A treasure I didn’t know I had

Posted · 4 Comments

There is something about rediscovering old gear. It’s like getting something for free. A piece of gear that you forgot about shows up on the radar and all of a sudden you have a “new” piece of gear.

This just happened to me. Three years ago I found a 1985 Mesa Boogie Mark III 100 watt head for $499.99. I had already been playing through a Rivera R55 1×12 combo (and still do) and even though it didn’t seem like the most practical thing for me at the time, I jumped on it.
It was hard to find some practical uses for such a powerful head and in most cases I just used my Rivera combo.

Then I went to Colorado Springs for a year to take part in the New Life School of Worship. It was an amazing time of learning from great teachers and also from peers and practitioners.

I could only bring the gear that would fit into my Ford Taurus. Good bye, Mesa Mark III. See you in a year.

When I got back to the happening metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa, I had an opportunity to play guitar for Brian and Jen Johnson at a pretty big church. This seemed like the perfect time to dust off the old Mesa.

When I started to set up for the “gig” the Mark III was acting up. I couldn’t get it to work. As near as I could tell, it had to be retubed. Hello, Rivera R55.

After using the Rivera for another year, I finally decided to get the old Mesa fixed. So today I sat down with my amp and a friend’s Eric Johnson Strat (recently equipped with Dimarzio 58, 58, 61s) and plugged it in and cranked it up.

It works!

What the heck? How is this possible? Have I been sitting on a brilliant, great-sounding amp all this time and not known about it?

Yes. And why? Because of a little something called “User Error.”

Once I appropriately punished myself, I got a great feeling of rediscovery. This amp has a lot of character and sounds that I haven’t discovered yet. Now, three years after buying this amp, I get to take that journey and “bless” a church with it’s heavenly harmonic overtones and classic Marshall-like crunch.

This is going to be fun.

Keep sharp and keep checking your closet for forgotten gear treasures.


4 Responses to "A treasure I didn’t know I had"
  1. Quentin says:

    I wonder whose ej that was….

  2. admin says:

    Definitely mine.

  3. Karl says:

    Score! Yikes bro, all I ever find in my closet is old tubes. But I’m checking right now to see if there’s a Mesa in there. 😉

  4. admin says:

    Ha ha. Look closely, Karl, you too may have a magic Mesa closet.

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