I am thinking about a Boogie but I am not a shredder

Bloomfield fan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,363
I am thinking about buying a boogie, maybe a Mark V, Mark IV, Mark III. I do not shred, play high gain or a seven string. I like the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton type music. Am I looking at the wrong amp? Boogie is the original boutique, built solid with many usage features.
 

lowpaygigs

Member
Messages
1,187
You do not have be a shredder to play a Boogie. Carlos Santana? I have no idea of your volume needs, but based on the artists you like mark, express or lonestar series amps may all be to your liking. Express has tons of tonal offerings on tap with a great footswitch. Lonestar is classic vintage blues amp sound. Mark is modern and crunchy. These amps are very well built and work wonderfully in a variety of settings.
 

wickedcookie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,138
Have you played one? They are good for much more than high gain shredding, but there is a bit of a learning curve to dialing them in. Reading the manual is a huge help. Each of the Marks shares some common ground, but they aren't all the same amp, so if there's somewhere nearby you can play one (or all) of the three you are thinking of, I highly recommend it.

I have heard quite a few people sound absolutely killer through them, in all sorts of genres light to heavy. I am referring to live, in-person experience, not recordings. Though there are, of course, plenty of great recordings of them as well. That being said, I have never felt that I found a symbiotic balance with any of the Marks I've personally played. It is very likely that I simply didn't spend enough time getting to know them and learning how to dial them in properly, but the simple fact is that I can find the sounds I'm seeking more easily and more to my satisfaction with other amps, so while I recognize their value and versatility, they aren't for me. You may find them to be a perfect fit.

And, as lowpaygigs points out, there are several other Mesa amps that offer similar qualities and are well worth checking out.
 

supergenius365

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,643
I have a IIC+ and couldn't shred to save my life. Keef and Woody rocked Boogie amps from 76-77 up to the 90s. Keith used his on the Xpensive Winos stuff. After 30+ years of playing, I can safely say the Boogie is all I ever need.
 

rambleon

Member
Messages
5,594
I would like at used Transatlantics as well. I have the TA-15 and it's prefect for clean and low gain stuff. I use it for one of my bands where a mellower tone is required and I switch between the AC-15 setting on the green channel and Tweed setting with a little more gain on the red channel.
Between the various modes on the 2 channels, you should be easily covered. And it's super compact too.
 

adagosto

Member
Messages
45
Hi.

I agree with lowpaygigs! I happen to have a 2x12 Mesa Express combo amp. It has the Blackshadow speakers in it. I too really like the bands you have mentioned.

Here's the thing about Mesa...the are very well made instruments. They take pedals very well and respond with amazing character with your touch. I'd say you can get almost anything out of them with proper technique (technique which I lack). BUT, you can do it!

The Mesa Express has a somewhat more modern voice to it. It definitely is NOT voiced for a vintage tone especially with the Blackshadow speakers. But again with a pedal, you can do amazing things with it. I have a Wampler Plexi Drive pedal and it sounds pretty convincing as a Marshall amp. It will not get you all the way into Stones territory, but close.

The Lonestar series might do better as a vintage voice, but I cannot say for sure. I have played the Mark V amps and although they are amazing, they are not voiced for the bands you mentioned. I think the Express sits in the middle of the road meaning it can be tweaked to the 1960's with some work, more easy to the 70's and very easy for the 80's and 90's. It is perfect out of the box for anything in the mid 80's to mid 90's. That 10 year window is where its voice is. But again, because Mesa amps are built the way they are, you can finesse them into different eras fairly well. The more you "date" them, the better your playing skill will need to be and the more critical your guitar and pickups will need to be.

So to answer your question about amps...no you are not looking in the wrong place. A great amp is the foundation of your tone. You need to start off in a good place. Mesa is that place. An Express head can be found for around $800USD. I'd suggest the newer style with the EQ built into the head. I'd also strongly encourage you to get a head and a separate cabinet as you might want to experiment over the years with different speakers which is another huge part of your sound. I wish I had an Express head and not this MONSTER 80 pound beast!!

Good luck!
 

DiPa

Constant GAS
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,286
what I like about Boogies is they are versatile, you dial in pretty much a lot of tone and they sound awesome, icons mentioned in this thread and other jazz-fusion-rock stars own Boogies and have that sound.
My Mesa arsenal has been growing, I did miss out long time ago on getting a IIC+,very regretable, but other than that I own: Mark 1 RI, Kingsnake, Dual Rectifier Tremoverb amp head, Preamp recoding dual rectifier, Mesa 400+ bass with road ready cab containing 2x15, two Mesa 4x12 cabs and one 2x12 Meas cab, am expecting the JP-2C today.
Very happy with Mesa gear and love em.
 

lowpaygigs

Member
Messages
1,187
Hi.

I agree with lowpaygigs! I happen to have a 2x12 Mesa Express combo amp. It has the Blackshadow speakers in it. I too really like the bands you have mentioned.

Here's the thing about Mesa...the are very well made instruments. They take pedals very well and respond with amazing character with your touch. I'd say you can get almost anything out of them with proper technique (technique which I lack). BUT, you can do it!

The Mesa Express has a somewhat more modern voice to it. It definitely is NOT voiced for a vintage tone especially with the Blackshadow speakers. But again with a pedal, you can do amazing things with it. I have a Wampler Plexi Drive pedal and it sounds pretty convincing as a Marshall amp. It will not get you all the way into Stones territory, but close.

The Lonestar series might do better as a vintage voice, but I cannot say for sure. I have played the Mark V amps and although they are amazing, they are not voiced for the bands you mentioned. I think the Express sits in the middle of the road meaning it can be tweaked to the 1960's with some work, more easy to the 70's and very easy for the 80's and 90's. It is perfect out of the box for anything in the mid 80's to mid 90's. That 10 year window is where its voice is. But again, because Mesa amps are built the way they are, you can finesse them into different eras fairly well. The more you "date" them, the better your playing skill will need to be and the more critical your guitar and pickups will need to be.

So to answer your question about amps...no you are not looking in the wrong place. A great amp is the foundation of your tone. You need to start off in a good place. Mesa is that place. An Express head can be found for around $800USD. I'd suggest the newer style with the EQ built into the head. I'd also strongly encourage you to get a head and a separate cabinet as you might want to experiment over the years with different speakers which is another huge part of your sound. I wish I had an Express head and not this MONSTER 80 pound beast!!

Good luck!

All this poster's detailed remarks are accurate. Lonestar is classic blues and the express has a more modern vibe. However, both amps take pedals like champs and can cover a lot of ground. It really comes down to the sound one likes and money. I have the express as combo but wish I bought the head/cab, as this poster noted. I have a rec as a head and cab, which makes transport and trying different speakers easier. Reading the manual is crucial with Mesa. It has a unique tone stack. BTW the express plus is worth the extra money over the prior iteration. It has a great 5-band EQ. The express sounds fabulous with a greenback and brings into more of a vintage attitude versus the spikey vintage 30 that comes stock.
 

Ilduce

And now for something completely different!
Messages
4,597
I play mostly classic old school rock and blues and have a express 5 50 non plus combo that works great for these styles of music. I paid around $600 shipped for it around two years ago and you really can't do better for the money imho.
 

Beng2040

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,468
The IIC+ I had was extremely versatile and had the best classic rock crunch I've ever heard from an amp (for my tastes, at least). The clean tone was very Fender-like other than the reverb which was decent but not great. It was the best amp I've ever personally owned and I am not a shredder by any stretch. Big Stones, Beatles, Zeppelin, Beatles fan actually. Too bad I needed the money and had to sell. :(
 

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,533
The lonestar and lonestar special are vintage sounding to the core, but that doesn't mean they can't rock.

I have an LSS. I use it for high gain stuff. Incredibly versatile. All boogies are. They do have a "voice" to them that you either like or not.

A lonestar is a like Twin and with a mark 1 attached to it.
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
12,527
I played a mkii c+ for years and should have had a Fender.

The cleans were nothing like a good Fender.

The dirt was really great, but the mild od was not there.

Id rather play a pushed Deluxe Reverb or something similar.

That said, plenty of guys swear by boogie.
 

GMGM

Member
Messages
1,342
I guess I'm subscribed. I've always respected Mesa as a builder, and liked what I hear from a lot of their players. But my hands don't get along very well with 6L6's, and I absolutely HATE/DETEST/GETPHYSICALLYSICK/DISLIKE anything with EL84's (seriously, why do they still make EL84 tubes???).

I've been particularly interested in trying some of the EL34 models that have come and gone from their offering. I believe the Lonestar "Classic" can be biased for EL34's. But no one around the Omaha area has much Mesa in stock (not the models I want to try anyway).
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,966
I don't associate most Mesa players with shredders...like at all. Most Boogies can do it, but I don't think most players who buy them use them in that way.

Players/Bands I associate with Boogies - Santana, Dave Grohl and Chris Shiflett, Incubus, Weezer, Andy Timmons, Soundgarden (Both Kim and Chris), Ed O'Brien (Radiohead), Johnny Marr (at one point), Prince, Frank Zappa, the list can go on.

I think of Mesas as VERY well constructed amps that have a lot of range. The trick is finding the voicing, wattage, and speaker configuration that will cater to your needs best.

I'd start with something that has varying levels of wattage that you can jog down depending on gig, rehearsal, recording needs. I'd also start with a head/small 2x12 cab configuration or a larger 1x12 configuration so you can have something that has a reasonable sized footprint with enough dispersion for big or small shows.

My personal favorites (based on personal experience and use live or in rehearsal) - and in order

Mesa Express 5:50 1x12 combo or head/cab
Rectoverb Series II or new 25 watter
Dual Recto triple channel head (if you're going big)
Lonestar Special for blues or classic rock
I actually LOVED the Stiletto Ace 50 (but most people hated these)

They also have a lot of killer new lunchbox offerings like the Transatlantic and Mini Recto. (no personal experience though)

One of my favorite amp companies. The only caveat is cost.
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,000
I've had four Mesa amps and don't shred. I currently have a Studio .22+ which has a nice clean sound and a great lead sound. The Express 5:50 that I once owned had an even better clean sound- like a Fender with more punch and cut. It's lead sound was very versatile. I also had a DC-3 which had a great clean sound but the lead sound was more strident- more hard rock than classic rock or blues (I felt the same about the Rectos that I've played).

Other than the Express, they all lacked a mid-gain, edge of clean/dirt sound. The Studio .22+ has been my favorite of the bunch, but it's lead tone is very Santana like- compressed with a lot of mids (though I modified it so the tone shift in the lead mode is switchable and replaced the Mesa/Eminence speaker with an Eminence Private Jack. Both mods reduced mids).
The Express had a good edge of dirt sound but it was on the same channel as the clean sound and was not footswitchable.

As much as I like Mesa amps, I prefer the crunchy sound of a tweed Deluxe, especially for the tones that the OP mentioned.
 

Epic

Member
Messages
75
I guess I'm subscribed. I've always respected Mesa as a builder, and liked what I hear from a lot of their players. But my hands don't get along very well with 6L6's, and I absolutely HATE/DETEST/GETPHYSICALLYSICK/DISLIKE anything with EL84's (seriously, why do they still make EL84 tubes???).

I've been particularly interested in trying some of the EL34 models that have come and gone from their offering. I believe the Lonestar "Classic" can be biased for EL34's. But no one around the Omaha area has much Mesa in stock (not the models I want to try anyway).
I think most, if not all, of their current non lunchbox amps have a bias switch so you can choose 6L6 or el34.

I know the roadster, Mark v, and reborn recs do at least.
 




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