I bought the Mesa Boogie Mark IIB guitar amplifier in 1981 and used it exclusively for the next 15 years. I’m still using it now for studio work.
They got it right with this model in my opinion. Mesa Boogie has turned out many, many models in the thirty some odd years since this production, but for me this one has never been beat. It has a wide range of sounds, all of them great.
Originally, channel one was a little too clean for me and I called Randall Smith at Mesa Boogie to see if there was a remedy. He directed me to make a small resistor change on the circuit board to give the rhythm channel a little more grind. That change, in conjunction with using a vintage ‘Rat’ pedal, achieved the perfect sound for me.
This Mesa Boogie amp has seen literally thousands of gigs and recordings, including overseas tours. It’s still in use today in the studio and was featured on several recordings on the new cd ‘Resonate’ per the below demo:
Mesa Boogie Artists
The following artists have used Mesa Boogie…
- Carlos Santana
- Keith Richards
- Bruce Springsteen
- Bootsy Collins
- Dave Grohl
- John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
- Rhonda Smith (Jeff Beck)
- And so on
Mesa Boogie Fun Facts
- Mesa Boogie was founded in 1969 by Randall Smith and manufactures amplifiers for guitars and basses.
- Carlos Santana tested out the Randall’s experimental amplifier and said, “Sh.. man. That thing really Boogies!”
- Original units were all built in a mountain shack that used to be an old dog kennel.
- The Mark series was introduced in 1971 with the Mark V still in production today.
- Mark IIB was the Simul-Class power amplifier stage that was credited as the first with a tube-buffered effects loop.
This video describes the Mesa/Boogie manufacturing process that include high standards of quality engineering. Randall Smith, the man himself, shares his values.