The Mesa Boogie Company was founded by Randall Smith in 1972. Earlier, in 1968, he was instrumental in the creation of Prune Music in the SanFrancisco bay area. Randall has been working with electron~ ics since he was ten,building and repairing tube ham radio sets. The first Boogie typeamp was created when Randy took Barry (Country Joe Fish) MeltonIsPrinceton Rever) apart and built a Fender 4~10 Bassman circuít using a JBL D120 speaker. Over the next few years, about 300 of these hot rodded Princetons were produced. Later, Boogie amps resembied a Twin Reverb more than a Bassman, i.e., 100 watts fromfour 6L6GC output tubes.
In 1972, Randall decided to build complete amps instead of rebuilding older ones and began producing the Mesa Boogíe Mark I. The objective was to build the smallest possible tube amp capabie of the qualities of high output, good sustain and good tone, regardiess of the amps volume. Randall became interested in the fact that many guitarists liked a lot of sustain and he looked for ways to create it. He designed pre-amp circuits which would yield good-sounding overdrive. His purpose was to capture the best of an old 4-10 Bassman and blackface Twins.
When Randall brought out the Boogie Mark II, he had aiready built many Mark II’s. He refined the circuit and added severai features such as footpedal switchabie channels, graphic equalizers, and half-power modes. The switchable channels allow for a choice between a clean sound and distortion sound. The latter is achieved by routing the output of channel one into the ínput of channel two. The graphic EQ is a fíve band device that is an optional extra. The half power mode occurs when two of the four output tubes are put on standby.This feature allows for the amp to be run at full volume for the utmost distortion and sustain, yet have a power output that is not too loud.
Randall has not stood still waiting for everyone to discover (or re-discover) tube amps. First there was the Mark I, then the Mark lI, and now the Mark II-B. The basic Mark II-B has two power levels (60 and 100 watts); four volume controls on the front panel; five pull-out control knobs controlling overall Brightness, Gain Boost, Lead Drive Switch, Lead Brightness, and more. The amp also has a slave output jack and slave output level control, as well as effects send/receive points. And there is even more, a six-position power selector so the amp can be used with 100, 220, or 240 volt mains power. The Mark II-B also has the classic Boogie foot switch for clean and distortion channels.