Mesa Mark V Vs. Triple Crown

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by FRED, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. FRED

    FRED Member

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    Has anyone actually played through BOTH these two heads?

    Curious about the feel and the "necessity" of the EQ (or not).
     
  2. FRED

    FRED Member

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    Also wondering just how big a difference the EL34's make (over the typical boogie 6l6's).
     
  3. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Well-Known Member

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    The TC has a smoother sound and feel, the Mark is harder, glassier. The TC is a little bit more forgiving than the Mark. The Mark screams traditional "Mesa" and the TC leans into Marshall territory while still exhibiting the raw energy of a high powered Mesa. While the TC isn't as tight or hard as the Mark, rest assured that it is NOT loose or muddy. Channels 1 and 2 can get pretty damned firm depending on how you set things.

    I found the TC to be much easier to dial in. The Mark has sweet spots, they're just harder to find for me. Also have to tweak the Mark more than the TC when changing guitars.

    The cleans on the TC sound better to me. I will go so far as to say they're the best cleans I've heard.

    The Mark has a slight edge when it comes to modern metal palm muting stuff. I said "slight". Both do a great job of plastering your head against the back wall.

    The TC is the most aggressive, off-the-chain animal I've ever set on top of a speaker cabinet. It also happens to do EVERYTHING else beautifully too.

    As you can clearly tell, I'm probably not the best candidate for an unbiased comparison...after playing both heads extensively there was no question as to which of the two worked best for me.
     
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  4. FRED

    FRED Member

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    Wow - thanks Trel you covered a lot of bases. I will definitely audition this head. Greatly appreciated!
    Is it safe to assume that you are still using EL34’s in yours? (The option of effortlessly swapping in 6L6’s or 6V6’s is also very appealing - not because I want that now, but because it may be appealing for the longer term. :)
     
  5. ampeq

    ampeq Active Member

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    As Trelwheen said, the Mark V is MUCH harder to set, it can get great sounds but you have to find them. The TC is easy to set and very forgiving. The EQ is nice but the TC has all the control it needs. Let's be sure of something, I'v had both the TC50 and the TC100, buy the TC100. It has a lot more head room and fuller sound, and you can set the power anywhere you need it. The clean channel is very nice and has a gain on it and the hi gain "lead" channel is unreal, tons of drive and sustain. The lo gain is more of a good rhythm channel, but all 3 can cross over each other. Get the TC100 and a good 2-12" cab and there is pretty much nothing you can't do. I had a Mark V, simply to hard to set for me, I had a TC50 combo, great amp but seemed like something was missing sometimes. When the TC100 came out I tried one, that did the trick, it never leaves me lacking for something and it will crank! It's also quiet even when driven hard, my Marshall was so noisy in the OD channels I never used them. If you buy from somewhere like Sweetwater you can send it back if you don't like it and get another. I hope you try it, I really think you'll be very happy with the TC100. Good luck, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
     
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  6. FRED

    FRED Member

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    WOW - I am truly impressed at the thoroughness of the responses. Thanks again!

    OK now I’m going to get greedy - does anyone have A-B knowledge of the TC and an ENGL “4-channel” like a Powerball II or Savage120?
    If I spring for a TC or Mi V, I would likely sell my Thunder 50 (would be a sad day). It does most anything, I just cant get three great sounds in one setting, without compromises. (Only one gain control an one set of EQ.)
     
  7. FRED

    FRED Member

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    Also (on the discussion of 50 watt vs 100 watt): the opinion was that the 50 may be a little enemic - but that was based on a 50 watt combo.
    As a guitarist AND speaker engineer, I have always felt that an open back cabinet is a bit of an insult to a decent 12” speaker.

    Granted I don’t usually play in REAL loud situations - but I’ve never been in a situation the a 50 watt tube amp and a good 4X12 couldn’t handle (and handle well).
     
  8. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands Well-Known Member

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    The Mark series relies heavily on the EQ. It's not set and forget like most other amps. OTOH once you know how to EQ a mark series amp, you're set for life. Treble high, bass low on the 3 band EQ (for dirty tones), and usually a V-shape EQ for the 5 band. The 3 band controls the structure and attack of the gain, and the 5 band controls the standard EQ. That helps make it a super versatile amp that can do anything though. Never tried a TC or MkV, but I love my MkIII and MkIV to death. No other amp sounds like a Mark once you know how to EQ it.

    Edit: if you can, skip the MkV and try the JP2C. I've seen Mesa enthusaiists that claim its the superior amp.
     
  9. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I'm using the EL34s the TC came with and haven't given a thought to changing tubes yet. If I ever do, it'll be to try 6L6s just out of curiosity.
     
  10. MonstersOfTheMidway

    MonstersOfTheMidway Well-Known Member

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    In regards to the EQ for the Mark V, I agree with this post very much and think it hits the nail squarely on the head. The description of the 3 band channel strip EQ and the universal 5 band EQ is pretty accurate to how the amp works, and it's that understanding which helps you find your tone fast as well as experimenting with new sounds.

    If you like versatility in tone, then the Mark V is better at giving you a variety of tones than the Triple Crown 100 or 50, and the EQ sections have a lot to do with that. Throw in the toggle switches for each channel, and the versatility expands.

    One thing that is curious when I tried both is that I like the clean channel with EL34 on the Triple Crown 100 than I did with 6L6 or 6V6. Strange thing is that on the Mark V I liked the clean channel with 6L6 more than EL34 (you can change power tube types on both the TC as well as the Mark V). In both cases, the clean channel sounded fuller and with a greater balance of high, low, and mid tones when I used different power tube types. I think the design of the amp more than the tubes was the difference because the tubes were the same brand and type.

    I also think that the distorted tones were great on both, but on the Mark V, the bottom end seemed a little tighter than on the TC100. I think you can probably tighten up the bottom end of the TC100 with a couple of work a rounds, but it's not so great a difference that most people will consider a deal breaker.

    The effects loop on the Mark V is a little more flexible than the TC100 due to the "send level" control on the Mark V (TC100 effects loop only has send and return ports with no "send level" or mix control. Again this may or may not matter to some people, but for me it added to the tone shaping capabilities of the Mark V.
     
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  11. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    With the Mark Series, I always kept the 5-band EQ engaged... Without it, the amp sounds thin...

    The TC has a simplier EQ setup and voicings that you really don't need to spend time finding the tone..

    I actualy stayed away from the the Mark V after owning a Mark IV...
     
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  12. 4Horseman

    4Horseman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your assessment of the combo. I have the TC50 head and play through closed back widebody 1x12 and 4x12s. Killer amp. It holds its own against my 100w Marshalls. You could use an eq pedal if you want eq. I personally would take MIDI (TC has, mark doesn't that I know of) over the eq.
     
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  13. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands Well-Known Member

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    Another reason I recommend the JP2C over the MkV
    It has MIDI. :)
     
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  14. FRED

    FRED Member

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    The MIDI aspect is looking better and better...
    I also like the aspect of the available 50 watt vs 100 watt. (As (probably) one of the older people on this site), brut force power isn’t so important, but portability is (saving an extra 10 pounds is good, I was considering a flyweight (Mark or Quilter solid state, but that feels a little like surrender- I also really want MORE than 2 channels).
    Deep thanks to everyone responding in this thread. I will give the TC50 an audition with one of my cabs. Never say DIE!!
     
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  15. LCW

    LCW Active Member

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    Keep in mind you don't have the "power soak" attenuator feature on the TC50 that was added to the TC100. That alone makes the 100 more versatile and a better option than the 50 IMHO.
     

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