Pedal For Mesa Mark IIC+ and Mark IV Tones

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mflemmer2, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. mflemmer2

    mflemmer2 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I know that there's no substitute for an actual amp, but since I'm usually more of a Marshall JCM 800 crunch, Vox clean to slightly dirty, & Fender clean kind of guy, Mesa-like ultra high gain isn't a sound I plan on using that often anyway. SO--for certain songs or passages, I just want something that can get me reasonably close to John Petrucci's Mark IIC+ sound on Images & Words, or maybe even some of his later stuff with the Mark IV. It doesn't have to be a perfect imitation--I'm just interested in acquiring a more American flavored, metal-sounding gain with good definition, and not muddy chugging death metal thrash stuff. Metallica's "Master of Puppets" is the most I need. I've already got the Wampler Pinnacle, along with several other MIAB pedals, including an original Marshall Guv'nor and Ramble FX Marvel Drive. I've been considering the Wampler Sovereign and the Triple Wreck. The Sovereign is somewhat close to the Pinnacle IMHO, but with more bottom end and slightly more gain. The Triple Wreck is really more than what I need in terms of gain, but some of the better demos (e.g. Brett Kingman and Jason Hobbs) show that it's good for more than just uber high gain rectifier metal---more versatile than I would have thought. My question is---with the Triple Wreck gain dialed back a bit, and the mids turned up (as opposed to scooped), can it approximate what I've described? Or, would the Sovereign maxed out with the boost on come closer? If there's another pedal suggestion, I'm all ears---it doesn't have to be a Wampler. I considered the Mesa Flux Five and Throttle Box EQ, but to my ears they don't sound any better than the Triple Wreck, cost more, and aren't as versatile.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  2. theroan

    theroan Member

    Messages:
    5,743
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    There is the Dr Boogie pedals and also the Tech 21 character pedals. Truthfully, imho I don't think that a pedal exists that really does justice to the Mark series.
     
  3. mflemmer2

    mflemmer2 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Yes, so I've heard regarding the Mark series. Also, in case you hadn't heard, the Tech 21 California has been discontinued. When they revised the Character series pedals by adding the speaker defeat button, I don't think the California was revised---perhaps they were already thinking of discontinuing it. I've considered looking for a used one, but I've heard very mixed reviews on it---apparently, it's mainly good for Mark I Santana stuff, and not much else. I do have the Tech 21 Blonde, and like it a lot---for both dirty AND clean Fender tones, but especially the clean!
     
  4. jrjones

    jrjones Member

    Messages:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Location:
    arkansas
    What about the new flux five from mesa? Isn't it supposed to have the parametric EQ like the mark series?
     
  5. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

    Messages:
    5,613
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Under the Bucket Bridge
    I've never at all heard an effects pedal that can replicate or approximate the sounds of those amplifiers.
     
  6. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

    Messages:
    5,613
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Under the Bucket Bridge
    "Master of Puppets" is pretty much the icon of the American-flavoured, metal sounding high gain chuggy metal thrash sound. And coincidentally it is the objective of those muddy death metal sounds (they just use too much bass).




    Not at all. The "Triple Wreck" attempts to replicate the Rectifier sound, which is very far removed from the Mark series sound.


    You're best off to get a high gain distortion pedal, then run an EQ pedal directly after it for the texture/s that you want. It won't be close to 90% since there's no power amp simulation (which is a big part of the Mark series sound), but might be somewhat of an approximation better than most standalone pedals out there.
     
  7. Phletch

    Phletch Member

    Messages:
    9,930
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Treasure Coast, Florida
    Pretty much the obvious choice. The pedal made by Mesa is about as close to a "Mark in a box" as you're going to get. No need to over-think this one.
     
  8. mflemmer2

    mflemmer2 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Thanks for the informative reply---it was helpful. I realize I may have sounded self-contradictory mentioning Master of Puppets---my point was I don't need anything higher gain than late 80's or early 90's metal. When I refer to "death metal", I'm thinking of mostly crushing low end, and either the high frequencies are dialed back, or the player's emphasis is mainly on the lower 4 strings. This is no offense whatsoever to players who favor that style---that sound can be pretty cool, but it's just not my thing. The reason I like Petrucci so much is that he strives for a lot of balance in his tone---even though he uses the low end crunch, he makes use of articulate highs as well, and often uses a more open sound than some metal guitarists use. Thanks again!
     
  9. Buzzard Luck

    Buzzard Luck Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    The Throttle Box is an excellent and totally pro sounding and feeling piece of gear. You may want to try one in person. Depending on your amp, speakers, guitar, fingers, and ears, it might get you there. forget about the utube stuff- none of those videos sounded anywhere near the tone Heard in person with the pedal ran in front of a sweet 2el/84 combo or better, through the effect return of a nice 1/2 stack. Those Boogie pedals are excellent, and do a fine job of representing classic Mesa tones.
     
  10. TakisMasterKey

    TakisMasterKey Member

    Messages:
    724
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    The Mesa Flux Five could be the first to check but the price is very high.
    You could also try, if you can find, the (now discontinued) MI Audio Tube Zone and even though it depends on the amp, speakers, etc, it can sure get you in the Mesa neighborhood
     
  11. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,030
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    The discontinued V-Twin is worth a look, if you can find one.
     
  12. meowmers

    meowmers Member

    Messages:
    1,000
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    My Jetter Gain Stage Gold at max gain does sound like a nice saturated beefy Mesa, but you gotta scoop out the mids with another eq/pedal
     
  13. thiscalltoarms

    thiscalltoarms more gadgets than Batman. Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,302
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Seahawks & Bruins Nation
    This is like asking to pull a giant trailer with a motor cycle. The Mark tone is very very very tied to power amplifier the transformers used. You can't get that tone or oomph out of a pedal.

    Sometimes to do the job- like pulling a trailer, you need to have a truck. Big iron. Lots of tubes. A simple pedal will only help with the preamp tones, but the real problem is that your amps power section either is or isn't like a MArk series amp. And the tonal contribution that your amps power amp makes, will make it substantially sifferent and far from the Mark tone.

    That said, have you considered the Mesa Mark 25 amp? Clean channel takes pedals fairly well. Lead channel can kill it.
     
  14. JinX78

    JinX78 Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Liquordale, FL
    Or a dc-5. I *think* I heard that the dc series amp was used on master of puppets :) probably find one used for < $500

    But, op is looking for a pedal. Fwiw, I did find my barber burn unit EQ to get pretty close to my mesa dc-10 lead sound with the dynamics knob fully ccw and gain maxed out. Its def not a super high gain pedal, but it can sing. Not sure how close it would sound to the mark series as I never owned one. Oh and the YouTube videos on the burn unit are terrible and don't really show this pedal off. Good luck on your search!
     
  15. mflemmer2

    mflemmer2 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I've previously considered the Tube Zone, and they can still be found. This may sound illogical, but it almost tries too hard to cover too many bases, IMHO---a pedal with an identity crisis. It certainly has some settings I would use, but many other settings either don't appeal to me, or I can get very similar sounds with what I've already got. I am still considering both the Mesa Flux Five AND Throttle Box EQ. I have no doubt about the sound quality, and they do look awesome. If I were to get a Mesa pedal, it would be the ones with the 5 band eq. Since most Wampler pedals cost around $200, I assumed the Triple Wreck did too. Now that I see they're around $270, spending an extra $30 for a Mesa isn't out of the question. I want a pedal with high enough gain to cop Petrucci sounds, and I understand that the Flux Five is more Mark series flavored than the Throttle Box EQ. BUT---does the Flux Five deliver high enough gain for DT stuff? It sounds good on demos, but it doesn't sound as high gain as Petrucci's playing---almost sounds like it would need a boost in front of it to accomplish that, or with an already overdriven amp. Your thoughts?
     
  16. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,610
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    "In the drag of this atmosphere" (Maryland)
    The V Twin is based off the Dual Rectifier. Having owned a Mark IV, a Recto, and gave the V Twin a chance two different times, I can attest that it won't get you into Mark IIC+ nor Mark IV tones. Its much fatter and woolier sounding. Much less refined sounding. I found it also be very muddy with humbuckers.
     
  17. mflemmer2

    mflemmer2 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Like I mentioned to TakisMasterKey, I am considering the Throttle Box EQ, considering it's only $30 more than the Triple Wreck. I've seen several people in different forums state that the Throttle Box actually falls somewhere in between Mark IV and Rectifier, and Mesa said something similar in one of it's blogs. If that's true, I'm WAY interested. In online sound comparisons, I actually prefer the Mesa to the Wampler for the ultra high gain stuff. It's the lower gain settings I'm wondering about. The Triple Wreck definitely has some usable lower gain settings---is the Throttle Box similarly versatile? (I don't really care about the fuzz/boost feature on the Wampler). I'm not a Mesa guru, but my understanding is that the Mark series has tighter lows, more emphasis on high mids, and a smoother high end. The rectifier has more crushing (and less tight) low end, emphasis on lower mids, and a bit of a fizzy high end. Can the Throttle Box EQ produce tight lows and fairly smooth highs, by not maxing the gain and by fiddling with the controls or eq? If so, I'm highly interested.
     
  18. mflemmer2

    mflemmer2 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    By the way, thanks to everyone who has chimed in!
     
  19. Comanche5

    Comanche5 Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    The Flux Drive falls far short. I haven't played the Flux Five, so I can't comment.

     
  20. benvigil

    benvigil Member

    Messages:
    437
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    That's easy: AMT R2 or P2.

    Done.
     

Share This Page