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Making the Mesa Mark V nastier: add a Mesa pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Buck Woodson, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    I love my Mesa Mark V and favor tweed mode for channel 1, crunch mode for channel 2, and extreme mode for channel 3. I use mainly humbuckers and some p90's. My cabs are a vintage Mesa vertical mesh 2x12 with one EVM12L and one Eminence 12 as well as an old Mesa Diesel bass cab with a single EV15L full range speaker.

    Now I'd like to find a more nasty power chord and lead tone. I'm not entirely happy with channel 3. It tends to sound thinner and more trebly though with more gain than channel 2 which isn't really a step up. OD pedals don't seem to work well with the Mark V often cutting more tone than they add. The only exception I've found is the Metropoulos Supa-Boost which is really just a clean boost.

    In the following thread it looks like adding a Mesa pedal might be an answer short of getting a JP-2C or original IIC+ (grid slammer or flux drive pedals are mentioned).

    https://forum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=73179


    Guitar World review of some Mesa pedals:
    https://www.guitarworld.com/magazin...urst-grid-slammer-flux-drive-and-throttle-box

    This demo (embedded at bottom of previous link) shows several Mesa pedals. The Throttle Box sounds most intriguing to me.



    Anyone been down this road? What was your answer?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. mikemjr12

    mikemjr12 Member

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    I too have noticed that channels 2 & 3 don't sound great with an overdrive in front. I think the manual even alludes to this. It doesn't out right say it, but IIRC it emphasizes channel 1 takes pedals great, and doesn't say the same about 2 & 3.

    It's funny because most people will think the Mark V have a crazy amount of gain on tap, but I've also found that sometimes channels 2 and 3 need some more gain. I usually opt for a boost pedal (like you mentioned) but that sometimes can only get you so far. I have had pretty good luck running a Fulltone Fulldrive in Comp Cut mode in front and that will add some serious gain.

    You can try triode mode or tube rectification on 45 watt mode. Max out the gain and use the graphic EQ to balance frequencies.
     
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  3. sutherland

    sutherland Supporting Member

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    I find the Mesa Mark V takes pedals extremely well.

    In terms of pedals, there are a several that immediately spring to mind for boosting the Mark V (majority of the below are TS pedals)
    - OD808 / Mesa Grid Slammer
    - Precision Drive
    - AC Booster
    - BB Preamp / Mesa Flux Drive
    - MXR Micro Boost

    I like the BB Preamp as it accomplishes all of what a good TS sets out to do, but enables you to have more control over the Bass and Treble frequencies. The Mids are 'fixed' and become less apparent as more Bass/Treble is introduced and more prominent as Bass/Treble is removed. It has enough output to serve as a boost (much more than the AC or other TS pedals).

    The Maxon OD808 is the go-to overdrive for Mesas. Used it in the past with my Rectoverb and plan on adding one for my Mark V.

    In regards to the Mark V sounding 'thin', what are your settings? In my experience, the Mark V is a very fat/thick sounding amplifier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  4. Ryno1331

    Ryno1331 Supporting Member

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    Interesting. I have the mark v25 and it had more gain than my friedman be50. Anyway after trying many different boosts or drives I haven't found anything better than a mini tube screamer, but that's not going to thicken it up. To do that with my strat ab EP booster has worked well.
     
  5. Beto

    Beto Supporting Member

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    With my Mark IV combo, I use the boost side of my Weehbo Plexdrive or my Mythical OD into the lead channel (with the EQ on) to make it go further.

    Notice that I didn't purchase those pedals with this specific use in mind, but they work well.

    Lots of people have used the ordinary TS9 for this task.
     
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  6. TakisMasterKey

    TakisMasterKey Member

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    My opinion is that Mark V doesn't take drive pedals that well; something not bad actually because it has tons of gain.
    If I had to suggest something, that would be some type of Klon pedal. In most Mesas, they can work their magic indeed
     
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  7. Pointy Headstock

    Pointy Headstock Member

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    Agree with suggestions on a boost or Screamer circuit (both work well with my Roadster and Lonestar). Maybe try a Way Huge Green Rhino which will give you some EQ control pre-preamp as well?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  8. sutherland

    sutherland Supporting Member

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    Accurate. Plus, channels 2 and 3 sound fantastic with the Gain set from 12 to 2 o'clock. Hitting either channel with an overdrive/boost further expands the versatility and sounds you can get out of the amplifier.
     
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  9. GreatSatan

    GreatSatan Member

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    you can stick a simple boss ds-1 set to a "clean" boost (they're never really fully clean) and it will add some interesting hairy textures to an already distorting signal.
    Even a metalzone works better as a boost than a standalone dist, can add some real chunky lowend.
     
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  10. RMosack

    RMosack Supporting Member

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    IMO, my Mark V takes many drive pedals very well on all three modes in channel one and in the first two modes of channel two. All the channel three modes, plus the Mark I mode of channel two seem to respond best to boost type pedals. There's so much compression already, that it's kind of pointless to hit those last four modes with a basic dirt pedal.
     
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  11. babel2

    babel2 Member

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    As many others in the thread I like a drive pedal for leads - my favourite is an MI super blues pro but a tube screamer works really well or an mi cross over drive for a more transparent boost.

    It sounds to me like a good eq boost like a chase bliss condor (pricey but probably perfect) or one of the other versatile eqs might be your best answer.

    ... or maybe a different speaker combo if you have a chance to try a few. I mix the combo’s c90 with a v30 in a separate box sometimes and I like it a lot (pseudo road king box lol).
    The celestions give the gain a much more ‘glassy’ sound to my ears
     
  12. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    Dumb question, but have you thought of switching over to IIc mode and hitting it with a boost? Can’t imagine that would sound thin. Klon style boosts have worked well for me w/ my Studio Pre and Mark IV (didn’t have one when I had a V:25). But drive pedals have been more miss than hit.
     
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  13. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    I said channel 3 was thin for its purpose. I use extreme which is thickest but I want more. Not just gain. Not just volume. Shallow V eq, pentode.

    How do you like the grid slammer?
     
  14. sutherland

    sutherland Supporting Member

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    Here is what I have my CH.3 set for MK II C+ at the moment, just tinkering here:
    - Gain: 3
    - Master: 11:30
    - Presence: around 10-ish
    - Treble: 11
    - Mid: 11
    - Bass: 12
    - Mode: Normal or Bright, just depends

    Sliders:
    80HZ just below top line
    240HZ just above middle line
    750HZ between middle and bottom line
    220HZ right at middle line
    660HZ just above middle line

    I actually like the above settings for all three modes. Give it a whirl.

    In terms of Grid Slammer, used it once, but preferred the price of the OD808 (in other words, they are basically interchangeable).
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  15. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

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    I’ve said that Mesa doesn’t take distortion pedals. Emphasis on distortion. I’ve mostly had good luck w/: treble boost and klon for dirty boost; a straight up micro-amp; a mule or llama; 808: Octavio, fuzzface or astrotone fuzz, and you can also tighten up the bass boosting with a dynacomp. :rolleyes:
     
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  16. tonedover

    tonedover Supporting Member

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    you need a treble booster
    period
     
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  17. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    Oh wow! Thanks, buddy! What a difference, that really improved channel 3 for me. I still prefer extreme mode.

    Now I have to ask what you are doing for channels 1 and 2 since you are way better at this than me.

    Also, how do you like the Flux Drive with the Mark V? Mesa and Sweetwater are recommending it.
     
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  18. sutherland

    sutherland Supporting Member

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    Sure!

    Channel 1
    - Mode: Fat
    - Toggle: Bold
    - Gain: 1
    - Master: 1
    - Presence: 10ish
    - Treble: 10:30
    - Mid: 1
    - Bass: 1
    - EQ: OFF

    Channel 2
    - Mode: Mark I
    - Toggle: Thick
    - Gain: 12
    - Master: a tad past 12
    - Presence: 9
    - Treble: 12 or 1
    - Mid: 1
    - Bass: a touch under 9
    - EQ: Preset

    Preset Knob set to 10:30/11

    I like having a fatter sound as both my guitars are Swamp Ash. All channels work wonderfully with my Maxon OD808: Gain, Level at 12, Tone at 9.

    In regards to the Flux Drive, I think it's basically a tweaked BB Preamp. I've used the BB Preamp in the past with my Mark V and it offers a lot of flexibility. The BB, to my ears, is interchangeable with a TS. Where it separates itself is in the amount of control it gives you in Low and High end. If you listen to Andy Timmon's, the Mark I (in the Mark V) can get 'close' to the Lonestar Classic he uses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  19. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Supporting Member

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    Got a good nasty sound out of a Mark with a Bogner Harlow. Also a modded DS-1
     
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  20. Jaji

    Jaji Member

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    OP, did you also happen to go to the other topic mentioned in your initial post?
    http://forum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=73352
    For less than $20, a simple tube swap in either V4 or V6 (some have done both) may give you the results you are looking for. That link is a rather lengthy thread, but definitely worth reading.
     
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