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Randall Smith with hands on amp chassisThe Spirit of Art
Music is in my blood.  And building tube amplifiers is my personal art. One lesson I learned early on is that any time you make something, you're leaving behind an artifact of who and what you were at that moment in your life.  Later, you're bound to encounter some of these relics of your past and when you do, YOU will have to own up to who you were at that time. This realization taught me the Commitment to Excellence. MESA/Boogie is founded on this commitment, and it is my responsibility to see that we stay true to that principle and to our customers.

A group shot of vintage Boogies sporting wood and snake skin coverings

Relics from the Early Lagunitian Era:  Some original Snake Skins including Number 008, which went to Africa with Santana and has been around the worldseveral times. Also shown, 1x15 combo and four channel instrument mixer in Kasis hardwood.

I'm here every day, designing and working on amplifiers. Most of MESA's inner circle have been here at least 15 years and some prac- tically grew up here. We operate more like a band than a company.  With that kind of tight communi- cation, we can ride the cutting edge and keep bureaucracy from sprout- ing between you and us. The R&D Team of myself, Dan Van Riezen and Doug West can neither eat, sleep nor shower without thinking about Tone.  Jim Aschow, VP and Production Chief, is similarly obsessed and works his magic in cabinetry and hardware design.  Mike Bendinelli, Chief Technician and Keeper of the Archives, works diligently with George Mueller to ensure that every production model measures up to its glowing prototypes. Our Deacon Steve Mueller and his sales team of Kevin Parker, Mike Oliencheck, Trent Blake and Kevin Backsa keep our pro centers in tune worldwide.

Customer Service is our direct pipeline to musicians. Tien Lawrence,
Richard Duvall and John Marshall have the clout, expertise and the answers to guarantee your satisfaction.  They know our products inside and out because they scrutinize every finished Mesa product during play test and show no mercy for any amp that doesn't measure up.  Tien Lawrence heads Artist Relations and is THE rack guru.  He builds the hardest working coliseum rigs today for our long list of touring artists.
I wish room here allowed me to mention everyone whose part in Team Boogie deserves acknowledgement.  But you will see many of their signatures on the Q.C. Card that accompanies each amplifier.  My thanks to each and all for their individual part in helping fulfill our collective commitment.  And to my wife, Susanne, for her enthusiasm, humor and steadfast support.

A Little History
Introduced in 1970, the Boogies proved to be absolute giant killers (in
more ways than one) and began to re-define forever what a guitar amp could be and do.  A small company working closely with leading players and fiercely dedicated to innovation and quality made a successful end-run around the sleeping giants of the industry.

The first Boogie was built as a practical joke (How far out can I boost
this little amp?)...but was in fact so practical in the real sense that top
players saw it, heard it, and began demanding their own.  They also liked
the wolf-in-sheeps-clothing approach.  Built inside a deceitfully stock
looking Fender Princeton was a hot-rodded circuit based on the 4x10 tweed Bassman.

Photo of the Dog Shack Workshop

Original "Home of Tone," the Dog House workshop shack in Lagunitas. Crescent moons on door are remnants from the original Princeton baffle boards, cut out to hold 12" speakers.

American Ingenuity
The trick was to get all the high power electronics, big transformers and a JBL twelve built reliably inside a package that was intended to house a ten inch speaker and produce twelve watts!  But it was worth the effort.  The quote from one of the hottest local guitar slingers, Carlos Santana was,
"Man, that little thing really Boogies!"  Thus the name was born.  Over two hundred of those Princeton Boogies were built between 1967 and 1970 up a dirt path in a mountain workshop that I converted from a dog kennel built for racing greyhounds.  Today, most of those "pre-Boogies" are still around, alive and treasured by their owners.

Out of the Dog House
Tearing apart Fender Princetons eventually became too inefficient a way to build a Boogie as the demand kept growing.  Moreover, CBS Fender was getting suspicious about the number of transformers being sold to an
obscure location in Northern California and cut off the supply.  It was
clearly time to move on.

Into the Garage
So I moved out of the dog kennel Tone Shack and started building a
two-story garage/studio with reject wood I trucked down directly from the
saw mills.  The truck was so overloaded we had to drive five miles through
a pear orchard to avoid the Highway Patrol weigh station!  Cash was needed to order custom transformers directly from the manufacturer, so when I wasn't rebuilding my own 3/4 race Bug Eye Sprite, I moonlighted by rebuilding old Mercedes-Benz engines for others.  I liked the powerful,
high-quality feeling of those super-balanced crankshafts, beefy cam
bearings and alloy covers. A Benz engine is a high power, smooth running
jewel. Combining this mechanical excellence with the exhilaration of
whipping a British race car around the mountain roads of California was the impetus behind my amplifier ideas:  Performance that breeds inspiration combined with reliability that builds assurance.

First Hand Experience
Nearly every part of those first Mark I Boogies was produced in that
garage:  nameplates were silk-screened, sheet metal chasses were hand
punched, wiring and cabinet building were done by hand...even the printed circuit boards were screened and etched there.  My experience with the Mercedes engines had demonstrated again that quality creates pride in work...and that quality must extend down through every little part in order to produce outstanding reliability and performance.

VALUE
Above all else, any MESA/Boogie you purchase will be an investment of
lasting value.  Ask yourself how much you've spent on lesser amplifiers?
How much did you lose in performance, and musical satisfaction?  How much did you lose when selling or trading in?  With MESA/Boogie you get more than just our fanatical devotion to performance and quality, You get Us, our resources and our 25 years of expertise.  No one else stands behind their products like we do, guaranteeing lasting satisfaction and seeing that each customer is treated as we ourselves would like to be.  We understand you because we are musicians ourselves.  And we are committed to making your MESA/Boogie one of the most rewarding purchases of your life.
 

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