Mesa Toobie

This is the last shot in a series to be used to showcase my trusty Mesa Boogie guitar amp as it goes up for sale. One of the biggest differences between amps and the quality of sound they produce comes from whether they're constructed from vacuum tubes like this one or are "solid state."

The distinctly warm sound of a tube amp, especially when rockin' the distortion channel, was an immediate draw for me. The downside: like light bulbs, they wear out and need to be replaced. Guess I didn't practice enough 'cause these are still the originals!

I tried to show off the "warmth" of the tubes (triple entendre: the sound they produce, the color temperature, and the physical heat they give off) by gelling the flashes orange/amber, and also dragging the shutter (with the camera on my new hand-me-down tripod, thanks Corwyn) to really burn in the light coming off of them. This was a 3-second exposure.

Do you like this shot more or less than the others? And why?

Strobist info: Two flashes used here. The main light is an SB-600 with a 1/2 CTO gel in a SB-III from back camera right fired at 1/4 power and bounced off of a piece of white foamcore (basically thick posterboard) hand-held in front of and below the amp to both light up the front (well, back actually) and still produce a soft specular reflection in the shiny metal guard plate. There is also an SB-25 with a Full CTO gel (daylight white balanced) pointed at the rear wall and fired at 1/16 power. It separated the amp from the wall behind it on a more loosely composed shot, but here it just trickles in through holes in the screen and gaps around the head and matches the light from the powered-up tubes.