Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head

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Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Mesa Boogie in the Dual Rectifier series.

28 user reviews
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Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Mesa Boogie
  • Model: Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
  • Series: Dual Rectifier
  • Category: Tube Guitar Amp Heads
  • Added in our database on: 04/02/2004

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Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head user reviews

Average Score:4.1( 4.1/5 based on 28 reviews )
 13 reviews46 %
 7 reviews25 %
 3 reviews11 %
 2 reviews7 %
 1 user review4 %

ejendres's review"Solid Amp"

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
The Mesa Dual Recto is a 100watt all tube amp. It can either be run with solid state or tube rectification. The power section is fixed bias with the option of running 6L6 or EL34 power tubes. It has taps for 4, 8, and 16ohm cabs.

All 3 channels have individual 3 band EQ, presence, gain and volume. The green channel has clean and pushed modes, the orange and red channels have raw, vintage, and modern modes.

The amp also features a foot switchable parallel effects loop and solo boost.


This amp takes some getting used to, mostly because you have to go about EQing it different than a normal amp. That said, the manual has an absurd amount of helpful information and tips for how to use this amp, including info on EQ.


This amp sounds great once you get a handle on the EQing. There is a tendency of this amp to be fizzy so you have to watch out for that. Modern mode is really fizzy, but vintage mode sounds much better. You might need a boost the amp to really get it into high gain territory, but once you do it sounds amazing.

The clean channel is surprisingly awesome. The clean mode has a very nice fendery sound about it, and in pushed mode it has an amazing light OD. I really loved it. My one complaint about the clean channel is it lacks some headroom at higher volumes, but that could be a good thing for some people. I certainly got some awesome tones out of it because of it, they just weren't clean.

Along with being fizzy, this amp is also really prone to being muddy. But if you take your time and use your ears when EQing it the amp can sound really great. Switching out the stock 6L6 tubes for KT77s (you run them in EL34 mode) really helped add some clarity to mine.


Honestly there isn't anything I can complain about. Sure it can be fizzy and muddy, but that's more a byproduct of user error. The Dual Rectifier is a great sounding and surprisingly versatile head that's built like a tank and will be reliable gig after gig. The fixed bias makes it super easy to maintain and a great first head.

The biggest set back with this head is the price, its pretty steep. But used they can be had for under a grand, I got mine for $800, and at prices like that its a killer deal.
King Loudness08/09/2011

King Loudness's review"True Metal Machine"

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
The Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier is a 100w tube amplifier that is named so because of it's dual rectifier tubes. Otherwise, it features three channels (green, orange and red) that each have their own selectable modes for both power consumption (100w vs 50w) and different tonal characteristics (clean channel has a standard clean mode as well as a "pushed" or broken up clean, and each of the drive channels feature raw, vintage and modern voicings of gain. To top it off there is a wonderful effects loop as well as a bold/spongy power switch, an onboard solo boost, and each channel is switchable between diode and tube tracking. Definitely a good set of features and nothing less than I expect from Mesa.


The amp (like most Mesa products) looks quite complex at first glance, but if we dissect the front panel, it shows how easy and intuitively the amp's structure is laid out. As stated before, each channel has two small switches to toggle between wattage selection, as well as another to toggle between the modes or voicings of each channel. Each channel has its own identical layout of controls (gain, volume, bass, middle, treble, and presence) and these are key in adjusting the sound. The only other controls on the front panel are output (sort of like an overall master volume) as well as a level control for the onboard solo booster. I haven't really gotten into using the various diode/tube tracking switches as much so I can't comment on those, but I can state that the back panel basically consists of those, a slave out, speaker outputs for 4, 8, or 16 ohms, the bold/spongy power switch, 1/4" jacks for effects loop switching, as well as the send/return jacks and level controls for the effects loop.

In short, it can take a while to figure out like many Mesa amps, but once it is figured out it is quite a breeze.


I've used this amp with various Gibson Les Pauls and my trusty Parker Fly Deluxe. The clean channel is surprisingly good for such a high gain based amp.

Clean mode delivers a nice punchy clean tone that reminds me a lot of the Framus Cobra's clean channel (not warm enough to sound similar to a Fender/VOX) but not so sterile that it's unusable. The pushed clean is similar, except it adds more gain to push the sound into breakup earlier.

Channel two is my favourite on this amp. The Raw mode reminds me of a slightly fuller sounding Marshall JMP, as it's still fairly low on the gain totem pole. Vintage mode is very much like a modified Marshall JMP/800 with more gain on tap, and the Modern mode is starting to really get into the uber high gain metal territory that you would expect from this amp.

Channel three is laid out like channel two and is basically the same thing, but with more gain and saturation. It works very well for chug type metal riffs and really modern sustaining leads when the midrange is turned up, but for general rock/hard rock type stuff I definitely prefer the voicing and gain structure of channel two.

It's a fairly scooped sounding amp I find, heavier in the lows and with a fizzy top end that has to be tamed at higher volumes (IE: I found myself turning the treble and presence almost off when the amp was really given juice) but all in all I was impressed with the range of tones that a seemingly "metal only" amp would offer. Channel two reminded me a lot of the Marshall type tones I know and love but it still went into the higher gain territory that I expected from this amp without issue.


All in all I can see why this amplifier has sold thousands over the years and been seen around the world... it's a great sounding metal amplifier that has enough great and usable features for a gigging musician. While I wouldn't RECOMMEND it for things like rock/hard rock per se... it certainly does a decent enough job with those sorts of tones on channel two and on lower gain settings on channel three. I'm more of a Mesa Mark series guy so the Recto is a bit of a departure for me... but I definitely dig it. Go check one out today!

iamqman's review"Just awesome!"

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
Simply one of the most used and iconic high gain amplifiers in the world. Mesa Boogie first introduced the Dual Rectifier back in the early 90's. Since then millions of people have played these amps on stage or in the recording studio.

This amp has a fantastic looking front grille on the amp head. Instead of the diamond plate or black tolex or cloth Mesa Boogie has upgraded it to a wheat brown color. It looks extremely sharp. You get the same great features and exact tone of the black standard but with a bit of cosmetic versatility.

These amps have a bit an unique tonal character to them that no other amplifier have ever done. They have a chewy fat distortion tone that seems almost as intense as the metal case to which houses this amp. This is a bad ass amp that will kick you in the teeth quite easily.

Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier 3-channel, 100-watt/50-watt Tube Amplifier Head Features:

* MULTI-WATT 100W/50W (switchable by channel), Class A/B power
* Tube complement: 4 x 6L6, 5 x 12AX7, 2 x 5U4
* Bias Select switch (6L6/EL34)
* Fixed bias for consistent, maintenance free performance
* 3 fully independent channels with 8 modes (Channel 1=Clean or Pushed, Channel 2= Raw, Vintage High Gain or Modern High Gain, Channel 3=Raw, Vintage High Gain or Modern High Gain
* Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence and Master Controls per Channel
* Output Level Control (over all channels, when activated)
* Footswitchable Solo Level control (over all channels, when activated)
* Selectable Dual Rectifier switch
* Bold/Spongy "Variac" switch
* Assignable parallel effects loop with Send and Mix Level controls
* Slave Out with level control
* External switching jacks for channels 1, 2, 3, Solo, and effects loop
* 5-button footswitch (Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, solo and effects loop)
* Handbuilt in Petaluma, California
* Slipcover included


Black and Wheat Brown
Type Tube
Number of Channels 3
Power 100W Class AB
No Effects
No Reverb
EQ Bass, Mid, Treble
No Amp Modeling
Number of Tubes 11
Preamp Tubes 5 x 12AX7
Power Tubes 4 x 6L6, 2 x 5U4 (Rectifier)
Inputs 1 x Instrument
Outputs 5 x Speaker, 1 x Slave
Footswitch I/O
Effects Loop


This amp is just awesome! I would say perfect but no amp is perfect. But for what this amp does and has done successfully now for decades is rock. This is a rockers amp to say the least. You won't play trash like Coldplay with this kind of amp. This is an amp for the person who needs the distortion channel to be so over the top and fat.

I prefer to play all Mesa Boogies with a Gibson Les Paul or another guitar with a humbucker installed. That way I don't lose any of that fat chewy tone that is characteristic in this amp. Any guitar will certainly but there is just something that connects with a Mesa Boogie and a Gibson Les Paul.


At new these amps come in at around $1900, which is a great price for an amp that will probably out live you. These amps are virtually indestructible. They are build with such standards and quality that it would take a lot of abuse to dismantle this amp.

I would recommend any person who need a great sounding high gain amplifier to check out this amp. It may not be your cup of tea but I guaranty that the first strum of the chord and you will be hooked.

Hatsubai's review"Probably Mesa's most popular amp"

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
The Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier three channel head is the evolution of the original Dual Rectifier. It now features three independent channels, various voicing switches, a parallel effects loop, switch between 6L6s and EL34s, and a plethora of other options. This is probably the most popular amp in Mesa/Boogie's entire lineup.


The controls on the Rectifier series are a bit touchy. If you don't know how they work, it can be hard finding that tone in your head. Thankfully, the manual outlines exactly how the tone controls work, how they interact with each other, where the sweet spots are, etc. Mesa/Boogie has some of the best manuals in the business. The biggest issue with this amp is that the effects loop does not get 100% wet. This can cause some phasing issues with certain effects, so keep that in mind.


This amp gets mixed results. While it sounds good, it doesn't sound quite as good as the original, in my opinion. It's a little more buzzy and has a harsher gain character. That said, it still can sound great if you know how to dial it in. I highly recommend boosting this amp. It makes it tighter and keeps everything together more for those more technical riffs. Clean tones are alright, midgain tones are kinda iffy, but high gain tone absolutely kill once boosted.


The Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier three channel head is a great amp, but now that the new 2010 Rectifiers have come out, I recommend getting that instead. It's a much improved version of this amp that fixes all the issues I listed above. That said, if you have this amp already, there's no huge reason to go run out and buy the latest 2010 model. It's still a good amp, especially for metal.

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head images

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  • Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
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Other names: dualrectifier 3 channelshead, dualrectifier3channelshead, dualrectifier3 channelshead, dual rectifier3 channels head, dual rectifier 3channels head

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