How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

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

Moderators: Guitarzan, Grandor, ned, Platypus

Post Reply
RustMaster
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:07 pm

How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by RustMaster » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:26 am

Hey folks its been a while!!! So long in fact, I couldn't get into my original acct. here so I had to make a new one!!! I'm wondering how similar sounding IIB's are to their earlier counterparts. I ask because I've been an extremely happy IIA owner for 7 years now but as some of you know, its a little difficult to get exactly the sounds you want out of both channels at the same time. Surprisingly enough I can get a higher gain setting and nice clean with both the bright switches pulled. With them pushed in however, its a little difficult to get enough bottom out of the clean channel without making the lead channel flub out. I know IIA's and I's are kinda different than what came after them so my question is whether any of you have put an A and a B side by side and well, A/B'd them :lol: ? Get it? A and B????

The only reason I ask is because for some reason, IIA's are almost 3 times what I paid for the one I own these days!!!

P.S. If there's already a thread discussing this subject, please feel free to direct me to it!!!
1979 MKIIA HRG Head "BEEF SUPREME"
1986 MKIII Purple Stripe "The Nurple"

igfraso
Mark IV
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:00 pm

Re: How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by igfraso » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:45 pm

FWIW, Mike Bendinelli told me some years ago that the MkIIA has a very unique sound within the Mark series and it is great with 335 guitars. Mike also said it is kind of a hot-rod Tweed Bassman and that the clean channel was their highest achievement at that time while the search for the lead channel went on and ended with the MKIIC+.

According to him, the MkIIB is more of a Blackface type.

This is my honest recollection but, if you disagree with my transcription of Mike's comments, you can blame my poor memory and/or my poor understanding.
Daniel

RustMaster
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:07 pm

Re: How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by RustMaster » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:48 pm

As far as the IIA goes he told me the same thing a few years ago. That hot rodded tweed sound is prolly why I like it so much. As we all know, the tweed bassman was the platform for early marshalls. A lot of marshalls rub me the wrong way and this old mark can get pretty close to that sorta sound with some tweaking and the right speaker. I'm running at 60w with a single 75w creamback speaker and it cops the bassman/early Marshall thing pretty well. I wish I could find a IIB around here to see about this blackface claim!!!
1979 MKIIA HRG Head "BEEF SUPREME"
1986 MKIII Purple Stripe "The Nurple"

Snottyboy
Mark II
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:24 am

Re: How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by Snottyboy » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:03 pm

IIA owner here as well for the past several years. No experience with the IIB, but I am more and more smitten with my amp. Rich, beautiful cleans, and smooth, singing overdrive anywhere from 3-8 on the gain knob. I have exhaustively searched for info on this amp, and there isn't that much out there. But recently, I learned that Jerry Garcia was using one in the very early 80's with the Jerry Garcia Band. I have been listening to the Keane College show from 2.28.1980, and man what tones! Sounds very close to my amp. He plays mostly on the clean channel, but does seem to use the drive channel in some parts. Playing through a JBL K120, I think, same as my amp. Worth checking out even if you aren't a fan. These are tones I aspire towards. Would still be interested in checking out a IIB, but in no hurry. Anyone with experience with both, please chime in.
'89 Mark III (Blue Stripe)
'79 Mark II

igfraso
Mark IV
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:00 pm

Re: How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by igfraso » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:50 am

Snottyboy: there is little information about the MkIIA so I am sharing here below some settings taken from the MarkIIA manual (the first two) and two others posted in this forum.

1) Good basic setting
Vol1: 4
Treb: 9
Bass: 3
Mid: 3
Mast1: 2
LD: 7
LM: 1
Pres: 7
Rev: 4
EQ: out

2) Good basic setting, alternative
Vol1: 6
Treb: 7
Bass: 4
Mid: 0
Mast1: 2
LD: 8
LM: 1
Pres: 7
Rev: 4
EQ: out

3) Jerry Garcia
Vol1: 8.5
Treb: 6.5
Bass: 2
Mid: 8
Mast1: 2
LD: 7
LM: 1
Pres: 3
Rev:
EQ:

4) SRV
Vol1: 7 pulled
Treb: 7 pulled
Bass: 4
Mid: 5
Mast1: 2
LD: 9
LM: 1
Pres: 8
Rev:
EQ:

Hope it helps.
Daniel
Daniel

igfraso
Mark IV
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:00 pm

Re: How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by igfraso » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:13 am

Regarding the MkIIB, the setting indicated in the manual is based on what they called the "typical 7-2 setting":

Vol1: 7
Treb: 7
Bass: 2
Mid: 2
Mast1: 2
LD: 8
LM: 2
Pres:
Rev:
EQ: out
Daniel

Snottyboy
Mark II
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:24 am

Re: How different are IIB's as opposed to IIA's

Post by Snottyboy » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:36 am

igfraso, you have been a tremendously valuable source of information out here for many years, and I thank you!

My IIA settings tend to look something like this:

Vol1: 6-7
Treb: 7
Bass: 3
Mid: 4
Mast1: 2
LD: 3-8
LM: 1
Pres: 7
Rev: 4
EQ: N/A, and no need :P

A few things to consider with these settings...

The JBL K120 in my amp is not a dark speaker, but full range as I mentioned before. This is pleasing to me as I am a long-time Fender guy (...that flirts with most other amps :oops: ).

I will pull or push bright and gain boost knobs as I feel the need. Doing so will likely alter other settings some.

Lead Drive could be used anywhere between 3 and 8 depending on what is needed. Tones in that range vary greatly from smooth 70's leads to early Lukather-ish rock (right in my wheel-house!)

Presence Knob usually gets pushed a bit more than one might expect on this amp. Very different experience here than with my Mark III (Blue Stripe), where it is set quite low.

Tubes, tubes, tubes matter greatly with these amps. The IIA isn't as picky as the III, but it is important to try different tubes and listen to the differences.
'89 Mark III (Blue Stripe)
'79 Mark II

Post Reply