Mesa-Boogie Lone Star Review
I tried a Lone Star 1x12 for about a half hour on Saturday. During that time I concentrated on the clean channel. I didn't spend any more than about thirty seconds playing the dirty channel.
First of all, I must preface my remarks by saying that my preferences lately have been leaning away from the Boogie's signature sound. That characteristic midrange peak is there in the Lone Star.
The Lone Star has a lot of chime and sparkle. I didn't A/B it with any other amps, but it reminded me most of the Mark IV. Using a Les Paul double cut, I liked the gain control about half way up. Somewhere in the range of 12:00 to 2:00 the sound warms up and then gets a little hair. Beyond that, it compresses the sound pretty quickly.
The tone controls have a very useful taper. I don't think that people will complain so much about how fussy the settings are. I thought it remarkable that the effect of the bass and mid controls was still very noticeable when the treble control was at about 2/3 of maximum.
The reverb is very deep and swampy when turned up, and has a nice subtle sound and long decay when turned down. There's a reverb tone switch on the back panel (which is where the reverb controls are located), but its effect was too subtle, IMO.
The mode switches are all subminiature short-bat toggles. I'm not a big fan of that kind of switch, but I suppose they're OK since they wouldn't be changed very often. However, I question the use of that kind of switch as the bias selector (EL-34/6L6), hanging off the back panel along with the reverb tone and loop bypass switches. Seems like an accident waiting to happen... I wish they would have used the recessed slide switch found on the Heartbreaker and Nomads.
Tonewise, my main complaint is that the bass is weak. I wasn't able to set up the EQ to have a chimey top end and a solid attack on the fundamentals of the lower notes - the settings went from too thin to borderline mushy without a (to my ears) useful setting in between.