jackevorkian wrote:By far my favorite Garcia tone of all time...and rather short lived. The overdrive is a bit darker and nastier (in a good way), and the cleans are fatter and sweeter than any of his other rigs. Can this all be chalked up to the MKIIa?
If I were in the market for a Mesa, having never owned a Mesa previously, is this the one to try and find? Would the MKIIb or MKIIc be a better choice?
Most of the Mesa talk on this site seems primarily about Bobby tones...curious about the Jerry/Mesa perspective.
Actually, the Mark 2a is more like the original Mark 1's than it is the 2b's and 2c's. The 2c's especially are a very different animal especially when you get to the 2c+ which is renown as the "Metallica" amp. Forget buying one if you are looking for a bargain. 2c+'s gog for 3-4000 dollars where 2a's go for a grand!
From the Link above which is specific to 2a's and 2 b's:
As noted above, the preamp gain on the Mark IIs occurs after the tone controls. A Mesa/Boogie person has stated to me that the IIA has a "tighter, more focused sound" than the Mark I. The clean channel on this is very nice,
The IIA and IIB, and some late-model Mark I amps used a silicon device called "fetron" in place of one of the 12AX7 preamp tubes, and included a switch for configuring the amp for either fetron or 12AX7 operation. The reason for using a fetron was to address some of the problems associated with microphonic 12AX7 tubes in a high-gain situation; somehow, Boogie users didn't care too much for the fetron, so its use was later discontinued.
"Note: Lots of players are buying up old Mark II and Mark IIB amps for their clean channels because, Sacks again here, "the subtle break-up you can get from that channel with its preamp volume dimed is very, very nice."
I personally find the immediate above comment to be true. The 2a has the "clean twin" thing happening in spades, it has this first stage preamp gain that stays really clean unless you dime it, and even dimed, it is actually still clean, unless you hit with some hard input (by digging in with pick and your volume dimed on your axe, or with a pedal)....It is very responsive.
I also agree with Vic, that the Dual sounds were an equally important part of the equation. The boogie with the Dual sounds is a winning combination, I am actually about to yank my super 2's out of my Musician to go this route myself.
.......................................................have you heard the one about the yellow dog?