Mesa Boogie Recto 2x12 Horizontal
Mesa Boogie Recto 2x12 Horizontal

Recto 2x12 Horizontal, 2x12 Guitar Cabinet from Mesa Boogie in the Rectifier cabinet series.

glassjaw7 03/20/2011

Mesa Boogie Recto 2x12 Horizontal : glassjaw7's user review

« Small size, punchy tone, but not without flaws... »

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The Mesa Boogie Horizontal Rectifier 212 cab is an extremely portable and well built 212 cabinet. There isn't much for features here, as it doesn't have stereo output capability, or a removable rear panel.(back can be removed to service/change speakers, but is not meant to be played this way) It is meant for one sound; punchy and cutting rock tones.

That sound is created by two English-made celestion Vintage 30 speakers and Mesa's tough as nails marine grade baltic birch cab construction. It should be noted that Mesa Boogie uses special Vintage 30s that are voiced a bit differently than what you find in most other companies' cabs. Mesa's are a bit smoother and more pleasing to the ear, yet they still retain the signature "mid-spike" that V30s are famous for.

These speakers can sound a little harsh and almost fuzzy, depending on the amp being used and can especially sound this way when being played without a band, such as at home for practice. In a band setting however, they cut through the mix wonderfully and sit in the mix just as they should.

The cab is built incredibly well, as all of Mesa's products are. Solid as a rock and they look great too. Their low profile and black, stealthy design are quite appealing. The Black piping on black grill is a nice touch as well.

Now for the negatives:

First of all, the cab is equipped with only a small rubber handle on the top to carry it by. It's the same small handle that you'd find on the top of an amp; not exactly practical for carrying a guitar cabinet around, or for loading it into a vehicle! I would be much happier if it had recessed metal handles on the both sides of the cab, but maybe this would interfere with the tone, not sure though.

The dimensions of this cab make it sound VERY directional. (it measures 17 1/2" high, 30 1/8" wide, and 14 1/4" deep) While standing directly above the cab and slightly to either side, it sounds heavenly, especially with my Dual Rectifier! It's full, punchy, crunchy and has just the right amount of presence and a nice woody bottom end. Take a few steps back though, and the low end starts to fall short, yet the high mids and highs become more present. Stand across the room/stage and it's all piercing highs with no low end. The V30s and the rear-loaded design of the cab are to blame for this directional sound projection.

I compared this cab side by side to the Mesa Traditional (Stiletto) 412, which also has V30s and the 412 was MUCH better in every way. It was just as punchy, but sounded tighter, more responsive, clearer, and it didn't get boomy, thin or harsh no matter where I was standing. Best cab I've ever played! The Rectifier 412 was also nice, but was a little too boomy in the low end and scooped in the mids.

Overall, I'd say that the Mesa 212 is extremely well built, and sounds pretty darn good for the right application. For recording it is great, and it sounds great if you're not standing really far away from it, but I wouldn't recommend it as your only cabinet. It does however compliment a 412 very well. I stack a Carvin 412 on top of mine, and the Mesa 212 on the bottom adds a nice punchy low end and some nice cut because of the V30s.
If you are looking for a 212 to use as your only cab, I prefer the Bogner OS212 or the Orange PCB212. They both sounded fuller and not as directional. But the Mesa is no slouch and has top notch build quality. Go for it if your main gig is recording, but look elsewhere for a well rounded gigging cab.