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Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 Plus 25-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black with Black Grille Reviews

5.0 stars based on 32 customer reviews
Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 Plus 25-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black with Black Grille?

Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 Plus 25-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black with Black Grille?

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  • from Mansfield, MA February 22, 2017Music Background:
    Hack. Always have been...always will be...over 50 years...

    Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 Plus

    Picked up a 90W Mark V combo a little bit ago and was so overwhelmed with the incredible tone and flexibility of that amp I decided to get the Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 Plus to put in the bedroom (it was my birthday so I splurged). I was hoping for something more manageable volume-wise and being a cranky old guy I didn't want to keep hauling the Mark V up and down the stairs. This Express Plus amp is everything I hoped it would be and more! The tone is just as pleasing as that of the bigger Mark V. I couldn't be happier. I had always heard about how the Mesa Boogie line was the premier quality amp out there but I always shied away from buying because of either price or lead time or a bad hair day or whatevah (I live near Boston...deal with it...). I finally bought one and now another and I will likely buy a head and a cabinet at some point. The EQ on these amps is really cool and well thought out. The tone possibilities are almost endless. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this amp. Thanks to James for helping to get this baby delivered on my birthday weekend.

  • from Almont, MI July 6, 2016Music Background:
    Play in a church band and play in other churches and jam

    I am not worthy!

    My friend always wanted a Mesa Boogie. He was blown away when I told him I got the Express 5:50. I think his envy meter broke. It was hard breaking the news to him. No one likes a braggart. But I just had to. I kept it quiet for some time but his son asked me if I was collecting more guitars. I said I just got another one and . . . . (with his dad sitting next to me) I said rather sheepishly: and I got a Mesa Boogie. His dad about fell off the chair. Sweetwater got it to me really fast. Plugged her in, set her up for blues and OH . . . MY . . . GOSH! I used to think I had some nice amps. Just on the 5 watt setting is incredible. The cleans are lush with just a little reverb. The gain is increddible. I'm in amp heaven. My friend texted me after I told him I just received it. He asked: "How does it sound?" I replied "I am not worthy!" I truly am not worthy of such a wonderful amp. I'm not that great a guitarist, though I've been playing since the dinosaurs died off which is longer than most of you who are reading this have been alive. But I try. I work at it. I enjoy it! I try to improve my playing all the time. For years I have wanted a Mesa Boogie. I figured I just had to get better to justify it. Well heck! Sweetwater had one at the right price, so I sprung for it. Now I can continue to work at getting better through one heck of an incredible amp.
    No, no one paid for me to write this. I don't work for or ever worked for Mesa Boogie or Sweetwater. I rarely write reviews. But, wow! I just wish I had gotten one years ago.

  • from Melbourne Beach, FL June 9, 2016

    Mesa is the Best.

    I've had this amp for a year now and my appreciation of it still gets better and better. Four words: sweet, articulate, versatile and solid. This is my first Mess Boogie and it takes a bit to master your sought after tone, but it is there. Seeking it out is part of the fun. Very clear clean channel. Distortion channels have the grit without being harsh. Other reviewers say throw away the distortion pedals. They are right. Build is top notch, solid as a rock. No flaws, no breakdowns so far. as I see it, I will always have a Mesa amp as long as I continue to play guitar. Thank you, Aaron Rom, for being my Sales Engineer. You make my buying experiences with Sweetwater fun and smooth. Thank you Sweetwater for being the best.

  • from Frederick, MD March 19, 2016


    I am not a great guitarist but I'm pretty picky about the tone just like many others. I have Gibson LeaPaul Studio and the Boogie just reveal the tone out of my guitar that I have never heard of before. Big fat clean tone is the first thing that I fell in love with and put clean boost or transparent overdrive in front of it, icing on the cake. The burn channel is something that will make you get ride of your distortion pedal, maybe.
    Anyway great pricing and value, worth the money and not regretting about my purchase at all.
    And as usual the ordering, shipping and customer service is very good. Thank you Dave for your service.

  • from August 19, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarist/Bass player

    Mesa Express 5.25

    I have an old Mk2C which is the loudest amp for a 60 watter I have ever used and with a multitude of tweaking available like most boogies can get some great clean tones, however this express amp is amazing, easy to cart around being quite light, the clean and distortion sounds are fantastic and without doubt it is probably the best amp I have ever used to date.

    Get one, as both the 525 and 550 are the best you will find for the money, and other reviews are correct, throw your distortion pedals away and use the lead channel on these monsters. The clean channel is just as awesome.


  • from Kalamazoo, MI July 18, 2015Music Background:
    Better with this amp!

    Amendment to the comments below

    Probably strange that I'm adding comments after the review below, but I do have more to say after living with the amp for a bit.
    After a couple band practices and a live performance I can safely say that this is an amazing amp that can sound awesome for almost any style of music. My board is a tuner, the footswitch, and an old dd20 delay. The sounds on all channels are ridiculously good but the game changer is how they cut through in a band situation. With another guitar player, bass, and heavy drums this amp somehow stands out without crazy high volumes. Brilliant and I can't say enough about how much it's worth going to a Mesa.

  • from July 15, 2015Music Background:
    Basement rocker and jam with friends


    I've been playing a Peavey Delta Blues on the clean channel with a lot of pedals for a while now. It's been a great amp but I've always wanted to see what the Mesa's are all about. I'm not a pro player but play with friends and gig occasionally, mainly classic rock, blues, roots, etc. Since music isn't an income for me, spending over a grand on an amp was hard to justify, and I had very high expectations.
    The short story is that the other reviews on here are spot on. This amp is extremely versatile, and makes almost all dirt pedals obsolete. The only thing I've kept is a tuner, delay and a fuzz, and I can go from a huge variety of cleans and crunchy textures to full on hard rock, and they all sound great. Most two channel amps I've played have either a great clean channel or a great drive channel, usually not both. Thats not the case here. The wattage controls and tone stack are very versatile and theres little this amp can't do all on its own. The reverb and pedal functions are super useful as well.
    One thing I noticed. When you first get the amp, it seems very bright on its own. Be patient, because its not bright so much as very clear, and the tone settings make a huge difference. Use the EQ section and you'll be amazed how much this amp cuts through in a mix. My personal fav settings are the blues mode in the 5-watt setting and the crunch in the 15, but thats just two of many. Great amp Mesa, I'm a fan, and although its more than I wanted to spend, its totally worth it, especially considering the $800 in pedals that I can sell.

  • from NC (USA) March 12, 2015Music Background:
    Guitar Player

    Leave the Pedals at Home

    I've used a multitude of drive pedals over the past 15 years, and because of this I have fought with signal loss, noise, and had to carry way to much gear. The Mesa Express 5:25 eliminated all of these issues.
    I use it a little different than most... I use the clean setting for my drive and the burn setting for my cleans. With the gain cranked on clean setting you can get an amazing early tube break up overdrive tone, and on the burn setting with the gain rolled almost to zero you can achieve a very nice punchy clean tone. The only thing I wish was different would be the ability to footswitch between clean and crunch on the clean side...
    I went from a pedal board with 14 plus pedals to two pedals (delay&reverb) and a footswitch. For me this is the right amp for the job.

  • from Michigan September 18, 2014Music Background:
    Experienced Amateur

    I finally know what my guitar is supposed to sound like

    I really love this thing. The EQ is a fantastic addition that really gives enormous flexibility beyond what Bass/Mid/Treble can do. The sound is just fantastic. You can get all the bass and all the treble you can handle.

    One note: I've found that I really need to temper the treble on the tone controls and/or the EQ so as not to get ear fatigue. The substantial dynamic range coupled with the extraordinary amount of treble/sparkle available can tire my ears out pretty quickly. If I set the B/M/T at 12 O'Clock along with the EQ Contour mode at 12 O'Clock, my ears will get tired. This is with a Strat with Texas Special pups.

    It's quite small and light compared to other tube amps. I really wanted something < 50lbs and was prepared to get a head and a cab if necessary to get each piece < 50lbs. But here is a sweet combo at way < 50lbs: 41lbs to be exact.

  • from Colorado August 15, 2014Music Background:
    Part-time pro

    I now leave my pedalboard at home

    I play lead guitar in a blues/R&B/classic rock band, and this amp has made my life so much easier. For one thing, I rarely take my pedalboard to gigs since I bought this amp. The four button footswitch gives me instant access to two channels (with four distinct voices), two different EQ settings, plus a solo boost. Between the controls on my guitar and the footswitch, I have nice variety of sounds easily availableóand theyíre all real tube pre-amp and power amp sounds (no digital modeling BS).

    The ability to set different power settings on each channel is great. I usually set the clean channel to 25 watts class A/B, and the dirty channel to 5 watts class A. Believe it or not, 5 watts is plenty for most situations (like a quieter gig on a restaurant patio, or any situation when your amp is going through a mic).

    Itís ridiculously easy to get great sounds with just about any guitaróI often switch between guitars with humbuckers, P90s and single coils. Is this the best sounding amp Iíve ever used? Well, if youíre talking about one great sound, I have owned other amps in the past (Matchless and Bad Cat) and have played through other amps (Divided by 13 or a good old blackface Deluxe) that arguably have one sound that is better than anything in the Express 5:25, the this amp has a huge selection of great sounds. It fits my needs perfectly.

  • from Coalgate, OK July 26, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist. I'm a legend in my own mind.

    So small, yet so bad***.

    Rock solid and loud as hell. I just run it on 15w mode on both channels and I'm getting very smooth jazz tones on clean or I can stomp over to burn and piss the neighbors off. I use the E.Q. as a mid boost, and the solo click is a clean boost. So nice that is built in, some of my BOSS pedals got tossed in the storage bin. I prefer to just run straight to the amp, it's beautiful. I am overjoyed with the quality of this little box.

  • from OKC, OK April 3, 2014Music Background:
    who cares


    Okay. I've been around the block quite enough to know good amps and bad amps. This amp exceeds not only my expectations but includes features that I never would have thought of. First off you can switch it to 5 W, 15 W or 25 W. Great for gigging and recording at home. It basically has two channels but within each channel are two sub-channels. It has reverb, footswitch. Now the part that made me REALLY happy THERE IS NOT A BIT OF NOISE IN THIS AMP. I HAVE NEVER USED AN AMP THAT DOES NOT HAVE NOISE!! THIS IS INCREDIBLE!! THANK YOU SWEETWATER I LOVE YOU GUYS!

  • from CA, USA March 10, 2014Music Background:
    40 years onstage and in studio.

    A Beautiful Thing

    I've played 3,000 gigs with a 1978 Mesa Boogie Mark II amp with a 12" EV speaker. To me that is the greatest amp that will ever be and I rate it ********** - ten stars.

    Before I met the Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 all other amps in the world sounded like toys compared to my Mark II, so I have never purchased any other stage amp. For a decade I stopped even listening to any other amps when I went shopping.

    In 2012 I walked into a Guitar Center and heard a beautiful thing, someone was playing a guitar/amp combination that sounded as beautiful as my Les Paul Custom/Mesa Boogie Mark II setup. I walked straight up to the dude and saw he was playing a Les Paul plugged into this new contraption - the 5:25. I bought it on the spot.

    The 5:25 is truly an amazing amp. Beautiful, pure-tube tone ranging from perfectly clean with plenty of overhead, to nasty/bluesy, all the way up to screeching superoverdrive with infinite sustain. You can get all of the tones quickly and simply, and without having to play very loud. If I need volume, it's there in this tiny, light box! When I need more body and volume, I plug in a cabinet with four efficient 12-inch speakers and Iím flat-out amazed at what Iím hearing from 25 watts.

    Comparing the Mark II and Express for a second, they're mutually-admiring cousins. The Mark II is still an incredible monster, being MUCH louder and having MUCH more overhead than the Express. If you're playing across from a guy with a Marshall stack, the Mark II will wipe out the stack and the Express won't. And if you want the old Santana tone (think Abraxas), the Mark II has no peer. Otherwise, the 5:25 is the amp for everyone Ė from jazz to blues to Country to classic rock to metal.

    If you're a serious musician, buy it!

  • from Charlotte, NC December 2, 2013Music Background:
    Weekend performer, hobbyist, home recording

    Wow-Your Search Ends Here!!'

    I , like a lot of you, own several guitars that will be with me until they place me in the ground and then my son's can fight over them!! I spent many years searching out the "keepers" and to finally get them I probably went through 50 plus guitars in my 30 years of playing. But, even though dozens of amps passed my way, I have never been truly satisfied......and I have had them all. I thought I found it in a Rivera combo a few years back, but the dirty side was a bit grating, then after a dozen more, I bought a Dr Z about 6 months ago. It is a glorious beast but too loud and a two trick pony at best. The very first minute I plugged into a 5:25 Express Plus I knew....it was like finding your wife....I just knew. Drove directly home, grabbed the Dr Z and went back and made a trade. I was also able to add a Fulltone Supa Trem in the trade to make this amp totally complete. All the sounds you know, love, and need are right here. I have owned (and regret parting with) several pre-CBS blackface combos (the Mesa does that sound perfectly), I have owned several vintage and modern Marshall combos and stacks (the Mesa does this sound perfectly), I have owned a number of boutique amps (Dr Z, Rivera, Divided by 13) and the Mesa pulls off these sounds, and I have owned a number of classic Vox AC-15's and AC-30's (the the mesa pulls off that wonderful shine and shimmer perfectly this is what impressed me the most...the Class A Vox Sound). All I do is run a touch of delay and the Supa Trem in the effects loop and that is that. This truly is the ultimate Swiss Army knife of guitar amps. Add to that it is Made in the USA, the premium parts involved, the wonderful support and service from Mesa, the bulletproof build quality, getting a lifetime of learning and experience q from Randall Smith's fertile mind-this thing is a technical marvel, and the near unlimited tones on tap there is hardly anything on the market that can touch this little combo regardless of price. Color me so impressed I sold everything except my '52 Champ just because of the fun that little monster provides. Make certain to REALLY study the technology enclosed in this chassis- the power switches (5/15/25 watts)for each channel do not simply take power tubes out of the circuit to achieve lower power rating, each switch has it's own set of wiring (discrete circuit) to make this essentially three types of power amps on one....read up on it, it is amazing. For the gigging musician (or garage rock star) that plays a variety of styles you CANNOT beat this at any price. Go try one for yourself and prepare to be blown away!!!

  • from United States November 24, 2013Music Background:
    gigged in Europe, US and in the studio

    Boogie express - blows away every amp I ever had.

    My Mesa Lonestar is going on the block to get the cash to by the Express. I WAS BLOWN AWAY and I am an AMP hound. Plugged in and away we went, so versitile, sweet, creamy tone. Small venues are the sweet spot and this amp hits it out both for performance and studio work. I got a first look this straight off the dock.....

    I think I found my forever amp

  • from Sandpoint Idaho March 18, 2013Music Background:
    Active musician


    Perfect amp. The tone is like no other. Each wattage setting has such a different tone when you find the sweet spot.
    Its all hand crafted in the USA. The craftsmanship is unreal. Every little detail has been checked and double checked. I honestly couldn't find a better amp for the price. Its truly is a pros amp. It is worth every penny!

  • from Los Angeles, CA March 7, 2013Music Background:
    Occasional Weekend Gigger

    Should be good for what it costs, and it is.

    Overall, what a super amp. Cost too much at about $1300, but I think I'm set for quite a while. Have been looking for a reasonably light, versatile amp for playing out in a hard rock cover band, and this is it.

    We played last weekend for about 200 people in a large bar. No stage, so ran the amp with a 2x12 cab and boosted the whole rig about 18 inches to project across the crowd. Worked really, really well.

    Volume-wise, absolutely no problem. Ran on the 25w setting at maybe 1/3 volume, and it was ripping. Had to drive sound through a wall of people, and it did. Any louder, and I'll have to stand somewhere else...or mic it to the PA.

    Nothing in front of the amp, but ran a phaser and delay in the effects loop - MUCH better than without a loop. Preamp was completely driven by the amp settings/pedal - using the crunch and burn channels. Because the 5-band EQ is so versatile (and footswitched), you can get at least two different sounds from each channel, so it was like playing a 4-channel/switchable amp. Big deal when you're covering Tom Petty to Van Halen to Sabbath. Solo channel was great - for when you need to step up a bit on a solo or when there's just a lot of other noise...no change in tone...just volume.

    It should be good for what it costs, and it is. Not sure what I'm going to do with all my old distortion pedals now...seem a bit unnecessary now. Nice problem to have.

  • from United States July 12, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer, Pro Musician, Student

    Awesome Tone Great Sound

    I love this amp so much. The 5watt power sounds brilliant and great for achieving loud tonal bliss without destroying your ear drums or attracting noise complaints. 25 watt can keep up with the loudest of drums. no lack of tone in the 25 watt version. 12 inch speaker is very well rounded and size able. Contour and eq is ridiculously perfect. Good tone is just a slight knob twist away. If you have a sensitive ear, you will love how responsive the tone controls are. Great Reverb, fx loop, and gain/channels. Makes pedals sounds glorious through the clean channel and they mix very well in the drive channel too. Super light weight! Tones from SRV to Eric Johnson. Even gets the modern metal rectifier sound on the burn channel. perfect for recording!

  • from Midwest July 10, 2012Music Background:

    Great all-around amp.

    I have not heard or found a better amp in this price range. The 5:25 is ideal for someone who wants the versatility of quality tone both at home and at small venue gigs. I can get great distorted tones from this amp at TV type volumes. And, of course, it really sings when you crank it up.

    For me, the biggest surprise with this amp is the clean tones I get with my Strat. The clean channel in 30 Watt mode puts you right in the middle of Jimi/SRV clean, glassy, chimey land. It does clean better than similarly priced Fenders, IMO.

    I like to play my Strat dirty in the 30 Watt mode, though I think it does color the sound a little toward the humbucker side.

    When I plug in my Les Paul, this amp just sings. Just really, really gorgeous tones at all breakup levels.

    If I could only have one amp, it would be this one. High, high quality tones and lots of versatility.

  • from Nashville, TN April 3, 2012Music Background:
    Studio/Touring Musician, Producer

    Small, Loud, Versatile

    I've owned the 1x10 version of this combo for three years, having purchased it as a smaller, simpler gigging alternative to my larger Roadster rig. It has never let me down, onstage or in the studio. For a long time, I just ran it clean, using pedals to add my drive and distortion. But lately, I've found myself utilizing all it has to offer. With EL84s, it definitely produces tighter low end and a lot of chime available on Ch. 1 (especially using the Contour control). "Crunch" mode absolutely nails the Nashville sound perfectly, and Ch. 2's "Burn" mode has way more grind than you'd expect. When hooked up to a closed back external cab, you can actually get into early Dual Rec territory. The Dyna-Watt feature is awesome, too; perfect for low level practicing (this thing can get loud, despite its size).

  • from January 10, 2012

    Great Amp, very versatile

    Wonderful sounds with a Strat, and very versatile with the 4 (!) channels - Clean, Blues, Crunch and Burn says it all :-) With a weight of about 20kg one can still carry it around in the house, and the 5W / 30W switch allow to play with decent sound at decent levels. Great package overall.

  • from OKC September 22, 2011Music Background:
    semi pro

    A great combo amp

    I have a Mark V and because of its size and weight I bought a 5:25. Its a sweet amp. It gives me the basics of my tone and is easier to take around with me. It sounds great, has a big amp sound, the cabinet is very well designed. You can definitely gig with this amp as well. When I was a kid I wish I could have bought something like this for my first tube amp.

  • from Ohio July 27, 2011Music Background:
    amateur enthusiast

    Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 1x12 Combo

    I love this amp.

    I am a bedroom/den hobbyist player. No gigs. Just me playing for myself. That being said, this amp rocks for what I want it to do. The 5 watt setting allows me to play to my heart''s content without having the cops show up to tell me the neighbors said to shut it down. The 25 watt option is there for playing times when a nice, reasonably loud, sound won't be a problem.

    I have read reviews from foks who use this amp in small gig settngs and they say it produces adequate volume there. Mesa also makes an add on speaker cab and this amp will accomdate that, so you have that as an option too.

    I enjoy playing traditonal rock like Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. I also like to just pick up a tune I hear on the radio, TV or the movies and find tabs for it and go from there.

    The range of tone and contour controls on this amp when combined with the two separate channels and two settings on each channel provide an array of options that is incredibly versatile. You can go from a total clean sound to a heavy cruncn overdrive to a soaring/screaming lead.. Just tweak the settings. It comes with a foot switch so it makes it easy to experiment too. The amp also has an effects loop so if you are into that, there ya go!!

    Would this amp satisfy the user who wants to rep an AC/DC Marshall stack sound? NO WAY!! However, if you want a decent amp that allows you to explore a wide range of tones and styles in a compact package, this is a definite keeper.

    I play a '65 Gibson SG with P 90s and a 2010 Les Paul Trad Pro thru this amp and the range of tones I can get with the amp and guitar controls is awesome!!

    Mesa Engineering delivers big time in this package!!!

  • from Gardendale, AL January 24, 2010Music Background:
    Active Musician

    Mesa Delivers!!!

    When I went shopping for my first valve amp, I originally decided on a Marshall DSL100. After my purchase I quickly fell out of love with the product because of it's unresponsive EQ section, and uncontrollable tone. I soon decided to take it back. Then I found this amp. This is by far the most versatile amp in this price range! The problems I had with the Marshall were nowhere to be found here. The EQ functions much better on this amp. Most notably, the bass response is beautiful. The dual EQ's are a welcomed feature as well since you will grow accustomed to using both channels regularly. The contour adjust is also a nice feature. The more you twist the knob, the more effect the contoured EQ will have on your tone. This is perfect for adding a little edge on your solos!
    The Clean/Crunch and Blues/Burn modes are simply amazing! The clean mode is crystal! The crunch is perfect for your rhythm parts! The blues mode is a delight to hear, and the burn mode pushes the 12AX7's and EL84's into a thick and creamy overdrive that's rich with harmonics! I'm not even sure if I need my overdrive pedals anymore. I also enjoy this amp's spring reverb. To my ear, it sounds perfect. I might not need my reverb pedal either! You have to try this amp! It'll handle anything you need it to!

  • from Colorado August 29, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-Pro guitar player -- 30+ years

    Best Amp Yet (and I'm a Fender guy)

    I've wanted a Mesa Boogie amp for years, but couldn't afford the price tag. Now that I've taken the plunge, it's been well worth it! This amp rocks at all 3 power settings, and don't be fooled ... you'll get as much volume out of the 15W Class-A setting as the full-power 25W push/pull mode. The 5W is perfect for practicing at home. The clean tones are breathtaking from my Strats to the full, sweet tones of my 335. Blues and Crunch are killer, and Burn will take your face off!. I usually use the Blues/gain-down as my clean w/ a little break-up, and my lead tone is the Crunch, but it's hard to have a bad setting with this amp. 4-switch pedal is great, and the EQ is wonderful, and you can switch it off for dry tones... perfect.

    Only criticism would be that it would be nice to be able to switch between Clean/Crunch and Blues/Burn on the floorswitch, but then again, that would be SIX switches... guess I should be more reasonable.

    I'll probably be selling off one of my two Fender 1x12 combos.

  • from February 22, 2015Music Background:
    pro musician

    why would you go with anything else?CLEAN HEADROOM!!

    i play country, rock, blues, funk, lots of clean headroom type of stuff and i must say the clean channel on the 5 25 plus is superb, very dynamic and loud on all multiwatt settings and the 5 band eq makes the tone to die for.able to keep up with even the most gorrila like of drummers! every single sound out of this thing is usable and refined. the only negatives i could find about this amp are maybe the sound is too refined and "perfect" theres not alot of grit to this guy, which is why i bought it, i wanted pure clean headroom. but some people might want that little bit of grit like in a deluxe or D reverb, but this is a totally different beast. also there is a slight popping up to a loud popping sometimes when switching channels that are not on the same wattage. depending on the noise floor its no problem but can be a nuisance in quieter settings. But thats it, there is no problems with this amp at all its perfect and am so happy with this choice. in this price range you really cant do better. if your thinking of that fender, check this guy out and you will be hooked, i promise. there is just so much superb tone on every setting !!!!! 5 year warranty!!

  • from Staten Island NY December 10, 2014Music Background:

    A fine and complex jewel

    This little machine is the best all around amplifier I have ever used. The obvious attributes listed in the sales blurb are all true and display a vast amount of sonic options such as variable wattage selections in both channels and an unusual degree of tone equalization tools. What is less obvious is the really musical nature of the ingenious operating classes integrated in the different power settings. Someone who loves guitar playing and feels tone in their bones created this little jewel. It has massive power and volume if that's your need and can deliver in any situation, a lot of amps can split your ears but only a few can create that magic thing called tone that every guitar player lives for. I am astonished at the 5watt setting in channel 2 Blues, this is Class A pentode a vintage wiring but is configured single-ended, emphasizing the second harmonic an octave above the note played, giving a sweetness and unusual melodic quality that gives intoxicating nuances that I cant get in any other of my numerous amps. All of the power settings are loud and this amplifier needs saturation at all ranges to achieve the tone. Buy yourself a good attenuater and use it in most all situations .A lot of attenuaters are overly expensive and some are not that good. I recommend having Weber build one for you, they are cheap and outperform the most expensive others. Even if you have a studio or have no contraints on volume at Gigs, save your ears because you will all eventually get some Tinnitus and hearing loss.

  • from United States April 15, 2014Music Background:
    Professional Musician, Recording Engineer

    Swiss Army knife of little amps

    Small, light weight, versatile, with lots of tonal options. Nice to have a padded cover. Having a foot switchable 5 band EQ and solo master volume boost is a huge plus. The foot switch comes with an 8 pin midi that is plenty long. The long spring tube reverb is nothing short of excellent. The buffered effects loop is very smooth. Don't let the low wattage fool you, this thing gets loud. Don't be afraid to take it on a club gig. You can turn it to "tick off the sound man" levels. But switch to 5 watts, it plays low volumes for your bedroom or a soft jazz combo gig too. The only reason I give it a 4.5 is the selection of speaker Mesa chose. Of course it is my opinion and speakers can be very subjective depending on ones ear. But I do not believe the Vintage 30 is the right speaker for an open back very small cabinet amp. Sounds great clean but overdriven the mids and highs are very harsh with little or no low end. Usually V30's need a closed back cab for a decent bass response. That is where V30's shine (again in my opinion). However, for this amp, I highly recommend either the 65 watt Creamback or the G12H30 70th Anniversary as they will give you good lows and mellow out the mids and sweeten the highs. I tried both and they both sound better than the Vintage 30 to my ear. I think I like the Creamback the best personally. With the V30 I liked the amp. With the speaker change, I love this little amp. Mesa makes a great gig useful amp!

  • from healdsburg, ca. March 28, 2013Music Background:

    mesa boogie 5 25 express review

    excellent tonal quality and in 5 w mode uses
    37% less energy than my old twin reverb.
    dual channel operation with multiple base
    settings and optional use of equalizer gives
    you a wide spectrum of sound choices.

  • from Los Angeles, CA 90042 November 18, 2012Music Background:
    pro live sound man, semi-pro musician

    Good amp, perhaps my favorite Mesa ever made

    In my 24 years of playing Mesas, this is my favorite. It takes the F30, which was already good, and makes it even better. Not only that, but they improved the 5:25 significantly by introducing the Plus model.

    I have the 12 inch version, which I custom ordered from Sweetwater in around February of this year.

    The amp is a very well designed combination of lots of features, but good ease of use. It is not confusing like some amps with tons of features.

    It's a very convenient size. Very versatile and easy on a gigging musician.

    It's well built. No surprises there. I've never had a Boogie break on me. The only other amps I can say that about are Ampegs.

    It gets a nice early rock, country, r&b tone, which I think would be even better with a less tight speaker. Anything but the clean channel sounds significantly more "modern." they could have dialed back the gain all the way around IMO. That said, I have found good tones on all four channels (though I use clean and crunch the most).

    It's not very loud, like some people are saying here. But it's loud enough to cover most shows, unless your bandmate is completely over-amped in comparison to you. If you are playing against a half stack on the other side of the stage, do yourself a big favor and play the 5:25 through an extension cab.

    The changes added in the Plus model are outstanding, and made this a MUCH better amp. They added useful features without muddying up the design or operation of the amp, and, get this, without eliminating anything that the pre-Plus models had. Good work, Mesa, adding the clean boost, graphic E.Q., and 15W class A mode, while retaining the choice to have the pre-Plus-style V contour thing! Good thinking...real good. Thanks to the added clean boost and E.Q., and have been able to remove my flat booster and my treble booster from my pedal chain, leaving me with only tremolo and tuner pedals to lug and set up. Nice!

    The only thing I really wish was different was that you could pick any one of the four gain settings to switch between using the foot switch. I would love to be able to switch between clean and crunch, but I must switch between clean and blues instead. Ah, well.

    At any rate, I give this thing a 4.5. Good sounding amp that I am confident will last me for life. It has simplified my life very nicely with its combination of convenience and capability.

  • from Shenandoah Valley VA June 15, 2011Music Background:
    40+ years from road bands to hobby bands

    A ton of tone with out the ton!

    I have and have owned a lot of amps over the 40+ years i've been playing. I've always thought thet the '77 Peavy Classic was the most versatile amp. This thing takes it a step beyond. 2-channels that can be used as 4... The contour makes like 8. and the 5-25 switch will give you another set of textures. Since we always mic, I use the power select more for tonal quality than volume. So you can almost say it has 16 variations. If you can't at least find a couple with that much choice?????

  • from PA March 18, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Mesa/Boogie Express 5:25 is a winner

    First off, I was able to hear the amp with the 10" speaker and 12". No comparison, the 12" speaker offers a bigger, fuller sound. Simply put, it sounds better. The clean channel is very nice and with the contour and gain knob you get a lot of different sounds. Crunch offers a creamier type of distortion over a Marshall Triple lead. I found it sounds great with a Strat and Les Paul. Les Paul though saturates fully at about 6 or 7. So it sounds best to me at gain control from 4-6 for Rthy. With single coil pickups, you can put the gain on 10 and it won't over saturate the sound of the Strat. Blues is a clean type of sound but with a little balls. Burn mode sounds great on Strat's and Les Paul's. I prefer the more British distortion on this model over the 50 watt express that uses 6L6 tubes. Very nice manual with some good settings examples to use. 5 watt mode reduces headroom, but a more garbled distortion that can be great with the right type of sound. Great amp for studio and small club situation where you will mic your amp to the house.

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