1976 Mesa Boogie Mark I Combo - Factory Upgraded Simul-class DRG
Posted on April 14, 2019 by Scott French
This is a pretty special Mesa Boogie Mark I. It is an original Mark I, serial A802, and was made in late 1976. Just two amps before Keith Richard's legendary A804! This was originally a 100/60w amp, then factory upgraded to Simul-class in the mid eighties (transformer code is 1985). This upgrade work was confirmed to be factory performed when the amp was sent back to Mesa for a full service and cap job in April 2018. Surprisingly enough I was told this was not the only Mark I to be upgraded to Simul-class, but I have certainly never seen another. I'd love to hear from anyone that has one, or any other weird/rare Mesa gear.
So after the factory upgrade work, we now have a Mark I DRG combo. That means the switchable 75/15w power section (D), Reverb (R), and Graphic EQ (G) options are included. This is just about everything you could ever hope for on a Mark I unless you are outside of the US and need the export transformer option (not present here).
The power tubes are vintage STR-415 6L6s and STR-416 EL34s. Anyone that's looked knows the 415s are hard to find, but the 416s are basically impossible. You have to get really lucky or dig like crazy (like I have to a silly extent).
This amp was originally housed in a white/cream combo, but was recently upgraded to this late Mark I cab from 1978. The cabinet is unmarked, but based on the grain and coloring (photo shows original color under the handle) I am fairly certain this is a Padauk combo cab. It's clearly seen a lot of sun and the original red color has mellowed to this beautiful brown/orange. The speaker is an early black frame Electro-Voice EVM-12L.
The overall condition is pretty good for a 43 year old amp. The cab looks like it has seen some rough times, with the finish quality varying from side-to-side, but at 5+ feet it presents pretty well. The chassis itself is very clean, all the labels are intact, and the circuit has been recently factory serviced. Most original Mark amps this old have a lot more mileage on them and questionable service history.
This amp weighs 70 pounds.