Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Discussion for the new Mark V

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BoogiePete
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Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by BoogiePete » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:27 am

Hi all.

I've had my MKV combo for a couple of weeks now and in general I'd say I'm happy but not over the moon with it. I've owned the Mk3, Heartbreaker, 2 Mk4 combos and a head, and an Express 5:50 before picking up the MkV. I've been a Boogie enthusiast for over 20 years.

I picked this one up 2nd hand and the previous owner said it had only had light home use which I think is true due to the excellent condition. The face-plate had the peeling silk-screen problem but Mesa sent me a new one free of charge via Westside Distribution here in the uk (many thanks to Oreste at Westside for his help with this and for being a top bloke in general).

Why am I not over the moon?

Well, it is early days I know but the main problem for me is the 'blanket over the speaker' effect, and on channel 3 the nasal/boxy quality of the sound which I'm having difficulty dialing out. Using the preset EQ over the sliders seems to help with this but as a big fan of my previous MK4 combo's lead channel I feel the MkV is lacking in this area after 2 weeks of tweaking. I can't seem to nail the huge, fat, 'flutey' open sound that was pretty easy to dial in on my MK4. The MkV seems to lack the 3D quality and depth along with sounding wiry and as I mentioned before a bit nasal. The only way I can get near to what I'm looking for is to crank the amp to gigging volumes which like most Boogies helps a lot with overall tone. I feel the amp is a tad lifeless at anything like reasonable volume for use at home. This was true with my MK4 also but nowhere near to this extent.

The amp has the original valves (tubes for our friends across the pond : )) but I'm pretty sure that this amp has never been above low volume and used infrequently. I ordered a Harma retro ECC83 from Watford Valves and fitted this in V1 without much change to the overall timbre. Probably a little less gain, and the hiss on the tweed channel was reduced substantially. One of the biggest puzzles for me is that the EQ sliders seem to work very differently to the MK4. Whenever I engage this on the MKV the muffled honkiness seems to be amplified and very prevalent. The 2200 slider seems to be key to helping to dial this out but at the cost of 'punch'. It could also be possible that the speaker still requires some running in as the amp has never been used in anger as far as I'm aware.

I realise this has been discussed before on the forum but the above are early impressions which as far as I can see are shared by quite a few others on the forum. I also realise there probably isn't a magic fix for some of the things I regard as negatives with the MKV so far, bar more tweaking and a new set of valves which I can't afford at the moment. I'd like to add that I'm not knocking the MKV here as for me it's already a keeper as the positives outweigh the negatives especially as tweaking will likely sort things out given time.

The positives:- The clean channel is beautiful and running my BYOC Rat pedal through the Tweed channel is giving me one of the best lead tones I've ever had, Im not really a 'pedal' person though and prefer to use the amp for overdrive/distortion and just a couple of pedals for reverb/delay. Channel 2 Edge and MK1 also show promise. MK1 in thick mode is very juicy but one of the channels that IMO is a little too dark even with presence and treble high with the bass dialed out, I'm pretty sure it would likely slice through a busy band mix though. I'm hoping to get to grips with Channel 3 and will spend more time on it. Any suggestions appreciated though.

Other observations:- My Vox Time Machine delay does not seem to like the MKV loop much. I'm pretty sure there is some tone suck as compared to my antique Boss half rack delay which sounds pretty good. Again the Time Machine worked well with the MK4.

Finally, I'm looking for a good reverb pedal to run in the loop. The TC Electronic Hall of Fame caught my eye and has had lots of good reviews. Anyone on here running one in their MKV loop? Any other reverb suggestions also appreciated.

Cheers,

Pete.
Check out my Prog instrumental 'Latitude' here:-
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=4803937

theredmenace
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by theredmenace » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:11 pm

The only way I can get near to what I'm looking for is to crank the amp to gigging volumes which like most Boogies helps a lot with overall tone.
Sounds like you have a ton of Boogie experience so this may not be too helpful (I'm only a recent convert but I've been over the moon for months :) )
I've had my MV combo for about 6 months and it does seem to be opening up after playing at gigs and practice levels (20 practices, 8 gigs). To my ears, even at low vol, I can get close to about 90% of what I'm looking for. The power section really doesn't add as much to the overall tone as on other amps I've owned IMHO. I usually start by dialing in a good starting point without sliders and then tweak with EQ from there. Not sure I've ever descried my ch3 (even on 10 W at 9 o'clock) as honky so not sure what's going on there.
Finally, I'm looking for a good reverb pedal to run in the loop. The TC Electronic Hall of Fame caught my eye and has had lots of good reviews. Anyone on here running one in their MKV loop? Any other reverb suggestions also appreciated.
I run a TC Flashback and Hall of Fame through the EL and they both sound great. I run a Xotic BB Preamp in front of the amp which is just amazing too. Plus the new 'beam the soundprint' through your guitar is just too fun so +1 for the TC toneprint pedals.

Good luck

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yeti
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by yeti » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:46 pm

i understand a lot of guys run this amp with the loop always on, and this is a buffered loop right?....have you noticed a difference between having it off and on, tonewise?

BoogiePete
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by BoogiePete » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Thanks for your replies guys :)

I've had some success this evening albeit at volumes approaching gigging levels. I tried ScreamingDaisy's suggestion of running the channel masters lower ie around 9 o clock and the overall master around 11 and this seems to have helped with clarity. Also, sitting 10 feet away from the amp rather than 6 helps with killing off the nasal/blanket effect. I tried bypassing the loop as you suggested Yeti but the difference was only slight I'd say, ie a slight loss of top end.

It's odd to me that using the eq sliders seems to add more mud than anything whatever the settings. Switching to the preset eq seems to give a far more pleasing and balanced sound to my ears.

@theredmenace-Thanks for the heads-up regarding the Hall of Fame reverb, this will be my next purchase effects wise.

Tweaking will continue and I'll add to the thread if I have any revelations.
Check out my Prog instrumental 'Latitude' here:-
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=4803937

Tuna141
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by Tuna141 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:48 am

The tone problems you describe were my exact thoughts after I first used my Mark V combo - blanket over the speaker effect, dull sounding, & channel 3 muddy. I found changing the preamp tubes very much helped to improve these deficiencies - I highly recommend that you try some brighter sounding tubes such as EH or EI or some NOS (I'm not a fan of the JJ's which I find to sound dark/muddy). The tone of the amp has also seemingly improved over time too - might have something to do with the speaker break-in, or it was the result of my minor tone tweaks. I've found that using the 90W setting helps as well, as does pushing the master volume higher. I also use the graphic EQ most of the time which helps too.

Good luck.

BoogiePete
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by BoogiePete » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:01 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Tuna.

I'm much happier with things now than I was a week ago. Tweaking, moving the amp to a different room which allowed it to 'breathe' more, and probably some speaker break-in have helped me to see that there is huge potential within the MKV. I'm finding it a finicky beast though, even more so than the MK4 which is renowned for being a bit of a handful to dial in. I've at least got to the stage where I know that the sounds I'm after are achievable with the MKV and I'm very happy as I feel I got an excellent deal on the amp.

As soon as funds allow I will experiment with some different valves/tubes but until then getting to know more about the nature of the beast will be the order of the day.

Cheers,

Pete.
Check out my Prog instrumental 'Latitude' here:-
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=4803937

ave
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Location: Worcester England

Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by ave » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:03 pm

Boogie Pete.
Hello from up the M5 in Worcester !
Endeavour to perservere mate.
As a Boogie bloke of well over 30 years and more models than I can recall the MkV is easily the best of the lot.
However a few fundamentals have to be addressed - this is most definately not a bedroom amp and it never ceases to amaze me that so many of our friend's from across the pond hardwire it into their homes and indulge in domestic onanism.
First off you need an extension cab - preferably an EV loaded 1x12 Boogie Halfback - this will rid your boxiness and enhance the spread and give you your 3D openess you're after.
Next remove all OD/distortion pedals and other extraneous fairy-dust ephemera and consign them to the nearest back-up amp of our very own Marshall/Laney/Orange lineage.
MAX - (or as near as sonically practicable) the overall output, set the EQ sliders flat for now and ignore them.
Now set Channels 1-3 using the Volume knob rather than the Gain knob to taste - the Treble will act as a further gain stage as will the Presence so watch out here, and don't let the Bass knob proceed beyond 4 0'Clock or the Flub's the rub.
Now we get to the real art - try this at 10 variac first and tweak the EQ til you get what your'e after.
It now becomes progressively more difficullt as you increase the overall wattage in all 3 channels until you get to this - Full Power. Ch.1-90w.Ch2-45w.Ch3-45w. Don't forget that the Overall Output is still maxed - Don't give up now. Endeavour to perservere !
This is now where the increasingly endangered species of the guitar's tone and volume control understanding and manipulation comes in - roll on - roll off. The MkV responds beautifully to this because you are now making the amp work.
Both pre and power are now working in harmony and awaiting your command,
Yes it is loud, but this is the point. It is a gigging amp and totally wasted in a bedroom !
All the modes in all 3 Channels respond almost intuitively to being pushed hard and made to work and this is where you and your guitar come in.
Now you start to dial in your EQ via the sliders if you wish but it is by no means necessary as an understanding of the Channel EQ will quickly point you to the realisation that there is no appreciable difference from an audience perspective between a treble boost and a bass cut.
Of course all of the above is only my opinion based on gigging applications but this really is the best Amplifier ever.
Mark Five Head
Two vintage Thiele 1x12 (EV)
Two Mesa 1x12 open backs (EV)
Gibson's ES175 & Les Paul De Luxe
Fender 82 Strat (62 reissue)
Guild Songbird
A very good lead !

MBJunkie
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by MBJunkie » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:11 pm

ave,

I really like your response....and realize it was very sincere. I don't agree with your optimum settings for my needs, but that is not to say the V can't sound good with your preferred settings. One thing I am definitely in agreement with is that the MkV is a badass amp!

I have also owned many other boogies for the past 20 years (and still own a few) and other nice amps made by other manufacturer's. I do agree with you in that the MkV is my absolute favorite of all of my amps! I have owned my MkV since it was first released about 3 years ago.

Prior to this posting, I had never set my amp with the Master Volume all the way up and adjusting the channel volumes to taste. However, I did try it tonight and with decent results....just not as stellar as it works for you. I much prefer the sounds out of my V with a more balanced blend between preamp channel volumes and master volume. That said, I do prefer the master volume to be higher than the channel volumes, in general, but not to the extreme you prefer.

Anyway, I do agree that the OP should experiment with the MkV amp without effects and even GEQ initially to get a feel for all of the possible sounds offered in all 9 modes/power settings. After that.....begin experimenting with the GEQ (knobs and sliders) with all modes of the channels. Clearly, the GEQ section is very powerful and can easily be set to greatly sweeten or ruin the sound without careful adjustment.

Ave,
One final comment......I definitely agree that the MkV is a great gigging amp, but also feel that it can be set to sound very nice in all 3 channels at lower volumes with great results. Not everybody is always able to play at gig levels. In fact, some maybe never can given their current circumstances. Personally, I feel that the versatility of the MkV also offers a wide variety of great sounds at lower volumes that can be enjoyed by many at home.

I am glad you are loving yours as much as I am mine! :D

BoogiePete
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Location: Lincs UK

Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by BoogiePete » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:06 am

ave wrote:Boogie Pete.
Hello from up the M5 in Worcester !
Endeavour to perservere mate.
As a Boogie bloke of well over 30 years and more models than I can recall the MkV is easily the best of the lot.
However a few fundamentals have to be addressed - this is most definately not a bedroom amp and it never ceases to amaze me that so many of our friend's from across the pond hardwire it into their homes and indulge in domestic onanism.
First off you need an extension cab - preferably an EV loaded 1x12 Boogie Halfback - this will rid your boxiness and enhance the spread and give you your 3D openess you're after.
Next remove all OD/distortion pedals and other extraneous fairy-dust ephemera and consign them to the nearest back-up amp of our very own Marshall/Laney/Orange lineage.
MAX - (or as near as sonically practicable) the overall output, set the EQ sliders flat for now and ignore them.
Now set Channels 1-3 using the Volume knob rather than the Gain knob to taste - the Treble will act as a further gain stage as will the Presence so watch out here, and don't let the Bass knob proceed beyond 4 0'Clock or the Flub's the rub.
Now we get to the real art - try this at 10 variac first and tweak the EQ til you get what your'e after.
It now becomes progressively more difficullt as you increase the overall wattage in all 3 channels until you get to this - Full Power. Ch.1-90w.Ch2-45w.Ch3-45w. Don't forget that the Overall Output is still maxed - Don't give up now. Endeavour to perservere !
This is now where the increasingly endangered species of the guitar's tone and volume control understanding and manipulation comes in - roll on - roll off. The MkV responds beautifully to this because you are now making the amp work.
Both pre and power are now working in harmony and awaiting your command,
Yes it is loud, but this is the point. It is a gigging amp and totally wasted in a bedroom !
All the modes in all 3 Channels respond almost intuitively to being pushed hard and made to work and this is where you and your guitar come in.
Now you start to dial in your EQ via the sliders if you wish but it is by no means necessary as an understanding of the Channel EQ will quickly point you to the realisation that there is no appreciable difference from an audience perspective between a treble boost and a bass cut.
Of course all of the above is only my opinion based on gigging applications but this really is the best Amplifier ever.
ave,

greetings from sunny (joke!) Tavistock and many thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply.

'Persevere' is my middle name, I'm an avid tweaker and aside from playing there's nothing I like more. I think this is part of my love for Boogie amps and the few times I haven't owned one over the years I've felt oddly uncomfortable. I've had a slightly bumpy start but after 2 weeks+ I can already understand why people are so smitten with the MKV. Without wanting to state the obvious I'd say lots of time fine tuning is the key with this amp, probably even more so than the MK4 which is understandable due to the amount of trickery under the bonnet (hood :) ).

I totally see your point re the MKV being wasted as a home/bedroom amp. I haven't played live for 6 years and miss it dreadfully but unfortunately when I moved down to Devon I didn't realise that the local live music scene was practically non-existent compared to East Anglia which was a total surprise. I spend more time recording or playing along to backing tracks these days to help keep my hand in. After my initial doubts I have managed to coax some very good sounds from the MKV at bedroom levels but I agree with you entirely that the amp needs to be 'opened up' to release the magic and sound stellar. For me it's also about the feel as well as I seem to play better with with things in elastic or triode (except MK1) mode. This has probably contributed to the 'muffled' effect I was initially experiencing but seem to have under control now. I'm also a fan of using the guitar volume and tone and rarely play with either or both wide open. My Godin LGXT has humbuckers but it is what I'd regard a fairly bright sounding guitar and needs taming a bit sometimes.

Your tips are very much appreciated and next time I sit down with the MKV I will try them all and let you know how I get on. I am able to get away with cranking up to a reasonable volume at home as I live out in the sticks and my partner is fairly tolerant of my need to satisfy my tonal cravings (unlike Charlie my chocolate labrador who heads for the hills pretty quickly at these times and obviously has no taste! :) ). I'm sure that part of my subconscious desire to play live again is the reason I picked up a MKV but until then the quest for that ethereal sound/tone at reasonable volume continues. If I do get out playing again I think the extension cab is a very good idea and one I'll look into.

Thanks again and I hope you're not too badly affected by floods up in Worcester.

Cheers,

Pete.
Check out my Prog instrumental 'Latitude' here:-
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=4803937

guitarp77
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by guitarp77 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:29 am

This thread has some very valuable info, thanks for sharing...

This weekend I´m planning in spending lots of time with the MkV, so I´ll try to apply as much "gained knowledge" as possible :D

ave
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Location: Worcester England

Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by ave » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:05 pm

ave -again from Worcester in England.
I'm not suggesting for a moment that maxing the overall output is the global placebo for the MKV but on the gig the so called 'Classic V' EQ setting just does not work. The mids get squashed out of all recognition and it just does not cut through the mix.
It sounds great at home, it sounds great patched to a desk for recording and it also sounds fabulous live if you have a huge stage and inherent monitoring and FOH system - which let's face it how many of us MK Fivers have ?
On the gig I have found that having the overall output well above the volume and gain stages available in each Channel mode and utilising the guitar's volume and tone controls to tame the beast is the way to go. After all is this not what some bloke called Hendrix used to do ?
Mark Five Head
Two vintage Thiele 1x12 (EV)
Two Mesa 1x12 open backs (EV)
Gibson's ES175 & Les Paul De Luxe
Fender 82 Strat (62 reissue)
Guild Songbird
A very good lead !

MBJunkie
Mark IV
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by MBJunkie » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:05 pm

ave,
I agree that the "Classic V Setting" using the GEQ sliders isn't the be all end all setting. In fact, I have never liked it with my MkIV or my MkV. However, it is an incredible tone shaping tool and requires experimentation to determine what settings sound best for each player. That said, the GEQ sliders do offer incredible flexibility of all band widths compared to the "Preset knob" option of the GEQ.

Basically, the Preset Knob Option of the GEQ starts off "flat" when the knob is completely turned counter-clockwise (very similar to if sliders were engaged, but all frequencies set to the middle position....ie....no cut or boost). Try it and compare for yourself.

Now with the "Preset knob" GEQ option selected and engaged in any given mode/channel....as one turns up the preset knob from the full CCW position it gradually starts to cut mids, boost bass and trebles in a "Classic V" curve until when turned totally clockwise it is set to a fairly steep "Classic V" setting (Bass and Trebs highly boosted with a huge Mid Cut). There is no way to change this classic V curve using the preset knobs....just how steep it is which is completely dependent upon how far one increases the preset knob from fully CCW to fully CW.

OTOH, when using the GEQ with the "sliders option selected".....all 5 frequency bands of the GEQ are completely left to the user to select to taste.

Bottom line, if one wishes to really tailor their sound with GEQ engaged......the slider option allows the user complete control of all 5 frequency bands which makes it an unbelievably capable tone shaping tool for the user to adjust to taste.

OP...btw....be sure to also experiment with the loop bypassed. This will offer a more "raw" sound that some MkV owners prefer (I do at times as well). Do be sure to watch your channel volumes with loop bypassed because the channel volumes also act as the master volume of each channel (Overall Master Volume and Solo Boost are inactive with loop bypassed).

All of you may already know all of this......just thought I'd mention in case you don't.

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screamingdaisy
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by screamingdaisy » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:17 am

I find the preset knob produces more of a bent V than a classic V in that it pushes the 2200 really high rather than the 6600... although I do find it becomes scooped really fast. I've tried really hard to replicate the preset's sound using the sliders but it seems the presets Q is different than that produced by the sliders so in the end they produce different tonalities.

What I like about the preset EQ knob is the speed. What I was doing for awhile was setting up my amp and getting my singer to go stand out front and listen while I swept the knob back and forth. Once it hit the right tonality he'd give me the thumbs up and I wouldn't touch it for the rest of the night. It was a lot simpler than the graphic in that regard.

I'm not a huge fan of the preset in my practice room... not enough bottom end for my taste. But with a band and my bassist it worked out awesome.
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

MBJunkie
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by MBJunkie » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:49 pm

SD,

I am not suggesting that I have ever tried to "duplicate" the sounds of the preset knobs with that of the sliders......just saying the "sliders" offer much greater user tweakability. Also, none of us really know the exact curve of the preset knob as you increase it from CCW to CW, however, when when toggling between preset at full CCW and slider all set flat in the middle....all things else being equal.....they sounded nearly identical to me.

Clearly, the preset knob "option" is great for those that are able to achieve the sounds they are after because it is so simple to just twist the knob. In fact, I do find the preset knob GEQ option very useful to enhance my Ch1 sounds, but it just doesn't work for my tastes in the higher gain sounds offered in Ch2 and Ch3. Just my opinion.

One other point is that I often play all 3 channels without GEQ engaged with very good results. I usually only kick-in the GEQ as an alternate voicing to an already good sound.

guitarrhinoceros
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Re: Mark V impressions after 2 weeks.

Post by guitarrhinoceros » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:45 pm

BoogiePete wrote:Hi all.

I've had my MKV combo for a couple of weeks now and in general I'd say I'm happy but not over the moon with it. I've owned the Mk3, Heartbreaker, 2 Mk4 combos and a head, and an Express 5:50 before picking up the MkV. I've been a Boogie enthusiast for over 20 years.

I picked this one up 2nd hand and the previous owner said it had only had light home use which I think is true due to the excellent condition. The face-plate had the peeling silk-screen problem but Mesa sent me a new one free of charge via Westside Distribution here in the uk (many thanks to Oreste at Westside for his help with this and for being a top bloke in general).

Why am I not over the moon?

Well, it is early days I know but the main problem for me is the 'blanket over the speaker' effect, and on channel 3 the nasal/boxy quality of the sound which I'm having difficulty dialing out. Using the preset EQ over the sliders seems to help with this but as a big fan of my previous MK4 combo's lead channel I feel the MkV is lacking in this area after 2 weeks of tweaking. I can't seem to nail the huge, fat, 'flutey' open sound that was pretty easy to dial in on my MK4. The MkV seems to lack the 3D quality and depth along with sounding wiry and as I mentioned before a bit nasal. The only way I can get near to what I'm looking for is to crank the amp to gigging volumes which like most Boogies helps a lot with overall tone. I feel the amp is a tad lifeless at anything like reasonable volume for use at home. This was true with my MK4 also but nowhere near to this extent.

The amp has the original valves (tubes for our friends across the pond : )) but I'm pretty sure that this amp has never been above low volume and used infrequently. I ordered a Harma retro ECC83 from Watford Valves and fitted this in V1 without much change to the overall timbre. Probably a little less gain, and the hiss on the tweed channel was reduced substantially. One of the biggest puzzles for me is that the EQ sliders seem to work very differently to the MK4. Whenever I engage this on the MKV the muffled honkiness seems to be amplified and very prevalent. The 2200 slider seems to be key to helping to dial this out but at the cost of 'punch'. It could also be possible that the speaker still requires some running in as the amp has never been used in anger as far as I'm aware.

I realise this has been discussed before on the forum but the above are early impressions which as far as I can see are shared by quite a few others on the forum. I also realise there probably isn't a magic fix for some of the things I regard as negatives with the MKV so far, bar more tweaking and a new set of valves which I can't afford at the moment. I'd like to add that I'm not knocking the MKV here as for me it's already a keeper as the positives outweigh the negatives especially as tweaking will likely sort things out given time.

The positives:- The clean channel is beautiful and running my BYOC Rat pedal through the Tweed channel is giving me one of the best lead tones I've ever had, Im not really a 'pedal' person though and prefer to use the amp for overdrive/distortion and just a couple of pedals for reverb/delay. Channel 2 Edge and MK1 also show promise. MK1 in thick mode is very juicy but one of the channels that IMO is a little too dark even with presence and treble high with the bass dialed out, I'm pretty sure it would likely slice through a busy band mix though. I'm hoping to get to grips with Channel 3 and will spend more time on it. Any suggestions appreciated though.

Other observations:- My Vox Time Machine delay does not seem to like the MKV loop much. I'm pretty sure there is some tone suck as compared to my antique Boss half rack delay which sounds pretty good. Again the Time Machine worked well with the MK4.

Finally, I'm looking for a good reverb pedal to run in the loop. The TC Electronic Hall of Fame caught my eye and has had lots of good reviews. Anyone on here running one in their MKV loop? Any other reverb suggestions also appreciated.

Cheers,

Pete.
I would contemplate checking out a Royal Atlantic and seeing if it more fits your tastes. If so, believe me, I'm sure you could get someone to trade with you (your Mark V for their RA-100). Why? A large reason I think is the lack of hype surrounding the RA-100. Too many people need approval cues from the peers to feel secure in their gear purchases. Perhaps, I'm just too over the moon with my RA, but I can't contemplate how anyone couldn't find happiness with the Royal. It does so many things well.

Anyways, good luck ...

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