NMD: Salvation MarkUs

MTS module area including module modifications

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NMD: Salvation MarkUs

Post by buriedorburned » Thu May 31, 2018 8:27 am

I’ve recently come from using a Mesa Mark V35 amp, so a Mark based module was a must have for me.

I picked up a MarkUs for a good price, and although it doesn’t appear to be based on a particular Mark model, I’d guess it’s somewhere between the IIC+ / IV models, which is what I used my ex-V35 for.

Prior to receiving the mod, many have said that it is not very high gain, and is more vintage Mark voiced. I think this is the Mark series in general, the gain structure is very different. It’s very tight, but it’s not very modern sounding, however I think this tone is heavy in a way that other amps are not.

I’ve said this plenty of times before, when I think Mesa Mark, I think Metallica, Dream Theater, and Lamb of God. If you play an actual IIC+ or IV, then these tones are evident. The MarkUs can do these tones too, but naturally it’s not a direct copy of the unique way you dial in a Mesa Mark.

The dual Gain / Lead Drive controls are a good blend of gain and saturation. They remind me a bit of the way the Mark Gain / Treble interact. The EQ switch is good, but not nearly the same as the 5-band EQ on the real Mark. It actually reminds me more of the switch between the IIC+ / IV modes on my ex-V35, it basically increases the low end and compression. The shift switch is ok, I don’t think I’ll use it much. There’s a lot of low end on this module, so that has to be worked out to get the most out of it.

The one thing that really stands out is the built in noise gate, it puts my ISP Decimator to shame! I’d recommend this on any HG module, VERY impressive!

Like the real deal, I think this mod works best without a boost in front. But that said, it still works well with one, it’s just my personal taste.

I played this mod side by side with an SG Breakneck (based on the Bogner Uberschall), and for my Drop D 6 string, and B 7 string, I hands down prefer the MarkUs. I haven’t tried the clean switch yet, as it’s not what I bought the mod for.

All in all, it’s a very good representation of a Mesa Mark amp, and WAY better than any digital version I’ve played.


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Post by DonP » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:47 am

Thanks for the review. Right now I am struggling hard on what to do.

I have a Studio preamp that I pipe into the FX return, but I'm trying to find out as much about the MarkUS to see if I should get it as a replacement or not. I go back and forth, but right now have a real Mesa preamp with EQ, reverb and channel switching is worth the hassle of keeping it.

Mainly I just want to hit classic Metallica tones, and I'm happy with how this is doing.

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