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Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special 30-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Coca Bronco/Cream Bronco Reviews

4.5 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special 30-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Coca Bronco/Cream Bronco?

Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special 30-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Coca Bronco/Cream Bronco?

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  • from Kentucky July 4, 2016Music Background:
    Long time musician / hobbyist studio & songwriter

    The Soul of Tone

    What can you say about a Lonestar Special that hasn't been said? Truly a modern day classic and the very soul of my rig. Great cleans, great reverb, great overdrive sound, this is a fantastic recording or gigging amp. I've owned Mesa's before and I've always been a big fan but this amp has something special going on. I love it and I highly recommend it. It's just a fantastic amp for the studio and it does everything from ambient to classic rock and roll perfectly. The other plus is that it handles pedals perfectly, it has so much versatility and now it's replaced my other vintage style amps.

  • from waterford, MI June 29, 2016Music Background:
    Guitarist and Composer.

    Awesome Tone!!!

    First I want to say thank you Brian VanDeKeere from the Sweetwater team for helping me with any questions i had about this amp.
    If you are looking for one amazing tone and quality this is your amp. I'm so happy to own this amp and cannot thing about anything wrong about this product.
    Thanks Sweetwater for always helping me.

  • from Arizona August 25, 2015Music Background:
    Semi Professional Musician

    UPDATE: Review Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special 1x12

    This is an update to my original post on from Arizona on June 22, 2015.
    So, it has been over a couple of months and after putting the Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special to the test through countless gigs I have to declare that this is the best amp I have ever played.

    Sound: Absolutely without doubt the best sounding all tube amp that I have every performed with! It took me more than one try to dial in that perfect tone, what I refer to as the sweet sound for both the clean and overdrive channels, but now I am totally satisfied. Yes, if you read the manual and apply the guidance and direction anyone can achieve the sweet sound. I will attest that the control knobs are very sensitive and it does not take much movement from any of them to change the sound. The clean channel cuts through the band very easily without micing and has that beautiful glassy and chiming EL84 sound that breaks up perfect. The overdrive channel has a tone that us unmeasured by any other high gain overdrive amplifier that I have every performed with. I perform country, blues and rock weekly and I am totally satisfied with the full tonality spectrum of this amplifier. I have received many compliments on the overall sound of this amp at every gig. And no this is not just for the Fender musicians, I play a Gibson Les Paul Traditional and an 89 Gibson Memphis ES335 Dot.

    Quality: This thing is built like a tank, literally! 100% quality and craftsmanship have been tooled into this product. It is quite heavy, but I have no problem carting this amp around with my little dolly cart. I have received numerous compliments on the looks and quality of the construction to include that the Made in the USA sticker is still present. I have not, nor do I intend to drop this amp, but I am very confident that it will withstand a fall or two with no issues.

    Overall assessment: This is the working musicians amp! If you are looking for an all-around tube amp that can cover a wide variety of music, this is the amp for you! Yes, it may be expensive, but you are getting great quality in sound and craftsmanship. I am putting my Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue up for sale and picking up the extension cabinet. As stated above, this is absolutely without doubt the best sounding all tube amp that I have every performed with! Thanks to Randall Smith and his team of professionals for building this quality amplifier and making me a part of their family.

    Patrick Rayl

  • from Arizona June 22, 2015Music Background:
    Semi Professional Musician

    Review Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special 1x12

    I received my Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special 1x12 (LSS) on Friday, 12 June 2015 and all I can say is �WOW!� A big thanks to Brent Leuthold at Sweetwater for getting this out to Arizona in time for a performance. As a performing artist I could not wait to try this amp out. Without hesitation, I parked my Fender DRRI and broke out the LSS for the Friday night performance. This might seem a little risky but, that is how I have lived my life. I was blown away at the sound and versatility of this amp! Yes, I was somewhat concerned about how the LLS would sound, both clean and overdriven. I used my Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II entirely throughout the night bouncing between single coil and humbuckers while using all three toggle positions. After putting down the first set list and making minor adjustments I could not believe the clean tone I was getting out of the LLS. It cut through the mix with no problem and the EL84s sound amazing! The LSS performed flawlessly covering country, blues and rock-n-roll material. I have since used the LSS for my performances and it has become the one and all amp for me. My search for the perfect amplifier is over.

    CLEAN: I used the 30 watt setting for cleans with the following settings: gain at 12 oclock, master at 12 oclock, treble at 1 oclock, bass at 12 oclock, mid at 11 oclock, and presence at 1 oclock. The reverb was set at 1 oclock and it sounded awesome. Amazing cleans is all that I can say! I also used a Boss DD7 and Super Chorus which the LSS handled well.

    OVERDRIVE: I used the 15 watt setting for overdrive with the following settings: overdrive switch on; thick switch in normal position, drive at 1 oclock, Gain at 3 oclock, master at 11 oclock, treble at 1 oclock, bass at 11 oclock, mid at 11 oclock, and presence at 12 oclock. This sound was amazing!
    I will echo Mesa Boogies claim (The magic sound of EL84s running pure Class A, delivers seductive tone and an elastic feel) This tone is just that, unbelievable!

    In conclusion, this amp delivers on all of Mesa Boogies tonal claims. I will put it to the road test and write another review after it has logged in several hours of use. I will also state that this is not a high gain amp but, it really has the sweet overdriven tone that is needed for traditional/classic rock and blues which, covers all my material. If you are looking for an amplifier with tonal capability and world-class craftsmanship then I would highly recommend checking this amp out.

  • from San Diego Ca. January 2, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Lone Star Special

    I love my lone star special. It does everything I want it to do. What a warm cranking sound to a sweet clear sound. I've played many amps, this one will go to the grave with me. It rock my world..........................

  • from Tucson, AZ December 12, 2012Music Background:
    Performer, recording, live sound. Bass and keyboards mostly, some acoustic and electric guitar.

    Very Nice Amp

    I love the sounds I'm getting from this amp. Very versatile from sweet and clean to crunchy and creamy, warm and woolly to bright and crisp. Works very well as a low volume practice and recording rig. I'm using it primarily with an ES-335 with 57 Classic pickups. I have yet to try it with a single coil instrument.

  • from Dallas, Texas April 14, 2012Music Background:
    Recording engineer, former pro musician

    A truly musical amp

    I have owned this amp for three years now and use it for both recording and gigging. This is an incredibly versatile amp - it has a singing tone and voicing that cuts through and puts you right where you need to be in the mix whether live or in the studio. The EL-84's have detail and richness in the mids that you just don't get with 6l6's. And the clean sounds are fantastic. For me the key in getting the most from this amp was putting a compressor in the signal chain. Paired with a PRS it just sings. I also use it with a Tele and get great tones but you have to tweak the settings slightly. It's easy to use but like anything you have to play with it over time to really find your sweet spots. The most musical amp I have ever played.

  • from Texas May 14, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great stand alone or combine with an external cab

    Super flexible, great sound, plenty loud. Love the multiple power settings. Sounds great in the single 12 configuration but when I want a little more, I add a 2x12 Mesa v30 cab. Great effects loop, very nice reverb.

  • from Augusta, GA, USA April 14, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician 20 yrs

    Best Onstage Amp I've Owned

    Best tone, most versatile, and most portable of any onstage amp I've ever owned with TONS of headroom. I can easily cut through playing with others who have double the wattage, or use in studio or mic'd onstage for mixing on the lower wattage settings allow for clipping at lower volumes. light weight and casters for ease of transport.

  • from Southeastern PA. December 30, 2009Music Background:


    This one of those amps that every serious guitar player should have a chance to play in their lifetime. Absolutly perfect in every way. Every pieceof this amp is built more than over kill. INS & outs for everything, even tube driven effects loop.

    At home in the bedroom, studio, or stage, enough power for almost any venue (short of outdoor stage @Superbowl halftime. Tone Tone Tone OMG Tone 5-15-30 each a different tone x2. I have the matching ext cab with mine, and it let's the amp show it's true potential.

    The downside is that it looks so sexy, you have to contend with the slobber stains on it, when people are inevitably drawn to it!

  • from Joplin, MO December 10, 2014Music Background:
    Radio personality, Session guitarist

    One of A Kind

    I bought the LS Special a year and a half ago entirely on spec and word of mouth and what I had seen on Youtube videos. I've used it exclusively since then and love it. It has a bit of a learning curve at first because of the way that each EQ setting is it's own gain stage. Therefore, any adjustment made effects every other setting. And there are definite "sweet" spots on each channel, but trust me, when you find them....it's butter. My wife is pleased to know that this is my LAST AMP.

  • from Vacaville, CA November 28, 2014Music Background:
    Guitarist 60 and "he's " unemployed !

    Had One

    I had a Ibenez guitar with 2 humn buckers and a Mesa Boogie. I was just learning songs of " Heart " and man I'll tell you I got the same sound from that set up as Heart's guitarist's did from their CD. I wanted a tremolo bar at the time so bad that ...... Changed guitar's with a tremolo and " change the far " completely , Well ....,

  • from Baton Rouge, La February 27, 2012Music Background:
    Semi Pro

    Mesa boogie tone

    I really like this amp, I play live and it does really well in a live setting. My only complaint is that for me it has taken a lot of tweaking to get the tone that I want. It is different from other Mesa amps that I have owned but it will still get pretty nasty on channel 2, the clean channel can get some nice blues tones. I play a Gibson les Paul and I have had a little frustration getting the hum buckers to mesh well with this amp, however there are some very good sounds but In my opinion it takes some time to find them and the amp is very sensitive so it's a narrow range to get the sounds your looking for.

  • from Akron, Ohio May 12, 2012Music Background:
    Working musician, country, honky-tonk, Americana

    Great amp, But don't buy it for the cleans

    I wanted a 30 watt or less 112 for smaller gigs and practice but wanted something a little more "special" than a deluxe reverb. All the feature of this and the fact it's American really persuaded me. I play a telecaster with a hi output bridge pickup (joe barden Gatton pickup) for clean but twangin chicken pickin, honkytonk, etc. I need cleans that can really twang without overdriving... This amp has one clean setting from the manual that sounded really nice; round, fairly fat, balanced. However, it does not have a sustainable clean volume for anything past a moderately loud bedroom practice. WHENEVER you try to get volume out of this it's always about more and more gain,and does the drive and gain sound awesome! The amp is very musical as others have said. It also blew me away with how transparently it represented my telecaster: you can actually here things like the neck material or high quality saddles. This really is a highend professional rig. I really think it beats out the supposedly "boutique" dr. Z amps I've been able to gig with, no doubt.

    At any rate, I guess I just didn't realize how rock/ blues oriented these amps are. There are a huge variety of usable dirty tones you can get from this amp. However, there are only a handful of clean tones, and of those even less usable ones for anything other than solo bedroom jams. Bottom line, if you play with others or play out and need a variety of cleans, volume, and headroom to back it, this amp just can't do it. But to be fair I don't think it was designed to do that, and I just bought the wrong amp for my job.

    I gave it a 3.5 because even though it's an impressive amp it I just can't believe any quality amp of this caliber can't produce a decent clean tone at a strong volume without overdriving. As a side note I did everything the manual suggested to get more headroom and cleans. Including the cool feature of the speaker impedance outputs which can bring the amp to 35 watts. What was cool is the caster slide and lock into place with these aluminum brackets. These guys know how to build an amp and I love they're reputation and the way they take pride in their amps. They just need to make an amp that's man enough to with stand some fingers diggin into the strings and twangin without overdriving.

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