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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:35 am 
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Mark I

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:20 am
Posts: 21
Also, can someone shed some perspective on this matter I was discussing with Mike B. I just want to make sure I'm understanding things correctly.


#1
In chatting with him it sounds like there are fundamentally 2 types of original IIC+ amps. There are bright ones and non-bright ones. Mike seems to think that most folks want the non-bright sound. He said that he can tailor the III+ mod to mimic either.

Any comment from folks on that?


#2
If I'm correct, actual C+'s sometimes have the '++' mod. This seems to equate to more gain and some additional trimming to the bass frequencies. As Reza's video demonstrates, they can sound absolutely ripping and really quite modern. This mod seems to be oriented towards de-tuned stuff and I think some folks were evening discussing whether that might've had something to do with the evolution of the JP-2C "shred" mode which I know John uses most for his 7-string material where he wants a little tighter low end and a bit more saturation.

In reading jrb32's posts it sounds like he modded his black stripe with both '+' and '++' modes and even made the two available via toggle. I also read that Mike had accomplished something similar on a couple amps somewhere along the line but prefers not to do it now as it requires substantial reconstruction of the boards or something to that effect.

Anyhow, I asked Mike about this '+' versus '++' but I kind of got turned around. First, Mike obviously isn't the biggest fan of high gain so his descriptions of the '++' mod aren't always as "supportive" as you'd imagine. :)

But the way Mike described it to me was that once you've gone into '++' territory with the mod, there's really no going back. He made it sound like you can't really have both.

But it does at least sound like you could pick either the '+' or the '++' sounds when doing the III+ mod. Does that jive with people's understanding of things?




So it sure sounds to me like there are a couple of decisions you have to make before sending the amp in. Namely, do you want it bright or non-bright and do you want '+' or '++.'

This is kind of confusing though because when people describe sending their amps in, they almost always neglect to mention this stuff. It's all just rolled into the 'III+' mod as if to say all those mods are the same. Well, it surely doesn't sound like they're all the same, does it?

It appears to me like these III+ mods are a function of a couple parameters that come down to personal preference.



Many thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:14 am 
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Donating Member

Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:07 am
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I had Mike B. reduce the brightness on the Mark lll’s like the HR c+’s. Before the mod I set the presence at 0-2. Now I can set it at 5-6. I use Chinese Military Beijing 12ax7’s in all of my Mesa’s and Sovtek 5881’s in all of my simul amps and most of my c+’s. This tube combination along with an MS-12 speaker is probably my favorite setup. The tone is really thick and touch sensitive.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:21 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:20 am
Posts: 21
I started a thread in the Mark forum, but I'll just throw this here for simplicity...


I've heard folks promote these 105 power transformers like they're important, but it seems like from my admittedly very basic understanding, they aren't really optimal.

Based on what I'm told, these bigger 105 transformers run a higher voltage across the plates of the tubes which necessitates a lower grid bias. This lower bias essentially pulls the intended Class-A operation (~50% idle) towards Class-AB operation (~10% idle). I don't know how close it gets to Class-AB. Maybe someone can elaborate?

Anyhow, it seems to me that if someone really wanted Simul-Class, they ought to prefer the Simul-Class transformers with their lower voltages. That would be easier on the power tubes and allow true Class-A operation (which is the goal of Simul-Class). If on the other hand someone didn't like the idea of introducing Class-A, they'd be better off with with a standard 100w or 60w (non-Simul) model.

It seems to me that based on what I'm learning, my Mark-III DRG with its 105 is sort of "in the middle." I guess it's a "sort-of-Simul-Class" amp.


So, I don't get the hype of the 105 transformer. It's not maximizing any particular function. What is it specifically doing that makes it desirable?


And yes, I get that it's a way to associate your amp more closely with the IIC+ amps, but it's got to be more than that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:20 am
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xdg999 wrote:
I had Mike B. reduce the brightness on the Mark lll’s like the HR c+’s. Before the mod I set the presence at 0-2. Now I can set it at 5-6. I use Chinese Military Beijing 12ax7’s in all of my Mesa’s and Sovtek 5881’s in all of my simul amps and most of my c+’s. This tube combination along with an MS-12 speaker is probably my favorite setup. The tone is really thick and touch sensitive.


So did he talk to you about "bright" and "not-so-bright" IIC+'s?

Did he imply there were any alternative 'flavors' of his III+ mod (i.e. III++)?

Thanks for the tube advice. Share a link if there's a good source. It seems like 75% of what's out there are matched JJ's.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:05 pm 
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The bright reduction mod makes the amp like a 100 watt c+. My simul c+’s are really bright which makes the cleans very detailed but can make the overdrive grainy. My Mark lll with the 105 was a beast before I sent it to Mesa. It was a lot tighter and more aggressive than any of my c+’s. I almost didn’t want to mod it. It’s waiting to be picked up at a UPS store. Unfortunately I’m out of town for work until Friday night. The 105 HR c+s are bold and tight. The 105 DR is softer and looser. If I had to choose one amp to play the rest of my life it would be my upgrade HR c+ with the 100 transformer in a combo with an MS-12 speaker. It has the best overall tone for my style of playing. I bought enough of the Chinese 12ax7’s years ago to last me the rest of my playing days. I don’t know where to find any now.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Mark I

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:20 am
Posts: 21
xdg999 wrote:
The bright reduction mod makes the amp like a 100 watt c+. My simul c+’s are really bright which makes the cleans very detailed but can make the overdrive grainy. My Mark lll with the 105 was a beast before I sent it to Mesa. It was a lot tighter and more aggressive than any of my c+’s. I almost didn’t want to mod it. It’s waiting to be picked up at a UPS store. Unfortunately I’m out of town for work until Friday night. The 105 HR c+s are bold and tight. The 105 DR is softer and looser. If I had to choose one amp to play the rest of my life it would be my upgrade HR c+ with the 100 transformer in a combo with an MS-12 speaker. It has the best overall tone for my style of playing. I bought enough of the Chinese 12ax7’s years ago to last me the rest of my playing days. I don’t know where to find any now.


Yeah, I'm thinking long and hard about this myself.

I'm contemplating whether I might even be better off going in the direction of a JP-2C. If I send this Mk-III off, I'm going to have $2,500 wrapped up in it when it's all said and done. For that kind of money, I could go the route of the JP-2C and get one that's darn near new.

Yeah, I know it's not a "real C+" but when I start thinking about things like Midi, 2 independent Lead channels with separate EQs and all that jazz...it kind of makes more sense (at least for the money). It'd be more straight-to-the-point I guess.

I love the bounciness of the cleans on this Mk-III but I could probably get that out of any Mk to be honest.

Anyone have thoughts about how nicely the JP-2C does the more classic sounding DT stuff: Awake, Scenes and Six Degrees type material?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:37 pm
Posts: 64
MonacoElite wrote:
Also, can someone shed some perspective on this matter I was discussing with Mike B. I just want to make sure I'm understanding things correctly.


#1
In chatting with him it sounds like there are fundamentally 2 types of original IIC+ amps. There are bright ones and non-bright ones. Mike seems to think that most folks want the non-bright sound. He said that he can tailor the III+ mod to mimic either.

Any comment from folks on that?


This may be a reference to either changes over time like the deletion of a 120pf cap in august 84. It could also refer to the simul and non simulclass amps as the differences extend beyond poweramp configuration; non simulclass amps have some differences in preamp component values. Simuls don't have a cap in the lead section which lets more high end through, and some other differences.

However Mike may be referring to something else entirely.


Quote:
#2
If I'm correct, actual C+'s sometimes have the '++' mod. This seems to equate to more gain and some additional trimming to the bass frequencies. As Reza's video demonstrates, they can sound absolutely ripping and really quite modern. This mod seems to be oriented towards de-tuned stuff and I think some folks were evening discussing whether that might've had something to do with the evolution of the JP-2C "shred" mode which I know John uses most for his 7-string material where he wants a little tighter low end and a bit more saturation.

In reading jrb32's posts it sounds like he modded his black stripe with both '+' and '++' modes and even made the two available via toggle. I also read that Mike had accomplished something similar on a couple amps somewhere along the line but prefers not to do it now as it requires substantial reconstruction of the boards or something to that effect.

Anyhow, I asked Mike about this '+' versus '++' but I kind of got turned around. First, Mike obviously isn't the biggest fan of high gain so his descriptions of the '++' mod aren't always as "supportive" as you'd imagine. :)

But the way Mike described it to me was that once you've gone into '++' territory with the mod, there's really no going back. He made it sound like you can't really have both.

But it does at least sound like you could pick either the '+' or the '++' sounds when doing the III+ mod. Does that jive with people's understanding of things?


The ++ mod is different on the III than it is on the IIC+ because on the III it is quite easy to make it switchable by essentially re purposing R2. On the IIC+ it's hard wired.

Quote:
So it sure sounds to me like there are a couple of decisions you have to make before sending the amp in. Namely, do you want it bright or non-bright and do you want '+' or '++.'

This is kind of confusing though because when people describe sending their amps in, they almost always neglect to mention this stuff. It's all just rolled into the 'III+' mod as if to say all those mods are the same. Well, it surely doesn't sound like they're all the same, does it?

It appears to me like these III+ mods are a function of a couple parameters that come down to personal preference.

Many thanks!


You're correct in that there are lots of variables to consider. For example, my 60W III blue stripe III+ mod is getting a mix of simul and non-simulclass values to get a brighter overall sound due to how the 60W transformer sounds. Just copying schematics over from the IIC+ to the III+ really only works for direct like-like situations, like a simulclass 105 equipped IIC+ and a simulclass 105 black stripe III.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:27 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:43 pm
Posts: 20
MonacoElite wrote:
Also, can someone shed some perspective on this matter I was discussing with Mike B. I just want to make sure I'm understanding things correctly.


#1
In chatting with him it sounds like there are fundamentally 2 types of original IIC+ amps. There are bright ones and non-bright ones. Mike seems to think that most folks want the non-bright sound. He said that he can tailor the III+ mod to mimic either.

Any comment from folks on that?


#2
If I'm correct, actual C+'s sometimes have the '++' mod. This seems to equate to more gain and some additional trimming to the bass frequencies. As Reza's video demonstrates, they can sound absolutely ripping and really quite modern. This mod seems to be oriented towards de-tuned stuff and I think some folks were evening discussing whether that might've had something to do with the evolution of the JP-2C "shred" mode which I know John uses most for his 7-string material where he wants a little tighter low end and a bit more saturation.

In reading jrb32's posts it sounds like he modded his black stripe with both '+' and '++' modes and even made the two available via toggle. I also read that Mike had accomplished something similar on a couple amps somewhere along the line but prefers not to do it now as it requires substantial reconstruction of the boards or something to that effect.

Anyhow, I asked Mike about this '+' versus '++' but I kind of got turned around. First, Mike obviously isn't the biggest fan of high gain so his descriptions of the '++' mod aren't always as "supportive" as you'd imagine. :)

But the way Mike described it to me was that once you've gone into '++' territory with the mod, there's really no going back. He made it sound like you can't really have both.

But it does at least sound like you could pick either the '+' or the '++' sounds when doing the III+ mod. Does that jive with people's understanding of things?




So it sure sounds to me like there are a couple of decisions you have to make before sending the amp in. Namely, do you want it bright or non-bright and do you want '+' or '++.'

This is kind of confusing though because when people describe sending their amps in, they almost always neglect to mention this stuff. It's all just rolled into the 'III+' mod as if to say all those mods are the same. Well, it surely doesn't sound like they're all the same, does it?

It appears to me like these III+ mods are a function of a couple parameters that come down to personal preference.



Many thanks!


... I think you might have taken some if his info out of context or not in the proper context. I have 4 "++" Marks... and I'm working on #5. So I'm pretty familiar with them.

The + and ++ mod are 2 separate and distinct mods. The + takes either a IIC or MKIII (no stripe, black, red, purple, blue, green) and gets it as close as possible sonically (not structurally) to the MKIIC+ sound. But, to which MKIIC+ "ideal"... there's more than 1 flavor? There is not one penultimate MKIIC+ to rule them all. You have HRG, DRG, KRG, DG, SRG, DRGX??? Which one? The amp's voicing will change from darker to brighter (wide generalization here) if going from a MKIIC to MKIIC+... and will be smoothed out and warmed up if going from a MKIII to MKIII+ (again big generalization here). Then you have to factor in PT, 100/60W, SimulClass, etc.

The ++ mod adds more gain when engaged and more upper mids... more cut, edge and slice to the sound. It works best for metal or maybe some hard rock... but mostly metal. For example Hetfield on MOP or AJFA... or Petrucci on early DT. If you don't play metal, it probably isn't your thing as it affects the clean channel (MKIIC/MKIIC+)... and affects the clean and R2 in a MKIII. It distorts those channels to more of a semi-clean crunch channel/s. Even when off, the other channels are still affected. There's only 1 ++ mod... not individual variations... unless it's something you specifically ask for.

I think what Mike was referring to is that depending on the exact specs of the amp (PT, DRG/HRG/KRG/HRGX, tubes, etc) and the individual voicing of the amp due to parts tolerances and drift of all electronic parts over time... some amps will be brighter, darker, bigger, bolder, smoother etc and he can bend the voicing to your wants depending. Those of us that own several or have played more than a few... the early Marks up in to the MKIII series can vary widely in sound. Even 2 of the same model, version, wattage and PT.

HTH. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:30 am 
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Mark I

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:20 am
Posts: 21
Wizard of Ozz wrote:
... I think you might have taken some if his info out of context or not in the proper context.


Haha, yeah, that's possible, but unfortunately, I think this issue just requires more consistency in terminology. If one minute we're saying "Simul" and "100/60" and the next we switch to saying "bright" and "dark," we're going to cause confusion.

Thing is, Mike didn't bring up Simul versus non-Simul when discussing the fact some IIC+'s were brighter than others. I wonder why he wouldn't just say, "the Simul C+'s had a slightly different circuit and were thus a little bright. Most people prefer the non-Simul sound."

I'm willing to accept that's what he meant based on your info though. It sounds reasonable.

Wizard of Ozz wrote:
The + and ++ mod are 2 separate and distinct mods.


I knew they were distinct but I did not know that the ++ mod could be done to a MkIII. I am curious why I don't see discussions with people talking about the III+ versus the III++ mods.

Wizard of Ozz wrote:
The + takes either a IIC or MKIII (no stripe, black, red, purple, blue, green) and gets it as close as possible sonically (not structurally) to the MKIIC+ sound. But, to which MKIIC+ "ideal"... there's more than 1 flavor? There is not one penultimate MKIIC+ to rule them all. You have HRG, DRG, KRG, DG, SRG, DRGX??? Which one? The amp's voicing will change from darker to brighter (wide generalization here) if going from a MKIIC to MKIIC+... and will be smoothed out and warmed up if going from a MKIII to MKIII+ (again big generalization here). Then you have to factor in PT, 100/60W, SimulClass, etc.

The ++ mod adds more gain when engaged and more upper mids... more cut, edge and slice to the sound. It works best for metal or maybe some hard rock... but mostly metal. For example Hetfield on MOP or AJFA... or Petrucci on early DT. If you don't play metal, it probably isn't your thing as it affects the clean channel (MKIIC/MKIIC+)... and affects the clean and R2 in a MKIII. It distorts those channels to more of a semi-clean crunch channel/s. Even when off, the other channels are still affected. There's only 1 ++ mod... not individual variations... unless it's something you specifically ask for.

I think what Mike was referring to is that depending on the exact specs of the amp (PT, DRG/HRG/KRG/HRGX, tubes, etc) and the individual voicing of the amp due to parts tolerances and drift of all electronic parts over time... some amps will be brighter, darker, bigger, bolder, smoother etc and he can bend the voicing to your wants depending. Those of us that own several or have played more than a few... the early Marks up in to the MKIII series can vary widely in sound. Even 2 of the same model, version, wattage and PT.

HTH. 8)


Makes sense.

I'm debating 2 things now...

First, should I go the route of the ++ mod given that I am a big fan of Hetfield and Petrucci, in particular their work on albums like Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, Metallica, Images & Words and Awake.

Don't get me wrong, I've got guitars with Antiquity single coils and PAFs and all that, too. I'm a diverse player. It's just that there's no doubt I will be pushing any Mark series I have towards some of that "heavier" 80s/90s rock material.


And that all has me thinking about issue #2...maybe I'm better off just biting the bullet on a JP-2C. I've heard mixed reviews from people. They seem to have plenty of gain and compression and they seem to be optimized in their layout and design for a modern prog-metal dude (go figure!?). But I've also heard the predictable complaints from the peanut gallery about...'oh, it's not close to a real C+, blah, blah, blah.' I'm wondering if any of that is true.


At the end of the day, if you had $2,500 and were going to invest it in a Mark series, would you rather have a modded-out III+ or would you rather have a JP-2C with 3 fully independent channels, midi, dual EQs, multiple modes, etc?

Let me put it this way...practically-speaking there's no obvious reason NOT to go the route of the JP-2C if prog-metal is what you're after. All of those features make it a more functional amp. So is there any sonic reason to hesitate on the JP-2C?

In listening to clips, the JP does sound sort of compressed. It seems to lack some thump in it's chunk. JP's studio sounds seem very polished, but his current demos don't really sound overly impressive. I'm wondering if the JP is better on paper than it is in real life. I definitely wouldn't want to sell this 105-equipped MkIII only to realize it was a huge mistake 6 months later. Then again, I wouldn't want to invest a ton of money into a MkIII if the JP-2C already has all those goodies and more.

I'm really leaning towards the JP-2C this morning. Tricking out a MkIII seems like a better solution for someone who got a real good deal on one rather than someone who paid top dollar, like me.

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:54 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:37 pm
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Quote:
I knew they were distinct but I did not know that the ++ mod could be done to a MkIII. I am curious why I don't see discussions with people talking about the III+ versus the III++ mods.


IIIs already have the circuitry for the ++ mod as stock, it's just using different values so sounds different. Covered in detail over the last few months in the Mark subform.

Quote:
First, should I go the route of the ++ mod given that I am a big fan of Hetfield and Petrucci, in particular their work on albums like Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, Metallica, Images & Words and Awake.

Don't get me wrong, I've got guitars with Antiquity single coils and PAFs and all that, too. I'm a diverse player. It's just that there's no doubt I will be pushing any Mark series I have towards some of that "heavier" 80s/90s rock material.


You can have the best of both worlds with a Mark III. They can be modded to have the values of the IIC+, and repurpose R2 as a switchable ++ mod. No need to choose.

Quote:
And that all has me thinking about issue #2...maybe I'm better off just biting the bullet on a JP-2C. I've heard mixed reviews from people. They seem to have plenty of gain and compression and they seem to be optimized in their layout and design for a modern prog-metal dude (go figure!?). But I've also heard the predictable complaints from the peanut gallery about...'oh, it's not close to a real C+, blah, blah, blah.' I'm wondering if any of that is true.


You're overthinking it. The biggest difference with a JP2C is that treble shift is perma-engaged. Otherwise it's basically a non-simul IIC+ with more options.

Quote:
At the end of the day, if you had $2,500 and were going to invest it in a Mark series, would you rather have a modded-out III+ or would you rather have a JP-2C with 3 fully independent channels, midi, dual EQs, multiple modes, etc?


III+ have a functioning treble shift. That's about it. I'd be totally happy with a JP2C, but I can get something basically the same for 1/4 the price with a III, and spend like £100 to upgrade it. Just get a local tech to do the mods if you've no money for MB. There's a step by step guide on how to do it in the Mark subforum.

Quote:
In listening to clips, the JP does sound sort of compressed. It seems to lack some thump in it's chunk. JP's studio sounds seem very polished, but his current demos don't really sound overly impressive. I'm wondering if the JP is better on paper than it is in real life. I definitely wouldn't want to sell this 105-equipped MkIII only to realize it was a huge mistake 6 months later. Then again, I wouldn't want to invest a ton of money into a MkIII if the JP-2C already has all those goodies and more.


I think you're using the word compression inappropriately, like 99% of people do. Compression is about dynamics, not really about tone. Compression could just as easily ADD thump as remove it, I've seen old IIC+ amps with compressors in them. Like I said, you're probably overthinking it. Unless you paid like 2k for a III or something but for that price you could buy a IIC+ if you're patient enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:28 am 
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Mark I

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Thanks a million, lions! I'm definitely over-analyzing this but hey, that's what I do! My apologies.

Your info is greatly appreciated. I've pm'd back and forth with jrb32 who agreed to help me out getting some schematics, so I'll keep digging on the Mark sub-forum. Quite honestly, you guys are just way more familiar with amps and circuitry. I'm level 1 with this stuff. I went to school for engineering but none of it was electrical, haha. And probably more importantly, I didn't grow up with any background in electrical circuits. I kind of wish I did for discussions like these. So any patience is very beneficial to me.

Anyhow, as I've explained I'm already $1,500 into this amp so if I send it to Mike not only will I have $2,500 in it, but I will likely have learned very little about any of this stuff myself (which is kind of depressing). And so naturally, if that's the case--if I'm just going to open my wallet for the solution--it seems like I'm a good candidate for the JP-2C?

I wouldn't be worried about losing Simul-Class, so that's fine. And when you say it has the treble shift engaged, I guess that makes sense for the heavier gained-up stuff, so that's sensible. Fine enough.

To be honest, I'm not *that* picky about tone. I tend to set things a certain way and then go. I'm a player. I have way more guitars than amps. More than anything I want something that just inspires me to keep playing without really thinking about the amp at all. I'm getting the sense that maybe the MkIII just isn't that kind of thing...like maybe I'll always be turning knobs. That's fine enough for having some fun on weekends, but I'm really looking for one thing I can use day-in, day-out. But I digress.


What you're saying about the ++ mod being accesible through R2 is news to me. That seems counter to what Mike said but I kind of lost him there. It sounded like he was saying the ++ mod is tonally different (which I get), but it also seemed like he was implying you'd have an additional gain boost by engaging the R2 along with Lead...well that's something I've heard can make a slight difference on all MkIII amps.

So you're saying it's possible to have a MkIII that has ++ sounds on R2 and + sound on the Lead channel? Or maybe you're saying + sounds on Lead mode and the ability to get to ++ territory when R2 is simultaneously activated?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:38 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:37 pm
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MonacoElite wrote:
Thanks a million, lions! I'm definitely over-analyzing this but hey, that's what I do! My apologies.


No need to apologise homefry.

Quote:
Your info is greatly appreciated. I've pm'd back and forth with jrb32 who agreed to help me out getting some schematics, so I'll keep digging on the Mark sub-forum. Quite honestly, you guys are just way more familiar with amps and circuitry. I'm level 1 with this stuff. I went to school for engineering but none of it was electrical, haha. And probably more importantly, I didn't grow up with any background in electrical circuits. I kind of wish I did for discussions like these. So any patience is very beneficial to me.


For what it's worth I knew absolutely nothing in January when I bought my blue stripe. I had to teach myself how to read schematics, how to tell different resistors apart, etc etc to try to figure all this stuff out. Lots of super helpful people here which is handy.

Quote:
Anyhow, as I've explained I'm already $1,500 into this amp so if I send it to Mike not only will I have $2,500 in it, but I will likely have learned very little about any of this stuff myself (which is kind of depressing). And so naturally, if that's the case--if I'm just going to open my wallet for the solution--it seems like I'm a good candidate for the JP-2C?


The cheapest solution is to do what I do and find hifi repair guys who know how to solder to do the mods, and figure out the details yourself as this is a big part of the labour cost for amp techs. Components are cheap apart from electrolytic caps used for filtering which you need to get from Mesa direct. I'm in the UK though so getting Mike to do it is prohibitively expensive. If you're wanting a stress free Mark amp sound maybe just go with the JP2C. If you want a sound totally unique to you, mod the III.


Quote:
To be honest, I'm not *that* picky about tone. I tend to set things a certain way and then go. I'm a player. I have way more guitars than amps. More than anything I want something that just inspires me to keep playing without really thinking about the amp at all. I'm getting the sense that maybe the MkIII just isn't that kind of thing...like maybe I'll always be turning knobs. That's fine enough for having some fun on weekends, but I'm really looking for one thing I can use day-in, day-out. But I digress.


Mark IIIs are simple, relative to later versions. That's their appeal, they're great modding platforms to customise it to what you want, but you'll need to learn about how they work. It's doable, I did it, you can.

Quote:
What you're saying about the ++ mod being accesible through R2 is news to me. That seems counter to what Mike said but I kind of lost him there. It sounded like he was saying the ++ mod is tonally different (which I get), but it also seemed like he was implying you'd have an additional gain boost by engaging the R2 along with Lead...well that's something I've heard can make a slight difference on all MkIII amps. So you're saying it's possible to have a MkIII that has ++ sounds on R2 and + sound on the Lead channel? Or maybe you're saying + sounds on Lead mode and the ability to get to ++ territory when R2 is simultaneously activated?


The latter. With the III+ mod jrb and I are doing, pull R2 on lead mode, get ++ mod. Pull R2 with lead mode off would apply the same effect, just to the clean mode. Mark amps aren't really channel amps, they're just one channel that switches extra gain stages. On a III stock they partially stack. To get the ++ switchable mod you change the component values to match a IIC++ on R2 and you hardwire R1 to always be on (stock it switches between R1 and R2 voicing) and it stacks, like on the switchable ++ mod.

That might be a confusing jumble, I'm on a train on my mobile so formatting etc is a bit strained. There are a few threads that go into this in way more detail in the Mark subforum.


Last edited by lions on Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:43 pm
Posts: 20
MonacoElite wrote:
Wizard of Ozz wrote:
... I think you might have taken some if his info out of context or not in the proper context.


Haha, yeah, that's possible, but unfortunately, I think this issue just requires more consistency in terminology. If one minute we're saying "Simul" and "100/60" and the next we switch to saying "bright" and "dark," we're going to cause confusion.

Thing is, Mike didn't bring up Simul versus non-Simul when discussing the fact some IIC+'s were brighter than others. I wonder why he wouldn't just say, "the Simul C+'s had a slightly different circuit and were thus a little bright. Most people prefer the non-Simul sound."

I'm willing to accept that's what he meant based on your info though. It sounds reasonable.

Wizard of Ozz wrote:
The + and ++ mod are 2 separate and distinct mods.


I knew they were distinct but I did not know that the ++ mod could be done to a MkIII. I am curious why I don't see discussions with people talking about the III+ versus the III++ mods.

Wizard of Ozz wrote:
The + takes either a IIC or MKIII (no stripe, black, red, purple, blue, green) and gets it as close as possible sonically (not structurally) to the MKIIC+ sound. But, to which MKIIC+ "ideal"... there's more than 1 flavor? There is not one penultimate MKIIC+ to rule them all. You have HRG, DRG, KRG, DG, SRG, DRGX??? Which one? The amp's voicing will change from darker to brighter (wide generalization here) if going from a MKIIC to MKIIC+... and will be smoothed out and warmed up if going from a MKIII to MKIII+ (again big generalization here). Then you have to factor in PT, 100/60W, SimulClass, etc.

The ++ mod adds more gain when engaged and more upper mids... more cut, edge and slice to the sound. It works best for metal or maybe some hard rock... but mostly metal. For example Hetfield on MOP or AJFA... or Petrucci on early DT. If you don't play metal, it probably isn't your thing as it affects the clean channel (MKIIC/MKIIC+)... and affects the clean and R2 in a MKIII. It distorts those channels to more of a semi-clean crunch channel/s. Even when off, the other channels are still affected. There's only 1 ++ mod... not individual variations... unless it's something you specifically ask for.

I think what Mike was referring to is that depending on the exact specs of the amp (PT, DRG/HRG/KRG/HRGX, tubes, etc) and the individual voicing of the amp due to parts tolerances and drift of all electronic parts over time... some amps will be brighter, darker, bigger, bolder, smoother etc and he can bend the voicing to your wants depending. Those of us that own several or have played more than a few... the early Marks up in to the MKIII series can vary widely in sound. Even 2 of the same model, version, wattage and PT.

HTH. 8)


Makes sense.

I'm debating 2 things now...

First, should I go the route of the ++ mod given that I am a big fan of Hetfield and Petrucci, in particular their work on albums like Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, Metallica, Images & Words and Awake.

Don't get me wrong, I've got guitars with Antiquity single coils and PAFs and all that, too. I'm a diverse player. It's just that there's no doubt I will be pushing any Mark series I have towards some of that "heavier" 80s/90s rock material.


And that all has me thinking about issue #2...maybe I'm better off just biting the bullet on a JP-2C. I've heard mixed reviews from people. They seem to have plenty of gain and compression and they seem to be optimized in their layout and design for a modern prog-metal dude (go figure!?). But I've also heard the predictable complaints from the peanut gallery about...'oh, it's not close to a real C+, blah, blah, blah.' I'm wondering if any of that is true.


At the end of the day, if you had $2,500 and were going to invest it in a Mark series, would you rather have a modded-out III+ or would you rather have a JP-2C with 3 fully independent channels, midi, dual EQs, multiple modes, etc?

Let me put it this way...practically-speaking there's no obvious reason NOT to go the route of the JP-2C if prog-metal is what you're after. All of those features make it a more functional amp. So is there any sonic reason to hesitate on the JP-2C?

In listening to clips, the JP does sound sort of compressed. It seems to lack some thump in it's chunk. JP's studio sounds seem very polished, but his current demos don't really sound overly impressive. I'm wondering if the JP is better on paper than it is in real life. I definitely wouldn't want to sell this 105-equipped MkIII only to realize it was a huge mistake 6 months later. Then again, I wouldn't want to invest a ton of money into a MkIII if the JP-2C already has all those goodies and more.

I'm really leaning towards the JP-2C this morning. Tricking out a MkIII seems like a better solution for someone who got a real good deal on one rather than someone who paid top dollar, like me.

Any thoughts?


To make a long story short... sell the MK3 and buy a JP2C.

The JP2C is a true 3 channel amp and will do everything you want. No matter what you do to the MK3 it is still essentially a single channel, multi-mode amp. If you were going to keep the MK3 and add the JP2C... that’s a different story. Versatilty vs one really killer sound.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:21 am 
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Donating Member

Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:07 am
Posts: 143
Picked up the Mark lll last night and it sounds fantastic. And that’s with an old set of Mesa tubes I use when I ship an amp back to Mesa. Now it sounds and feels like a c+. It’s smooth and elastic. Usually when I get an amp back with new caps it takes a couple of weeks to break them in before the amp sounds this good. Now I need to find a 105 transformer I can transplant into my other Mark lll.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:32 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:32 am
Posts: 109
Quote:
To be honest, I'm not *that* picky about tone. I tend to set things a certain way and then go. I'm a player. I have way more guitars than amps. More than anything I want something that just inspires me to keep playing without really thinking about the amp at all. I'm getting the sense that maybe the MkIII just isn't that kind of thing...like maybe I'll always be turning knobs. That's fine enough for having some fun on weekends, but I'm really looking for one thing I can use day-in, day-out.


Sorry if this is repeating anything you already know but these are pretty standard settings and explains how to get a decent tone out of the amp quickly:

Vol 1 6-8, Treble 8, Bass 0-2, Middle 5, Master 2-3 (be careful!), Lead Drive (as required) Lead Master (set to allow similar level channel switching). Presence (as required, but probably not more than about 3 on the III).

I use this as a starting point and rarely deviate away from this. I normally have Treble Shift and Lead Master pulled, but you can pull others and until you get the sound you want and have a killer two channel amp set up. Ignore R2. It's not a real channel...

The pull switches and which channel they effect:

Vol 1 (Pull Bright) = Both Channels
Treble Shift = Lead Only
Bass Shift = Both Channels
R2 = Both Channels
Pull Deep = Both Channels
Pull Lead = Switches Lead On
Pull Bright = Lead Only

Quote:
What you're saying about the ++ mod being accesible through R2 is news to me. That seems counter to what Mike said but I kind of lost him there. It sounded like he was saying the ++ mod is tonally different (which I get), but it also seemed like he was implying you'd have an additional gain boost by engaging the R2 along with Lead...well that's something I've heard can make a slight difference on all MkIII amps.


Sounds like Mike B won't do the switchable ++ mod via R2 on the III. It's theoretically possible, but it's too much of a hassle as you have to replace the entire R2 channel. He does a hardwired version instead. There IS a switchable ++ mod for the IIC+ though which he used to do by adding a push/pull for the middle pot. I did the switchable III+/++ and Mike B could do it obviously, but it's custom work and you'd be looking at a blank cheque...

Quote:
So you're saying it's possible to have a MkIII that has ++ sounds on R2 and + sound on the Lead channel? Or maybe you're saying + sounds on Lead mode and the ability to get to ++ territory when R2 is simultaneously activated?


I'll try to explain the two as best I can:

1. If you have ++ hardwired in you get R1++ and Lead++ only. You can then engage R2 on both R1++ and Lead++ for even more gain! Call it R1+++ and Lead+++. R2 is switchable on/off. The hardwired ++ is not.
2. The switchable ++ mod replaces the R2 channel. So you have R1+ and Lead + as standard. Then you can engage R2 for R1++ or Lead++. It's pretty cool and if Mike B won't do this and you have a very decent tech I can send you details on how to do this.

Basically, ignore the ++ hardwired mod. It's not worth it because it sacrifices the R1 channel for extra gain. Just use a pedal!

If it sounds great already and you're handy with a soldering iron, I can send you a few common things to replace and how to do a decent service on it or get this done locally? If you want more then the Mike B route is best. I can give out details of the exact + mod done but I don't ideally want this done by local techs who make money off it when you can ship your amp to Mike B for a reasonable amount. If you can get it serviced before that and Mike is OK with that and will just do the mods then winner winner!

If you do send it to Mike B, get the + mod and the R2 mod. Ignore any Vol 1 mods. If you're after two completely truly independent channels this is not the amp for you. Go for a dual amp setup with A/B switcher or sell it and get a JP2C or Mark IV or something. The JP2C I have heard mixed things about them though and have heard people sell theirs and go back to a IIC+

The brightness is changed be some simple cap changes and a presence cap change, otherwise anything over 2-3 on the presence controls is way too harsh. As mentioned those horrible green disc capacitors must be swapped out if they're present!


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