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He set about designing a guitar amplifier around the new principle, and in 1972 the Mark I was released.He produced a number of custom variations on the Mark I through the late 1970s, with options including reverb, EQ, various speakers (most often Altec or Electro-Voice), koa wood jointed cabinets, and wicker grill. As Mesa continued to grow, Smith moved the company to Petaluma in 1980.

Exposure from these top players helped to establish Mesa/Boogie's position on the market, and it is frequently referred to as the first manufacturer of boutique amplifiers.He attended Miramonte High in Orinda, CA and graduated in 1964.His freshman year he attended UC Santa Barbara, as his parents wanted him removed from the influences of Berkeley (20 minutes from Orinda).He ended up producing over 3000 amps out of his home workshop in the 1970s.Throughout the 1980s, Mesa continued to produce combo and head amplifiers, and began production of rack power and pre-amps, developing power amplifiers such as the M180/190 and Strategy series, as well as pre-amps such as the Quad and Studio.

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