Mark V review by Mesa Boogie

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (275 votes)
Mesa Boogie: Mark V
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Price paid: A$ 4000

Purchased from: pro audio

Sound — 10
I use ESP Metallica signature guitars. With EMG pickups 81/60 ESP KH-2 neck through ESP KH-3 custom shop neck through ESP MX 250 custom shop and ESP custom made EET FUK Replica. With this amp and those guitars I can achieve any tone you could imagine from nice cleans to searing high gain that will melt your face off, and huge lown also. The amp is very quiet considering the amount of gain and volume.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for 14 years and this is bye far the best amp I have heard. If it were stolen I would buy another one straight away. I love that this amp sounds good at any volume and the presence knob is the key to this amp at low volumes. Only thing I wish it had was a deep switch for the 2C+ and Mark IV mode as they really lack oomph! But than again I guess that is what the extreme mode is for and that is my fav mode of the amp. Thanks Mesa.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a Mesa its road worth for any world tour. I have had no problems at all with it and I doubt I will. Although I have heard of alot of people tubes blowing. I am guessing this is because they haven't read the manual properly and are running the amps settings to HOT.

Features — 10
Mark V made in 2011. I play mostly metal and rock this amp suits those styles and is extrememly versatile. Features: Simul-Class Power Amp (Patents 4, 532, 476 & 4, 593, 251) featuring Multi-Watt (Patent 7, 602, 927) and Duo-Class (Patent 7, 173, 488) technologies which provide three power and three operating class options that are channel assignable via 10/45/90 Watt Power Switches: Choose 2 power tubes operating in pure Vintage Class A (single-ended), producing 10 Watts - 2 tubes running in time-honored Class A/B producing 45 Watts or 4 tubes running in Mesa's legendary, patented Simul-Class Power that blends the best of Class A and Class A/B simultaneously to produce 90 Watts of pure tonal magic / 4x6L6 (or 4xEL-34), 7x12AX7, 1x5U4. Bias Select Switch (6L6/EL34) Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance Full Power/Variac Power Switch (Patent 5,091,700) 3 Fully Independent Channels with 9 Modes (Channel 1 = Clean, Fat or Tweed, Channel 2 = Edge, Crunch or Mark I, Channel 3 = Mark IIC+, Mark IV or Extreme) Normal/Bold Switch on Channel 1, Normal/Thick Switch on Channel 2 (Mark I mode only), Normal/Bright Switch & Pentode/Triode Switch on Channel 3 Each Channel features: Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Master, Footswitchable or Auto-Assignable Contour Depth Control, Footswitchable All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb Control, Rectifier Tracking (Auto-selects Tube for all 10 Watt Modes, Diode for all 90 Watt Modes, selectable Tube or Diode for 45 Watt Modes on Channels 1 and 2, Diode for 45 Watt Mode on Channel 3 - Patents 5,168,438 & 7,193,458) 5 Band Graphic EQ is Footswitchable, Channel Assignable and Selectable between 1 group of 5-Band Sliders or 3 channel specific, variable depth Contour Controls Footswitchable, Channel Assignable or True Bypassable Fully Buffered FX Loop with Send Level Control (over all channels when activated) Output Level Control (over all channels when activated) Footswitchable Solo Level Control Patent 6,724,897 (over all channels when activated) True "Hard" Bypass Switch removes FX Loops, Output Level & Solo Level Controls from signal path Tuner Output w/Footswitchable Mute Slave Out w/Level Control Fan Cooled with On/Off Switch External Switching Jacks for Channels 2, 3 (channel 1 is default), EQ & Solo Aluminum Chassis New 4x4 - 8 Button Footswitch (Bottom Row: Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, Solo Top Row: Reverb, FX Loop, EQ & Tuner Mute) Slip Cover Kitchen Sink, Ice Maker, Beer Cooler (just kidding) but easier to use than this list suggests (not kidding)! FORMATS: Medium Head (Width 22-7/8 inches) / 1x12 Combo, C90 Speaker, this amp has pleanty of power and is loud really loud but also sounds awesome at bedroom levels with a minor adjustment of the presence control.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    shredder3386
    rv_phoenix wrote: trniquet wrote: PerpetualBurn: I understand that tone is a subjective concept, but to say that others who like the clean channel are "bandwagoning" is too much. Stating your opinion would be welcomed by everyone, blowing off everyone else's as delusional is simply a dick move. And I can tell you from personal experience that one hour isn't going to be enough time to dial the Mark V in...especially if you're not used to how the Mark EQ's work. Perhaps you know more about the Mark series than I give you credit for, but the tones I've been getting from the clean channel (esp. with a Strat) have been extremely good, so it makes it hard for me to understand your opinions. You're absolutely right. Mark V is a complex amp and, despite MesaBoogie's reputation of being biased toward distortion, it has good cleans. It's not a subjective matter: you can actually measure some of its parameters and notice the cleans are clear, crisp, short biased etc. etc.: briefly, Mark V cannot be expelled in a few words. You might like it or not, that's another issue. Nevertheless, it's a good amp if you're looking for cleans and versatility.
    As further evidence for this great point John Petrucci did all his cleans on the new album with the Mark V (I asked him in person when I met him on this past NA tour). And let's be honest, NOBODY can argue with his clean tone.
    rv_phoenix
    trniquet wrote: PerpetualBurn: I understand that tone is a subjective concept, but to say that others who like the clean channel are "bandwagoning" is too much. Stating your opinion would be welcomed by everyone, blowing off everyone else's as delusional is simply a dick move. And I can tell you from personal experience that one hour isn't going to be enough time to dial the Mark V in...especially if you're not used to how the Mark EQ's work. Perhaps you know more about the Mark series than I give you credit for, but the tones I've been getting from the clean channel (esp. with a Strat) have been extremely good, so it makes it hard for me to understand your opinions.
    You're absolutely right. Mark V is a complex amp and, despite MesaBoogie's reputation of being biased toward distortion, it has good cleans. It's not a subjective matter: you can actually measure some of its parameters and notice the cleans are clear, crisp, short biased etc. etc.: briefly, Mark V cannot be expelled in a few words. You might like it or not, that's another issue. Nevertheless, it's a good amp if you're looking for cleans and versatility.
    MRoby
    I found one of these in a store and decided to plug in, and I have never been so amazed at an amp before. The cleans were the cleanest I had ever heard, and the distortion was massive and tight. Actually, the clean was so good that I found myself going back to the clean channel and playing some more. This amp does not dissapoint. However, it is very much a tweaking amp, as are most Boogie's.
    Kingkilla
    After a year I can say, this is a GREAT amp: I still think Diezel's Herbert is the best amp I ever heard, but for the price, and if one endures, this is well worth the money. All has already been said, but heed well friends about working with this amp; I personally hate the preset EQ settings, especially on Channel 3. The tweaker will benefit a great deal, while the plug n play person will sell the amp off in a month. The 10W gives u a home-friendly Mesa to use, which also makes this kill. Recommend also using the knobs in back of the amp: the triode and pentodes on 45W and up make a big difference in sound.
    Kingkilla
    BTW: as one kind person wrote above, DO NOT get this in combo (like I, the genius, did), unless suicidal or wanting a new piece of cool furniture.....close to 70lbs!!!!!
    DimebagsGhost67
    Alright so please someone help me out here with some decent advice. Im putting down a dumpload of savings after awhile and as of this moment I really have no idea whether I should go for one of these or a dual rec. This is supposed to be really versatile and for the most part as far as gain tones go Im looking for something that can also get good JCM 800 style tones as I play a lot of thrash. Im primarily a rhythm player and yeah honestly Ive been playing only a little over 2 years and Im only dabbling into leads alittle bit as of the moment, but I figure while I have the extra cash coming in I should put it down for an amp that would last me quite some time that I wouldnt feel tonally limited to. Starting to ramble a bit here so Ill wrap this up. If dialed in the right way will this give me the punch of a dual rec and the attack of an 800? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    Bruntti
    The^Unforgiven wrote: I'd really want this amp, too, just a shame that in Finland it's RIDICULOUSLY expensive, the 1x12 combo is 3100 ($4176) on thomann! Lol, might actually be cheaper to buy plane tickets to the States and buy it there than buying it here...
    Same country, same problem.