Mesa Boogie Mark's

ininnodv2

Strat-Talker
Sep 13, 2011
419
Ohio
Seem's to be a lot of different variations of the series. I'm a big fan of Trey Anastasio and Carlos Santana's tone and both have been known to use those. Does Mesa still make the mark series? Is there something that is in current production that is very similar?

Any input is greatly apprectiated!
 

sevycat

Custom Shop Cat
Aug 8, 2008
12,016
Newark, DE
Seem's to be a lot of different variations of the series. I'm a big fan of Trey Anastasio and Carlos Santana's tone and both have been known to use those. Does Mesa still make the mark series? Is there something that is in current production that is very similar?

Any input is greatly apprectiated!

I would recommend that you visit the Mesa site. Yes, the Mark series is around and yes there was within the last year or so a Carlos Santana series amp made by Mesa.

Good Luck in your search!
 

1300Valencia

Senior Stratmaster
Oct 19, 2011
1,352
Fullerton
Currently, there's the Mark V, which is a 3 channel amp with the sounds of the older Marks, and the King Snake, a reproduction of Santana's one channel original from 1972.
There are many, many used Mark III's and IV's, and you can get two or three of them for the price of a new Mark V. But I guess someone has to pay retail.
Many say the older amps are more aggressive, which means the newer models are more compressed and neutral sounding. The Mark V gets the "too complicated" complaint frequently, as there are a ton of knobs and options.
The early Marks get the "not enough knobs" complaint because channels can share controls, so it just proves you can't please anyone.
 

ininnodv2

Strat-Talker
Sep 13, 2011
419
Ohio
That santana one looks awesome! checked out some youtube videos that sounded nice. i love the simplicity too but of course it's more than the mark v....

Im trying to find an aggressive amp with a reasonable clean tone....
 

ripgtr

Most Honored Senior Member
Feb 16, 2012
5,435
austin
THE MARK SERIES......
is renowned for it's clean tone.

I played an old Mk IIc recently, and it sounded monsterish with just guitar I picked up off the floor at GC.

I had a MK IV for years, the clean tone was good, but not great like that.
Good versitile amp though, covered a lot of different sounds. I had it midi controlled and used all the various settings - and had one pedal, a cheap tube screamer that , with my midi controllers loop, could throw in too, on the few occasions I need it. I could have easily gigged with just the amp.
Heavy as heck.
Loud.
Lots of really good sounds. Never found one I would say was 'great'.
 

BadBrad

Strat-O-Master
Jun 14, 2009
678
Maryland
I have a Mark III combo that I bought new in the late 80's. I obviously have liked it well enough to keep it all these years. It is super versatile with three separate channels, Class A or A/B switch, a bazillion knobs, most of which have push/pull functions. It's a bit complicated to use, but can get clean chimey tones, rectified metal tones, crunch, twang, dirt, and anything else you can imagine. Also has a really nice spring reverb built in. Mine also has the built-in equalizer, which can greatly affect the character of the tone.
 

LPBlue

"That Guy", again...dammit!
Jul 19, 2012
12,994
Canada, near the other end
If you're a fan of the early Marks don't rule out the Caliber series. I'm 20 years into a serious relationship with an 89 50Cal+. Simpler than some of the Mark front ends but it gets the point across...the Mesa way.:cool:


J.R.
 

amstratnut

Peace thru Music.
Dec 1, 2009
21,726
My house.
I had a mk IIc+
My friend had a mkIIb

The mkII B hands down was way nicer. Not sure what they were going for with mkIIC.
 

ininnodv2

Strat-Talker
Sep 13, 2011
419
Ohio
Just saw a mkIIb for a $900. Gonna snoop around for the caliber series.

what did you not like about the mkIIc?
 

amstratnut

Peace thru Music.
Dec 1, 2009
21,726
My house.
Just saw a mkIIb for a $900. Gonna snoop around for the caliber series.

what did you not like about the mkIIc?

It had an ok clean. I wish it had more bass. It had a great distorion but didnt seem to blend well with other sounds.

it had a terrible edge of break up sound. As in I couldnt get it to do that. Too much head room I guess. Oh yeah insanely loud.
 

madryan

Strat-Talker
Jun 5, 2014
108
Southern Oregon
I've owned most of them. They're stellar amps and do a huge variety of tones. Which one you should angle to get depends on what tones you're going for...

So the older ones were a bit more raw and uncompressed. They were basically modded Fender's (plate driven tonestack, cascaded gain stages, etc.) and as such lots of the tones you get are gonna sound like a Fender with big iron cranked up. The good thing is while they're loud amps they're flexible.

Here's a guy I know off the Guitar Amp Board playing his two Les Paul's through the "Lead" channel of a Mark III black stripe (first rev) set kinda dirty...

https://soundcloud.com/dfwxjer/mesamarkiii

The older marks have a very nice bouncy to dirty Clean channel.

Here's one of my favorite strat tones ever and it's John Petrucci playing a Mark IIC+ when he recorded the solo for the song "Lines in the sand"

Dream Theater - 07 Lines in the Sand - YouTube

The solo starts at about 5min 25sec.

So if you own a Mark IIB or C, or a Mark III you've got beautiful cleans through awesome rock tones. The Mark IV was a bit different depending on which one you have. The Mark IVA was a bit different, more aggressive and raw than the Mark IVB, but both had a bit different "feel" and "vibe" than the older amps. The clean was a bit more pristine and less dynamic, and the lead channel was much more "Metal" and less "Rock-n-roll" but still a super versatile amp. In both of these amps you could use R2 (the middle channel) to do almost cranked Bassman type tones.

The Mark V is the newest one and it's got by far my favorite clean channel, the Lonestar clean, as well as a really usable middle channel and a great lead channel. Plus, it's got Mesa's usual full palette of switchable power options and all that. Great amp. (Yup, owned one of those too lol)

I currently own a Mark IVA and a Mark III Red Stripe.

If you want a mark series the only thing that'll get you there is a Mark series. The other boogie amps don't share the same preamp topology. They're really special.

 

Bluesman630

Banned
Mar 5, 2014
1,436
Rhode Island
Anyone have experience with the mesa express 5:50 ? Looks like a simpler mark v.

I had a 5:50 2x12 combo for a while. The reason I sold it? Too loud, and I mean LOUD!
That 2x12 combo could bury my Marshall 100w 4x12 volume wise, and absolutely kill it when it came to hi volume tone.

Its not fair to compare the Express to a Mark, but the Express, especially the Express +, with the built in EQ, can get into Mark territory (both clean and dirty) with ease.

If you can, try one, and really put it through its paces. Its very "Boogie", but isnt for everyone.
I loved it, but for my uses, it was just too much amp.
 

Seanboy

Strat-Talker
Mar 1, 2013
123
Utah
Love my Mark III (black stripe). I've added a thiele cab with the EVM 12L in the thiele, it made a huge difference in the sound. The amp is very versatile, very very loud and built like a tank! As mentioned earlier, they are a bit tricky to dial in and take some time, they aren't like a point and shoot marshall. The trick with the old Mark amps is to keep the bass knob turned down VERY low. I would suggest finding one with the built in EQ, the amp just doesn't have the same versatility without it. Get a Mark III you'll love it! There's different stripe versions also which indicates the revisions as the factory made changes over the years. Do a little research on the stripes, watch some youtube videos.
 

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