Stumbled across a Mark I - thoughts?

Mtnbkr123

Member
Messages
517
So a guy I know has a $hitload of vintage gear that was his father’s, circa 1970 to 1980, that he wants to sell to me at bargain basement prices.

One thing he has is a 1977ish Boogie Mark I (I suspect the date is an estimate). It’s a little beaten up but not too bad. Altec 417-8H Series II speaker. Oddly, the back has a bunch of those old plastic labels made with the little hand gun, if you know what I mean. No metal plates with the name and serial number that I saw.

I have not heard it yet but he assured me it functions as good as ever.

Any thoughts on this?

I would post pics but no idea how.
 

rollyfoster

Supporting Member
Messages
15,423
Ok. Thx. I probably will. Do you think it could end up being a bit of a money pit?
Email mesa with the SN. You could probably send it to them for a tune-up pretty easily. Label maker on the rear panel was their MO for a long time. Totally normal.
 

RCCola

(|@ / \ @ |.)
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,343
You can upload images to http://imgur.com and copy and past the link here

The labels on the back you describe are old Dymo labels and were common on early Mesa's. The early Mesa's varied a lot so you would get a lot of different knobs on the back. Maybe one amp would have a presence knob or one would have reverb.

It's probably a 60 watt amp. They also had 100 watts but those were less common.

Great amps. The amp will be very loud. Not sure if this is suitable for your playing situation.

Wouldn't be a money pit, but you would want to get it checked out if you plan on using it at all. You'd probably want to get the filters caps replaced and maybe have some out of spec resistors replaced as well. That would run $150+ for labor + parts, obviously labor will vary by area.
 

scelerat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,989
Nice! looks like a 60W model. Tolex doesn't look to bad and I've seen far worse grill cloth before. I think the Mark I serial numbers go up to or close to 3000, so this looks about 1/3 of the way through the run. 1977 sounds like a reasonable time for this, if that's what your friend is telling you.

Like others say, hard to go wrong. Those amps are built to last and they sound great. The Mark I is as simple a design as Mesa ever made. Super easy to dial in.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
5,821
That's cool! That's what a boutique amp from the 70s looked like!
There may be a production date written on the bottom of the chassis, right by the tube sockets.
Have it looked at so everything is up to spec, these are usually overbuilt, so it's usually not a big deal and well worth it. I love the clean tones of the MKI and MKIIA. The dirts are very cool, too.
On another note--I have a road case for my Boogie combos--same era Anvil, same greenish blue internal foam. Maybe replace that foam, it's deteriorating and will only cause more messes than it's worth. The foam in mine went from fine to a million crumbs literally overnight and was a pain to clean off the amp, from inside the cabinet, etc...
 

Stormin

Tele's and Plexis
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,123
Looks like a basic, Mark I 60 watt with no options. Get it!

If you look at the bottom of the chassis, you’ll most likely find Randy Smith’s name and a date, written in Sharpie.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,123
That’s stock stuff, Dymo etc., I had a ‘78 Super 60 with EVM12L from then til 1999.

Incredibly heavy and not easy to get the 2 channels to balance well, but can be a fun amp. I don’t miss it, though.
 

Mtnbkr123

Member
Messages
517
Thanks guys. Very much appreciated.

I will pick it up along with the other stuff I am buying. I have a 6 hour drive ahead of me. Unless someone swoops in on my calendar and schedules something this afternoon, I plan to leave at noon today.

I’m in Canada so sending it to the Mesa guys is not as easy as if I lived south of the border. I suspect that having it checked and brought back into playing condition will cost me significantly more than what I am paying for the amp itself. For whatever reason, amp techs seem to be few and far between here, very expensive and slow AF.

Oh well. If nothing else it will look nice and add some sophistication and history to my otherwise humble little music room.

PS - just texted an old amp tech I know to see if I can jump the queue and get this to him sooner rather than later.

I now heard back - 3 day wait, which isn’t bad. Consistent with your advice, in his words, “it’s a steal - buy it”.
 
Last edited:

Elric

Supporting Member
Messages
4,475
PM me his phone number and I will follow up on it and let you know if he has anything of value.
 

Mtnbkr123

Member
Messages
517
PM me his phone number and I will follow up on it and let you know if he has anything of value.
Here is something else I am thinking about...

ES-340 mint condition. $1500 CDN. I did some quick research. Looks like the 340 is not exactly a sought after guitar.
 

scelerat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,989
That’s stock stuff, Dymo etc., I had a ‘78 Super 60 with EVM12L from then til 1999.

Incredibly heavy and not easy to get the 2 channels to balance well, but can be a fun amp. I don’t miss it, though.
I would love to find contemporaneous articles about the early Mesas, or hear from someone who "was there" and has a reliable recollection -- but I don't think Mesa ever had channel *switching* in mind, or at least very high on the priority list, when they were designing those first production Boogies. The two channels are there to give you tonal options. They're not there because they ever intended you to be switching from channel to channel in the middle of a song.

So I hear that from time to time -- it's hard to balance the two channels in a live switching context -- but I think that's not what they're for. Mesa didn't attempt to tackle that application until the Mark II.

The Mark I is a single channel amp that allows the player to choose between a Fender Bassman-like voice (input two) or add an extra gain stage (input one) for more aggressive tones.
 
Last edited:




Top