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.

syl2412 06/25/2014

Mesa Boogie Mark Five Head : syl2412's user review

« Good in all styles »

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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.