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Mark V- Mark 1 Mode Question

Der JD

Member
Messages
378
For those with experience with the Mark V...

I'm debating whether I should get a big Mark V or the new Mark V:25. I have no need for the power the big Mark offers. 25 watts would be plenty for me. However, my concerns lie with Mark 1 mode and the lack of it on the mini Mark.

I think I'd use Mark I mode a lot. I love that thick, singing, sustaining single note type of lead tone. The mini Mark doesn't have it. It's only 2 channels with channel 1 being clean, fat, or crunch. However, it does have a "mid-boost" control that I don't think the big Mark has.

Is it possible to get any of the other modes to sound like Mark 1? Or, care to speculate what this "mid-boost" feature might do to the modes that are included in the mini? Do you think "crunch" with "mid-boost" will be close to Mark 1?

I know, I know, it's strictly speculation here. I'll probably have to wait till a lot of the mini Marks are out to get some real opinions on the matter but it will still be interesting to read what some experienced Mark V users will have to say.
 

ptgold

Member
Messages
1,309
I thought about this same issue too. Ive played the Mark V a few times and always gravitated to the awesome Mark I mode. Maybe the Mark IV mode in the 25 with some eq adjustments?
 

jklotz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,837
I had a question for them about the MK V-25, so I emailed mesa directly. I had a response within hours. I'd email them and see if there is a way to get mk1 tones from it. Please post back when you find out, I's be interested to know as well.
 

gdomeier

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,462
Mark I mode is one I can never get to work for me. There is always too much bass. It's better with single coils though.
 

Myxolidian

Member
Messages
377
You have to look at the power ratings on the Mark V as additional tone shapers and not so much as volume power. The V has such a great master volume that you can easily play in 90W mode at low voume and still get great tone.

In 10W mode, it's bright. 45W mode it's a bit fatter and more open. 90W mode its fatter yet and even more open.

I don't think any other mode on the Mark V can duplicate channel 2's Mark I mode. The Mark I mode on the Mark V also has a "thick" switch which adds even more girth to the tone. It's quite a unique tone on the amp. And the distortion texture is sort of grainy whereas the IIC+ and IV is a bit smoother.

With that said, I really don't like any of the voicings for channel 2 on my Mark V. The voicing is whack for all the modes on channel 2 relative to the other channels' modes when trying to use the amp set up as clean/dirty/dirtier type live setting.

For channel 2, I would've preferred a clone of channel 3's Mark IIC+/Mark IV mode so I can have a rhythm tone and lead tone that's footswitchable.

If I were buying today, I'd probably look at the mini since I don't really care for channel 2 on the Mark V. But if you love the Mark I tone then I don't think the mini will cut it.
 

gixxerrock

Member
Messages
3,929
I have the big Mark V, I love it. The Mark I is great and behaves completely different from any of the other 8 modes. The other modes can approximate the gain level and EQ curve, but feel completely different.
 

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,797
I play single coil guitars and I can see where the Mark I mode would be great for leads. It is very thick and has tons of sustain. I can see where I could use it from time to time for something, but it's just too thick for me. It's the one mode on the whole amp that I really don't use because it's so different..... So in saying that, I don't think the Mark Mini could get that tone.
 

bdubbs

Member
Messages
106
You have to look at the power ratings on the Mark V as additional tone shapers and not so much as volume power. The V has such a great master volume that you can easily play in 90W mode at low voume and still get great tone.

In 10W mode, it's bright. 45W mode it's a bit fatter and more open. 90W mode its fatter yet and even more open.

I don't think any other mode on the Mark V can duplicate channel 2's Mark I mode. The Mark I mode on the Mark V also has a "thick" switch which adds even more girth to the tone. It's quite a unique tone on the amp. And the distortion texture is sort of grainy whereas the IIC+ and IV is a bit smoother.

With that said, I really don't like any of the voicings for channel 2 on my Mark V. The voicing is whack for all the modes on channel 2 relative to the other channels' modes when trying to use the amp set up as clean/dirty/dirtier type live setting.

For channel 2, I would've preferred a clone of channel 3's Mark IIC+/Mark IV mode so I can have a rhythm tone and lead tone that's footswitchable.

If I were buying today, I'd probably look at the mini since I don't really care for channel 2 on the Mark V. But if you love the Mark I tone then I don't think the mini will cut it.
I always thought it would be cool to use ch3 for rhythm and Mark 1 mode for lead. Just never got around to it.
 

Babow2

Live gigs killed here
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
537
Mark V user too. I do use Mark I mode in channel 2 as my lead tone and I use channel 3 Mark IV for my crunchy rhythm channel. It takes some patience to dial it in. No other mode gets that depth and dimensionality of Mark I mode, in my opinion.
 

macboog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
76
I like the idea of the Mark V-25, but I was sad that the Mark I wasn't included. I assumed that it had something to do with the inability of el-84's to manage the bass response of the Mark I channel. I really like the Mark I for lead. I'm thinking the v-25 is a different animal and would consider getting one of those as well.
 

LesPaul70

Member
Messages
221
You have to look at the power ratings on the Mark V as additional tone shapers and not so much as volume power. The V has such a great master volume that you can easily play in 90W mode at low voume and still get great tone.
Bingo. IME, all 3 power settings on the full Mark V are loud enough for me, and the bigger difference is in how they affect your overall sound. No matter whether I'm playing with a band or alone at home, I'm always using the 90W setting for everything nowadays. Simply because it sounds so much bigger and beefier than the other two, even at low volumes.

I haven't played the Mini Mark yet but if the other Mesa mini amps are any indication, it should be plenty loud enough. Possibly even too loud for bedroom playing. Unlike the full V, the Mini does not have a separate Output control, which means that - ironically - the full V could actually be better suited for very low volume playing through a cab. The Mini does give you the headphone option, though.

As for the Mark I mode - it is indeed the most unique mode on the V, and the most finicky one as well. I simply couldn't dial it in with the stock 6L6s; the only usable sound I got was that thick Santana-style lead sound. But rhythm parts? Forget it. Too dark and mushy, even if you zeroed the Bass knob.
Then I put in Svetlana =C= EL-34s, and suddenly my Mark I mode was alive! :dude It had turned into a larger-than-life monster rock tone, like post-puberty Marshall distortion. Not what a Marshall sounds like but what a Marshall wants to sound like when it grows up. And the Thick switch and the Bass knob were actually usable now. I loved that sound so much I used it pretty much for everything.
...until I found out how to dial even better sounds using the other modes, that is. :rotflmao
That's the funny thing with Mark V, by the way. Just when you think you've mastered it completely, you discover a completely new sound in it. I've had mine since early 2010 and I'm still discovering new sounds.

My humble opinion:
- Do not buy the full Mark V for the Mark I mode. It is just one more sound that doesn't really even sound like an actual Mark I (mainly due to power stage differences, I guess). If you must have the real Mark I sound, get an original Mark I instead. Or a reissue.
- However, please do consider the full Mark V instead of the Mini for the increased overall versatility.
 

Der JD

Member
Messages
378
My humble opinion:
- Do not buy the full Mark V for the Mark I mode. It is just one more sound that doesn't really even sound like an actual Mark I (mainly due to power stage differences, I guess). If you must have the real Mark I sound, get an original Mark I instead. Or a reissue.
- However, please do consider the full Mark V instead of the Mini for the increased overall versatility.
The funny thing is that I've never even heard the original Mark 1. The lead sound I'm craving is what I've heard from Mark I mode in the Mark V (that thick Santana-like sound that you describe).

I'm now leaning towards the big Mark V for versatility, which is kind of a bummer cause I was originally hoping to pick up the mini Mark and mini Rectifier at about the same time (both together costs about the same as the full sized Mark new). But, I don't want any regrets or feel like I'm lacking something I could have had. The mini Rec may just have to wait.

Good point about the lacking separate output control on the mini. I could see that being useful for low volume playing. It's really a non-issue for me, though. I have a Torpedo Reload that I could use attenuation on or I could run it through my DAW and through IRs for bedroom playing.

The mini does have the CabClone feature but I've yet to be impressed by the sound samples I've heard using Mesa's cab simulation. Unless I'm missing something, the CabClone on the V:25 doesn't have a direct out in which the cab sims are defeated allowing you to run it through IRs in a DAW like the stand-alone CabClone does. I found that dissapointing. I'd probably never use the CabClone on the V:25.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed thus far. Helpful opinions and information here.
 






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