Mesa Mark IV info

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by wheelsdeal, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. wheelsdeal

    wheelsdeal SS.org Regular

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    Hey all.After having 6505/Powerball II/5153 for a while i am looking for a change from the compressed sound to something more organic.I've heard clips of Mark III and Mark IV on YT and really liked the sound of these amps.I play mostly Metal from 90s power/thrash to death metal to modern stuff.

    A local ad came by for a Mark IVb Combo version and went to try it out.I was a little underwhelmed tbh it just wasnt aggressive enough,the gain was barely making it,too dry,not much of a low end and not as open sounding as i believed it would be.No pedals used.

    Now i am thinking i may misjudged the amp based on circumstances.First obvious thing is the fact its an open back combo with that 90w black shadow speaker.Second the seller said it has its original tubes in it so it might as well need retubing.Lastly i didnt have enough time fiddling with the amp as its confusing AF and i propably need a week to just get acquinted with how it works.

    I have an ENGL 2x12 which i plan on using with the amp as well as the usual ns gate,808,eq on the loop for shaping sounds.Boogies are very expensive here though and i dont want to spend that kind of cash and have to fight with the amp to get a decent high gain sound.

    Did i just hear a bad representation of the Mark IV based on the above?Any owner here can chime in on the subject?Thanks.
     
  2. Choop

    Choop n______n

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    I recommend checking out the manual for Mark series amps if you haven't--some of the knobs have secondary functions that aren't obvious if you try to EQ it like you would a different amp. Here's a link to the Mark IV manual:

    http://jdarks.com/files/Mesa_Boogie_Mark_IV_Manual.pdf

    I use a Mark III and the controls are a bit different, but this should help you be able to get started figuring out how the controls work. I know the treble knob also increases the gain, so I tend to run it a little higher than I normally would on other amps and then adjust the high end with the 5 band sliders and presence knobs on my amp. Definitely make sure the EQ is on and play around with the sliders--they make a dramatic effect on the shaping of the tone. There shouldn't be a problem getting low end if you want it.
     
  3. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    How are you using the 3 band EQ? A key to using this amp is keeping the bass knob low and treble knob high. Classic smiley face EQ.

    If you want a more "open" sound, IIRC you want it on Harmonics mode, full power, simul-class mode. Pentode for more aggression, triode for smoothness. Activate bright and fat at the same time if you gotta for a pseudo gain boost. If you also want an even MORE aggressive sound, activate the presence shift (pull) and crank it decently high.

    Marks aren't known for their extreme low end, so prepare for that. Known for mostly having EQs in the more cutting range.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    you absolutely heard a bad representation of the mark series. They have more than enough gain on tap, especially with the rhythm and lead channels.
     
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  5. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    I will say that the IV has the least gain of all the Marks I've tried. It can be an absolute gain monster, but not on the same level as the III or V.
     
  6. wheelsdeal

    wheelsdeal SS.org Regular

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    Bass on 0-2 , Tremple really high ,Mids didnt do much either way ,presence high , EQ on v shape with more bass than tremple...Definitely operating errors from my part as i was in option paralysis state but the guy was there setting the amp.He also plays metal and ownes the amp for 12 years.At some point i said to him,listen set the amp to your settings and play for me.He did his thing and still sounded a bit underwhelming.I think the combo form combined with old tubes should be the issue here.Even if its one of the latest years we are talking about 12 year old tubes.The preamp ones were definitely microphonic.
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    It still has plenty of gain on tap tbh. The tubes being old definitely didn't help
     
  8. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    If you can ever try it with a proper Mesa 4x12, I think that'll help. Would help give you a lot more low end. Open back 1x12 probably wont do you any favors.
     
  9. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    Don't knock the MC90

    It's one of those speakers that actually CAN impress in open back combos
     
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  10. protest

    protest SS.org Regular

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    There's a drastic difference between those open back combos and playing them through a closed back cab. My first Mark IV was a combo and I was totally underwhelmed. Plugged it into my recto cab and it was like a totally different amp. Sounds like the combo format + old tubes probably killed the sound.

    Also there's certain things that need to be set a specific way in order to get the most out of the amp for metal. Like if the Pull Fat wasn't pulled it would kill the sound for you.
     
  11. wheelsdeal

    wheelsdeal SS.org Regular

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    Thanks man...that is what i am trying to figure out basically...cause Boogies are notoriously expensive in Europe and i am about to spend serious money going by that idea.I wish i could try it with a decent cab but this thing is unmovable.
     
  12. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

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    If you have a week, the manual, and a copy of John Petrucci’s settings, the amp starts to make more sense. You don’t have stick to Petrucci’s settings, but they will give you a good starting point to craft your own tone. I just copied the settings because they are really good.
     
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  13. lurè

    lurè Fake Shredder

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    You can run the gain pretty high on the mark iv, especially if you don't run a boost in front of the amp.
    I usually have mine at 7,5 for the lead channel and has enough gain to cover heavier styles of music.
    Do yourself a favor and try it with a proper cab , you'll change idea.
     
  14. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    black shadow speakers (rebadged Celestion CL80s) are pretty good, I doubt that's the issue
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I was about to say the opposite. The Mark amps, IMO, while very versatile, have a distinct character that not everyone gels with. In my mind, they aren't what you'd think of as a "gain monster" in the same way a 5150 would be. It's the kind of amp that puts a lot of the "tone" in the hands of the player, instead of just heaping distortion on top until everything sounds the same.
     
  16. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    The IV I had still had plenty of gain for brutal shit. Didn't need a boost or anything.
     
  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I mean, it does have plenty of gain, but I find it "feels" like less than a lot of other amps, especially because of how dry the gain can be. It's not a "saturated" feeling amp, IMO. I've always associated "gain monster" with more saturated-feeling types of gain.

    Sort of like....
    "I want to bury this room in distortion" > 5150.
    "I want you to feel how aggressively I'm picking" > Mark
     
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  18. lurè

    lurè Fake Shredder

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    I see what you're meaning.
    The Mark iv has plenty of gain and can absolutely do br00tz without a boost but increasing the gain on MKIV is not the same as increasing the gain on a 5150 or a Rectifier. Even with full gain you feel the Mark to be "cleaner" or less fuzzy then other type of amps.
    That probably has to do with the nature of the amp and how stack gain stages.
    I've noticed that depends also on the graphEQ: a flatter eq tends to feel less gainy than a deep V-shaped Eq.
     
  19. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    I get what you're saying. I flip between the Mark IV and IIC+ modes on my Mk V:35 often, and even though the MK IV mode is more saturated than the latter they're both pretty dry. They aren't the kinds of amps that flatter sloppy playing by adding more gain and saturation, they can be kinda punishing in that you have to play well for them to sound their best, since they pick up so much of your playing nuances, mistakes or not. Can be frustrating sometimes and I have to take breaks when recording because every mistake jumps out at me, but man when they sound good they sound great!
     
  20. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    As a 5150 guy getting into Mark amps recently. I get what you are saying here. Marks are dry and super tight that even loose sounding pickups and guitars sound tight with them. They are dry but they just have tons of attack.

    But I think the more recent Marks like the V and JP2C do saturate more. They have more gain on tap and they can have that compressed bass that other modern amps have. JP2C on ch3 sounds thicker and pulling the gain knob and pushing the presence knob gets you into 5150-ish territory.
     

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