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Mesa Boogie mk1 reissue
Old 10th September 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
montanasan's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Mesa Boogie mk1 reissue

Anyone know what I should expect to pay for a decent Boogie mk1 combo? Not much listed on eBay...
Old 10th September 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
kludge's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Probably $600-1000, but they're hard to find.

My amp is a 1977 original Mark I. It's astounding - by far the best amp I've ever owned, and one of the best I've ever heard. If the reissues are even close, they'll knock your socks off! Don't even bother with some mushy, sluggish Celestion or Jensen speaker like you'd use on a sloppy Marshall! Old Mesas want STRICT speakers. The EVM, Altec, and JBL monsters they chose all suit the amp much better.

Also, use high-quality preamp tubes. Mesas are actually very easy on the power tubes (cool-running non-adjustable fixed bias), but mine burns through preamp tubes every six months or so. Tung-Sols are good-sounding and sturdy.

And when you find one, be sure to spend some real quality time learning the preamp. It doesn't react like any modern amp, not even later Mark-series Mesas. Vol1, Vol2, Master, and Treble (which is basically another gain knob) are INTENSELY interactive. And it's not the simple more-or-less dirt of a modern amp. Instead, the interactions are largely about dynamic response. If amp feel was water, a Mark I could do anything from ice to scalding steam, while a Marshall was busy offering variations on lukewarm. Keep the treble above 5, and bass no higher than 3. Some useful starting point settings are the infamous 7-7-7 (EARPLUGS FIRST!), and V1 and Master at 10 while using V2 as a master volume. Try that last one with a treble booster - wow! It's like the punchiest JCM800 ever.

Yeah, I kinda like this amp.

That said, you might simplify your quest by looking for a new Mesa Mini-Rectifier. I tried one the other day and was frankly shocked at how well it could capture some of my favorite Mark I tones. I've never played another Mesa that can really do that, not even other Mark series amps (the Mark V comes close). I plan to get myself a Mini-Recto at some point when I have $1000 burning a hole in my pocket.
Old 10th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
montanasan's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I've actually been given one but the guy doesn't know how much he wants... I'm thinking I'll buy it, hold on to it and if I don't like it then I can just sell it on. I'll post a pic tomorrow
Old 10th September 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
kludge's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Don't go just on initial impression with those amps. Give them a few days, different guitars, try lots of different settings (especially the gain and treble knobs). They're a lot trickier to operate than the usual "turn it up to 10" approach. EVERY SINGLE KNOB has a "too much!" setting. That's not true of most guitar amps. Turn this up all the way, and when your hearing returns in a week or two, you'll wonder how it could be so shrill and so muddy at the same time.
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