The company Mesa / Boogie, also known as Mesa Engineering, is an American manufacturer of amplifiers for electric guitar and electric bass, headquartered in Petaluma, California. While for electric guitars amplifiers are designed and manufactured entirely in -tube technique, hybrid amplifier with tube preamp and MOSFET output stage are also available for the electric bass. The name " Boogie" is to go back to the guitarist Carlos Santana, who is said to have the first test of a mesa amp: " Man, did little thing really boogies! "


Guitar amplifier

Mark series

The original of the Mark series combo amp models based on the layout of a Fender Princeton guitar amp and were gradually refined and expanded, both through development (I to IV) as well as within a model as so-called Stripe Edition (blue, green and red). The Mesa amplifier with guitarists are now considered legendary. For example, Carlos Santana plays today a 1972 Mark I, which characterizes its typical singing guitar sound strong. Two other small tube amp, quasi copies of the Mesa / Boogie, the Acoustic 165 ( the also Carlos Santana used a while) and Jim Kelly, although ranged in sound quality, but never with respect to the call to the "myth Mesa / Boogie" approach.

Mark I

In the development of the guitar amp of the Mark I joined an important bridge between the old, traditional architecture and the modern amplifier construction at its launch in 1971. Building on the Fender Princeton, this amp had a guitarist under esteemed clean sound (pure, undistorted sound ). However, new musical ideas of the time and the grown demand for lead sounds ( sound distortion by overdriving the amplifier stages ) required a newer amplifier technology, which also had to adjust the terms of the live operation,. The founder of Mesa Engineering, Randall Smith, achieved this by integrating a second precursor in the pre-amplifier ( pre-amp ). The first precursor may override the second precursor so that a more intense sound distortion occurs even at low volume setting. The typical boogie sound is often described as creamy and slightly nasal. Critics characterize him as too smooth and speak of the " Californian beauty of sound " compared to the more aggressive and rougher character of a Marshall amplifier.

The Mark I lived up to his replacement in 1978 by the Mark II, the different variants ( after the renaming of the second channel in the "Input 1"). Previous versions did not have reverb ( reverberation), later had a graphic equalizer (EQ) and on the back a 60/100-Watt-Umschaltknopf.

The slider bar (front panel ) of a typical Mark I offers the potentiometer:

  • Volume 1: a push - potentiometer function with the gain boost for stronger signal amplification
  • Volume 2: Pull Bright to raise the height proportion for brilliant sound
  • Treble (treble), middle (center ) and bass (low ) for sound adjustment
  • Master: Master Volume

Later, the input of channel 2 was missing and were replaced by the footswitch input. This has allowed the switch to a foot switch between the first and second channel. After 1976, even boost and EQ foot switch could turn on and off. The Speaker of the earlier models of the Mark I (up to about 1977) had a 12 - inch speaker of Vega, Eminence, EVM 12L or JBL Companies. Later, there was, by a special design for the Rolling Stones, also a Altec Lansing speakers.

The most famous user of Mesa / Boogie amps are Carlos Santana, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Keith Richards and Pete Townshend.

  • Mark I 1x12: A0001 - A2999 = 2999 ​​Mark I
  • Mark I 1x15: B001 -B300 = 300 Mark I

From 1971 to 1978 the 3299 Mark I series amplifiers were produced.

Mark IV

The 1989 introduced to the market Mark IV is the first three-channel guitar amplifier from Mesa / Boogie, in which each channel can sound set largely separated.

The Mark IV offers undistorted sound to slightly blues -owned sound in Fender - style with a tonal range between jazzy and biting radio, angezerrtem sound with far-reaching possibilities of variation, and a lead sound with a distinct distortion. There is also a effects loop for effects devices and the graphical Boogie -5- band equalizer. This large variety of sounds as well as the very short switching times between channels have made this amp with guitar very popular.

Available the Mark IV is as top, long and short -Head ( with rack compatibility ) with the 85 -watt Simul-Class/Class-A-Endstufe and in combination with a modified Celestion or Electro Voice 12 inch speakers. Meanwhile, there is a revised 85- watt version with a slightly altered sound and parallel effects loop.

Among the most famous guitarists who use the Mark IV or used include, among others, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield from the band Metallica, Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana, Dexter Holland and Kevin Wasserman of the band The Offspring, and Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci. Angus Young ( AC / DC) also played in the 1990s with Mesa / Boogie.

Mark V

In January 2009, Mesa presented on its website the new Mesa / Boogie Mark V. He offered some new and advanced settings compared to its predecessor. The device offered three separate channels, one tube Hall, five-band EQ and a parallel effects loop. In each channel was the power and interconnection of the power amplifier can be selected ( 10 watt Class A, 45 watt Class A / B, 90 watts SimulClass ).

Nomad Series

The Nomad series sparked in 1999 from the Dual Caliber series.

Small, compact and extremely versatile. "Inspired by the ancient peoples who left the security and comfort of Their villages and set out in search of answers and deeper meaning to life, thesis amplifiers are vehicles of exploration " ( from the Preface in the User Mesa Boogie Owners manual for the Nomad 45, 55 and 100 amps ).

The Nomad amps are available in three versions: 45, 55 and 100 watts, respectively as 1 x 12, 2 x 12 and 4 x 10 Combo, as well as short ( 45/55W ) and long -Head ( 100W ).

The Nomad 45 has a Dyna- Watt power amplifier with variable output power (Normal / Extreme ), 5 x 12AX7 and 4 x EL84 tube circuit, the Nomad 55 is a Class A / B circuit with 5 x 12AX7 -A and 2 x 6L6 the optionally with 2 x EL34 output tubes - can be fitted, the Nomad 100 is in the final stage 4 x 6L6 (optionally also EL34 ) and offered the opportunity to switch from 100 to 50W. The combos are equipped with Celestion speakers

The equipment of the amp is more or less identical and basically consists of three fully independent channels. Each channel has control options for: Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Master, Reverb and Output Level and Solo. As usual with Mesa / Boogie 's controls influence each other. Each channel has an additional switch, which greatly influenced the sound characteristics of the basic sounds ( Chn 1: Clean and Pushed normal, Chn 2: Vintage Modern and Normal, Chn 3: Normal Modern and vintage ). Wherein at Chn 2 and 3, the circuit deliberately been reversed in order to achieve an easy to increase CHN2. The Nomad 100 also has a five-volume "Graphic EQ, (80, 240, 750, 2200, 6600 Hz" ).

Connectors: Input, FX Send, FX Return, Recording / Phones Out, Foot Switch 7 -pol. DIN, power cord, slave to power amp. The FX - mono effects loop (parallel) is controllable ( FX Mix 100% = serial). Speaker out 2 x 4 and 1 x 8 Ω. The speaker output can be muted. As an effect, there is a big " Accutronics spring reverb " is available. The channel switching is performed via a rotary switch on the back, just as the setting for the reverb per channel. Channel selection, solo level on / off and reverb are on / off controlled can also use the corresponding footswitch. Rarely in Rörenamps the Headphone is out.

The sound spectrum with three channels, the selector switches as well as with the additional options (Normal / Extreme at Nomad 45 and bias adjustment in the Nomad 55/100 ) enormously broad and diverse. It ranges from crystal clear, brilliant Clean in Chn 1 on blues - rock crunch in Chn 2 to absolute Lead board in Chn 3

Rectifier Series

With the Rectifier series Mesa / Boogie enabled sonically relevant options such as switching between diode and tube rectifier, the diode rectification produces a harder and rougher sound. This two-channel " Ur - Rectifier " was later both single- and dual and triple rectifier (50 or 100 or 150 watts ) is still published as a three-channel version. The three channels (Green, Orange and Red ) cover contrary to popular belief, nearly all characteristic sounds. Each channel has different options for sound adjustment ( Green: Clean / " Pushed " Orange and Red: "Raw ", " Vintage" and "Modern "), which are available via toggle switches available. Significant value has reached the Rectifier in the hardcore, rock and metal scene, as it provides a powerful, rich and aggressive sound. Stands (120 Watts), a complex device with four channels and live easier operation at the upper end of the range at the time of the Dual Rectifier Road King.

The Dual Rectifier Roadster is the pricing link between the Dual Rectifier and the Road King. Each Rectifier offers the possibility of the tubes between 6L6 and EL34 type to change.

The newest member of the family is the Mini Rectifier Rectifier, a very small and lightweight Vollröhrentopteil with an output of 25 watts. The Mini Rectifier offers two separate channels and a multi- watt amplifier that is switchable between 25 watts and 10 watts.

Nomenclature: Dual Rectifier means that this amp has two selectable modes of rectification: tube or diode rectification. The Single Rectifier has only one type of rectification: The diode rectification. In contrast, the Triple Rectifier has not three rectifier types, but here the number of rectifier tubes was chosen for the name of which has these three pieces because of the required performance.

Stiletto series

For lovers of all traditional British Sounds, Mesa brought the Stiletto series out ( Stiletto Ace: 50 Watt, Stiletto Deuce 100 watt and Stiletto Trident: 150 W). Mesa untypical of the Stiletto is equipped ex works with EL34 tubes.

Express Series

The Express series was divided into two, which differ in the output stage amplifier: the 5:25 with a maximum of 25 watts from 2 EL84 tubes and 5:50 with a maximum of 50 watts of 2x 6L6 tubes. Both the (Class AB operation, push-pull ) and 5 watts (Class A single ended) 5:25 and 5:50 were the switchable by a switch on the rear panel between its ratings. The precursors of both device classes were identical. There were two channels, which each had two switchable sound characteristics ( " modes "). Furthermore, a tube reverb and a serial effects were available.

The 5:25 gave it as a top in classic wooden case or as a 19 " rack version, as a combo with 1x10 " speaker or 1x12 "speaker. The 5:50 was offered as a classic Amp Head (23 " width) and as a combo with either one or two 12" Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.

The Express series was 2012 by the Express Plus - detached series. Among the most important new features include an improved clean channel, a 5-band equalizer with the ability, the power stage per channel in different operating modes to switch ( 5:25: 5 watt Class A single ended, 15 Watt Class A Push-Pull, 25 DYNAWATT Watt Class A / B; 5:50: 5 watt Class A single ended, 25 Watt Class A push-Pull, 50 watt Class A / B). Thus, it is possible to operate the clean channel with full power and thus maximum Headrom and reduce the distorted channel the power of the power amplifier in order to benefit from the power amp distortion. Furthermore, a footswitchable " solo " function integrated, which is a variable volume boost.

Lonestar / Lonestar Special Series

The Mesa Boogie Lonestar is a two-channel guitar amplifier, which is in contrast to the Rectifier devices located more in the vintage area.

The Lonestar Special is identical to the Lonestar in the preamp section but has an output stage having a maximum rated output of more than 35 watts makes the Class A operation with four EL 84 while the Lonestar comes with 4 6L6 tubes to a maximum power of 100 watts. From Lonestar exist two revisions: the first can be switched per channel between 100 watts and 50 watts, while the newer revision of three levels (The 10/50/100 watts). Also, the Lonestar Special is switchable in three stages.

Transatlantic / Royal Atlantic series

This series includes three amplifiers: the Transatlantic TA-15, the Transatlantic TA -30 and the Royal Atlantic. All are available as top, TA -30 and Royal Atlantic as a combo.


Contrary to the trend towards multi-channel guitar amplifiers Electradyne is equipped with only one channel. However, he offers three switchable sound presets ( "presets " ) that are associated with different distortion levels. The SimulClass power amp pumps out 90 or 45 watts and can be with El- 34 or 6L6 power tubes. It is available as a top unit, 19 " rack unit, or combo ( optionally equipped with one or two 12 " speakers).

Guitar preamp ( preamp )

Studio preamp

The Studio Preamp is a two channel tube preamp in the 19 "format. Both channels share the same EQ. This is complemented by the boogie typical 5-band EQ.


The Quad preamp is basically composed of two studio preamps in a twice as large housing. The channels are designed phonetically different.


The Triaxis is a 19 " tube preamp with fully comprehensive programming options. All settings can be saved in presets.

Rectifier preamp

This preamp provides the typical Rectifiersound without power amp and box and is designed for recording in the studio optimized.

Bass amplifiers

Bass Bass 400 and 400

These two amplifiers for bass guitar were constructed in Vollröhrentechnik. The bass had a 400 power amplifier with six 6L6 power tubes, the Bass 400 equipped with 12 of these tubes.

Prodigy 4:88 and 8:88 Strategy

With these two amps Mesa Boogie tied in 2013 and again in 2014 in the tradition of the bass tube amp. The Prodigy 4:88 is equipped with four KT88 power tubes, the Strategy 8:88 has an extensive prepress and eight KT88 on in the final stage.

History and Technology

The typical, heavily distorted sound of the Mesa / Boogies was initially the result of an electrically wrong sized precursor. The company's founder Randall Smith was not sure whether the output of the preamplifier was sufficient and constructed it with two double triodes ( eight triodes ), of which the first seven Triodenstufen are still used for amplification of the input signal. Mesa / Boogie draws its specially equipped with a " Mesa / Boogie " lettering electron tubes mainly from the New Sensor Corporation.

Mesa Boogie holds several patents on special amplifier circuits (Multi Watt, Dyna Watt, SimulClass ).

Another special feature of the American manufacturer of the device is the fact that they have a fixed bias voltage. In conventional tube amplifiers, this voltage must be reset with each change tube and adapted to the newly installed pipes. The change of the bias voltage is not provided in the mesa boogie devices. So a change of power tubes without technicians is possible as long as one uses a tube of Mesa Boogie. This "fixed bias " feature is controversial because a change of the tube manufacturer without modification of the device or selection of the tubes to the value range of the mesa boogie tubes is possible.