Legend of the Boogie (Amplifier)

by Karine Janho, Jul 18, 2019 . 3 min read

Legend of the Boogie (Amplifier)

Somewhere in the early 70s, Randall Smith owned a small music store. He performed minimal modifications to Fender Amplifiers, thus producing a new breed of heavy and distorted guitar tone. He made a name for himself, producing reliable combo amps that were really loud. So loud, that it was enough to attract local legend Carlos Santana to give it a try. While playing in the store, the guitar hero said “Man, that thing really boogies!”, and the rest is history.

James Hetfield Hand

What Makes it Boogie?

Every Mesa/Boogie is born with the same construction techniques and component combinations. Professionals that average 10 years of experience handcraft everything. Now, here are a few reasons why Mesa Boogie are so spotless when it comes to consistency and quality:

1. The chassis of Mesa combos use 16 gauge, cold-rolled steel with welded seams and a heavy powder-coat finish.

2. Hand-drawn printed circuit boards inside every single amplifier.

3. 1% Tolerance for resistors.

4. Relentlessly custom made Tubes, pots, transformers, capacitors, connectors, sockets and switches.

Similar – How to Buy the Best Bass Amp

Cabinets

In order to save weight and improve structural integrity, all cabinets are carved out. Hence, they form an extremely strong skeleton. High-tech innovation enhances the bass spectrum of the speakers. Also, internal air space pumps out the low end, keeping a mid-range that is punchy & crisp.

Cabinet Skeleton

Tubes

As for the high-gain tubes, Mesa Engineering’s signature low-noise 12AX7 is the real deal. This magical component is a result of hundreds of hours of professional work and revision. It’s a major achievement, and simply one of the best.

Amplifier Tubes

Famous Albums Recorded on Mesa Amps:

Master of Puppets, 1986:

Metallica’s Master of Puppets (1986) is the ultimate example of what a Mesa Boogie can do. For instance, Frontman James Hetfield used a Jackson King V played through a Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ amplifier modified as a pre-amp; and bassist Cliff Burton also played an Aria Pro II SB1000 through Mesa Boogie amplifier heads and cabinets. Here’s the iconic riff that tops off this album and the history of heavy metal.

Metropolis Pt. 2:  Scenes From a Memory, 1999:

For Dream Theater’s first two albums (When Dream and Day Unite & Images and Words) and in their tours, they used a Triaxis/2:90 rack rig.  On Awake, they added a Dual Rectifier Solo head to the mix.  The following two albums (Falling Into Infinity & Metropolis Pt. 2:  Scenes From a Memory) were recorded almost entirely using Mk. IIC+ and Mk. IV heads.

Supernatural, 1999:

Carlos Santana’s distinctive guitar tone is produced by PRS Santana signature guitars plugged into multiple amplifiers. The amps consist of a Mesa Boogie Mark I, Dumble Overdrive Reverb and more recently a Bludotone amplifier. Often the unique tones of each amplifier are blended together, complementing each other to produce a richer tone.

Similar – What Are The Best Acoustic Guitar Amps?

Have any favorite tracks/albums recorded with this iconic line of amplifiers? Let us know in the comments section below!



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

These four interesting facts about sting give us some insight into the life of this celebrated musician.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 22, 2021 . 4 min read

Have you ever wondered what are the 5 most used types of guitars?

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 18, 2021 . 4 min read

These 4 tips for writing a song on guitar will help you kickstart your creativity.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 11, 2021 . 4 min read

These five facts about jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny are quite impressive. They will shed some light on how a guitar prodigy from a small town in Missouri became the most successful and beloved jazz musician of his generation.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 24, 2021 . 4 min read

Today we’re going to talk about five tips for changing chords faster on guitar. This is one of the main obstacles that beginners face when learning the guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 6, 2021 . 4 min read

This list of five mistakes to avoid when practicing can help you in your journey to becoming a better musician.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 23, 2021 . 4 min read

These 5 popular alternate tunings for guitar can open a universe of possibilities. By using them, you are essentially changing the nature of the instrument but without having to buy a new guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 16, 2021 . 6 min read

The 6 famous songs that use dominant 7th chords have a special quality to them. A big chunk of that particular flavor is thanks to the use of dominant chords.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 26, 2021 . 7 min read

This guide to understanding the types of electric guitars will shed light on a topic that can be confusing for many.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 9, 2021 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!