Tuesday, 3 March 2009

My Second Win(d)

It all started when I saw a local eBay auction for a guy selling a newish Mesa Boogie Express amp in Brisbane.

I can't remember why I was drawn to that particular amp, but most guitarists in Australia know that Mesa Boogie put a big premium on the price of their amps down under.

The amp didn't sell during the auction, so I decided to make an offer by email to see if he'd accept it. Short of $100 he turned it down. I thought $2100 for a 50w combo amp was more than a reasonable price to pay.

Anyway, I did manage to try the lower wattage version in Shibuya on Saturday and I have to say I was pretty impressed. It made an overdriven strat sound very nice. One thing I noticed about my rig back home, was that my strat sounds better clean than overdriven. It just takes a bit more work to drive those single coils.

It was funny watching a Japanese metal guy test driving a Marshall double stack standing right up close in front of the amp. You had to be there. Anyway..

After trying out some amp sim software on my Mac, I have to say valve sound just FEELS better and smoother. I really miss my old JCM 800! What got me to sell it was how I hated carting around that stuff in a little hatchback. A combo is more my style these days (or a rack).

Next option, Yahoo Auctions Japan!

For bigger purchases over 5,000 yen, you have to be registered for Yahoo Premium which is 346 yen a month service. If you have a foreign credit card you just can't do it. Another Japanese wall to bang my head against. That's where a J gf comes in handy.


My only win previously was an old Zaxxon LCD game. It was easy, just a "buy it now" option. When a bidding war happens here, Japanese are tough nuts to bid against.

I bidded against only another person for a Mesa Boogie F-50, but it made the initial 50,000 yen go up to 56,000 yen. After a lot of cursing he finally let me have it, the SOB! Including courier shipping, I have to pay 57,690 yen.

The F-50 is the previous model to the one I tried for from Australia. The price in Australian dollars is currently only $920, so I think I made a good deal. The amp's in Shizuoka prefecture, ironically only streets away from the gf's hometown high school.


It's had some great reviews, so here's hoping it sounds as good as they say. Bringing it back to Australia will be interesting. Looks like I'll have to ship some of my junk over by post. I'll have to get a step down transformer for the different voltage too.


Stay tuned for pics and more info in a few days. Come to Daddy..