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Mesa Mark Series Graphic EQ Block

hsnyder

Member
We have GEQs and PEQs already, but what about a MEQ or similar (Mark graphic EQualizer)? I realize the chance is probably slim because "you can get the same sounds with the PEQ", but in practice the amount of boost/cut and the Q (which i believe changes with additional boost/cut) never end up sounding right. I realize its cause I don't know how to dial it in, but that's just it - most of us don't know how to calculate the Q value for a given value of boost or cut, nor do we know how much to boost or cut by to achieve a particular setting we've seen, for example, on the internet in a picture, on a mark EQ.

Just to clarify, I'm not trying to whine - I realize that its technically possible to emulate the sounds... but in practice it would require me having a real mark graphic EQ and then tweaking an axe fx PEQ block and A/B testing until they sound identical or very similar. You're probably thinking "you just don't know how to dial it in" - this is true, I don't, and I think many others don't and I would need a real one to A/B with in order to figure out how, which to me defeats the purpose of the axe fx. I saw the axe-fx wiki tips on emulating it, but again, since so much of that is "feeling" the values until they "sound right", those of us who haven't played a real mark are at a disadvantage. Thanks :D
 

Jay Mitchell

Fractal Fanatic
hsnyder said:
You're probably thinking "you just don't know how to dial it in" - this is true, I don't, and I think many others don't and I would need a real one to A/B with in order to figure out how, which to me defeats the purpose of the axe fx.
OTOH, if you don't have a real one to use as a reference, you'd have no choice but to take Cliff's word that he had matched the Boogie EQ.

This issue is several years old. In order to work like the Boogie, the GEQ would have to be placed between the preamp and power amp sections in the amp block, and it has been well-established for the past couple years that that won't happen.

I saw the axe-fx wiki tips on emulating it, but again, since so much of that is "feeling" the values until they "sound right", those of us who haven't played a real mark are at a disadvantage.
How will you know it sounds like a "real mark" if you've never played a "real mark?" :?:
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
I actually agree with you. Although there's this: http://axefxwiki.guitarlogic.org/index. ... _equalizer it doesn't sound even close to the real thing. I mean Mark IV was my previous amp and although I'd never switch back to tube amps the Mark IV was THE AMP of my dreams. The GEQ made the amp what it is and I could play anything from blues to poprock and high gain metal and the I was always in tone heaven. The Mark IV in the Axe-Fx works for a Lamb Of God/Santana tone but it's not really that versatile. Especially the graphic EQ's low end settings made the amp what it's all about and the PEQ doesn't work in the same way.

A better idea would be to have a contouring option in the advanced amp settings... this could actually work with all amps since cutting mids works on other amps too like Recto f.ex. Many amps have a contouring option... or is it just Mesa amps?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
I was thinking that the PEQ could work a little bit better before the AMP block. I'll have to test it first though. I'd really like a Chevelle tone out of the Axe-Fx... haven't found it yet.
 

GuitarDojo

Moderator
Moderator
From the Master;

viewtopic.php?p=40578#p40578
FractalAudio said:
Use the Parametric or Graphic EQ. FWIW, the EQ in the Mark series sucks. It's a crude, clunky and limited design. The EQ in the Axe-Fx is far superior and much more flexible.

If you need to, you can copy the Mesa EQ using the Parametric EQ block.
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http://fractalaudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 144#p39144
andrito222 said:
Hi not sure if this has been said before but i feel that there might be a need for some of us to have an fx send and return in the preamp/poweramp section of the amp section, now i know many would think this is useless since all the options that the axe fx gives you for routing effects etc, but i use the axe fx to a tube power amp and i use the power amp section on in the axe fx as i feel it makes the tone more dynamic and real, so when i put delays specially after the amp section they thin out pretty quickly, thats because its not getting the juice of the power section of the axe fx.
anyway thats my 2 cents :)
FractalAudio said:
Impossible unfortunately. I can't divulge why but it has to do with advanced processing techniques.
 
Not only is the GEQ important on the Mark IV, it behaves nothing like other amps. Like the presence and treble controls have an effect on the gain. Increase the bass beyond 3 and everything sounds like sh*t. just by adding a GEQ, you're not going to get the tones of the Mark. The only way I can think of is to dial different tones on the mark and try to get those on the AXE.

I also shudder to think of the Q value and had avoided PEQ's for the longest time. But the axe gives a nice little graph which shows you the exact curve you're adding/removing right? cant you make use of that?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
FractalAudio said:
the EQ in the Mark series sucks.
I don't mean to offend anyone at FAS but this is bulls*** and they clearly haven't had much time with the Mark IV. So far the Mark IV sim has FAILED IMHO. Sure you can get Mark IV tones out of that thing but the real Mark IV is really versatile... the amp sim can nail about 2 tones while the real Mark IV lead channel can nail about 10 different usable tones. The Mark IV lead channel has two gain knobs for starters and you have so much versatility just because of that. You can have a mid gain setting that's really liquidy or a high gain tone that's tight and vice versa. Also the lead channel has 3 different push/pull knobs which change the tone dramatically. One of them was the low middle bump knob which I had always pulled. Where is it in the Axe-Fx? I mean the IIC+ got the two sims for different modes. A scooped Mark IV sim would make all the users a lot happier and it wouldn't take that much time to create... People seem to prefer it for metal tones over the Recto series.

On paper the Mark series EQ might not seem like a big deal but if you've played the amp (let's say ONCE!) you'd know that there's more to it than schematics. The GEQ in the Mark IV is more essential than the EQ knobs.
 

DNW

Power User
Clark Kent said:
I was thinking that the PEQ could work a little bit better before the AMP block. I'll have to test it first though. I'd really like a Chevelle tone out of the Axe-Fx... haven't found it yet.
A PEQ in front of the amp will do something completely different to after the amp. You're shaping the guitar signal that's going into the amp rather than shaping the amp sound. This is more like how Mark series rotary EQ controls are (and the Axe's models are the same, with the tonestack location being "pre" rather than "post").

emperor_black said:
Not only is the GEQ important on the Mark IV, it behaves nothing like other amps. Like the presence and treble controls have an effect on the gain. Increase the bass beyond 3 and everything sounds like sh*t. just by adding a GEQ, you're not going to get the tones of the Mark. The only way I can think of is to dial different tones on the mark and try to get those on the AXE.

I also shudder to think of the Q value and had avoided PEQ's for the longest time. But the axe gives a nice little graph which shows you the exact curve you're adding/removing right? cant you make use of that?
The treble affects the gain because of the tonestack location, which is the same in the Axe's Mark models. It just doesn't respond identically in terms of numbers, i.e. I can turn the bass control up much higher than I ever could with my Mark III or Quad pre. But then, I never played my Mark stuff with the bass knob way up high to get a huge flubby tone, so it doesn't bother me. It's kinda as if Cliff went, "Well who the hell is going to do that? Screw that, I'll use a smaller, more reasonable range so that you get more precise control between 0 and 10."*

That said, I don't miss my old Mark stuff at all. I'm perfectly content running the USA models with a PEQ to cover what the real amps' GEQs do. Only the PEQ is much more flexible, and I can have up to four of them running if I want. And four GEQs if I really want.



*Not necessarily what Cliff was actually thinking.


Clark Kent said:
The GEQ in the Mark IV is more essential than the EQ knobs.
Err, no. The GEQ wasn't even standard before the IV, it was an option, i.e. there are plenty of Marks around the world that don't even have a GEQ on them. And yes, they all have the same pre-gain style rotary EQ controls that the Mark IV has. The two EQs serve different purposes in the amp.

And yes, the Marks have lots of push-pulls and whatever else. What do you expect Cliff to do? Design a separate amp block for every amp that has non-standard controls that need to be accounted for? With all the advanced amp parameters and additional EQs available to us, there are a lot of ways for the tone to be tweaked.
 
Yeah there were many Mark's without the GEQ. but the GEQ is like sugar. Once you get a taste of how good it tastes, you dont want to live without it. :)

Actually I agree with Cliff that the Axe need not behave like the Mark IV. The amp is totally useless IMO for scooped death tones without the GEQ. I've tried so many different ways to do without the GEQ, but always fail at getting good tones. Some people on the grailtone forums use an additional eq to scoop out more mids because its such a mid'y amp.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
DNW said:
A PEQ in front of the amp will do something completely different to after the amp. You're shaping the guitar signal that's going into the amp rather than shaping the amp sound. This is more like how Mark series rotary EQ controls are (and the Axe's models are the same, with the tonestack location being "pre" rather than "post").
The Mark series GEQ is between the preamp and power amp... right? The GEQ in the Mark series affected the feel a lot... less mid scoopage = tighter but harder to play (if my memory serves me right)

So having the GEQ before the amp block would affect the feel more right? I must try it out... I know it's the same as running an EQ pedal in front of an amp but I'd try eating poop to make the Axe-Fx sound like a Mark IV. :)

I'm a Mesa guy and I'm very happy with the Recto sims... they're like 95% spot on. It's just sad that the Mark IV is so far from what it's real life potential is. The low boost DOES NOT work with the PEQ... it does nothing. The middle cut works tone-wise but not feel-wise.
 

DNW

Power User
Clark Kent said:
DNW said:
A PEQ in front of the amp will do something completely different to after the amp. You're shaping the guitar signal that's going into the amp rather than shaping the amp sound. This is more like how Mark series rotary EQ controls are (and the Axe's models are the same, with the tonestack location being "pre" rather than "post").
The Mark series GEQ is between the preamp and power amp... right? The GEQ in the Mark series affected the feel a lot... less mid scoopage = tighter but harder to play (if my memory serves me right)

So having the GEQ before the amp block would affect the feel more right? I must try it out... I know it's the same as running an EQ pedal in front of an amp but I'd try eating poop to make the Axe-Fx sound like a Mark IV. :)

I'm a Mesa guy and I'm very happy with the Recto sims... they're like 95% spot on. It's just sad that the Mark IV is so far from what it's real life potential is. The low boost DOES NOT work with the PEQ... it does nothing. The middle cut works tone-wise but not feel-wise.
The GEQ in a Mark from memory is between the pre and power amp, before the FX loop. Maybe I have the EQ and loop the wrong way around. Either way, it is before the poweramp. So if you're cranking the shit out of the amp and getting a lot of power tube distortion, then yes the GEQ will play a part in the feel. Similar to how an EQ in front of the amp will affect how the preamp section distorts. So if for example you crank the JCM800 model's master, having the bass cranked and having it way down low don't really make that much of a difference in overall low end, but it does make a big difference to the feel of the amp.

Having a GEQ out front of one of the Mark models in the Axe would be sorta like having two EQs out front of a normal amp, as the Mark's EQ sections are already pre-gain (compared to most high gainers' post-gain EQ). Certainly an EQ out front would give you more tweakability compared to just the normal amp's controls, especially a PEQ block. I just run the Amp block into the cab and then the PEQ. Used to run a MBC as well to tighten up the low end, but after more tweaking I found I didn't need it.

What are you monitoring your sound through? I can boost my low end just fine using the PEQ. I can boost it to stupid levels if I really wanted to. :?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
DNW said:
What are you monitoring your sound through? I can boost my low end just fine using the PEQ. I can boost it to stupid levels if I really wanted to. :?
I've tried it both in a recording session and with a real cab. I used to be able to get more low end than a Recto when I owned my Mark IV. I'll try having the bass knob higher....
 

dpeterson

Axe-Master
i guess the ideal thing would be to add another page to the model if and when it uses an eq, like the boogies, and any other amp that gets modeled in the future that has it.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
I also though about having a steep mid scoop before the amp block and then a mid boost between the amp and cab block. This way you get the feel of the GEQ V-shape but you can have all the mids you want... must give it a try. :) I'm taking the Axe-Fx home today and I'll try to create a killer Chevelle patch.

dpeterson said:
i guess the ideal thing would be to add another page to the model if and when it uses an eq, like the boogies, and any other amp that gets modeled in the future that has it.
I sure hope this happens. :) It's all up to FAS. They can already say that they have the Mark series in the Axe-Fx so I'm pretty sure nothing will happen.
 
Clark Kent said:
I also though about having a steep mid scoop before the amp block and then a mid boost between the amp and cab block.
Um, no. With my mark IV, I've seen going into the amp with a "^" shape in the eq and putting a "v" shape in the GEQ gets the best tone. You have to push the preamp tubes harder and the best way is a treble/mid boost. The Boogie has tons of bass in the preamp by itself so there is no need to boost the lows. And since its a very middy amp, a "v" shape in the fx loop and/or Graphic eq on board gives you great tones.
 

Lopp

Inspired
Interesting discussion it that I never thought the GEQ on the Mark IV was that integral to the sound as the preamp EQ was. In particular, the preamp EQ drastically changes your tone because it affects the gain of the preamp section and is therefore non linear and cannot be reproduced with an EQ after the amp. On the other hand, the GEQ is more linear and can be reproduced with an EQ after the amp.

Of course, the GEQ is between the pre and power amp sections, which may affect the non linear aspects of the power amp if the power amp begins to saturate. However, the Mark series is known more for preamp gain than power amp gain and I can't recall anyone mentioning that you have to crank the power amp section for a Mark to sound really good (as opposed to a Marshall).

I agree with Cliff that the GEQ on the Mark IV is nothing special. However, I do empathize with peeps who want the Mark IV GEQ emulated on the Axe-Fx. If only to make it easier to nail a certain Mark IV tone you are chasing.

FWIW, I still use a Mark IV as my alternate rig, but prefer my tweaked Mark IV setting on the Axe-Fx.

dpeterson said:
i guess the ideal thing would be to add another page to the model if and when it uses an eq, like the boogies, and any other amp that gets modeled in the future that has it.
Good idea.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
FAS's competitors (f.ex. Amplitube) have got the graphic eq... still the tones I get from the Axe-Fx are superior to them. ;)
 

DNW

Power User
emperor_black said:
[quote="Clark Kent":3c6yruuj]I also though about having a steep mid scoop before the amp block and then a mid boost between the amp and cab block.
Um, no. With my mark IV, I've seen going into the amp with a "^" shape in the eq and putting a "v" shape in the GEQ gets the best tone. You have to push the preamp tubes harder and the best way is a treble/mid boost. The Boogie has tons of bass in the preamp by itself so there is no need to boost the lows. And since its a very middy amp, a "v" shape in the fx loop and/or Graphic eq on board gives you great tones.[/quote:3c6yruuj]

Both of you seem to be missing the mark a bit (no pun intended).

A boost or cut in front of the amp will affect how the preamp responds. To a degree this will affect how the power amp distorts, but it'll have a far greater affect on the preamp. The GEQ on your Mark IV is before the power section, whereas any PEQ/GEQing in the Axe would have to be either before or after the amp. So no matter how you try set it up, you're going to be missing that before-power-amp EQ spot.

Whether that really matters to you is another issue. As I've said, I'm perfectly happy just running a PEQ after the amp, and I can do all the cutting and boosting I need to for my tone using just one PEQ block. Mind you, my Mark III was one loud bastard of an amp, and I never got the master anywhere near as high as I have the master set in the Axe.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
The EQ before the amp block didn't work... I tried it and it was pretty much poop.

There are two EQ settings that I've seen people use with the Mark series. One is the V and one is descending EQ which is a good low end tone too. I put both EQs between the amp and cab and NOW it's getting pretty real sounding. The Mark IV patch is pretty by itself and doesn't do modern metal that well but with this setting that I have it sounds maybe even better than my Diezel patch... must try it out...
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
A Mesa power section is typically clean enough that putting the EQ before it doesn't sound very different than putting the EQ after it. You can replicate the sound of the MK IV EQ using the Para EQ block AFTER the amp block. I don't have the actual values at hand but it can be done and sounds virtually identical.
 
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