Was I wrong about the Mark IV

metropolis_4

Shredder
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1,862
So I owned and gigged a Mark IV for a while and I wasn’t impressed at all. I remember it as dull, flat, and not having much depth or clarity. Lifeless. It was better at mid to high gain, but the clean and low gain sounds were terrible.

Playing the Mark IV models on the AxeFX now they sound nothing at all like I remember my amp sounding. They sound about 1,000x better.

I’m getting clarity, snap, detail, and a lot more harmonic depth and character than I ever heard in my amp. Especially in the lows.


I remember spending hours and hours with the amp trying everything I could to make it sound good and nothing seemed to work.

But these models are starting to make me think maybe I was wrong? Or maybe there was something wrong with mine?
 
It’s sorta weird, however no two amps are identical, even Mesas which are generally pretty consistent. But maybe you had a different revision than what Cliff has, and his just is livelier? That’s a possibility. There were at least two, maybe three different versions of the Mark IV.
 
It’s sorta weird, however no two amps are identical, even Mesas which are generally pretty consistent. But maybe you had a different revision than what Cliff has, and his just is livelier? That’s a possibility. There were at least two, maybe three different versions of the Mark IV.

That’s interesting, I didn’t realize there were multiple versions of the IV. I wonder what version mine was

Back then, I had no idea how to setup a Mark series amp. I dismissed it. I tried to set it up like I would a Marshall.

Boy was I ever wrong!!!! I missed out on so much.

Thankfully, I have corrected the error of my ways!

I spent hours and hours tweaking, listening, learning how the controls interacted, researching tips for dialing in IV’s, learning everything I could about dialing in an IV, even swapping tubes. I just couldn’t get what I wanted out of it.

To be fair, the amps I’d been playing before I got it were an Orange AD30 and a Bad Cat Cub II. So the IV was a big jump from those amps
 
I think you really want to check out a MKV. That Tweed mode is legit! Also, the Fat and Clean
are improved over the MKIV. Just a little smoother/sweeter/softer/rounder. Especially with
the Tube Rectifier option engaged on Channel 1.

I felt similar about the IV. Used it in a Modern Rock style band and it did great with the drop-tuned
and heavy riffing (or liquid lead), but it was a Bull in a China shop for anything low to medium gain.
Couldn't tame it and make it want to do Tom Petty. :LOL:
 
Mark IV is probably my favorite physical amp, used them on and off for years…..no f*ckin’ clue what it sounds like with low/mid gain. :rofl

You’ve never played the Gilmore stuff with it?

Any rectifier can be squirrelly, and generally don’t sound great with all at noon.

My 3 channel Dual Rec was just as hard to dial in as a Mark.

I think you really want to check out a MKV. That Tweed mode is legit! Also, the Fat and Clean
are improved over the MKIV. Just a little smoother/sweeter/softer/rounder. Especially with
the Tube Rectifier option engaged on Channel 1.

I felt similar about the IV. Used it in a Modern Rock style band and it did great with the drop-tuned
and heavy riffing (or liquid lead), but it was a Bull in a China shop for anything low to medium gain.
Couldn't tame it and make it want to do Tom Petty. :LOL:

The first time I played a Mark V my first impression was “wow, this sounds how wished my Mark IV sounded”
 
I remember the same with the old Rectoverb combo I owned. And now I think I just didn't know how to dial it in.

I had the rectoverb 50 combo for a while, the tones were in there, but I found it didn’t work great once up to band volumes, and it was still much too loud for standard home use. Always thought it would be solid in a studio though :idk
 
So with the Fractal models I’m finding my pushed clean to edge of breakup tones with the Lead Mid Gain Bright model with 6v6’s and the gain backed down.

On the real amp I did try 6v6’s but I don’t think I ever tried using the lead channel for pushed clean tones.

Now I’m curious what that would sound like on the real amp…
 
You’ve never played the Gilmore stuff with it?

Nope. I had a long break where my early influences took a backseat to metal/original music. I went about 20 years without learning a single cover or playing around with any tones other than what I was using in the band I was in at the time. The Floyd stuff didn’t start happening until I went Fractal and “got back to my roots, man”
 
So I owned and gigged a Mark IV for a while and I wasn’t impressed at all. I remember it as dull, flat, and not having much depth or clarity. Lifeless. It was better at mid to high gain, but the clean and low gain sounds were terrible.

Playing the Mark IV models on the AxeFX now they sound nothing at all like I remember my amp sounding. They sound about 1,000x better.

I’m getting clarity, snap, detail, and a lot more harmonic depth and character than I ever heard in my amp. Especially in the lows.


I remember spending hours and hours with the amp trying everything I could to make it sound good and nothing seemed to work.

But these models are starting to make me think maybe I was wrong? Or maybe there was something wrong with mine?

What format was your Mark IV? 1x12 combo? Head + 4x12 cab?
 
What format was your Mark IV? 1x12 combo? Head + 4x12 cab?

It was a head I was using with a closed back 2x12 with either v30s or greenbacks

Easily pushing the MV without going deaf is one big advantage on the Axe. It's a lot easier to find that sweet spot where everything warms up and feels good to play.

I’m thinking that’s definitely a big part of it. I wasn’t using the IV at low volumes, but on the AxeFX I’ve got the master up what would be at ear-bleed levels
 
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