On "the best" Mesa/Boogie amplifier
Oh, man... Isn't this just a matter of personal preference? Mesa/Boogie makes a lot of different amps to appeal to different players. If I tell you that I like their vintage-sounding amps more than the modern-sounding amps, it says nothing at all about whether one is better than the other.
I've owned* or played all of these Mesa/Boogie amps:
- Rocket 44 1x12 combo
- Nomad 45 1x12 combo
- Nomad 55 1x12 combo*
- Nomad 100 2x12 combo
- Mark IV 1x12 widebody combo*
- Mark IV narrow head* w/three different cabs
- Thiele 1x12 w/Celestion 90*
- Recto 1x12 w/Vintage 30*
- A 1980s M/B half-back vertical 2x12 with an EVM-12L in the bottom and a Celestion 90 in the top*
- Blue Angel 1x12 combo*
- Maverick 1x12 combo with an Eminence speaker*
- DC-5 1x12 combo*
- Recto Solo 50 head through a Recto 4x12 cab
- Rectoverb 2x12 combo
- Heartbreaker 2x12 combo*
- Mark III simulclass combo*
I may have forgotten some. (It helps that I have a M/B dealer within walking distance of the office.) They're all good amps.
My least favorite was the Solo 50 head through the 4x12 Recto cab. I found that to have too much emphasis on the low-mids for my taste.
Next on the list of least favorites would have to be the Nomad. Their high-gain channels are too thin sounding for me, and the reverb just doesn't sound as good as on M/B's other amps.
I like the DC-5 as a nice "borderline" amp - it does a competent job of straddling the line between old-school and new-school sounds.
For blues, the Blue Angel is tops. Not a great practice amp, though.
For warm clean and crunch sounds, the Heartbreaker is great.
The Maverick is really good for pop / psychedelic / shoegaze styles. It doesn't have the headroom of the big-bottle amps.
The Mark IV works well for prog and jazz and lots of other genres; it's incredibly flexible. I don't like its crunch sound as much as I like the Hearbreaker's crunch, though.
So, what was the question?