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thinking about selling my Mesa Mark IV

Discussion in 'Backline' started by bryan_kilco, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I've had a love/hate thing with this amp since I bought it.

    I normally have it dialed in at practice and when shows come around, I basically leave all settings alone aside from master volume. Lately I've been really disliking my tone......its weird and flubby in the low end, yet thin and harsh in the highs, and no matter what I do with the onboard EQ I simply cannot get rid of these annoying qualities.

    It sounds fucking amazing when I stand in front of the cab, but if I walk 10 feet or so out in front, I realize that the audience at shows is hearing a god awful tone.

    So, this makes me very sad as I've owned this thing for almost 10 years now and it's done me very well, but I think it is time to move on.

    I own a "signature" 5150 which sounds good but, as well all know, the "cleans" are basically unusable.

    Thinking about going something like Engl, but there aren't any stores near me that carry anything like that for me to even try out.

    My next option would be 6505+ or Dual Rectifier.

    I guess I'm just looking for some sort of direction. Should I just hold onto the Mark IV and just buy something else? I'm reluctant to let her go because they're discontinued and mine has been kept mint somehow over the last 10 years of gigging and it's not even in a road case. :tickled:
     
  2. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

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    assuming you have already tried changing the tubes? have you tried it with a different cab? cabs/speakers make a huuuuggee difference in sound, maybe even more so than the head.

    if you are decided on moving on, i would go mark v if you like the mesa sound. phenomenal and versatile amp.
     
  3. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I've changed tubes twice in it's life so far. Current set is Ruby power (El34/6L6 combo) and some preamp tubes from Dougs Tubes, forget exactly which set (I know there's a JJ or 2, Tung Sol, Sovtek, etc.)

    Going straight into a Mesa OS 4x12.

    I've been itching to get my hands on a Mark V, but I've heard the IV is all around more organic sounding. I can get decent mic'd tones out of the IV, but standing out in front of it in the room just sounds weird and not what I'm after.

    Thanks for the input and anxious to hear what others have to say.
     
  4. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

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    try a traditional size cab. the OS cab has it uses, but it can get very boomy in the low end. the regular size cab will probably sound much tighter in a live setting.
     
  5. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    If you're problems are harsh highs and loose bottoms then you may want to try a cab with different speakers. For these exact reasons I stopped using V30s, which sound super harsh in high mids and have an incredibly annoying low end for low tunings. I can highly recommend Celestion K-100s. Significantly tighter lows and no high end harshness at all. Granted, after V30s, they do sound a bit strange as all your amp settings need to be completely changed, but after a few days I realized I will never go back. You don't have to sell your cab either, just buy yourself 4 speakers, try em out, if you don't like them, sell them.
     
  6. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Pretty sure it isn't the cab either as I've had the same problem with my old 5150 cab. Maybe I have the amp dialed in a weird way or maybe it's broken.
     
  7. psycle_1

    psycle_1 Member

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    What are your settings?
     
  8. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Lead gain: 7.5, pulled
    Treble: 7-8
    Mids: 4-5
    Bass: 1
    Lead Drive: 8
    Presence: about 7
    Graphic EQ is sort of the classic 'V' with the lows and highs just barely above the zero point, mainly cutting some of the mids.

    Channel volumes on 3-4 and Master a hair under 2 (that fucker is TOO sensitive!).

    Maybe I need to try running my Tubescreamer in front again. Used to run it, but thought it was overkill for an already tight amp.
     
  9. Terminus

    Terminus Member

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    Not sure what guitar and pickups you have running, but it could also be those. The guitar and pickups is surely part of the defining factor in the end result.
     
  10. zakky

    zakky ( . Y . )

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    dont sell it man its a great amp.....i would say take the amp(head) to your nearest guitar store or maybe go to NYC or jersey if nothing is around your area like you said and test it with different cabs and speakers, you will see a difference and what terminus said also^........if nothing works out have a pro tech look at it
     
  11. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Alright, so my entire rig is this:

    LTD M-300FM (EMG 81 in both positions) -> Line 6 G90 Wireless -> Boss NS-2 -> Mark IV -> Mesa OS 4x12

    The EMG81 was definitely a huge step up from my old guitars stock pickups. I realized that I've been running just the 2 EL34's on Class A Mode rather than with the 6L6's combined. Maybe this is giving me a bit of a harsher tone too.

    The amp has already been to 2 different techs, cleaned up and serviced, etc.

    I think I need a day to tweak it. It's hard though when your 4x12 is at the practice space and your band only gets together once or twice a week for only about 2 hours...not really much margin to tweak shit.
     
  12. 53Crëw

    53Crëw Member

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    Your settings are pretty close to what I used with my MKIV. I had all the knobs that could be pulled out pulled. I also ran with an oversized cab. For graphic EQ, I think I ran the lowest and highest band (80 and 6600) just below the upper line. (Maybe slid half way up from zero.) The 240 and 2200 sliders where about half way between the zero point and the 80 and 6600 position. (So maybe a quarter way up from zero.) The 750 kHz band I cut so it was just above the lower line. (Maybe three quarters of the way down from zero.) Hope that makes sense. From there, I might have lowered the 80 and 220 slider just a bit to keep things from getting too boomy.

    Treble, Mids, and Bass I think I ran at around 7,6,2.

    In my opinion, you don't need a Tubescreamer with MkIV's. The MkIV's tone knobs are at the front end of the gain stages making them very usefull for setting tone at the input leaving the graphic EQ to shape overall tone on the back end.

    The MkIV's signal flow is as follows:

    Input->Tone Controls->Gain Control->Gain Stages->Output Level->Graphic EQ->Power Amp Stage

    +1 on the touchy loud volume on the Master. I ran mine about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4, right at the edge of where that big volume jump occurs. Anything more was too loud.

    Also, is your cab well broken in? The Mesa V30's can have a harsh upper mid spike until the cones are broken in a good bit.

    You can try rolling back the presence a bit and see if that takes out some of the harshness.
     

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