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#1
Mark V or Road King II ??? I'm buying one of these awesome amps! Just having a hard time deciding which one. Since the music stores in my area don't carry these amps, I can't try them out live, side-by-side, so I've been checking them out on youtube and they both sound great. Are there any opinions out there from anyone who have played these amps on which is the better one. I don't care about the cost, I just want a great sounding amp. I play classic rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. Thanks for your help.
#2
Road King is still the better amp IMO.

I was actually pretty impressed with the Mark V over the Mark IV, but I still wouldn't buy it. The Road King is still Mesa's best amp.
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#4
So far, from my research, the Road King is what I'm leaning toward. One more channel, tube switching options, etc... just a much more versitle amp. I've heard the Standard Recto 4x12 is the way to go, as far as a speaker cab instead of the Road King cab (half open-back, half closed-back) to match up with the Road King II head. I've also heard the Recto 4x12 sounds good with clean or distortion sounds. The Road King cab would probably be a pain because I'd have to mic both sides of the cabinet and balance the two on the PA mixing board. I like to keep things as simple as possible, while still getting a great sound. Any opinions on which cab to pair up with with the Road King II head?
#5
If budget is not an issue, get a Mills Acoustics Afterburner cab
or Diezel cabinet.
#6
Thanks thrasher, I'll have to check into those. What speakers are best with them?
#7
Both are good amps, but they are a bit different in features and tone. It sucks when you can't audition them.

I would never recommend a 4x12 live - at least not without a stand that points it at the player's head. To do otherwise is screwing the band and the audience, because your sound will be pure mush in some seats, and icepicks in the ears in other seats.
#8
I kind of had my mind set on a Mesa 4x12 Standard Recto cab for the Road King, but maybe it's not the best choice for it. I'm am definitly open to suggestions. I do want to be sure I get the right cab to go with it. I've made enough expensive mistakes over the years on bad gear. That's why I'm going all-in this time and am willing to spend some cash to get the best.
#10
Quote by Crazy K
So far, from my research, the Road King is what I'm leaning toward. One more channel, tube switching options, etc... just a much more versitle amp. I've heard the Standard Recto 4x12 is the way to go, as far as a speaker cab instead of the Road King cab (half open-back, half closed-back) to match up with the Road King II head. I've also heard the Recto 4x12 sounds good with clean or distortion sounds. The Road King cab would probably be a pain because I'd have to mic both sides of the cabinet and balance the two on the PA mixing board. I like to keep things as simple as possible, while still getting a great sound. Any opinions on which cab to pair up with with the Road King II head?


OK, I've gotta ask, when you say that the Road King is a more versatile amp compared to the Mark V... is that because you have more options on the Road King vs the Mark V, or is it because the Road King has more tonal versatility?

Having more knobs, switches, bells and whistles doesn't make an amp more versatile if you can't get a basic sound you'd like.
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#11
I think he meant more options, which would mean more tonal variety. They both do very well in pretty much every area of music.
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#12
Quote by Raijouta
I think he meant more options, which would mean more tonal variety. They both do very well in pretty much every area of music.


Not always true. Having bells and whistles just means having more things to mess with on the amp. It may not give the TS access to more practical options. Also, having more things to dial in may not always be practical as not everyone is able to access the sounds they want.

Fair enough about the cost not being a factor, but the TS should get something with 10 features he would use rather than 50 features he does not use.

That said, both amps are fairly versatile, so I don't think its really an issue to begin with. Question is... how much are you willing to pay for features you don't use. Remember that just because the feature is there, doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up using it. It'll be like burning money.
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#13
Quote by ragingkitty
Not always true. Having bells and whistles just means having more things to mess with on the amp. It may not give the TS access to more practical options. Also, having more things to dial in may not always be practical as not everyone is able to access the sounds they want.

Fair enough about the cost not being a factor, but the TS should get something with 10 features he would use rather than 50 features he does not use.

That said, both amps are fairly versatile, so I don't think its really an issue to begin with. Question is... how much are you willing to pay for features you don't use. Remember that just because the feature is there, doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up using it. It'll be like burning money.

Both amps have ridiculous amounts of knobs and whatnot.

The Road King is more practical because its knobs and whatnot are associated with things other than the main bulk of the tone, while the Mark has all those things to adjust the main tone.
... I think. I'm fairly sure.
#14
Quote by ragingkitty
OK, I've gotta ask, when you say that the Road King is a more versatile amp compared to the Mark V... is that because you have more options on the Road King vs the Mark V, or is it because the Road King has more tonal versatility?

Having more knobs, switches, bells and whistles doesn't make an amp more versatile if you can't get a basic sound you'd like.


Not trying to be rude in any way, I honestly appreciate everyone's help, but do you think I would have a problem getting some basic sounds I would like with a Road King? I want a shimmering clean, a good bluesy tone, a good hard rock tone, and a crushing heavy metal sound, for what ever mood I'm in. Does the Mark V have this kind of "versitility". Once set up on the Road King, I should be able to get any of these four tones with a click of a footswitch (having four channels) without having to mess with any of the settings.
#16
Quote by Crazy K
Not trying to be rude in any way, I honestly appreciate everyone's help, but do you think I would have a problem getting some basic sounds I would like with a Road King? I want a shimmering clean, a good bluesy tone, a good hard rock tone, and a crushing heavy metal sound, for what ever mood I'm in. Does the Mark V have this kind of "versitility". Once set up on the Road King, I should be able to get any of these four tones with a click of a footswitch (having four channels) without having to mess with any of the settings.


Rude?

Matrix Claw will be a better person to answer that question for the Road King.

I can tell you that the Mark V will be able to get you those tones easily.

One of the key selling points of the Mark V is its immense versatility.
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#17
Quote by ragingkitty
Rude?

Matrix Claw will be a better person to answer that question for the Road King.

I can tell you that the Mark V will be able to get you those tones easily.

One of the key selling points of the Mark V is its immense versatility.


Thank you ragingkitty. I know they are both amazing amps... that's what is making this a tough decision for me. I really would like to try them both out. I'd have to make a 5hr. road trip to do so. I may just have to do that.
#18
The way I look at it is...

Both are very versatile amps.
Both amps have a tonne of features. Altho the RKII has got more... especially with the Progressive Linkage feature.

One thing about having too many features is that you tend to end up tweaking options and not being able to achieve the sound you want.

Granted all the bells and whistles make it a more attractive amp, sometimes its necessary to balance the abundance of features and still being able to dial in the tones you like easily.

One thing to note is that neither are the easiest amps to dial in.

EDIT: I doubt that neither the Road King nor the Mark V will have any issues dialing in the tones you want... its really more a question of which you prefer and which amp has a tone that suits your needs.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Nov 10, 2009,
#19
I've found the road king II to be better live, and by that I mean less hasles, easier to configure, etc., but I was thoroughly impressed by the tonal possibilities of both. Really just depends on what you value more and what works with your ears/your sound.

off topic: RK, you changed your avatar! I liked the cat
#20
Quote by GrisKy
I've found the road king II to be better live, and by that I mean less hasles, easier to configure, etc., but I was thoroughly impressed by the tonal possibilities of both. Really just depends on what you value more and what works with your ears/your sound.

off topic: RK, you changed your avatar! I liked the cat


Yeah, the Mark V can be a byotch to dial in. I'm still having some difficulty getting a detah metal tone with my Nailbomb'ed Ibanez RG.

Like you mentioned, it pretty much a preference thing, as either amp will be a good investment.

off-topic: yes the cat's having a rest, but she'll be back soon. I thought having a change of avatars will be nice for a bit. A lot of people like the cat lol. She still my profile picture though.
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#21
all the road kings bells and whistles add alot to it. the progressive linkage is one of my favorite parts of it. if you've got the budget, and you obviously do, get the road king
Gear:
Ernie Ball MusicMan JP7
Schecter Hellraiser 006
Mesa Boogie Road King s.2
Mesa Boogie 4x12 Recto cab

Ibanez Keeley TS-9
TC Electronics G-Force
Amp Gizmo
Voodoo Labs GCX
Voodoo Labs Ground Control Pro
#22
Quote by fbeckinsale
all the road kings bells and whistles add alot to it. the progressive linkage is one of my favorite parts of it. if you've got the budget, and you obviously do, get the road king


Thanks Flame. How do you like the Mesa 4x12 Recto cab with your Road King? Do you have it loaded with V-30's? Is yours a straight or slant cab, and which do you you recommend?
#23
i would say the mark v. i have played both, although i had limited time with the road king. i just like the mark tone more. its personal preference really
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Mesa Boogie Mark III blue dot Coliseum

Mesa Traditional 4x12 v30's x EVM 12l's


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#24
Buying either one blind isn't a good idea IMO. They're quite different tonally. Either will work for everything you need, it's just preference. Make the drive to try them out is my suggestion.
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#25
i don't know that much about the Roadking, but i do know that you'll be very happy either way.
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#26
Quote by Crazy K
Thanks Flame. How do you like the Mesa 4x12 Recto cab with your Road King? Do you have it loaded with V-30's? Is yours a straight or slant cab, and which do you you recommend?

i have the straight cab with V-30's. i didn't get to try a slant cab, music sotre here didn;t stock any so i can't say how different they sound. probably not much though.
i like the recto cab better then the road king cab, the recto cab sounds tighter to me.
i managed to get a nice clean tone with it, even with EMG's. i think the open back of the road king cab is supposed to help with clean stuff but i don't see the need for it.
Gear:
Ernie Ball MusicMan JP7
Schecter Hellraiser 006
Mesa Boogie Road King s.2
Mesa Boogie 4x12 Recto cab

Ibanez Keeley TS-9
TC Electronics G-Force
Amp Gizmo
Voodoo Labs GCX
Voodoo Labs Ground Control Pro
Last edited by fbeckinsale at Nov 10, 2009,
#27
Quote by fbeckinsale
i have the straight cab with V-30's. i didn't get to try a slant cab, music sotre here didn;t stock any so i can't say how different they sound. probably not much though.
i like the recto cab better then the road king cab, the recto cab sounds tighter to me.
i managed to get a nice clean tone with it, even with EMG's. i think the open back of the road king cab is supposed to help with clean stuff but i don't see the need for it.


Thanks Flame! Your amp/cab combination is exactly what I've been thinking about going with. I was hoping to find someone with this setup so I could get their opinion of it. Does your rig work ok in small and medium sized clubs or is it too much for smaller sized venues? I called a few different Mesa dealers and they all said the Road King has a really good master volume and sounds good at low volumes, but sounds even better the louder it gets.
#28
Quote by Crazy K
I called a few different Mesa dealers and they all said the Road King has a really good master volume and sounds good at low volumes, but sounds even better the louder it gets.


That is the case with most Mesa amps... they sound pretty awesome at low levels.
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#29
Quote by ragingkitty
That is the case with most Mesa amps... they sound pretty awesome at low levels.


Thanks RK! Do you think the Road King w/the 4x12 recto would work ok in small clubs or would it be too much?
#30
Quote by Crazy K
Thanks RK! Do you think the Road King w/the 4x12 recto would work ok in small clubs or would it be too much?


Depends on how you define small.

The smallest pub I've ever set up a gig in had enough space for 40 people all in, about 30 (odd-ish) with the band setup. This was with the pub fully packed.

In that case, a 100 watt solid state was all that as needed, and even then it was kinda overkill.

In experience (I used to run the Live Music Society when I was in a UK university), for small pubs and clubs... 50 watts of tubes will be overkill.

You have to consider the people close to the band or in front of the stage.
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#31
there is a volume knob for a reason
Ibanez XPT707 Xiphos
Schecter C-7 Loomis FR

Mesa Boogie Mark III blue dot Coliseum

Mesa Traditional 4x12 v30's x EVM 12l's


THE SEVEN STRING LEGION
#32
Road King. I had a Roadster and it was amazing. To this day, it is the only amp I regret selling.

The Mark V can be a pain to dial in (plus, I have never been able to dial out the boxy-ness of the lead channel). Also, to my ears, the V fails to capture the previous Mark series tones that it is supposed to emulate. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with the Mark V and would recommend the Mark IV over it any day.
#33
Quote by colin617
Road King. I had a Roadster and it was amazing. To this day, it is the only amp I regret selling.

The Mark V can be a pain to dial in (plus, I have never been able to dial out the boxy-ness of the lead channel). Also, to my ears, the V fails to capture the previous Mark series tones that it is supposed to emulate. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with the Mark V and would recommend the Mark IV over it any day.


I would like to inquire how much time you spent on it?
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#34
Quote by ragingkitty
I would like to inquire how much time you spent on it?


this. i know colin knows what he's talking about, but the V take a LOT of time to get comfy with.

i've only tried floor models, so i have to admit i don't have much time on them, and i had to keep going back to that amp on SEVERAL occations before i really got a feel for it... and once there was a Mesa rep in the store who did a demo for everyone who wanted to hear... real eye-opener.

after that day with the demo, i had a whole new appreciation for the V... even though i personally still have a bit of trouble with it (compaed to their rep anyways )
#35
Quote by ragingkitty
I would like to inquire how much time you spent on it?


I spent about an hour with it. I really like the cleans and the rhythm 2 channel was finally usable (much improved over the IV), but I could not groove with the lead. I've heard some pretty good reviews and demos of the amp, but I just could not get it to sound like I wanted it to sound. I know I probably didn't spend enough time with it; however, my personal philosophy is that any good amp should not have a learning curve that takes over an hour to master. That's just me and I still prefer the Mark III and IV.
#36
Quote by colin617
I spent about an hour with it. I really like the cleans and the rhythm 2 channel was finally usable (much improved over the IV), but I could not groove with the lead. I've heard some pretty good reviews and demos of the amp, but I just could not get it to sound like I wanted it to sound. I know I probably didn't spend enough time with it; however, my personal philosophy is that any good amp should not have a learning curve that takes over an hour to master. That's just me and I still prefer the Mark III and IV.


I personally find that it takes more than an hour outside of a guitar shop... and like all Marks, your pickups and guitar make a difference.

But hey different people different strokes. I personally liked it because I liked the voicing from the get go.

I get your "one hour dial in limit" philosophy tho.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Nov 11, 2009,
#37
Quote by ragingkitty
Depends on how you define small.

The smallest pub I've ever set up a gig in had enough space for 40 people all in, about 30 (odd-ish) with the band setup. This was with the pub fully packed.

In that case, a 100 watt solid state was all that as needed, and even then it was kinda overkill.

In experience (I used to run the Live Music Society when I was in a UK university), for small pubs and clubs... 50 watts of tubes will be overkill.

You have to consider the people close to the band or in front of the stage.


Flip the cab backwards? I've seen it done. Then again, i've also seen an AC30 flipped backwards in a 1,000+ room...hmmm...
#38
Quote by sg4ever
Flip the cab backwards? I've seen it done.


hmmm never really though about that, but the band had its back to a wall... wouldn't the reverb be bad then?

Quote by sg4ever
Then again, i've also seen an AC30 flipped backwards in a 1,000+ room...hmmm...


Mic'ed?

On topic... I'd think the Road King can be dialed in for a small venue... but its overkill.

I reckon its a whole lotta effort for a small gig.

You'd do better with a Flextone... or a 20 watt (e.g. Krank Rev Jr Pro / Egnater Rebel 20) for a small venue. EVen then... 20 watts of toobs is a lot of volume.
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#39
Quote by Crazy K
Thanks Flame! Your amp/cab combination is exactly what I've been thinking about going with. I was hoping to find someone with this setup so I could get their opinion of it. Does your rig work ok in small and medium sized clubs or is it too much for smaller sized venues? I called a few different Mesa dealers and they all said the Road King has a really good master volume and sounds good at low volumes, but sounds even better the louder it gets.

it works fine, the master volume is great. the sound is slightly different at lower volume levels but i've never had a problem with it. Not sure if a 2x12 cab would be better for smaller clubs, never tried it.
Gear:
Ernie Ball MusicMan JP7
Schecter Hellraiser 006
Mesa Boogie Road King s.2
Mesa Boogie 4x12 Recto cab

Ibanez Keeley TS-9
TC Electronics G-Force
Amp Gizmo
Voodoo Labs GCX
Voodoo Labs Ground Control Pro
#40
Quote by fbeckinsale
it works fine, the master volume is great. the sound is slightly different at lower volume levels but i've never had a problem with it. Not sure if a 2x12 cab would be better for smaller clubs, never tried it.


Thanks so much for your help and everyones help! I bought a train ticket to Chicago for next weekend. I'm going to a music store there that stocks both the Mark V and the Road King II along with tons more great amps and cabs. I agree that if I'm gonna spend a fair amount of cash on a great new amp, I need to try them all out first. At least now I have a better idea of what to check out before I go, thanks to everyones help. I really do appreciate it. I will let you all know how things went at the music store and what I really liked when I get back. Thanks again!
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