Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo

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Mark V Combo, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Mesa Boogie in the Mark V series.

14 user reviews

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Mesa Boogie
  • Model: Mark V Combo
  • Series: Mark V
  • Category: Tube Combo Guitar Amps
  • Added in our database on: 04/05/2009

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Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo user reviews

Average Score:4.9( 4.9/5 based on 14 reviews )
 12 reviews86 %
 2 reviews14 %

SonicPulverizer's review"Strong Feature Set"

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
The Mark V is an incredibly versatile amplifier solution, offering three distinctly voiced channels covering a plethora of tones ranging from telecaster friendly cleans to highly saturated lead tones. It is possible to select the wattage rating for each channel from 10, 45, and 90 watts. The amp can be switched between pentode and triode operation on channel 3 to further fine tune the feel of the gain. You have some control over diode or tube rectification on channels 1 and 2 but it is only available in the 45 watt mode. The onboard reverb can be set for each channel separately as well. The Mark V runs on Mesa's own 6L6 tubes. I enjoyed the build of the foot switch and it's ability to both mute the amp and defeat the reverb.


I found the MkV to be challenging to dial in at times. While it is not difficult to find a pleasant sound using generic settings, the amp took a great deal of adjusting to get it just right. The included graphic EQ is essential for coaxing higher gain tones from the amp. The 1x12 is plenty loud but lacks the low end emphasis that you may desire. I favored running the combo through an external 4x12 cab.


Played primarily through a Gibson Les Paul Studio Premium Plus. No pedals.

I found the clean channel to be beautiful and 3 dimensional. The onboard reverb really brought out the charm of this channel and made it one of my personal favorites of the amp. The fat setting delivers a useable amount of low end while the tweed option introduces some gainy characteristics for Vox-like sounds.

Channel 2 was the most difficult to dial in. I found the edge setting to be mostly useless, the crunch setting delievered a very warm iteration of the classic Marshall mid gain sounds. The Mk1 setting had a cool vibe to it but I felt too often that it's lowend was the least intelligible.

Channel 3 was very simple to dial in. The Mkiic+ mode, while being more restrained than the Mkiv or Extreme settings, was the absolute star of the show. It is possible to get singing lead tones even with the gain set relatively low. The bright switch added a sweetness to the sound that had me leaving it engaged almost permanently. Introducing a smile curve on the graphic EQ allows for a lot more aggressiveness. The Mkiv mode allowed for more saturation without having to push the gain quite as high. The Extreme mode followed adding only a subtle amount of extra saturation and aggression to the mix-- but seemed the least articulate of the three.


The Mark is a beautiful amp, both visually and aurally. The control layout is clean and well thought out.
It's feature set is very strong for the current market. It is a world class channel switcher and it's only competition are mostly amps that dwarf it's price point (such as the Bogner Ecstasy). Excellent value for money, excellent design methodologies, excellent amp. While I found very little use for some of the sounds offered, that by no means renders them unnecessary and I'm pleased to see the amount of options offered. If I purchased the amp again I would choose a head to pair with a 4x12. But if you are looking for a combo exclusively, you'll still be very pleased.

racerevlon's review"The best of Mesa Boogie in one portable package."

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
The Mesa Boogie Mark V combo is a 6L6-based all-tube three channel combo that not only encapsulates the best of the Mesa Boogie heritage, but also is so tweakable that you can coax just about any tone from it. Whether you play all original music or nothing but covers, this amp is incredibly flexible. Each channel is independently configurable to run at the full 90 watts, 45 watts, or 10 watts. The only thing really missing from this amp that would make it PERFECT instead of just high-scoring is the absence of MIDI.


It is incredibly easy to get a good sound out of this amp but the issue is that there are so many great sounds; which one do you choose?

There is a somewhat daunting number of controls on this amp, all intended to provide the ultimate in tonal flexibility. However, just imagine that there are so many controls on the front panel that they have to put the reverb and triode/pentode switches on the back. Each channel has three modes to choose from and are foot-switchable, as is the effects loop, reverb, EQ, amp mute, and solo boost. This makes for a larger than normal 8-button foot switch, but it is easily stored in the back of the combo (once you learn the trick). You can only pick from one of the modes for each channel, selectable by a mini-toggle switch on the front of the amp. Also present is the familiar Mark Series 5-band graphic EQ on the front.

All of the above shouldn't keep you from trying this amp though. The controls are easy enough to quickly master and from that point, the tone flows...


I originally took two guitars to the Mesa Hollywood store to check out the Mesa Road King combo. Ended up checking out the Roadster instead of the Road King, then, just as I was about to leave, they suggested I check out the Mark V just for grins. This amp is UNBELIEVABLE. I played it through my Ibanez RG760 with Dimarzio Super 3 bridge and Fast Track 2 Neck, and my mahogany Ibanez Artist with Dimarzio PAF 36th Anniversary bridge and Air Norton neck, in both humbucker and single-coil mode with my installed push-pull coil splitting volume potentiometer. I couldn't make this thing sound bad. Every sound you've ever heard is in there. There are three channels with three selectable modes each. The cleans on channel 1 go from clean, shimmering, and sparkling, to fat and jazzy, to just broken up "cheap dirt." Channel two takes you into the 70's and 80's with everything from Santana to Satriani. Channel 3 is your heavy gain channel and just piles it on with everything from Dream Theater to unbelievable amounts of gain on the "Extreme" setting. You can choose between using the 5-band EQ or a Mid-Contour EQ... or no EQ... this is possibly the most flexible combo I've ever used. Each channel has three selectable power modes: 10w, 45w, or 90w, meaning you can have your clean channel on 90w for maximum headroom, have your crunch channel at 10w for a great touch-responsive crunch, and have channel 3 on 45w for the best of both worlds. Included foot switch means all you'd really need is any effects to go in the effects loop (also foot-switchable). You can also select between a full-power and Variac mode that gives that nice power sag. Bottom line, the Road King, while allowing for the mix of different power tubes, isn't really worth the extra $1000, and the Roadster (for the same price as the Mark 5) just seemed to lack character.


With the ability to run this into a 4x12, it's possible you may never need anything else. Best amp I've ever played in this price range. The only other combo I've play that comes as close tonally and/or flexibly is the Hughes & Kettner Switchblade. There is a trade-off; while the Switchblade has MIDI capabilities, it doesn't have the selectable power modes. While the Switchblade has on-board effects, it doesn't have the vast tone-shaping abilities of the Mark V. Having owned both, I actually stuck with the Hughes & Kettner because of the MIDI capabilities and on-board effects. I think that while the Mark V combo is an amazing amp, the options the amp offers don't quite justify the price tag. However, if you're a fan of Mesa Boogie, this may be all the amp you ever need.

jkessel's review"Amazingly versatile, 9 amps in 1 box!!!"

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
Mesa Boogie Mark V. All tube preamp and 4 power tubes, simulclass so it can be 4x6L6 or 2x6L6 and 2xEL34. 3 channels, 3 modes to each channel, switchable 90/45/10 watts, full power and variac power switch, individual channel EQ as well as programmable graphic EQ for each channel. Individual channel reverb, tube or transistor rectifier, pentode or triode switching for the lead channel, all controllable via midi foot switch (included). This amp can replace an entire rack of amps and EQ's. It's just amazing all the things they put into this and still made it cheaper than other boutique style amps. Made here in the USA in California.


Mesa Boogies have been known for being notorious at setting up. Takes quite a while to get a good tone but once you do it's amazing. This breaks that chain, it's very easy to setup and get a great tone. Each channel has tons of options but very easy to understand. Simple controls: Gain, treble, bass, mid, presence, volume. Then there's the modes. Channel 1 has: clean, fat, tweed. Channel 2 has: crunch, edge, Mark I. Channel 3 has: IIC+, IV, extreme. The manual, like all Mesa manuals, are very descriptive and explain everything in great detail. Makes the amp very easy to understand.


Clean is a normal mesa style clean which is similar to a Fender, very bright, sparkly, and shimmering. Fat is similar but thicker so works well with single coil pickups. Tweed shifts the treble and mid controls to a lower frequency so along with it being slightly hotter it just has a overall different sound.

Crunch is the first of the mid gain modes. Slight overdrive to it, similar to a overdriven marshall but not as much. Edge is the same but with more gain on tap. Mark I is a recreation at the legendary Mesa Mark I used by artists such as Santana. Very thick, creamy, and smooth with huge low end. Great for bluesy leads, this mode has much more gain than the other 2 modes.

IIC+ is a recreation of the also legendary Mesa Mark IIC+. Used widely in metal music by artists such as MetallicA and John Petrucci of Dream Theatre. Much higher gain, very tight, and more aggressive than the other channels. It's not dead on to a real IIC+ but it's got a very similar voicing. IV is again a recreation of the Mesa Mark IV. Also widely used by artists such as MetallicA (debatable), John Petrucci of Dream Theatre, and Lamb Of God. This has much more gain that the IIC+, is tighter, but isn't as smooth sounding. Extreme is also based off the Mark IV but on the original Mark IV the presence knob was push/ pull. Pulled out was normal mode, pushed in increased gain and made the amp brighter with a sharper attack, so basically a more extreme sound.


There's not really anything I can say I dislike about the amp. It has less gain and is less aggressive than my Mark III but that's expected, it's not recreating the aggressive Mark III, rather the smoother IIC+ and IV. So that's not a downside to me. This may not recreate each amp perfectly but it does a great job and has a sound all it's own. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone for any style.
heads on fire11/28/2011

heads on fire's review"A perfect tube amplifier."

Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
1 x 12" Combo with C90 Speaker
10/45/90 Watts
4x6L6 (or 4xEL34), 7x12AX7, 1x5U4
Bias Select Switch (6L6/EL34)
Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance
Full Power/Variac Power Switch
3 Fully Independent Channels with 9 Modes
Footswitchable, Channel Assignable or True Bypassable All-Tube FX Loop with Send Level Control (over all channels when activated)
Output Level Control (over all channels when activated)
Footswitchable Solo Level Control
True "Hard" Bypass Switch removes FX Loops, Output Level & Solo Level Controls from signal path
Tuner Output w/Footswitchable Mute
Slave Out w/Level Control
Fan Cooled with On/Off Switch
External Switching Jacks for Channels 2, 3 (channel 1 is default), EQ & Solo
Aluminum Chassis
4x4 — 8 Button Footswitch
Slip Cover
22.5" W x 19" H x 10.5" D
Simul-Class Power Amp with Multi-Watt and Duo-Class technologies for 3 power and three operating class options
Wattages are channel assignable via 10/45/90 Watt Power Switches
Choose 2 power tubes operating in pure vintage Class A (single-ended), producing 10 Watts
2 tubes running in time-honored Class A/B producing 45 Watts
4 tubes running in Mesa's patented Simul-Class Power that blends the best of Class A and Class A/B simultaneously to produce 90 Watts


I don't give a lot of these 10 ratings out, but this is a perfect amplifier. The Mark V can produce nearly any natural guitar tone one can think of at three convenient wattages. 3 separate channels can each be configured for seemingly infinite options, changing gain structure, EQ curves, and the overall feel. This amp can achieve convincing results of nearly any of Mesa's past beauties, yet without any modeling - it's all tubes, transistors, resistors, transformers, chips.


The reverb may possibly be the best reverb I've heard in an amplifier - it's a nice spring verb that can be set for different levels on each channel, so switching from clean to dirty to liquid soloing doesn't have to include an extra step of fumbling with turning on or off the reverb as well.

Cleans are sparkly, glassy, and can get gritty if desired. Distortions range from 50s power amp distortion sounds to modern death metal, and absolutely everything in between. The EQ is incredibly powerful, letting one carve to surgical precision the desired tonal timbre.


This may be the greatest tube amp I've yet played. The options are vast, yet it is easy to get a great sound of. The vacuum tube was obsoleted in the 1960s and 70s for most electronic products, but this amplifier may be the crowning achievement of any tube circuit. Mesa thought of everything on this amp - they included a fan to cool the circuit to prevent overheating, yet it has an on/off switch in case silent operation is necessary, such as for studio applications. This amp is a perfect 10.

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  • Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
  • Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
  • Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo
  • Mesa Boogie Mark V Combo

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Other names: markv combo, mark vcombo, markvcombo, mark5combo, mark 5combo, mark5 combo, mark 5 combo, 1mv1x

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