Tweaking the Mesa Mark V 25


Hey Bert, does the AxeFx have a Mark V sim? I can tell you how to get incredible tones out of that amp.

Axe-Fx 2 Friedman Smallbox Test

Not specifically Mark V, but if I recall correctly that’s because the Mark V is a compendium of older circuits no?

I’ll give any suggestions a whirl though :slight_smile:


I’m not sure how accurate the AxeFx programming of the dials are for the Mesas, so here’s the general rule of setting a Mesa;

As gain goes up, bass goes down. Mids are trimmed down until you get clarity. Treble and presence to taste.
After the basic setup, then you do the five band eq to help “re-insert bass” in the 80 Hz band, 240 Hz is about neutral to slightly lifted, 750 (mids) trimmed down until you get all of your clarity back, 2200 Hz slightly elevated above neutral, and 6600 lifted to get the blanket off, almost raised as high as the bass slider. That’s the classic “V” shape.
Mesas are so mid heavy that their dials defy normal knob setting convention. I’ll post a pic of my settings as an example.



The bottom row is Channel 2 set for high gain. This setting gives woody sounding leads and lots of note clarity when playing chords. As you can see, it’s not at all how the dials on a Marshall would be set.

As gain goes up, it naturally makes the bass go up as well so you have to dial it down. That’s a Mesa thing. Even though mids are where guitars live, these things have so much that it just congests the frequencies. Right about where I set it is where the mess goes away.

Treble and presence are more what you’d expect so those go wherever your ears tell you to dial them.

Master volumes are mainly for overall volume. I think it depends on the Channel, but generally speaking, you don’t need to turn it up to increase gain. Mesas are all pre-amp gain so you can segregate the Master as strictly a volume control and Gain strictly for adjusting how dirty you want things to be.


I had a Mini Rec that worked the same way. It’s sound isn’t as focused as the Marks but still excellent. Very easy to dial in great tones out of it. Mine was bought used and had an issue in which the volume just randomly turned off. I think it was a power tube dying so I returned it. One day, I may get another though. Fun Amp!


In before the topic split…


I generally follow that approach with the mesa’s yeah (V shape on the EQ, bass down until tight)

This is high gain Mark IV type I did months ago

The rythm guitars are done with a Mark IIC+ here:


What cab/drivers were you using on that picture?


Sounds great Bert!
Drivers? Not sure what you mean… It’s in the Mark IV mode and it’s on Mesa Recto cab with V30s. I think the Mesa/Mesa cab/V30 combination is perfect!
Some recommend the Mesa Thiele cab for a bigger sound but as you can see, I have the eqs set to try to tame this beast. No need for a bigger sound, imo.


Sorry, yeah drivers = speakers.

Ah cool Recto with V30’s is the de-facto mesa sound yeah :grin: :metal:


I eyeballed your settings in the pic into Axe-Edit… sounds purty


I love this amp! If you ever decided to go the amp route, I’d highly recommend this one. XLR out, Cab Clone, headphone jack, beautiful cleans, dirt, no biasing needed, built Mesa tough, etc…
Plus it’s ultra portable and has no problem keeping up with drummers.


Hey Bert, try that setting with the neck pickup.


It’s nice and shimmery


Excellent! You must have your volume knob dialed back a bit. I love how clear it is and not overly congested with bass freqs. It’s a very usable lead sound.


Volume knob was at 100%. I was picking lightly though.