NAD - Mesa Mk1 reissue - Initial impressions, and some questions...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by fabulusfab777, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm sure you came across some of my old posts, but I owned 3 Mark I Reissues for the better part of 20 years. What I eventually settled on was a 5751 or even a 12AT7 in V1 (to calm the input down a bit), 6V6s in the power section and running cabinets with Vintage 30s. I never cared for the EVM-12L with this amp and liked the Celestion 90 even less.

    As for EL34s, I liked them better than the 6L6s but not as much as the 6V6s. I think the 6V6s (run in 100 watt and tweed for 40 watts) were the most responsive in the Mark I. It was a vibrant and unique tone.

    Also, be careful with how you set the tone stack - it's VERY easy to overdo the mids and not get enough treble out of the amp. IIRC, I ran mine plugged into channel 2 with: Vol1: 0, Vol2: 4, Master to taste, Treb: 8, Mids: 3, Bass: 2, Pres: 9 and Rev: 3 with it in 100w and Tweed. The amp was clean and alive like this and I also added a combination of an OCD and an FDII in front for different levels of gain and solo boost.
     
  2. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Silver Supporting Member

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    I am so glad ended up not selling my MK1 RI, the EVM12L in it sounds great, that was a good decision to try that speaker, the amp breathes more, nice top end, great bottoms, and all around transparent and clear. The Black shadow speaker is going into an os 1x12 and I plan to mix both speakers, cab will be ready next month.
     
  3. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    ime, the most obvious difference with an EV is the completely stable low end, especially at high volume.
    think piano style low notes, if the amp is set clean.
    GB derived Celestions (including all that have been mentioned here) have considerable cone breakup at higher volume, it's part of their typical sound.
    that, plus an EV seems to work much better in a 112, less directional and boxy.
    a 412 with Pulsonic GBs, that would be another classic Boogie voice.

    the other high powered alternatives, all great speakers, are closer to the EV than to the Mesa Celestions.

    as the weight issue came up, my own RI has an aftermarket Jensen Jet Tornado, rated 100W, but light as a feather.
    at first I was skeptical and planned to go EV, but after going back and forth a lot between the Jensen and the EV in the IIB right next to the RI, I kept the Jensen.
    it is in a similar ballpark regarding clarity and stability as the EV (4x 6L6, but admittedly only up to ca 1/3 of the maximum possible volume, my ears and room being the limiting factor :eek:, not the Jensen), but it's not as neutral as the EV, bringing a slight BF character, which suits me quite well for the RI.
    In case you want to max out warmth and smoothness (but only then), the 100W WGS Blackhawk HP would be a superb choice, it's supposed to be a clone of the EV SRO Alnico. Never played an SRO, so I can't speak for its authenticity, but it does its niche thing amazingly well and unique. A player focusing on flutey Santana (etc) leads will love it, but it's not really a good allrounder. I paired mine with a Blackhawk 50 (aka Gold clone) in a Bluesbreaker style 212, nice warm but articulate cab for US flavoured cascaded amps.
    still, the EV12 is a classic.

    finally tubes, easy enough to try in a Boogie. :dunno
    personally, I keep coming back to 6L6, but that might be due to having several great EL34 amps available, dunno.
    JJ 6V6 in a Boogie feel like a lesser, wannabe version of a 6L6 to me, I have never had a quad of good vintage ones to compare.
    Sylvania or TAD 6L6, and I'm happy.
    I keep the preamp types stock but use old glass, Mullard, Valvo or Tungsram.
    a long plate Telefunken or EI in the PI can enhance cleans, btw, this is the only position where a current preamp tube brings respectable results imho, the Sovtek LPS, or its fake Mullard sibling.

    all the above with vintage style guitars and clean to moderate gain settings, all ime and ymmv,
    Rhino
     
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  4. les_paul

    les_paul Member

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    I'm a fan of the stock speaker with 6V6s in mine. It seems less flubby to me and I prefer the clean sound as well. The amp is heavy enough; even if I thought the EV sounded better I'd think really hard before I made the swap if I were gigging my Mark I.
     
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  5. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Member

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    Hey guys,

    I had not looked my own thread in a while. Thanks for all the options and expriences you all have/had with this amp. I had a gig with the amp about three weeks ago, on a decent size stage for about 300/350 people. We played mostly alternative rock covers. I ran the amp as a pedal platform, so input 2, don't remember exactly where volume was set, but master prob around 4 and volume at like 4-5 as well.

    I really like how this amp cuts in a live setting. I am still planning on trying a speaker swap, for an EV12 or similar, but I don't hate the stock speaker at stage volume. Maybe just the bass that is important to keep low, so that it doesn't become flabby, but overall, I think it sounded great. The other thing I want to try is the 4x6V6 option.

    As for pedals, not to derail my own thread, but more as a side note, I used a Revv G3, as my main drive/distortion, and really like how it sounded/reacted. Also I had the Keeley Caverns (v2) with spring reverb always on, and the delay for solos. I enjoy the reverb from the Cavern a lot better than the amp's reverb.

    For now this amp is definately a keeper and it is growing on me!
     
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  6. les_paul

    les_paul Member

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    All Mark series amps have problems being flubby to me. I have never had a Mark and had the bass above 3. This includes a Mark IV with the EV.
     
  7. Wyzard

    Wyzard Member

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    Bass flub isn't really a "problem". Inappropriate setting of bass controls can be, however, as can poor speaker selection for the job at hand.

    Boogies do have more than enough bass for extremes of all kinds, and can push that bass into just about any array of cabs you can dream up: on occasions in the past, I've had one Mk series amp running four cabs (two of which were EV 4x12s).

    It's a by-product of the circuit architecture; IIRC from Steve Kimock's past observations of his time at Mesa, it was partly due to Doug West's quest for ever-increasing levels of gain, while playing a Floyd-equipped (and bass-deficient) guitar as part of the Mk series' testing and development.

    By now, thanks to forty years of cumulative experience that's plastered all over the internet, just about everyone knows to set it low at the front end. I cope well with this aspect of using them on a daily basis, as do thousands of other happy campers.

    It would only be a "problem" if it were impossible to dial out, but it's not.
     
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  8. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    :agree
    let me add, this generous amount of low end is inseparably connected with the classic Boogie / Mark lead tones *.
    let's face it, these babies were not designed for metal in the first place. :D
    in fact, back then not even metal itself was aware it would exist in the future ! :p
    lol,
    Rhino

    * yes, still dialed in on the low side, but not a problem by any means
     
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