perfect as I wanted: happy man I am!
PLUS, the clean mode is absolutely sweet and warm.

How does it work on my acoustic amp?
Well, I simply use the acoustic channel #2 as the V-Twin already has controls that do their job. This way, I can keep my acoustic guitar configuration on the channel #1.

Goal(s) achieved: I own the precious toy I was dreaming of 27 years ago, and I can switch from my acoustic to my LPs very fast.

Midnight Wizard rocks with the V-Twin and Marshall AS100D!

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