Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head

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

All user reviews for the Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head

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Average Score:5.0( 5/5 based on 6 reviews )
 6 reviews100 %
Audience: Anyone Value For Money : Excellent
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thisch's review"Simply the best"

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
There is nothing I can say to render the true beauty, excellence, sweetness, power, subtlety, tonal richness, punch and everything else of this amp.
First impression: it is built like a tank, has as much knobs as a Boieng 777 (actually, it has probably more knobs than a 787...)
First trial: I hooked it to the Alnico blue in my AC15 (because that was the only speaker I had handy) and it was like I just made a sonic quantum leap. I was just scarred to blow the speaker, SO I ordered the legendary EV12L, for which I built a custom closed cab, and then
Second trial: Hallelujah, Hare Hare, Nirvana Walhalla, and all that sort of things!

Whatever your style, whatever you play, with whatever axe you have in store (I tried the following, in no particular order: ES335, LP, PRS HB II, PRS Santana II, PRS 513, Dupont, Strat, Tele, Preacher, Breadwinner, Muscato Legend), there is NO WAY you cannot find the just right sweet spot that translate into the sound you hear in your head! There are just too many channels, too many options, with all the right technological bells and whistle to ensure the perfect tone. the signal path is pristine, and one can adjust absolutely everything to accommodate any rig.

Of course, it comes at a price . The MkV is expensive.
and: the MkV will takes times to understand the various options, tweak it properly, etc. But once it is done, it is THE guitaristic bliss.
King Loudness05/03/2011

King Loudness's review"My favourite amplifier by my favourite company!"

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
The Mesa Boogie Mark V was designed by Randall Smith and the team at Boogie to take many of the classic sounds of Mesa Boogie lore (Mark I, Mark IIC+, Mark IV) and mix them with some other great tones (Lone Star esque cleans, slightly broken up British voiced crunch tones and some searing modern high gain sounds too.) Top that off with a myriad of features to alter the sound such as wattage selection, variac power mode, switching between tube rectifiers and silicon diodes, reverb controls per channel... the list goes on and on. The full list from Mesa is as follows:

Simul-Class Power Amp (Patents 4,532,476 & 4,593,251) featuring Multi-Watt (Patent 7,602,927) and Duo-Class (Patent 7,173,488) technologies which provide three power and three operating class options that 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 or 4 tubes running in Mesas legendary, patented Simul-Class Power that blends the best of Class A and Class A/B simultaneously to produce 90 Watts of pure tonal magic / 4x6L6 (or 4xEL-34), 7x12AX7, 1x5U4

Bias Select Switch (6L6/EL34)
Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance
Full Power/Variac Power Switch (Patent 5,091,700)
3 Fully Independent Channels with 9 Modes (Channel 1 = Clean, Fat or Tweed, Channel 2 = Edge, Crunch or Mark I, Channel 3 = Mark IIC+, Mark IV or Extreme)
Normal/Bold Switch on Channel 1, Normal/Thick Switch on Channel 2 (Mark I mode only), Normal/Bright Switch & Pentode/Triode Switch on Channel 3
Each Channel features: Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Master, Footswitchable or Auto-Assignable Contour Depth Control, Footswitchable All-Tube, Long Spring Reverb Control, Rectifier Tracking (Auto-selects Tube for all 10 Watt Modes, Diode for all 90 Watt Modes, selectable Tube or Diode for 45 Watt Modes on Channels 1 and 2, Diode for 45 Watt Mode on Channel 3 - Patents 5,168,438 & 7,193,458)
5 Band Graphic EQ is Footswitchable, Channel Assignable and Selectable between 1 group of 5-Band Sliders or 3 channel specific, variable depth Contour Controls
Footswitchable, Channel Assignable or True Bypassable Fully Buffered FX Loop with Send Level Control (over all channels when activated)
Output Level Control (over all channels when activated)
Footswitchable Solo Level Control Patent 6,724,897 (over all channels when activated)
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 New 4x4 - 8 Button Footswitch (Bottom Row: Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, Solo Top Row: Reverb, FX Loop, EQ & Tuner Mute)

It's a very versatile amp that promises to deliver a lot in the tonal department while retaining the feel that a Mesa amp should.


This amp, upon first inspection, looks to be almost impossible to dial in. There are three channels, each with a wattage selector (90w/45w/10w), a switch to turn the graphic EQ on or off (or assign it to be footswitchable), as well as a three way switch to select the channel mode (IE: Ch1 has Normal, Fat Clean, and Tweed modes). There is also one further switch on each channel to adjust something about the modes (IE: Ch1 has a "bold" switch).

Each channel has 6 controls, gain, volume, presence, bass, middle, treble. Unlike many previous Mesa Mark series amps, there is no pull knobs for the channel. There is also reverb on the back with a control for each channel. Lastly there is a 5 band graphic EQ built in to further sculpt your sound to bring it to levels of sonic satori.

It's very simple to dial it in once you know what you are doing. Channel 1 is your clean channel and works as such. It goes all the way from a crystal clear clean tone to a very gained out classic sound that is reminiscent of the old tweed Fender amps.

The second channel has a decidedly vintage rock flavour to it. It goes from classic edge-of-breakup type sounds (think an older NMV Marshall, but a bit more modern) to classic JMP/800 esque crunch tones to the smooth and dark tones of the Mesa Boogie Mark I. Beware, this mode is very dark in nature so it can be a bit of an annoyance dialing that mode in to work with the other channels at times.

The third channel goes from the classic L.A rock/metal tones of the Mesa Mark IIC+, to the smoother and more rounded sounding tones of the Mark IV to a searing modern tone that can only be classified as extreme.

If you combine all these core tones with the various features that Mesa offers on this amplifier to adjust the tones and feel of the amp, you have what is easily one of the most versatile and best sounding production amplifier on the planet right now.


I presently use this amplifier with a Gibson Les Paul Traditional Plus loaded with 57 Classic humbuckers. I can't really cover all of the tones that I get out of this amp, simply because there are so many. I can safely say that this amp would cover everything from jazz/blues to country to all levels of rock and metal tones.

My favourite tones out of this amp are the Fat Clean mode (with bold switch engaged), the Tweed Clean mode (with the gain turned up to really juice the preamp), the Crunch tone on Channel 2 with the gain turned up for a classic seventies/early eighties arena rock tone, the Mark I mode with the GEQ OFF for a darker, slightly chunker vintage rock tone, and the Mark IIC+ and Mark IV modes on Channel 3 for raunchy eighties rock and smooth lead tones respectively.

I generally like running the amp in variac power mode for a slightly spongier feel, similar to a pushed older Marshall but with tonnes of gain and the slightly bolder tone of 6L6 tubes. You can load the amp with EL34s though if you want to get one step closer to that British flavour.


All in all I feel this is probably one of Mesa's finest amps. It has a whole plethora of great tones for a while variety of musical styles, a seemingly endless parade of features to adjust the tones to your liking, and that classic Mesa Mark series feel and tone that I just enjoy so much (and keep coming back to). My first really good amplifier was a Mesa Boogie Mark III head, so I enjoy being able to relive some of the tones I got out of that.

For the $2,100 or so new price that these are new, they are a FANTASTIC bargain. Absolutely worth it. The only other amp I would even consider in this price range would be a used Custom Audio Electronics PT (Pete Thorn) PT50 or PT100, which is still more $$$ and has far less features than this amp. Some people complain about this amp not sounding exactly like the classics... but the way I see it, it's a great sounding amp on its own regardless of what amps it's supposed to sound like. All in all this is probably the best amp I've owned to date! I give this my rare 10/10 rating!

iamqman's review"A Beast!!"

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
This amp is a beast. I would say that the Road King is the most versatile amp in the Mesa Boogie line up this amp is right up there with that one. This amp has more features and control knobs on it that make a airplane control room look small. It looks like the amp could take flight if give wings. Well, I have had this amp around many situations and I have to say it has some soaring features and tones that make it a lot of fun playing with.

It is basically three channels from the earl Mark up to the modern Mark series amps. The best part of this amp in my opinion which is on all Mesa's which makes me love Mesa is the self biasing features it has. Not having to pay some amp tech to pull your amp out of the chassis and spending the money is a plus.

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head Special Features:

* 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


Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head Features:

* 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


I was playing a Les Paul through this amp and that combo had some huge balls to it. It was chest thumping tonal goodness. It sat very nicely in a band situation in different speakers settings as well. It thought it sounded best with a Custom Audio Amplifiers 4x12 that had some Celestion Greenback speakers in it. The highs were a little too piercing and so I think some Weber 1265's or some Splawn Small Block speakers that are rated 65 watts would do the trick rather than having the 25 watts that we used. Another great option I had was the Vintage 30 Celestion speakers. These had a more warmer tone but lacked in the midrange. A mix of the two probably would be optimum, but wants to carry around two 4x12 Mesa Boogie cabs. Hauling one of those things around is tough enough.


This is a workhorse amp. It will be ready to rock with you night in and night out. Although, I have one friend who has gone through a couple of these amps because they failed on him. Luckily he had the Mesa warranty and wasn't out of pocket at all, just out of an amp for a while. Mesa is good at customer service as well. You can call there anytime during the work hours and speak to someone who is helpful. They are big company with small company standards and people skills. I highly recommend them to anyone.
boogie les bons tuyaux10/29/2014

boogie les bons tuyaux's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" I found my sound !!"

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
What kind of amplification (lamp, transistor, ...)? pipe, tube, pipe, tube, pipe, tube, pipe, tube, pipe, tube, tueb, tube, or 4 6L6 1 and 7 preamp correct

What is the power delivered? What I mean nothing.
100w, but it is very gérable.surtout with output levels in class A.


The configuration is it simple?
saying do not think to buy and play the same night on stage

Gets it easy to sound good?
is going to come

The manual is clear and sufficient? ...
could not be more clear, it is this passionate randal smith
Besides, I recommend to enter at least once to understand the intricacies, opportunities and large traps éviter.77 pages, I think.
I have it in French if qqu'un wants.


Is it your style of music?

With what (s) guitar (s) / low (s) or effect (s) do you play?
mainly humbucker.
Note also that the settings are diametrically opposed on different guitars with microphones character too different.
Let me explain.
I have a good sound with a LP, and I pull out my strat.
if I do not touch EVERYTHING, the sound is ch ...
suddenly, in concert, I recommend taking shovels that have the same output level, the same character.
if not, for sure its sour or mushy bass, etc ...
say that this is also the case with another amp, but by moving the treble / bass on the fly, a little gain, and this is good.
there, not even in dreams.

What kind of sound you get and with what settings ("crystalline", "bold", ....)?
very clean in true California lead

What are the sounds you prefer, you hate?
is going to come


How long have you use it?
one week, or 4 years, see below

What is so special that you like most and least?
the power / weight ratio, durability.
also, I am amazed by the # of pedals that accepte.assez rare.tout is ok.
I also like his loop, although some decry mesa for the quality of the loop, I find it to hell!
Besides, I had a JVM410, what a joy to board on my mark V:-)

in fact, I'm cheating because just before I had the combo for 4 years.
I like the combo, but its weight .... bcp less.
and in general, this compressed sound began to weigh me.
so I went to the head.
suddenly I found a neutral point of view of a compression and my back, too.

second point on the channels (as mentioned above).
I struggled as my combo set the channel 2.
really clear and capricious.
because of the media, a kind of weird filter on the mark I and a lack of potato on the edge.
suddenly, I understood that my grail would be in the Crunch.
it is astonishing that channel.
this is CHI-RUR-GI-CAL.on despises mediums, no sound, treble is mounted, the gain is too loud, you lower the treble, mids are lost, low you go, we take treble and the sound is dirty.
short, it deserves.
the other two are quite as is that we have understood the interaction of the triptych TREBLE / BASS / GAIN.
Again, read the manual, no traps once you got it.

If I summarize:
- Different levels of user must be the same on 3 channels (eg fat on 1 crucnh on 2 and 3 on the mark IV).
- Treble / bass interact on the gain and vice versa.
- Too low it's useless.
- Start by setting aigus.finir by the bass.
- And most importantly, never give him to eat after midnight (what I tell myself).

Have you tried many other models before buying it?
I think all that is in his head.

How would you rate the quality / price?
very expensive, of course, I'm a musician.
this is probably the ultimate amp for me as it is unclassifiable in his game, and playing in different formations (I do a lot of remplas)

With experience, you do again this choice? ...
read my title

syl2412's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"Good in all styles"

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
3-channel head lamps. 7 lamps 12AX7 preamp, 4 6L6 power tubes (can be replaced with EL34) and 1 lamp "rectify" 5U4.
Master, gain, presence, treble, mid, bass for each channel.
Channel 1 clean / fat / tweed - Channel 2 edge / crunch / Mark I - Channel 3 Mark II c + / Mark IV / extreme
10/45/90w selectable for each channel.
5-band EQ or fader to push or dig assignable channel mediums.
Reverb level adjustable by channel
Series loop with level control and bypass hard
switch diode / tube for channels 1 & 2 (only 45w)
switch pentode / triode for channel 3
slave output
tuner connection
HP outputs 8 and 16 ohms
a switch to turn off the fan (for recording sessions)
a switch to choose between 6L6 and EL34 (not to be mistaken!)
Crank 8 buttons: Reverb (on / off) - EQ (on / off) - loop (on / off) - solo (on / off) - Channel 1 - Channel 2 - Channel 3 - mute.

Head very very ... very complete and fully analog.


The configuration is not simple.
We easily get a good sound, but given the wealth of settings, reading the manual, very well done (available in French), is very useful and informative. And to bring out the best, we must spend hours on it. Each setting has a very significant impact on the final result so the possible combinations are enormous impact. It is therefore not easy to adjust.
I heard him say, with a Mark V, you never get your finished sound, but you're still in content.
Those who like an amp in which one branch, turn both knobs and go, go your way you'll go crazy.

Some wanted the Mark V being noon compliant. It is not, but there is a solution. firm RJM Music Technologies manufactures midi controllers that can be connected to your pedal or midi controller and it allows control of the Mark V from A to Z. I have a Mini Amp Gizmo that connects with an 8-pin cable for specific Mark V (the pedal does not fit). It is connected to my G-System, which allows me to not use the Mark V pedal and steer all (8 possibilities pedal) with the G-System. Finished tap ... It works with many other amps too. Super convenient!


It is suitable for all styles of music. Mesa may have a reputation for amps nag, but it's so simplistic. Just listen to Andy Timmons or even Santana both play on Mesa.
You can get almost everything with this amp.

Channel 1 provides position in clean sounds that do not saturate at all, even with a big attack.
Position fat as the name suggests gives a sound that has a little more body which saturates slightly when you push the gain.
The tweed position opens the door saturations. Channel saturates quickly in the race of winning. This is a slight saturation, music, bluesy. Fenderien in mind.

Channel 2 is a channel in which the rockers find their happiness. The three positions edge, crunch and mark I offer different grains, all usable. It should be noted that Mark position I, it is better not to push too low to keep a good definition, even pushing through the 5-band EQ which is positioned after the preamp.

Channel 3 takes us into the world of large saturations. The Mark II + c mode has exactly the same circuit as the Mark II c + original, very popular, so it is difficult to find and cost an arm.

This amp (and that goes with HP) agrees very well distortion pedals. I had a tube distortion Rocktron Silver Dragon that was not terrible on my old hybrid Marshall, which was magnified on my Mark V. Flagrant.


It is not easy to solve: I use it for almost 1 year now and I just started not to touch the settings too ... But I'm delighted with the result. I think I can still improve my clean. A explore. :-)
I have a HP Mesa 1x12 with a Celestion C90 (same as for the combo). I am considering buying a later 2x12.
One has the impression (to paraphrase Guitarist & Bass Magazine) they have "guitarists convened in 2000 and asked them: What do you need and:? For you, what is the ideal amp emerged in the Mark V. "

on the other hand, it is very expensive, but given the benefits, the price seems less salty.

Mesa is sometimes criticized for its reliability. For my part, I have not encountered any problem despite falling 60-70 cm high on the tarmac. It took a big hit on one corner but still works flawlessly. Whew ...

Choice again? Most likely. Especially during a recent (6 months) as I could find.

ganafoul's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" excellent but less specific"

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head
all-tube amp of course, as the mine with 4 6L6, EL34, since replaced by 4 if desired. Power 100 - 45 - 10 watts of your choice on each channel completely canal.Trois indpendants Each one with three modes.Un pdalier trs in addition to the tradional comprehensive selection of channels used to control the EQ of the loop effect, the reverb (at divine deumeurant) function and a solo "Mute." selectable by a recovery in the 5U4 45 Watts on channels 1 and 2 and Triode or Pentode option on the channel for Lead.Voil Broadly, because I think those who read me know much about dj SPECIFICATIONS of this amp.


Being a regular at Mesa, I board had no problem at most levels rglages.De tlecharger it is possible to record in french.
Do you get a good sound easy? clear: yes
Legalization is tourjours trs reactive and again, with the EQ is the possibility to use either traditional Manir with sliders or by a contour knob.


Is it your style of music? It should all styles!
I play blues rock of great personal and blus Texas, with some incursions Hard rock.
With what (s) guitar (s) / low (s) or effect (s) do you play?
Start prs and post CBS, Tele, Lespaul, ES335 (Well I board a little bit of stuff is true, but a certain age !!!!!) So the sound is true that I did trs not extended because if the amp is actually very complete and versatile, I would say that we should not have known these great ERRF! I own a Mark IV in parallle purchased new in 1993 and III of 1991 and it is unfortunate that the Lead Drive (cascading gain) and the Push / pull knobs for gain does not have as many sounds Lead conservs.Pour obtained are still excellent, just a little less than possibilits.lDommage because I think the lead drive is a bit of the trademark MARK.Mais good use I must admit that this does not impede me from trop.En However, a big plus for indpendance total of three channels that allow you to carve a real clear sound without any interaction on channel 2 (from the Mark IV)


I use it for the past 6 mois.Il took me a little time for the fair apprcier valeur.J 'too had a tendency to compare IV.Maintenant I love it.'s Hard to say IV or V which I prfre, they each have their advantages and inconvnients the three when he plays in another court but also his "soul." Who wants the flexibility to Use the V is the assurment meilleurAvec the exprience, you do again this choice? .. Without hsitation