Mesa Boogie Road King Head
Mesa Boogie Road King Head

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

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iamqman 06/23/2011

Mesa Boogie Road King Head : iamqman's user review

« Nice and beefy! »

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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


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
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


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.


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.