The ultimate Mark IIC+? John Petrucci teams up with Mesa/Boogie for JP-2C 1x12 combo

 Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo.
Credit: Mesa/Boogie

Mesa/Boogie and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci have teamed up for the JP-2C 1x12 combo, a signature tube amp celebrating 40 years of collaboration, and surely one of the most versatile fire-breathing high-gain amps you will find on the market today.

The specs will have you casting your mind back to JP’s signature Boogie from 2016. The JP-2C 1x12 combo is cut from similar cloth. Think of it as a Mark IIC+ remodelled to Petrucci’s exacting specifications, with all the features of the JP-2C head housed in a more compact pick-up-and-go format.

“When designing the JP-2C with the team at Mesa/Boogie, the goal was to build an amp that covers everything while honouring the heritage of its iconic Mark IIC+ predecessor,” Petrucci says. “It offers three channels of authentic Mark IIC+ tones and also includes updated features like Dual Graphic EQs, MIDI, and a CabClone Direct Out that make it the ultimate amplifier for today’s guitarists in any situation.”

There is ample firepower here. You can run the JP-2C 1x12 at 100-watts or 60-watts. There is also less need to dig out the manual when trying to navigate the three channels and what they do. There are no multi-voicings as per your typical Mark Series Mesa.

There is, however, a shred mode to add some harmonic sparkle to channels two and three. “It is especially beneficial for high-gain Crunch Rhythm sounds as it lends aggression and three-dimensionality to the sound, adding a harmonic haze that rides atop the fat, grinding wall of gain,” says Mesa/Boogie, proving it knows how to push the buttons of its customer base as well as its amps.

Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo
Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo

Adhering to guitar amplifier convention, Channel One is dedicated to clean electric guitar tones. The mids control here applies a clean mid boost once you get past 12 o’clock on the dial. There is so much headroom here that it shouldn’t clip; it’ll just give you more of those frequencies.

Channel Two is welcome to planet crunch. It’s probably going to be your rhythm tone channel but as Mesa/Boogie notes, it’s really a lead channel, voiced for “aggressive, tight overdriven rhythm sounds.” Shape this with the classic 5-band graphic equaliser.

Channel Three has got its own 5-band graphic equaliser, because as Petrucci said before this is an amp for all kinds of high-gain metal guitar seasons and a lot more besides, and they’ve thought of everything. One of the big developments with this next-gen Mark IIC+ is that it is a lot more user-friendly, with Mesa/Boogie promising an end to “neurotic tweaking”.

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Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo
Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo

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Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo
Mesa/Boogie JP-2C 1x12 Combo

Channel 3 is voiced for leads, “a little warmer, fatter, and compressed”. Other cool revisions to the Mark IIC+ format include the removal of the Volume 1 and Lead Master from the control panel, and the addition of Pull Gain and Pull Presence controls, the former adding a smidge more gain, as though you had turned the old Volume 1 dial by a digit, the latter alternating between two different global presence settings. That means you’ve got presence options for leads and rhythms.

Cherry on top? Well, there are lots of cherries; tube-driven reverb, channel independent and footswitchable, there’s a tube-buffered effects loop, CabClone tech for going direct playing live or recording, headphones out, MIDI connectivity, and built out of Mesa’s Petaluma facility in California you know it’ll be built like a tank.

Under the hood you’ll find four 6L6 power tubes, five 12AX7 preamp tubes, and there’s Celestion Custom 90 driver housed in that marine-grade Baltic birch cabinet. Wowzers. And it ain’t cheap. This limited edition amp is priced $4,299/£5,199.

For more details, head over to Mesa/Boogie.