I have figured out the secret to unlocking the tone from a Mark series Boogie!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Stormin, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First of all, if your a Boogie hater, please go away! I am a Boogie lover. In the past, I've owned a Mark III and IV, and I've been playing my Mark I reissue for alomst 10 years now. I have finally figured out the secret to unlocking it's magical tone. I've tried 6L6s, 6V6s, EL-34s, NOS tubes, all manner of differtent pre tubes, swapping 12AT7's for 12AX7's, MC90s, EVM12s, Vinatge 30s. Marshall 4x12s and even the beloved 1x12 Thiele cabs. Two days ago, I found the secret...

    USE A MESA RECTO CAB!!!

    I bought a used V30 loaded 2x12 horizontal Recto cab. This is it! I've got the "Twin on steroids" and the so-called "giant killer". Now I have the punch of a Twin and the roar of a Plexi. The way the sound attacks you is unspeakable. It feels like the scene from Back to the Future. As best as I can tell after a day, the V30's work to balance the thump of the Recto cab, which together give you the low end punch the we often miss with our Boogies. Initially I swithed the V30s for an MC90/EVM12L combination and all the magic was gone (thanks to John Phillips for the I told ya so). Then I went to a 4 ohm load of V30s that I had laying around. Same thing. Back to the stock 8 ohm load of V30s and the magic returns. Maybe Boogies really want an 8 ohm load?

    I feel like a kid on Christmas, so I just wanted share that I've found what I'm looking for, and here's how I got it.

    Mark I Reissue using the cascaded gain channel with both gains on 3.
    Presence on 10, then set your treble, keep the mids at least at 5 or more.
    EH 12AX7 pretubes with a 12AT7 in the PI position.
    Mullard reissue EL34 power tubes.
    Recto Horizontal 2x12 with V30's @ 8 ohms
    A couple of my favorite OD pedals...

    Stormin!
     
  2. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    FWIW,
    I had a Mark III for a while and could never to get it to sound right until I played it through a Galien Krueger 1x12. It was in a metal cage cabinet of sorts. The sales guy and I looked at each other completely slack jawed....a real sleeper.
     
  3. Squigglefunk

    Squigglefunk Senior Member

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    hmm, I have never had a problem getting good tone from my boogie in stock combo form. My amp is anything but lacking in low end. Glad you're getting tones you're happy with tho!
     
  4. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I find that interesting, because I always felt my Mark I, III, and IV were all very thin and top end-ish in stock combo form.

    Stormin!
     
  5. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I run mine into a Bogner 410 w/ Kendrick Blk frames, awesome!! I also have really good luck w/ a single EV in aToneworks ported cab, I think the seperate cab adds a lot, good to hear your diggin your tone!
     
  6. Squigglefunk

    Squigglefunk Senior Member

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    hmm

    mine is a MKIIB and the tone is so thick it's comical. I was listening to a recording of an old band I was in where I was using the 1x12" boogie combo and the other guitarist had a marshall DLS100 and 4x12 1960 cab and my tone was 1000X thicker and just plain fat. Mine has the hardwood cab, maybe that has something to do with it? Not "dark" sounding but I definitely wouldn't call it thin at all. Never heard that description for a MK series.
     
  7. HEAVENandHELL

    HEAVENandHELL Member

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    I've found my dual rec to get thinner when connected to a 4 ohm load.
     
  8. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I have had Mark I, IIC+ (2) and a III red stripe. I found out how much better a Mark series Boogie could sound through large cabs back in 1985. I friend let me rewire his spare Marshall 4 X 12", green back equipped cab and the sound was absolutely fantastic. Since then I have used a Hiwatt 4 X 12" cab with Rola Celsetion G12-65's (sold) and now use a single detuned 12" cab with a Rola Celestion G12-65 or a Marshall 1965B 4 X 10 cab that I made a ported rear baffle for. Both these combinations sound great to me. I also removed the EVM and replaced it with an EV FORCE and like it much better. In defense or using Mark series Boogies as a single 12" combo, I think they sound huge for their size and never thin. If you are getting a thin sound I would guess that the presence and maybe the treble is up much too high or you don't have enough bass turned up. You might also have a treble pot pulled that shouldn't be. In any case, if you pull either the bass pull deep or bass shift, the thickness can go over the top.
     
  9. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I think that in general, a good sounding, larger cabinet makes just about every amp sound better. The trouble with the Boogie is that it has the very smallest cabinet possible to house the amp, speaker, reverb and fan. Even at that, most people complain of how heavy the little beasts are. If I was gigging, I would probably just remove the speaker from the cab and use my Marshall 1965B, 4 X 10" cab (43lbs). It would be a much easier package to deal with. The IIC+ combo weighs 67lbs. Anything over about 40-45lbs is a pain.
     
  10. rrhea

    rrhea Member

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    +1 on the cabinet! With my Mark III I am using an over-sized Bogner 2x12 with Vin 30s with an 8ohm load, and whoa nelly! ;) I have had this little combo since '92 and I am the original owner and I have never heard my amp sound like this before.

    I agree that it's possible to thicken up the sound in the combo form, but you can never achieve the same low-end thump and thick mid punch with just a combo Mark series alone compared to plugging these amps into a good multi-speaker cab . Loud (or louder than a full stack) in combo form?.. yes! These things are the loudest amps ever, I think. :) But in combo form they are very harsh and fatigue the ear rapidly no matter what you do (i've had mine for over 16 years and have tried every conceivable combination of settings). Increasing bass frequencies on the combo only adds muddiness, in my opinion. I have found that a quality 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet with good speakers makes all the difference in the world with these amps. It literally sounds like a different amplifier.

    I love the new Bogner cab so much I have decided to convert my Mark III into a head. This is an easy thing to do if any of you guys are interested. It's about $300 depending on the options you choose... but just call up Mesa and order a head shell. Takes about 4-6 weeks to get it, as they are made to order. It's super easy to drop in the guts yourself. My head shell should be here in a few weeks. The best part is this "mod" is non-destructive as you can always take the amp back to stock if you ever wanted to provided you keep the original cab and speaker stowed away safely somewhere.

    This should lighten things up quite a bit. ;)

    RR
     
  11. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    You will never get the boom of a large cab out of a single 12" open back cab but you can certainly get a Mark series amp to sound impressively thick for that type of amp.

    I know what you are saying about how they can be harsh and fatiguing but I think you can dial most of that out or stand more off to the side to avoid it. I swapped out the EVM for an EV FORCE and most of that harshness is gone now. In the 80s, I would sometimes combine the combo's EVM with a 15" Thiele cab we built per Electro Voices specs and used for synth and bass. That combination did have a lot more thump and fuller and more natural bass. Hey, maybe I will make another cab like that some day.
     
  12. guitarist58

    guitarist58 Member

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    I wonder if that (good tonal aspects) would go for the 2x12 Recto vertical too? I always though those were pretty cool cabs...
     
  13. tats_dragon

    tats_dragon Member

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    Is that the one where the cab is barely bigger than the speaker?
    http://www.gallien-krueger.com/products_mb_ca_112.html
    I saw one at a local store, I'll have to try it.


    Jun
     
  14. revgsmall

    revgsmall Member

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    Speakers/cabs aside, most players try to run a Mark series with the settings they use on a Fender. Try this for shootski's and giggles.

    *All pre volumes at 7, master as high as your ears/neighbors will allow.

    *Put the mid up to about 8, and turn down the treble to about 6 1/4, just about every Mk Boogie has a notch there where the treble is significantly increased, set it just below that.

    *Now reach around the back-side (prefererably the amps back-side) and turn down the presence knob to 1 or 2. Fine tune the whole thing now by slightly decreasing or increasing your Mid knob slightly.

    *Oh and the bass knob at about 2-3. You won't get much play with the bass knob.

    Just about everyone I've told this to, just loves their boogies now. I've used/owned em' all. I currently have a MKIIC+ 100/60 watt without all the crap (graphic eq, simuclass etc.) save for a reverb (of which sucks, i run a digital set lightly through the effects loop).
     
  15. daveowens2007

    daveowens2007 Member

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    I run a marshall 4x12 on mine ( BX) cab..
    w/ V30's ( mesa's )...sounds great..

    (its a modded Mrk3 )..
     
  16. lutelover

    lutelover Member

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    I have a Blond 1x12 Mesa C+ that was upgraded from a IIC several years ago by Mr. Bendenelli. Using only the 1x12 EVM Black Shadow in the combo, it sounded thin to me, too. Plugging it into a Germino 2x12 cab with Greenbacks, however, "made" it into a new amp!

    And what a fabulous "clean" sound the rhythm channel has! A lot of the time I think I like that aspect to the amp better than the OD channel!

    Regards.
     
  17. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    All great intersting comments, esp the detailed settings above.
    I never heard a Boogie described as thin before, usually the bass sahkes the windows out of the frames.
    I like the eaq on the IIC+, followed some good advice, and dialed most of the basss out on the knob, as described above, but balance it back in at the eq.
    I run it thorough my H&K cab with greenbacks mostly, and it sounds awesome, but it also sound very good through the recto cab 2x12 V30.
    The H&K cab is a very good cab, and has more than enough air moving to keep the Boogie sounding good.
     
  18. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I would say the same. I have 2 MkIIIs and the overdrive sounds thin period.... especially if I just finish playing something like a marshall 18 watt, 20 watt, JTM45 or superlead.

    When I plug into a Mesa first thing, I can have some fun with it and it sounds ok. I think the best thing about the Mk amps is the clean channel ! A strat with a chorus and delay through the clean channel sounds great.


    I'll have to try some Vin 30s sometime. I've been messing with the EVM12Ls lately.
     
  19. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    Thin? Thin? Have you tried the pull knobs? If you are comparing it to the use with larger cabs, you could say it is thin by comparison but compared to just about any other similarly sized single 12" combo amp, Mark Series sound huge.
    Try working with the presence and don't go much beyond 7 on the treble. By the time you are at 2.5 on the bass you should be thick enough but if not you always have the bass pull shift and pull deep but any of the pull pots will thicken the sound. If that doesn't do it, take the amp to the shop because something is definitely wrong.
     
  20. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    I've been running mine thru a marshall 4x12 and it's a monster but, gigging I just use it in it's stock combo form. I use the clean channel mostly. It does sound fine!
     

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