Boogie Mark IIc+: What is it about this particular model?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GibsonLives, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    I'm a big fan of tones sometimes heard from older Boogies - those fat, singing notes dripping with a ton of smooth, creamy mids and a whole lot of gain.

    Am I in need of a Mark IIc+ per se in order to get closest to those types of tones, or are there alternative Mesa Mark models which aren't currently fetching $3k?

    What are the specific differences between the highly-coveted IIc+ and the more moderately-priced IIa or IIb (or, for that matter, the Mark I)?

    While on the subject, how close might a Studio .22 Plus or DC-3 get me to what I want?

    In short, is the IIc+ mostly just hype, does it have a perfect storm of features and build-traits, or is it some combination thereof?
     
  2. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    Its a model on which they got a lot of things right. I think the earlier MarkII a's and b's had effects loop issues that were solved on the C+, and there are some differences with the transformers.

    I think the MarkIII red stripe is the closest to a markII C+. But I could be wrong.
     
  3. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    Unobtanium. A feature that was discovered after the amp went out of production.
     
  4. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Thanks, guys. Hopefully, more folks will continue to chime in with their thoughts :).

    Also, if I'm primarily looking for those midrange tones, is there any real harm in finding one of these without the graphic eq in order to save some money? Those with the graphic are obviously more highly sought-after by guys who dig old-school metal, but is it also necessary for the types of tones I want to get?

    Thanks again.

    Steve
     
  5. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    I have a Mark 2B.. the GEQ is pretty critical on that amp. I do not play metal, FWIW.
     
  6. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    Well, heres the thing. The amp is a lot like a Dumble in that you have an input gain stage which is active in both channels, an EQ with some different shaping options, and THEN a cascading gain circuit that can be switched in and out. So, the distortion voice will be overwhelmingly shaped by the sound of the cascading gain stage, which you may or may not like. Thats why the EQ is there, so that you have some adjustability. Dumble did this as well with the HRM circuit.

    I'd try before you buy.
     
  7. BoneSaw

    BoneSaw Member

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    Mark III,IV and V can get close enough at a fraction of the price. The only ones who will deny that are the ones who paid 3k for a IIC+. Theres a video on youtube of Petrucci comparing a the IIC+ mode on the MarkV to a real IIC+, listen and see if the difference in price is worth it to you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbPgr63aaQ4
     
  8. reo73

    reo73 Member

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    Depends how close is close enough for you. The Mark III series amps are definitely in the ballpark but lack a little bit of the same bottom end character and glassy cleans of the IIC+.

    The Studio Preamp & Quad Preamp is very close, especially if paired with a Mesa 50/50 power amp.

    The new Mesa Mark V has a IIC+ mode which is supposed to be really close.

    I would also expect the Mesa Studio 22+ (with the Graphic EQ) to probably be in the ballpark but I have never played one.

    Then you could always buy a decent modeling amp that has the IIC+ model in it. Probably would be close as well.
     
  9. Fishyfishfish

    Fishyfishfish Member

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    The GEQ with the combo is a must for me. I can hang without it with a 4x12, but mostly leave it on anyway. I would look for a III with the EQ or a IV used and call it a day. Both are fantastic amps that can do any type of music without costin an arm and a leg. They are also built like a brick sh~t house.
     
  10. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Thanks, all.

    FWIW, I briefly owned a MkIV combo back in '97. Channel 3 was great, allowing me to get everything from some pretty nice creamy lead tones to hard rock and metal sounds both with and without the graphic engaged (I could cop Phish, Galactic Cowboys, and everything in between).

    That's where the fun ended for me.

    Channel 1 had the harshest, shrillest, most sterile cleans I've personally ever dealt with. Others may love the tone - for me, it was unusable.

    Channel 2 had a muddy, mushy tone that I simply could not tame. Again, unusable for me.

    This was back in the day when I was a lot younger and poorer than I am now, and I wanted one amp that could do it all. What I ended up with was a 3-ton, 3-channel amp with only one channel I didn't despise, so it had to go.

    Ideally, I'd obviously like to be able to utilize all channels that an amp has, though if the price were right, and the weight weren't so damned overwhelming, I could almost see myself picking up a MkIV and just using the third channel. Anyone else have similar problems with their MkIV? Are other Boogies from that era susceptible to these types of issues?

    Again, these are just my personal experiences with a single amp. We're going back 18 years, so unfortunately, I don't remember what settings I used or anything like that.

    Steve
     
  11. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I've had most of the Mark amps, including a IIC+. I found it hard to get a good warm tone at normal volumes. I use two King Snakes now, they fit my style much better. The IIC+ can do more harder rock things, which is a sound I don't use.
     
  12. BoneSaw

    BoneSaw Member

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    I'd get the V head if I were you. You'll get the IV that you liked and the crunch is better than channel 2 on the IV and you'll also get the IIC+ mode, which is at least in the ballpark of the original. Remember the IIC's have shared EQ which makes it hard to dial in a lead and rhythm sound.
     
  13. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    Yeah. I so wish they made a Mark V mini combo, as I don't much care for the head/cab configuration. Also, the price of both the head and a decent cab could very easily get away from me. I really was hoping not to spend much more than $1200 all told, which would easily get me a Studio .22 Plus, DC-3, or even certain Mark II versions.

    I've also been eyeballing the Rectoverb 25 combo for a new option. Outwardly, it doesn't appear like it would be anything close to what I want, but I am hearing some pretty amazing clean, edge-of-breakup, and creamy blues and classic rock tones on Youtube. Of course, clips can be so deceiving, and the fact that it's a Recifier series amp still makes me a bit nervous (as they are traditionally regarded as metal amps). I may get to check the ROV out later this Spring, but that'll require a day-trip out of town, and I won't likely get to hear any Mark I or II amps, or Studio .22s, or DC-3s in person. If I do make it to a dealer, hopefully I'll also get to check out the Mark V:25, Express, and whatever else they've got lying around which just might fit the bill.

    Steve
     
  14. pageburst

    pageburst Silver Supporting Member

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    If your set on Mesa, and are willing to run an overdrive pedal or two, I would seriously look at the Lonestar. I had a Lonestar which I eventually sold for a Carr Rambler.

    Though the car was a better fit for me for a variety of reasons, that the Lonestar was a fine amp with a really nice Fendery style clean tone and a good overdrive channel for lightly overdriven tones. Not as tight and gainy as the Mks but nice old school gain that really liked to be pushed with a good pedal.

    I like the fact that Mesa unlike some other well known boutique brands hand make their amps in Peteluma California. And although these days, I favor the amps made by their California Neighbor Two-Rock, I have great respect for Mesa, both the quality of their Amps and the company
     
  15. johnpace2

    johnpace2 Supporting Member

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    I'd try a Mark III or the Studio or Quad preamp setup first before stepping up to a C+. I've had them all and I think it depends on how sensitive your ears are to the differences.

    The studio preamp is a killer value. You can usually find them for about $500.
     
  16. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    The problem I had with it was tweaking it between home, practice, and gigs. I don't recall thinking the cleans were "sterile" but it was immensely difficult for me to get it dialed in once it was moved to another place.

    I think a lot had to do with the sheer amount of options available and my brain entering "there must be something better" psychosis. Triode/pentode, class switching, etc....there's an inherent grass is always greener feature to these amps.

    The lead channel wasn't as difficult to deal with because the saturation kinda masked everything, anyways.

    I never had much use for channel 2 so i didn't spend a lot of time with it.

    I wish i still had it but i'm ok without it (psychosis mode re-engaged).
     
  17. gitarboy

    gitarboy Silver Supporting Member

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    I bought a brand new simul-class 60 watt 1x12 walnut, wicker front version with the full bells and whistles EV speaker including an anvil case from Boogie in 1981... ($1600).. I've never heard a better lead tone with a Les Paul for me... the cleans were a little sterile to me compared to a Fender but not bad... extremely loud amp with no flub at the bottom... just killed... that was back in my rock, Santana days... when I started playing Blues I switched to a strat and didn't like the tone with the Boogie... great amp... wish I still had it...
     
  18. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I'm a die hard Recto fan and the one thing I'll say is that if you're primary goal is that sweet, singing Boogie lead tone then what you want is a Mark. The compression, texture and midrange voicing is totattly different between the two. With enough fiddling a Recto will scream but it'll never sing.

    Back to the OP, the closest you'll get to a IIC+ is an early Mark III. Early iterations started off as basically a 3 channel IIC+ before they slowly evolved into what became the Mark IV.

    The IIA and B are different beasts than the IIC... more fat 70s than crunchy 80s.

    As for the graphic EQ, Mesa produces their EQ as a pedal now, so you could put it in the effects loop of a non-GEQ amp if you wanted to go that route.

    All that said, if volume is an issue then seriously consider a Mark V. My Mark III was fairly stiff and sterile until it was running hot. The V performs (IMO) much better throughout a range of volume levels.
     
  19. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    The one killer feature found on many IICs is the great SimulClass power amp (I've seen a few IIB Simuls, but they are very rare).
    The rest is metal fans falling for urban myths ...
    I use a Quad and a Studio (either one would suffice) into a Simul 295, all the creamy Mark goodness you could wish for.
    A Mark is quite an unlikely choice for metal imho.
    ymmv,
    Rhino
     
  20. kimock

    kimock Member

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    IIC+ was basically the final evolution of the original Boogie the way I saw it go down.

    That's as refined and dialed in as that idea got; after that things kinda started over in a bunch of new directions in spite of the basic package being very similar in appearance.

    All of the older Boogies could be had with or without the various options, so "perfect storm of features" for a IIC+ would have been considered Simul-Class, Reverb, Graphic EQ and Export Transformer: that was the in-house consensus for pick of the litter.

    Some guys preferred hardwood cabs and combos with EV's, some might have leaned toward heads and cabs with Celestion's, but nobody denied that option package was as good as it got.

    That amp stands on it's merit.
    It was just the best version of all the stuff that came before it, recognizing at the same time there were great individual features from each of the previous amps being incorporated to get to that end result.

    Overall, just a great, no ********, no excuses, lead guitar amp with tons of flexibility.
     

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