NAD: Mesa Mark V 25 Not feeling the love....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by blackie59, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. blackie59

    blackie59 Member

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    Did a lot of research and ordered a Mark V 25 to replace an Express 5:25. Got it this afternoon and simply not bonding with it at all. Crunch channel is okay, Mark IV channel is just like the Express Burn channel the rest are just kind of blah to put it bluntly. Pretty sure it is going back as it just doesn't pack any wow! that's a great amp.
     
  2. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    Opposite experience for me. Only had mine a couple days now but it's a keeper. The tone stack is different than my other amps, so my normal starting points were thin. Rolling down presence and pushing treble up around 2pm got me going. Loving the fat mode with my OCD too.
    Maybe you'll warm up to it in a bit more time.
     
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  3. Nickstrtcstr

    Nickstrtcstr Lactose Intolerant Guitar Slinger

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    Before you send it back, make sure the tubes aren't shot. I have played many a new amp that the tubes were trashed just from being played in the store.
     
  4. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Supporting Member

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    I replaced a 5:50+ with the Mark25. It took me a few days to find the tones I was getting with the Express but they were in there and more.
     
  5. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    There are those who just never bond/jive with
    Mark series amps. I am one of them. Sounds like
    the OP might be one, too. :dunno
     
  6. mdortona

    mdortona Supporting Member

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    Blackie59,

    My experience was similar to yours. I felt that the cleans were OK (fat was nice), but found the MK2+ setting thin (what I was expecting was the ability to dial in a Santana/MKI style OD,not the 80's Boogie metal sound). The MKIV was much better and "very MKIV" and I never cared for the extreme setting. Tried different speakers, cabs, etc, but never bonded with it. Had it for a month played four gigs plus rehearsals with it. Dialed it in multiple ways (used to have a MKIV) but I just couldn't get what I wanted. Honestly, I think that the EL84s were a bad choice for power tubes. I think that 6V6s would have worked better. Just my opinion.

    In any event, I am glad that other guys are digging the MKV. IT IS a nice amp, just not for me. I'm back to using my 5:25+ combo. Toying with the idea of picking up a Subway Blues but they seem to be tough to find in good shape or at a reasonable price ($5-600 range).

    Matt
     
  7. protest

    protest Member

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    How do you have it set up? If you've never owned a Mark you need to read the manual, if you have owned a Mark you should probably still read the manual. If you try to EQ it with your eyes it won't work. Mark IV mode should not sound just like the Burn channel on the 5:25, especially if you had a non plus version.

    I don't own one, but the guideline for any Mark lead channel is bass almost off, treble high and mids wherever you want, then use the sliders to EQ the amp, and presence to find tune the top end/gain.
     
  8. halcyon

    halcyon Supporting Member

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    Agreed. I don't really care for EL84s in high-gain circuits like the Mark V. There're just too noisy and squishy.
     
  9. mdortona

    mdortona Supporting Member

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    Protest,
    I have owned a MarkIV, know very well how to dial it in and did read the MKV 25 manual, but thanks anyway for the advice.

    Matt
     
  10. critter74

    critter74 Supporting Member

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    I don't have a Mrk 25 but I do have a Mark V (and have owned a plethora of other Mesa's).

    One of the best pieces of advice I have read about how to dial in a Mark amps was feo someone here (don't recall who). But it was:

    Use the Channel tone knobs to get the feel. Use the EQ to get the sound.

    I know it sounds weird but it's true. For me the key starting points on the Crunch and higher gain channels are this: Bass= 11:00 Treble: 12:00 Mids: 3:00 and Presence: 11:00. The set the EQ to a very soft NON scooped "V". That right there is a good starting point. Some modes on Mark amps will need the Bass up full, others almost off. That's the feel of it (flabby, tight, etc). The thump comes from the EQ. The Mids will obviously add gain. The balance between the Treble and the Presence knob can be delicate. With some modes (and guitars) it works better to have the Treble low and the Presence high. Sometimes the opposite.

    As for the EQ, like I said I have found a very soft, non scoopes Mids to be the best (meaning leave the two Mids slider at the home spot or just very slightly boosted or subtracted.).

    Good luck.
     
    starbelly likes this.
  11. blackie59

    blackie59 Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys but my ears just aren't getting the right vibe from the amp. Call it whatever you want, intuition, gut feeling, etc., and if it doesn't feel right it's time to try something else. Kind of like picking up a new guitar and knowing it's missing something so you set it down and try another. Same with this amp for me.
     
  12. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    Good for you on knowing what you like and need in an
    amp, OP. :aok

    It is easy to be swayed around here, and led down the wrong
    path by well-meaning advice from others whose ears and needs in
    gear can be different than our own.
     
  13. THTH

    THTH Member

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    There's a reason I never switched to the MkV from my MkIV. The MkV doesn't sound like the earlier Marks. I suppose the baby MkV has the same issues but worse with EL84's.
     
  14. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs Silver Supporting Member

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    while I'm all for the "just because others love it, doesn't mean I have to love it" mindset, and at the risk of sounding sarcastic, it's sort of mind boggling to get an amp with the tonal versatility of the V25, an amp that is DRAMATICALLY affected by the tone controls, and an amp that you say you did the research on and it seemed like what you want, yet...you just got it this afternoon, and you're already pretty sure it's going back.

    Again, not bashing, but if you are familiar with Boogie tones, researched this, it's a tube amp (that was shipped in a freakin north pole winter) and you haven't even checked the possibility that it might have a bum tube....
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  15. LesPaul70

    LesPaul70 Member

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    Uh, why would you expect that kind of sound from the MkIIc+ preamp circuit? There's an ocean of difference and several amp models between MkI and MkIIc+. Even the leap from IIb to IIc+ is considerable (sonically).
    The big Mark V has the Mark I mode on channel 2, and its sound and feel is totally different from the IIc+ mode on channel 3. While the Mark I mode is not quite as fat or loose as an original Mark I, it is the mode you should try if you want those Santana sounds. It will get you in the ballpark, instantly.

    The reason why the Mark IIc+ mode on the Mark V sounds thin or bright to some players is that it was designed that way. Doug West explored and tested several original IIc+ units before settling on one that he wanted to replicate on the V. Turns out his ideal IIc+ sound was a non-GEQ model with a small coupling cap that produced urgent attack and very bright and tight sound. I have a GEQ-equipped IIc+ head (bigger coupling cap), and it sounds significantly fatter, bigger and looser than the IIc+ mode on the V.

    I could never bond with the IIc+ mode on my (big) Mark V either. Just too thin, cold and stiff to my ears. The Mark IV mode offered the same basic sound, only better (fatter and deeper) - but it was the Extreme mode that finally (after years of tweaking!) unlocked the channel 3 dream tone that I had been searching for ever since I bought my V. Never mind the silly name of the mode, it is awesome in a band mix (once you dial it in).

    What the others say is true - no Mark is "plug-and-play", and the V or V:25 is no exception. You have to spend time tweaking your amp, and you have to realize that the sounds you love at home volumes will often sound like ass with a band.

    Also, you have to keep in mind that the channel EQ knobs and the GEQ/preset EQ have different functions. The channel TMB knobs are basically before the preamp gain and will affect your gain structure/character as well as the total amount of gain. By far the most important is the Treble knob, don't think of it as a mere EQ knob, think of it as a treble boost. That is vital for getting some of the best high-gain sounds out of a Mark V. The Bass knob, on the other hand, should be kept pretty low - it boosts the lows and turns them into mush in the preamp.
    The GEQ/preset EQ is what you use for eq'ing your post-preamp sound.

    Oh, one more vital piece of advice: always tweak your Mark V with your ears, not with your eyes. That may sound silly but it is true. Don't look at other players' settings, just move the knobs and the EQ sliders and let your ears guide you. Once it sounds good, who cares what settings you are using?

    And finally, as with any amp, it might be that the amp just isn't the right amp for you. I was initially awestruck by the big Mark V; then, after the honeymoon, hated it; then I learned how to dial it in, and while it is not my favorite amp today, it will give me any sound I need to get through my setlist. Or just about any setlist. Can't really ask for more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  16. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    I'm in the same boat. Im going to try some new tubes but if that doesn't change things much then mine is probably going to the emporium.
     
  17. BoneSaw

    BoneSaw Member

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    the first 20 minutes I spent with mine I felt the same way. The next day I gave it some time and it got better. Now I love it. There's to much in there to soak in in just a day. I focused on one mode,and got a good sound and tweaked it for a day, then moved to another. Did you try the mid boost on channel 1? Also if you expect to plug in and the skies to open and angels sing, your never going to be happy. Take it for what it is, it's a good sounding versatile little amp. go to the Boogie board,there a settings thread for the Mark 25 that may give you some ideas.
     
  18. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    Every amp has trade offs on some level. That's what make things so fun, and the trick is finding the set of trade-offs that work for your style and ear. If the perfect amp existed we'd all have it and it would be pretty boring. While I am loving the Mark V25, I seriously doubt it will be the last amp to put a grin on my face.

    Now, back to my Mesa Flu.....too sick to work today.....cough..
     
  19. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    got a MK V 25 in last night and it's probably going back. I don't see how they can call this a MK anything amp. Doesn't sound like any Mark series I've had and had them all. The circuit cannot be the same, there is no pre-gain like on a early mark (there is two adjustable gain stages with a pre-gain on the old designs) this new 25 has a gain control but the pre-gain limit must be set pretty high because you can't back it down to a good crunch level on the gain. Way to much gain for me on the lead channel. Some may say that's what the other channel is for but it's not the same. My plan was to use the "clean channel" fairly clean and use the lead more in the crunch zone and turn up volume on gtr for singing leads. Like I did on my old very heavy Mk II or III's. Just not the same circuit even though it probably is close - they've just set the "pre-gain" pretty high and it's not adjust able like the old models (which is probably fine with most folks, they like a real high gain lead channel). Also, I find it noisy and certainly a lot noisier than my Mesa LSS. I'll be hanging onto my LSS although it is too freakin heavy. It just sounds more organic with less inherent noise/hum. YMMV
     
  20. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs Silver Supporting Member

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