Mark V question for newbie

Discussion for the new Mark V

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EEGMan
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Mark V question for newbie

Post by EEGMan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:58 pm

So after many decades of chasing a career I'm retired and relearning to play (and its wonderful). Here is my question. I'm buying myself a new amp; I play every week with friends just for fun but eventually I might play out a bit. Im a huge fan of Santana's tone. IM thinking the Mark V might be the answer because there is the 10 watt option and I have heard this amp can be a way to get that classic Santana tone. I was thinking Fillmore 25 or 50 but now I thinking Mark V. I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you all might have.

BMW-KTM
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by BMW-KTM » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:54 pm

Since you're just getting back into it, I assume you won't be playing any large venues so you maybe don't need the full sized Mark V.

I would suggest you consider instead a Mark V-35 combo.

The Fillmore amps look very interesting to me as well but I have not yet tried one.
I really like the idea of having basically two of the same amp but adjusted differently.
I think it could even be a better option than a standard channel switching amp in which the channels are voiced quite differently.
Kind of like two snapshots of the same amp.
If the Fillmore tone suits you it might be a better option since it is a bit cheaper.

I am a believer that 35 watts is about as low as you can go before losing some quality of a clean tone.
Others might disagree but I find there is a quality of clean you can't always put your finger on that just doesn't happen with a smaller amp.
Cleans sound best when they are coming from an amp with a little power behind them.
It gives them what I call breath but I've never been able to properly convey that tonal quality in words without the person being there listening.
I like a 35 to 50 watt combo as an all purpose small venue amp.
I'm not a heavy grinder though so your mileage may differ.
I rarely crank the preamp gain on any amp higher than noon and it's usually more like 10 or 11 o'clock.
You like Santana so you're likely going to want more gain.
Not having tried any Fillmores myself I can't speak to their ability to do Santana.

Try a few different amps to see which seems best.
While trying them, do remember that the volume you hear in the little amp test room at the music store bears no resemblance to the volume you will hear in a rehearsal or live setting.
If it seems like it's too loud in that room it's probably adequate outside that room.

mace
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by mace » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:39 pm

If you want Santana tone, I'd suggest the "Mark I" mode on the Mark V. I don't think the smaller Mark V's (25 and 35) do not have the Mark I mode. Mark I is very thick and juicy and just opens up wonderfully at gig/practice volumes.

You may be able to get that specific Santana tone with a pedal and a different amp also, but I do not know what pedal.
Rankings: #1 Mark V head, #2a TC50 combo, #2b Rectoverb 25 head

EEGMan
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by EEGMan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:38 pm

The advice about upgrading to a Mark V 35 is something I am seriously considering
Also still thinking about the Fillmore but the MV 35 right now is my #1 at present.

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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by BMW-KTM » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:33 pm

mace wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:39 pm
I don't think the smaller Mark V's (25 and 35) do not have the Mark I mode.
Right.
It's IIC+, IV & Xtreme

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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by BMW-KTM » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:52 pm

EEGMan wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:38 pm
The advice about upgrading to a Mark V 35 is something I am seriously considering
Also still thinking about the Fillmore but the MV 35 right now is my #1 at present.
The are 2 things I'm not too crazy about on my Mark V-35.
They both have to do with the foot-switch.
It is a 4 button affair that could easily be reduced to 3.
It has buttons for channel, EQ in/out, Ch1 boost and Ch2 boost.
I would prefer it be Channel, reverb & boost.
Currently, there is no option to switch reverb in/out and I don't see the need for 2 boost buttons.
That's one issue for me.
The other is that it is over 12" wide so it takes up about the same floor space as 4 standard sized pedals when patched together.
By the time you put a few pedals down you have used up a lot of stage real estate.
Small venues typically have quite small stages so that might be something you want to consider.
You may need to invest in a pedal board that is 2 pedals deep to keep everything secured and keep your footprint down to a reasonable size for small venue duty.

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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by EEGMan » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 am

Given that I have no interest in playing for a living and so my future consists of the weekly classic rock and blues jam with friends and possibly playing a few songs as a guest in a small venue, I dont need anything like a Mark V.; 90W is overkill. I would think a MKV 25 or 35 would work because of the 10W option for the weekly jam or even a Fillmore 25. I'm thinking a head instead of a combo so I can play with the idea of different cabs. Again Im a fan of the tone of people like Santana, Leslie West, Duane Allman, David Gilmore but that quest for the right tone for me is just to please myself. So if any of you who certainly have a better perspective on this than I have a suggestion, I'm all ears.

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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by jaslan » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:49 am

EEGMan wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 am
Given that I have no interest in playing for a living and so my future consists of the weekly classic rock and blues jam with friends and possibly playing a few songs as a guest in a small venue, I dont need anything like a Mark V.; 90W is overkill. I would think a MKV 25 or 35 would work because of the 10W option for the weekly jam or even a Fillmore 25. I'm thinking a head instead of a combo so I can play with the idea of different cabs. Again Im a fan of the tone of people like Santana, Leslie West, Duane Allman, David Gilmore but that quest for the right tone for me is just to please myself. So if any of you who certainly have a better perspective on this than I have a suggestion, I'm all ears.
But keep in mind that the 90W has more than just extra wattage. There are some extra modes and options available. Of course, it is also about $700 more, I think, so, maybe still not worth it, but just to make sure you can make a fully informed decision.

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jb's 52
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by jb's 52 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:15 am

EEGMan wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 am
Given that I have no interest in playing for a living and so my future consists of the weekly classic rock and blues jam with friends and possibly playing a few songs as a guest in a small venue, I dont need anything like a Mark V.; 90W is overkill.
90W is total overkill until you wanna play clean with that one drummer that knows nothing about dynamics or that one friend that has an amp that goes to 11 and he's pushing for 12...hahaha!!! I swear, my "jamming friends" are the worse with dynamics and being "newbs" they just wanna play LOUD!!!

Honestly, I went in to get the Mesa Express 5:50 when I got my Mark V. I played both side by side and left with the latter.
Like yourself, I had no desire to get out of the bedroom/garage and/or just jamming with friends.
One thing led to another and I found myself outgrowing the bedroom/garage and "just jamming" friends.

Anyhow, since then I've recorded and gigged with three bands and I still gig regularly with one.
I thought 90W would seldom be used, but the only time I take it off 90W now is when an outdoor venue has some crazy low 85-90 db noise ceiling due to city ordinances...hehe.

With that said, I'm sure glad I made the initial investment of getting the Mark V way back then because I would have had to upgrade by now.
It's been the only stable piece of equipment I have yet to outgrow.

Even though you don't see yourself using it all now, you want to grow musically and you don't want that growth to be hindered by an amp...
♫♫♫♫


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BMW-KTM
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by BMW-KTM » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:31 pm

EEGMan wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 am
I'm thinking a head instead of a combo so I can play with the idea of different cabs.
That makes more gear to carry around to jams and small venues (as a guest).
Two amp items to haul instead of one.
You might wish to consider an extension cab like a Theile to place under a combo for more flexibility but only when you need it so you don't have to haul extra gear every time but only sometimes.


EEGMan wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 am
Im a fan of the tone of people like Santana, Leslie West, Duane Allman, David Gilmore but that quest for the right tone for me is just to please myself.
Dave's tone is not at all like the other three.
His approach to tone is more from the perspective of effects ... and lots of them.
He plays big Hi-Watt amps which are known for loud cleans and then gets his signature sounds from effects.
To go the Dave route the full sized Mark V (90W) might be the better option.
Those are heavy though.
As an older retired man you may wish to take that into consideration as well.
We're not getting any younger.

EEGMan wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 am
even a Fillmore 25.
I would suggest a 50 instead of a 25 for the reasons posted by myself and others above.

EEGMan
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by EEGMan » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:12 pm

Agreed that the Gilmore tone is different I was just being conversational. As to the weight of the Mark V, I'm a lifter and thats not an issue. I'll stick with the original reasons for liking the 35 but thanks for the opinion. More data = better outcome.

mace
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Re: Mark V question for newbie

Post by mace » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:18 pm

I can only stress "90 Watts" is really not the main advantage of the full Mark V. In other words, there are more significant differences between the three Marks than just max power. The full Mark V has three channels, and all the flexibility within those channels and modes, which is not available in the 25 and 35W Marks. If you are looking for an all-rounder full Mark V is great. The 25 and 35W versions are great, but they are not at all the same thing just less watts. They are less of everything except maybe 1) built in cab clone and 2) mid boost function which the full 90W Mark does not have.

Anyway, yes, I'm a fan and love the full V so I'm probably biased, but the above paragraph is just facts.

That all being said....I'm really tempted with the little mini-Mark V 25 combo. So light, so portable. But, it would never replace the full Mark V (and not because of less power, just a lot less featured for tonal options).

All my opinion only of course! I love the TC-50 as well, but for Santana, which seemed to be an up front request, the big Mark and Mark I mode is where it is at IMHO.
Rankings: #1 Mark V head, #2a TC50 combo, #2b Rectoverb 25 head

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