Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Pre Recto days. Boogie modified Fenders, Mark I-IV, Dual Calibers, etc

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Freefall
Mark II
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Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by Freefall » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:39 am

I’m thinking of venturing into Mark series tone, and I need some advice. I play in a cover band doing hard rock, both classic and modern. I need a decent clean, but clean isn’t the most important as I use it the least. For rhythm, I need both a vintage sound and a modern sound, as I get now from the orange and red channels of the 2 channel triple recto I’m currently using (I am generally happy with my rhythm tone). Last, I want a great lead tone… the recto tone is ok, but I’m a lead player, and I’m really drawn to the great lead tone I hear in Mark IIC+ and to some degree Mark IV clips. I’ve also heard some impressive tones in Triaxis clips (I don’t mind considering a rack setup).

I’m not interested in a Mark V, it’s too new and I haven’t really been impressed by the clips I’ve heard thus far. So, I’m thinking my choices are between a Mark IIC+, a IV, or a Triaxis. Cost isn’t really a factor, except that I don’t want to get all three! I can’t think of a way to play any of these in advance myself, so I must rely on those who have experience. Which of these would be a good choice? Are there other options I should consider? Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Facelift
Mark III
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by Facelift » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:39 pm

mark III are very nice too, but to have a killer rhythm tone AND clean, youre gonna have to roll the volume knob back a bit on your guitar when switching to clean. You can find one for MUCH less than either of the others you mentioned.
Mark III short head-loaded (blue stripe)

pie4peace
Mark I
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by pie4peace » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:56 pm

Mark IVa... I use it for my band too, I play hard rock (ACDC, Jet-style) and modern songs too, if you want sound demo's of my band to listen to the tone you can pm me.

I hook up my Mark IVa combo to an orange 4x12 slant cab (I don't use the combo speaker), it gives me such a punch and huge low end (v30's) that it really blew, now I know it was the orange I was looking for all those years I had te mark IV... You really need a 4x12 to get the hardrock sound and the punch. Modern tones aren't difficult to produce with the Mark IV, maybe you'll need a pedal or 2 for digi delay or chorus, a wah pedal, I dunno. PM me if you're interested in a mark IV demo

Grtz

zebpedersen
Mark III
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by zebpedersen » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:52 am

Don't think of the Mark II as just the C+, the B and C are also incredibly capable tone machines - although the A does have a few problems with noisy reverb and switching.
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Lesgoldy
Mark I
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by Lesgoldy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:57 am

Facelift wrote:mark III are very nice too, but to have a killer rhythm tone AND clean, youre gonna have to roll the volume knob back a bit on your guitar when switching to clean. You can find one for MUCH less than either of the others you mentioned.
Jusy perform the volume II mod and the Mk III will work wonders.

http://forum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.ph ... highlight=
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JohnDNJ
Mark III
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by JohnDNJ » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:32 am

You will get around 1000 different opinions on this..

The IV with a few pedals to shape the 2 gain channels will put out enough different sounds
to cover anything you could ever want to play.

The V is also good however I feel the same way as you do...I'll wait for the first revision. ;)
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Facelift
Mark III
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by Facelift » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:44 pm

Lesgoldy wrote:
Facelift wrote:mark III are very nice too, but to have a killer rhythm tone AND clean, youre gonna have to roll the volume knob back a bit on your guitar when switching to clean. You can find one for MUCH less than either of the others you mentioned.
Jusy perform the volume II mod and the Mk III will work wonders.

http://forum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.ph ... highlight=
I take it this fixes the distorted clean when switching from the lead channel to clean?
Mark III short head-loaded (blue stripe)

treedroppings
Mark II
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by treedroppings » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:18 am

The Mark 1 Reissue is nice if you get a pedal. Plus, the 2 inputs can be a/b'd, and there is a Gil Ayan mod lurking in these pages :)
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chipaudette
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by chipaudette » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:56 am

I'd vote for a Mark IV or a Mark III. Probably a Mark IV.

As for the IIC+, do you really want to be taking a collectible, hard-to-replace vintage amp out to clubs and bars every weekend? What if you drop it? What if someone recognizes its value and walks off with it? That sounds like a bad plan to me. I'd suggest getting something that you won't have to worry as much about.

So, get a IIC+ if you want one...but take the Mark III/IV out to gig.

Chip

dodger916
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by dodger916 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:26 am

chipaudette wrote:So, get a IIC+ if you want one...but take the Mark III/IV out to gig.

Chip
+1. I'd opt for the Mark IV. Versatile and rugged. Plus, you have independent tone controls for each channel (except for the mid and bass for Channels 1 and 2, which are shared). For me this is worthwhile "upgrade" over the shared tone controls in the Marks II and III. It's also nice having separate Gain and Drive controls in the Lead Channel, Pentode/Triode power configuration, Mid Gain or Harmonics option in the Lead Channel, etc. These options provide very noticeable changes in tone, and also make the Mark IV great for playing at low volumes.

One drawback of the II and III is the way Volume 1 affects the overall gain of the lead channel. The Mark IV configuration eliminates this inter-dependence, and allows for both a crystal clean Channel 1 and the legendary Mark IV liquid lead tone without changing any controls. For me this is also a major advantage of the Mark IV.
Last edited by dodger916 on Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kmanick
Mark IV
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by kmanick » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:11 am

III or a IV
I went from a Recto to my mark III (mine has the R2 mod) and couldn't be happier.
With a clean boost in front and a 10 band EQ in the loop
I can get a ton of really good usable tones out of it. Almost as heavy and tick sounding as my old
recto but much tighter and sharper with a much better lead tone.
Also much Cheaper than a IV but if you're changing channels on the fly alot live I'd go with a IV.
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Elpelotero
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by Elpelotero » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:08 pm

My vote is for the MarkIV or V. You specifically said you wanted some modern tones. This is where the IV and V will win over the C+, which is slightly more 1980's oriented. It seems to me like the Mark5 is the perfect amp for you. Just give it a shot at the store, it may surprise you. From what I read, the vintage channel 2 on the 5 is much better than the one on the IV.
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GD_NC
Mark IV
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by GD_NC » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:22 pm

It's hard to find a bad Mark Series amp. They all rock.

I personally think the Mark IV is the best bang for your buck. You get all the benefits of a loaded III plus, better footswitching, much better R2, assignable loop and tweed power. It's a rock solid amp and the switches/knobs are really much eaiser to use than they look.
Maverick

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fretout
Mark III
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Re: Help me choose my first Mark series amp

Post by fretout » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:54 am

Freefall wrote:I’m not interested in a Mark V, it’s too new and I haven’t really been impressed by the clips I’ve heard thus far. So, I’m thinking my choices are between a Mark IIC+, a IV, or a Triaxis. Cost isn’t really a factor, except that I don’t want to get all three! I can’t think of a way to play any of these in advance myself, so I must rely on those who have experience. Which of these would be a good choice? Are there other options I should consider? Thanks in advance for any advice!
Well, based on your post, I would recommend the Triaxis with a 2:90 power amp. This will cover a wide array of Mark sounds, and it will be versatile enough to gig AND record with. Otherwise I would have recommended the Mark V.

While I am a huge fan of the Mark IIC+ and the Mark IV, I think for your needs the Triaxis + 2:90 will be perfect and will be a rig that will grow with you and not a rig you will grow out of.

Just my .02.
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