Mesa/Boogie Mark III

100W Head (2 x 2")

Made by Mesa/Boogie

Description Introduced in '85 and retired during the early '90's, the Mark III continues to be highly sought after for it's prized signature tone and articulate sound, commanding top dollar for these 3 channel, well-maintained units.
Posted By Theresa Dobbs (3289)
Directory Equipment: Amplifiers
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Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews


On 1/4/2006, Theresa Dobbs (3289) posted:
Overall Rating:
I have found the "red stripe" variant to be rich and harmonically "soulful" as a Mark can be. Although not quite as chimey as a Mk II C+ the Rhythm 2 channel is closer imitated. With an aggresive 3rd channel, the MkIII is definitely more versatile than its predecessor.
Model Year: 1987
Price: $1100.00
Where Obtained: Private Sale
Features:
The Mark III differentiates itself from it's predecessor by adding a third channel known as the Lead channel. The Rhythm 1 channel (Clean) and Rhythm 2 channel (Overdrive) operate on one footswitch and the Lead is activated by a second and separate footswitch.
Sound Quality:
The Mark III variants produced from 1984 thru 1990 came in various versions. First of which were the "no stripes" or Black Dot (stripe), followed by the Purple, Red, Blue and finally the Green Dot or stripe. Each variant was an attempt to capture the "ellusive" Mark IIC+ tone in either the clean or OD channels. This review is for the Red variant.
Ease of Use:
Slight bit confusing when switching channels with the footswitch but can be overcome easily. The tone settings are very sensitive and react to small incremental adjustments. Modifying one tone can affect other tone settings in a cascading style. Radical changes are not recommended when setting up the amp. I suggest incremental adjustments and comparison.
Durability:
Mesa Boogie has had a reputation for building extremely reliable equipment. This particular piece has no evidence of failure in it's 21 year life span. Apart from routine maintenance (replacement of tubes) the amp has exhibited the standard Boogie reliablity. The fact that the amp was cared for by it's previous owner also lends itself to the trouble-free operation of this amp. Of course these amps are built to last.
On 5/24/2004, Stephen Lindsay (442) posted:
Overall Rating:
Had I not had the opportunity to buy this amp I may have settled for a Marshall or Peavey. It's now possible to buy Mesa Boogie at much lower price as their range has expanded. For gigging I expect none are better though I'm sure some come close. For practising at home it's far too loud and at low volumes it doesn't sing - this amp needs to be driven hard.
Model Year: 1986
Price: $1000.00
Where Obtained: Purchased privately
Features:
Bought in 1994, this amp (Mark 3 Simulclass)was the top of the range at that time. This is an all valve job with a switchable "Class A/Simul-Class" setting that changes the amp from 15/100 watt settings. Do not be fooled however, even at 15 watts this amp is VERY LOUD and at the 100 watt setting will put a Marshall Stack to shame. Having a 1 x 12 inch EV speaker in an ash cabinet with a wicker grill, it can hardly be called a stack. In fact some have likened it's appearance to an old transistor radio! Tone controls for treble, mid and bass allow infinite adjustments and there is a gain control for rhythm and lead settings. Other features include a five-way graphic on the lead stage. Effects loop. Reverb, presence, DI output (not great).
Sound Quality:
If looks can deceive then this is the amp to do it. It simply rocks and I have no problem getting infinite sustainon stage during solos. Quite simply I've not heard an amp sound so good - I use a Marshall stack in rehearsal and it comes nowhere close. Clean, crunch or saturated lead sounds are awesome - I'm always being praised for my sound and this amp is the reason. If you are looking for a variety of quick change sounds then this is not the amp to buy. If you are looking for a light-weight amp to cart around then this is not the amp to buy. However if you simply want a great sound then go for it - you won't be disappointed.
Ease of Use:
This amp has three switchable modes - rhythm 1 (clean), rhythm 2 (crunch) and lead. The manual gives you a range of sample settings to start you off with particular sounds (for example Rock, Metal, Blues, Jazz, Fusion, Country). If you are someone who likes to experiment with lots of different sound patch using a digital effects processor then this amp is probably not for you. However if you want to get a great guitar sound then this amp most certainly is.
Durability:
I have had few problems in terms of reliability. The worst was a loose speaker wire just before a gig and i had to play through something else. Valves need to be checked for seating at every gig, it only takes a second. I have changed the power valves once in ten years and have been gigging most weekends. I had problems with the valve in gain stage one due to squealing, resulting in this being replaced every few months. However I stopped using Mesa Boogie valves after consulting a specialist valve dealer and moved over to Phillips valves instead. There were exactly the same price. I bought two, and am still using the first one two years later! This amp is heavy in construction and heavy to carry but it's worth it.