Mesa Boogie California Tweed 6V6 2:20 1×10 Combo

Ankle Biter
Mesa Boogie California Tweed 6V6 2:20 1×10 Combo
Price: $1,999

Classic Fender tweed amps are known for fat, warm clean tones, but even more for their raunch when cranked. Mesa Boogie’s California Tweed amps are firmly rooted in those ’50s circuits, and the 6V6 2:20 1×10 Combo is a take on those classic designs with modern features in a compact package.

With its cream tolex, wheat grillecloth, and chickenhead knobs, the California Tweed is attractive. Our 20-watt tester came with a pair of 6V6s and a 10″ Jensen Alnico Blackbird speaker. The front panel has controls for Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, and Master Volume. Multi-Watt power scaling provides three levels – 20, 10 or 1 watt selected with a rotary knob. On the back panel are an effects loop and knob for tube-driven spring reverb, which is also footswitchable.

Dialing in clean tones with a Telecaster and a Les Paul was a breeze. At the 20-watt setting with Gain at 9 o’clock, Master at 2 o’clock, and EQ controls around noon, rich, harmonic, chimey tones with depth and prescence oozed from the Blackbird. A touch of the spring reverb added even more depth and space. Thick, warm tones all the way to percussive and crunchy can be dialed in with the ultra-responsive EQ. Sweeping the Gain and Master clockwise took it from edge-of-breakup to Neal Young-style destruction, but never out of control. Lead lines sing with a pronounced vocal sound and just the right amount of chewiness and sustain to make it fun to play. Switching to lower power settings brought volume down but kept tones fuzzy and compressed, with a progressively looser feel.

The California Tweed’s tones drip with vintage authenticity while bringing modern features that don’t get in the way. It’s the real deal.

This article originally appeared in VG’s November 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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