Mesa boogie Mark III?

jamminoutloud1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,331
Hey guys,
I am planning on buying a Mark III off ebay. I have a few questions:
1. Are the Mark III's known for being consistant? Meaning is it hit or miss with these amps, or usually when you get a Mark III you know what your getting.
2. Was there a certain year or period when these amps had a peak and were made the best and sound te best?
3. Can you get good Robben Ford, Santana, or John Scofield tones out of this amp?
4. What do you like and dislike about this amp?
5. Anything that you would like to add?
Thanks!!!
 

wgs1230

Fully Intonatable
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,090
The MkIII preamp controls are highly interactive and the pots cover a wide range (this is true for most Mark-series amps, really). Translation: you have to tweak to find the sounds, it's not a plug-and-play circuit if there are specific tones you have in mind. Most guys I know who've used a MkIII for any length of time say that the graphic eq is essential to finding the sounds, so make sure it works before you buy.

After years of experimenting with MkIIs, I've come to the conclusion that the best chance most players have of being happy with older Boogies is finding the right speakers (note the plural). IOW, get yourself a head version if you can and test out different Fender, Marshall & Boogie cabs 'til you find the right one for your situation.
 

sparkle**

Member
Messages
829
I have one for sale if interested.


jamminoutloud1 said:
Hey guys,
I am planning on buying a Mark III off ebay. I have a few questions:
1. Are the Mark III's known for being consistant? Meaning is it hit or miss with these amps, or usually when you get a Mark III you know what your getting.
2. Was there a certain year or period when these amps had a peak and were made the best and sound te best?
3. Can you get good Robben Ford, Santana, or John Scofield tones out of this amp?
4. What do you like and dislike about this amp?
5. Anything that you would like to add?
Thanks!!!
 

Argonaut4

Member
Messages
133
The MkIII is my favorite Boogie (though, I am a fan of all the Mark series amps). I've owned one for about 15 years. Like all amps, some do sound better than others. Most people prefer the red and blue stripe versions; however, I've played almost all the versions and they all sound good. The differences are subtle (IMO).

Most importantly, find one that has the graphic EQ. IMO, it is paramount, above all other options. The other options to look for is Simul-Class (power section) and reverb. With the Simul power section you have the option to run EL34's on the ends to mix with the 6L6's or you can switch it to Class A mode and run only the end tubes. I happen to prefer running all 6L6's, but it is a nice option none the less. I also happen to like the reverb some models come with.

Like previously stated, it doesn't dial in like a 'normal' amp. Be prepared for a paradigm shift. The tone controls react quite different and effect the gain. Also, it is difficult to dial in a great clean tone and lead tone at the same time. The lead tones KILL!!
 

MattB

Member
Messages
705
I have a MKIII Blue Stripe which I believe is the latest version. It has a different pre-amp structure. Sounds absolutely amazing. If you are getting one be sure to get the MKIII Simul-class with the Graphic EQ.

Amazing amp. You wont be disappointed.

-MattB
 

tacorivers

Member
Messages
1,533
I've always thought that Mesa Boogie was a great low-cost alternative to Two Rock. I have a Studio Preamp into a 50 watt power amp, and it sounds great.
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
19,825
Guess I may be the lone dissenter here. I had an original Mark III that I purchased new back around 1984 (If I recall correctly). I bought the 1x12 combo, loaded with an EVM12L speaker. My amp did not have graphic e.q.

At least back then (maybe it was more attibutable to my lack of know-how 'back in the day'), I was not real happy with the amp. It seemed touchy as hell. Seems as though I would finally find a good tone from it, set the dials (after hours of tweaking), and let it be. Then, invariably, I would play through it the next day or night, and the 'magic' was gone - totally different tone.

I thought, in all honsty, that it was a very, very frustrating amp to own. Luckily, because Boogies still were not that common back then, I was able to get most of my dough out of the amp when I sold it.

Again, maybe some of my frustration was due to my own inexperience. However, that amp really soured me on Boogie prodcuts.......well, that and the fact that my close friend also bought a Mark III new at the same time, and finally had to wind up returning the amp after it had several problems.
 

gtrguy17

Member
Messages
239
I think the MkIII is the best amp that Boogie ever made, and I have owned most of them. Mike Bendinelli once told me it was due to the output transformer, which apparently was different from all their other amps. Definitely +1 to everyone who said to get one with a graphic EQ. They're a totally different animal without one.
More importantly, if you plan on using all 3 channels, you have to send that amp to Boogie to have them mod it. I believe it's called the 'volume 2' mod. Basically, they add a volume for the second channel.(Normally channel 1 and 2 use the same volume control) Mike taught me how to do this mod over the phone, and I've done it on 2 of the 3 that I have (Mike did the first), so I could probably write up a schematic if you want. It's the easiest amp mod ever.

P
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,182
Mark III has it's good and bad points.

Good:
Lotta sounds available
Great sustain at manageable volumes
Reliable - no problems in the 20+ yrs I had one

Bad:
Hard to dial in good clean and OD at the same time but far easier than Mark II
Not much 3D as I have come to love
Not as much touch as I prefer
 

jamminoutloud1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,331
How's the touch on the clean channel...and if I threw a zendrive in front, how do u think that would sound?
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,783
For several years I owned and gigged a 88 koa cabinet, simulclass blue stripe, I believe, with eq, reverb, EV speaker, the works. I swear it weighed about 90 lbs (used to call it the "black hole") plus the road case weight. Absolutely huge trannies. Decent sound at gig volumes but with all four power tubes running on simulclass and turned up to about 6 on the master volume and about 5 on the preamp volume it sounded real good. Only problem, at that volume, it was so loud it made me nauseous to be anywhere around it. And no club owner would tolerate it anyway.

If you are playing very large rooms, can really crank it up and have a high pain tolerance, it will sing about as good as anything. At realistic (to me) volumes it'll work but will probably seem tight and always sound either a little raspy or a little muddy. And the mid focus is there. Still pretty good though. If the thing wasn't soooo heavy, I'd probably still have it.

As for consistency, before I knew they came with a stripe, I played a couple of others and they were not nearly as robust as the one I owned. I didn't even bother to check the speakers so this isn't really a decent consistency reference. But I believe trying one out is not a bad idea. As everyone else has said, get the loaded version. Caveat, the reverb is not a particularly good one if you are into reverb.

hunter
 

blueclay

Member
Messages
27
my mark 111 is a 92 and it sounds great if you use the right speakers and cab.....I had an EV in mine and that was very bad --so bright I could not take it-and I like bright but with my strat this combo was just too hot-I got 2 celestion vint. 30 and putthem in a closed bass reflex box and shazaam it was super sweet and powerful--I am also getting a set of tone tubby hemp speakers by A.brown sound of San Rafeal Ca.. alnico -- I will let you know how they sound in afew weeks...
the boogie is the most resposive explosive rig I have had to date....It weighs a ton for a small box and it is quite loud but I love that kick ass sound
good hunting-Steve
 

908SSP

Member
Messages
5,801
I run one of my MKIIC+'s with a pair of TTs. The combo I run with Fane 100 watt alnico. Both sound great but different. The TT does the Santana fusion jazz thing and the Fane sounds like Petrucci and Mettallica.
 

jamminoutloud1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,331
Can you get gritty cleans out of the Mark III? Like Scofield's latest tone with his Vox AC30, or any Robben Ford tones?
 

Frank cruz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23
I think the MkIII is the best amp that Boogie ever made, and I have owned most of them. Mike Bendinelli once told me it was due to the output transformer, which apparently was different from all their other amps. Definitely +1 to everyone who said to get one with a graphic EQ. They're a totally different animal without one.
More importantly, if you plan on using all 3 channels, you have to send that amp to Boogie to have them mod it. I believe it's called the 'volume 2' mod. Basically, they add a volume for the second channel.(Normally channel 1 and 2 use the same volume control) Mike taught me how to do this mod over the phone, and I've done it on 2 of the 3 that I have (Mike did the first), so I could probably write up a schematic if you want. It's the easiest amp mod ever.

P
Which stripe do u have and did u ever own a mk llc+?
 




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