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Author Topic: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive  (Read 4732 times)

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« on: April 21, 2015, 03:54:50 am »
Had a chance to play one in a shop for about an hour through a clean amp next to a TS-9.

My impression was that compared to the TS-9 it had "more of everything" - more drive on tap, more bass and more bite.

Not that I really "need" another OD pedal but I really liked this one.

Any other experiences with this pedal?

Thanks, Stephan
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline corypheus

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 05:39:48 am »
I never tried it, how's the middle compared to the tubescreamer honk? As a boost, is it as transparent, or does it color more?

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 03:40:16 am »
I did not try it as a boost, just as overdrive before a clean amp. The midrange hump was there but a bit less compared to a Tube Screamer that was also on the board.

Cheers Stephan
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline corypheus

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 05:00:17 am »
I did not try it as a boost, just as overdrive before a clean amp. The midrange hump was there but a bit less compared to a Tube Screamer that was also on the board.

Cheers Stephan

The "more of everything" part made me think it'd probably be great as a boost. More bottom and top end but less midrange bump is probably why it sounds "bigger" as many people online seem to think. I'm eager to try it too.

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2015, 03:00:26 pm »
More of everything huh? Sounds like something worthwhile to look into.
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Offline Timius

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 05:08:36 pm »
This is the best boost pedal I have ever used.  Far superior to other overdrives in front of amps


Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 04:13:37 am »
This is the best boost pedal I have ever used.  Far superior to other overdrives in front of amps

Thanks for your input. Can you please describe the other overdrives you used and in what context, e.g. as standalone overdrive before a clean amp or as a booster before an already overdriven amp?

Cheers Stephan
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline Timius

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 02:35:19 pm »
This is the best boost pedal I have ever used.  Far superior to other overdrives in front of amps

Thanks for your input. Can you please describe the other overdrives you used and in what context, e.g. as standalone overdrive before a clean amp or as a booster before an already overdriven amp?

Cheers Stephan


I have used the following:

Ibanez Tube Screamer (sound tank edition)
MXR Bad ass OD (was my fav until flux drive)
Digitech bad monkey
OCD v3
Fulltone fulldrive 2

I used these all primarily as a boost to all ready overdriven amps.  As a stand alone the Flux Drive and the Fulltone were the two best IMHO

As a boost infront of a driven amp the Flux drive was champ followed by the Bad Ass OD - that had a lot of tonal options. 

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 04:39:17 am »
Thank you for this very informative post.

Cheers Stephan
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2016, 03:58:13 am »
I just scored a used one. Will post a tone report after it gets here.
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2016, 06:23:39 am »
The Flux Drive arrived on Saturday so I had only a brief time to spend with it so far. I will review it in the context of the manufacturer's description and the way I tested it.

This is how Mesa Engineering describes the pedal:
The FLUX-DRIVE™ is the overdrive pedal for those who want more of all the best things from an overdrive! It has more liquid gain and enhanced sustain that easily feeds into rich harmonic overtones making it incredibly addictive and inspiring to play, whether into a clean amp channel or especially to enhance a crunch or higher gain channel! It also offers a more complete tone-shaping network with individual Treble and Bass controls. This architecture makes the FLUX-DRIVE a more complete preamp with added versatility beyond that of most overdrive pedals.

I used it before an amp set to a clean tone (my Bassman which I converted to a Bluesmaster D-style amp). With the gain set to zero the Flux-Drive can be used as a clean boost. Set to 9.00 it starts to crunch. Set midway the crunch gets stronger. Up from that the crunch gets progressively stronger until 2.00, from there onwards not much perceivable gain is added. By that time the pedal gets really loud, so with anything past 2.00 on the gain, the level control needs to be backed down to 9.00 for unity volume. There is quite a bit overall gain available but not as much as my Barber Direct Drive or the MI Audio Blue Boy Deluxe.

The Treble and Bass controls have a wide range. However, I find the useable range of both is between 10.00 and 3.00 - on the Treble anything beyond 3.00 gets harsh quickly and below 10.00 very dark, and on the Bass anything beyond 3.00 gets woofy and below 10.00 too thin for me. Still enough useable range for me. Added versatility beyond that of most overdrive pedals? That is a quite lofty claim, and I dare to say that there are quite a few pedals out there that can match the Flux-Drive's versatility.

How does it sound? That is not easy to describe so I start with what it does not sound like. It does not sound like a Tube Screamer - it has more overdrive and less of that characteristic mid hump. It does not sound like a Marshall-in-a-Box pedal - nothing like e.g. the Barber Direct Drive. It also does not sound like a Dumble-style pedal to me - I can get the D-style tones easier with my MI Audio Blue Boy Deluxe. I also don't really hear Mark I or the later Mark series in it - for these tones it is a bit too dark overall and does not offer the gain levels the Mark series offers. It does sound good, though. Before a clean amp I see its strengths in rhythm tones, various shades of good crunch can be had. As a lead pedal it is also good but it does not feel to me as easy to play as e.g. the Barber Direct Drive or the Rockett Blue Note. It's like I have to fight more with that pedal than with the others.

I have not yet explored the way it sounds before an already overdriven amp. Due to the massive output the pedal has it could work great that way. More to come ...

Cheers Stephan
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2016, 04:15:46 am »
Yesterday I put it through the paces before a self-modded Marshall, the amp set to a slightly crunchy tone. With the gain set all the way down, tone controls at noon and the level all the way up there is a moderate clean boost. Turning up the gain control reveals a spot where the gain quickly comes in. Depending on how much crunch you got on the amp you can fine tune the additional crunch from the pedal. For my amp setting I found the sweet spot at 9.00. Turning up the treble provides more cut, turning up the bass provides more oomph - so far all as expected.

I like this pedal more when used this way than before a clean amp. It can turn a crunchy amp into a hard rockin' riffing monster. Also in this application I like it more for rhythm than for lead tones. It is hard to put my finger on but I miss some midrange elements for a singing lead tone in this pedal that e.g. the Barber Direct Drive and even the Smallfry have. Nevertheless I think it's worth owning for the rhythm tones it gets.

Cheers Stephan
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone

Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Mesa Boogie Flux Drive
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 05:26:54 am »
Finally I also gave it a try as a clean boost after an overdrive pedal (in that case my Barber Direct Drive), gain set all the way off, volume to taste, tone controls at 12.00 each. First surprise: to get a nearly flat response I had to turn the treble control to about 1.00 and the bass control to about 2.00. However, it's not quite neutral or transparent in the sense that it takes the existing tone and just makes it louder. It definitely does color the tone. In this application I found it either added some harshness to the tone, or took a bit of clarity away (depending on the treble setting) and affected the feel in a negative way (made the guitar seem to play harder). So while it can be used as a clean boost after an overdrive I don't see its strength there.

Cheers Stephan 
Own: Area 67, Area 61, Area 58, VV Pro 54, Injector n, HB2, Cruisers, VSolo, SDS-1, Area T set, Virtual Hot T, Chopper, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super D, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, VHPAF, AT-1, Morse set
Owned: PAF Pro, Fred, Mega Drive, HS-1, HS-3T, Shock Wave set, Tone Zone