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Mesa Boogie TriAxis

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User Reviews

One of the best tube preamps out there

By James..., 03/09/2011
5 preamp tubes. 8 channels. 90 presets. midi. fx loop. And most any routing you could need. In terms of tube preamps, this is a fairly modern unit in terms of features. It's made to be used in conjuction with the most modern gear. Most mesa stuff follows this design concept, which is kind of a no corners cut philosophy. While it is technically a digital unit, the audio path is still all tube. This is really mesa's best effort to cram all its best amps into one preamp unit. And when paired with a good mesa power amp, this should theoretically get you all those sounds.


One thing I really like about this unit is the ease of control. Every parameter is controllable in real time just like a real amp and Mesa has taken every effort to make it feel like a real amp. There aren't any crazy menus to wade around in for hours. This isn't the easiest preamp to use, but given all it can do, it sure could be a lot more complicated. The manual is great, like most Mesa manuals. There's a lot of sounds in here and the literature reflects that.


I'm using this preamp in a rig right now with a Mesa Strategy power amp and a VHT fat bottom 4x12. It's quite loud, obviously. But I reserve this rig for really big shows. I control the Triaxis with a Ground Control Pro.

I feel like I should just go through each channel.

R Green - This is really Mesa's shot at a blackface clean. They tend to do this very well, however while I really like this channel, I feel like the clean channel on the Studio preamp they make is better.

R Yellow - Not a fan of this one. If you've played the Mark IV clean channel you know what I mean. It's just meh.

Lead 1 - This is your early santana and overdriven fender sounds. You can get some good clean sounds out of it though. I play a lot of santana covers and this channel gets that tone in spades.

Lead 2 - The Green and yellow channel are basically your Mark II through Mark IV sounds. Metallica and Dream Theater is your tonal pallete here. In my opinion this is the best sounds in the box right here. The high gain sounds of the Mark series are delivered with a vengeance.

Lead 2 red - Recto tone. Plain and simple. And it's actually done pretty well. Although for anyone who's never played an older Recto, this does not sound like the new ones. This is based on revision 1 so it has more mid action going on.


The cleans on the triaxis are pretty good but not insane. The mid gain and high gain sounds range from great to amazing. Value is good but not cheap. This is not really a budget preamp and I would rather recommend the Studio preamp for people on short change. That said I really love this thing. It has the classic mesa sounds and does most of them really well. Unfortunately if you are looking for something other than mesa/blackface tones this will NOT do it. Forget about it. Go get a JMP preamp or something else. Otherwise, this is your guy.

Solid build solid buy

By iamqman, 06/04/2011
This is an all in one Mesa Boogie bonanza! This preamp is covering a lot of history with Mesa's tones throughout the years. Though it does have a slight limitation of the feel of each of the offerings such as the early Mark l series or the Mark llc+, it still comes very close to those original tones.


Handbuilt in Petaluma, California


8 Modes (MK I / Vintage Fat Clean, MK IV / Hyper-Clean, MK I / Lead, MK I / Gain Boost,Classic British Lead, MK IV / Medium Gain, MK IIC+/ Classic High Gain & MK III / Searing Gain)

90 User Preset Locations/128 Midi Program Locations

Midi In/Out/Thru

Midi Continuous Control (any or all parameters)

Midi Data Transfer

Phantom Power (for Footcontroller)

Programmable FX Loop w/Stereo Returns

4 Programmable Function Switches (Controls Smart Power™ “Deep, Half Drive or Modern” on select MESA Power amps or controls other outboard gear)

Stereo Main & Recording Outputs
Available as:

TriAxis Pre-Amp • 1 Rack Space


Eight Preamp Modes

Vintage Fat Rhythm (Mark I, Black-face)

Rhythm Yellow
Modern hyper-clean Rhythm (Mark IV)

Lead 1 Green
Vintage Mark I Lead

Lead 1 Yellow
Mark 1 Gain Boost

Lead 1
Classic Boogie Lead

Lead 2 Green
Medium Gain Boogie Lead

Lead 2 Yellow
Classic Boogie Lead (Mark IIC+/Mark IV)

Lead 2
Searing Boogie Lead


This unit can produce some searing Mesa sounds in a one space preamp rack unit. Couple this with one of Mesa's power amps and you will have nice arsenal of Mesa flavors at your disposal.

I know that some people aren't a fan of the early Mark series amps but the ones they have simulated in this unit are amazing. However, if you are going to do this unit any justice you will have to play it on the Lead 2 red mode. Here you will hear what this thing was made to do and that is balls to the walls Mesa heavy riffing. Couple this with one of mesa's 4x12 cab with Vintage 30 Celestion speakers and the mesa power amp and you will be good to go. Deep rich chunky rhythm is what makes Mesa so unique and all of that sweet tone-age is pronounced in this unit.


I would recommend this unit to any Mesa Boogie lover and especially the Mark llC+ users who don't want to put out the money for a real one or simply can't find one. At new these units come in at around $2000 which is kind of high for a preamp you would think. However, this unit does cover a ton of ground. Why should you buy this over a Mark V which is less money and comes with a power amp....well this is midi function able.

My personal preference is to buy a used Dual Recto or a Mark lll which is my favorite two amps that Mesa ever produced. For the price of those two you could probably come close to one of these new.

Factory sounds

By NicolasD, 26/07/2010
Thank you for the other users who, by their descriptions, did the job for me;)


To the question "do you get a good sound easy?" Is true we would tend to find that perfect preamp, but the answer is no, not 100X, dixit manual: "... and we find that a single master TriAxis already represents quite a challenge for anyone. "
Let me explain: The TRIAX filled with good things but to really master it and get the best from the camera, you have to spend much time on it.
It's been 10 years that I have and I discover or rediscover the sound. As my tastes change, the way I deal with them too.
The settings on the TRIAX are very subtle. We will immediately correct sound with the factory presets to get the sound but it looks you really have to take the lead.
The manual helps a bit, especially to understand the different modes, but once you understand their philosophy, it must be close and use his ears.
Users of the TRIAX often limited to its "Petrucci" but there is so much more versatile than that!
Also, a small flaw: when one uses the methods of 2:90 or effects loop, press a button 24 times and go through all modes to return to its base. It's pretty tedious when you just wanted to test a new combination.
Good point for the phantom power (but not usable with all cranks noon).


RHY GREEN mode "Blackface" (with lots of bass then) but far from the trunk of a Fender. The twinamp I got rid sounded better. That said, it is widely usable. With the gain in depth and ES 335, it was very warm blues. Not bad but not particularly remarkable.

RHY YELLOW: The clean channel of the MARK IV: very clear sound right, cold or frozen, that does not saturate. The sound we like to call "crystalline." Very effective because it shows live better than the green channel.

GREEN UPDATE 1: The sound of the Mark I. THE MESA its origins (Fender hot lapped), very 70's, very hot, like Santana when he told Randall Smith: "Shit man. That little thing really Boogies!"

YELLOW UPDATE 1: The same but more saturated. Just as hot. Personally, I prefer to GREEN.

1 RED LEAD: According to the manual, "This mode is by far the most aggressive of the 6 modes. The favorite of many users, at least my favorite for years. High Gain saturation really drooling a little, just enough to hide the bread;)
It seems that it is the channel Vintage / Orange Dual Rectifier Solo head. I call it an attempt Marshallian rather successful. With the gain and drive at least we have a very nice crunch.
Effective for rock in general and its derivatives (hard, metal ...)

LD 2 GREEN: The channel midgain of MARK IV, many mediums, the opposite of Marshall. The other feature of its mark, AMERICAN MODERN SOUND. I was not really hooked early, perhaps because he does not forgive mistakes, I was not technical enough, and it was not dug enough for me. Since I've matured and I can say this is by far my favorite. And it is not only good for extreme music but for virtually all styles.

LD 2 YELLOW: The overdrive channel of the Mark II C + (amp fetish Metallica hehehe ...). It is the channel dedicated to the metal. More bass than the LD 2 GREEN but not really over. I confess I do not really feel the difference, besides Metallica was using both on the Black Album. With the voicings of 2:90 was a sound very close, very metal but that does not saturate that much, do not expect the ultra high gain, this is not the case.

RED LD 2: The channel of saturated Mark III, one of which apparently John Petrucci uses for his solos. I confess that the only way that I program ever. I can not find it natural, it was too "chemical". It has many acute, it is right but there is nothing to do, I do not really like it. Tastes and colors ...

I should mention here that the younger TRIAX when it was a preamp output, really bad, especially with the 2:90 voicings and deep, half and modern. It is always a little biensur but is now rolling through Diezel heads or Engl.

To have tried with several guitars, I think it looks better with those equipped with humbuckers Les Paul type guitars or active pickups ESP types.


To summarize, this is the best preamp rack market. Simply because other brands have stopped production or that competitors are too cheap. In any case, there is not as comprehensive and versatile, whatever the price range.

It is not perfect biensur:
- In addition to that button must be pressed 24 times (see above) we feel a brief change in volume, about one second between two distinct modes (not between two modes LD1 LD1 but between a mode and a mode LD2 example). And frankly it audible.
- When registering a preset, if the unit is old, sometimes the buttons "freezent. It must then restart the Triax. This is apparently not a problem of software but a mechanical problem.
- The price ... When we buy the Triax, it is essential to couple it to a 2:90. I use it sometimes with a 20/20, that's fine too but it's mate, is objectively not as well with a 2:90, they are inseparable. And acquiring the two is quite a sum of pay. That said, people get tired easily from a rack and I've seen it used, almost new, 700 euros.
- Maintenance, change lights and TRIAX and 2:90 is quite expensive.
- The output RECORDING does absolutely nothing. It's ugly.

- The incredible range of sounds. I defy anyone to find more complete preamp "tube.
- It has been designed for the professional, with lots of space to store its presets can be assured with any great variety of styles.
- The clarity and brightness settings on the front, we know them right away, even in the dark.
- The DYNAMIC VOICE EQ V, which can transform a sound.
- The Phantom Power
- The possibility of using MIDI continuous controller messages with version 2.0, which allows for example to increase the settings for that diminishes others with an expression pedal (for example, when you press pedal, and the gain is increased while reducing the mids and bass master).

If I could improve it ... I already ask MESA BOOGIE have an email address to get started:)
Then I ask them to reduce the size of the triax half full to put in my bag, to make a real exit emulation HP, adding reverb and put automated knobs instead of buttons, c ' is still much simpler in concert.

I've had 10 years (I bought secondhand, it was easy 15). He did not always let go, it really is quality construction.
I have 4 amps and this one I know best and the only one I will probably not sell.
Despite its price, if it is still a best seller (and if Metallica always comes back in the studio) is that there is a reason. To think;)

jimbojet's review

By jimbojet, 02/08/2009
See description for other opinions, or mesa site!


The configuration is it simple?
then the talk must be:
it says much about the bcp TriAxis: gas plant ... hyper complicated ...
not agree!
for those who do not know: we must understand that this is a preamp rack: up to the ok, but the particularity is that the different modes should not be seen as 'channels' different but as completely separate preamps ...

is in black and white in the user manual Mesa ... I think bcp do not see as a a!

So, no, it is not so complicated:
if you operate a mode (so a preamp), and you have the buttons (except that they are displays) normal:
gain, volume ... and a standard equalizer (treble, medium, bass)
that when touching a button dergle everything else ... probably not, has an influence, of course ... as any preamp pots ... nothing new ...
I would say a car I am not musicos ing his or pro, and so no computer that I am still looking how to turn on my computer ... and triax, I succeed very well ...
especially as there bcp presets in memory or on the internet ... the coup with the display is very easy to bite sounds!
Do you get a good sound easy?
see above
yes of course

The manual is clear and sufficient? ...
the manual is very complete, it is found on the Internet in French, humorous ... these guys know what they are talking
APRS I do not spend a lot of time ... I am also looking for sound alone;
However manual binding pr me MIDI and stuff as a scholarly


Is it your style of music?
tt can do I think;
for me blues and clean sounds, distortion metal
With what (s) guitar (s) / low (s) or effect (s) do you play?
ah yes: it's pro stuff, so each guitar spring thoroughly, its peculiarities ... was weird
the coup; SET after a few different guitars ...
you can not make a Start, and esp with a EMG and play live, just need to review the equalization to each guitar (and back, as was impeccable!)
I have with me jou seymour jackson, ibanez Di Marzio, strat us, esp emg
What are the sounds you prfrez, you dtest?

I love everything but I have not toured the amp more ...
Attention can also create sounds shit, it's the mesa but it can also do so rotten vs evil sound ADJUST


How long have you use it?
2 years
What is the particular feature you like best and least?
1U format, the displays that can find the settings, to the spinning several ... ...
the fact that it is noon, it is infinite, you can settle as many sounds as necessary ...

particularity of the "good" stuff: brought out all the defects of games! and therefore all the qualities as (a people do not speak often): it's alive, touch spring, attacks ... breads too! and then some!

Have you tried many other models before acqurir?
mesa recto preamp, line 6 (sisi) brunetti; marshall ... question of taste: the stuff today is good enough to choose!

How do you report qualitprix?
occas of right, I would not buy new ... too expensive (in France!) the US's not the same

Exprience with, you will do again this choice? ...
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Mesa Boogie TriAxis tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Mesa Boogie
  • Model:TriAxis
  • Category:Tube Guitar Preamps
  • Added in our database on: 05/04/2007

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Other names: tri axis, triaxisv2, triaxis v 2