I previously used a Mesa Boogie mark 4. I basically have used the same amp head for years. So I have an older mark 4. Since then I bought a newer mark 4, and it doesn’t have the same sound to it, and they told me this at the company when I called them and said to them that the mark 4 I just got from you doesn’t sound like my older one. They said they had changed some of the circuitry in the amp, so when my broke really bad two years ago and I had to send it back to the factory, they said, “we’ve got to replace the circuitry”. I asked if they were going to put in the new circuitry because it doesn’t sound as good. They said “yea, we have to do that” and I threw myself on their mercy and I said I have a new one and it doesn’t sound the same, it’s more generic sounding and less warm, and they went through their old cabinets and found an old circuit board and put that in, so it managed to keep it’s same sound.
I run that thing through a 4 x 12 cabinet where the two speakers on the top are a Mesa Boogie version of a Celestion, which are in Marshall cabinets. The bottom two speakers in my cabinet are Electro-voice, and the are like a JBL, they are much clearer brighter sounding, not as much kinda crunch to them. So between the two I get this blending of a very clean speaker sound and a very crunchy Marshally speaker sound, and what that enables me to do is run a lot of gain on the amp and play very fast but you can hear every note, they don’t mush together.
I can also tell you that when you buy a mark 4, or any amp new, you get a manual with it, and it has suggested settings for different kinds of music. For Country music set it like this, for Rock music set it like this, and I have my boogie set for Death Metal!!! (laughter) So it’s as overdriven as I can get it, but I control the amount of sustain and distortion by using the volume on the guitar. For instance, when I’m playing the rhythm part on Faithful I have the guitar on like, one, and if you do that you get a very clean, but a kinda beefy clean sound and you can control the amount of sustain and everything by where you set the volume on the guitar. If you set the guitar on five or six you can get a pretty Marshally, bluesy, sound that’s not too overdriven, and between about six and ten, the sky’s the limit.