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User Review

One of the best tube preamps out there - Reviews Mesa Boogie TriAxis

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.