This is an absolute classic 1984 Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ in blond tolex. Mesa Engineering, having streamlined and tweaked their way toward perfecting the composition of the amp, finally achieved it in the Mark IIC+ and it is for that reason this is considered the most desirable of the series.
An ample 60 watt combo powering the original 12″ Black Widow speaker has been the desired sound of players like Ron Wood and Keith Richards, but it was to become the foundation on which a young Carlos Santana would build his trademark tone and sonic expression.
This article by Zachary Fjestad, from the Blue Book of Guitars. Published by Premier Guitar 2011 –
Mesa/Boogie is a true American success story.
Founder Randall Smith spent a lot of time around electronics as a child. While he was in a band during the mid 1960s, he had the opportunity to fix a blown amp. After he successfully repaired that amp, Smith and his band decided to open a music repair shop that became the humble beginnings for Mesa/Boogie. At the time, Barry Melton was the lead guitarist for Country Joe & the Fish, and when Melton’s roadies asked Smith to modify a 12-watt, 1×10 Fender Princeton, he turned it into something like a 60-watt Fender Bassman driving a JBL D-120 12″ speaker. Smith soon became known for his ability to hot-rod small combo amps and, in his words, “What started out as a joke became the foundation of the company.”
Smith’s shop was a popular place among the hippie musicians of the era, and one day Carlos Santana wandered into the store and played one of Smith’s modified Princetons. Santana loved the amp and is quoted as saying, “This little amp really boogies.” This comment ultimately led to the company’s “Boogie” moniker. Smith estimates he built around 200 of these modified Princetons before Fender figured out what he was up to and cut off his supply!
In 1970, Smith left the music shop and ventured out on his own. In order to obtain parts and supplies at wholesale prices, he started MESA Engineering. In the early 1970s, Smith began experimenting with new preamp designs to produce the type of gain and distortion guitarists were requesting. The result was what is now known as cascading gain, and it was incorporated into the very first Boogie production amp line—commonly referred to as the Mark I.
As Mesa/Boogie evolved during the 1970s and early 1980s, they made several changes to their little combo amps. To indicate the change in each new variation, Mesa began calling their amps the Mark I, Mark II, Mark IIB, Mark IIC, etc.
After building approximately 3000 of the Mark I models, Mesa introduced the Mark II in 1978. It had foot switchable channels and an optional 5-band graphic EQ. In 1980, Mesa introduced the Mark IIB, which had an effects loop, an expanded control panel that included Lead Drive and Lead Master controls, and their famous optional Simul-Class system.
The Mark IIC and IIC+ debuted in 1983, and they featured a quieter footswitch and a revised reverb circuit. The Mark IIC+ also had a revised lead channel and an effects loop.
As you’ve probably heard from many Mesa/Boogie users, each Mark model has a different sound, and these differences affect the overall value. The Mark I is popular because it is the original Boogie. Many players love the clean channel on the Mark II and Mark IIB because of how it breaks up slightly when turned up. The Mark IIC/C+ is probably the most collectible Boogie, because the circuitry had been refined to what many consider optimal settings, yet it’s still simple to operate.
This classic amp is in very good condition and everything works as it should. As far as we know it has not been modified in any way. It has been well maintained and serviced by a respected pro amp tech. It is a superb tone machine as well as being a genuine collector’s item. Not only will it appreciate in value, but the pure tone at the cleaner end of the spectrum and the liquid breakup of the lead overdrive make it an absolute pleasure to play.
It is certainly a beautiful sounding beast and its sonic dexterity means that somewhere in those wonderfully interactive Mesa Engineering controls is a sound made just for you.
Comes with its original Mesa Boogie channel switching footswitch.