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Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30 – is it a TA-15 Killer?

December 25, 2010 by  



Mesa Boogie TA-15 was a huge success, so what does Mesa Boogie do? They make a bigger, louder and beefier guitar amplifier. Guitar maniacs, meet the all-new Mesa Boogie TA-30 guitar amplifier (both head and combo). Read more from Mesa Boogie’s official blog below:

Meet: TransAtlantic TA-30

TransAtlantic TA-30 Head

The NEW TransAtlantic TA-30 in head format (click to enlarge or for Gallery Slideshow)

TA-30: The TransAtlantic comes of age

Following the overwhelming success of the TransAtlantic TA-15, a new addition is ready to take the center stage in the growing TransAtlantic fleet. The new TransAtlantic TA-30 takes everything you loved about the king of lunchbox sized micro-amps, the TA-15, and raises the bar for power, performance, versatility and tone. The TA-30 shares all of the amazing tone, classic looks, convenient portability and the highest quality American made construction as its more compact sibling, yet, the new formats of the TA-30 paves the way for the next levels of the TransAtlantic experience.

Mesa Boogie TA-30 Heads

TransAtlantic TA-30 Head front view

The ingenious chassis design makes the TA-30 available in multiple formats to suit any need. As a stand-alone metal encased head (shown above) and styled similarly to the TA-15, the new TA-30 Head is only 5 inches wider and 5 pounds heavier. For rack applications, the exact same chassis can also be rack-mounted and fits in the standard 19 1/2 inch rack format for your next rack build.

TA-30 Combos, Combos, COMBOS!

Perhaps the most exciting of its newly available format options is the all new, classically styled 1×12 and 2×12 TA-30 combos.

The TransAtlantic TA-30 1x12 combo

The TransAtlantic TA-30 1×12 combo (click to enlarge)

The TA-30 combo styling provides an introduction to one of three brand new grille options for 2011. A Gray & Black Woven Jute compliments the spotlight on the ‘39 Ford-inspired ‘old chrome’ grille and Mesa Engineering logo with the grille framed by a classic TV-style front panel. Speaking of spotlights, the striking blue glow made famous in the TA-15 pours out of the top and front of the TA-30, while tastefully illuminating your settings on darker stages.

TA-30 Combo Front Close Up

TransAtlantic TA-30 1×12 combo. New Grille, Blue Glow and rear mounted orientation (click to enlarge)

Another first for Mesa Boogie and the TA-30 as a combo is the top facing, rear mounting of the chassis which pays tribute to the feel and interface of the Vox heritage.

TransAtlantic TA-30 1x12 Combo Top Rear View

Tube maintenance and replacement is as easy as any Mesa Boogie with ready access to power tubes just behind the removable tube cage. Preamp tubes are easily accessible by removing six screws on the rear panel vent pictured below.

TransAtlantic TA-30 1x12 combo rear view

TransAtlantic TA-30 1×12 combo rear view (click to enlarge)

Mesa Boogie TA-30 Dimensions

TransAtlantic TA-30 1×12 Combo

Height x Width x Depth ~ Weight
18″ 23″ 12″ 43 lbs.

TransAtlantic TA-30 2×12 Combo

18″ 26 3/4″ 12″ 59 lbs.

(These weights and dimensions are currently approximate but VERY close to final weight & measurements – no road cases should be made according to these measurements until further notice.)

Key New Features of TA-30 vs TA-15:

TransAtlantic TA-30 Front Panel

TransAtlantic TA-30 Front Panel (click to enlarge)

  • More Power: 15 or 30 Watts Class A, 40 Watts Dyna-Watt, Class A/B
  • Channel Assignable, Long Spring Reverb w/Independent Channel Controls
  • Channel Assignable, Fully Buffered FX Loop
  • Channel Independent True-Bypass Switches to Remove FX Loop & Reverb
  • Pull Boost Gain Control on Channel 2
  • Fan Cooled
  • 2 Button Footswitch (Channel 1/2 & Reverb)

While the core tone and features remain as they were originally conceived and designed in the TA-15, the big brother TA delivers some obvious new features as well as some thoughtful and gig ready innovations found only on the TA-30.

Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30 Wattage

The TA-30 provides three different selectable power options for each channel via Mesa Boogie’s Multi-Watt, Channel Assignable Power Amp featuring Duo-Class AND Dyna-Watt power operation. Choose between:

  • 2 EL-84 power tubes operating in pure Class A Push-Pull, producing 15 Watts
  • 4 EL-84 tubes operating in pure Class A Push-Pull, producing the classic and undeniable 30 Watt magic, or
  • 4 EL-84 tubes operating in Mesa Boogie’s exclusive Dyna-Watt Class A/B, producing 40 Watts

The TA-30 delivers both wattage and ESPECIALLY volume beyond it’s namesake (and likely beyond your ears belief) in it’s exclusive Dyna-Watt Class A/B operation. There’s tremendous punch and headroom and mind-boggling overall volume potential that will dwarf levels you’ve heard from competing four-tube EL-84 amps. Prepare to have your eyelids peeled back while simultaneously basking in the tone that clean power and headroom delivers. For those of you who have had the pleasure of running a TA-15 through larger format cabs like 2×12s and even 4×12s can appreciate what the little TA can do in that arena… It’s fair to say that 4×12s and full stacks could be in for a workout on 40 watts with a TA-30 driving multiple speakers.

Want the volume but looking for the tonal flavor to lean more toward sweeter and warmer with more inclination to the classic Brit-inspired sparkle, shimmer and clip? 30 watts of Class A Push/Pull power takes you right there. That’s all we’re gonna say about it.

And if you want to add more clip to the drive that comes alive when the gain gets cranked, 15 watts Class A adds the haze and tube smear that you can only get when power section gets pushed into saturation. Maybe you want to scale the amps power back for some quieter home practice? Or… clipped sounds in the studio that only the lower wattages produce? Multi-Watt provides and then some.

Whatever the usage, assign your favorite wattage to each channel and instantly switch between clipped bliss to massive headroom and volume. The many textures of power section glory that Multi-Watt Power provides awaits your mode choice in the two versatile channels.

TransAtlantic Channel 2 GAIN BOOST Pull-Pot

TransAtlantic TA-30 Front Panel switch cluster and new Gain Boost pull control

New Gain Boost pull control adds gain in all 3 modes of Channel 2 when selected

In the spirit of amplifier design Feng Shui, the Channel 2 Gain Boost Pull-Pot was born. The acclaim for the Channel 1 Cut Control doubling as a Channel Master (when pulled) led us to want to dream up something useful for Channel 2 that flanks the amp’s switch cluster. What do guitarists always want more of in their amps? How about a Gain Boost?

And not only does the Gain Boost in Channel 2 take the HI 1 & HI 2 into over-the-top high gain, it can also boost to the Channel 2 Tweed mode as well. The American Clean of Channel 2 just got taken down to the garage and hopped up with some additional horsepower.

Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30 FX Loop

TransAtlantic TA-30 Head rear panel view

TransAtlantic TA-30 Head rear panel view (click to enlarge)

You spoke, we listened and now the TA-30 delivers it. While the compact size of the TA-15 didn’t provide the necessary circuit real estate to employ the high-quality all-tube buffered FX loop circuitry we require (we refuse to settle for anything less in such an important amplifier junction point as the Loop), the TA-30 brings the FX loop to the TransAtlantic line. The Loop feature being added required the front panel to offers a True Bypass Switch for BOTH the Loop AND the All-Tube Long Spring Reverb. If you’re wanting just the signal path of the amp’s tone you can bypass the entire Loop and Reverb circuits PER Channel, which also doubles as programmable loop option if you want FX and Reverb on one channel but a dry amp sound on the other. Nice.

Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30 Reverb

The TA-30 boasts one of our deepest and best All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb circuits yet and includes an independent Reverb control PER CHANNEL for level (or off) as you like. And, via the True Bypass feature mentioned above, the Reverb is also Channel Assignable as well. Surf’s up and the Reverb’s fine…

What is next for Mesa Boogie?

While the TA-30 control layout is rather sparse (for a MESA), there is a lot more going on internally than might be apparent at first glance. Make no mistake, this is not a low line offering, but rather a power experiment in the world of simplicity. In every way the TA-30 stands proud alongside our larger multi-channel offerings with the same components, build quality, versatility and performance built into every Mesa product… and equal in every way except weight and mass.

While the TA-30 control layout is rather sparse (for a MESA BOOGIE), there is a lot more going on internally than might be apparent at first glance. Make no mistake, this is not a low line offering, but rather a power experiment in the world of simplicity. In every way the TA-30 stands proud alongside our larger multi-channel offerings with the same components, build quality, versatility and performance built into every Mesa product… and equal in every way except weight and mass.

All this control over both the preamp architecture and power section wiring styles combined with the simplicity of the Gain and Tone Controls create a package that allows for both instant gratification AND long-term exploration. From professional touring and gigging to club dates, pro studio to home studio and all points in-between, the TA-30 has what you need. No matter where your music takes you, the TA-30 is your passport to a world of classic American and Brit inspired tones and beyond, all in one package, with features that will inspire your music and help you sound your best wherever you are. If you’re looking for an amp of impeccable build quality, exceptional performance and all within an unsurpassed range of classic and rock-renowned tones and from a surprisingly light, portable package… well… your dream amp has just arrived!

Stay tuned for Audio/Video sound samples coming soon and give a call to your local Authorized Mesa Dealer and let them know you can’t wait to take one of these for a spin. Currently slated for early 2010 availability, the line will wrap around the block fast. Hop on board and we hope you end up being as blown away with the possibilities as we have been throughout the design process.

TRANSATLANTIC TA-30 – Features List:

• Custom Designed AND Handcrafted Exclusively in the one-and-only Mesa shop in Petaluma, California

• All Tube Amplifier: 4xEL-84 Power Tubes & 6×12AX7 Preamp Tubes

• Multi-Watt, Channel Assignable Power Amp featuring Duo-Class and Dyna-Watt technologies providing three power and two operating class options that are channel assignable via independent 15/30/40 Watt Power Switches.

Choose from:

2 power tubes operating in pure Class A Push-Pull, producing 15 Watts or;

4 tubes operating in pure Class A Push-Pull, producing 30 Watts or;

4 tubes operating in Mesa Boogie’s exclusive Dyna-Watt Class A/B, producing 40 Watts

• 2 Fully Independent Channels with 5 Style Modes:

Channel 1 features: Normal (Brit Clean) or Top Boost (Brit Overdrive) Modes with Multi-Watt Power Switch (15/30/40 Watt), FX Loop & Reverb Assignment Switch (On/Off True Bypass), Volume (Gain), Treble, Bass, Reverb & Cut w/Pull Master

Channel 2 features: Tweed (American Clean), Hi 1 (Brit Gain) & Hi 2 (Boogie Gain) Modes with Multi-Watt Power Switch (15/30/40 Watt), FX Loop & Reverb Assignment Switch (On/Off True Bypass), Gain w/Pull Boost, Treble, Bass, Reverb & Master

• Fixed Bias for Consistent Tube Performance

• Channel Assignable, All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb with Independent Channel Controls

• Channel Assignable, Fully Buffered FX Loop

• Channel Independent True Bypass Switches fully remove FX Loop & Reverb from signal path

• Fan Cooled

• All Aluminum Chassis

• 2 Button Footswitch (Channel 1/2 & Reverb)

TransAtlantic TA-30 1x12 Combo Front Panel Detail

- Thanks for the report from Mesa Boogie

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