Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head (Black Face Plate)Item ID: Mark5HD
3-channel, 10/45/90-watt Head - Black
4 models to choose from:
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Premium Tones from Mesa/BoogieFar more than a single amplifier, the Mark V is a journey through Mesa/Boogie's illustrious history. The Mark V houses multiple circuits and sounds spanning the lifespan of the Mark series — from the high-gain cascading pre amp of the Mark I all the way to the amazing power and control of the Mark IV. The preamp offers numerous sounds, ranging from tweed-like tones to British crunch to blistering trademark Boogie overdrive. If you're looking for an amp with an amazing history and tone to match, it's the Mark V from Mesa/Boogie.
Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head at a Glance:
The Mark V is loaded with a slew of sonic possibilities. Channel 1 contains the lowest gain sounds of the three channels and can be thought of as the rhythm or clean channel. The other two channels contain modes that work better for soft clip, medium crunch and high gain rhythm work. There is a tight, skinny Clean (toggle up), a warm, rich Fat clean sound with added lower fundamental (toggle center) and a higher gain pushed version of this architecture found in Tweed (toggle down). A channel-global Bold voicing switch adds punch and cut starting in the high mids to help you stand out in a dense mix and give you an increase in headroom.
Channel 2 is the transitional channel between the low gain sounds of Channel 1 and the high gain fury of Channel 3. This channel contains the biggest differences between modes and there is definitely dialing required as you toggle through the voicing modes. A stripped, British-inspired Edge (switch up) unleashes low to mid gain aggression.
Low mids are added for a thicker, throatier "Crunch" sound that travels up the gain scale while retaining a tight attack. And finally, Mark I flips the architecture to arrive at the iconic high gain voice that put Mesa on the map back in 1970 with the little Boogie amp. This creamy voice is infused with thick bottom end and works great for fattening up single note solo sounds. You may want to run the BASS control very low (off to 10:00) when the gain is high in this mode to retain the best attack characteristic and avoid flabbiness. There is also a Normal/Thick switch that affects the Mark I Mode only to add extra gain in the mids for added single note focus.
Channel 3 goes on from there to encompass the best of the Mark Series overdrive sounds. Beginning with the MK II C+ (switch up) the sound is pure, blistering focus and this is the classic Boogie voice of the 80s that became the foundation for players like John Petrucci, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, as well as a staple for L.A.'s first call session players of the day Steve Lukather, Mike Landau, Dean Parks, and many more.
The onboard 5-band graphic EQ has been an iconic trademark of Mark series Boogies since they first appeared on the Mark I back in 1970. The shaping power of this feature can't be denied, especially when combined with the Mark II's tight, focused gain sound. In the '80s the classic "V" setting of the EQ on Mark II and III models became a new sound in heavy rock and etched the on-board graphic a place in rock history.
While the Mark V tone controls are accurate and effective over a wide range, they come earlier in the signal chain and can only achieve so much shaping before they produce possible imbalances in certain modes. The graphic EQ comes at the very end of the signal chain so you can shape the final sound with the only consideration being how much of a certain frequency your speakers, cabinets — and ultimately your ears — can handle. Each Channel is fitted with a mini-toggle to select the 5 Band Graphic EQ, but the fun doesn't stop there. The Mark V gives you the choice of two ways to utilize the power of the graphic EQ for each Channel!
The bottom three position mini toggle in each channel is the Multi-Watt Power feature that determines the amount (wattage) and type (configuration) of power each preamp Channel will be coupled with to create a classic sound. Any amplifier's sound is 50 percent preamp and 50 percent power, so this switch is responsible for a large part of a given Channel's personality and feel. The choices repeat for all three Channels and they are 90 W, 45, and 10 W. Using the switch is simple... just select the power you want for each Channel, keeping in mind that the greatest headroom, focus and authority will always be found in the 90 watt position. That's how to use it, but for those who want the full story, here it is.
There's no denying the sonic difference between Class A and Class A/B — but what if you could have both? Since 1981 Simul-Class Power has been the heart and soul of the Mark series amplifiers, imparting its sweet, musical character onto any sound in the vast library of the now classic Mark legacy. Cleans that shimmer with transparent layers of sweet delicate highs, while the bottom end breathes a warm fundamental under a bed of rich low mid ambience. Never harsh — always fat, the Simul lead tone is the quintessential single-note solo sound.
This patented way of wiring an output section with two (or more) pair of output tubes combines two different styles of wiring configurations to arrive at a blend that showcases the best attributes of both. In Simul-Class, one pair of output tubes is wired in the more efficient, cooler running Class A/B Pentode configuration, which produces the greater portion of power and headroom while running cooler. This was the popular way of wiring amplifiers from about the early '60s forward — chosen for its efficient use of tubes, greater power, and reliability. The only sonic penalty for its greater power (Class A/B Pentode wiring) is that it can have a tendency to bring forward the harsher odd-order harmonic content. The Simul solution — add a pair of tubes running in the less efficient, but infinitely sweeter Class A Triode configuration. This style of wiring produces far less power out of a pair of tubes while creating more heat, but it emphasizes the even- order sweeter harmonics and transitions to clip with a soft, rich purring quality like no other.
Keeping it cool
The cooling fan is fitted with an On/Off switch to allow silent running in the studio or late night practicing in the lower wattage settings. We recommend leaving the fan on whenever possible to increase the toneful life of your power tubes. Basically, if the sound doesn't bother you... leave the cooling fan on all the time.
Choose your bias
Finally a Bias Select switch is included that allows you to run EL34 power tubes in place of the stock compliment of 6L6's. The EL34 style tubes will produce a brighter, skinnier sound that will clip with a whole different harmonic content that can be nice, especially for recording where you may not need the Channel switching performance of all three Channels and can dedicate the amplifier to one specific sound. The 6L6'S will most likely perform better for a wide range of sounds and certainly sound fatter and richer on most all the sounds and produce the greatest clean headroom.
Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head Special Features:
Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head Features:
The Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head — an all-tube head with a stellar legacy and serious tone!
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Wyndell, Mckinney, TX
Reviewsbased on 32 reviews
Boogie legacy continues
by Chris F from San Francisco, CAI had always wanted a Boogie since the first time I plugged into a Mark IV years ago. I am a longtime of admirer of Mesa's and the MKV carries on the Boogie legacy with wicked mojo as well with boatlo... read more [+]ads of flexible, beautiful tonal options.
March 2, 2013
Music Background: Experienced guitar player
Looking a bit complicated at first, it is actually very sensible and easy to dial in. Three channels with three power scales and each channel has three modes; essentially it has nine distinct voicings Shimmery clean to tweedy breakup on the clean channel. Rad crunch to creamy overdrive on channnel two. Channel three gives you an array of high gain goodness. Throw in the graphic EQ for endless tonal palette options.. And it is all Boogie, through and through.
What might trip up some initially is that the tone controls are quite interactive - but once you get to know it a bit there is no problem. Changing guitars might require a quick re-dialing of the tone controls so it is not necessarily plug and play. Though that is not a bad thing at all - after awhile realizing that there are so MANY amazing sounds to be had. It is really an instrument in itself (of course a guitar is needed too lol).
Please realize that the Mark V doesn't just excel toward a specific music genre. It delivers in spades for any music type.
Blown away? Most definitely! Running it loud, it sounds like it is going to explode (in an awesome way). But it doesn't explode - it just keeps on delivering the goods. It will rattle the house and possibly scare the neighbors.. build quality is tip-top. This Mesa is built to last a lifetime.
All in all, I have found it with this amp.
**About Sweetwater and sales tech Bob Mondok - These guys are the best! I wish I started with them earlier. Bob is the coolest - he checks in with me regularly re: awesome deals and other cool musical things. It is never intrusive - It will keep me coming back to Sweetwater for years to come - Bob M: You rock - Thanks for all of your help! close [-]
An instant LEGEND!
by Matt from USAIf you need a super-tight rhythm tone, get this. If you need a blazing and sustaining single-note soloing tone, get this. If you want a clean tone as clean as Disney, get this. If you have a studio an... read more [+]d you don't have this, get this. close [-]
January 12, 2013
Music Background: 13 years of amp tweaking experience!
A dream come true for my studio
by shawn bado from Oceanside, CaI personally OWN Marshalls, Vox, Fenders, Soldano, Hiwatt, etc.. for my studio. After painstakingly tweaking and comparing AMP by AMP against the Mark V, we have concluded that it will deliver all th... read more [+]e tones the other amps give. Chimy or tweed, rock/crunch, metal... it does it all for us here. We already started selling off all the old goodies and so far everyone comeing in to record guitar DIE when they hear the amp.
December 12, 2012
Music Background: Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer
YOU WILL need to spend time with guitars, pickups, strings, and knobs but when you get it all figured out- NOTHING can touch this!!! close [-]
Very Responsive, You get what you pay for
by fromThis amplifier embodies what a tube amp is capable of when it's manufacturers are forced to pull out all the stops. Personally, I believe that this amplifier is the Tube industries response to the ris... read more [+]e of digital effect professors stepping their game up (ie, Fractal). This amplifier is the real definition of 'amp-modeling', you can get a tone appropriate for LITERALLY any style of music. Obviously, being Mesa, it's expected to be a 'Metal' amp...this is simply not the case with the mark V. With a very minimal pedalboard containing just the basics (tube screamer, noise suppressor, compressor, etc.) one can get the whole spectrum of tones from every style of music from artists we cherish. For example, using channel 1, compressor, and crybaby, I get a funk-tone that would make anyone believe I was part of a talk show live band. If you have the cash to throw around this amp is the Valyrian Steel of amps, you will want for nothing once you plug it in. close [-]
October 5, 2012
Amazing, they aren't lying.
by from NJThis is possibly the most flexible amp I've laid my hands on. I've had a Fuchs that sounded different, but not necessarily better, and at twice the cost, it was no where near as flexible.
September 16, 2012
... read more [+]> It only took me a week to finally dial in my tone for metal on channel three. Forget Modern mode here, go straight for Mark IV mode, and don't follow what you see on the Petrucci videos unless you use the to play live. As a practice or studio head, I highly suggest diming the 80Hz slider, but dropping 240Hz to the bottom (literally zero), go a quarter of the way up with 750Hz, half way with 2200Hz, and almost full on 6600Hz. Gain is at 2:30, Master is at 9oclock, Presence is at 10oclock, treble is at 1oclock, drop the mids almost completely, and bass is at 10oclock. Switch is set to Bright. FX loop enabled. 10W mode. That's my studio setup, using a sealed 2x12 cab loaded with V30s. Love it.
This is a fantastic amp, possibly one of the best studio amps ever made. close [-]
Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head (Black Face Plate)
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