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> Engl+mesa Mark V Impressions Etc...
Mertay
post Nov 8 2014, 07:34 PM
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Today I went to a new local studio with a friend and though it wasn't planned, we decided to rent an hour to toy with the amps biggrin.gif

One was a Mesa Mark 5 and the other was an ENGL Screamer head, both had big 4 speaker cab.s.

Engl was pretty straightforward; clean-clean boost and distortion. I used the 7 string ibanez provided by the studio and it was really nice for powerchord stuff for modern metal. The shred setting was cooll too, sure pedals would help but was pretty usable for play or recording. Cleans as were expected wasn't as good, I mean it had a warm-to-thick tone to it that was ok but eq's on it couldn't make it flexible enough for every style. Oh and it does scream! pinch harmonics were a breeze biggrin.gif

The Mesa needed a little intro by the studio owner biggrin.gif its like a spaceship compared to the ENGL, sure if ones a bit experienced nothing not to understand but to get a tone I kept searching knobs I needed, for example the reverb knob was behind the amp go figure biggrin.gif

I loved the cleans, we didn't have a Gibson but used a Mexico Fender and from traditional to Hendrix drive to grunge (even red hot chili pepper stuff) it was all there. Pretty much like a computer, full of options but all analog smile.gif

I didn't spend much time with 2.nd channel, I guess was more like overdrive-overdriven tones section which to be honest isn't really my thing at least without some pedals or processor.

So the 3rd was the most expected, John Petrucci section biggrin.gif but to be honest it failed my expectations, it can do tones of rhythm sections of newer DT albums when gain is cranked but the master out must also be increased. Solo tones simply wasn't there, it needed more gain or pedal help. ENGL to me was better when alone.

One might imagine one of the most expensive production amps wouldn't need 50-100 dollar pedals but that's simply wrong smile.gif I mean yeah the amp is cool, I sure did like it overall but always wished for X or Y pedal was there.

Oh also pickups! we used 3 guitars there (2 ibanez) and my friend is a huge fan of Petrucci and we decided next time he will bring his ibanez that we installed previous Petrucci sig. pickups (crunchlab, liquidfire). Personal opinion again but we felt more Petrucci tone on computer with sig. pickups rather than the real amp with stock RG pickups even distorted!...go figure...

PS; I also learned today I'm totally an analog-digital hybrid guy even if I had all the money in the world smile.gif

This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 8 2014, 09:33 PM


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SixStringSamurai
post Nov 8 2014, 07:40 PM
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You should check out videos online of JP explaining his settings with the MkV. He gets a high gain rhythm tone often using the Ch2 Crunch mode with the gain maxed out and uses the graphic EQ to sculpt the tone. I don't think he uses any pedals either to get his solo tones on Ch3.

As a big MkV fanboy, I just have to say that while it may look intimidating, it's actually a fairly well laid out amp and easy to operate once you get your head around. Each channel block is like an amp in itself, that's all. Only thing annoying is all the crap that's around the back, you're totally right on that count.


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Mertay
post Nov 8 2014, 08:29 PM
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On top of the amp there was a poster which had JP settings on it, I guess the studio owner got so many requests the settings were default Petrucci on that thing when I got there biggrin.gif

I did get a handle on the clean channel pretty quick but I guess somehow (maybe room, guitar, my mood etc.) on drive stuff the sounds I got even though tweaking all the switches and every knob ( biggrin.gif ) though reminded, never actually felt there. Probably its all the double tracking or extreme output recorded mic.s sounds in the album.

Rhythm ok but for solo tone I must say from my 1 hour experience with the amp I'm not convinced JP isn't using any pedals, I gave all the gain the amp settings had to offer with various settings but still wasn't anything like in his albums. I never checked the details on the album recording settings but I do know this video, maybe he used these pedals;



This post has been edited by Mertay: Nov 8 2014, 09:34 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 8 2014, 08:44 PM
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One would think that having an amp that cost more than a used car wouldn't require a $100 tube screamer to push it but yup smile.gif They sorta do, especially at low volume.

Where those amps really shine is under heavy load conditions, et. turned nearly all the way up. You have to put the amp in a separate room, mic it, and keep it isolated as it would deafen anyone who walked in. At that point, amps like the Mark V are MONSTROUS!!! Solo gain is smooth and flowing, rythm is broooootal, etc. But again, this is when the amp section and preamp section are both working like mad and the tubes are glowing and the sound is melting the walls.

At "same room" volume (e.g. being in the same room with the amp) many/most tube amps do MUCH better with a tube screamer in front acting as a preamp to the preamp section. smile.gif

Thats one thing I like about plugins, they can mimic the sound of an amp at full chat without the amp.


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Mertay
post Nov 8 2014, 08:51 PM
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Ah yeah that makes sense, but no thanks on those levels that thing is pretty much a weapon. Probably would shoot me to the wall like Marty was in Back To The Future biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 9 2014, 05:12 PM
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Pretty much smile.gif I have to agree with SIX STRING SAMURAI that the MARK V is a MONSTER of an amp and Legendary for it's tone for good reason. It's just an awesome bit of kit. smile.gif

However, as you experienced, at roughly bedroom levels, the amp isn't pushed hard enough IMHO to really shine. Now, if you had a drummer in the room, just pushing the amp to the volume to keep up with the drummer would let you hear how well the amp performs at stage volume, which is what it's designed for.

The new low wattage version (the mini mark) is more designed for lowere volume work and since it's lower wattage, you can push the amp to the Magic Tone level without going deaf. smile.gif SAMURAI recently review this amp on his blog.

http://sixstringsamurai.co.nz/2014/11/08/r...25-vs-cabclone/



QUOTE (Mertay @ Nov 8 2014, 03:51 PM) *
Ah yeah that makes sense, but no thanks on those levels that thing is pretty much a weapon. Probably would shoot me to the wall like Marty was in Back To The Future biggrin.gif


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