While i've been a Mesa fan for a long time, i started my ownership early in my guitar career with a mesa single recto head. I got this amp because I heard that Metallica used Mesa amps. I'm sure I saw various pictures of them (and others) with these diamond plate amps that looked so cool. After some time, i realized that i like this amp, but it didn't sound like Metallica. My bass was flubby! I read online that I should try and EQ pedal. So I did. (boss geq-7) The results were me dropping the lowest frequency slider almost all the way down. This gave me a tight precussive palm mute like I wanted. But...now I had a bunch of hissing. Then I got a noise gate. This resulted in my clean channel not working correctlly. (i was still pretty green in my career). After some time of learning to live with this sound which wasn't quite right, i found myself in a guitar center looking at a Mesa amp that I had not seen before. It was covered in knobs, a GEQ, and didn't have the cool look of my rectifier. I decided to try it out. It was overwhelming at first. Luckily, the cardboard instruction manual was sitting on the top. I quickly set up the amp according to the cardborads illustrations. I palm muted an open E. I was floored. THIS WAS THE SOUND. This is what i was looking for. It was a Mark IV combo. I quickly asked the salesman how much it was. He said that hey werne't going to be stocking these anymore and it was on clearance. I bought it without hesitation. This was the start of my real mesa/boogie love. I sold my rectifier soon after. After many years, i traded my Mark IV in for a Mark V, I aquaired a Triaxis, a Quad and various other Mark inspired amps. While they all have their strengths and weaknesses, they are all amazing. Since my original Mark IV purchase, I became a "collector" of all kinds of guitar amps. I pushed to create a well rounded collection. There's tons of amp based on legendary sounds. BUT...I recently added something to my collection. I was always of the mind that all of the Mark amps were relitivley close. I lived throught the "mark IV is better than V" craze (still going on). I saw the price drop on Mark III amps and the now increase. I hear how the Mark IIC with and without the + mod was the holy grail and thought to myself (as an engineer) that there cant be much of a difference in a Mark V vs a Mark IIC+. This disagrement got to me. Well, after some talking with my wife, I got her blessing to buy a Mark IIC+ DRG without even trying it. I never even played one. I took a risk. An exspensive one. Let me tell you gentlemen and gentlewoman, the tales are true. There is something different about this amp. I was floored by the sound. It is in another league. I'm amazed, i'm shocked, i'm in love. How can a deeply distorted high gain sound still have clarity between notes? I'm done with collecting. I will be keeping my Mark V, but discussing things with my signifigant other, I will be selling my quad/strategy 400 setup and my triaxis/2:90 setup. While I will miss them. The collection is complete with a Mark IIC+ and V and various other amazing amps. I am sadended to realize that my collection is complete, and the hunt is over, i'm also amazed. I see and hear the light. I have the grail tone. I'm complete.