Mark V Crunch tones on Roadster? Fat mode the same on both?

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Bottle Rocket
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Mark V Crunch tones on Roadster? Fat mode the same on both?

Post by mwrenne » Wed May 09, 2018 3:16 pm

I hope I am not double posting, I posted and then couldn't find what I wrote on the boards.

I'll make this one shorter. My amp is damaged and needs repairs. I just joined a new band and I have some gigs coming up, thinking of finally pulling the trigger and replacing my F100, which I have a love/hate relationship with.

I wish I could own both a Mark V 25 and recto 25, but I can't afford it. Although I can afford a Roadster combo, and it is made more recently than my current amp.

Is channel 1+2 tweed and fat the same as the Mark series in terms of tone stack, controls and sound? The rectoverb clean sounds good, but nothing as good as the F-100 or Mark V.

The Mark V 25 and DC-5 can get an abrasive, gritty, raw crunch tone that I love That the rectoverb and F-100 doesn't have.
Mark V 25 settings: Crunch mode, Gain 100%, Mid/Boost 100%, EQ Classic V, Volume=Loud!!
DC-5 Settings: Push/Pull Boost On, Gain 100%, Mid/Boost 100%, EQ Classic V, Volume=Loud!!

Triple Recto
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Re: Mark V Crunch tones on Roadster? Fat mode the same on bo

Post by bandit2013 » Sat May 12, 2018 8:42 am

The tone stack on the Roadster clean channels is essentially the same or similar to that of the Mark V, I have read that some compare it to the Lone Star. Standard V1a -> tone stack -> V1b circuit. CH1 does have a few brightness bypass caps on the gain circuit where as the CH2 is slightly different. Both clean channels are really good but the CH1 is a bit brighter than CH2.

CH1 tweed is way better on the Roadster than the Mark V. I have both amps. Love the tweed on the Roadster but do not like the tweed voice on the Mark V (due to brittleness in tone). Fat voice on CH1 is sweet and similar to the Mark V, CH2 fat has a bit more boldness. CH1 and CH2 are not identical but close enough. CH2 brit voice is ok but I never took to that voice on CH2. I much prefer using the tube rectifiers on the clean channels and the silicon diodes for the CH3 and CH4. Every now and then I will use the tube rectifiers on CH3 and CH4 as I tend to like the spongy feel at times. If you need more harmonics and some controllable feedback that duty tends to fall on CH3 since CH4 tends to run much darker.

As for Crunch, CH3 will be your best bet (Vintage or Raw) or use CH1 tweed with the gain maxed out (tweed with a high gain setting will be a bit more than the raw on CH3 as they will overlap in that area even though there are more gain stages associated with CH3 than with CH1 or CH2. The CH2 Brit voice is a bit on the thin side but you can use the fat or clean settings for a clean channel, Tweed with high gain on CH1 for some Crunch or CH3 Vintage and for the heavy hit CH4 Modern. You can always add a GEQ to the loop if you want to tweak your tone even further but not much will be needed to the Roadster. An inverted V pattern actually makes for a good gain boost for CH4 for a lead style if needed. Harmonics are a bit more difficult on CH4 though.

With the Roadster, there are some options you can do to make this amp a true beast. The stock Mesa preamp tubes lend to the darkness of the tone. CH4 modern seems to dwell or drown to the bottom end of the sound spectrum. What did the trick for me was the Chinese tubes used in V1 and V3 and the stock Mesa tubes everywhere else. I think I have a Sovtek LPS in the PI position. Stock Mesa 6L6 tubes. The Chinese tubes I am currently using are NOS Beijing 12AX7 (same tubes Mesa used back in the late 1980s to early 1990s). Take care on use of other tubes for V3 and V5 as those two positions have a cathode follower circuit in use. Either the Mesa branded JJ tube or the Chinese tubes will work, the typical Russian tubes will not.

Please note that the change in preamp tubes enhances the character on CH3 and CH4, it does not appear to alter the character of the CH1 and CH2 tone. Sure it may alter it just a bit but the effect is neutral vs too bright or too dark.

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