Dialing in the Mesa/Boogie Mark V (35)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Guitarjon, May 29, 2019.

  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I've had the Mark V 35 head for about 5 months now.
    It's a pretty incredible amp but in my experience for studio work at least it's not easy to dial in 'right' (whatever that means for me haha).
    However, once you hit the sweet spot it sounds really good!

    I have a couple of observations about this amp (and this will also transfer to the Mark V 25 and likely also the 90w version).
    What I've noticed is that the tapers of the pots react a little differently than I was expecting.
    When I first got the amp I dialed in my sounds just like some of my heroes like Petrucci etc.
    This meant, lower the bass and mids and raise the treble.
    All to get that tight and aggressive (flubless) high gain sound.
    I would also dial in the graphic EQ to a quite drastic scoop.
    It sounded alright but in my mixes it always ended up a little too harsh.
    I have to admit that I was dialing this amp in too much with my eyes instead of my ears, so I definitely fell into that trap!

    Then I read a post on the Fractal forum where Cliff from Fractal mentioned that the tapers of the pots in the Mark V a very different from the Mark IV for instance and that that could cause a percieved lack of low-end.
    So I started to do more experimenting and my tones really improved.
    I raised the bass control to get some beef and body back into my tone, I lowered the treble a bit, raised the mids (although this control is the most subtle on channel 2 with high gain) and I also adjusted the graphic eq settings by scooping less heavily and also by lowering the bass and treble sliders a bit.

    Now my sound is way more beefy and full, much better!
    You can hear these new settings in this new video:



    I guess the lesson here is to not dial in amps with your ears and force yourself to listen more.
    This is especially true with amps that have many variables and controls that have a huge impact on the sound.
    For instance my Orange lunchbox amps are much easier to dial in because most of the controls act way less drastically than the controls on my Mark V.
    So if you want a very easy amp perhaps the Mark V isn't the best option.
    Amps like the Oranges or EVH's are much easier to dial in.
    All of this is just my opinion though.

    Now we got that out of the way, I would love to know what settings you guys like to use for your Mark V's!
    Also tell us what guitars you're using the settings with because that obviously also makes a huge difference.
     
  2. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Great work again! I really enjoy your vids.

    I really liked my Mark V:25. The only problem was that my two favorite modes were on channel 1 (fat clean and crunch). Also I realized I really wanted a 3-channel amp.
     
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  3. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Great video as always :yesway:

    I have the 90w head version in my main rig at home and I don't see it going anywhere for a long, long time. My settings are:

    Channel 1: Tweed mode, 90w, diode, bold switch on, gain around 10:30, treble at noon, mids at 10:00, bass at 8:30, presence and channel volume at 10:30, preset eq knob around 10:00.

    Channel 2: Crunch mode, 90w, diode, gain dimed, treble at 2:00, mids at 10:00, bass at 9:00, presence and volume at 10:30, preset eq knob at noon.

    Channel 3: Mark IV mode, 90w, pentode, bright switch on, gain and treble around 1:30, mids around 2:00, bass at 0, presence at noon, channel volume around 10:00, preset eq knob at noon.

    The cabinet is a 4x12 Mesa Traditional with V30's and my main guitar is a Carvin TL60 with a Dimarzio Dominion bridge and Gravity Storm neck. I use an Xotic SP Comp for my cleans, Mesa Grid Slammer or Maxon 808 for rhythm, and a Wampler Tumnus Deluxe or Duncan 805 for leads and adding grit to cleans. Plus plenty of other effects and junk for fun, but that's the core of my sound :D
     
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  4. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Thanks!
    Yeah, I guess that's one of the main downsides of the small amps.
    If I were doing gigs I think I'd also need a 3 channel amp although there are many ways to get multiple types of tones these days.
    For instance, I could fake a third vintage crunchy channel on the clean channel with my EHX Soulfood.
    I don't like tap dancing though haha.

    Thanks! And thanks for sharing those settings!
    Have you ever compared the 90w version to either the 25 or 35 watt version?
    I did see a comparison video and they seem to sound super close.
     
  5. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I haven't tried out the 25 or 35 in person, but the original video of John Petrucci testing the 25 makes it seem pretty convincing :metal:
     
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  6. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Agreed!
    That's one of the videos that convinced me to buy my 35.
     
  7. viifox

    viifox SS.org Regular

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    Why do Mesa amps have to be so difficult to dial in? :rolleyes:
     
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  8. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    It really depends on the amp for me personally.
    My new Mini Rectifier is insanely easy to dial in.
     
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  9. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Agreed. The Mark IV was a bitch, but I’ve had a few other Mesas that were easy: TC-50/100, V:25, Tremoverb, California Tweed (obviously).

    That and the Andy Timmons video convinced me to get one. Really, really good amp but juuuuust fell short in a few ways for me.
     
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  10. viifox

    viifox SS.org Regular

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    True. I thought the tc100 was a breeze to dial in, while evey recto was a bitch! I think the tone just drastically changes with volume with those amps. Never played a mini though.
     
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  11. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I also think Recto amps have very drastic results when it comes to people's tastes.
    What I mean is that some people seem to love those amps a lot while others don't.
    I do love their inherent sound (usually without boost) while other people would only use a recto with a boost pedal.
     
  12. viifox

    viifox SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, i never liked boosting my rectos.
     
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  13. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    I'm still an amateur at recording, but these are the best tones I've gotten out of my V:35. Both using Ownhammer impulses with my Suhr reactive load. I think I can still improve on them, but compared to other videos of what others set their Marks to, my knobs are never really far from noon and my gain is usually around 9-10 o'clock.

    This is the most recent thing I recorded. Was trying out the MKIV mode.
    https://soundcloud.com/incasinoout-1/the-bled-the-sound-of-sulfur-instrumental-cover

    And this was one of the first full things I finished after getting the amp. Love that IIC+ mode.
    https://soundcloud.com/incasinoout-1/misery-signals-5-years-instrumental-cover
     
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  14. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Wow! That sounds really good!
    Thanks for sharing.
    If I may ask, which OH files were you using?
     
  15. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Thanks! I'm pretty sure these were both with the straight Mesa 412 impulses, as the only other ones I have are the Mesa 212 and the AC30 impulses. I want to get a new 412 pack soon, do you have any new favorites you recommend?
     
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  16. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Yes, definitely the 412 ZLCS V30 MMMC and/or the Uber Duo.
     
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