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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Mark III
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Location: Marysville, California, USA
So I was in a quandary. I have been laid off (politically correct verbiage is "reduction in force"). Now going on three months. So too much time on my hands and I have been A/B'ing my amps even more. :shock: And my .50 Caliber (EL84 type) amp still sounds better than my Mark III. :?: :?: :?:

Well, I had called Mike this past Tuesday and he said - "Hey, I am not that busy right now so get down here." I figured "Hey, Mike will retire sometime in the future, I am off & not getting any younger, and though I am tight with cash maybe I can squeak some money aside since this may be my one chance to have main man of the Mark III era do his magic.

So this morning I got up and drive to Petaluma. I met with Mike and without even picking up a tool he knew three things he was going to do. Seems he really does love to fix Mark III amsp into better then new. Wow. Can't wait to pick it up!

More as this plays out.

Dennis

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Mark III no mark w Randy's initials & some IIc+ parts
50 Caliber (6BQ5) 4xEL84
Heartbreaker
Fender 75
Acoustic 165

1970 LPGT
1981 The Strat
1983 GZ-300
1983 (Elite Neck)/2001 FrankenStrat
1990 Firebird
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Mark IV
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Awesome! I need to send mine in for a service soon. It's just getting close to that time. You know I had a dream the other night I took a tour of the Mesa facility. How weird is that?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:45 pm 
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Mark III
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Location: Marysville, California, USA
SonicProvocateur wrote:
... I had a dream the other night I took a tour of the Mesa facility. How weird is that? ...


+1

Dennis
[PS: Pictures will follow when I get it back]


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:19 am 
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Mark II

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Is he doing the III+ mod or just a tuneup?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:55 am 
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Single Recto
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jpdennis wrote:
I met with Mike and without even picking up a tool he knew three things he was going to do. Seems he really does love to fix Mark III amsp into better then new.


What were the III things he was doing to it? Did you get it back yet? Give us the ole mighty update. :D

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Mark III Cream -Red Stripe DRG
Mark III Cream -Purple Stripe DRG
Orange PPC412HP8
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Mark III
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@ltd2recto

I am having him do a front to back check and service. This all started because he couldn't believe (nor can I) that a .50 Caliber 6BQ5 should kick a Mark III's a^^s. No III+ mod since I do like the Mark III features as they stand. But my tech in Sac, Shane Manning, did all the work resurrecting the .50 Cal and he is quite a brainiac. :idea: But more later on that ...

@Neptical

Well what Mike said was there is some reverb "fix" he does when he gets any Mark III back. Also, Shane (as mentioned above to ltd2recto) noticed my III had some previous repairs plus the stuff he had to do. Mike said he always likes to put Mesa Caps in when he has seen non-Mesa caps in these as well. He didn't really explain the 3rd since he probably saw my eyes glaze. Mesa will call me when it is ready and I will drive down there since it isn't that far for me. And of course I really don't want my "babies" traveling in the tail end of a box truck and flying over conveyor belts that run vertically :shock: if I can help it.

Soon as it is back I will give the details and A/B it against the .50 Cal again (plus some pictures if I can figure the best way to do that :oops: ).

Dennis

_________________
Mark III no mark w Randy's initials & some IIc+ parts
50 Caliber (6BQ5) 4xEL84
Heartbreaker
Fender 75
Acoustic 165

1970 LPGT
1981 The Strat
1983 GZ-300
1983 (Elite Neck)/2001 FrankenStrat
1990 Firebird
more guitars, so little characters


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Single Recto
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Sounds good, Dennis! Stoked to hear the results. 8)

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Mark III Cream -Purple Stripe DRG
Orange PPC412HP8
PRS Standard 24 Cream
PRS Standard 24 Red
Marshall JCM800 1960A 412


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Mark III
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O.K. Arrived at Mesa this morning. Rich brings out the chassis and a baggie with a bunch of parts Mike pulled and replaced. I noticed other things like replaced wires that use to have tape on them, new components, cleaner original components, and some sort of ground wire running to various other places I hadn't noticed before. Rich tried to explain what Mike's writing said and I glazed. Short answer - Mike fixed it; a little longer answer - he replaced the 4 power caps, another two smaller caps, bias resistor, some other resistors, did some sort of fix for the "reverb glitch", cleaned all the pots, retentioned tube sockets, tested tubes, and then another person played it for awhile to make sure there were no other problems.

Now - I get it home and put back into combo cabinet. Take the Mark III and my .50 Cal to the two car garage. I turn them on, let them warm up, play some hard chords before really making adjustments to get them both musically warmed up. Play the .50 Cal - yep still sounds great. Start playing the Mark III ... :) :D :lol: 8)

Three hours later I better stop. This thing is quiet at just about all levels until you reach [only did this for about 1/2 minute to see if I could get any noise other than the guitar signal] Vol 9 Master 9 (which I wouldn't recommend for those of us who can still hear in the full human & some animal spectrum with overtones) nor, according to the manual, if you want to have the Mark live to see another day. However, WOW! and MAN! - did I say WOW? The reverb is still great and appearantly the glitch is that when switching back from standby after once or twice the whole amp sounds like a blanket has been put over it. Don't remember that problem but if it was there it isn't now. The switch from R1 to R2 is still slightly noticable but it is now more in the area of beefy tone as opposed to volume increase - NICE! What really stands out now, as well, is the difference between Class A & Simul-Class. Before it just didn't do "it" for me. Now I feel I have four amps between the Mark III & the 50 Cal. - 1) a really nice Class A EL84 with the .50 Cal (think British VOX with Mesa liquid solo) 2) a reall nice EL34 British Class A think beefy VOX with some mini Marshall chunch rythmn 3) This kick a#^s Mark fluid solo with great R1, & 4) Hard Crunch Marshall in R2 mode.

Then there are all the varying tone adjustments [O.K. so maybe about 50 different amps in one!]. :mrgreen: With the new and imporved Mark III I was able to come real close to the .50 Cal tone and balance I like using the EQ but I now believe the power tubes do make a difference that just can't be matched exactly in either direction <50 going to Mark and Mark going to 50>.

And did I say this is really really really quiet at every volume I could handle without making my ears bleed? Oh yea, I used a Mesa SPAX7 in V1, a Tung-Sol 12AX7 reissue in V2, and then Mesa 12AX7 in V3-V5 with green rated Winged C EL34 and 6L6 power tubes.

Writing this on the fly since I "HAVE" to get back to the Mark for some more "testing". Back later :roll:

Dennis

_________________
Mark III no mark w Randy's initials & some IIc+ parts
50 Caliber (6BQ5) 4xEL84
Heartbreaker
Fender 75
Acoustic 165

1970 LPGT
1981 The Strat
1983 GZ-300
1983 (Elite Neck)/2001 FrankenStrat
1990 Firebird
more guitars, so little characters


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Mark III
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Location: Marysville, California, USA
Well, I just joined Photobucket so here goes ...

Front of Mark III

Image

Rear shot to show how I mounted the cooling fan after rotating the reverb tank 180 degree (this took all [ and I mean ALL] the hum out of the reverb prior to handing the chassis over to Mike for the repairs).

Image

O.K. so here is the first attempt by me to post pictures. Randy's initials happen top be hidden under the power cord (bummer) but someone marked the R you see next to the control number above the power transformer.

So here is the photo of the no mark with Randy's initials near the power cord (along with the upright R I mentioned inthe past picture (above)

Image

Hmmm, lokks like this photobucket thing works for me :lol:

Dennis

_________________
Mark III no mark w Randy's initials & some IIc+ parts
50 Caliber (6BQ5) 4xEL84
Heartbreaker
Fender 75
Acoustic 165

1970 LPGT
1981 The Strat
1983 GZ-300
1983 (Elite Neck)/2001 FrankenStrat
1990 Firebird
more guitars, so little characters


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:53 pm
Posts: 59
jp thank you once again for mentioning the reverb tank fix as I know it really makes these amps so much better overall especially for lower volume studio type work. I'm sure with all you have done getting the bugs out it will be a great amp for a lot of years to come. Have fun and enjoy it!!! Hey guys try out jp's fix by moving the fan also!!!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:09 pm 
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Mark III
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Location: Marysville, California, USA
dgr888 wrote:
... jp thank you once again for mentioning the reverb tank fix ...


Interestingly Rich at Mesa seemed to know about this "fix" when I told him what I have done, while he was writing up the initial repair request.

dgr888 wrote:
... Hey guys try out jp's fix by moving the fan ...


I just mounted it like I had to in my .50 Cal. I don't know if this is fact or fiction but my thinking was that if I can get the air to flow kinda angular and across the tubes maybe the PCB might even stay a little cooler as well - more for my .50 Cal since it is the EL84 type. Could be my imagination but it seems to "work"! :lol:

just plain Dennis (jpdennis) - no body special :wink:

_________________
Mark III no mark w Randy's initials & some IIc+ parts
50 Caliber (6BQ5) 4xEL84
Heartbreaker
Fender 75
Acoustic 165

1970 LPGT
1981 The Strat
1983 GZ-300
1983 (Elite Neck)/2001 FrankenStrat
1990 Firebird
more guitars, so little characters


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 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:53 pm
Posts: 59
Interesting...someone at Mesa must finally be reading these boards. Maybe they will pay closer attention to this problem which has also surfaced in some of the newer Mark 1 reissues.. Thanks again for helping to raise awareness to this issue, I just wish I could get a dollar for everyone I helped fix!!!!!! :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:34 pm 
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Mark III
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Now that I think of it, I am inclinded to wonder if the "R" means Mike applied his reverb "fix" ...

Dennis

_________________
Mark III no mark w Randy's initials & some IIc+ parts
50 Caliber (6BQ5) 4xEL84
Heartbreaker
Fender 75
Acoustic 165

1970 LPGT
1981 The Strat
1983 GZ-300
1983 (Elite Neck)/2001 FrankenStrat
1990 Firebird
more guitars, so little characters


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 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:53 pm
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The only way to know for sure is to call and ask what it means..........


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Mark IV

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:09 pm
Posts: 789
Location: Looking over the shoulder of the guy who lost his apples - not that he really ever had any to lose.
jpdennis wrote:
Now that I think of it, I am inclinded to wonder if the "R" means Mike applied his reverb "fix" ...

Dennis

It's a fix of sort. The reverb on MkIII's suck. He does a mod to improve the reverb.
Then the red "R" gets marked on the chassis out back by the power chord.
Probably to let you or him know (if it goes back to Mesa someday) the reverb mod has been done.
Its a relatively simple mod and it's been documented a few times on the board.
Do a search you'll find thread (or two) with pics, arrows, and description ;-)
It's a very common well known 'fix/ mod' along with the red "R" mark.


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