Tom Bowlus’

This Article Was Originally Published On: February 3rd, 2015 #Issue 15.

I have previously had the opportunity to formally review both the POWERHOUSE 212 (BGM #1) and the POWERHOUSE 112 (BGM #5), so I knew what to expect. Namely, solid construction, heavy gauge wire, clean layout, and great attention to detail. The TRADITIONAL POWERHOUSE 810 did not disappoint. Despite the lower price point, the quality of components and construction seemed spot on with what we’ve come to expect out of Mesa/Boogie.

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The gray-and-white jute cloth grill is attached to a wooden frame and surrounded by silver piping. It is held in place by six long wood screws, which pass through rubber grommets. Two additional grommets attached to the grill, and three more attached to the front baffle, help to hold off the grill and keep things vibration-free. The Black Bronco vinyl covering is perfectly applied and feels durable. When it comes to handles, the Trad PH810 has you covered. In addition to the two heavy duty handles integrated into the top back edge (perfect for the “tilt-and-roll”), there are two heavy duty recessed steel handles on each side (you can lift it yourself, but I recommend the two-man approach). But, wait! There’s more! For two-man carries up and down steps (and other awkward moments) there are also two spring-loaded handles on the bottom of the enclosure. For the record, I experienced absolutely no vibration or rattle from these handles, even when slamming the cab pretty hard.

The bottom of the cab also hosts four big, beefy rubber feet and two edge-mounted casters with heavy duty rubber wheels. A substantial kick-plate further assists with the fore-mentioned “tilt-and-roll” maneuver. The corners are made from Lexan, and the four rub rails on the back of the cab also appear to be made from Lexan or a similar material. The input jack plate is nicely recessed, and hosts two of the very handy 1/4″ & Speakon combo jacks from Neutrik.

The eight proprietary 10″ drivers are held in place by eight coarse-thread wood screws, each. My general preference is for bolts into threaded metal inserts, but all of the screws seemed nice and secure. A thin gasket made for a tight seal with the 15mm Baltic birch front baffle. The sealed enclosure is divided into four 2×10 compartments, each of which is well-treated with acoustic batting. As usual, Mesa uses heavy gauge wire, which is nicely braided. The wire leads are soldered directly to the speaker terminals.

Though the TRADITIONAL POWERHOUSE 810 is not a small cab, it is two inches shorter and almost twenty pounds lighter than an Ampeg SVT-810E. No doubt about it, the Trad PH810 is a well-made, solid cab, with great looks to match.

Fig. 1 On and off-axis (15, 30, 45) frequency responses

Fig. 2 Impedance curve

” The sealed enclosure is divided into four 2X10 compartments, each of which is well-treated with acoustic batting “

bass test
WJ Bass Cab

Mesa Boogie
Powerhouse 810


Listed Impedance:4 ohms
Rated Power Handling:1,200 watts
Inputs/Outputs:Two Neutrik® combo 1/4”/Speakon® jacks
Dimensions:26”w x 46”h x 16 5/8”d
Weight:147.6 lbs
Ports:N/ (sealed)A
Covering:Black Bronco Vinyl
Baffle Board:15mm, AA marine grade Baltic birch plywood
Cabinet:15mm, AA marine grade Baltic birch plywood
Grille:Gray & black weave jute grill cloth w/ silver piping
Handles:Two side-mounted recessed steel handles, two top rear edge-mounted steel handles, two spring-loaded handles on bottom of cab
Casters:Two integrated casters on bottom rear edge
Corners:Lex (non-san™ tacking)
Driver Mounting:8 wood screws


Cone Material:Paper
Voice Coil:Info unavailable (proprietary)
Magnets:Ceramic (specific weight unavailable)
Tweeter Adjustment:N/A
Speaker Connections:Soldered connections


Average Sensitivity (200Hz-900Hz):104.8 dBSPL (1 watt @ 1 meter)


1317 Ross St.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Country of Origin:USA
Year of Origin:2014
Warranty:3-year, transferrable
List Price:$1,399.00
Street Price:$1,399.00
Test Unit Options:None
Accessories:Slip cover
Price as Tested:$1,399.00
Available Colors:Black, standard (custom coverings/grills available)
Available Options:8-ohm configuration
Acquired From:Mesa/Boogie
Dates:March to July 2014
Test Gear (in-hand review):F bass VFP-4, Carvin PB5, Sadowsky WL4, Zon Legacy Elite IV, MAS-210Flex, SVT, SVT-810e, Markbass CL108, numerous other Mesa/Boogie heads and cabs


1-5 (unacceptable to impeccable)


Tonal Flexibility:3
Ease of Use:3

In-hand Score 3.58average

On-bench Score 4.07average


Road Worthiness:4.5
Cabinet Construction:4.5

Sonic Profile:

Lows: Full, warm and smooth
Mids: Somewhat mid-forward; very balanced and consistent through the mids
Highs: Impressive high end for a tweeter-less enclosure; smooth and rich


The TRADITIONAL PH810 sets the standard for a big, full, warm, tweeter-less sealed enclosure. It is forceful, but yet smooth and forgiving, and fills a big stage evenly.