In praise of the 1984-85 Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+, the high-gain boutique amp behind rock and metal’s holy grail tones

Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+
(Image credit: Mesa/Boogie)

The Mesa/Boogie Mark II model introduced in late 1978 represented a major milestone in the evolution of modern guitar amplifier design with its channel switching and cascaded high-gain preamp. 

However, the amp wasn’t quite perfect, and over the years Mesa/Boogie performed numerous upgrades based on input from guitarists that led to the Mark IIB, Mark IIC and the final version, the Mark IIC+. Because the new Mark III model was already well in development by the time the Mark IIC+ was introduced in January 1984, the IIC+ was short-lived, produced for only 14 months until March 1985.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.