Mesa/Boogie Mark VII Head review

The latest evolution of Mesa's flagship head might just be Randall Smith's finest hour, and one of the best amps on the market right now

Mesa/Boogie Mark VII guitar amps
(Image: © Mesa/Boogie)

Guitar World Verdict

If the Mark VII is indeed Randall Smith’s final Mark Series amp, it is one hell of a crowning achievement that encompasses the best of Mesa/Boogie’s past while delivering incredible tones and performance features that pave the way for its future.


  • +

    Supremely versatile, with lots of classic tones.

  • +

    Awesome high-gain but so much more than that.

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    Nine preamp voicings.

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    CabClone IR tech.

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    Compact size.

  • +

    Great build.


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    You will have to wait for one if you're in Europe.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

It's rumored that Mesa Boogie’s new Mark VII may be the last Mark Series amp designed by the company’s founder, Randall Smith (although we’re given assurance it’s not his last Mesa, Boogie or new Gibson design). If so, it’s a crowning achievement for a man who played a significant role in many of the most beloved guitar tones and modern amp features of the last five decades. 

In the spirit of the very first Mesa Boogie amp, which delivered a revolutionary new high-gain preamp that signified the dawn of the modern guitar amp (along with the performance of a 100-watt stack packed into a small Fender Princeton combo), the Mark VII’s compact 19-inch, 40-pound chassis is loaded with an unfathomable variety of features and first-class tones – so many that I’m going to cut to the chase to cover as many of them as this space allows.

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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.