Marshall vs Boogie

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by dacop, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. dacop

    dacop Member

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    Just wondering, do any of you guys out there also play Boogie amps and what do you thing about them? I have owned Marshall 800s, DSLs, and now a Boogie mk5 35w. I have a love hate relationship with the Boogie, they are strange amps to say the least. I prefer the Marshall tone myself and seem to struggle with the Boogie. Just wondering what you guys thought about them.
     
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  2. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I also prefer Marshall , I have never owned a Mesa .
    A friend of mine used to play through one and I always thought it sounded like a blanket was thrown over the cab .
    Cheers
     
  3. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Mesa started out with their own sound based off a very hot-rodded Fender Princeton. They've built themselves into one of the largest and most successful amp companies of all time and their product range is enormous. They've changed the face of guitar music more than once. They make great amps, with a few that are not quite as great as others.

    I've owned eleven Mesas so far. Clearly I don't hate them.

    But they don't do what a vintage Marshall does. Well, maybe some individual models like the Stiletto are in that ballpark.

    One thing you can definitely say about Mesa is that unlike ANY other company including Marshall, they have never ever made cheap, down market, "student grade" amps.

    Their most inexpensive model today is about 1400 dollars. Quality is ALWAYS high in a Mesa.

    I currently still own just two. But they come and they go. I have literally not been without a Mesa of some sort for more than 20 years.

    The Mark amps pretty much led the way to high gain lead tone territory.

    The Mark IIC+ is a true legend and holy grail amp in its own right.

    Years later, the Rectifier amps (Single, dual, and triple Solo) literally shaped modern metal's sound.

    Mesa has had its share of guitar amp hits.

    And, honestly, I think that today they lead the pack when it comes to single amps that are versatile enough for most any gigging musician, with the Mark V series.

    Mark V 25, Mark V 35, Mark V 90....one of these will literally serve the needs of almost ANY guitarist and they really do sound excellent and they are proving to be quite reliable.
     
  4. dacop

    dacop Member

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    I agree, I played a couple gigs with the Mesa mk5 35 and it didn't cut through like my Marshall's do. Its not horrible, but noticeable to me. I play in a classic metal/hard rock cover band and always get compliments on my Mesa tone. The spectators like it more then me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  5. dacop

    dacop Member

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    Funny, they really don't do that classic Marshall very well, you are spot on with that. And yes they have changed the game in the Metal word. Metallica made Mesa famous, as Hendix did with the Strat.
     
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  6. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Let's not forget Carlos Santana's profound influence. He pretty much is responsible for Mesa's jump from a start-up boutique amp into a healthy little company that had its production run spoken for months ahead of production capacity. The only way to get them all through the 80s and into the 90s was by factory direct orders.

    It didn't hurt matters for them when they got the Rolling Stones to endorse them, too.

    The nice thing about guitar amps is you don't have to be faithful to just one or one brand. Pile 'em up. If you like it, buy it. Nobody should be offended that you've got amps of
    THAT brand in your collection, too.
     
  7. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Regarding cutting through a mix....I've found that it's not the amp brand, it's how you're set, how your bandmates are set, and if you have a sound man, if he's any good.

    A local player who was exceptionally good, who's dead now, used a Marshall Valvestate amp at some of his last gigs and you could hardly tell he was there. That amp, at least
    as he had it set, didn't cut through AT ALL. But my guitar teacher, who's been a Mesa adherent since the 70s, knows how to keep his guitar tone in a clearly defined sonic space within the band setting no matter if it's a three piece band or a 9 piece band with horn section, and it doesn't matter if he's using a Mesa or any other amp in his collection.

    Getting your tone to work in a band setting is not just as simple as "buy this brand and this model", it requires you to be able to hear and adjust.
     
  8. Exotic

    Exotic Well-Known Member

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    and ur not just an owner of a mesa ur the president of the company ,kiddin :applause::monkey:
     
  9. dacop

    dacop Member

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    I agree, setup is very important. Some guys in metal scoop most of all of the mids, you dont have a fighting chance when playing live.
     
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  10. dacop

    dacop Member

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    Santana was definitely a famous user of Mesa, but with the huge success of Metallica everyone metal head started chasing that Boogie tone.
     
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  11. Obi Plexi-nobi

    Obi Plexi-nobi Well-Known Member

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    Boogies are great for Metallica crunch & lead sounds. But I like Marshalls for that old 'classic marshall' sound, and Fenders for cleans. But I just bought a Mesa/Boogie Mark IV combo w/ EV speaker today :nuts:, mainly because I've always wanted one, & it was only $630 because it needs re-tubing.

    In the past, I've owned a Mesa/Boogie Mark III Simulclass head, several Boogie Studio Preamps, several Boogie Studio .22 Caliber combos, a Boogie .50 Caliber combo, a Mesa 2:90 power amp, a Mesa/Boogie Stereo Simulclass 295 power amp, a Mesa 20/20 power amp & a Mesa/Boogie 'Half-Back' 4x12. My thoughts..?

    Don't try to use a Boogie to satisfy your Marshall craving. It doesn't work. A Rectifier might come closer.

    My favorite approach for Boogies is to use the high-gain channel the way the classic Boogie users did- Santana, Holdsworth, Lifeson (on parts of Permanent Waves), & Don Felder (onstage w/ The Eagles) did. Kinda like an old Fender amp/distortion-pedal platform, except the distortion 'pedal' is built-in to the amp & sounds way cooler. To get a Marshall sound, get a Marshall.

    I have run Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamps into a Marshall 50/50 rack-mount power amp, the input of a tiny Fender Bronco combo amp, & the effects return/power-amp-'In' of a Marshall Artist 4302 & the 'power amp In' of a Marshall JCM 800 50-watt 2x12 combo. They all sounded great. I recently read where Hetfield from Metallica ran the preamp of a Boogie Mark IV into Marshall power amps on the 'Black' album.

    I seem to have trouble these days liking the clean channel sounds of Boogie amps after being spoiled by nicer clean classic Fender amp sounds, but I might just need service/tubes replaced, because I used to LOVE the Mesa/Boogie clean sounds. They just seem limp & sterile to me now (even on YouTube video demonstrations I've watched)... I'll probably give the Mark IV a complete re-tube w/ factory Boogie tubes, clean the pots & tube sockets, check the filter caps, etc. & see how it goes... I haven't given up yet. Alex Lifeson from Rush was using the Mark V as a clean amp sound later on, if I remember right...
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  12. Obi Plexi-nobi

    Obi Plexi-nobi Well-Known Member

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    But having said all that, I think Boogies are great for Prog-rock & Prog-metal. And even jazz guys like Pat Martino, Al Dimeola, & Lee Ritenour have used some Mesa/Boogie gear... :metal:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  13. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    ive never heard that Boogie didnt punch through the mix lol. Mesa amps rock.
    if you want a marshall sound buy a marshall. you will be more happy in the long run.
    want a boogie tone? marshall will never give it to you.

    marshall amps you can walk up and dial in a tone in minutes. anybody can do it.
    Boogie amps take some learning. you can NOT set these amps up using the same methods.
     
  14. wolfpack

    wolfpack Active Member

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    I have several Marshall's & they deliver my favorite tones, but I also really enjoy my Mesa Tremoverb & MKIII Coliseum for something different.
     
  15. plexilespaul

    plexilespaul Well-Known Member

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    early boogies like the mark 1 's are epic... reissues and originals
     
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  16. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    Great post & I must say that I enjoy all of your posts--you add greatly to this forum!

     
  17. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Same. Boogies well made but too much going on
     
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  18. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    I can't stand them because the design is soooooooo UN-serviceable.
    It's as if whoever built it decided that nothing would ever go wrong with it.
    I wouldn't recommend one.
    I have worked on amps for over 40 years and never seen an amp that was so poorly thought out for maintenance.

    As far as:
    "I invented high gain amplification"
    "I invented the master volume control..."
    "I invented the cascode gain stage..."

    That's just irritating because it's pure bullshit. All these circuits were in use long before (Randell Edison) was born.

    I kind of draw a parallel between Randell Smith and Thomas Edison...
    Because Edison wasn't really the inventor he claimed to be either...
    He just stole other peoples ideas, and put the Edison label on the product.
    Edison did not invent the light bulb either....although you might believe he did because somebody told you so.
     
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  19. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got one Mesa out of about 13 Marshall’s. A stiletto deuce stage 1. It’s the Marshall’s brother from another mother. I enjoy it as much as any of my Marshall’s , its a sleeper. It s the amp Marshall should have made imo. I’m always discovering new things this amp can do . I’ll probably get a Mesa multi watt rectifier eventually. How many here would say John Sykes didn’t have great tone with Whitesnake. Most guys probably thought it was a Marshall.
     
  20. 79 2203

    79 2203 Well-Known Member

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    I had a Mesa LSS and it was the most frustrating amp I've ever played. Sounded different at the beginning of a session/gig to the end, day to day, room to room. Changing guitar meant major tweaking and after 18 months, dozens of gigs, multiple speaker and tube changes, I never got sound out of it that made me smile and enjoy the gig. Lots of knobs and switches that just gave you different levels of muddy/harsh/honky/flat uninspiring tone
    Worst amp I ever bought.

    By comparison I can plug into any stock/healthy 2203/4 and get a tone I love in seconds.
     
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