What I've learned about the Mark III

Mark I's, II's, III's and the almight IV

Moderators: Guitarzan, Grandor, ned, Platypus

Post Reply
User avatar
dlpasco
Donating Member
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:12 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by dlpasco » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:33 pm

I'm pretty wiped out right now, but this has really been on my mind lately.

I have now owned:

A blue stripe Mark III
Two different Mark Vs
Two different Mark V:25s
Two different JP-2Cs
A Mark IIC+

Selling and rebuying amps was an expensive and probably stupid process. My credit cards are finally paid off, though, so I guess it worked out okay in the end.

The point I want to make is that these are *all* great amps. I think that I had to get the IIC+ to really convince myself of that. The IIC+ is a Mark amp. So are the others. People can argue about all of this stuff until the cows come home, but what really matters to me is that I've found that they can all produce great tones, and that a big part of having a great tone is keeping your settings more moderate than you might have guessed.

At this point, I am seriously thinking about selling my IIC+ and my V and keeping my III. Having a IIC+ has taught me how to dial in tones on my III that I love, and my III is the first tube amp I ever owned (I got mine in 1991).

The biggest things that I have done with my III are keep the presence, volume, and treble lower than I would have ever imagined. My tendency has always been to max out all the controls and I think that, I don't know, maybe the Mark III just has a larger range on it's controls or something, but it is super easy to dial in a horrible sound with extreme settings.

Right now my settings are:
- Volume: 6
- Treble 7.5 (pulled)
- Bass 0
- Mids 10
- Master 1.5 pulled
- Lead drive 10
- Lead master about 2
- Presence zero

EQ: moderately scooped V, although bass and treble sliders are just kissing the bottom of the top line.

I'm running all 6L6s. It sounds epic. it goes toe-to-toe with my IIC+, in either normal modes or IIC++ mode. I have to roll down the volume a bit when I switch to the clean channel but I don't mind.

I guess the takeaways here are:
1. If you're thinking about getting a III and worried that is it sub-par, it really isn't.
2. If you have a III and aren't happy with the tone you are getting, maybe try easing back on the treble and the presence.
3. High gain sounds aren't really that high gain, especially if you are multitracking If you ever watch an Ola Englund video, most of the time he has the controls floating around noon, maybe 2 o'clock, tops. Think about that when you look at the controls on your Mark.
4. I freaking *love* R2. I have yet to find another Mesa with a crunch channel that I like as much. You can do some wonderful lower gain stuff with delay and it sounds amazing (great for big expansive, early soundgarden stuff)

Anyway, that's what I've got today. I'm interested in knowing if anyone else has any similar experiences.

-Dan
Mark IIC+, III, V, Recto Reborn, TC-50
Sold: JP-2C, V25, Road King II, Tremoverb, Electra Dyne, ROV25
Twitter:mammothguitar

xdg999
Donating Member
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:07 am

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by xdg999 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:45 pm

Does your Mark lll have the R2 and lll+ mods? I recently got my lll+ SRG back from Mesa and is sounds fantastic. I put in NOS Chinese military 12ax7’s and STR-415’s on Saturday and it just rips. I agree with you on R2. It’s the reason I bought my Mark lll’s.
Mark IIc+(Factory-HRx4,DRx2,DRG,HRG,KARG)(Upgrade-DRG,HRGx2,HR)Mark III+(DRG105x2,HRG105,DRGX101,SRG)
Mark V 25,Studio Preamp,50/50,1994 Dual Rec RevGx2,Mini Rec

How many guitars and amps do you really need?

User avatar
dlpasco
Donating Member
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:12 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by dlpasco » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:22 pm

I actually haven't done any mods to it yet, although R2 definitely sounds appealing.
Mark IIC+, III, V, Recto Reborn, TC-50
Sold: JP-2C, V25, Road King II, Tremoverb, Electra Dyne, ROV25
Twitter:mammothguitar

jrb32
Mark III
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:32 am

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by jrb32 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:04 am

Hi Dan,

I saw you bought a Mark IIC so guessing you sent that for the C+ mod to Mike B - how did you find it afterwards and the differences between the C and C+?

You're considering selling the IIC+ and keeping your Blue Stripe?! Fair play! The Blue is one of the most aggressive amps boogie ever made, but I just could never get a decent feel factor out of the later IIIs including a Red Stripe that had the III++ mod done by Mike B.

Hands down agree that you can get a great tone out of all of them, there's just something special about the feel of some of them. Maybe your Blue has that certain special something and that's the most important thing at the end of the day!

lions
Mark II
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:37 pm

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by lions » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:11 am

jrb32 wrote:Hi Dan,

I saw you bought a Mark IIC so guessing you sent that for the C+ mod to Mike B - how did you find it afterwards and the differences between the C and C+?

You're considering selling the IIC+ and keeping your Blue Stripe?! Fair play! The Blue is one of the most aggressive amps boogie ever made, but I just could never get a decent feel factor out of the later IIIs including a Red Stripe that had the III++ mod done by Mike B.

Hands down agree that you can get a great tone out of all of them, there's just something special about the feel of some of them. Maybe your Blue has that certain special something and that's the most important thing at the end of the day!
When did you get hold of a red III++? I wonder what Mike B's + mod is compared to the one you did on your black stripe. I mean for all intents and purposes your black stripe is a IIc+ not a III+

jrb32
Mark III
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:32 am

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by jrb32 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:40 am

When did you get hold of a red III++?
My friend has a Red III++ head which I borrowed for a while.
I wonder what Mike B's + mod is compared to the one you did on your black stripe. I mean for all intents and purposes your black stripe is a IIc+ not a III+
It's about 90-95% the same Mike B's + mod. There's a few bits he doesn't do because they're just hassle and probably don't add much. Mine is 100% the same circuit wise as a IIC+ because I went a bit overboard but obviously has the III PCB with everything built in rather than having separate boards for everything like in the IIC+ and earlier models.

I'm doing a big thread on the IIIs and IIC/IIC+ in the next couple of months once I get all the info together so will save conversation for then regarding this.

There's not much difference though and Dan's point is that a III is a great amp and you're not going to get too much extra with a IIC+ but there is something special about them IMO.

User avatar
dlpasco
Donating Member
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:12 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by dlpasco » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:54 pm

I sent my IIC+ in and Mike did a switchable C++ mod: pull deep toggles it on and off, and he moved the normal pull deep switch to the midrange knob. It works very well.

With the settings I mentioned above, I'm able to get a good feel out of my blue stripe III if I dial in enough volume for the amp to project out of the speakers. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but it's enough volume that the sound is more present in the room instead of just coming out of the cabinet itself.

Edit: I just checked, and that apparently means "90Db is hawte". Tried it with both my 4x12 and vertical 2x12 cabinet. Then tried it in 15 watt mode to boot, adjusting the volume to about 90Db each time. It was rad.

The biggest change to get the classic Metaliica-esque sound for me was using a guitar with EMGs. I mostly use passives and I finally got a Jackson Soloist and it makes a difference.

I'm sitting with the IIC+ for awhile, but I put it in storage to live with the III for a few weeks to make sure that I am not just in some kind of temporary phase. But it doesn't feel like it.
Mark IIC+, III, V, Recto Reborn, TC-50
Sold: JP-2C, V25, Road King II, Tremoverb, Electra Dyne, ROV25
Twitter:mammothguitar

User avatar
CoG
Donating Member
Posts: 1288
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Canada

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by CoG » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:22 pm

dlpasco wrote:I finally got a Jackson Soloist and it makes a difference.
A Jackson Soloist can change your life, it did mine :lol:
Royal Atlantic RA-100 Head
MkIII Green Stripe DRG
Rectoverb 50 Series II
Lots of Mesa cabs
Marshall JCM800
Also owned: Rec Pre, 20/20, Bottle Rocket, MkIII Purple Stripe DRG, Rev F DR...

jrb32
Mark III
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:32 am

Re: What I've learned about the Mark III

Post by jrb32 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:00 am

dlpasco wrote:I'm sitting with the IIC+ for awhile, but I put it in storage to live with the III for a few weeks to make sure that I am not just in some kind of temporary phase. But it doesn't feel like it.
Seconding this - yesterday I plugged into my IIC which is good and a decent amp but then into my III+ which is like 'OH MY HOLY GOD!'

I'm getting the C+ upgrade on the IIC just to prove to say I have one and can compare the two before laying down any kind of bold claim but from people you'll hear from with both, the general consensus is the IIC+ and a III are very much alike, and almost indistinguishable with the III+ mod. In fact the III is an evolution of the IIC+ and has almost identical circuitry with the R2 channel being an evolution of the switchable ++ mode on the 12 original IIC+s that had these done on the factory production line. The main differences in the III are the loss of a voltage rail, not swapping V2A/B around, the Lead/Reverb not sharing V3/V4, the decreased production cost by producing one PCB with everything on and the individual shaping of each 'Stripe' revision by some component value changes.

Hands down if it's metal you're after the Blue Stripe is the most brutal amp Mesa ever made. Don't discredit the III at all they're great amps :)

Post Reply