#1
Hey folks,

I have a choice to make and I'm looking for some input. I'm going to buy a new amp and I'm down to two options. I could go get myself a fancy second hand Mesa Boogie mk III (red stripe) from around '87 that is said to be in good condition (I've seen pictures) with only some scratchy pots. Second option is a brand new Marshall JVM205H from the store. Price wise, the Mesa is 250$ cheaper.
I play both lead & rhythm in my band using a Charvel San Dimas (2H) and I'm looking for a warm, not to trebly and thick distortion tone. I play mostly prog, post-rock, experimental and some heavier stuff like metal.

Thanks
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#2
If you're playing mainly heavier stuff, the Mark III all the way. But I personally don't know how the cleans would be for post rock.

Make sure to play the amp for quite a bit of time because the Mark series could be a love or hate thing. Check out for Boogie Board for some settings to try out.
#3
I would always go for the used option. I do think the mesa is a better amp & who knows, you could end up in a heavier band in the near future & the mesa be a good shout.
If not, you can always sell it & you should get your money back if you've looked after it. This wouldn't happen if you bought a new Marshall.
#4
Personally for me, Mesa > any other amp.

If you have to ask whether a Mesa is a good deal for you, then it may not be the amp for you. People get Mesas for it sound and functionality. If you're unsure about laying cash for it, maybe you should look else where.
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#5
I'd get the Marshall, hardly the best way to judge but I checked out a few youtube videos and reviews of the MKIII and I wasn't that impressed, it seems quite unremarkable, unrefined, when playing metal it sounded quite thin and again unrefined. I came in thinking I would advise the Mesa but to be honest based on sounds I'd probably go with the JVM.

If it's based on what is cooler, well the Mesa has that retro vibe/look about it and is a more uncommon amp to see, so it's definitely the cooler amp.
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Last edited by Bigbazz at Apr 23, 2013,
#6
Quote by ragingkitty
Personally for me, Mesa > any other amp.

If you have to ask whether a Mesa is a good deal for you, then it may not be the amp for you. People get Mesas for it sound and functionality. If you're unsure about laying cash for it, maybe you should look else where.


Thing is I was leaning for the Mesa, just wanted to hear some different opinions! I know Mesas kick ass
"Strangers passing in the street
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#7
Quote by Bigbazz
I'd get the Marshall, hardly the best way to judge but I checked out a few youtube videos and reviews of the MKIII and I wasn't that impressed, it seems quite unremarkable, unrefined, when playing metal it sounded quite thin and again unrefined. I came in thinking I would advise the Mesa but to be honest based on sounds I'd probably go with the JVM.

If it's based on what is cooler, well the Mesa has that retro vibe/look about it and is a more uncommon amp to see, so it's definitely the cooler amp.


Cooler? Are you crazy? No one should buy off cooler.... Going off YouTube videos for sound comparisons...

OP- how much he he asking for the Mark III ? This will really help as the scratchy pots will need to be replaced. When were the tubes replaced? Have the capacitors been replaced? These are all thing to consider with an amp that age.

Both are good amps, however very different.


Where in the world are you? Prices can fluctuate depending where you live. Your used price may not be as good as mine out here in LA with such a large used market.

Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#8
Quote by R45VT
Cooler? Are you crazy? No one should buy off cooler.... Going off YouTube videos for sound comparisons...

OP- how much he he asking for the Mark III ? This will really help as the scratchy pots will need to be replaced. When were the tubes replaced? Have the capacitors been replaced? These are all thing to consider with an amp that age.

Both are good amps, however very different.


Where in the world are you? Prices can fluctuate depending where you live. Your used price may not be as good as mine out here in LA with such a large used market.

An amp being "Cool" is always important!
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#9
Quote by Bigbazz
An amp being "Cool" is always important!


neither have lights...

...they can't be that cool.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#10
Quote by R45VT
Cooler? Are you crazy? No one should buy off cooler.... Going off YouTube videos for sound comparisons...

OP- how much he he asking for the Mark III ? This will really help as the scratchy pots will need to be replaced. When were the tubes replaced? Have the capacitors been replaced? These are all thing to consider with an amp that age.

Both are good amps, however very different.


Where in the world are you? Prices can fluctuate depending where you live. Your used price may not be as good as mine out here in LA with such a large used market.



He's asking 1200$, which I know is a lot on the American market. Currently I'm living in Sweden and this Mesa is a pretty rare sight since the used market is really not all that big.
It's originally imported from the US and a transformer is included, which is actually pretty good since I'm going to be moving back to Canada in a while. The tubes are quite new (10h played), not sure about the capacitors but don't think so.
"Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me."
#11
Quote by hypnodeer
He's asking 1200$, which I know is a lot on the American market. Currently I'm living in Sweden and this Mesa is a pretty rare sight since the used market is really not all that big.
It's originally imported from the US and a transformer is included, which is actually pretty good since I'm going to be moving back to Canada in a while. The tubes are quite new (10h played), not sure about the capacitors but don't think so.


With that price can you afford new pots and capacitors?

Have you had the chance to play one yet?
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#12
Quote by R45VT
With that price can you afford new pots and capacitors?

Have you had the chance to play one yet?


Are pots a big problem, don't they only crackle when actually turning the knobs? How much are capacitors and when do I need to get them changed? Only a Mark V if that counts. I dig the Mesa sound in general, isn't it thicker?
"Strangers passing in the street
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And I am you and what I see is me."
#13
They are a polarizing amp brand, definitely. Mostly because I think they aren't the typed of amp that sound great "with everything at noon". Some people might want an amp that just sounds good at any EQ setting, but I think that really means the amp doesn't have as much flexibility as amps like mesas that have a lot of control in the knobs.
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#14
Quote by Reincaster
They are a polarizing amp brand, definitely. Mostly because I think they aren't the typed of amp that sound great "with everything at noon". Some people might want an amp that just sounds good at any EQ setting, but I think that really means the amp doesn't have as much flexibility as amps like mesas that have a lot of control in the knobs.


Yeah I learned about that on my Mark V. Must ignore where the knob is facing. Just go for the sound.


TS- The problem with the potentiometers is not a big one. It won't get any better.

I would be more worried about the capacitors- electrolytic have a lifespan of around 10 years. Some last much longer and others much shorter. You will be looking at $100 for capacitors. Figure $4-6 per potentiometer. Plus labor.

The price is hard to judge. The Mark III's have a huge variance in price over here. Does it have the graphic EQ and reverb? Simul-Class?
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#16
Quote by Maineguitarist


You bling them with LED's then if you must have them. I didn't know they were a must for you ...
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#17
Quote by R45VT
You bling them with LED's then if you must have them. I didn't know they were a must for you ...

I.....Wait, what, just happened?
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Last edited by Maineguitarist at Apr 23, 2013,
#18
Wait, I thought everybody was using their amp as a pyrotechnics stand. Much better then LEDs
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#19
Quote by tas38
Wait, I thought everybody was using their amp as a pyrotechnics stand. Much better then LEDs

My Name is Cameron.
Quote by Cathbard
For me, bedroom levels is a cranked plexi half stack.

Now get off my ****ing lawn.


Last edited by Maineguitarist at Apr 23, 2013,
#20
Quote by R45VT
Yeah I learned about that on my Mark V. Must ignore where the knob is facing. Just go for the sound.


TS- The problem with the potentiometers is not a big one. It won't get any better.

I would be more worried about the capacitors- electrolytic have a lifespan of around 10 years. Some last much longer and others much shorter. You will be looking at $100 for capacitors. Figure $4-6 per potentiometer. Plus labor.

The price is hard to judge. The Mark III's have a huge variance in price over here. Does it have the graphic EQ and reverb? Simul-Class?


Damn, 100$ per cap? How many caps are there in a Mesa? What happens if you don't change, the sound must get affected I'm guessing but would the amp actually break? It has the reverb and graphic EQ, but I don't think it's simul-class.
"Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me."
#21
If you're going to be playing heavier stuff, then the Mark 3 will be better in the long run. Its a very good amp, as are pretty much all the Mark Series amps. The JVM is still a really good amp, i've always liked it and very almost bought one until I found a Dual Recto.....
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#22
Quote by hypnodeer
Damn, 100$ per cap? How many caps are there in a Mesa? What happens if you don't change, the sound must get affected I'm guessing but would the amp actually break? It has the reverb and graphic EQ, but I don't think it's simul-class.


I think he meant 100$ for all the caps.

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#23
Quote by shredftw
If you're going to be playing heavier stuff, then the Mark 3 will be better in the long run. Its a very good amp, as are pretty much all the Mark Series amps. The JVM is still a really good amp, i've always liked it and very almost bought one until I found a Dual Recto.....


Here's something I've noticed. I mentioned earlier the Mesa amps are pretty polarizing. The Mark III is the most polarizing of them all. Their biggest failure is that they sold the Mark III AND the Mark IV at the same time!.

There are different revisions of the Mark III though.
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