What Mesa/Boogie am I looking for?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Dead Astronaut, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

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    Love mine. Crunch alone is worth it. Best Plexi like tone I've ever heard in a Boogie.
    Then the Mark IIC+ and Mark IV modes? Two best lead tones they ever produced.
    And that still leaves three other modes to mess with!
    Sexy as hell too.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Icculus The Prophet

    Icculus The Prophet Member

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    Try to find either a 50 caliber +, or a dc5. I think that the dc5 would be a great fit for you. It is often described as being a mixture of a typical mk amp (think Santana type tones) and a recto. These things can also be found for some pretty low prices and come in 30 and 20 watt versions with el tubes. The 50 watt comes with 6l6s.
     
  3. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    I found a Studio .22+ in my price range and jumped on it – has all the features I need, right size, ability to get really fuggin' loud or get all its gain at low volume, and is tonally kinda like an EL-84 variation of the Mark III – but thanks for the recommendation, and I'll keep an eye for them.

    The DC series is a successor of the Studio, right? So would it be fair to say that it's like a Studio with more Recto mixed in?
     
  4. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    That's a great choice on the 22+. I've had a couple of them and liked them a lot. The only reason I don't have any of them anymore is because I have a Simulclass MKIII head that does the lower wattage thing as well as a couple other Mark 1x12" combos that do the heavy, but still portable thing. The Studios are very much in the Mark family and sound great. The + version with the Lead Master knob helps a ton in getting a better balance and dial on your clean/lead settings. The fun (some would say tedious) part is experimenting with the smallest turns on the gain/volume and EQ knobs to get your voicing just right. Once dialed in, they smoke! Seems that you have already read the manual on Boogie's site. It's more than helpful if you don't already have your diploma in the school of Marks.

    Jensens can be bright, but the P10R in my Pro Junior is not an unusually bright speaker. Perhaps because it's alnico..? I thought I would be switching it out for something darker, but it's just fine as it is.
    I found the page from Boogie's 85 catalog with a blurb on the Vintage Shadow...
    [​IMG]

    It's kind of hard to read, here's the link https://s158.photobucket.com/user/Warchrist/media/1985 Mesa Catolog/Boogie020.jpg.html?sort=3&o=3
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  5. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    That's a great find, thank you, but strangely enough, I don't think that's the same Vintage Black Shadow that's in the Studio .22 I just picked up. Mine has a different label and the designation "50 watts / VS-12," and I've read elsewhere that those are rebranded OEM Eminence Vintage 50s. I notice that the description here says "Caliber Boogies," plural, which suggests that this is what they were using once they replaced the Studio series with the Dual Calibers.

    According to a Boogie collector I've found, there are 4 common Black Shadows: the famous C90 Celestion, a 200-watt OEM Electrovoice EVM12L, a 150 watt Eminence MS-12, and a 50-watt Eminence VS-12. The latter was the first "Vintage Black Shadow" and, according to this guy, was used both in Mesa's ’80s/’90s combo amps and in their ’80s metal grill 2x12s. But thanks nonetheless for this cool catalogue!
     
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  6. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    In the mid 80s, the Caliber Boogies consisted of the Studio .22, .38 (which must be ultra rare as I have never seen one in person) and the .50 Caliber. My combos had the same speaker as shown in the '85 catalog shot-- VS-12 50 Watts on the label. I'm sure this changed at some point, perhaps during the Dual Caliber (DC) era in the 90s or later?

    I had that catalog as a teen of the 80s. Must have read it though a million times. It was cool to find it again online!
     
  7. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    Huh, very confusing. It's hard to read the sticker in the catalogue, but I'm pretty sure it's different from mine, which reads VINTAGE BLACK SHADOW around the circumference and has two separate white boxes, one of which says "8Ω / 50 WATTS," and the other has the VS-12 marking. To make things still more perplexing, Boogie itself lists the Vintage Black Shadow as an Eminence E50, but refers to it as a 10" speaker, which mine isn't.

    I actually just wrote to Eminence to see if they knew anything about it, so I'll post a response here if I get one. Pretty sure I've never used an Eminence speaker, so I don't really know their reputation, but I certainly like what I'm hearing with this one.
     
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  8. lowyaw

    lowyaw Member

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    For the tone you describe, a Recto is your best bet. The fizz you hear won't translate as much in a band mix or recording situation, and if you run power amp on 4-5 on the master, the fizz will be gone too with the volume. Have you looked into new mini Recto series + 1x12 closed back cab combinations?
     
  9. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    On the whole, the Mark IV is going to get pretty close to what you want. I have had mine for a number of years. I do not play metal. The IV responds well to my SG's neck humbucker - no matter which channel I use. No real issues with "fizzy" on my Mark IV. Plus, the lead channel has 2 drive controls plus the channel volume, then you have the master volume. Plenty of room to get the exact lead tone you want.

    I have a bad back. Given that the Mark IV weighs almost as much as my Les Paul, I do tend to use it only at home. Mine has side handles which make carrying it not nearly as hard as it used to be. My TA-30 is a great deal lighter, so I tend to use it more. The TA-30 is a great amp. But, it does not have a mid control. It's mids are not as pronounced as they can be on the Mark IV.

    Do you have a store nearby which carries Mesa? That would give you the chance to try out some of the smaller amps in the Mark series. Or is there a dealer who specializes in used amps. May be worth a day trip to try out a few side by side and see.
     
  10. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    I tried every combination of channel master vs. output master I could think of, and none of them addressed the fizz, unfortunately – maybe this is easier to fix on the Dual Rectifier? It seems to have gotten a bit lost during the course of the thread that I had a Single Recto 50 combo.

    If you can get the fizz out of a Dual (or Triple, or Mini) Rec, that would be great to know for future reference. They're still the hugest guitar sound I've ever found, and yes, the Mini Recto + matched 1x12 was my original plan, but I generally can't afford new stuff, and the used one I was eyeing got bought just as the Single Rectifier Rect-O-Verb 50 appeared online, so I had to switch over.
     
  11. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    No good Mesa dealer nearby, sadly, so the only amps I had a chance to try before buying were the Single Recto, the newer Dual Rectifier Rect-O-Verb 25 (cool amp and less fizzy, but $$$, even used), and my guitar teacher-become-guitar tech's Nomad, which was cool but which he told me was on the unreliable and hard-to-fix side. Can't say whether that's true of Nomads generally or just his.

    He's a long, long-time Boogie user and told me that out of all the M/B rigs he'd owned, his favorite was a Triaxis preamp running stereo into paired 2x12s – I don't need or want that kind of size and volume, but I do keep an eye on the used Triaxis market. For those who might've had a Triaxis: could you run them like a preamp pedal, i.e. into the power amp and speaker of another amp via the loop return, or do you need a separate power amp and cab?
     
  12. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 Member

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    Surprised only one person mentioned the TC-50. Great on all three channels, easy to dial in, 50w combo available.
     
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  13. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    A Mark V is the dream once I can save up some cash, hopefully within a year or so. For what I need in terms of size, volume, and price, a Mark V:35 combo seems like a fantasy amp.
     
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  14. Dead Astronaut

    Dead Astronaut Member

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    By the way, as someone not terribly experienced with tube amps – I've owned one and used another for a long time with a band whose drummer owned it, but I'm much more familiar with solid state and digital gear – is there any reliable volume estimate out there for the tube/non-tube conversion?

    I realize that this isn't scientific, and that there are all sorts of technical and perceptual variables in play, but I've heard two different formulae: one claims that (tube watts x 2.5)=(solid state watts), in which case a 40-watt tube amp would be equivalent to a 100-watt solid state, and another that claims (solid state watts x 22%)=(tube watts), so a 100-watt SS would be about as loud as a 22-watt tube. Does either of those seem realistic?
     
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  15. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    So a Studio .22 really did fit the bill? Must say I'm kinda surprised based on my experience with em; the lead channel is very fizzy to me. But I'm glad you found what you were looking for

    :beer
     
  16. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    I have a Nomad 45 1x12. I have had to send it to the shop only once. And it was because of user error. Not thinking, I plugged it into the same outlet as was being used by a room air conditioner and burned something in the power section (don't remember what it was). Sent it to Mesa. They fixed it and did some tune ups on it while they were there. My Nomad is my lightest Mesa. It's got a real nice tone on channel 2. But I would not necessarily say it is in the same camp as my Mark IV. Different but nice.
     
  17. Blue Marvel

    Blue Marvel Member

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    A 70s 60 watt no reverb 1x12 combo Mark 1 best amp they ever built with the fotswitchable gain boost and a lead channel shorting AB switch. Sounds much better than any other Mark amp after it.
     
  18. CjRuckus

    CjRuckus Member

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    Have you tried EL34s in your Mesa?
    My dual rec 3 Channel really shines with some EHX EL34s. It got rid of a lot of the fizziness... tightened up the low end to the point where I really don't need to go hard on the boost infront of the amp.
     
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  19. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    This is dead on- I’ve owned 4 Mark iiis and a Mark IV. My favorite is the Mark III but I like heavier music. The IV can do metal and a whole lot more. Way more versatile even though I like the iii more for my kind of music
     
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  20. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

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    Such an amazing platform. If my room wasn't so small I'd have the big boy to get all 9 modes and 3 channels.
    But the 25 is really perfect me (like you think the 35 will be for you)
    My only gripe is a back handed compliment. All 6 modes are so good it's a shame you can only foot-switch between two.
    GREAT AMP!
     

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