New Mesa Boogie Head and Cab Ordered Today.

        My existing mono amp setups just weren't working for me. (The Cornford Carrera is the exception. It's perfect but it's only 6 to 8 watts depending on tube selection. I run a 6V6 in one channel and an EL84 in the other). I was looking for something I would love just as much but have a louder output volume and would preserve clean tones at a higher volume.). I was looking to use either my 30 watt Dr. Z Mazerati, (too freaking loud and far too much gain), my Star Sirius 30 Reverb, (EL34 output tubes just don't work for me when I want to cover all styles of music. I don't like their cleans at all and their highest gain settings have a less smooth / more breakup lead tone than I prefer), or one of my Fender Concerts, (Nope. Fantastic cleans and reverb but less than usable lead tones).
        I thought back to what were my favorite "do it all" mono amp setups and realized they were both made by Mesa Boogie. A Mesa F-30, (the best cleans with adequate crunch and higher gain), and a Mesa Mark III blue stripe that created perfect cleans and super smooth high gain tones. The crunch channel was just OK but I hardly ever use crunch tones. So ....... I started checking out Mesa Boogies current offerings and fell in love with the Mesa Boogie Mark V:35 head mated with a Mesa Boogie Wide body closed back / front ported cab designed for use with the 90 watt Mesa Mark series models. 2 channels with channel assignable output power. 35, 25, 0r 10 watts. I can run the clean channel at 35 watts for excellent headroom and the lead channel at either 25 or 10 watts for higher gain settings at an equal or slightly higher volume to the clean channel. Both channels are totally separate and foot switchable. Separate reverb, tone stack, etc. Just what I need.
        It should arrive this Friday and I'm really looking forward to it.


  • LerxstFanLerxstFan Posts: 4,782
    I'm not at all jealous. I love Mesa's. 
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,704
    This will be the first "brand new with a warranty" amp I've purchased in the last 15+ years. Every amp I named above were all bought used. Some needed new tubes and on a few I upgraded the speakers or power cables. It'll be nice to get one fresh out of the amp kitchen all piping hot and ready  to go. Both the head and cab will have the wicker fronts, tan corners and piping. The cab was ordered without the big "Mesa Engineering" insignia centered on the grill in favor of a "Boogie" insignia in the upper left corner that matches the one on the head. I couldn't decide between two very cool Tolex colors and both worked well with the same color corners, wicker, etc. so I picked up the head in "Wine Taurus" and the cab in "Emerald Green". I'm sure Debi can find me some wine colored t-shirts but emerald green Levis are gonna be tough to come by.
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,704
    Here's a great sound clip of the Mark V:35 getting some beautiful lead tones.

  • That does sound good.  What kind of cab are you getting? 1x12? 2x12? 4x12?
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,704
    It's the Mesa Boogie 1 X 12 wide body closed back / front ported cab designed to pair with the 90 watt Mark 5.

  • I've played through their 1x12s. They're good cabs. Closest thing I've heard to my Bogner 1x12s.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • LerxstFanLerxstFan Posts: 4,782
    That reminds me a lot of the old 50 Caliber. It sounds good. 
  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,292
    Great looking setup, Rick! Congrats, and play it in good health.
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • Those look great, and I am not even a Mesa fan. Congrats and play it in good health!

  • Great look for a rig that doesn't have to gig!
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,704
    OK. I've owned  both the Mesa Boogie Mark III Blue Stripe and F-100 heads, (both played through a Marshall Vintage 4 X 12 cab. I've also owned the F-30 combo. I've also had access to Mesa's Blue Angel, Lone Star and Lone Star Special, Nomad 45, Mark II B  and Mark IV, Dual and Triple Rectifier, Heartbreaker and Express 5:25.

    I can find tones that match any of the above mentioned amps using my new Mark:35 and can do so at a volume level that doesn't knock me out of the studio. The Rectifier tone took some tweaking and absolutely requires the use of the Graphic EQ but I found it. All of the others were on tap to anyone familiar with Mesa builds and tonality. The Mark 5:35 is a "do it all Mesa" at usable volume levels. It's excellent!!!

    I've also taken the time to compare the Mark V:35 to the Mark 5:25 and found one very interesting result. The Mesa Mark V:35 in the middle, (25 watt), setting is supposed to be identical to the Mark 5:25, (used at it's full 25 watts setting). The same preamp, signal path and 2 EL84 output stage. They don't sound the same. The Mark 5:25 at full output sounds wonderful when pushed to it's limits. A truly wonderful amp. The Mark 5:35 delivers the same sounds but it sounds like it's been bumped up a notch. A more harmonically rich version. More definition. More "kick", "punch", "push. Checking with Mesa I found the only difference to be the Output Transformer. The Mark V:35 has a larger transformer in it's output stage and, (per Mesa), adds a more robust amp tone. I've never considered an amps output transformer as a tone effective component. Yet .... that's the only difference. Both amps sound great but the 5:35 can out 5:25 the 5:25.
  • Interesting, but not surprising.  

    Historically, with Marshalls and their clones, output transformers were actually ALWAYS a big deal, and definitely a tonal factor -- especially when you're running the amp hot/full out

    When Marshall (always looking to cut costs) started changing the OTs, the sound did change, and of course, players noticed it.  And of course, it then became just another one of those things you had to be aware of . . . the good Marshalls  -- the ones you wanted -- had upright, Partridge transformers  . . .
    (I think that was what they were called).

    And then when the boutiques started cloning them, they were looking for those original transformer types. And when they were no longer available, and the demand grew, companies stepped up and started building new OTs based on the original specs. 

    So yeah. Transformers were ALWAYS a big part of the sound.

    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • Damn, very nice! I've wanted a Mark V since they came out, but this looks like a game changer. I'm officially jealous. Play it in great health!
  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,704
    I owned this amp for over a month now. I'm so very impressed.

    1).  Mesa knocked it out of the ballpark on recreating the tones of their best Mark series amps. On the 35 watt setting I can hear near dead on recreations of the Mark II B clean tone, Mark II C+ / Mark III blue stripe high gain lead voice, Mark IV clean, fat and high gain tones and kind of a blend of the Mark II C+ and Mark IV lead voices with boosted harmonics on the extreme channel setting. These are virtually dead on. When the amp is switched to the 25 watt setting the overall volume drop isn't really noticeable but the voice tones are altered. A small loss in high end / harmonics with a bit more mids in the mix. I've decided not to regularly use the 25 watt setting because, while sounding very cool for certain "out of the box tones not really Mesa", I bought the amp for Mesa Mark tones and the 35 watt setting is perfect for creating the original Mesa Mark series tones. Switched down to the the lowest 10 watt setting detracts from the clean tones but produces some incredible lead tones at bedroom level. If you just want to practice your leads at a bedroom volume for later use on stage at 35 watts the 10 watt setting is excellent. Note* Expect more harmonics and high end when set to 35 watts.

    2). The overall layout of the amp controls are perfect for my use. Everything is right where I would desire it to be placed. No search required. I want whatever, go to where I think it should be and there it is.

    3). I used to use the graphic EQ quite a bit on my Mark III blue stripe but have found the voices / tones of the Mark V:35 without the graphic EQ in play sound very very close to the tones I used to create through it's use. It feels like Mesa was peaking at my past settings and revoiced the normal amp tone to my specs. I've altered my use of the graphic EQ, (switchable from the floor pedal), to creating a more harmonically rich quality to certain lead passages. Just a slight boost to the 2200 Hz and 6600 Hz sliders with a very slight lowering of the 750 Hz slider results in a beautiful harmonic feedback during ending sustaining notes. I play the lead passage with the graphic EQ out of the mix and then add it through the footswitch when required.

    4). My favorite settings ........

    The "Fat" clean channel selection for rhythm and clean leads along with the Mark IV or Xtreme high gain selection.

    The "Clean" clean channel selection for rhythm and clean leads, (Note* the footswitch also provides a solo boost for whatever channel selection you're using), with the Mark II C+ high gain selection.

    The "Crunch" clean channel selection for rhythm and crunch leads, (vintage players will love the "Crunch" clean channel selection for their lead work), along with the Xtreme setting on the higher gain channel for super hard rock / metal without the deep drop in mids. The Mark V:35 produces no "Rectifier" tones. It's the best of the best of the "Mark" series and it does them to perfection.

    5). The weight of the speaker cab is less than expected because of Mesa's new use of thinner but solidly jointed woods. Also, the wide body cab with Mesa's front ported, (non thiele), design focuses the front ported bass tones below and to the side of the mids and highs coming out of the center and top of the speaker cabinet. Closed back thiele cabs are great for adding bass to front projected guitar amp cabinet tones but sometimes overwhelm the other frequencies. Mesa's new wide body front ported cab design addresses this issue perfectly.

    One month. I haven't even turned on any of my boutique amps. I've been totally focused on the Mesa Mark V:35. It's amazing. I'm sure my stereo boutique setup will call me back sooner or later, (I truly love it), but for now ........ "Hell. I haven't even used a gain pedal in the last month. The first two weeks were played strictly straight guitar and amp. The last three weeks have included my Dawner Prince Electronics "Boonar" delay in the Mark V:35s effects loop. That's it.

    Mesa truly hit a "bull's eye" with the Mark V:35. Even though I own other amps that might be better at this or that and might be hand wired point to point etc., etc, etc. ...... this is my deserted island amp. It can't compete with the excellence of the others but, when it comes to versatility and the ability to create so many of my favorite amp tones, ........ wreaked on an island, (that just happens to have a conditioned electrical outlet :), the Mark V:35 would be my partner while I and my guitars awaited rescue
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