Mesa Mark IV vs. Mesa Quad! Please help! - Jemsite
Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic Gear, Equipment, and Recording discussed here. Amps, pedals, whatever.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 344
Mesa Mark IV vs. Mesa Quad! Please help!

Hey guys!
My search for tone continues....
Where we last left off, i was using a Peavey Rockmaster preamp through a Tubeworks Mosvalve 982 poweramp into my Laney 4x12. It's just not my thing.... if anybody is interested in the preamp or poweramp, e-mail me at: [email protected] with any offers!
Anyway, spam aside, i'm looking into Mesa gear now. I've heard tons and tons of good things about the Mark IV, and i have thought long and hard about saving up a crapload of money and getting one. But along comes the Mesa Quad preamp... everything i've read says that this thing is the best of the Mark series at a fraction of the price. Very tempting. I play lead and rhythm in a progressive metal band { }, and i'm looking for something to suit my needs at extremely loud volumes. We gig a lot, and we have one hell of a loud drummer!
Here's my biggest obsticle: there's absolutely nowhere around here for my to try any gear out. I mean NOWHERE. I'd probably have to go all the way to Nashville before i hit any really good music stores. I'm really relying on the internet for all of my help, so if anyone has ANY insight, PLEASE post it! Especially useful are sounclips that truly represent the tone of the amp.
To give you an idea of what kind of tone i like, let me give you some examples of some bands/players that i like and why i like their tone:
John Petrucci: His rhythm tone, especially on Awake, is great. A pretty good deal of gain, very clear, yet still sort of dark and smooth. John's lead tones are great, too. Again, lots of gain, not harsh, but not Santana smooth, lots of audible pick attack... very nice!
Michael Romeo: His lead tone on V is so nice. Smooth and gainy like John's, but maybe a touch too much on the dark side.
Mattias IA Eklundh: CLARITY! IA's rhythm tone is huge and sometimes brutal. Healthy amount of mids to cut through the mix, but it isn't muddy at all. Extremely articulate! You can hear every last note of his fully distorted chords. Seeing as how his lead tone is the same as his rhythm tone, the same rules apply. Clear, but not harsh. Sweet jangly clean tones, too.
Lamb of God guys: Their rhythm tone on As the Palaces Burn is fantastic. Perfect gain, good midrange body, plenty of clarity... single notes sound huge {this is very important... our band uses a lot of one string riffs}! It's a semi-old school metal tone, but it's amazingly brutal and soooo tight! Not too fond of the lead tone, though.
Jeff Loomis {Nevermore}: Rhythm tone is gigantic! TONS of gain, extremely articulate, nice mid scoop, nice sizzle, and a very tight bottom end. Lead tones have a lot of gain, smoothness, and a healthy does of mids to bring out the pick attack.
Opeth guys: Their semi-clean tone is so warm and natural. Their clean tones are also very vintage and warm. Extremely nice.
Metallica: MOP is just flat-out brutal. Black has some of my favourite rhythm tone of all time. It's got plenty of gain, it's very fat-sounding, the mid scoop isn't so drastic that the guitar gets lost in the mix, single notes have lots of weight, bite, compression, and tighness, power chords sound soooo thick.... Lead tones SUCK, though.
Soilwork: Predator's Portrait and Natural Born Chaos, specifically. Very tight and responsive with massive gain for rhythm work. Lots of sizzle.
I like my clean tones to be very smooth and warm. I sometimes like a nice jangly clean, though. I like cleans to have lots of life, to breathe well, if that makes sense. I think that covers most of them! Whew.
Anyway, which amp would be the best to cover these types of tones? KEEP THIS IN MIND: If i got the Quad, i'd probably be running it through a mid-priced tube power amp like a Peavey Classic 50/50. I know, a 2:90 would be the best, but i just can't afford to have such an expensive power amp combined with a $400 preamp {i'm looking to spend less than the cost of a Mark IV if i go with the Quad}. Also, i'm wanting to purchase a multi FX {Rocktron IntelliFX or something}, so it would be nice to have some cash left over. Money is tight for me, so if i could get closer to my tones using a Quad for less than the cost of a Mark IV, i'd be overjoyed. I'm getting so very tired of having crappy tone, guys. ANY input is welcome, even if it's suggesting i avoid both amps. All audio samples are appreciated. Thanks a million to anyone who actually read all of this! It's 4 AM, and i'm quite tired. Thanks again!
Jupiter is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Chicagoland, IL.
Posts: 4,355
Reviews: 1
The quad with a 20/20 power amp will be a bit cheaper than the Mark IV, but then you need a cab if you're going to compare the two.

I've played through a few Mark IV's and think they are very versitile, but I don't think they have the kind of Recto crunch that Petrucci has on Awake, close with the eq, but not 100%.

I think if you're going for the cheapest route, either a quad and power amp ( get a Boogie or VHT power amp to maximize your ability to get good tone) into a good cab, either 2x12 or 4x12.

The Mark has a few more bells and whistles, but you're spending 1000-1400 depending on condition, availability, etc. The quad you can find for 3-400 and the 20/20 for 3-400 as well, so 6-800 dollars and you're up and running with a respectable sounding rig that will handle some good sized venues.

I thought the quad was based on the Studio series preamp sections, along with the Mark series. Essentially it is 2, 2 channel rigs stacked upon one another so you have some great switching options at your disposal.

Hope this helps,


Forgot to mention, there are a couple other preamps available from Mesa (ADA MP1 might be an option too) the Formula and Recto pre's are reported to sound amazing. I have not tried them however.

BTW, Mike Romeo Used the Triaxis for recording and uses a Line6 Vetta head live. The ADA might very well hand;e what you want provided you get a good power amp.
bammbamm is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2004, 02:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Medford OR
Posts: 246
I have a Digitech 2101 Artist Preamp that will get you any kind of sound you want provided you run it into a good power amp and cab. I've had this same setup for about 8 years and it's been great. All the gain you want and total control over your effects, eq, and sounds. I'm running it into a Carvin Tube 100 power amp that I blew up and had rebuilt with groove-tube 6L6 tubes so the output is a bit higher now and it's all running out into a Marshall cab that I re-wired with Monster speaker wire and gold connectors.

If you can find one, I would imagine a used preamp wouldn't cost all that much, although I can't remember what I paid for mine new. You need the MIDI controller that goes with it too. FYI the 2101 is a Tube preamp, a Solid State preamp and a full blown digital effects processor all in one box. The beauty of the unit is that they are all totally separate so you can use any combination you want (ie... Tube distortion with digital effects, or solid state with all analog signal path, etc... you get the idea)
MadRyan is offline  
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2004, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,559
I like alot of the same rhythm tones you do.

The closest thing I ever got to those tones was playing through a triaxis, tc electronics gforce, simul class 2:90 power amp, and 2 4x12 recto cabs. Which is pretty much JP's rig. But you can buy a car for the amount of money that stuff costs new.

Going cheaper than that, a mesa dual rectifier 100w triple channel head through a 4x12 recto cab was the next closest thing I have ever played that got anywhere near close to that Awake rhythm tone, and the tone on metallica's black album. Problem is I couldn't find a nice lead tone. Only got to play with it for a few minutes though.

Both of the above setups sound thin and lifeless at sane volume levels though.
wilch is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2004, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200

" For the studio I usually end up using different combinations depending on the song. The last album we did, Awake, I used two tracks of the Rectifier, then two tracks of a Mark IIC."

As for Dual Rectifier lead tones, it can be done... Even in the modern mode, switch to tube rectifier, roll the presence off, and keep the gain and treble fairly mediumish, and you've got some great sounds on tap.

Drew is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2004, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,559
btw, I haven't tried a mark iv or quad. So I'm not sure what kind of tones you can get out of those.

I have tried a nomad 55 though after reading about what others thought about it on this forum. Awesome lead tone, but I couldn't get anywhere near a dual recto crunch and grind for rhythm. There was high gain, but I'd liken it's high gain to a marshall jcm2000. Nothing wrong with that, just not anything like the rhythm tones on the albums you mentioned.

wilch is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Medford OR
Posts: 246
Another one you may want to look at is VHT's Pitbull heads. I like them alot. Genz Benz has a new head out called the El Diablo that kicks ass too. My local shop brought one back from the NAMM show and it reminds me of a dual recto but cleaner. It has the same fill-the-room-with-god-like-tone quality that the dual rectifier has with a really screaming cool guitar plugged in but they cost less and as I said, they're a bit cleaner sounding. Unfortunately, they only have 2 channels, but they have a button called the "global attack" button on the footswitch that engages another boost circuit along with some mid and high end boost. Cool amp for the money. I think they're going to go out the door for around $1200-$1300 or so.
MadRyan is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 01:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Medford OR
Posts: 246
here's a link[/url]
MadRyan is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Va Beach, VA
Posts: 1,416
Originally Posted by wilch
btw, I haven't tried a mark iv or quad. So I'm not sure what kind of tones you can get out of those.

I have tried a nomad 55 though after reading about what others thought about it on this forum. Awesome lead tone, but I couldn't get anywhere near a dual recto crunch and grind for rhythm. There was high gain, but I'd liken it's high gain to a marshall jcm2000. Nothing wrong with that, just not anything like the rhythm tones on the albums you mentioned.

Just as an added note to the Nomad comments...they sound different with a closed back cabinet. Put it through a 4x12 with some volume and it will get pretty darn close to the Awake least the Nomad 45 will. I also find that I get better rhythm tone from the lead channel and better lead tone from the middle channel.
Gresh is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 344
Thanks for all the help, guys!
Please keep the suggestions rolling, even if you're suggesting i avoid both of these amps! I'm going crazy trying to figure out what to buy!
Jupiter is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
My friend just got a Quad and I was blown away. I know power amp/speakers play a huge roll in sound, but I'm going to try to say something and I hope it makes sense. I've had several Boogies, and used a MKIIC and a MKIII for a good amount of time. This Quad really captured those sounds just as a preamp. What I'm trying to say is that the Quad wasn't missing anything that my heads had. Some preamps (or preamp outs from heads) are really missing the overall feel of an amp. You'll still need a good tube power amp with the Quad, I mean it's not like a power amp modeler that will sound more accurate through solid state power. But I was totally impressed with the completeness of the sound and the feel. I could be very satisfied recording it directly. So it will also sound great into any effects, and you won't be compensating with eq for harshness, or buzziness, or the kinds of things that eq only hides, but doesn't cure.
frankfalbo is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 344
Frankfalbo: How much gain does the unit have? And i mean useable gain... I've played through several amps that have lots of gain, but when you crank the gain knob up, they become so mushy it's useless. I felt the same about the Rectos that i've played through. Sure, there's a lot of gain, but it's just mushy and inarticulate. Sorry to sound picky, but this is a really important aspect of any amp to me!
Jupiter is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
My friend that got it doesn't play high gain too often, so we replaced the 1st preamp tube on amp A with a "high headroom" 12AU7, and the lead channel tube (tube #3) with a smoother 12AX7 that I had. It was some NOS that had the writing worn off. We left amp B alone, and I like high gain tones. So when I went "exploring" I found exactly what I knew from my MKII & III, which was if you have the bass past 4 you're into mushiness. There's plenty of lows in the EQ faders to put deep crushing lows into the signal, but the bass knob is counterproductive above 5 and for high gain tones, above 3-4 really. You have to think of the EQ as your sound shaper and the T/M/B knobs almost as "overdrive character shapers."

But the list of high gain superstar sounds made on a MKII or MKIII is endless, and with great variance between them. It'll work great with an OD pedal, too. There's a slight degree of "I can still hear a fat clean sound behind the high gain sound" that doesn't saturate fully unless you've really cranked the gain, or fed a slightly overdriven signal to the amp. I've noticed that in my V-twin and the rectifiers, but it's less with the Quad. Also remember that all the gains are interrelated. The gain on the clean(rhythm) channel also feeds the lead channel. So if that's set too high your clean will break up. Set too low and you'll crank the lead gain wondering why it's not making the "chainsaw" sound. You'll probably use amp A for clean and "grit" although you could saturate that lead channel as well. Then amp B will be semi OD and full OD. Get a switching system of some sort so that you can leave the EQ on each amp and each channel all the time, instead of flipping the switch for either/or. There's no manual way to select them always on, just the footswitch or 1/4" switching.
frankfalbo is offline  

amp modeler , clean tone , dual rectifier , dual recto , gain knob , genz benz , high gain tones , jeff loomis , john petrucci , mark iic , mesa dual , mesa dual rectifier , michael romeo , midi controller , music store , peavey classic , peavey rockmaster , power amp , preamp tube , recto cab , tube distortion , tube power amp , tube preamp

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
jvm-mesa mark V -mesa markIV saeed-satriani Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 25 12-17-2009 02:50 PM
FS: MESA ROADKING VII.2 / MESA MARK IV LONG HEAD LIKE NEW LennyX Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 2 04-28-2009 06:54 PM
WTB: Mesa Boogie Mark III / IV / II C+/ road king or (triaxis+mesa 2:90 ) metallicaband Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 4 12-26-2005 03:25 PM
Mesa Quad pre weight? jpwannabe Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 0 03-09-2004 09:16 AM
Mesa Quad Pre jpwannabe Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 1 03-02-2004 08:46 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome