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Microphone Month 3

Mesa/Boogie Mark V 90-watt Tube Head - Black Faceplate Reviews

5.0 stars based on 52 customer reviews
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  • from High Country Colorado February 10, 2017Music Background:
    Novice

    Monster Amp

    This amp is a monster. There are not many tones that the Mark V cannot achieve. Clean when you need it but it can get as dirty as anyone could want.

    This is less a review for the Mark V, as there are countless out there and I could not even scratch the surface. I would like to give a shout out to the Sweetwater customer service team and my tech, Matt Alexander. The first Mark V shipped stopped producing sound on the 10 and 45 watt settings (only the 10 watt was out on channel 3). It still did not work after a little trouble shooting with the Sweetwater repair team and a replacement pre-amp tube shipped to me in a couple days. After trouble shooting was unsuccessful, Sweetwater went ahead and shipped out a brand new amp with prepaid return shipping for the malfunctioning head. Thank you very much Matt, Jeffery and the rest of the Sweetwater team.

  • from January 18, 2017

    Mesa Boogie Mark V

    Excellent! Meets all expectations!

  • from Newport Beach, CA December 23, 2016

    10 amps in one box

    I always had Mesa Boogie, in particular studio preamp and 50/50 tube amplifier which gave me an outstanding power and the typical Mesa sound to play killer rock/metal riffs, but I was not totally satisfied by the clean channel; Mesa equipments are are so particular and its components interdependent that I was not able to have a very clean channel if I wanted a very aggressive lead one.
    All of this together with my gear aging convinced me to approach the Mark V, a choice I have evaluated for a long time due to its significant cost.
    Mark V is far above any expectations, the possibilities and sounds are virtually infinite, don't think for a single moment this is just a heavy metal amp, I would not be surprised to see free-jazz guitar players touring with this tube masterpiece.
    It's a professional equipment and, this has to be said, not easy to use due to the dozen available settings, you will have to work to find your sound, but once you do the Mark V will definitely help you to play better because you surely pay more attention about what you are playing, its cleanliness and high defined sound will encourage you to refine your technique.

  • from Raleigh, MS August 7, 2016

    7 Years and just 1 bad tube

    I preordered this back in '09 after it was announced at NAMM and had to wait 4-5 months to receive it. It had one bad preamp tube when it arrived and thats all the trouble I've had with it. Mine has been quiet for a high gain amp. There's no channel popping and it hisses less than other high gain amps I've owned. The fan is quiet enough that I forget it has one. It sounds great and takes pedals well when you adjust the channel volume and effects loop send properly. No complaints.

    I have mine paired up with the mesa traditional 4x12 cab, but it also sounds great with the standard 4x12 as well. To my ears the traditional is tighter with more mids while the standard is warmer with more lows. You can't go wrong with either one as you can eq this amp any way you want with all the options.

    I will also point out that this amp is more complicated to operate than most. However, once you learn how to adjust the amp to find your tone it is worth the trouble. I haven't been able to find an amp to replace it as my favorite yet.

  • from Abilene, TX June 30, 2016Music Background:
    Cross genre guitar player for 42 years.

    Just plain WoW!

    I've been playing guitar at some level or other since 1974. My amp stockpile includes Fender Twins, Deluxe, Marshalls and even a Dumble. I have been shopping this head for over two years and after receiving it and plugging in, I'm kicking myself for waiting at all. In its 90 watt configuration this amp has more personalities than Cybil. No matter what I plug into it I hear sounds and expressions I've never heard before. If youre short on cash sell some equipment and get this unit into your lineup. On a 1-5 scale I give it a 10! Buy it!

  • from MD, USA April 16, 2016Music Background:
    Enthusiast/Hobbyist Practice > 10 hours a week.

    A commoners experience.

    I come from a humble background. I'm a big fan of John Petrucci so naturally I was interested in this amp. It was a bit of a sacrifice to pick one up, but I'm glad I did. It was a little overwhelming at first to get to know how to use this amp without breaking it or damaging it as there are a LOT of options on how you can configure this amp and tubes can be tricky. As time goes by (1 year so far) I am pretty confident using the amp. This amp has character and sets itself apart from any other guitar amp I've played demonstrating its superior sound even in the hands of a common guitarist like me.

  • from March 27, 2016

    Mesa Boogie Mark V

    This amp is slightly different considering the Mesa Boogie Triple Rec I've played for 7+ years. The numerous knobs and sliders can be a bit of a challenge going from simple to complicated comparing both the Triple Rec and Mark V. But it is an investment considering the price and the time you will put in dialing in "your" sound. I've spent enough time with the amp at this point to understand the little differences that make up the amp as a whole and it is versatile. But again, you have to put in the time and it will pay off. Channel one gives a good array of cleans to a small amount of blues. Channel two expands on it allowing for more dirt/distortion. Channel three is where I spend most of my time considering. The distortion is Mesa/Mark Distortion. Understanding the difference between a Rectifier distortion compared to a Mark will help knowing that what your getting is strictly a "Mark" type of sound. I say this considering it took me some time to get used to it. But without a doubt the amp can give you what you need. The features will take time but take the time and it will be worth it.

  • from Scotia, NY December 14, 2015Music Background:
    30+ years playing in a band non professionally (meaning we don't get paid much )

    Best Amp I've ever Owned

    I will be honest, I've never owned top of the line gear. I've been playing mostly middle of the road stuff. My last head was a Blackstar Club HT 50 venue. Was a great head and was easy to dial in, but I wanted the next level.

    I bought this on a whim and Mesa's reputation alone. I was originally going to buy a triple rectifier - but heard this is way more versatile - and that suits me fine because my band plays everything from Southern Rock to Metal.

    I unpacked my Mesa Mark V - plugged it into a Rectifier Slant 4X12 - and I couldn't get a good sound out of it. Like most amps I've ever used, I tried setting the knobs where I thought they should be and didn't bother reading any of the manual. Who has time for that? I was actually dismayed. Did I just make my biggest music purchase of my 30 years of playing on something that wasn't going to sound good?

    Nah... I read the manual. Got some tips online, and got on some community Mesa forums to get me headed in the right direction. This amp (or should I say collection of amps in one head) plays much different to anything I was used to. I bought this about 4 months ago - and it really took me a few weeks to get in dialed in. Most of my playing is in rehearsal or home. The different wattages are all different beasts - so while having something dialed in on 10watt mode, you may have to reset everything for 95watt mode. I use a bunch of settings templates to keep track now. It seems like a drawback, but you are dealing with one of the most versatile tube amps on the planet.

    Because I move around so much (and nobody wants to roadie for free) I decided to get a couple 1X12 cabinet. It's so much nice to travel that way then with the 4X12 - and I'm not loosing anything. I chose the Mesa 1X12 widebody cabs, but one is open and the other closed back. They sound great together, or I will split them up depending on the gig. For outdoor gigs, I use both. For my more metal projects, the closed back sounds best. For more rock/blues I go with the open back. I feel this gives me even more versatility and options with an amp that is already packed with them.

    I've played 4 gigs so far - and each one has sounded better than the last. I don't think I've even touched the potential of this thing yet. We are getting ready to hit the studio and the producer has a wide variety of amps I can use (Triple Rec, Fender Twin reverb,JCM800, etc) - but I already told him the Mark V is coming with me. He was skeptical when I said it can dial in similar sounds to all those amps at just a high quality.

    One last thing I will bring up. I haven't had a great success with the effects loop. I'm trying to get a Line 6 M13 to play nice - and while the chain in front of the amp sounds good, the chain in the loop seems to be weak. I'm wondering if it's the M13 or the Mesa Boogie though. To be honest, I haven't played a great deal with it - my M13 is in a large pedal board case with 2 expression pedals and an original crybaby - it's large and cumbersome to use in my small apartment and the Mesa sounds OUTSTANDING with my Gibson SG plugged directly in to it. Hopefully it's just a situation where it needs to be dialed in correctly. I would like to use it as I paired it with an RJM Mini Amp Gizmo to allow channel switching through the Line 6...

    If you are on the fence, go for it. This may be the last amp you ever need. I feel after 30 years of tone mediocrity I've found the amp to carry me through the rest of my playing days.

  • from Chicago Illinois October 17, 2015Music Background:
    Modern rock semi pro

    The Best. Period

    I am a semi-pro player, strumming along in original bands for over 25 years. You name it, I have owned it amp-wise. Nothing, and I mean nothing, captures every possible town I could ever imagine using, from clean jazz to country to rock to metal, like the Mark V. Many try but always fail in one or more respects. This amp not only does it all, but does it all in manner that makes almost makes it the STANDARD in each category. Crazy to say this, I know, but it's true. Then, when you put that together with the amazing band EQ - and I mean amazing - plus fx loop, and a solo feature (I can't believe every major amplifier doesn't have this, right?), it just makes it the single best al around amp there is. Sorry, I just don't think this is disputable. Now, is it plug and play? No. You need to spend a little time tweaking the selections but THAT IS HALF THE FUN!!! The sound you have in your head is there, trust, me! Special thanks to Mike Picotte for being an amazing salesperson over the years and on this sale! My advice? Save up, sell your other amps and get this. You won't be disappointed.

  • from Louisiana September 17, 2015Music Background:
    over 35yrs

    Tone Nut

    OMG love how i can get every Mesa except the triple rec and Dual rec. 10w class A, 45w AB, 90 RECT
    with 2 types of tube selection. thus i can go 6L6 or in 10 min to EL34! american or british...........
    Clean crisp with no static, Effects loop is excellent as i have a red witch Chorus and a wampler Faux Tape.
    on the front end you can drive it with any distortion or fuzz on ch1 only 10w, 45w or 90w. channel 2 you can choose between tube 10w or 45w tube or rectified 45W. 90w too:)
    channel 3 is rectified only. 10,45,90
    great crunch, great cleans and awesome hi gain on 3
    looking forward to the next one comming out! this amp is a lifetime Keeper
    so Thank you Parker Rousch. you figured out im real anal on tone haha

  • from Slidell July 1, 2015Music Background:
    Piano, Bass, ^ String, Sax Clarinet 40 years

    That tone was in my head

    OMG! if you can afford it then pass up the other stuff and get you one now!
    love the effects loop
    gain, gain and more gain
    pedals work great in channel 1 and 2. if you know what you doing you can use pedals on channel 3. im using all this through my wireless and its a blessing to Feel your strings.
    you fully grasp how to articulate the strings into tonal delight.

  • from United States April 8, 2015

    Not Much To Say

    There's not a lot I can say about this amp that others have not already said. If you have the money and you are in the market for an amazingly versatile amp, there really should be no question.

    I had a Marshall JVM 410 before I bought this amp, and the purchase was something I agonized about. I didn't need it (the JVM is a monster in its own right), but man did I want it. I now have both amps, but the Marshall hasn't been played much in the last few months, and its duties have mainly been relegated to "practice amp", as ridiculous as that sounds.

    The Mark V has so many classic tones in it it astounded me. It's gotten to the point that I can't picture myself playing through any other amplifier. The clean tones can get you anywhere from pristine to bluesy crunch. This amp can do a mean SRV, especially if you throw a strat with a clean boost in front of the Fat setting of channel 1. That said, you don't even need a booster because the clean channel on this amp can get mighty dirty. It's actually pretty remarkable how much gain you can get out of it.

    The second channel has two killer tones. I haven't used the Edge much, so I won't talk about it. The Crunch and Mark I modes are both phenomenal. Crunch can get you anywhere from something bluesy all the way up to EVH-style tones. I've tweaked the Crunch setting and played Panama and blown friends away. The Mark I setting is dead on, to me. I've never had a Mark I or played through one, but it gets you that "infinite sustain" sound that Santana is so famous for, and if you play a bridge humbucker through it you can do an awesome imitation.

    Channel 3 is absolutely killer. The 2C+ is in there, and you can get some really tight metal sounds out of it. If you're a Metallica fan, all of the best ones are in here. If you're not a Metallica fan, there are tons of other great acts out there whose tone you can get from this setting too (think "Pull Me Under" by Dream Theater). The Mark IV setting is probably the best out-of-the-box solo tone I've ever come across. This tone is rich, smooth, sustaining, perfect. Every guitar I've thrown in front of that setting has sounded absolutely huge. I have not used the Extreme setting much yet, so I will not comment on that either.

    While the channels are the biggest features of this amp, there is a whole universe of other stuff you can tweak and fiddle with until you go blue in the face. I have messed with a few things here and there, like pentode vs. triode, and the different accent settings for the channels (bold vs. normal on clean channel, Mark I thick mode, etc) but I have yet to delve down to the lowest level of configuration this amp offers. One of the coolest and easiest things to mess with is the variant wattage for each channel. Want your cleans to break up at lower volume? Drop the channel to 10W mode. Want the amp to be full-on, super loud and rocking? Leave it at 90W. It can honestly be a little intimidating at first, but there are lots of sites out there that have tips on where to set your knobs and which features to turn on and off to capture sounds, and many people are more than willing to help when you have questions, including your trusty Sweetwater sales engineer.

    Summation: if you want an incredibly versatile amp, and you have the money, get this one. You will not regret it.

  • from okeechobee fl, usa March 7, 2015Music Background:
    im in a band

    Mes Masterpiece

    lets start with saying thanks and a big shout out to mark stein who was my sales person. Great customer service. this amp is the perfect sound and tone i was looking for no complaints here. was able to play right out if the box on a new rectifier cabinet. best sound I've gotten out of all my last amps. i highly recommend this amp for anyone wanting to play metal to even sparkling cleans.

  • from Union, OH August 3, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Hobbyist

    Incredibly Versatile

    Pretty much any tone you want can be dialed into this amp. All three channels are fantastic, and the only drawback is that I can't setup each of the 9 modes to be foot-switchable. Every mode has very usable tones, from the Fender-esque tone in Channel 1 to the Marshall-esque and Mark 1 tones in Channel 2, and the Mark II & Mark IV tones of Channel 3. I play a wide variety of musical styles and the Mark V nails a huge spread of classic and modern tones.

    The tone controls work quite a bit differently than most amps, so definitely read the manual and take your time tweaking (with your ears, not your eyes) and you will be able to find just about any tone you could possibly want from this amp. The effects loop is great, and the reverb sounds awesome as well.

  • from Vicksburg, Michigan December 31, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbiest

    The Search Is Over!!

    Amps I've had.. Marshall.. JTM30, JTM45,1974X and Bluesbreaker. Vox.. Buckingham and AC15, Dr.Z.. Maz 18 Jr. and Remedy. Fender Blues Deluxe.. Carvin Leagacy.. Top Hat Club Cadet... Crate Palomino V16.. All of these amps are great in thier own way. Bluesbreaker and the Remedy were the best. One thing I have found in my search is I don't care for EL84's. Then, I bought the Mesa Express 5:50. I liked it so much that I bought the Mark V head and the Boogie 2X12 Vertical, Slanted cab. And now, I'm done.. I have no desire to look any more. Started out using my Gibson Les Paul Elegant, Awesome sound! Took my American Tele with Lindy Fralin pickups to practice one nite.. Didn't put it down until practice was half over! We play classic rock, not much country. Therefore, I don't use the Tele that much. I will now! Humbuckers.. Single coils are awesome thru this amp! As you can see, I have spent a lot of money and time on other amps. Never thought I would buy Mesa Boogie. But that sure has changed! Sweetwater?? These guys bent over backwards to help me with my purchace. I live close enough to visit the store. They put me in my own private room to test it out before buying. Thanks Jason.. Thanks Andrew.. You guys are the best!!!

  • from Palmyra, VA September 5, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging guitarist

    These are the tones in my head

    This is the Mesa amp that I keep returning to, and there's good reason for it. Every channel and mode has excellent and useable tones, once you understand the philosophy on how to dial in a Mark series amp. Channel tone controls are for feel, post EQ is for tone shaping. Understanding this has been key to making the amp work for me, and work better than any other amp I've owned.

    The CH1 modes are all stellar. Pristine, modern clean is available on the clean mode, and it sounds great. I gravitate toward the Fat and Tweed modes. Fat if I'm playing OD pedals into the amp, Tweed if I want to rely on edge of breakup or lightly overdriven sounds from the amp itself. Mostly use Tweed if I'm playing P&W songs with either my Tele or LP. That mode is outstanding.

    On CH2, I usually use Crunch for a Marshall JCM800 style rock tone, coupled with about 50% of the preset post EQ. It can do anything from light crunch up through a heavier distortion. Great for rhythm tones and it likes boosting with external OD pedals. Or even just a clean boost.

    On CH3, I tend to gravitate toward the Mark IV or Extreme modes. Either one can provide a more modern, modded JCM rock tone or fluid lead tone. Smooth, saturated, and responsive.

    External switching options are perfect for use with my Amp Gizmo to do MIDI switching of the amp channels and solo boost.

    Reverb is a lush spring sound. Tweed or Edge with my Tele and some of the reverb is just gorgeous and three dimensional. Although the placement of the reverb in the signal path leaves a little to be desired. It comes before the effects loop, which is problematic if you either run a gate in the loop or if you prefer your reverb to come after delays, tremolo, or chorus. Of course, if you're running those effects in the loop, you probably have access to a good digital reverb anyway and you can turn off the one in the amp.

    In my classic rock band, I usually run OD and distortion pedals into CH1 on Fat mode. Mostly because that's the setup I've been using for years with other amps and am reluctant to change it. The good thing is the amp doesn't judge me for it, and it makes it sound even better than what I was using before. When I play at church with our P&W team, I use the gain from the amp's channels. Usually Tweed, Crunch, and Mark IV, in conjunction with a Boss GT-100 using Four Cable Method and my Amp Gizmo for switching. Works flawlessly.

    I also have a Two Notes Torpedo Live which I use at home for silent practice and recording, and at church sometimes when I don't feel like hauling my recto cab. It's like the convenience of a modeler but with the feel of real tubes. Excellent!

  • from Indiana United States August 15, 2013

    Mesa Mark V

    I first demo'd the head at Gearfest and was blown away by the versatility and sound. Every channel has so many different voices. I would have bought it then but they only had 6 month financing. My rep Andrew Plassman knew i wanted it and when the 24 month financing opened up he called me and I jumped on the deal. I am still playing with the channels and controls trying to get THAT sound there are so many. The clean channel (channel 1) is just so incredible and sweet sounding and easy to dial in. The 2nd channel is thick and chunky but I'm still trying to dial it in. The 3rd channel Is all about gain and I'm trying to get the sound I played at Gearfest. At Gearfest the channels I really liked were 1 and 3 but at home I've been playing 1 and 2. I just can't get the sound I had at Gearfest on channel 3. Hopefully soon I will find my sound in all the channels. If you just want a plug and play amp I don't think this is for you but if you have time to play with the controls this is the most versatile amp out.

  • from Miami, FL July 19, 2013

    Mighty Mark Legend

    From the moment I got this amp out of its box, It was clear why Mesa Boogie products are considered top quality craftmanship. Every knob, switch, jack, and LED gives you confidence right away. If I ever need to defend myself, I'll make sure I use the footswitch, a lightweight yet robust metal box.

    Tone wise, it's an american amp. It has all the gain, volume, low end and presence you could ever want. Scoop the mids and you have got yourself a "rectifier approximation". It's fast articulation on Mark IV mode makes my leads scream while still managing to communicate a feeling. Mark II C+ mode is perfect for chords playing, providing fullness and quick compression. Crunch is awesome, I believe this mode is the one that impressed me the most, super clean on gentle picking to crushing breakup when struck with passion.

    This amp has "versatile" written all over its Boogie face but still in a very americanized way... which is good! to better represent an specific influence that to try and "do them all". This amp is made out of character, intelligence and fine work!

    While I love my Mark V, I'm still finding myself plugging my guitar into my Marshall modest DSL 40C at the end of the day. I guess you end up with your soul carrying the tone you grew upon.

    Great product, highly recommended!

  • from Avon, OH July 2, 2013Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior - 30 years playing with much to learn!

    By far the most awesome guitar amp I have ever owned

    After my Marshall TSL602 died it was time to go amp shopping. The TSL was very unreliable, considering it saw light duty, and overall I was not happy with that amp. For reference I own Fender Twin Reverb, an Egnator Renegade with 2x12 cabinet, the TSL602 combo, and a Mesa Electradyne 1x12 combo. Years ago I played with Line 6 Flextone, POD XT Live through PA, and some older Marshalls and Peaveys. I play cover songs and was looking into a flexible amp that covered clean to mid-gain levels – basically through a single amp to cut down my transportation hassles. I’m 48, been playing 30 years, but only as part time weekend warrior, as I am an engineer by day to pay the bills (if my family depended on my guitar skills we’d starve! Ha ha). I exclusively play a PRS-513 because I hate changing guitars and the PRS pretty much nails a Gibson and Strat tone (even some Telecaster tones!) I cover tunes by The Stones, Brad Paisley, Guns & Roses, AC/DC, Van Morrison, Judas Priest and many others – basically popular wedding and party songs that everybody likes to dance and party to.
    So, what about the Mark V? In a word this is the guitar amp to own if you only want to own one guitar amp and need a wide range of tones to play a wide variety of cover songs. I have mine coupled with a 2x12 Rectifier cabinet (but I will eventually get a get a 2x12 Lonestar open-back cabinet to experiment). In hindsight, I feel like a moron for not have invested in this amp sooner – to think that I’ve been missing out on so much tonal flexibility all these years. Anyway, to make a long story short, when by TSL died, I first got a Marshall JVM 410H and 1960AV cabinet, buying into all the hype – big mistake for what I was looking for, so I returned it. I also tried Mesa Roadster and TA-30. I wanted the sparkling cleans of the Fender Twin, the grunt of the Electradyne, the breakup of a Vox, and the scream of the Marshall. The Mark V delivers all these tones and so much more - easily. I’m not going to go into all the features, but with my PRS 513 in the #5 Strat position (neck) I can nail Van Morrison (Brown Eyed Girl) on the Fat Channel with Bold setting and 50% reverb. Same for Jenny-Jenny (Tommy TuTone) and others like it. Switch to Tweed mode and pull off some serious blues. AC/DC is found in Crunch and Mark I modes on channel 2 with PRS 513 in humbucker #1 position (bridge). Gain it up on channel 3 and it easily pulls off Judas Priest and Van Halen tones. Just switching between these channels can cover any tune. All that tone without even getting into the graphic EQ section, which opens this baby up even more. The assignable preset EQ is simply brilliant – talk about getting total control over your sound. I love the 10W setting for cranking at home and I usually play in 45 watt mode – just seems to be really punchy for a small band setting in a live venue.
    Everything about this amp screams quality, tone, and flexibility. If you play one genre of music, like 80’s hair-band rock, then you probably want a Marshall for that particular style. But if you want a range of tones that get 95% of any guitar amp tone you can think of, then this is without a doubt the guitar amp to own. Of course the guitar makes a huge impact on tone, so Les Pauls and Strats (e.g., a PRS 513 or Fender Deluxe HSS tone – plus a Tele) will get you any tone you can possibly image. Folks talk about how this amp is difficult to dial in – no way is that true – spend an hour with it to get used to how the switches and knobs work and you will realize this is very easy to dial in. The tube interaction between my fingers and the amp is stunning - it is so addictive because I feel like my fingers are extending from the guitar all the way through the speakers (I know, sounds like corny feel-good stuff, but that is what you get). The modes, gain, and tone controls are extremely responsive – a wee bit alters the tone quite a bit, which is a good thing. If you can’t get a good tone out of the Mark V then you need some serious lessons. Some may say this amp is too flexible – I can’t see how that is possible – on any guitar amp you generally set up your channels and forget it, then use your footswitch to change basic channels and use guitar’s volume and tone to vary the sound in a live situation. I would say to compare this amp to anything it would be that this is like having switchable modules of classic amplifier preamps all in one package (much like a modeling amp (Flextone), but this is the real all-tube deal). With the Mark V’s 3 channels, EFX loop, awesome reverb, switchable EQ, a few time-based effects, and my PRS 513 with a wide range of pickup configurations, this is a cover guitarists dream rig. It just does not get better than this. I learn something new about the guitar everyday, and my equipment far exceeds my abilities. This amp, as others have stated, helped me clean up sloppy playing (that is often hidden in overly saturated tones in a high-gain Marshall, as well as on clean arpeggios in a muddy amp). This amp accentuates my skills (if you want to call it that) and definitely highlights all my weaknesses (of which there are many). Buy this amp - it is the only amp I have ever owned that I would consider to be a “lifelong keeper amp” for sure. Happy jamming!

  • from San Francisco, CA March 2, 2013Music Background:
    Experienced guitar player

    Boogie legacy continues

    I 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 boatloads of flexible, beautiful tonal options.
    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!

  • from USA January 12, 2013Music Background:
    13 years of amp tweaking experience!

    An instant LEGEND!

    If 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 and you don't have this, get this.

  • from Oceanside, Ca December 12, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer

    A dream come true for my studio

    I 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 the 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.
    YOU WILL need to spend time with guitars, pickups, strings, and knobs but when you get it all figured out- NOTHING can touch this!!!

  • from October 5, 2012

    Very Responsive, You get what you pay for

    This 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 rise 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.

  • from NJ September 16, 2012

    Amazing, they aren't lying.

    This 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.

    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.

  • from Baltimore, MD August 18, 2012Music Background:
    Active Musician

    Mark V - Excellent

    I have had my Mark V for a little over a month now, and can say that it is hands down one of the nicest amplifiers I have ever played. I upgraded my head from a Mesa Single Rectifier, which I had for two years. I was happy with the Single Rec, but it is well worth the upgrade. I have never heard any cleans that sparkled and shined as tightly as this amp can produce. The second channel doesn't have a whole lot of gain, but it can generate some tasteful crunch, and sounds amazing as a rhythm channel. Where this amp shines is in the third channel. After doing some research, I was able to recreate many of the tones John Petrucci uses in dream theater and his solo album, which are the main reason I was drawn to this amp. It is glorious in all aspects, and worth every penny.

  • from Bay area, California August 16, 2012

    Takes time but pays off.

    On my quest to buy my first "expensive" head I researched and tried many amps, and it came down to "which" mesa not "if" mesa. I already knew I really liked the recto and roadster amps but read alot on how many people really enjoyed their purchase of this head. I pulled the trigger and bought it with the piece of mind that I could return it for something else if I didn't like it.
    My first 30 days were painful, I considered returning it almost right away, but I remembered that this head is supposed to take time to figure out and dial in. By week 4 I finally unlocked its secrets and kept it and have not regretted it for 1 second. This is one fire breathing dragon with tons of tones locked within that can literally cover any and all genres of music with full authority.
    This of course is not for everyone, many out there just want to plug in and have their amp sound instantly great, but for a "versatile" amp this just isn't possible, at least not yet in my experience. If you have the patience this will by far outshine most of what is out there today IMO. And the answer is no, no matter how many youtube videos you watch they just don't do this amp justice.

  • from Manistee, Michigan August 10, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Perfection in Amplification

    Mesa Boogie gets it! Obviously this guitar amplifier was created by detail oriented musicians that have experienced and listened intently to other musician's experiences and demands as performing guitar players! I can't think of anything else I could possibly need in a guitar amplifier! Thanks Mesa Boogie for creating the perfect amp and thanks Sweetwater for the best service on the planet!

  • from Chicago July 20, 2012Music Background:
    30 year guitarist

    ANOTHER GREAT BOOGIE

    I HAVE OWNED ALMOST EVERY BOOGIE HEAD, AMP,PRE-AMPS AND CABS AND THIS UNIT IS GREAT. THE HEAD IS NOT HEAVY AND IS EASYER TO HAUL WITH A SEPERATE CAB RATHER THAN LUG A HEAVY COMBO. U CAN BASICALLY HAVE THREE LEAD CHANNELS IF YOU DIAL IN CHANNEL TWO, THREE, AND SOLO BOOST .
    E .Q. AND EFFECTS LOOP OPEN EVEN MORE OPTIONS. VERY HAPPY WITH THIS ONE.

  • from Indiana July 10, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician, Amateur recording Engineer

    Great amp, a little frustrating at first.

    WARNING!! This amps tone controls work differently than most amps on the market, which may or may not be frustrating. I can only review the modes i use.

    Overall the Mark is very articulate and tight, and each channel is truly an amp of it's own. This is the first amp i've played that allows my pick control to truly shine. With an alternating picking line each hit of the pick is articulate and never covered up in a mud mess. The secret to getting a good sound with this amp for me was running the preset GEQ around noon. I love midrange so i was very hesitant and conservative with scooping the midrange. This amp has a ridiculous amount of midrange so scooping with the GEQ is absolutely necessary to get the honk out! Think of the channel eq's more like thickness, texture, saturation controls than your standard EQ.

    Channel 1 Tweed: Set it right and you can play soft for clean and hard for some crunchy goodness. Tweed has the best clean sound IMO and channel 1 is the most dynamic channel in the amp.

    Channel 2 Crunch: I run the gain around 9 o'clock it allows me to transition perfectly between playing hard on channel 1 to channel 2 when i need a little more sustain and saturation. Like for a bluesy solo or chords that sustain. This channel gives me blues to metal tones based on pick attack. This channel is round and warm.

    Channel 3. I use the mark IV and the Extreme mode. I run the gain at noon on this channel. Extreme is big yet tight, very clear, articulate and has some of the 3D depth of the recto. Easily the loosest sound in the Mark V. Mark IV has grittier, more pronounced mids, and is tighter than the extreme mode. This channel is darkish and thick.

  • from Porterville, CA June 6, 2012Music Background:
    Living room musician.... but ready to retire and get serious

    Buy It...You won't regret it!

    One would best describe me as a frustrated living room musician, who has been playing guitar off and on for 30 years or so. For me buying this amp was kind of like buying a Maserati to drive to church and back....it was way more than what I could ever need, but being one who can only be satisfied with the pure tones I was striving to achieve with a Fender Superchamp and a Line 6 Pod effects processor.......and failing miserably.......I decided that I had to spend the money.......I'm glad I did!

    At first I had some buyers remorse, because I was way over my head with all that one can do with this beauty, but now after several months of "getting to know her" I am totally head over heals in love and am convinced I can not live without her. Channel 1 has a variety of deep crystal clear tones that you have to hear to believe. Channel 2 is the old style rich but mellow distortion that is the absolute best for my Santana cover songs and Channel 3 is.....well ....it's just mind blowing!

    Sweetwater was absolutely great to deal with too. The first head was damaged by being dropped during shipment. But no worries, everything was taken care of with just one phone call to my rep Chris, who shipped out another one the next day via priority express!

  • from Holland MI May 16, 2012Music Background:
    35+yrs performing, studio owner/operator, live sound engineer

    What a great sounding amp!!

    I was using a Marshall TSL100 with a Gmajor and a bunch of pedals through a Voodoo Labs GCX and ground control floorboard. The marshall fried so it was a good time to try something different. I loved the Marshall but it just didn't quite get there. I got the Mark V and was immediately blown away by the clean sound. I can get the legit fender twin clean sound with my tele! COOL! Channel 2 is great for good solid rythum crunch sound. Channel 3 was the HOLY CRAP channel. It takes some tweaking as this amp is very versatile. This is my first Mesa amp but I am a Marshall convert now and will always play mesa. I play at church doing worship...this amp is way more than I need but it sounds great there. In large festival venues it really shines. Look at all the pros who use these things. That says it all. No mods needed. An added bonus I didn't know about until I unpacked it was that it has channel, eq, and solo jacks on the back which integrate with the GCX loop switcher... no breakout box needed from the footswitch jack. Just to recap...You can get the chimey Fender clean, the brown Marshall sound, the total rectified high gain, and most anything in between. Forget about modelers - they all come up just short. This thing really can cover it all. Sweetwater was great too as always and had it at my door overnight! I Love this amp! the golden tone has been found! get one.

  • from Tennessee May 2, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer

    Awesome Guitar Amp

    The most awesome guitar amp ever. The tones that amp provides are second to none. Also I had great service.

  • from Pittsburgh, PA April 17, 2012Music Background:
    Guitarist, Instructor

    Mesa Mark V

    Over the past 25 years I have played and owned many amps. I have gone through phases in my playing where I wanted Fender, Marshall, Laney, Vox etc sounds. I have bought and sold too many amps to remember LOL. I owned a TremoVerb about 6 years ago and eventually it fell out of love with me and was sold. For the last 2 years I have been an Axe Fx Ultra player. Fractal makes great stuff and I was about all in for the Axe 2 until a friend brought over the Mark V. This amp (or should I say AMPS) is simply amazing. I quickly noticed that I missed those tubes pushing air at me as I stood 10 feet away and marveled at the tones. I play a JP6 and Im a fan of Petrucci, but I dont want to sound like a clone. This amp gets his tones fine, but it gets so many other voices it is amazing. Plugged in a strat too and it got even better. My friend also had a Nova System through the effects loop and I was stunned. It was like the tone Ive had in my head all these years just fell from the sky.
    A few days later I called Sweetwater and ordered one. It was at my door at dinnertime the NEXT DAY! My sales rep knew his stuff, answered my questions, and made sure I was happy. No more waiting around GC for that one dude who can answer my questions about gear anymore. I am a sweetwater convert for sure.
    Gotta go. Time to build my new rig. If you are on the fence, dont waste another minute. GET ONE!

  • from Niagara Falls, New york April 16, 2012Music Background:
    guitarist

    Mesa Boogie Mark 5

    I ordered the Mark 5 before they were available in March 09 and received mine in May 09. I have one of the first one hundred made. I felt confident doing this (sight unseen) having been a long time Mesa owner. After three years of having this amp and putting it through it's paces. I am completely confident in my evaluation.

    Simply put, this is a great amplifier! No question. It does everything one would expect and more. Having said this. It may not be for everyone. It is not a plug and play. However, it is very simple to set up after you become familiar with it. The sounds and tone of this thing IMHO is easily one of the best on the market. I use mine with a T.C. Electronic G-System, Mission exp. pedals and various guitars (single & humbucker pups), it sounds great. Do not use amp modeling processors or distortion/overdrive pedals with this amp! Why would you spend two thousand + and do such a thing? This beast will perform and sound far better than any such pedal. The features on the Mark 5 are all very usable and all sound great with a bit of tweeking.

    The Mark 5 sounds great with whatever Mesa cabinet that you may select. I use two 1x12 widebody closed back/ported front cabs. I love them. They sound awesome and only weigh 33 lbs each, but any mesa cab will do the trick.

    This is not cheap equipment! It is a major investment no doubt, but if you are a serious guitar player, you can't go wrong with the Mark 5.

    Play on and Play well!!!

  • from Watertown, NY December 13, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist Recording Engineer, Songwriter

    Amazing!

    This amp does super clean to extreme metal and everything in between. I was torn between this or a Diezel VH4 but couldn't justify the VH4's price. The flexibility and versatility of this amp is incredible- between the different modes per channel, 10/45/90W modes, effects loop assignability to separate channels or all 3 (This amp takes stomp boxes beautifully I might add...I play a Gibson LP Custom and Fender American Deluxe Strat and they have NEVER sounded better. One warning though- as most folks know, Mesa/Boogie amps do require some tweaking to find their sweet spot and this amp is no different. A previous review said it best- this amp is a BEAST!

  • from Odessa, Texas March 28, 2011Music Background:
    Lead Guitarist

    Nothing Rivals This Beast of an Amp

    I am in a post-hardcore band and a reformed Triple Rec user. My Triple Rec is a great amp and I still use it for back-up, but as soon as I heard the Mark V I knew that I had to have it in my rig. The versatility of this amp is endless. The sound is very compressed as in comparison to the uncontrolled overdrive of the Triple Rec. The effects loop is easy to work with, not to mention the fact that this amp is really easy to work with Midi. The bass in channel three should always be rolled back significantly though, because if you adjust the bass with the EQ it won't give you that muddy sound that the control knob delivers. The EQ is my favorite part of this amp at the moment. I can endlessly tweak my tone to match whatever I need to play. I am currently playing my third channel with the gain at 3 o'clock and there is no feedback whatsoever. I use an ISP Decimater and i hardly ever actually "need" it to be on. Don't be intimidated by all of the knobs and options because it is easy to use, and is WELL worth it. The clean channel is arguably the best clean channel i've heard from a Mesa/Boogie head. I can get nice warm, thick sounds that are rivaled to the nicest Vox you can buy. I am absolutely in LOVE with this amplifier and I recommend it to ANY guitarist. My band is on the heavier side, but this amp can achieve any tone that you could possibly concieve. Sweetwater delivered mine in just a few days and the customer service was bar none. Thank you Sweetwater for delivering me the key to my full potential as a musician.

  • from San Antonio, TX USA February 28, 2011Music Background:
    Musician

    The best thing I have ever purchased.

    I've used this amp for rock, metal, jazz, country, anything. It sounds great in any situation. Any guitar interacts well with it, though each sounds unique.

    Basically, I love the Mark V more than anything else I've ever purchased, and in a fire, I am grabbing it on the way out of the house, once the kids are safe.

  • from Los Angeles, CA January 18, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Booking Agent

    The best gutiar amplifier on the market. No question.

    The Mesa Boogie Mark V is, in my opinion, one of most impressive pieces of musical gear I have ever played through. This beast is the holy grail of the Mark series; it is essentially ever tone Mesa has ever engineered in the past 40 years..all packed into one amp!

    Before I write this review, just be aware that you really need to play this amp in order to experience it; just reading about sound is not enough to justify purchasing such a high end piece of gear!

    I play this through a Mesa 2x12" vertical, closed back cab.

    The amp is broken up into 3 different 'types' of amps, and within each of these 3 there are 3 more options.

    There are too many sounds to really review; others have done it in videos and reviews. I am just here to tell you I have been able to get every sound imaginable out of this amp..from the cleanest, solid-state like cleans, to the most ridiculous nu-metal distortion, this amp can do it all..and do it well.

    I am going to mention that I was equally impressed with the current digital amp, the AxeFx and I have to say I believe this was Mesas stab at the emulation market. Instead of offering fake, cheap, digital remakes of the amps, Mesa did it right; they actually offer the real deal. So, it's kind of the ultimate tone simulator; it IS the real amps!

    I have only one complaint; once you buy this amp, you may find yourself playing guitar 10+ hours a day, and lose all of your friends and family members!

  • from Amarillo, TX January 11, 2011Music Background:
    Recording engineer/producer and professional musician

    Boogie Till You Drop!

    Every time I turn this amp on, I found new creamy tones that just make me want to keep playing for hours. My ES-137 rocks through this bad boy, my Stratocaster has been given new life and my Les Paul is delivering tones that give me goose bumps all over! Everything about the amp's construction is top shelf too. Very responsive controls and a seemingly unlimited number of tonal options. This amp is for any type of music as well. I wish I could describe the tones in a way that would do this amp justice. You really have to hear it for yourself and I'm sure you would be as blown away as I have been. I am playing through a 2X12 horizontal Rectifier cab which deserves a whole other review in itself.

    I am glad I was able to purchase this amp through Sweetwater as they have been nothing short of awesome in their customer service. They really know how to take care of their customers. Sweetwater has a customer for life in me!

  • from Charlotte, NC December 15, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician

    A Godsend For The Studio Musician

    I own a small production studio, and I do a lot of session guitar work on a really wide array of projects in about every style you can think of, from metal and rock to pop, country and blues. I had previously been using Line 6 POD Farm and Digidesign Eleven for my tones, simply because I needed access to so many different sounds as easily as possible. But after awhile, I just had to come to terms with the fact that while digital modeling can work in small doses, doing entire songs using nothing but modelers was leaving my productions sounding lifeless, one dimensional, and flat. And playing through them was just not much fun, and certainly not very inspiring. So I called up my Sweetwater rep and told him that I was ready to make the jump to tubes, but that I did not have the space or the cash to buy 5 or 6 different amps...I needed one amp that could handle it all. Well, I'm here to tell you that the Mark V is unquestionably that amp. I paired this with a Road King 4x12 cab, which has a closed back side with V-30s (great for edgier, more aggressive tones) and an open back side with 2 C-90s (fantastic for the more vintage, earthy sounds). That cab paired with this amp is an absolutely monstrous tone factory. The feature set is simply fantastic…3 modes per channel, great sounding on-board reverb, 3 independently adjustable wattage levels, tons of tweaks that range from subtle to in your face…all of which allows me to really fine tune the tone to exactly what the song needs. It also responds very well to pedals, which just adds a whole new layer of versatility. My original expectation was that this amp would cover my basic rhythm sounds, and that I would supplement it with the modelers. But after spending a few months getting to know it, I find myself almost never needing to use the modelers, except for delays and other occasional effects. There are so many different sounds under the hood that simply by using different guitars and maybe occasionally moving a microphone, I am able to build huge, layered guitar arrangements that sound and feel like I was using a room full of amps instead of just the one. This amp has breathed new life into my productions and into my playing as well, and my clients have all commented positively on the differences that they hear in the final product. So if you are looking for an amp that can take you from one side of the musical spectrum to the other without ever missing a beat, I cannot recommend the Mark V enough.

  • from SoCal June 4, 2010Music Background:
    Guitar, Drums

    A must have Boogie

    This Boogie amp is quite possibly the most versatile amp ever made. Think of any genre or tone and I'm very confident this amp can nail it. More impressive than the limitless number of tones available is the well thought out controls and options. This amp is ready for any situation and the ulitimate in flexibility. Quality is superb in every detail including the footswitch. I could go on for days about how great this amp is, but you really just need to experience it for yourself. Once you do, I'm sure you'll agree this is one of the best amps on the market.

  • from Santa Clarita, CA May 18, 2010Music Background:
    Hobbyist / Collector

    The One Stop Tone Monster !

    I just took delivery of my new Mark V and this amp will "accurately" fulfill any genre of music. There are too many control features to mention as you will need to spend some quality time with your amp to dial in your tonal pallette. Essentially, it is 9 amps in one!!! I possitively recommend this amp to anyone - especially those in search for that special tone. My hat is off to Mesa for their outstanding product and to Sweetwater for their superb customer service. This amp is worth the wait and the money!!!

  • from San Diego California April 26, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Awesome

    This is an amazing amp. nothing else comes close period.....

  • from Grand Rapids MI January 28, 2010Music Background:
    Gear Head..... Recording Hobbyist.... In the lifelong search of tone.

    Simply Beautifull

    Well friends I also did not purchase the Mark V from Sweetwater due to no inventory. I had to have it so I picked it up. I researched this certain amp for a few months now pondering whether or not to purchase this bad boy. I went back and forth between the Road King, the Triple Rec, Roadster and the Mark V. Played them all through the exact setup I have at home. One 4/12 Mesa rec cab and 2-2/12 Mesa rec cabs piggybacked. The results were simple. Get the Mark V. If you do not you will regret it. I have owned many a setup in my day and this one is "hands down" the absolute best ever!
    The tonal possiblities are endless.. Try it. You will see.. You will find the cleanest cleans. To the dirtiest metal.. Do not let anybody sway your decision. See for yourself.
    I wrote this for Sweetwater because I would have rather purchased from them.. Get them in guys.. You will sell them..
    Good luck..

  • from SC December 11, 2009Music Background:
    Praise & Worship

    best purchase EVER!!!!

    This thing is unreal! It does everything and does it beautifully. I'm totally tech stupid but this amp is so easy to use. The tones are easy to dial in, channel switching isn't the big drama that I've experienced with other amps (soft to explosive), the footswitch is the best I've ever used (no big "pop" when channel switching, you can turn EQ sliders and reverb off & on with it). Another cool feature about this amp and every other Mesa/Boogie amp I've owned is the low/easy maintenance. The price of admission seems steep until you look at the big picture and compare it to other amps in this (& higher) price range. This amp has no equal. It's simply the best there is. Also, I can't say enough good things about Sweetwater & my salesman, Luke Herian.

  • from Not in the USA September 29, 2009Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Awesome Amp from Mesa

    I didn't get my MKV head from Sweetwater as they didn't have inventory. But, figured I would throw a review up for the boys here as they are good people here. I started out with a Mesa Dual Recto. Sold it and own Diezel's (VH4 and Herbert), an Ubershcall, several Marshall's and a couple others. Since getting the Mark V, I have come full circle back into Mesa's camp. This is an awesome head packed full of features and tone. For tweakers, this is paradise. I used the template to get me started on the settings, as it is a little intimidating at first. But look at it as 3 fully separate amps with 9 different voicings and start tweaking. Don't looks for a direct comparison to your old Mark IIC+ or Mark IV in those modes. You won't get it as the transformers and circuitry are different. But, it is very close. There is an abundance of gain across channels 2 and 3. Mine usually stays on the Mark IV mode and there is plenty of metal in this amp, voiced to the Mark tradition of course. I haven't even gotten another amp out to play since getting mine a few weeks ago. The only thing that I wish they would have done is put some switching capability between the IIC+ and IV modes, but they are on the same channel.

  • from Detroit September 11, 2009Music Background:
    Pro Am

    Best Amp Hands Down

    I've been a long time devoted follower of Mesa. I've owned a Mesa Rect-O-Verb, RoadKing, Express 5/50 and a Mark IV. My father also owned a Mark III and the Reissue of the Mark I. So versatile with all the options, like the wattage (10,45,90)the 3 voicing for each channel. The classic EQ, I could go on and on and on. I thought nothind could top the Mark IV. I was so wrong. Out of all the amps I've played not just owned this is one of the best ever created!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • from East Coast USA June 25, 2009Music Background:
    Home Studio Musician, Banger outer

    MESA MARK 5

    Just got a custom made (tolex and front grill and other options) Mark 5 head and at first I wasn't sure what was causing the head to sound so strange. The footpedal must be plugged in for a lot of functions to react correctly. The amp has some serious wiring in it and all works flawlessly with the 8 button footswitch. Check your knobs on back of head and plug in footswitch. I saw someone post at another site that this head was not for metal at all. While a dual rectifier or triple may be great, if you want a head that is true to just about any sound you could ever want, including metal, the Mark Five is it. I like the mark 4 setting on channel 3 which is so flexible you can get one heavy mark4 sound or get something the mark 4 can't do that is thicker and heavier. It does have the capability to mimic other amps, it just sounds so much better then the originals when you get it dialed in. It is a true legend being made today. Good luck getting your hands on one in the next few months.

  • from Morgantown WV June 23, 2009Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Dream head

    I don't own this head yet, but I hope to in the future. I just wanted to leave a comment thanking Sweetwater for finally carrying Mesas. I love Mesa and I love Sweetwater, so a great combination. Now if I can just get a grand together this head will be mind. MESA BOOGIE all the way baby!

  • from lodi, ca September 30, 2011Music Background:
    hobbyist, student

    one awesome amp

    was on this website and thought i would write a review on this amp since i have one. i did not buy my mark v though sweetwater, but none the less have played with my mark v for over six months now. overall this amp rocks. starting with channel one you can get some serious and beautiful clean tones that shine and shimmer, i love the fat channel b/c it is such a warm and full sound. you can get some nice breakup if you want also. on channel two , i dont use the edge mode much but is great for a voxy type of tone. not much bass in this mode though. i love the crunch mode b/c it sounds great,, sort of similiar to a medium marshall crunch tone,, but obiviously not a true marshall crunch, the crunch channel works great with the boosted e.q. and overdrive pedals. mark 1 mode on the second channel is greattttt, i love to solo and do single note pickin in the channel,, so warm and fat,, and great amount of distrotion. a tad compressed but with the presence and treble up and the bass below 9 oclock it sounds great. the third channel is great for lead tones, and chunky rhythm work. both modes sound great with the e,q, on. the amp is great, because you can utilize the different wattage modes, and has great sounding reverb. i have not had any issues with the amp yet since i have had it. plus there is a ton of more options and a footswitch,, ect, ect,...you wont be dissapointed.

  • from Baltimore, MD January 5, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Amp, but not Mesa's best high-gain

    The clean channel on the Mark V is my personal favorite on any amp. Channel 2 is a solid+usable crunch channel (unlike the Mark IV). However, channel 3 of the Mark V does not perform as well as the LEAD channel of the Mesa Mark IV for metal.
    If you are looking for an amp with an amazing clean channel, solid&usable crunch channel, and a 3rd channel for leads, then this amp will work very well for you. But if your primary music is modern metal, there are better options. If you want to stay within the Mesa family, the new Royal Atlantic slays on channel 3 when played at band volumes. Other good options are the Diezel VH4 and the Diezel Herbert. The discontinued Mesa Mark IV has an amazing heavy sound also.

  • from West Georgia November 5, 2014Music Background:
    15 year hobbyist in audio engineering and guitar

    A Good Amp, Just Not for Me

    I really struggled with this amp when I had it. I had to really crank the treble to get any type of bite out of the amp, and overall didn't feel like it had enough mid push on most channels. It does the "Metallica" scooped mids sound very well, though. Just my $0.2 I was monitoring the sound through Sennheiser HD280s and using a Marshall cab with an SM57.

Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Mark V 90-watt Tube Head - Black Faceplate?

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