The Mesa Boogie Mark III Red Stripe amplifier uses:
The power valves are specifically chosen for this amp and are a direct replacement for the Mesa STR440 valves. So there is no need to rebias your amp when you change the valves.
We have listed this valve set for the Red Stripe but of course, it fits all Mesa Mark IIIs which includes Black Stripe, Purple Stripe, Red Stripe, Blue Stripe and Green Stripe.
Where is the “Stripe”? Good question, it’s on the back over the power cord. Nothing fancy, it’s done with a magic marker.
These stripes are nothing more than a representation of the timeline as the amp evolved. They represent snapshots in time in the development of the amplifier.
Don’t get too hung up about the stripe colour. There are lots of views and comments on the forums which you can read at your leisure but don’t disappear down the rabbit hole. There is a great deal of misinformation about what these stripes represent so let’s put the record straight.
This is what Mesa say:
#1 – Black Stripe/No mark or a little dot. Only a few hundred then some black marks or “+”‘s .
– Lean and powerful amp with more output power than a IIC+
#2 – Purple Stripe (1986): reshaping of R2
– R2 was shaped to be more “rounded” and less gain, with improved level.
#3 – Red Stripe (1987): R2 is like current Mark III
– R2 further developed and very hot. The lead mode is also tweaked to close in on the IIC+ sound.
#4 – Blue Stripe (1988): Reshaping of R1
– More aggressive preamp gain – reshaping of R1, Power section made akin to IIC+
#5 – Green Stripe (1989)/Simul-Class: Final R1 and Lead Channel reshaping
– Cleaner R1, Lead channel reshaping, and unlike other Simul amps, these Mark III’s were wired in Pentode – NOT triode in the Class A sockets for more power. The power section is the same as Blue otherwise.
Over time your valves will lose their tone and their power. A brand new set of valves will get your amp sounding like new again. We always recommend JJ valves for this amplifier. This is because they guarantee you get awesome tone and long life and they don’t cost a fortune.
So restore the tone, the power and the sparkle to your guitar amplifier. Treat yourself to a brand new set of valves today.
If you have any queries about replacing your valves please get in touch. We have over 30 years experience so one of our team will always be happy to help and advise.
We also have an FAQ section where we answer the most popular questions we get asked each week.
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