Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Discussion for the new Mark V

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KKND83
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Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by KKND83 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:15 am

Hello everyone....Two years ago I bought a Mark V 25 head to solely use for recording at home. It took me a while to be able to dial in great tones playing it through a Recto 2x12 vertical cab but honestly I enjoyed the amp the most when plugged directly into my audio interface played through my studio monitors. This way it is more balanced with the backing tracks I play along with or when recording plus I can crank up the amp, not that volume is an issue with the 2x12 but it is the balance between the two audio sources (amp and computer).

The mark V 25 is great, I love the Mark IV and extreme modes in channel two and the cleans to a certain extent but this is where the limitations are. The clean channel lacks headroom (mind you I am connecting it now through a Two Notes Torpedo reactive load box and load IRs through the Wall of Sound plugins) and the crunch channel is great for low gain bluesy stuff but it is on the same channel as the clean and requires different EQ settings and some times different graphic EQ as well (at a different setting than my MK IV rhythm settings). The amp generally lacks bottom end as well which affects the treble in a negative way as the amp could sound a bit harsh especially on single notes lead setting.

I have always wanted a mark V (90 watts) and the reason I got the Mark V 25 is it was the only one available at the dealer at that time. Now, the dealer stocks Mark V (90 watts) not cheap though and I got an offer on my Mark V 25 (which is a rare thing as our second hand market is too slow and scarce).

I have couple of questions, is there a Mark VI on the horizon? Anyone upgraded form the Mark V 25 or 35 to a full size head and what did you gain (or lose)? I am inclined towards the versatility of the 90 watts head with the three channels and the tonal advantage of the 6L6 tubes.

And I am not considering the JP IIC+ as it is not as versatile as the Mark V.

Any insight will be highly appreciated.....

Markageddon
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by Markageddon » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:02 am

I have both.

The pluses: Channel 1's cleans are excellent even at ridiculous volume with regular or Fat. And the Tweed modes amazing at any vol.
Channel 2 Crunch is great, also have Edge and Mark I modes as extra light-extra dark/thick options respectively.
These modes are also more traditional amp feeling in the dialling/signal path too. Ridiculously handy if you're a strat player.
The unsung heroes of this amp for real..
Switchable FX loop for active or true bypass.
The different power switching options per channel and their vol settings vs the master vol are great for getting different
poweramp/preamp balances.
Solo button feature (also on the 35)
If you like the 25, theres great continuity between the that and the 90w. Just more/bigger.
"Unnnnnnnlimmmiiiiiited powwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....!"

The minus: Heavier...some portability ease is sacrificed compared to the more trim 25. (Buy the head if the weight is a concern.)
Time: You gotta spend more time learning the art and many ways of the V:90 with its multitude of options, settings and possibilities.
To get the kind of saturation you can get with the 25, you gotta learn to balance pre and power amp to get it to your taste, easy to get
used to to with some time though.
Theres no mid/boost feature on crunch.
And thats about it....Can't think of any other negatives.



Also: You might want to try Mesa 12aT7s in V6 and V2. Also a Mesa SP12Ax7 or Tungsol Goldpin12x7 in V1 in your 25..
You'll be able to dial more bass/lows (and other preamp rotaries) without flub, and smoother highs will be yours.
Turns the amp into an absolute beast resembling its bigger counterpart more. Sweetens those cleans a bit too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7epyD2QUm0E Through a 2x12 horizontal recto cab
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8LQvpWFhM Through a 1x12 Mesa Widebody ported cab
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5F6_b2cLoE Through both
Maybe keep both and you're equipped for every situation..plus slaving a cranking V:25 into the 90w power section is something you just gotta try/hear!! hahaha
Last edited by Markageddon on Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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KKND83
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by KKND83 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:19 am

Thanks a lot for the reply and the links, awesome advice indeed. I would love to have access to channel 2 in the mark V knowing that I love to have variety in tones from one amp. Tweed, edge and Mark 1 are all tones (modes) that I know I will use for anything from Blues to classic rock to smooth singing leads.

Once again, thanks!

Markageddon
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by Markageddon » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:56 am

Yeah you'll be in heaven for sure with those...!!!
You're welcome.
8)
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TStone2
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by TStone2 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:56 am

I tend to live in channel 2 (all modes) with the MV 90w. I need to spend more time in channel 3 to get it to my tastes. Channel 1 is awesome as well. Still learning this beast, kind of fun I like !
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KKND83
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by KKND83 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:18 am

Awesome, good to hear that!

JD1965
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by JD1965 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:22 pm

Markageddon’s remarks?

Spot on!

I upgraded from an Express 5:50 plus combo in late July to a 90w Mark V combo.

Why?

I got a taste of the ‘burn’ mode in the previous amp’s blues/burn channel and needed a third channel to be able to toggle back and forth between delicious, clean channel, 'blues' mode of the second channel and a more thickly saturated “Santana-esque’ tones via footswitch.

The Mark V features an amazing clean channel with plenty o’ headroom in the 90w mode. Tweed is as good a punchy, clean tone as you’ll ever find in a combo.

And the two dirty channels have enough variety to satisfy almost
any player.

Six weeks in and I’m thinking ‘best amp I’ve ever owned,’ primarily for versatility (the Express plus was no slouch there either) and quality of tone.

Things to know that I can’t articulate as well as Markageddon:

• Patience Grasshoppa - there are so many front and rear panel options that it can be overwhelming. If you’re thinking, ‘Gimme my tones NOW,’ Fahgettabout it! You need to spend time with this thing to find out where they are.

• The beast be heavy. Get yer casters on it or use the head and a cabinet.

If you’re happy with your Mark V 25, I’d be surprised if you didn’t dig the full Mark V more.

JD

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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by espcustom-fr » Tue May 12, 2020 2:31 am

Hi.

Big dilemma: mark v 25 or v? I have nice opportunities for each one of those on the used market. Can’t really make My mind . I’m a home player and mostly will play through a 1x12 and recording through my ai.

I say to myself: big V is too much for me and for home playing, too much switches, power...etc V25 is perfect, small 2 channels... But the big V comes with a nice price and is THE real deal, the original, the big brother. Plus it retains nice value here in Europe in case I want to sell (same could apply to the v25 though).

Both are heads btw.

Thanks for your opinion. I’ve been reading hundreds of Internet forums and reviews and advices but never asked really myself. :roll:

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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by welshboogie » Tue May 12, 2020 10:02 am

Don’t let the 90w put you off using these beasts at home - I use mine in 90/full power and as the masters on these are so good it can be whisper quiet.

The MK series is all about preamp tube tone anyway so you don’t need to worry about getting the power amp working for these to sound good.
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Eevil
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by Eevil » Tue May 12, 2020 10:27 am

espcustom-fr wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 2:31 am
Hi.

Big dilemma: mark v 25 or v? I have nice opportunities for each one of those on the used market. Can’t really make My mind . I’m a home player and mostly will play through a 1x12 and recording through my ai.

I say to myself: big V is too much for me and for home playing, too much switches, power...etc V25 is perfect, small 2 channels... But the big V comes with a nice price and is THE real deal, the original, the big brother. Plus it retains nice value here in Europe in case I want to sell (same could apply to the v25 though).

Both are heads btw.

Thanks for your opinion. I’ve been reading hundreds of Internet forums and reviews and advices but never asked really myself. :roll:
Well... I had the big Mark V head (and I had to sacrifice it on the altar of GAS gods...)

Later on I’ve got some growing remorse about selling the head as the clean tones were outstanding and the channel 3 was heavenly (Mark IV mode). My only gripe was the channel two in home use: I could not open the masters enough for the amp to deliver the goods.

In my mindless tumbling on GAS I bought Koch Dummybox home for peanuts couple of weeks ago and it helped a lot the home playing. Yes, Diezel has good masters but still it works a bit better when squeezing a bit from the output yet my Electra-Dyne does work properly only with attenuator :lol:

So: I would buy the proper Mark V head (would buy it already but cash is gone...) and be done with it. The tweed mode itself is absolutely brilliant and also the ch 3 pentode/triode etc things goes a long way :)
Current:
- Diezel D-Moll
- Electra-Dyne 1x12 23” combo
- Studio preamp
- 2x12 Recto horizontal
- 4x12 Stiletto slanted

Gone:
- Mark III 60w/grx
- Express 5:25
- Roadster head
- Triaxis / 2:50
- Stiletto Deuce Stage 1&2
- CAA OD-50
- Mark V

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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by espcustom-fr » Wed May 13, 2020 2:05 am

Thanks for your input guys.

Well I’m not really afraid of the power, I know how to handle it, what annoys me a bit is that I feel I won’t use 75% of the amp’s possibility it’s the big V. I’ve always been a 2 channel- simple layout guy. My Rectoverb was great: 2 channels, 5 mods and that’s it. I was using mainly 1 mode/channel. And sometimes I checked the other modes for fun.

I would live mainly on channel 1 and 3 on the big V leaving the second channel pretty unused, so 2 channels would be what I need/like. Plus all the pentode, rectifier, spongy/variac mode are overkill for me, as I see it from here without having the amp. Just because of what I was used to in the past.

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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by Jeronimo » Sat May 16, 2020 1:06 pm

espcustom-fr wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 2:05 am
I would live mainly on channel 1 and 3 on the big V leaving the second channel pretty unused, so 2 channels would be what I need/like. Plus all the pentode, rectifier, spongy/variac mode are overkill for me, as I see it from here without having the amp. Just because of what I was used to in the past.
What is the problem of having modes you do not use? On my mkV90 I never use the rectifier or triode/pentode switch. And for each of the channels I have modes I never use, nothing wrong with that. Recently I "discovered" the Variac mode which for me works great with Tweed or Crunch when playing my Strat. On the first 2 channels I am in 45W mode, I prefer to have channel 3 at the full 90W, just makes it sound bigger.
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by ave » Sat May 16, 2020 2:53 pm

Hello from England.
Just a thought but why not upgrade to a MKV 35 head ?
More headroom in the cleans plus the solo functions on the foot
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by DanL » Wed May 20, 2020 7:31 pm

I just got the Mark V 90 watt head last week. Struggled w the decision to get the V35 vs the V90 for about a month. Finally decided to get the big boy and won an eBay auction for a mint condition 2014 Mark V 90. I'm still in "floating on air" mode.

I have 11 great tube amps including a Marshall and 6 Fenders. My 1965 Fender Bassman head was always the best sounding amp I owned. The V90 has it dead nuts in its sights for top dog. As far as versatility goes there's no contest. This is pretty much my dream amp. Lovin' it! Yeah I know I've only had it for a week. But its been a great friggin' week! Quite possibly the last amp I'll ever buy.
Tap into America...

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Markageddon
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Re: Upgrading from Mark V 25 to Mark V

Post by Markageddon » Sat May 23, 2020 5:12 am

Nice one!
A great move that'll have you covered for great tone at 'Quiet practice' level, 'Showing it's teeth' level or 'Structural damage to the surrounding county' level. Congratulations..! 8)
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