Which boost for Mesa Mark?

Flick

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I am considering getting a boost pedal for the Mesa JP2C. Thinking about a few: Fortin Grind, Horizon Precision, Macon 808. Anyone have any success with boosting a Mesa Mark series?
 

TedEH

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Your hands? The pre-gain knobs? :lol:
I kid, but on some level I'm not kidding. I never liked boosts in front of Marks very much.

I had a tube screamer for a while, but I found it didn't do anything pleasant in front of my IV. I've also got a TC Spark, which is just a clean boost with a mid-bump switch - I like what the mid switch ads, but any significant amount of added level usually end up being too much. :2c:

I'm also not a huge boost / pedal kind of guy, so maybe others have had better luck in this territory.
 

KnightBrolaire

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marks are pretty fucking tight and gainy amps, I don't really think they need a boost (at least a TS style one). If you want a great clean boost, then the abominable hate stomper works really well. The precision drive is also solid when used as a clean boost.
 

Shask

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Back when I had a Mesa Mark III, I liked the Boss SD-1 in front of it. It gave it some of those aggressive Marshall~ish upper mids it was missing.

I don't think a smoother type of TS, like an OD808, would work well in front of an amp that is already smooth.
 

Kyle Jordan

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Try an EQ.

The EQ before the amp gives you a more fine and nuanced control than the tone knobs onboard do. And I have to ask, does the Shred mode not work for what you're after?

If you want to add some clipping, give a Mesa Grid Slammer or Boss DS-1 a try. The DS-1 will be a bit hard to tame with the JP2C (I'm basing this on my experience with it on the IV) but may work for what it is you want.

And my understanding is that the Fortin Grind is really just a clean boost with a fixed EQ curve. So you can buy a cheap or used EQ pedal to see if that delivers.

Also, here's Ola with a TS in front of a IV.

 

DudeManBrother

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The typical OD boost cuts bass and adds quite a bit of midrange, which the Marks easily do at the tonestack. Check out the Seymour Duncan Forza. It doesn’t overly cut out the bass, or overly boost the mids. It has the 3 band EQ like the 805; but it’s peak frequency is like 550hz vs 805hz. It has almost 40dB of boost so it’ll get you ultra saturated but never thin or nasaly. It’s a boost pedal for an amp you already love the tone of. I’ve used it on R2 of my Mark IV a few times and it’s pretty crushing. The channel does have a lot of gain, but it’s so uncompressed that it sounds like less until you dig into each note. The Forza can boost that sound into some natural compression and saturation. But the Lead channel never needed a boost for my ears. It’s already compressed, saturated, and smooth.
 

LiveOVErdrive

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Yeah the thing about a mark that makes it different than most gainy amps is that the tone stack comes before the distortion, which is mostly what people use boost pedals for. So if you crank the mid and cut the bass and adjust treble to taste you can get basically the same effect. Adding a boost would kind of fight against the tone controls on the amp.
 

Flick

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What I am hoping to do is run the pre-preamp bass knob higher and then tighten up the response with a boost. Even when pushing the 80/240 sliders in the eq, it seems to be missing something in the low end. What I am looking to do is add more “attack” in the low frequencies. That MIV Ola video sounds pretty close to what I’m trying to accomplish.
 

LiveOVErdrive

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Cool beans. I always just start with the input bass at 0 and then turn up the 80 slider. And then slowly turn up the input bass knob until I get where I want to be.

It is a tad wooly though. That is until I switched to El34s.

Also this is a mk5 I'm using. Not a JP2C so ymmv
 

Kyle Jordan

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What I am hoping to do is run the pre-preamp bass knob higher and then tighten up the response with a boost. Even when pushing the 80/240 sliders in the eq, it seems to be missing something in the low end. What I am looking to do is add more “attack” in the low frequencies. That MIV Ola video sounds pretty close to what I’m trying to accomplish.

It's a balancing act, but a boost or EQ should offer what you want.

Again, I'll recommend an EQ here and specifically the 10 band Whirlwind BASS EQ pedal slightly, but the Guitar version or the MXR 10 band would work too.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Bass10EQ--whirlwind-bass-ten-10-band-bass-eq-pedal

The Bass pedal gives you more bands to shape and tighten the low end with, but sadly skips the 250 area that can really cut flub before distortion while leaving the lower frequencies intact to still sound big.
 

Shask

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It's a balancing act, but a boost or EQ should offer what you want.

Again, I'll recommend an EQ here and specifically the 10 band Whirlwind BASS EQ pedal slightly, but the Guitar version or the MXR 10 band would work too.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Bass10EQ--whirlwind-bass-ten-10-band-bass-eq-pedal

The Bass pedal gives you more bands to shape and tighten the low end with, but sadly skips the 250 area that can really cut flub before distortion while leaving the lower frequencies intact to still sound big.
It seems like all Graphic EQs are missing some bands, lol. You dont know how many times I have thought about buying two 31-band rack Graphic EQs to run one before, and one in the FX loop.
 

TedEH

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It does sound like an eq in front is what you want. The bass knob can probably get you "close", but an eq will just give you that more fine control of the shape of things before hitting the gain.
 

Kyle Jordan

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It seems like all Graphic EQs are missing some bands, lol. You dont know how many times I have thought about buying two 31-band rack Graphic EQs to run one before, and one in the FX loop.

I have a TC 1128 that will NEVER leave my collection and am always looking to get another two or so. A TC 1120, Whirlwinds (1 guitar, 1 bass) and 3 Dano Fish n' Chips round out the current crop.

For my 8 string mainly, i'll run one either the 1128 or a Whirlwind in front of my Mark IV, put a Dano in the loop (boosting 3.2K sounds great with Mark series amps), and run the other TC or Whirlwind after the slave out to my DAW. It's ridiculous, but it gives me so much control over the tone. Subtle use is the key.

I long ago jumped on this because it's hard to find the right distortion that I like. Once I hit on that, using EQ and other things to shape the tone is pretty easy.

Moral of the story: Buy the two 31 Band EQs!:D
 

Wizard of Ozz

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As the others have mentioned... a boost is not really needed or exactly what you need... that said...

Keeley Red Dirt works great and JP himself uses one. Mesa Grid Slammer too. Level up, gain down.

The JP2C is about the chunkiest sounding of the Mark amps. It’s pretty different from the MKIV due to the extra compression and different transformers, and power filtering in the MKIV... which gives it that somewhat bigger feeling lowend and liquid feel together at once... although it’s a different story live and in person. They are two different sounding amps, which is why I have both. Similar heritage... but different.
 

Shask

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I have a TC 1128 that will NEVER leave my collection and am always looking to get another two or so. A TC 1120, Whirlwinds (1 guitar, 1 bass) and 3 Dano Fish n' Chips round out the current crop.

For my 8 string mainly, i'll run one either the 1128 or a Whirlwind in front of my Mark IV, put a Dano in the loop (boosting 3.2K sounds great with Mark series amps), and run the other TC or Whirlwind after the slave out to my DAW. It's ridiculous, but it gives me so much control over the tone. Subtle use is the key.

I long ago jumped on this because it's hard to find the right distortion that I like. Once I hit on that, using EQ and other things to shape the tone is pretty easy.

Moral of the story: Buy the two 31 Band EQs!:D
I have a BYOC 3-band Parametric EQ pedal, and a Boss GE-7. I have had others along the years, but that is all I currently have. I try not to go too crazy with EQs and amps. In the Axe-FX II is another story though. I typically use 3-4 EQs in the chain to dial in every little detail.
 

TheWarAgainstTime

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I've used a TON of overdrive pedals in front of my Mark V and I keep coming back to my Maxon OD-808 :metal: it's just a classic sound that I've built "my" tone around.

Some strong contenders for heavy tones are the 808X, Mesa Grid Slammer, and OD9. I also use a Duncan 805 for leads, but it doesn't get as aggressive as the others for rhythms
 


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