Price paid: $ 1605
Purchased from: Atlanta Discount Music
Sound — 10
the sound hits everything. I can literally flip a switch, and change from pristine cleans, to tight bottom heavy metal. my music style ranges from elevator jazz to southern rock, to technical death metal. the way the gain is set up on the lead channel is this: the input gain is based on the "lead gain" setting and you can shape that up with the "lead Drive" setting. when set wrong, this produces some really bad fizz and noise, but when set properly, it's very round and tight. The clean channel has headroom for days, and the R2 channel can get a really fat, almost fuzzy distortion. Now, the only problem with the amp is the reverb. It just gives off a hiss, and when the effects loop in engaged it seems to triple, no matter what setting it is on (other than off).
Overall Impression — 10
I will never need another amp. I love everything about the amp. The warmth of the overdrive, the cleans and the fat warm sound there is to obtain with this beauty. Thank you Randall smith. The only thing I have negative to say is the reverb is what I would consider an "epic fail", but that is what digital reverb is for.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The only problem I've been having is paranoia with this amp. So far, the amp has given me no trouble. and mesa has great customer service, so if I ever need help I can give them a ring. the thing is heavy and built pretty solid. One of the tubes is rattling against the base just enough to annoy, and that is the only thing that I need to look at.
Features — 9
Truely a treasure in black tolex, the Mark IV soars with multiple tonal options and a tight midrange lead channel. Mine is a 1998 model (he's ten years old! ) and includes 3 channels: Rhythm 1, Rhythm 2, and the infamous Lead Channel. it has an effects loop which can be turned on/off via the footswitch, a slave out, recording out, reverb, pentode/triode, simulclass/class a, harmonics/highgain, and reverb. 85 watts of all tube power, which I run with 2 6L6 power tubes and 2 EL34 power tubes, and all the preamps are of course 12AX7s. also, the power can be switched between full/tweed.