Amplitudes: The Mesa Boogie Blog
Mark V Demo ~ Mesa R & D Maestro Doug West
Doug West has been Randall Smith's right hand man in the toning of every Mesa/Boogie amp since 1980. Doug started playing guitar at age 6 and in an amazing twist of irony, bought his first electric guitar from Randy in 1968. Before 'The Boogie' (Mark I) was officially born, Randall partnered with friends to open and run a once legendary music store in Mill Valley, California called Prune Music. Randy ran the repair side of the business which became a cutting ground for the development of what would soon after become Mesa/Boogie.
Prune Music was world-renowned as a vintage treasure chest where Bay Area – and international - Rock Stars could find rare gear. Prune was on Doug's way home from school… the local music store and the place where young musicians would hang out to dream about their next guitar or amp and maybe catch a glimpse of their favorite star. In 1971, by age 11, Doug had saved up the money, prepaid in person and ordered his first Boogie from the infamous Patrick “Buzz” Burke (the 'first' Mesa customer) at Prune Music - a Mark I combo. A year-and-a-half later, he received his prized Boogie (a Hun/No Rev/No Graph/w a JBL) and the lifelong tone quest was well underway.
Doug and Randy can be found in the exact same place and pose that you see in the picture above, digging deep everyday to uncover gems of tone that exist in the all tube circuitry and features that they both (and everyone at Mesa) lives and breathes. Doug is fondly referred to as 'Tone Boy' here at the one-and-only Mesa factory in Petaluma, California. Doug's influence, ideas and passion are built in to every Mesa design for the last 30+ years.
In this video, Doug provides a unique 'inside' perspective into the channels, modes and features of one of Randy's most significant design accomplishments to date. As for the iconic Mark IIC+ and Mark IV amplifiers that are so accurately represented in the Mark V, no one on the planet knows these sounds more intimately than Doug and Randy. The months of painstakingly comparing the Mark V modes to the prized and favorite amps from their personal libraries is your guarantee that these sounds are intact in the Mark V for all to enjoy. Doug provides keen insights into the Mark V's ability to deliver the tones of those fabled amps and so much more.
Get ready for a personalized 'hang in the Tone Lounge' with Doug as he takes you through the Mark V like no one else can! Enjoy.
For even more Mark V Video info and perspectives, check out the John Petrucci Factory Mark V video featuring the man himself, John Petrucci himself walking you through how he uses this amazing amp in his approach to live and studio tones.
Or, take a look at Nashville Session Ace Paul "TFO" Allen and Mesa Artist Relations Guru Tim McKee running through a host of different possibilities with the Mark V in this video.