Mesa Mark IIa

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Mesa Mark IIa

Postby Staemius » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:14 pm

I'm looking at perhaps picking up a Mark IIa hardwood/wicker - beautiful amp for $999, hopefully lower after haggling. Hehe, I'll have to sell some gear - but may not be able to pass on this one. Any experience here with these? I know Jerry played one briefly with JGB right? GAS getting the best of me again...!!
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby jeffm725 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:44 pm

yeah, I have one....GET IT GET IT GET IT...You wont be sorry. Under a grand you will steal it.

Mark 2a with a JBL K-120 and you are JGB winter 80 all day long. a FANTASTIC AMP!
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby Staemius » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:12 pm

Cool, thx. It's a '78 - it doesn't have the fetron (maybe modded) which may be a good thing. No cooling fan - think I'll need one? Also - hehe - post your settings if you don't mind - as much as I enjoy it, might save me some tinkering time.
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby Staemius » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:23 pm

And...lemme know the tubes you're running. thx!
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:41 pm

Does it have reverb?
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby Staemius » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:14 am

Yep it has reverb.
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby Staemius » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:02 pm

Got it. Good lord this thing sings. The speaker is a Peavey Black Widow - I'll play it for awhile but a JBL will eventually be nice!
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby jeffm725 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:09 am

congratulatioms!!! 78 is early for Mark 2a mine is a 11/78 so you got a great one!


my base line jerry clean settings on the boogie are as follows:
all knobs pushed in (no pull brights,no pull shifts, pull gains or anyhthing else)
settings from left to right:

first gain knob 8-9 (set this high, as this is what gives you the nice little dirt when you dig in with your pick, when backed off with the pick it cleans right up)
(cant remember the knob order as the amp is in the car) but
bass 1.5-2
middle 8
treble 6-7
the hot channel gain and hot channel master are defeated in this configuration.
master volume (3rd now in from the right)set to however loud you want it at the time , even at high gig levels my master never usually goes past 3. This amp screams.
I dont use the on-board verb and it is actually removed right now
presence now on the back set between 3-4...too much treble when set higher

Black widows are great speakers. If this is an old early 80's Black widow it is practically a k120 clone


re fetron: maybe yours doesnt have the fetron but it was built to take one I am sure. so if you have a 12ax7 in V1 (which is just fine by the way) just make sure the switch on the bottom of the chassis is set for the 12ax7 and not the T1009.

this should be written in marker on the chassis


HAVE FUN!!!
Last edited by jeffm725 on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby JonnyBoy » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:44 pm

Jeff is right,,,,I have a 1x12 cab with an early widdow.
Depending on which Black Widdow you have you may be wasting money replacing it to a JBL unless it is in bad condition.
Search the archives here about the Old black widdows, it should resemble a JBL from the cone and dustcap, that should be the right one. Those speakers are awesome and sound almost identical to a K120. Good score dude.
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby jeffm725 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:45 am

Read the back of your speaker carefully again as a common mistake is people with Mesa's thinking they have "Black Widows" when they really have "Black Shadows".

double check your speaker and make sure it is not a c90 "Black Shadow". Black Shadows are mesa custom branded speakers and can be made by Celestion or Eminence or EV. The old EV black shadows were the Bomb. The new ones tend to be eminences. Not bad speakers, but not really Jerry ballpark
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby Staemius » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:55 am

Thanks for those settings. It is definitely a Black Widow and it does sound very good. Also, it's a '79 not a '78. I love this thing. It's the 60/100 watt version. I'm not sure what ohm setting the Widow is. Looks like typically the manual encourages use of the 4 ohm speaker outlet at 60 watts and the 8 ohm at 100 watts?
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Re: Mesa Mark IIa

Postby jeffm725 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:36 am

Staemius wrote:Thanks for those settings. It is definitely a Black Widow and it does sound very good. Also, it's a '79 not a '78. I love this thing. It's the 60/100 watt version. I'm not sure what ohm setting the Widow is. Looks like typically the manual encourages use of the 4 ohm speaker outlet at 60 watts and the 8 ohm at 100 watts?



yeah that is right...the speaker is 8 ohms, but Mesa recommends you use the 4 ohm output on the back when in 60 watt mode. Even 100 watt mode you can stay in the 4 ohm tap. They recommend this because if you go into 100 watt into the 8 ohm you are running at full power and you can fry speakers if they are not up to handling that kind of power. by plugging the 8 ohm speaker into the 4 ohm tap you are shaving off just a bit of power.
It hurts absolutely nothing on a mesa to mismatch the ohms, it just has a different sound and feel. Mesa actually encourages experimentation on this subject. In the stock boogie cab I have a K120 which can handle the amp but I keep it in the 4 ohm tap usually unless I am playing outdoors or somewhere I need big volume, then I might throw it in the 8 ohm.
Although sometimes I unplug the K 120 and I use my 2x12 HT cabinet with 2 e-120's. That sounds SWEET as well. Maybe a bit stiffer though. I find the K120 to be the best match for the boogie, it has a sweetness to it I dont get out of the E120's.
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