Mesa Boogie Electra Dyne Head
Mesa Boogie Electra Dyne Head

Electra Dyne Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Mesa Boogie in the Electra Dyne series.

content in English
King Loudness 11/08/2011

Mesa Boogie Electra Dyne Head : Recensione di King Loudness (content in English)

"Yet another meeting of the US and UK"

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The Mesa Boogie Electadyne is another more recent attempt by the company to capture that stripped down and simple British vibe. It features (shockingly for them) a SINGLE channel with a very basic EQ structure of preamp volume (gain), master volume, bass, middle, treble, and presence. It's got a switch on the far left to switch between 3 different modes. There is a clean mode, a Lo mode (lower gain) and a Hi mode (higher gain). These modes are all footswitchable, so in theory you are still getting some level of versatility by being able to run different levels of gain/saturation at the touch of a footswitch. There is also an onboard reverb with hard bypass if you want a totally dry signal, as well as a switch to toggle between 90w of power and 45w of power. Here's the full list of specs:

Simul-Class Power Amp (Patents 4,532,476 & 4,593,251) featuring a 45/90 Watt Power Switch that incorporates concept elements from our Patented Multi-Watt and Duo-Class technologies (Patent Numbers 7,602,927 & 7,173,488) providing two power and two operating class options: Choose 2 power tubes operating in time-honored Class A/B producing 45 Watts or 4 tubes running in Mesas legendary, Patented Simul-Class Power that blends the best of Class A and Class A/B simultaneously to produce 90 Watts of pure tonal magic / 4x6L6 (or 4xEL-34), 7x12AX7
Bias Select Switch (6L6 / EL34)
Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance
Single Channel simplicity with the performance versatility of a Multi-Channel amp through 3 Footswitchable Modes (Classic Boogie Clean, Vintage Low Gain, Vintage Hi Gain)
Channel Control Features: Volume (Gain), Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence & Master Volume
Clean Level Control
Gain Trim Switch
Slip Cover
All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb with Auto Reverb Defeat Switch for Vintage Hi and Lo Modes (Defeat Mode removes Reverb from Vintage Hi or Low Modes but retains Reverb on Clean Mode Normal Mode applies Reverb to all Modes)
Reverb Hard-Bypass Switch removes entire Reverb Circuit from amp
Fully Buffered FX Loop w/Automatic Hard-Bypass to completely remove when not in use
Slave Out w/Level Control External Switching Jacks for Vintage Low/Hi (Clean is default) & Reverb
17 Aluminum Chassis (rack-mountable option available)
2 Button Footswitch (Classic Clean, Vintage Low/Hi)


Getting a good tone out of this amp can be a little bit harder than other Mesas by comparison. This may sound strange, as they're normally very complex and hard to dial in anyway. However, I find that when I'm limited by a single set of EQ and gain controls and am trying to footswitch between different levels of gain that it can be a sheer impossibility at times. The biggest caveat I had when setting up the amp initially was trying to balance the gain level between all three modes. I prefer a very pristine and low-gain clean tone. However, in order to get this, the preamp volume had to be lower, and as a result the Lo and especially the Hi modes didn't have near enough raunch for what I wanted. Conversely, to get the amount of saturation I wanted on the gain modes, I had to dime the preamp volume which caused the cleans to be too broken up for my general liking. I ended up simply using the Hi mode with full preamp gain and just rolling down my guitar's volume when I needed cleaner sounds...


I've tried this amp with various Gibson, Fender and EBMM guitars. It's definitely got a lot of that classic British flavour on tap and sounds decidedly like a hot rod Marshall with a bit more of that atypical refined Mesa thing going on. The clean mode, when set for a more pristine clean sound, has that spanky and slightly scooped out hollow clean tone that reminds me a lot of an old Marshall JMP. It's got a bit more warmth a-la Fender, but it still is a very UK clean tone. The Lo mode basically sounds like a Marshall JMP head that's running full tilt to my ears, but with smoothed out highs and a slight bit more compression. The Hi mode takes things up one notch to be like a hot rodded Jose or Cameron modded JMP/JCM800. It has that really great set of even harmonics and overtones as well as that biting top end, but it never loses definition or muddies out at higher volumes. Very cool! I like the Hi mode a lot because it really does a good job at giving the storied Marshall hot rod tones, but STILL whilst retaining the feel of a Mesa amp.


All in all I think the Mesa Boogie Electra Dyne is a very admirable amp from the company. It's certainly a departure from their feature-ladden Rectifiers and Mark Series amps but it sounds every bit as good. Because of the single channel, it can be a bit more difficult to really dial in the sounds to go from clean to mean but if you compromise a bit on both ends you can make it work. At $1,800 new I'd say this amp is priced a bit on the high side for what you're getting, but they can be had for a fair bit less than that used if you look. If you like Marshall but want a Mesa, give this a go.