The resulting amplifier proved to be loud and successful, and Smith made more than of these Princeton "Boogies"—a name allegedly provided by Carlos Santana ,  who is to have exclaimed "Man, that little thing really boogies! Smith added an extra tube gain stage to the preamp, with three variable gain controls at different points in the circuit this is now called a "cascaded" design , creating the first high-gain amplifier. He set about designing a guitar amplifier around the new principle, and in the Mark I was released.
Richards had played Santana's Boogie and decided he wanted one too. Finally, Smith talked to Richards and they agreed that he would send them an amp, and that the Stones would pay for it or return it.
Richards ended up using the amp for the El Mocambo show as one of six , and the Stones, over the years, received and paid for over forty of Smith's amps. The Mark I had two channels: The "Input 2" channel, voiced like the Fender Bassman , and the high gain "Input 1" channel, which produced the overdriven "Boogie lead" sound used most notably by Carlos Santana on side 2 of Caravansarai , and by The Rolling Stones ' Keith Richards and Ron Wood , who used the amps live and in the studio from until Examples of this amp in its original form and in good condition are sought after by collectors and guitar aficionados.
Reverb was optional, and not present on many early Boogies. Son of Boogie [ edit ] The S. It had two cascading gain inputs and its controls were Volume gain 1, Volume gain 2, Master, High, Middle, Low, Limit or Presence depending on the version.
There was also a reverb option which replaced the Middle knob with the reverb control knob. These amps had a point-to-point wired power section and had large transformers with great headroom, even in 50 watt trim. SOB chassis were shared with other heads, but had different front and rear plates. It was also available as a head a standalone amplifier , which could be hooked up to a number of different speaker combinations, although a 1x12" cabinet was the most common.
The new footswitching system relied on a relay, which made an audible popping noise when switching modes. The reverb circuit was also noise-ridden on some models. The reason for using a fetron was to address some of the problems associated with microphonic 12AX7 tubes in a high-gain situation; its use was later discontinued as newer production tubes were able to withstand the extreme conditions within the amplifier.
However, the loop was placed between two critical gain stages, and tended to overdrive some instrument level effects, and also caused volume pedals to act as remote gain controls for the lead mode. In a simul-class amp, running all four tubes generates approximately 75 watts RMS of power; running only the class A tubes produces about 15 watts.
Also available were non-simul-class Mark IIBs in both a 60 watt version and a watt version that allowed shifting down to 60 watts by turning off a pair of power tubes.
The two input jacks on the front panel are marked "Input" and "Foot Switch. The Mark IIC featured a quieter footswitching system based on optocouplers to reroute the signal, and a new mod to the reverb circuit. The reverb modification involved resistor swaps and a change in ground lead placement. The Mark IIC also featured a new Pull Bass shift on the front panel, which slightly extended the low frequencies in the preamp. Unlike earlier Mark II models, pedals configured for instrument-level input signal could be used without the amp's signal overloading their inputs.
Indeed, the mark itself can be forged. It introduced a third channel, a "crunch" rhythm sound right in between the rhythm and lead channels. This amp has a dual footswitch system: The two rhythm modes share all of their controls, while the lead mode only shares the rhythm modes' tone stack , featuring independent gain and master volume controls. Most Mark IIIs have presence and reverb on on the back except for long chassis' unless not desired by the buyer; Graphic EQ was also optional all in either head or combo format.
Each revision had a slightly different voicing, but identical functionality. Mark IIIs contain either four or five 12AX7 tubes in the pre-amp section, depending on if they have the reverb option. Black Stripe [ edit ] These are distinguished by either the absence of a marking, a black dot, or a black marker stripe above the power cord entry. This resulted in the pull function of the Master 1 knob being mislabelled as Gain Boost instead of the correct Pull Deep name. Furthermore, the pull function labels above the Bass and Middle knobs were hand-etched onto the face plate resulting in a slightly different look than the other labels on the faceplate.
This amplifier was voiced with a more mellow lead and crunch modes, with slightly reduced gain. The amplifier was voiced so brightly, it is considered to be the most aggressive Mark Series Boogie ever introduced.
Mesa ultimately ended the Mark III's production in the company's largest marketing failure, since it overlapped with production of its successor, the Mark IV, which was introduced in Mark IIIs were still in steady production around , and finally ceased as late as , 11 years after its launch. The "crunch" channel is designed for use by hard rock and heavy metal rhythm guitarists. There were two versions of this amp.
Mark IVs built from the start of production until about September are referred to as version A; amplifiers made from late until the end of production in are known as version B. Early Bs have an attached power cord, like the A version. Version B has switchable reverb, a single switchable stereo effects loop, and an output to drive another power amp.
Its voicings are altered slightly. Both versions are highly regarded; production of the Mark IV ceased in Mark V[ edit ] The Mark V was introduced in early Much like its close cousin, the Triaxis Preamp, it features many voicings based on previous Mark Series amplifiers.
It has three distinct channels, each with their own pre-gain three band tone stack, gain, master, and presence controls. Each channel also has three modes, which control several of the amplifier's 49 relays to mirror the circuit being modelled. The Mark V introduced a channel-assignable graphic EQ. Older Boogies were equipped with graphic equalizers, but these did not allow the same flexibility. Each channel has a toggle switch able to select between EQ active, off, or footswitched.
Similar to the Express and F-series amplifiers, the graphic EQ also had channel-assignable contour knobs. The Mark V - like its predecessor - comes standard in a Simul-Class format, but with a twist: Channel-specific Multi-Watt toggles dictate the power amplifier's operation class. It is a smaller, two-channel version of the Mark V. The output section contains two EL84 tubes which can be switched between 10 and 25 Watts. It also features a built-in CabClone which can be used to emulate a speaker cabinet while driving headphones for silent playing, or a direct-in DI box for recording or sound reinforcement applications.
It is based on the Mark 5: The output section contains four EL84 tubes which can be switched between 10, 25, and 35 Watts. Additional solo controls were added for independent volume switching. It is also available as a combo and a head. The combo is a similar size to the Mark I combo. It also features cab clone. It also features two separate graphic EQs, which can be selected for each channel via mini toggles on each channel's front panel.
Much like the Mark 5: The amp also features a switch to drop the amp's wattage down to 60 watts for use in smaller venues or recording.