3 Boogie lineup

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Zen
Bottle Rocket
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3 Boogie lineup

Post by Zen » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:01 pm

This is my first post and soon I will own a Boogie. I play moody, harmonic, finger picking, gritty, alt blues music. I have my sights on these three amps near me. Please share your ideas. Thanks

- 5:50 Express Head, used ($) I love it, if I add an eq pedal through the FX loop can it get Plus-ish sounds?

- Mark iv Combo, used ($$) I love it, personal sale + met the owner, great condition. Noisy Lead Channel (ch3) but might not use that channel much anyway.

- 5:50 Express Plus Head, new ($$$) Seems like a bit of both? Haven't played but heard it. I'm pretty interested but it's hard to trust videos.

Thanks again.
Last edited by Zen on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nomad100
Mark II
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by Nomad100 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:25 am

Welcome to the forum. 8)

I think any of those 3 would suit your needs. I have played all 3, though it's been a long time since I've seen a Mark iv.
While I prefer the 5:50 Express Plus due to the graphic eq, putting a graphic eq in the loop of the non + would be almost same. It would also be your cheapest option.

The Mark iv is a different animal. More power with more headroom. Perhaps a little more versatile as it can get very heavy sounding if needed, though they can be a little tough to dial in. Also weighs a ton in combo format. Might need some work done... cap job if it's an older model.

If on a budget, I would go for the Express (and yes, you might need a graphic in the loop). If I had the cash, the Express Plus would be the one. I would not choose the Mark iv, as I think the other options fit your needs better.

tbonesullivan
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by tbonesullivan » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:53 pm

The graphic EQ is nice but not necessary, depending entirely on what type of sound you want to get. If you want that awesome scooped sound, you'll need an EQ.
Guitars: Hamers, Heritages, G&L Legacies, EBMM Steve Morse, Carvin Bolt, Fender Tele
Amps: DC-5 1x12, Maverick 2x12, Stiletto ACE 1x12, Trem-O-Verb 2x12

bgh
Mark III
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by bgh » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:45 am

I had a choice between a Mark IV and a (non-plus) Express. I chose to keep the Mark IV. The GEQ did not factor into the equation. As has been stated, the GEQ is not a necessity (unless you have a need to shape the tone post-gain). There have been a few instances where I have used it, but not a lot. As I stated in another thread, the GEQ does make for a "poor-man's" boost.

I preferred the Mark IV because it had more power, and with that power, more headroom. I also preferred the lead channel of the IV to the Express's lead channel.

One little feature on the Mark IV sets its lead channel apart. And that is the gain is broken into "lead gain" and "lead drive". Having this breakdown can give you some nice control over decay and sustain.

Other than that, there is some overlap in the tones these two amps produce. Enough overlap such that I decided to keep only one of them - the Mark IV. I got rid of the Express and bought a smaller Nomad 45. I know a lot of people hate the Nomad. But I must have lucked out and gotten a gem. That little amp is a fantastic sounding amp. It's in a different class than the Mark series, but it has its own very nice sound. It easily filled the void I was trying to fill with the Express.

Hope this helps.
Lefty guitars: Gibson SG standard (1977) • Gibson LP custom (1979)
Amps and such: Mesa Boogie Mark IV-B • Mesa Nomad 45 • Mesa TA-30 • Effectrode Blackbird • Kingsley Jester • AMT SS-11a • Zoom G5

silentbob
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by silentbob » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:12 am

I always hate it when someone suggests something other than the options listed, but I'm going to be that guy. If you have them nearby, you may want to check out a Recto series amp with a Raw, Tweed or Pushed mode. They all do gritty tones well without being too smooth, especially with lower output pickups.

bgh
Mark III
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by bgh » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:11 am

silentbob wrote:I always hate it when someone suggests something other than the options listed, but I'm going to be that guy. If you have them nearby, you may want to check out a Recto series amp with a Raw, Tweed or Pushed mode. They all do gritty tones well without being too smooth, especially with lower output pickups.
I agree with you. A lot of times people do it, but in a rather snarky mode. You didn't do that, and that's very cool of you.

I have never had the opportunity to play through a Recto series amp. The Mark series was always my first love. Which Rectos are you referencing? The older series or the newer "mini" series. I have heard a lot of good things about them!
Lefty guitars: Gibson SG standard (1977) • Gibson LP custom (1979)
Amps and such: Mesa Boogie Mark IV-B • Mesa Nomad 45 • Mesa TA-30 • Effectrode Blackbird • Kingsley Jester • AMT SS-11a • Zoom G5

Zen
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by Zen » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:37 pm

Thanks guys. I'm still up in the air about this one.

- I can get a new Express 5:50 Plus with about a 17% discount off retail. It's tempting.

- The Mark iv has a that suspicious hum on the Lead channel and I want to do a little preamp testing before I buy it. Something about that purchase gives me pause. His Mark iv combo sounds pretty great expect for that and it's probably all fine, but he's been trying to sell it for almost a year, which is unusual for a Mark iv I think. I even found an old add where interested buyers didn't pull the trigger. Idk. My radar is perked up on that one. Still, it's $900.

- And then that Express 5:50 is on hold for me. I have a deposit on it just in case I spring for it. ugh

- Recently a Stilleto Trident popped up at GC for about $800.

Silentbob - The shop near me has Dual and mini Recto's and I could get about that 17% discount on those too.

Part of me doesn't like to overpay but with the discount I'm leaning new lately.

ifailedshapes
Single Recto
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by ifailedshapes » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:33 pm

I've owned all of the amps you're considering, and I think the 5:50+ is the best bang for the buck of the bunch.
Guitars --> Pedals --> Amps

Past/Present Boogies
Express 5:50+ 1x12"
Stiletto Ace 1x12"
Electra Dyne Head
Lone Star Special 1x12"
Stiletto Ace Head
Express 5:25 1x10"
Mark IVb Widebody 1x12"

Zen
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by Zen » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:14 am

Thanks for all the input. I'm leaning 5:50 Plus new.

The question really is am I the one that brings that Mark iv into the present and drops the dough? Worst case I buy it for $900 and spend another $400. Is it worth it? Subjective answer, I know. Is it that good of an investment to buy the Mark iv with the feeling that something needs repair? I mean I can tell it's a unique amp and I'd certainly be pumped if it didn't need much at all but if I'm gonna sink $1000+, well... ifailedshapes might have set it straight.

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dlpasco
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by dlpasco » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:43 pm

Zen wrote:Thanks for all the input. I'm leaning 5:50 Plus new.

The question really is am I the one that brings that Mark iv into the present and drops the dough? Worst case I buy it for $900 and spend another $400. Is it worth it? Subjective answer, I know. Is it that good of an investment to buy the Mark iv with the feeling that something needs repair? I mean I can tell it's a unique amp and I'd certainly be pumped if it didn't need much at all but if I'm gonna sink $1000+, well... ifailedshapes might have set it straight.
*from my section of the audience seating* "TAKE THE FOOOOUR"

If you're not even sure you're going to use R3 anyway, I'd say buy it, use the amp, and if you get a yen for blistering leads, take into a shop and get it looked at later.

I've never used any of the Express amps. Rectos would definitely work as described.

I'd love to hear what you end up deciding.
Mark IIC+, III, V, Recto Reborn, TC-50
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IronSean
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by IronSean » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:37 am

Maybe not that unusual that the Mark IV hasn't sold in a year, you still need to find someone who has $1000 and wants a high gain combo amp (what they're most known for, that Mark lead sound). Lots of people prefer the head and cab route for them so a combo can be tricky to offload. There's a Mark V combo in my area that's been available for quite some time too.

It is old enough a cap job might be in it's future though.
Mark V
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formerly: Quad Preamp, Rocket 44 112

bandit2013
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Re: 3 Boogie lineup

Post by bandit2013 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:17 am

I am confused as to what R3 is.... I had a Mark IV and never noticed R3... Could you be referring to the Lead Channel? If it was noisy, could be a preamp tube issue or the cable you were using (associated line noise or other electro-magnetic interference at the site you were playing it, I can get all of my amps to have an elevated noise floor as it depends on what guitar, what room I am in, any florescent lamps in use at the time, dimmer switches or ceiling fan, and if the AC unit is running).

Since mine was a combo I used basically Rhythm 1 and Lead most of the time. Rhythm 2 sounded better though a 412 cabinet. Still the Mark IV is one of the few that can be used with 6V6 (of course on tweed setting and not full power) - never tried it but it is in the manual. Also you can run the power section with an integrated Quad (EL34/6L6). However it does not have a specific bias switch like the Mark V or other amps (rectifier series). I did enjoy the versatility of the amp in most respects for the 15+ years I owned it. I would probably still have the amp if I was not interested in drum equipment as I recently started playing the drums (hooked on phonics, but not the monkey.... reference to South Park spelling bee contest,,, that episode was funny).

If I had to choose between the three I would go with the Mark IV (especially if it is mint, even better if it was hardwood with wicker grill). However, I have not played though the other two so it the amp grabs you go with your gut feeling. Weigh in the facts on feature set but tone and character should be the primary deciding factor. I would look over the manuals from the Mesa site. Express series is current and the Mark IV can be found in the link provided.

http://mesaboogie.com/support/out-of-pr ... index.html

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