Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
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Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo

Mark V Combo, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Mesa Boogie in the Mark V series.

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racerevlon 26/08/2012

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo : la opinión de racerevlon (content in English)

"The best of Mesa Boogie in one portable package."
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The Mesa Boogie Mark V combo is a 6L6-based all-tube three channel combo that not only encapsulates the best of the Mesa Boogie heritage, but also is so tweakable that you can coax just about any tone from it. Whether you play all original music or nothing but covers, this amp is incredibly flexible. Each channel is independently configurable to run at the full 90 watts, 45 watts, or 10 watts. The only thing really missing from this amp that would make it PERFECT instead of just high-scoring is the absence of MIDI.

UTILIZATION

It is incredibly easy to get a good sound out of this amp but the issue is that there are so many great sounds; which one do you choose?

There is a somewhat daunting number of controls on this amp, all intended to provide the ultimate in tonal flexibility. However, just imagine that there are so many controls on the front panel that they have to put the reverb and triode/pentode switches on the back. Each channel has three modes to choose from and are foot-switchable, as is the effects loop, reverb, EQ, amp mute, and solo boost. This makes for a larger than normal 8-button foot switch, but it is easily stored in the back of the combo (once you learn the trick). You can only pick from one of the modes for each channel, selectable by a mini-toggle switch on the front of the amp. Also present is the familiar Mark Series 5-band graphic EQ on the front.

All of the above shouldn't keep you from trying this amp though. The controls are easy enough to quickly master and from that point, the tone flows...

SOUNDS

I originally took two guitars to the Mesa Hollywood store to check out the Mesa Road King combo. Ended up checking out the Roadster instead of the Road King, then, just as I was about to leave, they suggested I check out the Mark V just for grins. This amp is UNBELIEVABLE. I played it through my Ibanez RG760 with Dimarzio Super 3 bridge and Fast Track 2 Neck, and my mahogany Ibanez Artist with Dimarzio PAF 36th Anniversary bridge and Air Norton neck, in both humbucker and single-coil mode with my installed push-pull coil splitting volume potentiometer. I couldn't make this thing sound bad. Every sound you've ever heard is in there. There are three channels with three selectable modes each. The cleans on channel 1 go from clean, shimmering, and sparkling, to fat and jazzy, to just broken up "cheap dirt." Channel two takes you into the 70's and 80's with everything from Santana to Satriani. Channel 3 is your heavy gain channel and just piles it on with everything from Dream Theater to unbelievable amounts of gain on the "Extreme" setting. You can choose between using the 5-band EQ or a Mid-Contour EQ... or no EQ... this is possibly the most flexible combo I've ever used. Each channel has three selectable power modes: 10w, 45w, or 90w, meaning you can have your clean channel on 90w for maximum headroom, have your crunch channel at 10w for a great touch-responsive crunch, and have channel 3 on 45w for the best of both worlds. Included foot switch means all you'd really need is any effects to go in the effects loop (also foot-switchable). You can also select between a full-power and Variac mode that gives that nice power sag. Bottom line, the Road King, while allowing for the mix of different power tubes, isn't really worth the extra $1000, and the Roadster (for the same price as the Mark 5) just seemed to lack character.

OVERALL OPINION

With the ability to run this into a 4x12, it's possible you may never need anything else. Best amp I've ever played in this price range. The only other combo I've play that comes as close tonally and/or flexibly is the Hughes & Kettner Switchblade. There is a trade-off; while the Switchblade has MIDI capabilities, it doesn't have the selectable power modes. While the Switchblade has on-board effects, it doesn't have the vast tone-shaping abilities of the Mark V. Having owned both, I actually stuck with the Hughes & Kettner because of the MIDI capabilities and on-board effects. I think that while the Mark V combo is an amazing amp, the options the amp offers don't quite justify the price tag. However, if you're a fan of Mesa Boogie, this may be all the amp you ever need.