It’s all about TONE. This baby’s got it in spades. As I look back over the years of playing guitar, I’ve passed on what are now some phenomenal collectable guitars. With this one, I can’t say that I was smarter, I just got lucky. In late 1984, as I was tiring of lugging an Ampeg VT22 with Altec Lansing 417-8C speakers around, I began looking for a powerhouse with a smaller footprint. My wonderful wife allowed me to order a new Mesa Boogie direct from the factory. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I lucked out and in March of 1985 got one of the most desirable and collectable amps of all-time - a Mark IIC+ combo.
I had always been a tube buff since school, and after hacking my Ampeg to provide a master volume setting, and building a modified and improved Dynaco Stereo 70, I believed strongly in the hand-wired, high gain, multi-channel switching design methodology of the Mark series amps. With the Mark IIC+’s Class A mode of operation, you get the clean power with sweet overdrive only from a great Class A design where the power tubes produce the whole waveform. Overdrive results in a stable saturation vs. harsh clipping of the desired signal. But also simultaneously present is a much more powerful Class A/B mode of operation for full power output. Known for it’s impressive lead gain circuitry that has produced the sound for an era, this baby delivers.
Mesa Boogie guru Doug West has said that when he was testing II C+’s every day in the burn-in room, he always thought the non-graphic amps had a certain attack and purity to the sound that the amps that had Graphic EQ on them just didn’t have. There was an urgency and bold punch to the sound…they seemed tighter and more cohesive. The EQ model had the shaping advantage…no doubt about it, and certainly all the sounds that II C+ are famous for were created with the EQ being an integral part of that sound, but when it came to the straight sound – no EQ – the non-graphic model always got to him with it’s speed and authority. It wasn’t till later when designing the Mark V that they realized that the non-EQ version had a smaller coupling capacitor from the output of the EQ into the power amp section. This smaller cap allowed less sub-low thru, which speeds up the signal resulting in a tighter and more urgent sound.
Still in dead mint condition, with original tubes, this is the tone machine for all time. Often copied, but never exceeded...THE HOLY GRAIL...