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NAD: Mesa Mark III

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    NAD: Mesa Mark III

    This has been a bucket list amp for me since forever. The prices on the older Mark amps are severely inflated right now, but I managed to score a sub-market deal on this one due to its cosmetic condition. This is a green stripe, serial number is over 28000 which would put this in the last year of production, 1997.

    First impressions:
    1. It needed new power tubes badly. After fitting some new ones in there, it's amazing.
    2. With 2 EL34s and 2 6L6s in simulclass, this is the most aggressive Mark amp I've heard. Similar to m JP2C yellow channel, but with more grittyness, less of a polished sound. Harder to control the extreme bass and treble, but still so good. It's easy to immediately dial in the AJFA tone with or without a boost.
    3. The speaker is ridiculous. It is totally unnecessary how loud this combo is.
    I'm probably going to convert this to a head and I'll update this thread when I do. Considering the large amounts of corrosion on the aluminum chassis, I was expecting this to be more of a reclamation project then it wound up being. No need yet to replace the filter caps and the amp sounds good as new, no scratchy pots or anything. So I think for now I'm going to look into solutions to work on the corrosion, throw the amp in a headshell, and call it a day.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	20210504_123136-01.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	1.42 MB ID:	12431 Click image for larger version  Name:	20210504_135504.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.43 MB ID:	12432

    #2

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      #3
      I'd still love to get my hands on a III or IV again some day, just to add to the collection. Nice score!!

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        #4
        Aw yeah.

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          #5
          Simul Mark IIIs are vicious as hell. Nice score.

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            #6
            Yeah, these rule so hard, but are the loudest thing you've ever heard. It is probably my favorite sounding Mark that I have, but I never play it due to how loud it is. I really need to invest in an attenuator.

            I found my Purple Stripe a few years back for $350 because it wouldn't turn on. Turns out a power wire had come loose, so I soldered it back on and it works just fine.

            Has yours had a recap?

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              #7
              Originally posted by beneharris View Post
              Yeah, these rule so hard, but are the loudest thing you've ever heard. It is probably my favorite sounding Mark that I have, but I never play it due to how loud it is. I really need to invest in an attenuator.

              I found my Purple Stripe a few years back for $350 because it wouldn't turn on. Turns out a power wire had come loose, so I soldered it back on and it works just fine.

              Has yours had a recap?
              $350 is a ridiculous deal! I got a quote from Mesa on a recap for it, but I'm not hearing a need for that yet from the sound. I went into this expecting to have to recap and buy a headshell, but since it's a later Mark III, I think I can wait a couple years on the recap. There was a noticeable scratchy sound when I first lit it up, but switching into Class A fixed it, which told me it was a power tube issue. So I re-tubed it and it sounds great now.

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                #8
                Can't go wrong with a Mark. Excellent score.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by desertdweller View Post

                  $350 is a ridiculous deal! I got a quote from Mesa on a recap for it, but I'm not hearing a need for that yet from the sound. I went into this expecting to have to recap and buy a headshell, but since it's a later Mark III, I think I can wait a couple years on the recap. There was a noticeable scratchy sound when I first lit it up, but switching into Class A fixed it, which told me it was a power tube issue. So I re-tubed it and it sounds great now.
                  Out of curiosity what did they quote you for a recap?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by beneharris View Post

                    Out of curiosity what did they quote you for a recap?
                    Sure thing, $250 to $400 depending on the condition of the amp, plus shipping. 4-6 weeks turnaround time.

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                      #11
                      Turnaround time sucks, but the price isn't terrible.

                      Actually, I just double checked, its a red stripe. I think that is the more desireable one for high gain if I remember correctly.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by beneharris View Post
                        Turnaround time sucks, but the price isn't terrible.

                        Actually, I just double checked, its a red stripe. I think that is the more desireable one for high gain if I remember correctly.
                        Red stripes are awesome from what I've heard. That was the second model of the Mark III in the 80s, right after the original which I think was the black dot.

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                          #13
                          Nice! I'm not the target demographic here, exactly, but Mark IIIs have a reputation for being criminally underrated for heavy rhythm sounds, being every bit as good as a IIC+ but without the collectability issues. I imagine you're pretty stoked right now. \m/

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Drew View Post
                            Mark IIIs have a reputation for being criminally underrated for heavy rhythm sounds, being every bit as good as a IIC+ but without the collectability issues.
                            I mean yeah that's pretty much it

                            These 65 pound tinnitus-in-a-box amps are that old school raw Mesa Mark sound for sure, and not having to pay $4k is nice too.

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                              #15
                              Slap a captor on it and rule the world. If I can run a 2:90 at home with the kids asleep with mine, you can do the same with this.

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by Chris View Post
                                Slap a captor on it and rule the world. If I can run a 2:90 at home with the kids asleep with mine, you can do the same with this.
                                Yeah that's the only way I'm actually running this amp! Hence why I'm going to put it ina headshell and sell off the speaker.

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                                  #17
                                  If you do sell that speaker I'll buy it from you. Mine is damaged, I'd like to replace it with an original. You'll only have to ship it up to Flagstaff.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by beneharris View Post
                                    If you do sell that speaker I'll buy it from you. Mine is damaged, I'd like to replace it with an original. You'll only have to ship it up to Flagstaff.
                                    I have no idea how to just ship a speaker, but yeah I'll PM you, I've already ordered the headshell from Mesa so I can definitely sell you the speaker.

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                                      #19
                                      Congrats! Now fire that puppy up and record a SAW track with it!
                                      Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by desertdweller View Post

                                        I have no idea how to just ship a speaker, but yeah I'll PM you, I've already ordered the headshell from Mesa so I can definitely sell you the speaker.
                                        Box and foam should do it.

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by desertdweller View Post

                                          I have no idea how to just ship a speaker, but yeah I'll PM you, I've already ordered the headshell from Mesa so I can definitely sell you the speaker.
                                          I've done it a few times... lay it flat on a heavy piece of cardboard, and wrap it with plastic wrap. That should protect the cone. Then, pad-up the magnet side. Drop that into a tight-fitting box, then bubble-wrap into a bigger box.

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                                            #22
                                            Wait. Phoenix to Flagstaff? That's a 2-hour drive, roundtrip, if you meet in the middle

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by Leon View Post
                                              Wait. Phoenix to Flagstaff? That's a 2-hour drive, roundtrip, if you meet in the middle
                                              Yeah, it isn't long at all. I work ALOT, so I don't know that I'd have the time. Plus, if I'm Vince I wouldn't want to deliver a speaker to Camp Verde

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by beneharris View Post

                                                Yeah, it isn't long at all. I work ALOT, so I don't know that I'd have the time. Plus, if I'm Vince I wouldn't want to deliver a speaker to Camp Verde
                                                Sedona on the other hand, maybe.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by desertdweller View Post

                                                  I have no idea how to just ship a speaker, but yeah I'll PM you, I've already ordered the headshell from Mesa so I can definitely sell you the speaker.
                                                  Call on our old pal Mr. Peanut.

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