Life After a Mark IVb

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

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Irongiant14
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Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:07 pm

After 18 years of playing and home recording through a Mark IVb Combo, I've got to get a replacement. I'd go for another Mark IV but worry that they're old and don't want any more headaches.

What's the experience of going from a Mark IV to V? I'm thinking of maybe getting either the Mark V 25W or 35W combo. Smaller and lighter would be a plus but an external cab looks like it would take even more space.

Does anyone have useful thoughts on this transition or other amp recommendations that cost less than $2k? I paid $1k for the Mark IV in 2000 and am caught short by its unexpected demise. My amp tech told me that he considers the Mark IV to be over-kill but, after all these years with three channels and EQ, I fear I'd miss all the Mark IV's tone shaping tools and the voicings I've developed for my songs. Or does it not make that much difference, as long as I find another quality tube amp?

I feel almost as bad as when my cat died. :cry:

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swbo101
Mark III
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by swbo101 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:41 am

What went so wrong that it cannot be fixed?

Kind of shocked.

The V sounds very close to the IV. You'll get more use out of channel 2. The lead channel on the V does not have a drive knob so it's like the drive knob on the IV permanently stuck on 7-8 pulled.

If I didn't have my IV, I'd get an old Fender Dual Showman head through a 4X12 cab, but that's just me.

Even one of those new Fender Princeton's, also check out the Orange Rocker series.
1991 Mark IV A

jack s.
Mark II
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by jack s. » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:32 am

swbo101 wrote:What went so wrong that it cannot be fixed?

Kind of shocked.

The V sounds very close to the IV. You'll get more use out of channel 2. The lead channel on the V does not have a drive knob so it's like the drive knob on the IV permanently stuck on 7-8 pulled.

If I didn't have my IV, I'd get an old Fender Dual Showman head through a 4X12 cab, but that's just me.

Even one of those new Fender Princeton's, also check out the Orange Rocker series.
Not into Mesas anymore, or just looking for something different?

woodbutcher65
Mark III
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by woodbutcher65 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:11 pm

Any good amp tech will be able to give your Mark IV a 100,000 mile servicing and make it as reliable as the day it was made for at least another 10 years.

With that in mind, there's no reason to walk away from an amp you like. It's not like Mark IVs are high strung sensitive amps that blow transformers if you look at them sideways. (That's certain highly sought after vintage Marshalls that do that.)


Full recap job, replace any resistors that have drifted, new glass, resolder everything, replace suspect tube sockets, call it good.

Irongiant14
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:36 pm

swbo101 wrote:What went so wrong that it cannot be fixed?
I was getting noise. A blown fuse. I replaced the tubes. Another blown fuse. Then channel 1 cut out.

I took it to a repair shop next to Berklee School of Music that was double recommended by my childhood guitar teacher and also a veteran pro musician. The amp tech said there had been some burning in the BIAS circuit when I put the new tubes in, that a pin didn't align properly. I thought that process was supposed to be relatively foolproof and don't understand how I could have messed it up. That's been a bitter pill, thinking that I caused this somehow.

The tech said he repaired that circuit but the amp was still noisy, so he asked if I wanted him to open it up to look at the board. I said OK. After taking out the board to see what was really going on, the amp tech told me I'd be better off putting money into a new amp, rather than repair this one. He said he couldn't guarantee the repair based on the condition of the amp, which he said shows some corrosion. I'm not sure how it would have gotten corroded. Maybe in the 10 years before I bought it? It's been in my city apartments, as long as I have owned it. It also needs a cap job, supply filters, and the tube sockets and reverb pan need to be replaced, as well.

Thanks for the info about the Mark V and suggestions about other amps to look at.

Irongiant14
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:48 pm

jack s. wrote:
Not into Mesas anymore, or just looking for something different?
I was SO into my Mark IV and had been digging deeper into it than I had ever before. But if I've got to look around for another amp, after so long, I figure it makes sense to hear what's out there. The Triple Crown is interesting because I've been building sound presets for my songs using MIDI, Eventide H9s and a Keith MacMillan SoftStep2. If I could dial in amp tones with one stomp, that could make things fun in a neat and tidy way.

But there's also the expense of a Mark V or other Mesa amp. I won't pretend that fits into my budget any time soon, unfortunately. I might need to make do with a lesser amp until my circumstances change.

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Authorized Boogie
Mark IV
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Authorized Boogie » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:52 pm

Irongiant14 wrote:
swbo101 wrote:What went so wrong that it cannot be fixed?
I was getting noise. A blown fuse. I replaced the tubes. Another blown fuse. Then channel 1 cut out.

I took it to a repair shop next to Berklee School of Music that was double recommended by my childhood guitar teacher and also a veteran pro musician. The amp tech said there had been some burning in the BIAS circuit when I put the new tubes in, that a pin didn't align properly. I thought that process was supposed to be relatively foolproof and don't understand how I could have messed it up. That's been a bitter pill, thinking that I caused this somehow.

The tech said he repaired that circuit but the amp was still noisy, so he asked if I wanted him to open it up to look at the board. I said OK. After taking out the board to see what was really going on, the amp tech told me I'd be better off putting money into a new amp, rather than repair this one. He said he couldn't guarantee the repair based on the condition of the amp, which he said shows some corrosion. I'm not sure how it would have gotten corroded. Maybe in the 10 years before I bought it? It's been in my city apartments, as long as I have owned it. It also needs a cap job, supply filters, and the tube sockets and reverb pan need to be replaced, as well.

Thanks for the info about the Mark V and suggestions about other amps to look at.
A factory repair is your best option, and it WON'T cost a fortune! Don't listen to tech's who don't really understand the amp...
MESA/Boogie - Product Specialist/Customer Service - http://www.mesaboogie.com/support/index.html

Irongiant14
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:16 pm

woodbutcher65 wrote:Any good amp tech will be able to give your Mark IV a 100,000 mile servicing and make it as reliable as the day it was made for at least another 10 years.

With that in mind, there's no reason to walk away from an amp you like. It's not like Mark IVs are high strung sensitive amps that blow transformers if you look at them sideways. (That's certain highly sought after vintage Marshalls that do that.)


Full recap job, replace any resistors that have drifted, new glass, resolder everything, replace suspect tube sockets, call it good.
Thanks for the reply, woodbutcher65, especially since you helped me out when I was trying to figure this all out earlier. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=78857

I wrote about the situation, above, if you can see my reply to swbo101. I would get a second opinion but I don't get the sense that would really help me out. From what I gather, my tech is legit. He had my amp in shop for 5-6 weeks, too. It's not like he just rushed it. I was willing to put up the money for the repairs but he pulled the plug, citing the above.

He suggested I sell the amp to someone who could repair it themselves. I'm not sure how to do this or how much it is worth in this condition?

Irongiant14
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:18 pm

Authorized Boogie wrote:
Irongiant14 wrote:
swbo101 wrote:What went so wrong that it cannot be fixed?
I was getting noise. A blown fuse. I replaced the tubes. Another blown fuse. Then channel 1 cut out.

I took it to a repair shop next to Berklee School of Music that was double recommended by my childhood guitar teacher and also a veteran pro musician. The amp tech said there had been some burning in the BIAS circuit when I put the new tubes in, that a pin didn't align properly. I thought that process was supposed to be relatively foolproof and don't understand how I could have messed it up. That's been a bitter pill, thinking that I caused this somehow.

The tech said he repaired that circuit but the amp was still noisy, so he asked if I wanted him to open it up to look at the board. I said OK. After taking out the board to see what was really going on, the amp tech told me I'd be better off putting money into a new amp, rather than repair this one. He said he couldn't guarantee the repair based on the condition of the amp, which he said shows some corrosion. I'm not sure how it would have gotten corroded. Maybe in the 10 years before I bought it? It's been in my city apartments, as long as I have owned it. It also needs a cap job, supply filters, and the tube sockets and reverb pan need to be replaced, as well.

Thanks for the info about the Mark V and suggestions about other amps to look at.
A factory repair is your best option, and it WON'T cost a fortune! Don't listen to tech's who don't really understand the amp...
Thanks for the advice. I'll call the factory or check the website.

Irongiant14
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:23 pm

Hi group,

I want to follow up and report back on what happened with my Mark IV and also thank everyone who participated in the thread.

I did contact the factory and sent my Mark IV chassis in for repair. The damage was caused by leaked capacitors. Although they were not able to repair it, they were able to replace the main board and I now have my amp back as good as ever! There is life in the ol' Mark IV, after all.

Thank you so much for the suggestions. It's great to be able to continue where I left off in my sonic explorations.

bgh
Mark III
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:01 am

Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by bgh » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:36 pm

Irongiant14 wrote:Hi group,

I want to follow up and report back on what happened with my Mark IV and also thank everyone who participated in the thread.

I did contact the factory and sent my Mark IV chassis in for repair. The damage was caused by leaked capacitors. Although they were not able to repair it, they were able to replace the main board and I now have my amp back as good as ever! There is life in the ol' Mark IV, after all.

Thank you so much for the suggestions. It's great to be able to continue where I left off in my sonic explorations.
I do love a happy ending!
Lefty guitars: Gibson SG standard (1977) • Gibson LP custom (1979)
Amps and such: Mesa Boogie Mark IV-B • Mesa Nomad 45 • Mesa TA-30 • Effectrode Blackbird • Kingsley Jester • AMT SS-11a • Zoom G5

El Rey
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by El Rey » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:19 pm

Irongiant14 wrote:Hi group,

I want to follow up and report back on what happened with my Mark IV and also thank everyone who participated in the thread.

I did contact the factory and sent my Mark IV chassis in for repair. The damage was caused by leaked capacitors. Although they were not able to repair it, they were able to replace the main board and I now have my amp back as good as ever! There is life in the ol' Mark IV, after all.

Thank you so much for the suggestions. It's great to be able to continue where I left off in my sonic explorations.
I'm grateful to run across this post.......I just acquired a 1992 MKIV A. The caps in the power supply look good, and the amp sounds great. BUT......the amp is 27 years old!!!!

The caps appear to be original. Your post makes me want to change them. Even though I'm a technician by trade, and well capable of changing them myself, I'm tempted to just send it to Boogie and have them check it all out. Hopefully by Mike Bendinelli.

If you not mind me asking, what did they charge you for the repair?

Irongiant14
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Re: Life After a Mark IVb

Post by Irongiant14 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:06 am

El Rey wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:19 pm
Irongiant14 wrote: I did contact the factory and sent my Mark IV chassis in for repair. The damage was caused by leaked capacitors. Although they were not able to repair it, they were able to replace the main board and I now have my amp back as good as ever! There is life in the ol' Mark IV, after all.Thank you so much for the suggestions. It's great to be able to continue where I left off in my sonic explorations.
I'm grateful to run across this post.......I just acquired a 1992 MKIV A. The caps in the power supply look good, and the amp sounds great. BUT......the amp is 27 years old!!!!

The caps appear to be original. Your post makes me want to change them. Even though I'm a technician by trade, and well capable of changing them myself, I'm tempted to just send it to Boogie and have them check it all out. Hopefully by Mike Bendinelli.

If you not mind me asking, what did they charge you for the repair?
Sorry it's taken me three months to log back in and see your reply. Congrats on your purchase! When I first spoke to Mesa Boogie they asked me for the serial number of my Mark IV. Apparently, the risk is greater in certain runs so calling them to see where your amp stands is a good idea. I feel like MB really hooked me up, to be honest. According to my invoice, Mike Bendinelli did do the work and although it took 7 hours they only charged me for 4. They needed to replace my whole main board, so my invoice would look a lot different than yours, at least I hope for your sake! I would just call them and get an estimate.

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