Can a Mesa Mark II please a Fender fan?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by abnerfm, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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    Hi guys

    I'm a fan of the Fender sound and currently have a 1966 Band-Master and a Fargen Dual Classic (channel 1 is Super Reverb-based, channel 2 is Bassman/JTM45-based).

    Lately, I've been gassing for D-style amps as they have big cleans and plus the drive channel but, as you all know, these amps are expensive (but I know most of them worth the money, although I don't have it now).

    So, would the Mark II be a good alternative? I'm asking because although these 100 Watt Mesas are very powerful amps, I only have experience with the Mark III, which I found to be too stiff sounding and the cleans are kinda sterile IMO. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Snottyboy

    Snottyboy Member

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    I'm a long-time Fender guy, so that is my tonal reference as well. Picked up a Mark III blue-stripe, then a Mark IIA sometime thereafter. The Mark IIA clean channel sits somewhere between the Fenders I've played (SFVR/SF Bassman/SF Champ, Vibrochamp, SFTR) and the Mark III. A bit looser, but still Boogie-focused, not as stiff as the Mark III. That said, it does take some time to understand the amp and learn how to dial it in. Now that I understand the Boogies, they are amps that each have a special place with me. Maybe ask over at the Boogie Board as well for more opinions.
     
  3. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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    Thanks a lot. Is it picky with speakers?
     
  4. Snottyboy

    Snottyboy Member

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    My IIA has the original JBL K120 in it, and I have also run it into a matching Boogie cab with an EVM-12L. The JBL is full on top and bottom, bright and clear, so a good transition from the Fenders I was used to. The EVM-12L is a great speaker and softens the highs a little compared to the JBL. I am currently wondering about other flavors as well. I have a Mesa C90 that I have yet to try in it, but I will soon.
     
  5. kdc113

    kdc113 Member

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    I have a Mesa Studio Preamp, basically a Mesa MKII preamp. The clean sound is very Fender, to me, something in between a Twin and a Bassman. It can sounds clean as a transistor amp, or get a little breakup as you get high on the volume control.
     
  6. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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    Great, thanks!
     
  7. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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  8. Snottyboy

    Snottyboy Member

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    ^^^^^ That amp appears to be a Mark IIB, which I personally have no experience with. My understanding is that the IIB is along the lines of blackface Fender on the clean channel. The IIA (my amp) is quite different than the IIB in terms of voicing from what I understand. Stripe color refers to the Mark III amps. Looks like a nice amp.
     
  9. orogeny

    orogeny Supporting Member

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    the reverb tanks are too small for me and something about the verb in general (which i use gently on my amps) fails to get me get to that classic fender sound.
     
  10. Snottyboy

    Snottyboy Member

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    ^^^^^ That's a great point. The reverb on either of my Boogies isn't nearly as pleasing as any of the Fenders I've played. I often use an outboard pedal for verb with them.
     
  11. rummy

    rummy Member

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    Not in my opinion.
     
  12. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I'm familiar with both Fender and Mesa.
    It's not the easiest transition between the two, and it's a real big jump from Bandmaster to 100 watt Boogie MK II.

    Maybe the old "Super 60", the 60 watt Mark I would work, but even those are flamethrowers compared to a Bandmaster and you'd need good reason to put the extra power to work.

    Seems like the Fargen should be in the ballpark as Fender alternative; what is it about that amp that isn't cutting it for you?

    Might want to consider a Kelley, those do real nice higher gain sounds without being too over the top modern high gain.
     
  13. aleiberman

    aleiberman Member

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    I find that the Mark Series, especially the Mark III and II are extremely aggressive amps. It does have good cleans, but it is not as nice sounding as a fender. It is heavy in the mids, which is not your typical blackface. It's more in your face, no matter what setting you dial in. I find it has too many knobs to twist and pull to try and get the tone I'm looking for. The knobs are very interactive, and you can get a lot of different tones in a single amp. If you like to fiddle around, then Mark series is your amp. It's common knowledge that the reverb is very weak. But it is great if you like a touch of reverb. I prefer simple layouts, and I found that the Mark Series could do a lot, and way more too much amp for my needs. I also find that it's very stiff sounding compared to my fenders. I changed speakers tubes, etc, and it was always a hard amp to play through. This is all my opinion of course. To be fair, it is still a pretty awesome amp, built like a tank, and can handle a beating. Did mention that it is a LOUD aggressive beast!!!!
     
  14. Fishyfishfish

    Fishyfishfish Member

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    I could get my Mark III pretty close to a Band Master that was the other guitar player was using with the GEQ so I was pretty happy about that. I feel the combo size and the EV kind of made the amp sound constricted sounding by itself. In a band mix it really didn't make a huge difference. The reverb is the weak point on the older marks but Boogie does have a mod to fix that. Pretty much indestructible amps if you are willing to compromise a tad.
     
  15. skizziks1

    skizziks1 Member

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    Have a Mark IIB. Sounds like the loudest, punchiest Twin reverb you've ever heard (clean channel). Regards Skizziks
     
  16. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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    So it is similar to a D-style amp?
     
  17. aleiberman

    aleiberman Member

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    A lot of people say yes. you can get some dumble tones from these early mark series amps
     
  18. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a IIC+. The best and worst thing about it is the number of interactive control knobs. I think you could dial in just about any sound you want (almost), but it might take you a few years to find it. I have never tried to dial in an exact Fender sound, but I think of my amp as a vertical Twin. I use a separate reverb pedal (Wampler) which works really well with my set up.
     
  19. skizziks1

    skizziks1 Member

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    My IIB is a 1-12 combo with 100W, EV, reverb and no graphic EQ. It does the D-amp thing but only at insane volume. Doesn't seem to give it up at 1/2 power. Thanks! Skizziks
     
  20. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I'm gonna be not like a lot of people and say no.

    I think they're different enough to not be functionally interchangeable if you manage to get both doing their best.

    There's enough overlap between them for both to handle similar applications but you could say the same for any two 6L6 based Fender derivative type amps.

    At that point you can save some money and just get a decent Fender Bassman and be in the ballpark in my opinion.
     

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