iamqman 06/28/2011

Mesa Boogie Road King II Head : iamqman's user review

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Mesa Boogie went through and virtually overall hauled the kinks that they had in the series l amplifiers. The improved the range of EQ's for sonic improvements and they restructured the voicing of the amp for over all enhancement. The features are exactly the same as the original and the look of the amp has not changed. Most people who have played both would agree that the series ll is a much improved amp overall.

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 lives on channel four on the modern mode. I enjoyed this mode the best because it gives that feeling of pure enjoyment when playing. Mesa's are known for their instant gratification.

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 but this amp over and over again because the versatility that no other amp on the market can compete with. You have a recording engineer's dream and an active gigging musicians prize possession.

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.