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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:37 am
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
I bought a near-mint 60 watt graphic EQ Mark IIC+ combo on Reverb a year or so ago. The original owner said it has never been serviced, was barely used, and still has the original tubes in it. The amp works relatively well but starts to sound a little ratty and less sweet when it has been on for 30 mins or more. I'm hoping that getting it serviced will take care of that. What should I get done? I'm assuming that I need to get it recapped at least. Is there anything else that I should have the tech do? Does anyone have a tech that they would recommend in the NYC area? I'm inclined to keep the original tubes in there since the original owner says that they've barely been used. I nervous about a tech poaching them. I'm not willing to ship the amp back to Mesa in California though. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. -Jack


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 10:36 pm
Posts: 108
A full recap job including the bias caps, plus pot and jack cleaning, and (maybe) new tubes is all it should need. If it's a low hours unit the tubes may all be good but they should still be tested.

Be very sure to warn your chosen tech that he can't have your tubes no matter what!!!!

Be sure to use only Mesa caps. There's absolutely no reason to get them from anywhere else. Mesa's cap prices are as low as anybody's but they use caps that are absolutely top quality.

Any good amp tech can handle this problem. Send it to Mesa and you'll spend hundreds of dollars more than strictly necessary. However, on the other hand, it's never a BAD idea to let Mike Bendinelli give your amp a critical eye inspection. Nobody knows Mark IIC+'s like Mike.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:12 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:43 pm
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New tubes (pre & power)... new caps (pre & power)... and check for any mods/repairs. Clean/spray the pots/jacks. That should get it back to fighting shape.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:43 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:37 am
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Out of curiosity....anyone know how much it would cost (including shipping) to send it to Mesa for a recap job including shipping?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:49 am 
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Donating Member

Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:07 am
Posts: 143
Shipping from Chicago to Mesa is around $150. Service and shipping back from Mesa is usually around $350 for me.

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Mark llc+ (HRx4,DRx2,HRG,DRG upgrade,HRG upgrade,HR upgrade)
Mark lll+ (DRG 105,DRG X101,SRG)
Mark V 25
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D-180
4x12 Half Back x3
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:52 am 
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Mark IV
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:12 pm
Posts: 671
Location: Petaluma, California
woodbutcher65 wrote:
A full recap job including the bias caps, plus pot and jack cleaning, and (maybe) new tubes is all it should need. If it's a low hours unit the tubes may all be good but they should still be tested.

Be very sure to warn your chosen tech that he can't have your tubes no matter what!!!!

Be sure to use only Mesa caps. There's absolutely no reason to get them from anywhere else. Mesa's cap prices are as low as anybody's but they use caps that are absolutely top quality.

Any good amp tech can handle this problem. Send it to Mesa and you'll spend hundreds of dollars more than strictly necessary. However, on the other hand, it's never a BAD idea to let Mike Bendinelli give your amp a critical eye inspection. Nobody knows Mark IIC+'s like Mike.


Mike B's general service is rarely more than a couple hundred...so this information is not based on fact. Our service is more thorough and usually more cost effective than just about anyone...

And we don't do anything that isn't needed...(such as suggesting you do a cap job every 10-15 years)

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MESA/Boogie - Product Specialist/Customer Service - http://www.mesaboogie.com/support/index.html


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:54 am 
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Mark IV
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:12 pm
Posts: 671
Location: Petaluma, California
jack s. wrote:
Out of curiosity....anyone know how much it would cost (including shipping) to send it to Mesa for a recap job including shipping?


A full General Service, which usually includes a complete cap job, checking ALL components specs, re-building the pots, cleaning jacks, sockets, etc and a thorough head to toe inspection, bench testing, burn-in, and play-testing runs $250-$350. If just the chassis, we can ship for $40 max.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 10:36 pm
Posts: 108
I advocate recapping every 10 to 15 years because the manufacturers of electrolytic capacitors have always stated "five year shelf, 10 year operating life" for all but high spec long life elevated temperature caps. For example, caps rated at 4000 hours @105 degrees C. It's a prudent policy aimed at keeping your amp healthy rather than risk expensive damage if you should end up with caps that fail in service.

Sure, they'll usually have a usable service life longer than that. But two things: A lot of guitar amplifier owners don't have a clue as to why maintenance is needed so they don't do it, and as a result, I've seen lots of 30 year old amps with their original filter caps. There's zero chance that this amp sounds right even if it's working without apparent problems. And I've seen more than enough amps where the filter caps had completely failed and burst or spewed corrosive electrolyte everywhere, that WEREN"T yet 20 years old. So I recommend service more often than Mesa does simply because the evidence in front of me indicates that this is a prudent choice.

If I'm more conservative and pessimistic than Mesa's service department, I call that a good thing. Mesa does a number of things that I find to be highly questionable if not outright BAD ideas in some of their products. Bad sounding tantalum capacitors in an audio pathway? Seriously? Amps that lack adequate cooling (studio 22) and slowly cook themselves to such an extent that they desolder themselves? High voltage lines running absurdly close to each other? (Rocket 44 yellow and white wires running from preamp board to output tube board. Spacing is absurdly small for the voltages carried.)

Mesa remains my brand of choice but speaking as an electronics tech of broad experience spanning more than 30 years and counting, I don't think for a moment that Mesa's designs or execution are necessarily perfect. It's generally pretty good but there are things in some Mesas that just make me think "What on earth are you guys smoking? :shock: ".

If I had a Mark IIC+ land in my lap I'd send it off and have Mike give it the full red carpet treatment. But it's a legendary amp, and well worth it. For more ordinary amps, routine service, caps, glass, check bias, clean pots and jacks, done by a local GOOD tech, should be sufficient. However in any event I still advocate getting the caps from Mesa. There's no reason not to. The price is right and the quality is best in class.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:16 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:37 am
Posts: 94
Location: Brooklyn, NY
woodbutcher65 wrote:
I advocate recapping every 10 to 15 years because the manufacturers of electrolytic capacitors have always stated "five year shelf, 10 year operating life" for all but high spec long life elevated temperature caps. For example, caps rated at 4000 hours @105 degrees C. It's a prudent policy aimed at keeping your amp healthy rather than risk expensive damage if you should end up with caps that fail in service.

Sure, they'll usually have a usable service life longer than that. But two things: A lot of guitar amplifier owners don't have a clue as to why maintenance is needed so they don't do it, and as a result, I've seen lots of 30 year old amps with their original filter caps. There's zero chance that this amp sounds right even if it's working without apparent problems. And I've seen more than enough amps where the filter caps had completely failed and burst or spewed corrosive electrolyte everywhere, that WEREN"T yet 20 years old. So I recommend service more often than Mesa does simply because the evidence in front of me indicates that this is a prudent choice.

If I'm more conservative and pessimistic than Mesa's service department, I call that a good thing. Mesa does a number of things that I find to be highly questionable if not outright BAD ideas in some of their products. Bad sounding tantalum capacitors in an audio pathway? Seriously? Amps that lack adequate cooling (studio 22) and slowly cook themselves to such an extent that they desolder themselves? High voltage lines running absurdly close to each other? (Rocket 44 yellow and white wires running from preamp board to output tube board. Spacing is absurdly small for the voltages carried.)

Mesa remains my brand of choice but speaking as an electronics tech of broad experience spanning more than 30 years and counting, I don't think for a moment that Mesa's designs or execution are necessarily perfect. It's generally pretty good but there are things in some Mesas that just make me think "What on earth are you guys smoking? :shock: ".

If I had a Mark IIC+ land in my lap I'd send it off and have Mike give it the full red carpet treatment. But it's a legendary amp, and well worth it. For more ordinary amps, routine service, caps, glass, check bias, clean pots and jacks, done by a local GOOD tech, should be sufficient. However in any event I still advocate getting the caps from Mesa. There's no reason not to. The price is right and the quality is best in class.


Yeah, I'm just scared about shipping it to Cali. I've had a guitar destroyed by UPS before. The old Mesas are expensive and rare. I'm considering it more seriously though.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:43 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 10:36 pm
Posts: 108
Well, I'm a grand master 10th degree black belt in the martial art of "shipping valuable electronics in ways that resist even the UPS gorilla" so I can help. I've shipped thousands of items including Mesa amps and never once had a damage claim. I know how to pack stuff for safe shipment.

You said your amp is a combo. The best solution is to ship it in an Anvil road case. Insert amp, close the latches, slap a shipping label on it, call it good.

I have one. I'll loan it to you. Just cover my cost to ship the road case to you, and send it back to me when you're done.

Or...you can buy it from me instead. I'd actually recommend that. For a IIC+, absolutely.


If it was a head I'd get a double wall 24x16x16 box from uline and buy a sheet of 2" medium density urethane or polyester foam from a company in your area that provides this stuff to local companies. (I'm sure there is one.) Cut the foam sheet to provide 2" or more of foam padding on all sides, pack it carefully, tape the seams, sides, corners, and edges of the box, ship it, and don't worry. You could also take the power tubes out and pack them separately but if you're planning to retube the amp, why even include them? Let Mesa put in new tubes and you keep your old ones as spares.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:21 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:37 am
Posts: 94
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Thanks so much for being willing to let me use the case. I don't think it is necessary for you to send it it me. I really appreciate the offer though. Trying to decide if I just want to send the chassis. I think I'm going to send it to Mesa now. The one tech that I've found who is really good doesn't work on Mesa amps unfortunately. Trying to decide if I want to do s retube. As I said, the original owner says that the amp has barely been used. I posted pics of it in another thread here: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=73969.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Donating Member

Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:05 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Northern Michigan
I just shipped my chassis from my IIC+ combo to boogie, super over packed with tons of high density foam and bubble wrap. I used a box from a 1x12 Boogie cab and separately box my tubes in it. From Northen Michigan to Petaluma insured for $3,000 was about a $110. I could’ve used a smaller box but to save 30 or 40bucks on shipping wasn’t worth it to me.

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