What is the best Mesa Boogie amp, and why?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by doc, Aug 1, 2020 at 9:17 PM.

  1. doc

    doc Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Never owned one, but played around with a couple, and one of my all time favorite recorded sounds is Santana through an early one. If you could only have one, which one would you pick? I understand that some are somewhat collectible or rare, and that might be a factor, some are ideally suited for certain type tones (a Rectifier for 90's metal comes to mind). You might think that certain ones are more problem prone and harder to work on than others. Whatever your reasons are, feel free to spell them out. Thanks!
     
  2. Dale

    Dale Member

    Messages:
    10,263
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    For me the Mark V.
     
    BenoA and kafka like this.
  3. fatbagg

    fatbagg Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,828
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    IIC+, then mark IV. IIC+ feels unreal and is just a Dream. Never played anything that was as unique.
     
    stonem, Coli and MisterMojo like this.
  4. slavenoid

    slavenoid Supporting Member

    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    I have several. I vote for TA30 Head with various cabs. Versatility of sounds. Out Voxes my Voxes too.
     
    critter74 likes this.
  5. les_paul

    les_paul Member

    Messages:
    824
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    I like the Mark IV personally. The only downfall is that channel 2 shares EQ with channel 1. The Mark V cures this but I like the Mark IV better on tone overall.
     
    NamaEnsou and El Rey like this.
  6. 8len8

    8len8 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,596
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Dual Recto, for indie rock stuff. I never had the patience to dial in a Mark.
     
    bigfoamfinger, DrRaoulDuke and jm9239 like this.
  7. doc

    doc Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Do any of the more recent versions closely reproduce the sound of the original? Does the Petrucci signature nail the lead tone of the IIC+?
     
    fatbagg likes this.
  8. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Member

    Messages:
    3,710
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    For me it’s the DC3. Mostly because it’s the one I own.

    Beyond that, it’s versatile: the Rhythm channel does some of the most amazing cleans but has enough gain available to crunch pretty hard. And the Lead channel does that singing Mesa lead tone.
     
  9. les_paul

    les_paul Member

    Messages:
    824
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    There's a whole section in the Mark V manual about recreating that tone. There's also a section in the Mark IV manual. I still prefer the way the Mark IV does it.

    Never played the Petrucci. For some reason it just never held interest to me. I have had two IIC+s now and IMO they are not really that great.
     
    fatbagg likes this.
  10. doc

    doc Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    It seems the Mark III is fairly commonly available used. How did it compare to some of the other models?
     
  11. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

    Messages:
    5,690
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    The defining Mesa sound is the Rectifier. The Mark is Mesa’s birthright amp and it’s sort of unique but not like the Dual Rec is IMPO.
     
    bigfoamfinger, DrRaoulDuke and jm9239 like this.
  12. Jason Hernandez

    Jason Hernandez Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2019
    The Lonestar is a great amp. Beautiful clean blackface Fendery tones on channel one and Mark one lead tones on channel two. It has the Santana sound and so much more. The best reverb of all their amps. It set the bar for amps that came after.
     
    Tritone, Benny, ToneDeVille and 3 others like this.
  13. Coli

    Coli Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,250
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Location:
    Athens,Al
    Santana? Easy answer - Mark series
    ( I agree with fatbagg)
     
  14. Shredzilla

    Shredzilla Member

    Messages:
    3,097
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    South of Nibiru
    Too many good ones for me to choose even a top couple.

    I will say the Nomad is by far the worst.
     
    PaisleyWookie likes this.
  15. fatbagg

    fatbagg Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,828
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    It depends. Petrucci and the guys at Boogie based it on a particular IIC+ that JP has, a rather aggressive and more immediate one. The opposite of the IIC+ I like (Simulclass/105/GEQ). So to me, no, it didn’t capture that magic. However, for the people who prefer the non Simul IIC+, maybe it’s closer. Ive had both, and a JP2C, and personally the feel was t the same. I think as time goes the Marks
    Progressively sound more immediate and aggressive vs the rounder, midrange-deep early Mark vibe. That being said, the JP2C and all Mark series are killer, and all have the signature Mark sound, just intricacies change.
     
    Coli and El Rey like this.
  16. enigma

    enigma Member

    Messages:
    3,279
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    Mark I Reissue
    Lonestar Special
    Maverick
     
  17. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

    Messages:
    4,221
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Anderson, SC
    I've owned a couple & played several. IMO they have amps that sound very different so 'best' is hard to choose.
    The one I played that was magic was a Mark I. That clean was superb.
     
  18. Ultra GP

    Ultra GP Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    For me, I think the later IIB. Sits nicely in between the earlier and later Mark series amps in the way of sound. I like that it's a bit higher gain and not quite as heavy in the low end, but still doesn't lose the character of the older amps.
     
    jmfreeland likes this.
  19. MisterMojo

    MisterMojo Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I’ve owned many over the years, and I’m not sure I could say one is the “best” - all depends on the application. I’m a big fan of the Mark series (never got beyond the Mark IV, though) and have also had several Blue Angels, a TA-30, and a DC-3. The Marks have stuck around, though.

    All the following are my experiences, YMMV: For cleans, I like the IIA the most in the series. The IIB is great for classic rock tones. The IIC+ is one of the most versatile, open and best feeling / sounding covering cleans through full-on high gain. The III’s and IV’s are very versatile and cover more territory than the others mentioned, but don’t have the “feel” of the IIC+.

    So, I just realized that my answer above was to the subject of the thread. My answer to “ If you could only have one, which one would you pick?” is: Mark IIC+ DRG.
     
  20. CassetteTape

    CassetteTape Member

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    There is no best, but I can tell you the Mark V:25 I owned was so versatile, having multiple Mesa amp model circuits built into it.

    Tip: Search online for settings others have found were great for them with the same amp model. I found it hard to dial in some things, but once you got it, you really got it. Seeing what others found works for them saves you a lot of time and reveals things you might not have know were there.
     
    Jim Miller likes this.

Share This Page