Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Boogie Mark III Retubed (again)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Boogie Mark III Retubed (again)

Well, I just can't leave well enough alone I guess. ;) I had been doing some research into Mesa Boogie's non-adjustable fixed biasing and realized that the JJ power tubes I bought were not likely even close to what the fixed bias would be for a Boogie Mark III. So after looking around a bit I came upon Doug from dougstubes.com. He has a reputation for really testing his tubes thoroughly with top notch, high-end equipment so you know you're getting good matched sets and power tubes that fall within a certain range of bias.

Doug also happens to have a nice preamp tube "recipe" for Boogie Mark III's. Very cool! So I called him up and he recommended this specific mix of 12ax7 tubes, in order starting with V1:

- Tung Sol 12ax7
- Mullard 12ax7
- Penta 12ax7
- Shuguang 12ax7 9th gen. (V4 - reverb)
- Sovtek LPS 12ax7

According to Doug, the JJ 12ax7 preamp tubes I had in every position before are too harsh for this amp, particularly the V1 position. The Tung Sol is a current favorite for the V1 position in many amps (my Kingsley also came with a Tung Sol in V1). It really did help smooth out the tone and reduce the harshness I was getting from the JJ.

And for the power section Doug recommends a matched quad of SED "Winged C's" that were tested and verified for the Mesa Boogie bias range.

The result of all this? A much more balanced tone with sweeter, softer clipping on both gain channels. Warmer cleans and a much warmer, pleasant sounding tone overall. This tube recipe took a great sounding amp off the charts and turned it into a true tone machine. Got a Boogie? Well, I recommend to you talk to Doug. ;)

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