Mesa/Boogie TriAxis

So, I have a TriAxis now for the coming week. I went to a music store and they had a used one and I wanted to try it out. I am a regular there and I know the people a bit. So the guy said "Well instead of trying it out here, you can take it home with you for a week and see if you like it". I was pretty surprised because they'd never came up with ideas like that before. I'm using it with my Peavey Classic series 50/50 poweramp which I got with my ADA MP-1. So far I really like the TriAxis but don't really understand it yet. It's got a pretty big manual with it and there is a lot of features. I guess so far I've played around with presets that were already in it. I got some nice tones out of it. It is probably the best amp I've played with so far. I've heard of there being bugs in earlier versions of the TriAxis and that they solved this with the 2.0 version of the amp. When I mentioned that to the store guy he said he was sure this one was a 2.0. However, this is nowhere to be found on the front panel. The manual talks about 2.0 features but only later on in the manual and the version number is not to be found on the front page or first pages of the manual. Any idea how I can be sure it's a 2.0? The price I can get it for is € 1125. Most used TriAxis units go for €1250 here. Do you guys have any nice tips for a person who gets a week playtime with this thing?
Dark Alone

When you power it on, all the LEDs should read 2.0, indicating that it's version 2.0.

What sort of tones are you going for? I'll help you out as best I can.

chevy Z 302

^listen to him.

good clips, knows how to get tone from the Tri without all the frustration.:)

Dark Alone

Took me quite a while to figure out what worked, and more importantly, what worked for me. It's a very versatile unit, but you gotta learn its quirks. You can't just dial in values that work on other amps. It just doesn't work that way. You have to know its sweet spots.


Cool, it shows 2.0 on the leds when I turn it on. Thanks for that.

Well I'm looking for tones like Metallica had on the Load albums. Black Album is another favorite. I also like tones like Soundgarden had on the song Spoonman.

So far I don't really have much trouble with dialing in tones that I like. But I have no clue yet to how the presets are organized within the device. I don't know if what I'm using are factory presets or some presets/programs that the previous user saved on it.
I haven't bothered with saving/deleting any presets/programs yet.

I still have a lot of time to spend on the manual, but if you have any cool ideas for me, be my guest!

Dark Alone

Well, for the Metallica sounds you're looking for, try the Lead 2 Yellow and Red for the Black album stuff, and the Lead 1 Red for the more Load style stuff. But remember, the Lead 2 modes will EQ completely differently than the Lead 1 modes.

Some rules of thumb:

-turn the output knob up to like 6-7

-how high or low you set the master volume on each setting will determine how much or little your poweramp is contributing to your tone. If you crank the master, you won't have to push your poweramp as hard. If you set the master low, you'll crank the poweramp and get more tube saturation going. This is all a preference thing, so play around and find what works for you.

-avoid setting the bass above 5.5/6.0 on the Lead 2 modes, as they can get farty and undefined at high levels

-on the Lead 1 Red mode, feel free to set the levels more like a traditional amp, as it can handle higher levels of bass and treble much better than the Lead 2 modes

-play around with the Gain and the Lead Drive settings, and learn how they interact. I try to match mine, but you'll find what works for you.

-for more mid scoop, crank up the Dynamic Voice. This also boosts the treble and bass, and seemingly the overall volume, so you might have to compensate your master volume setting.

-when Mesa says the best results come from using settings sparingly, they're right. On my main tones, NOTHING is up at 9 or 10. So tinker around and you'll figure out what's working.

-down the line, I must recommend the 2:90. The 3 voicings it offers the TriAxis really do make a big difference in your tone.

So... have fun!


The EQ settings on the TriAxis isn't like the EQs on most amps. Instead, it is a setting of how much of that part of the signal is going through the preamp. You can leave the bass at 1 on a crunch patch, and still have crunchy bass. The EQ (like on other amps) is actually controlled by the Dynamic Voice.

Dark Alone

I really hope that Mesa updates the TriAxis with an actual 5-band Mark-esque EQ down the road.


8.0 6.5 2..0 4.0 0.0 7.0 5.0 5.5 8.0
Yellow LD2

That's what I use for my puppets sound. Through EMG 81 Explorer. It goes through an FX rack though that saturates and EQs the signal a bit making it tighter. but it gives you an idea.

my favorite clean tone:

4.0 5.0 3.0 4.5 0.0 0.0 6.0 2.0 7.0
Rhy yellow

A little phaser or chorus and reverb and you get a huge range of tones.

Download the PDF manual at mesa boogie. There is a lot to read and learn about.

Dark Alone

Sites to help you as well:

The Boogie Board TriAxis section

The TriAxis page

Some TriAxis clips with settings


Thanks for the support!

Yeah I've noticed the Dynamic Voice settings. I like it best around 7 at the moment. It's really heavy as fuck...and that only on bedroom volume.

To give you an idea of how loud I can get at the moment: The TriAxis volume knob is just between 1 and 2, the master volume setting (digital) is around 5 or 6 and my poweramp is just at 0.5 and 1. :o

I'd love to try higher volumes but I'm using a Marshall 4x12 with it (and I can set this to stereo and only use one side of the cab to make it a bit less 'colossal'). So this setup already makes the floor vibrate.
So far I'm really impressed. In the following days I will try some of the things you posted here.

Dark Alone

I'm telling ya. Turn the main volume up to 6 or 7. It won't increase the volume all that much, but it will increase the output of the unit which really gets your settings to come alive.


I'm telling ya. Turn the main volume up to 6 or 7. It won't increase the volume all that much, but it will increase the output of the unit which really gets your settings to come alive.

Yeah I believe that in a second. I'm certainly gonna try it and see if I can keep the overall volume on a acceptable level.

Dark Alone

The TriAxis definitely shines at high volumes. If you get the chance, crank that fucker. :evil


I belong to the yahoo group. It's been pretty informative. I haven't gotten much from those other sites. I can tell little difference other than feedback when I increase my Triaxis volume past a certain point. It usually just increases feedback. With EMGs, volume at 6.0+, gain and lead set at 8.0, 2:90 cranked, I get nothing but squeal. I try backing off the tri volume and adjusting gain and lead to taste.

I see no need to crank the preamp tubes with volume when you can crank them with gain and lead circuits. Now when I crank the 2:90 there is more saturation and spongy feel. So I crank it all the time and the FX unit controls the actual volume of my rig. To each his own.

I get great blues tones on Ld 1 green and yellow too.


James Hetfield TriAxis Settings


What the JH link doesn't show is the settings on the midi-controlled EQ unit. In order for someone who only has the TriAxis, you need to dial up the dynamic voice to get the mid-scoop on the EQ.

Dark Alone

Not to mention James' TriAxis units are custom.

The TriAxis won't get you dead-on Hetfield tone. But it will get you in the ballpark, with certain tonal qualities that you will recognize and be very happy with if that's what you're looking for. It's all tweaking from there.


I use an EQ on mine and I'm very happy with the way the Tri sounds. I think the Triaxis really sounds most metallicish with an EQ. I use a graphic but I'd love to use the parametric on the G major dialing in a different eq for each channel. I've never found an amp I haven't wanted to EQ. I have a sound I like and I EQ the bitch until they sound like all the others.:D

I know Mesa will customize your Triaxis for a price. I wonder if anybody has ever gotten a similar mod to Hetfield. Of course they wouldn't call it Hetfield mod because James is so secretive but you could probably get it done. interesting.

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Dark Alone

This saddens me. But at least you gave it a shot and came away happy. A lot of people try it, don't understand how it works, so they can't get half a decent tone out of it, get pissed off, then rant on message boards about how much it sucks and can't do heavy tones. I LOL.

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