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, upon which Carlos Santana built his trademark sound.
This one is a Mesa Boogie Dual Caliber DC-5 built in California in 1999.
It uses two 6L6 power tubes to fuel its healthy 50-watt power section via two channels -
Channel 1: Sparkly Clean channel can be pushed to a growl. Pull pot for additional overdrive.
Channel 2: Creamy leads and metal tones.
This amp has fantastic headroom and punches out crystalline clean tones with a shimmer that is like a vintage Fender on steroids. And the crunch/crush channel burns in a particularly Boogie way.
Ultimate flexibility is achieved by two complete sets of Tone and Master controls along with a 5 Band EQ. This amp is an amazing pedal platform and works well with modellers as well.
This classic amp is in very good condition and everything works as it should. It has just been given a comprehensive service by Matt Robinson (The Music Doctor), and it is sounding great.
It is carrying a 12” Black Shadow speaker rated at 8 ohms. Most importantly, this amp is an export model, which means you can set it is 240 volts, so you do not need a separate stepdown transformer to run this in Australia.
On the rear panel are there is a headphone socket, recording output, FX loop and reverb footswitch socket.
This superb tone machine is a one owner amp, and it has been very well looked after. The pure tones 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 vinyl cover, owner's manual and original footswitch.