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NAD Mesa Mark IV
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Author:  Zachalou [ Fri, Jul 13, 2018 7:29pm ]
Post subject:  NAD Mesa Mark IV

Found a sweet deal on a 1990 Mesa Mark IV head with the footswitch!
Recently I've had to sell off a lot of my gear as we were buying our first house, so I was looking for an extremely versatile amp head to replace my other heads which boiled down to the mark IV and V. I tried to score a V but it never worked out, so when this popped up in my feed I jumped all over it.

I've never owned or even played any of the mark series heads before (I've never actually played any mesa amps) so I kind of took a big chance, but I feel like I got well over my moneys worth as I think all 3 channels are fantastic :rock:

I understand the hype with these heads now, this thing is just badass! While I'm sure the V is a great amp with even more versatility, I don't really see the need to get one as this has more than enough options to offer me, and I think the voicing is more along the lines of what I prefer.

Also quick side note- I don't see all the hate for the second channel, I think it is super useful for a ton of rock tones especially with the EQ

but that lead channel :m17: :inlove: :worship:
(pardon the shitty picture quality)


Cheers! :thumbsup:

Image

Author:  glpg80 [ Fri, Jul 13, 2018 8:58pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Mark IV's are all business - it's as good as any 2203 IMO. HNAD!!!! I'm sure it will bring a lot of inspiration over the coming years :rock:

Author:  Markedman [ Fri, Jul 13, 2018 9:50pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

It is a way way way underrated amp. There is plenty-o-snot in them. I run the individual masters up high, around 7.5-8 and the drive at 10, Simul-class, mid gain, pentode, full power & look out!!! I love ch.2 too.

Author:  Zachalou [ Fri, Jul 13, 2018 10:24pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

glpg80 wrote:
Mark IV's are all business - it's as good as any 2203 IMO. HNAD!!!! I'm sure it will bring a lot of inspiration over the coming years :rock:


I'd like to get another of the new DSL line down the road. I actually preferred it to the 2204 I had, however the 2204/2205 are badass!


Markedman wrote:
It is a way way way underrated amp. There is plenty-o-snot in them. I run the individual masters up high, around 7.5-8 and the drive at 10, Simul-class, mid gain, pentode, full power & look out!!! I love ch.2 too.


I'll have to experiment with it for sure, took me just a few minutes to dial in something awesome and that's pretty rare. Also just put a quad of brand new celestion g12t-100's in the cab and they sound fantastic with it :thumbsup:

Author:  trashedlostfdup [ Fri, Jul 13, 2018 10:51pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

I love mine. IIRC mine is a 1991. They are beasts. That is for sure. I like the lead channel on the iv than the v,l. Cleans are better on the v though.

Have fun! Cheers

Author:  stephen sawall [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 12:07am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

IV is my favorite Mark. Make sure you check out the manual.

Author:  D-Rock [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 12:13am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Most excellent!!!!

Author:  trashedlostfdup [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 12:17am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

stephen sawall wrote:
IV is my favorite Mark. Make sure you check out the manual.


That is an excellent piece of advice. Cheers

Author:  SpiderWars [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 5:15am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Nice! :rock:
They are awesome amps and crazy good value for what they are going for these days. Like any Mark I've played, settings can seem extreme. 'Read the manual' is great advice.

Author:  Zachalou [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 7:30am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

So far it hasn’t been difficult to dial in on any channel, The graphic EQ is great, I feel it’s far more responsive than the GEQ on the fryette classic lead I had.

I’ll definitely check out the manual today!

Author:  stephen sawall [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 8:16am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Set the Bass knob on the Clean / RHY2 to 4. Set the Bass on the Lead channel to 0-3. Other than that pretty much you can set everything any way. This is usually how I always start.

Remember the Treble control has a strong effect on how much gain you have. As much as the gain controls.

Often I leave the GEQ off on the Lead channel. It's very midrange heavy and sounds amazing live with a band without the GEQ. It cuts perfect.

I leave the GEQ on usually on RHY2. It really helps with getting a big sounds on this channel.....
Sometimes I put Gain, Presence and Treble all on 10. Bass on 4. Midrange 3-6. Then use a V shape on the GEQ. 750 and 2200 are extremely useful to cut with this setting live.

Medium or low gain sounds on the Lead channel can be amazing. Set the Gain 6-8 and the Drive 2-4. I usually do this with the GEQ off.

The IV can get some bass heavy sound the other Mark amps don't do. Some of the best highgain sounds I have heard from any amp.

If I do a wet/dry rig with a other amp.....I usually use my IV as my wet amp. With the switches you have 8 voices in the poweramp.

The GEQ works when you take the line out from a other amp and plug into the IV effects return. It is by far the best wet amp I have found when doing this type of rig.

This amp is almost 30 years old. Get some Deoxit and clean the pots, switches, jacks and all tube sockets.
Deoxit is probably the best investment I have ever made for tone. I've seen it bring back amps from the dead. I love this stuff.

I've had this amp almost 30 years and still blown away by new sounds I find in it.

Author:  vmbarrera [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 12:04pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Congrats! I have one, a '92, I believe. It kicks all kinds of ass!

Author:  anomaly [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 2:18pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Congrats on the new amp. I love my Mark IVb, it's my main amp.

Author:  ChurchHill [ Sat, Jul 14, 2018 10:49pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Glad you took a chance on the Mark IV. You will be greatly rewarded for a long, long time! Congrats on landing one of the all time greats!! I'll never be without mine, and I've been playing one for the last 25 years.

I agree, too, with stephen sawall, get some Deoxit. It's one of the best investments I've ever made, too. :yes:

Author:  bgh [ Tue, Jul 17, 2018 8:05am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

stephen sawall wrote:
Set the Bass knob on the Clean / RHY2 to 4. Set the Bass on the Lead channel to 0-3. Other than that pretty much you can set everything any way. This is usually how I always start.

Remember the Treble control has a strong effect on how much gain you have. As much as the gain controls.

Often I leave the GEQ off on the Lead channel. It's very midrange heavy and sounds amazing live with a band without the GEQ. It cuts perfect.

I leave the GEQ on usually on RHY2. It really helps with getting a big sounds on this channel.....
Sometimes I put Gain, Presence and Treble all on 10. Bass on 4. Midrange 3-6. Then use a V shape on the GEQ. 750 and 2200 are extremely useful to cut with this setting live.

Medium or low gain sounds on the Lead channel can be amazing. Set the Gain 6-8 and the Drive 2-4. I usually do this with the GEQ off.

The IV can get some bass heavy sound the other Mark amps don't do. Some of the best highgain sounds I have heard from any amp.

If I do a wet/dry rig with a other amp.....I usually use my IV as my wet amp. With the switches you have 8 voices in the poweramp.

The GEQ works when you take the line out from a other amp and plug into the IV effects return. It is by far the best wet amp I have found when doing this type of rig.

This amp is almost 30 years old. Get some Deoxit and clean the pots, switches, jacks and all tube sockets.
Deoxit is probably the best investment I have ever made for tone. I've seen it bring back amps from the dead. I love this stuff.

I've had this amp almost 30 years and still blown away by new sounds I find in it.

Lots of good advice here. I'm with Stephen in that I rarely use the GEQ when I am on the lead channel. It sounds so sweet without it, and it sits so well in the mix. I use it on channel 2, but depending on which guitar I use. The SG sounds very good without it, but the LP likes it being on. With the SG in particular, with R2's gain set at 10, I get some very "Marshally" tones from R2.

Very versatile amp. I have EL34s in the outer sockets and really like how it sounds.

Thanks for reading.

Author:  blackba [ Tue, Jul 17, 2018 8:20am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Congrats on the mark IVA, I have a 1990 mark IVA as well, great amp. I like to boost R2 with a Maxon tubescreamer and set the gain lower on R2. I also use the EQ on R2 all the time.

Author:  danyeo [ Tue, Jul 17, 2018 8:35am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

I have a love/hate relationship with R2. I did a show this past weekend and I did have to use R2 a lot, when you're playing classic rock sometimes the lead is just to awesome for some of that old fart classic rock! :lol: :LOL: Normally when I set OD pedals I usually crank the level and keep the gain low but I think R2 works well if the pedal gain is boosted high and the level kept about halfway.

And people who complain about vanishing in the mix are just scooping the 750 slider down too low. If you're playing with another guitar who also scoops his mids then you're fine, but scoop your mids and if the other guy is playing a JCM800 you'll be lost.

Author:  anomaly [ Tue, Jul 17, 2018 2:21pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

danyeo wrote:
I have a love/hate relationship with R2. I did a show this past weekend and I did have to use R2 a lot, when you're playing classic rock sometimes the lead is just to awesome for some of that old fart classic rock! :lol: :LOL: Normally when I set OD pedals I usually crank the level and keep the gain low but I think R2 works well if the pedal gain is boosted high and the level kept about halfway.

And people who complain about vanishing in the mix are just scooping the 750 slider down too low. If you're playing with another guitar who also scoops his mids then you're fine, but scoop your mids and if the other guy is playing a JCM800 you'll be lost.


R2 boosted with an OD is a pretty good tone, it's got a bit of a marshally vibe to it. I also use it for classic rock stuff as the lead channel is a bit to gainy and modern for old rock.

Author:  bgh [ Wed, Jul 18, 2018 8:31am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

anomaly wrote:
danyeo wrote:
I have a love/hate relationship with R2. I did a show this past weekend and I did have to use R2 a lot, when you're playing classic rock sometimes the lead is just to awesome for some of that old fart classic rock! :lol: :LOL: Normally when I set OD pedals I usually crank the level and keep the gain low but I think R2 works well if the pedal gain is boosted high and the level kept about halfway.

And people who complain about vanishing in the mix are just scooping the 750 slider down too low. If you're playing with another guitar who also scoops his mids then you're fine, but scoop your mids and if the other guy is playing a JCM800 you'll be lost.


R2 boosted with an OD is a pretty good tone, it's got a bit of a marshally vibe to it. I also use it for classic rock stuff as the lead channel is a bit to gainy and modern for old rock.

When I boost R2 with my Effectrode Blackbird, I get some extremely good sounds.

Author:  Zachalou [ Wed, Jul 18, 2018 9:08am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

A lot of helpful tips here, a few days later and I’m still loving it, Really digging channel 2 for rock stuff, it’s just so articulate and has a great note separation going on, I’ve spent a lot of time on it

The pots seem really clean, but I did order some deoxit for future use!

Lead channel is such a beast, and after reading some comments I agree it sounds better without the EQ, but I love the EQ on the first 2 channels.

After experimenting, I’ve concluded that I just don’t like a boost at all with this amp, so probably time to move my maxon on and pick up a chorus or something weird

Author:  NewWorldMan [ Wed, Jul 18, 2018 2:50pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Your amp doesn't need a boost. I should know... :D

Author:  ChurchHill [ Wed, Jul 18, 2018 5:31pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Just FYI, Deoxit is good for cleaning the input and speaker jacks, EQ sliders, and the tube sockets, too. If/when you change tubes, it's never a bad idea to spray a little in the socket, then insert and remove the old tubes a couple of times to work away any carbon/grime that may have built up. No need to be overzealous, but it does keep everything nice and clean. Great stuff!

Author:  Zachalou [ Wed, Jul 18, 2018 6:23pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

ChurchHill wrote:
Just FYI, Deoxit is good for cleaning the input and speaker jacks, EQ sliders, and the tube sockets, too. If/when you change tubes, it's never a bad idea to spray a little in the socket, then insert and remove the old tubes a couple of times to work away any carbon/grime that may have built up. No need to be overzealous, but it does keep everything nice and clean. Great stuff!


Good to know, I will definitely make a note of it, this is one beast of an amp and I'd love to preserve it :thumbsup:

Author:  stephen sawall [ Thu, Jul 19, 2018 12:29am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Make sure you check out the entire gain range of every channel. It's a extremely versatile amp.

Author:  MetalHeadMike [ Thu, Jul 19, 2018 7:50am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Congrats man!!! I have yet to play a Mesa either. Someday.

Author:  ChurchHill [ Thu, Jul 19, 2018 3:06pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

MetalHeadMike wrote:
Congrats man!!! I have yet to play a Mesa either. Someday.

We have GOT to fix that... ;)

Author:  Zachalou [ Thu, Jul 19, 2018 5:07pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

NewWorldMan wrote:
Your amp doesn't need a boost. I should know... :D


Was this yours?

Author:  Norton666 [ Thu, Jul 19, 2018 5:46pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

I LOVED Ch2 of my MKIV. I lived there most of the time. It’s easy to make those amps sound “weird” if you’re not used to dialing in Boogies. That being said , I love that amp.

Author:  MetalHeadMike [ Fri, Jul 20, 2018 3:31pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

ChurchHill wrote:
MetalHeadMike wrote:
Congrats man!!! I have yet to play a Mesa either. Someday.

We have GOT to fix that... ;)


Indeed we do..... :thumbsup:

Author:  Mr. Willy [ Fri, Jul 20, 2018 4:39pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Post some clips of that bad boy.

Author:  bgh [ Sat, Jul 21, 2018 7:36am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

Norton666 wrote:
I LOVED Ch2 of my MKIV. I lived there most of the time. It’s easy to make those amps sound “weird” if you’re not used to dialing in Boogies. That being said , I love that amp.
For what it's worth, when I got mine, I started a new personal tradition. I decided to institute a new type of practice session. A once a week "gear" practice. The whole purpose of it was to spend an hour with one piece of gear. Not trying to learn a song or anything like that. The goal was to learn more about that piece of gear.

With my amps, a looper was a huge help. I would play a riff, and then repeatedly play it back with the looper. I fed the looper in as input to my amp. Then, I simply sat down and played with the controls. Being able to adjust settings on the fly (without having to stop playing, and then tweak) made all the difference in the world.

And, for the Mark IV, the manual is a great place to start.

Author:  ChurchHill [ Sat, Jul 21, 2018 2:52pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

bgh wrote:
For what it's worth, when I got mine, I started a new personal tradition. I decided to institute a new type of practice session. A once a week "gear" practice. The whole purpose of it was to spend an hour with one piece of gear. Not trying to learn a song or anything like that. The goal was to learn more about that piece of gear.

With my amps, a looper was a huge help. I would play a riff, and then repeatedly play it back with the looper. I fed the looper in as input to my amp. Then, I simply sat down and played with the controls. Being able to adjust settings on the fly (without having to stop playing, and then tweak) made all the difference in the world.

And, for the Mark IV, the manual is a great place to start.

This is GREAT advice!! Especially for something like the Mark IV that's not only extremely versatile, but also rather unique in how it likes to be set. "Gear" practice gives you the chance to learn new delay tricks, try new mic positions, check out different pedals, and so much more... kind of like dedicating an hour a week to experimenting with open tunings, new scales and modes, different styles.

And yes, the manual is a great place to start. Might even try reading the manuals for the Mark III, Studio, or Quad, too. They're all similar amps and each manual has some tips and settings that definitely cross-pollinate.

Author:  stephen sawall [ Sat, Jul 21, 2018 4:02pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

If I remember correctly the IV has 96 voices just from the switches. I bought mine when it came out almost thirty years ago and I still find new sounds in it. For single note lead playing I don't know of a better lead channel. With my other amps I'm usually trying to get something similar to the liquid lead sound the MESA Mark amps do. The IV can do bass heavy sounds on the Lead channel no other amp can do. Nothing short of amazing for the chunk rhythm playing. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Author:  ChurchHill [ Sat, Jul 21, 2018 7:53pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

The only lead channel that I've found to be as satisfying, fun, and easy as a Mark Series is the Bogner Ecstasy and that's really, really, really not the same thing... For heavy rhythm, I agree, nothing short of amazing and very few amps can come close. For me, nothing does that better than a Mark.

Author:  rbasaria [ Mon, Jul 23, 2018 11:49am ]
Post subject:  Re: NAD Mesa Mark IV

The V isn't on the same level as the IV in terms of tone and response. Theres a reason I have 2 of these haha.

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