Mesa Boogie Road King Head
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Mesa Boogie Road King Head

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Road King Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Mesa Boogie in the Road King series.


11 user reviews
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Mesa Boogie Road King Head tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Mesa Boogie
  • Model:Road King Head
  • Series:Road King
  • Category:Tube Guitar Amp Heads
  • Added in our database on: 06/23/2011

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Mesa Boogie Road King Head user reviews

Average Score:5.0( 5/5 based on 11 reviews )
 11 reviews100 %
MGR/Gary01/24/2004

MGR/Gary's review"Mesa Boogie Road King"

Mesa Boogie Road King Head
The unit was purchased from guitar center in Azusa CA. Price was around $2500.00. Although I was very lucky and recieved it as a birthday present.

The road king has a million different tones, It allows you to choose between 3 different preamp circiuts and 5 different power amp circuits for each of the four channels. Then it allows you to assign either bold or spongy use of the power tubes. It also allows you to choose your rectifier tracking. Basically to sum it all up, you can get any tube amp circiut/ sound out of this beast. It comes with a foot controller to allow you to switch channels, turn on or off your reverb, or 2 effects loops (which are assignable to each channel and have a mix pot for each), and it allows you to trigger an external device. Channels 3 and 4 are mosterous. This is the first amp I have ever played that didn't need any effects or outboard gear to amaze you, through its settings you can get any boogie rectifier, marshall, or fender amp sound you want. All of them sounding incerdible.

Well it's a little pricey for one.
Second the effects loop has proven to be a little touchy, it doesn't like low budget effects on it. Although it sounds fantastic without effects.

Well boogie is famous for its "built like a tank" approach, and this is definately no exception. The head weighs a lot. As for quality I am sure everything is top of the line. I have a 17 year old mark 3 boogie and have never had a problem with it. With 10 of the years on it being constantly moved and transported, so I can say that boogies quality is no bs. Evryone else in my group had equipment problems with their amps, the worst problem I ever had was a loose tube.

Tonal monster, top quality pro gear, any sound you're after, if this sounds like it's for you go test drive a Road King, I love mine. With all of the new multi effects units putting in amp modelers let me tell you none of those models sound like the real circuits. In other words why buy something trying to sound like a great amp, cut to the chase and just buy the great amps.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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iamqman06/23/2011

iamqman's review"Nice and beefy!"

Mesa Boogie Road King Head
This was the first installment of the Road King amplifiers. These amps are just purely amazing. They have a rich tone and features that will get you moving for days. I absolutely love the way these amps sound in the bedroom and in the band mix. They are hardy and rich of tone and distortion pleasure.

This is one beast of an amp! This one probably is the flag ship amp that Mesa Boogie carries. This amp is the most versatile amp that they make. It is like the Roadster as far as sound and front panel features. The thing that separates this from the Roadster is the back panel features. You can set up so many variations of tubes combination and biasing that makes it a recording dream amp. For someone who is recording this amp is a pleasure to have in the session. Since sound engineers have so many tracks and options of layering guitar tracks and mixing. Having an amp that will be able to mix and match EL34 and 6L6's in just about any configuration is remarkable. The over all tone and sound you get from this is parallel to the Roadster, except you have even more of a variety of tube options at your disposal.


Mesa/Boogie Road King Series II Head 120-watt, 4-channel Tube Amplifier Head at a Glance:

Like having five complete tube amps inside one head
Modes offer even more tonal flexibility
Don't just switch channels — switch cabinets
Dial in the amp response that suits you
Effects loops and silent tuning functionality

UTILIZATION


Mesa/Boogie Road King Series II Head 120-watt, 4-channel Tube Amplifier Head Features:

Handbuilt in Petaluma, California
Multi-watt, channel-assignable power amp with Progressive Linkage
Tube complement: 4 x 6L6, 2 x EL34, 6 x 12AX7, 2 x 5U4
Select among 2 x 6L6, 2 x EL34, 2 x 6L6 + 2 x EL34, 4 x 6L6 or 4 x 6L6 + 2 x EL34
Power rating: 50, 100, or 120 watts, selectable
Fixed bias for consistent, maintenance-free performance
Four fully Independent channels with 12 Modes: Channel 1 - Clean, Fat or Tweed; Channel 2 - Clean, Fat or Brit; channels 3 and 4 - Raw, Vintage High Gain or Modern High Gain
Each channel features independent gain, treble, mid, bass, presence, all-tube long spring reverb, 5-position Progressive Linkage Power Tube Select, channel-assignable Dual Rectification with Recto Tracking (Diode or Tube Tracking), Speaker Output Select (Speaker Out A, B or A+B), FX Loop 1 and 2 Select (2-series loop On/Off switches per channel or footswitch assignable)
Output Level Control (over all channels when activated)
Footswitchable Solo Level Control (over all channels when activated)
Bold/Spongy "Variac" switch
True "Hard" Bypass switch that removes effects loop, Output Level and Solo Level Controls from signal path
Tuner output with footswitchable mute
Slave Out w/level control
Fan-cooled
External switching jacks for channels 1, 2, 3, 4, Solo, Reverb, Loop 1, Loop 2, and Tuner Mute
9-button footswitch (Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, Channel 4, Tuner Mute, Reverb, Loop 1, Loop 2, and Solo)
Slip cover included

SOUNDS

I liked keeping it on the diode tracking. It sounded just as awesome with the tube tracking but I felt it needed that extra umph or sizzle in the amp. The thing live on channel four on the modern mode.

Run a Les Paul or a humbucker style guitar in front of this amp and you can hear and feel the power it delivers. It has a unique sizzle only found in rectos. The sponge and tight feature is cool when you need to use it in drop tunings then switch it over to the tight side. If you are playing hard rock and need only a half tuning or regular then keep in on sponge. On the sponge setting you will find the amp a bit more forgiving.

OVERALL OPINION

Compared to many boutique amps out there that have a lot less features and options this amp is priced pretty well. It may be a bit much for most people, but this is a Mesa beast of an amp. This amp is geared towards the professional musician or an experienced guitar player that knows what he or she wants and is willing to pay whatever it takes to get that tone in their head out of their speaker cabinet.

I would recommend this amp to anyone who needs a lot of options from his guitar amp. This amp is so versatile that if I owned a recording studio this is one amp that I would own as a "must have" to complete my studio.

At new they come in at around $2750. That seems to be a fare price for this well built machine. It is going to be high for high school kids but this amp wasn't built for that market. This is a professional guitarist's amplifier.
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iamqman04/07/2011

iamqman's review"King of Mesa"

Mesa Boogie Road King Head
This is one beast of an amp! This one probably is the flag ship amp that Mesa Boogie carries. This amp is the most versatile amp that they make. It is like the Roadster as far as sound and front panel features. The thing that separates this from the Roadster is the back panel features. You can set up so many variations of tubes combination and biasing that makes it a recording dream amp. For someone who is recording this amp is a pleasure to have in the session. Since sound engineers have so many tracks and options of layering guitar tracks and mixing. Having an amp that will be able to mix and match EL34 and 6L6's in just about any configuration is remarkable. The over all tone and sound you get from this is parallel to the Roadster, except you have even more of a variety of tube options at your disposal.

UTILIZATION

Handbuilt in Petaluma, California

Multi-Watt™ Channel Assignable Power Amp with Progressive Linkage™ (patent 5,559,469) featuring 4x6L6 & 2xEL34, which allows you to select either 2x6L6, 2xEL34, 2x6L6+2xEL34, 4x6L6
or 4x6L6+2xEL34 for Power Ratings of 50, 100 & 120 Watts! / 6x12AX7, 2x5U4

Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance

4 Fully Independent Channels with 12 Modes (Channel 1 =Clean, Fat or Tweed™, Channel 2 =Clean, Fat or Brit, Channels 3 & 4=Raw, Vintage High Gain or Modern High Gain)

Each Channel features Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, All-Tube Long Spring Reverb, 5 Position Progressive Linkage Power Tube Select (choices listed above), Channel Assignable Dual Rectification with Recto Tracking™ (Diode or Tube Tracking – Patents 5,168,438 & 7,193,458), Speaker Output Select (Speaker Out A, B or A+B), FX Loop 1 and 2 Select (2-Series Loop On/Off Switches per Channel or Footswitch Assignable)

Output Level Control (over all channels when activated)

SOUNDS

I liked keeping it on the diode tracking. It sounded just as awesome with the tube tracking but I felt it needed that extra umph or sizzle in the amp. The thing live on channel four on the modern mode.

Run a Les Paul or a humbucker style guitar in front of this amp and you can hear and feel the power it delivers. It has a unique sizzle only found in rectos. The sponge and tight feature is cool when you need to use it in drop tunings then switch it over to the tight side. If you are playing hard rock and need only a half tuning or regular then keep in on sponge. On the sponge setting you will find the amp a bit more forgiving.

OVERALL OPINION

I would recommend this amp to anyone who needs a lot of options from his guitar amp. This amp is so versatile that if I owned a recording studio this is one amp that I would own as a "must have" to complete my studio.

At new they come in at around $2700. That seems to be a fare price for this well built machine. It is going to be high for high school kids but this amp wasn't built for that market. This is a professional guitarist's amplifier.
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Hatsubai03/30/2011

Hatsubai's review"Most versatile Rectifier ever"

Mesa Boogie Road King Head
Mesa/Boogie set out to create the most versatile Rectifier ever seen, and they did one amazing job. This features pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink. Aside from four independent controls, it also has crazy features such as tube assigning per channel, independent reverb per channel, two effects loop that are user assignable per channel, multiple speaker cabinet selection, diode/rectifier assignment per channel and the list just goes on. It's crazy!

UTILIZATION

Mesa did a great job at laying everything out. At first, it looks like a lot, but everything is clearly labeled and logical when it comes to utilization. The manual on this is amazing, just like all the Mesa manuals out there. It describes how to dial it in, what controls do what, where the sweet spots are, and so on. There are reports of some channel popping, so keep that in mind when using this amp.

SOUNDS

Sound has been rated down since the Road King II came out. That aside, the amp is awesome. The clean tones are pretty good, midgain tones are nice and lead tones are amazing. Boosting this amp takes it into a new dimension as well. It is versatile enough to do any style out there from jazz to metal, although I have a feeling the people who buy this will lean towards the rock/metal aspects of music. The coolest feature is easily the tube selection. It adds so much versatility to this amp that it's almost mind blowing.

OVERALL OPINION

Since the Road King II came out, this amp is somewhat obsolete. I'd only recommend buying one if you find a good deal on one used. That said, if you already have one, there's no reason to run out and buy the new version. It's still one of the most versatile amps on the market that can deliver nearly a tone for nearly any genre you can think of.
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  • Mesa Boogie Road King Head
  • Mesa Boogie Road King Head
  • Mesa Boogie Road King Head
  • Mesa Boogie Road King Head

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