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1983 Mesa Boogie D-180 Vintage Rackmount Tube Bass Amp Head 200 Watt, 5881


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Up for sale, a 1983 Mesa Boogie D-180 rackmount tube-driven bass head in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with a molded rack case. This extremely well-kept and notably uncommon Mesa amp was produced from 1982-85, with only 681 total units produced in the model's limited lifespan. A dual channel design pushing 200 all-tube watts via a sextet of matched Tung Sol 5881 power tubes, the D-180 is perhaps best known for its extensive on-stage usage by Metallica’s Cliff Burton.

This amp is an absolute powerhouse, delivering huge, thundering tones. Channel 1 features much higher gain capabilities, originally designed for guitar but also exceedingly comfortable with grinding distorted bass tones. Channel 2 was designed to deliver pristine bass cleans regardless of volume, with thich, muscular lows, smooth trebles, and a broad, warm midrange. The channels are strikingly different in nature; this is achieved through the D-180s unique wiring, wherein the channels are stacked in series so the output of Channel 1 is fed into the input of Channel 2. And even though the D-180 has coliseum-size power and classic Boogie warmth and crunch, it can obtain near-infinite sustain and a “full crank” sound at more manageable volumes via the onboard Master, maintaining a dynamic response to user inputs.

Controls include Middle, Bass, and Treble EQ knobs, with a Master Volume control and independent Volume knobs for each channel. Both Treble and Bass knobs have Pull Shift functionality; the Treble Shift lowers the frequency affected by the control and provides an extra midrange gain boost, and the Bass Shift increases amplifier sensitivity in the lower frequency range. There are two pairs of effects loop Send and Return jacks (one on back and one on front), along with pairs of 4 and 8 ohm speaker outs, Blend and Slave knobs on the back panel and an XLR Direct Out.

The tube complement comprises a matched sextet of Tung Sol 5881s (6L6GC) in the power section and four 12AX7s (two EHX, one Amperex, one National) in the preamp.

The rack-mount chassis is extremely clean, and cosmetic wear is limited to just a handful of minor scuffs and marks on the unit as a whole. The graphics are pristine, and all of the original knobs are present.

A Gator Pro Series molded case/head sleeve is included.