#1
I'm thinking of getting a Mesa Boogie amp head and want to know the differences between a Roadster and Mk V head ...... I have no where close to try them out and compare so I need some recomendations

do they both cover the same ground ??

what does the MK V do that the Roadster don't do and vice versa ??

pro's and cons for each

Our band plays mostly modern metal , vintage metal , new rock with a couple of classic rock and roll and a few clean slow songs thrown in the mix , so I need something versatile

thanks
#2
Good example of the Mark V's are Lamb of God and I think Dream Theater.

Roadster's sound different to the marks though. Depends what kinda sound you want.
Personally id grab a MKV but thats just me.
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#3
For my personal playing a MkV is better suited due to it's vocal lead tone but it has a ton of features and voices that I will simply never use. No reason to haul around a 16 way Swiss Army knife if I only need 2 blades.

If the game is Metal (which I don't play), I would probably want the Roadster for a more Metal voiced amp. I am a Mesa fanboy and I don't think they make a lousy amp but honestly if you are gonna spend major $$ on a tour quality rig, ya might want to play through a few of them first.

http://www.mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/electric/rectifier-series/index.html
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 11, 2015,
#4
I would definitely get the Mark. Think Lamb of God.
The cleans are nice and the gain is fantastic. I don't know much about the Roadster though.

If you'll get the mark, I'd be on the safe side and get some overdrive too.
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#5
how do the cleans compare between the two ??... the MK V is a little easier to find used than the Roadster and a few pounds lighter
#6
Quote by Fumble fingers
how do the cleans compare between the two ??... the MK V is a little easier to find used than the Roadster and a few pounds lighter


Every Mesa has a clean channel that is broadly based on the Fender Princeton Reverb amp. They don't know how to do ugly clean tone. The full featured flagship models have a bunch of different ways you can tweak the tone so there may be subtle differences between models but oh my... clean tone to die for. If you can't find great clean tone from a Mesa, it's broken.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
With what you play, do you prefer the sounds a Dual Rectifier (which is what the Roadster gain channels are, but best Dual Rec. . . ) or the Mark V provide for the gain?

For what it's worth, I recently picked up a Roadster 212 combo (NAD coming shortly) for "cheap" (it is a Mesa after all. . . ) and I'm using Channel 3 Vintage for thrash most of the time. Channel 4 Modern is just that, modern metal sound. The Fat mode for Channels 1 and 2 is just freaking awesome cleans. Tweed is great for classic rock. Brit is ok but sounds a bit thin, at least at my volumes. An Overdrive works wonders as well.

Either one of these amps is just so versatile it's amazing. It will come down to personal preference or maybe budget. I was looking for an awesome all around amp for beautiful cleans through rip your face off and the Roadster doesn't disappoint. Of course the price I paid helped make the decision really easy between the Roadster and MKV.
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#9
Quote by Fumble fingers
how does the MK V sound on 10 watt ?? .... do you lose a lot ?

Dynamic headroom yes, great guitar tone no.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
Both amps are awesome but different. The Mark is far tighter sounding, the Roadster is a Recto. There can be some overlap but it depends on the sound you want. I LOVE the Roadster but it won't touch the tighter sounds I really want. This is why I went Mark. Gotta get out and play them.
#11
is the Roadster just a Dual Recitfier with another clean channel ??

will the Recto series cover metal better than the MK V ??... I just play rhythm no lead
Last edited by Fumble fingers at Mar 12, 2015,
#12
I picked up my Rectoverb head for $490. You don't need a Mark for what you want. You want a Recto of some sort for sure. Mine is a dual channel Single Rectifier (so no tube rectification option) but for what I bought this amp for - I don't need it and don't miss it. Recently put some EL34s in it and it just rips for all kinds of music. Very versatile imo. Probably not as versatile as the Roadster but a hell of lot cheaper.


oh and I got a new cab for it.

#13
I highly suggest the roadster. I love the mark series but and both are very versatile. The roadster does everything pretty damn well and IMHO, alot easier to use than the mark. The mark seems to take more tweaking to get what you want out of it. I have yet to not be able to find a tone I was looking for out of the roadster and I've gigged with a band that did Elvis, buddy holly, chuck berry etc. Another band gigging blues and southern rock in bars. And countless jam sessions playing everything from 90's rock, BTBAM, Lamb of God, Tesseract. I think you get the picture.
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#14
I'd say that the MKV is more of a sharp sound, while the roadster is more rounded and bold? They are both great and have TONS of options, which is incredible. But as a lot of people are saying, MKV, think Dream Theatre and LoG.
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#15
I really like the Roadtster best on paper since I haven't played any of them and definetly want a head ... the roadster head seems to be harder to find used or great deal any ways and weighs the most ..... I can find a lot of good deals used on the Dual Rectifier 3 channel , there is a brand new clean used MK V very local and close but really think I need more the recto series .....

sounds like I need to think this through a little better ...... maybe I would be better off getting a dual rectifier 3 channel used and get my feet wet with mesa first ??.... some of the terms are confusing like rectoverb and solo head .... what does the solo part add to the rectifier ??
#16
there was a roadster head for 1000 i think ippon posted a while back. I see the combos all the time for about 1200. I paid 1100 for mine.
Ibanez SIR27
Pod HD500x

RIP:
Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 combo
Cmatmods analog chorus, phaser, tremoglo, signa drive, butah, and deeelay
walrus Audio Descent
#18
Looks like I'm going with a MK V .... there is one local just down the street where we practice at that looks like brand new , all the paper work , even the shipping box and packing they bought new sept. 2012 so it's still under warranty and looks like it was opened yesterday .... it sounds good and weighs in at 44 lbs , the Roadster is almost 50 lbs , so that influenced the decision a little (not much but a little) but was wanting to get away from 60 lbs plus combo's and dang this isn't much lighter , lol ........ my 2x12 cab has GT speakers so I'll probably make do with that till I can get some V30's or another 2x12 cab ..... I guess the V30's are what I need ??

thanks for the help
#20
I loved my Roadster a lot, however I found that channel 2 was nearly worthless and for channel 4 to sound very good the ****er had to be loud as balls. Which I'm typically fine with but that's not for everyone.
I got a really nice sound from channel 1 and 3, but after a while that's all I was using and I felt the amp had wayyy too much going on so I let it go.
Though, if you have a very competent tech, find yourself a Mesa Mark IV B and have them build the first two channels to literally anything you want and then leave the third channel stock.
Sounds silly, but you could literally have a fender twin CH1, a Plexi or JCM800 CH2, then the Mesa channel.
Hell make the second channel a SLO or something.
The world is your oyster with that amp and it is ****ing ridiculous what can be done. hahaha
#21
I picked up the MK V today , had practice tonight and a gig coming up Saturday , our first gig of the year so I'm going to let the MK V sit till next week , between practice and work I have no time to get familiar with it or have time to dial it in before Saturday so I try to get some play time next ..... it's for sure more complex than anything I've owned so far and don't want to try and gig with it just yet so I'll use my Carvin V3m this weekend
#23
plus I don't think/know if my GT speakers are a good match for the MK , but I haven't plugged it in yet either ..... I might need some help dialing it all in ?? .... I can't hardly wait to dig-in to the MK , but its just going to have to wait till next week , I haven't even got the manual out yet , it's still packed in the original box and packing foam
#24
All I will say in use your ears not your eyes when you are dialing. There are some times with the Marks that you may set the knobs a bit more extreme then you are used to to get a sound you want. I haven't had a Mark V, but I had a III and I often found myself turning knobs to positions I would have never put them at with another amp.
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#25
Quote by Fumble fingers
I picked up the MK V today , had practice tonight and a gig coming up Saturday , our first gig of the year so I'm going to let the MK V sit till next week , between practice and work I have no time to get familiar with it or have time to dial it in before Saturday so I try to get some play time next ..... it's for sure more complex than anything I've owned so far and don't want to try and gig with it just yet so I'll use my Carvin V3m this weekend

Awesome!

I loved the MK IV and V although I only had them briefly. I preferred the recto sound from the RoadKing II, which is similar to the Roadster you were considering. The common thing about the higher-end Mesas, with all their knobs and switches, is that they all require some initial tweaking. I've had the RK II for 2 or so years and I'm still discovering stuff.

Yours will probably be a keeper and will deliver a lot. Congrats!

#26
thanks guys , I figured there would be a learning curve , my V3m is the same way and I'm sure the Mk V has even more to learn .... I been reading the manual some tonight and I think I have a little bit of a head start after owning the Carvin as it has a somewhat similar voicing options just not as many as the MK but it's still a " tune with your ears not your eyes " deal that you keep discovering new sounds all the time with it
#27
Quote by dementiacaptain
All I will say in use your ears not your eyes when you are dialing. There are some times with the Marks that you may set the knobs a bit more extreme then you are used to to get a sound you want. I haven't had a Mark V, but I had a III and I often found myself turning knobs to positions I would have never put them at with another amp.

This is so true. I have a mesa express 25 combo. For the first year I could not get a decent sound out of the high gain channel. Read lots of other guys complaining about the same thing. Finally I stumbled on some posts that advised setting the mid at 100% and the contour roughly the same. Sure enough. Who would have thought?