Mark III review by Mesa Boogie

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (22 votes)
Mesa Boogie: Mark III

Sound — 10
I'm using this amp with a 98 Gibson Les Paul Standard with 498/500t Pups, A Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute with P90's and a Schecter Damien with EMG-HZ's. This amp suits my needs very well. For Punk and Metal it is my Grail-tone. I will never give this amp up. It is very quiet on all 3 Channels. I only have a noise gate in front of the amp to tame feedback. Other than that it's dead silent. This amp seems to be good for all genera of music it doesn't have a tone I cannot get out of it without changing a few dials. And again Ch1 will overdrive Because of the shared EQ but it is nothing you cannot fix with rolling back the volume on your guitar.

Overall Impression — 10
Again I play punk, metal, blues basically anything that I feel like playing at the moment or whoever is around. I have been playing since I was 14 I am now 33. Again the only down side to this amp is the shared EQ but I have managed to get buy so for. If this amp was lost or stolen I would look for another one ASAP. The things I love about this amp? This is the first amp I have had that I could put away the 10 Band EQ, the Reverb pedal and the OD. I love everything about the tone. When I first got this amp I lost track of 5 hours playing it. It was that good for me. As far as a comparison I had a Mesa Dual Recto it just was not articulate enough for me and a Kustom double Cross. They were both great amps just not what I was looking for tone wise. Again the Mark III is a very underrated amp. A hidden gem in the Mark series if you will.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's almost 22 years old I believe that it has proven itself dependable. I would gig without a backup. I would just be sure to bring some extra tubes. Some time this year I will be sending it to Mesa for a 20 year service. To get the caps changed and have the board cleaned and inspected. I will report back then.

Features — 9
1989 Mesa Mark III Green Stripe. This is the last of the Mark III revisions before the Mark IV. For an explanation of the stripes please visit here. It is Simul-Class with the graphic eq, Reverb and a 1/2 power switch. It is 85 watts Class A/B and 15 watts Class A. It uses 2-6L6's in the inner slots and 2-EL34's in the outer slots. And 5-12AX7's in the preamp. This is a VERY underrated, very versatile amp. I'm very surprised that for what these sell for used they are not recommended more often. I play mostly punk and Metal. It has 3 channels. Channel 1: being the clean very jangly with my P90 guitar. I believe the cleans are based off the blackface fenders. The only downside is it's easy to overdrive the clean channels because of the shared EQ. But it's nothing that rolling back the volume on your guitar won't fix. Channel 2: very Marshally. Great for classic rock and Rhythm. The best thing you can do for this amp is the R2 mod. It's gives channel 2 it's own volume pot. Other wise the Drive and master are shared with channel 1. Channel 3: full out the best channel on this amp. Gain for days. Very articulate. Chords don't mush up on you lots of definition in your playing. The amp came with 2 foot switches to change the channels. The front foot Switch goes from CH1-CH3. The foot Switch that plugs in the back will give you CH2. It also can use a foot Switch for the EQ and Reverb. Without the EQ/Reverb foot switch. The reverb does not turn on. Technically it's on but on level 10 it's more like level 4. And the EQ has a Switch on the amp For On Off and Auto. If the Switch is on Auto the Graphic only comes on with CH3.

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