Mesa Mark V:25 - Gig Report

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GenoBluzGtr, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I've seen a few threads on this new-ish amp, but not too many reports of how it's working out for gigs.

    I picked one up a couple weeks ago here on TGP (thanks Jazzgear!) and I must say it was quite a departure for me. I've had a couple of Boogies in past years, but was NEVER able to bond with them. I'm primarily a vintage Fender combo-with pedals guy, and that's been my comfort zone for many years. But something intrigued me about this tiny little head with a variety of tones, so I decided to try it. I took it to my friend's who has a LOT of cabs/speakers and we tried it with a number different mix of them and settled on a Bogner Cube with a vintage 30 as the best overall sound for this amp and my guitars. My friend loaned me his cab for a while to get used to and see if it was for me.

    Fast forward to this weekend and I had my first two gigs with the amp. The pics below show Friday night with my bud's Bogner Cube PLUS a V-Boutique Cube copy that I got on here as well (Thanks Wyldefan!!) and then tonight where I just used the new V-Boutique alone. I put a WGS Veteran 30 in the new cube and I like it even better than the V30.

    So now to the tones. I'm still getting used to it, but so far, it blows me away. There are so many good sounds in this amp/cab combination. The clean is a good bit different than I'm used to, and using an amp for overdrive instead of a pedal is new to me. During practice at home alone, I was "sort of" liking what I heard, but wasn't sold until I heard it in the live mix.

    The clean seem a bit thinner than a good Blackface and the drive tones are different than my favorite pedals - UNTIL you play it in the context of a bass, drums, 2nd guitar, etc... then it comes alive and kicks major @$$.

    It sounds HUGE... even through a tiny cube w/ a single 12" speaker, it cuts, it sustains, it has nice round, fat cleans and tight, focused, girthy drive.

    I have found that the two voicings I prefer are:

    Channel-1: Fat w/ gain at about 10 O'clock; Treble at 11 O'Clock; Mids at Noon; Bass at Noon; Presence at 11 O'Clock. Reverb (on back) at about 2 O'Clock.

    Channel-2: Xtreme w/ gain at 9 O'Clock; Treble at Noon; Mids at 2 O'Clock; Bass at 11 O'Clock; Presence at 1 O'Clock. Reverb barely on.

    I set up the graphic EQ with an inverted "V" with most emphasis on bands 2 and 3 and with the 5th band below the unity line. I use this for solo boost (it's footswitchable) for both channels.

    I run a DD3 in the loop, and I have a KTR set at low-gain for a gritty drive with the clean channel or to kick some extra gain into the drive channel for heavier sounds (my "heavier sounds" are probably pretty LOW gain compared to most folks... about the heaviest i ever play is ZZ Top).

    The biggest surprise is that this amp does NOT sound like any other EL84 amp I've ever played. I am somewhat anti-EL84, based on my past experiences with some amps, but this sweet little amp just exceeds all my expectations. ESPECIALLY with a Les Paul. Just simply amazing.

    My recommendation is that if you are not a Boogie Fan, or not an EL84 Fan, DO NOT overlook this amp. At least give it a try if you can find one in a store somewhere. You will be surprised.

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  2. princeton

    princeton Member

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    Nice report!
    I have the same amp.
     
  3. DRS

    DRS Member

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    I also love my Mkv25.

    One tip - Read the manual. They do a great job of explaining the amp.

    The way the tone controls interact is not intuitive if you come from a BF Fender world. The treble really affects the gain structure. The presence really works unlike most other amps I've played and can be too much when the gain is turned up. A little mid goes a long way as it is boost past noon.
     
  4. moosewayne

    moosewayne Member

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    You hit the nail on the head.

    I'm willing to bet 75% of the people who 'HATE MESA AMPS' have never played them in the context of a band, which is what they are designed and built to do.

    Glad you had a couple good gigs!
     
  5. somedude

    somedude Member

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    That's a typical Mesa. A little bit boxy on it's own and maybe not the most pleasant to listen to at home, but does it ever sit well in the mix.

    If you get the chance try to stand 30 or 40 feet out front and listen to it. It'll be producing harmonics you never even realize from up close.
     
  6. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    Have you tried the cab clone feature yet?

    Its funny I see the same thing said about Marshall's that they do well in a mix and may not sound the best on their own.

    Anyway congrats on the mark v:25. Recently got a Mesa ta15 myself and am loving it and I am a long time Mesa mark Iva owner.
     
  7. Standard 64

    Standard 64 Member

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    I have never heard that about Marshalls.Probably Mesa owners.
     
  8. Clonehead

    Clonehead Member

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    I have been gigging this amp regularly since getting it in December, from big stages to small clubs. I use the cab clone out when running with a a pa. Makes setup a quick snap and sounds great. I use a 1x12 recto cab with a fillmore and a wide body closed back 1x12 stacked. Such cuteness.
     
  9. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I think this is what I was hearing last night (even close up) that I had not heard in the past with my Fender combos. Just RICHNESS and Full Blooming tones. When I hit a note (or a chord) I felt it as much as heard it... and it rang for a while. Nice, pleasant, even-sounding tones. VERY different from sitting right in front of the speaker playing at home. BTW.. The Veteran 30 is absolutely phenomenal w/ this amp/ported-closed-back cab duo. I've used that speaker before w other amps and it's always been 'good', but it blew me away on Saturday compared to Friday with the Vintage 30. it tamed some of the higher-mid-range that the Vintage 30 has, while accentuating more of that low-midrange that sounds so tight and focused to me.
     
  10. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I have not tried this yet. The band is in the process of changing over to a nicer digital mixer, so I'm waiting for that to try it out. No channels available on our mixer this weekend.
     
  11. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    Great report. Loving mine as well. Sounds great through a traditional Mesa 412 too.
     
  12. Rango

    Rango Supporting Member

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    Great report! :D

    I look forward to getting mine out and in the mix! (as soon as my Bass player heals from surgery. ;) )
     
  13. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I tried one of these little guys at the store and it was really, really nice. Really impressed how it didn't get wholly when you turn it up like other EL84-based amps can sometimes do.
     
  14. somedude

    somedude Member

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    The V30 that comes stock in a Bogner cab is much brighter with more upper midrange than the V30 that comes stock with a Mesa cab. The Mesa V30 has a smoother top end with more of a low mid emphasis.

    Just throwing that out there if you're still experimenting with different cabs/speakers.
     
  15. Long2Play

    Long2Play Member

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    Thanks for the report! I dig mine!
     
  16. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Good to know, thanks! If I get anal and want my cab to match the "British Cabernet" tolex and wicker grill of the head, that may come in handy.
     
  17. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    Nice review.

    Have not played the V but I want to, do own the Mini Rec and believe the guys at Boogie hit one (or two) out of the park with these Mini Amps. By today's standards (for us small venue players) these little amps are absolutely perfect, you can crank them without getting the boot. Though I've not heard the V I'm guessing the clean is a cousin to the Min Rec as the clean channel rivals the Lone Star in the Mini, just fabulous. These small amps would also work well at a large venue with a nice mic.
     
  18. 59Bassman

    59Bassman Plank Cranker Silver Supporting Member

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    Great review. I still would have loved to hear a Mini V with 6V6 tubes, but input like your review has me a bit less concerned about the EL84's. I love my full-size V but a mini may also be in my future...
     
  19. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    On the 6V6 front not sure if this has any bearing due to the circuit or the tubes but the Egnator Rebel 30 blends EL84s and 6V6s together and the EL84 side is just more allive and rich sounding. I believe EL84s just have that special something that no other tube offers. BTW I do not own a Rebel 30 its just a good way to compare thee two.
     
  20. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    I posted a few weeks ago after listening to a really great local player here audition one, and we all got a shot-We were all underwhelmed, and he sent it back the next week-Ordered it from Sweetwater-Anyway, I have a RectoVerb 25 combo that sounded much better to our collective ears-Wish I could try one out in a Gig situation, as I really wanted to like it-The cab clone feature sounds really great....Thanks for the review, it's part of the reason you gotta love the Forum!!
     

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