NAD - Mesa Mark IVb

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by NinjaRaf, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    So...I have a Mark IVa, and its had a lot of reliability issues. Within the first year of owning it, I had to send it back to Mesa twice to eventually get all of the Orange drop caps in the amp replaced. I have owned the amp less than 2 years total at this point, and currently it is having an issue with randomly switching channels in rapid succession. Because of this, I can't trust this amp on stage. However, it is my favorite sounding amp that I have owned...

    So I started looking for something newer that would be more reliable to replace the Mark IV as a live amp. Bought a KSR Orthos, and decided that wasn't the amp for me. Saw this Mark IVb in the classifieds on RT, but it was pending sale, but let the seller know that if that didn't work out to let me know. Next day, I sent payment for the amp...and it just arrived last night.

    First thing I did was pull the EL34s out LOL...then dialed it in to the same settings that I typically use on my IVa. Noticed 3 things. 1...the b has more gain. For sure. Noticeably more. On my a, I usually have the lead gain, lead drive, and treble set at about 8 to get the level of saturation that I like. I had to back all of those down to between 6.5 and 7 on the b to match the gain level of the a...cool! I love gain haha. Next, the amp is VERY SLIGHTLY less bright compared to the a. Easy enough to up the presence by a number and up the high slider...and then its basically identical. I mean, this is a hair splitting difference...barely noticeable, and I would probably think that anyone with no Mark experience would not notice. 3...the b is not quite as massively room filling as the a. Again, splitting hairs. Its so close that most people would not notice, and I am betting that when I get to swapping preamp tubes around, this will change.

    Otherwise, these amps sound identical. I can't tell a difference between the clean channels. Havent used R2 on it yet, but I will next time I record something, since I use R2 as a bass amp for recording lol.

    Amp was packed just the way I would pack it. This thing is INSANELY clean. It looks damn near brand new...barely even any dust on it. If I were to buy this from Mesa, I would have thought it was NOS. Its THAT clean. Amazing.

    Anyway...I love it, and having 2 Mark IVs is definitely the right answer for me. So when the issues with my a get to unmanageable levels, I can send it in and still have the b working. Plan right now is to keep the b as a band practice and live amp and use the a as my at home jamming and recording amp.

    Will probably be looking for a Mark III next year. Nothing like a Mark!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. remorse is for the dead

    remorse is for the dead SS.org Regular

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    Congrats! I briefly owned two MKIV's. Bought the B version to flip, the price was too good to pass. Ended up keeping my original one (A) Like you said, the differences are very slight but they're there. Hands down, best damned amp I owned/played. I play mine through a traditional recto cab, tone heaven!

    PS. pic not showing on my end.
     
  3. Sephiroth952

    Sephiroth952 Ibby Fanboy

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    Should have left the el34's in! Could have two different style of tones! Anyways you can never have two many mark amps. Happy NAD!

    and to save op som time and because- :worth:
     

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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  4. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    Pic showing up for me...I have been issues getting pics posted on here the past couple weeks, though...
     
  5. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    And I agree. These things are by far the best sounding, most responsive, most fun to play amps I have ever experienced.

    And I mean, I still have the EL34s, just like them with all 6l6s better.
     
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  6. jwiltz2072

    jwiltz2072 SS.org Regular

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    I tried EL34s in my IVb and didnt care for it at all. Kind of thinned the tone a little. It also hasnt been the most reliable and I am starting to read about these amps breaking down being fairly common. The knobs on my lead channel quit working and had to have a bunch of caps replaced so hopefully it holds up. But I agree with you, it is definately my favorite amp I have owned. Just a great amp to play.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I actually put 34s in my IVa intentionally, and like it that way so far. :lol: It makes R2 more useable. R1 is better with 6L6 only for sure, but the difference isn't enough to bother me much.
     
  8. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    I also like all 4 X 6L6GCs in all Mark series amps. The 6L6GC/EL34 Dual Class design is a cool idea... but all 6L6GCs sounds, cuts, feels better to me. I mainly use the lead and clean channels in that order. For crunch or mid-gain sounds... I have and use other amps.
     
  9. Choop

    Choop n______n

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    It's beautiful! I'm always on the fence about swapping my Roadster for a Mark IV. I had a Mark III blue stripe once and it was glorious, but the Roadster is also great in a different way.
     

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