First Look: Mesa/Boogie Mark VII
Mesa Boogie’s latest Mark-series dares to do it all—from switchable 6L6 and EL34 power sections to 3-channels that span sparking clean and flat-out filthy.
From humble beginnings to worldwide recognition, MESA/Boogie has remained the original boutique Home of Tone, hand-crafting amplifiers of uncompromising quality from the world’s finest materials in California, USA. Founder Randall Smith instilled basic principles into MESA such as passion, drive, integrity, and excellence, and his insistence on making the best amplifiers has guided half a century of breakthrough innovations, elevating the amplifier into an instrument in its own right--one with the power to shape and create musical genres. MESA/Boogie is proud to announce the new MARK VII series, available now at authorized MESA/Boogie dealers and on www.mesaboogie.com.
The MARK VII is the Magnum Opus, the flagship of Randall Smith’s 50+ year career in one visionary amp design. The new MARK VII takes the knowledge, history, innovation, and performance and distills it into the simplest, most versatile, and smallest 90-watt Mark Series amplifier, ever. The 3 Channel, 9 Mode Preamp, coupled with our legendary Simul-Class Power section that offers three distinct characters across its three wattage ranges, creates a new MARK icon in terms of adaptability, soulful tube tone, and magic feel that will serve any discerning player.
The long-awaited “Simul-Seven,” aka the new MARK VII, leapfrogs its predecessor, the Mark Five, and the secret Mark Six prototype to arrive at the most power-packed Boogie Mark model ever created in terms of tone, flexibility, compact design and interfacing. The MARK VII is a do it all tone machine that delivers legendary Mark performance and adds two new sounds, the throwback yet infamous Mark IIB and a new modern high-gain mode full of character and attitude, aptly named MARK VII.
The MARK VII offers discerning players analog, all-tube sound, soul and feel in a smaller more compact, yet more comprehensive package. With a focus on perfecting icons, bringing back beloved classics, and introducing new realms of modern high gain, all while improving the interface and the performance across all mediums, the MARK VII offers inspiration and freedom across all musical styles. The MESA/Boogie MARK VII is now available in Head, 1x12 Combo, and Rackmount Head formats.
The master rhythmist answers questions from fans, sharing wisdom on picking technique, practicing, balancing 24/7/365 work with family, show prep, killing bad habits, rehearsals, and how to be a good hang on the disc golf course.
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Cory Wong—Everything You Need To Know About the Groove | Wong Notes Podcast
Rig Rundown: Cory Wong
Hey, what’s happenin’ people?!!! For Cory Wong, who kicks off episodes of his Wong Notes podcast with that question, the answer is he’s currently deep into an international tour—while still recording new episodes, writing music, and producing. But that didn’t stop the prodigious, prolific picker from taking the time during a recent stop at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl to guide us through his rig. By the way, the new season of Wong Notes begins March 9 with a big-deal guest, so stay tuned.
Luxe looks and a sweet playing feel make this Squier an anniversary edition worth celebrating.
Slinky playability. Very nice construction quality. An attractive, celebratory mash-up of Fender style elements.
Neck feels slightly generic.
Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster
Premier Guitar doesn’t often review anniversary edition instruments—most of them being marketing exercises in disguise. But the Squier 40th Anniversary Stratocaster genuinely seems to embody much about where Squier has been and the reliable source for quality, affordable, and, yes, beautiful guitars they have become.
At $599, the 40th Anniversary Stratocaster lives on the higher side of the Squier pricing scheme. But there is much—in terms of both style and substance—that makes this Stratocaster feel special. The mash-up of 1950s design cues (gold anodized pickguard) and 1970s elements (block inlays) really works in spite of how easy it is to screw up a Stratocaster’s graceful lines. And the spots where Squier added flash, like those inlays and neck binding, reflect a genuine concern for craftsmanship and executing the little details.
In practical terms, the 40th Anniversary Strat specs out and feels quite like a Classic Vibe Stratocaster, which is a good thing. The body is nyatoh and the fretboard is laurel, but apart from the 9.5" radius fretboard, which always feels a bit flat on a Strat for me, neither result in major deviations from classic Strat weight or touch. Output from the alnico 5 pickups felt a little more contoured, less edgy, and less punchy on the treble side than the pickups in the Vintera ’60s Stratocaster and ’80s E Series Stratocasters I used for comparison. But apart from missing that micro-trace of extra spank that cuts through an intense spring reverb signal, there was little to upset the surfy state of very stylish bliss this Squier induced each time I plugged it in.