Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Neural DSP Technologies Introduces the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite

Neural DSP Technologies Introduces the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite

Guitarists will encounter exact, virtualized replicas of the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ and IIC++’s controls and functions – and hear what three generations of great guitarists have made part of their tone.

Neural DSP today announced the launch of the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite. This new plugin is precisely engineered and designed to evoke the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ — a sonic milestone marker in the history of the guitar amplifier. Used by a literal pantheon of players including legends like Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield (Metallica), Prince, Steve Lukather (Toto), Neal Schon (Journey), and John Petrucci (Dream Theater), the Mark IIC+ is revered for its versatility and its rich, complex tonal palette.

Part of the same suite, the Mesa Boogie IIC++ is the near-mythical and highly coveted factory-modified iteration of the original IIC+ amplifier. The IIC++ further refined the amp’s tonal capabilities with a new preamp-circuit design that provides additional gain alongside tighter low-end response.

Neural DSP has replicated every nuance of both amplifiers with unprecedented accuracy to bring a piece of history back to life.

Product Features:

Guitarists will find the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ and Mark IIC++ amps have all the unique and innovative tonal and functional aspects of the original amplifiers ready to play. The layout mimics the original: the Amp Front Panel features push/pull knobs for Bright/Rhythm channel and Bright/Lead channel, Treble Shift, Bass Shift, Deep, and Lead/Rhythm, as well as Mesa Boogie’s hallmark 5-band graphic EQ, making the possibilities for tone shaping virtually infinite.

The signal path is designed, like the original, to let you tweak the treble, bass, and midrange controls to shape your tone prior to distorting it. For example, reducing the bass before dialing in distortion will result in a tighter low end within the overdrive engaged. Similarly, you can tweak the 5-band graphic EQ to alter the characteristics of the power amplifier. The rear of the amplifier presents Presence and Reverb controls as well as a switch between Simul-class and Class A, allowing you to choose which power-amp topology you want to use.

The Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ dynamics and equalization are spectacular. A Compressor, located pre-effects, offers rich, glassy clean sounds, while a Chorus provides era-appropriate rich modulation. The onboard 9-band graphic equalizer allows for detailed frequency-response control across a wide spectrum.

And of course, Overdrive 1 & 2 provide everything from a subtle boost to classic Mesa Boogie tube saturation. Post effects, a Stereo Delay provides that classic, warm Bucket Brigade (BBD) sound. The Reverb provides a classic ‘80s large-hall sound and can range from subtle ambience to canyonesque soundscapes.

Cabinet/Speaker Simulation:

One of the benefits of virtualization is the ability to instantly modify cabinet and speaker dynamics via cabinet simulations and digital impulse responses (IRs). Included is a comprehensive cabsim module with hundreds of IRs made by 5by5 Studios. It features three speaker options (Mesa Boogie Rectifier Standard Slant 4x12, Traditional Slant 4x12, and stacked Horizontal 2x12s), ten virtual microphones, and Neural DSP’s proprietary room-mic section. In addition to the hundreds of IRs, this module can be used to load your own IR files. In short, the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ and Mark IIC++ suite of guitar plugins put every bit of this historic amplifier series tight at your fingertips.

A Historic Amplifier:

The Mesa Boogie Mark II was introduced in 1978 and was the first guitar amplifier to feature channel switching. The Mark IIB was the first guitar amp to integrate a buffered effects loop. The Mark IIC quickly gained popularity among guitarists, particularly among heavy metal and hard rock players thanks to its high-gain sound and versatile EQ section. But the Mark II didn’t stop there.

The Mark IIC+ featured several modifications to the original design including a revised EQ section, a new "pull bright" switch, and a new output transformer, resulting in a more aggressive and dynamic tone. The Mark IIC+ proved to be a huge success and remained in production until 1989, since then becoming the most coveted vintage Boogie amp. The IIC++ modification, originally made for Vivian Campbell of Dio and Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica, saw fewer than 20 of these modifications made by the factory before production of the IIC+ ended.

Now, Neural DSP has precisely and authentically virtualized this sonic legacy and made it easily and affordably available to everyone who ever longed to have that unique Mesa Boogie Mark II tone at their command.

“What we share with guitarists is a deep and abiding respect for legacy sound,” observes Neural CEO Douglas Castro. “Our modeling technology has been able to precisely capture the contemporary sounds of brilliant guitar innovators like Cory Wong and Tim Henson. With the release of the new Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ suite, we’ve done the same for one of the most classic guitar amplifiers in history.”

For more information, please visit

The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview
The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview on Johnny’s New Songwriter Album

The Man in Black returns with the unreleased Songwriter album. John Carter Cash tells us the story.

Read MoreShow less

This 1968 Epiphone Al Caiola Standard came stocked with P-90s and a 5-switch Tone Expressor system.

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (

The session ace’s signature model offers a wide range of tones at the flip of a switch … or five.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. Not long ago, I came home late from a band rehearsal, still overly excited about the new songs we played. I got myself a coffee (I know, it's a crazy procedure to calm down) and turned on the TV. I ended up with an old Bonanza episode from the ’60s, the mother of all Western TV series. Hearing the theme after a long time instantly reminded me of the great Al Caiola, who is the prolific session guitarist who plays on the song. With him in mind, I looked up the ’60s Epiphone “Al Caiola” model and decided I want to talk about the Epiphone/Gibson Tone Expressor system that was used in this guitar.

Read MoreShow less

Slinky playability, snappy sounds, and elegant, comfortable proportions distinguish an affordable 0-bodied flattop.

Satisfying, slinky playability. Nice string-to-string balance. Beautiful, comfortable proportions.

Cocobolo-patterned HPL back looks plasticky.


Martin 0-X2E


Embracing the idea of an acoustic flattop made with anything other than wood can, understandably, be tricky stuff. There’s a lot of precedent for excellent-sounding acoustics built with alternative materials, though. Carbon-fiber flattops can sound amazing and I’ve been hooked by the sound and playability of Ovation and Adamas instruments many times.

Read MoreShow less

The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

Read MoreShow less