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Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head
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All user reviews for the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels Head

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Average Score:
( 4.1/5 based on 28 reviews )
13 reviews
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  • King LoudnessKing Loudness

    True Metal Machine

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 08/09/11 at 16:49
    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…
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    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.

    UTILIZATION

    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.

    SOUNDS

    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.


    OVERALL OPINION

    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!
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  • iamqmaniamqman

    Just awesome!

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 07/05/11 at 11:19
    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 a…
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    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

    UTILIZATION

    Details
    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

    SOUNDS

    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.

    OVERALL OPINION

    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.
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  • xtremconditionxtremcondition

    Good but not worth its price

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 08/16/10 at 09:57
    (This content has been automatically translated from French)
    Tube amp 100 watts, 3 channels.
    Presence settings, volume, gain and equalization of the 3 independent channels.
    A master volume control and a solo.
    Channel 1 (clean): Clean or Pushed setting.
    Channels 2 and 3: Setting Raw, vintage and modern.
    There is the possibility of connecting different configurations of speakers, 16 ohms, 8 ohms and 4 ohms
    Adjustable parallel effects loop.
    Opportunity to use the power amp mode "spongy" (in power) or "bold" (normal) and use the mode "vacuum tubes" (lamps rectifier) ​​or the "silicon diodes (transistors) .

    UTILIZATION

    The general configuration is not very different from other amps (except the latest features above), so a relatively…
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    Tube amp 100 watts, 3 channels.
    Presence settings, volume, gain and equalization of the 3 independent channels.
    A master volume control and a solo.
    Channel 1 (clean): Clean or Pushed setting.
    Channels 2 and 3: Setting Raw, vintage and modern.
    There is the possibility of connecting different configurations of speakers, 16 ohms, 8 ohms and 4 ohms
    Adjustable parallel effects loop.
    Opportunity to use the power amp mode "spongy" (in power) or "bold" (normal) and use the mode "vacuum tubes" (lamps rectifier) ​​or the "silicon diodes (transistors) .

    UTILIZATION

    The general configuration is not very different from other amps (except the latest features above), so a relatively fast handling.

    The look is great with the front metal beautifully.

    Finish the whole head, pedals and cabinet is very clean, the materials used seem good quality with a flat on the wood of the cabinet who seems a bit low and that makes me think of my old Marshall cabinet oven mode.

    Delivery with the covers is a very good idea and the quality of these is reasonable.

    The manual is of course in English, but findable on the net in French. It is quite bulky but gives me the impression of being a VRP brand rather than a real tool for the user.

    Regarding the sound settings on the clean channel no worries, it quickly finds what you seek. on the other hand, on channels 2 and 3, things get complicated and of course this is not facilitated by the different configurations: spongy, bold, vacuum tubes, silicon diodes ... And lack of real explanations of instructions does not fix the situation.

    A point is strangely little or not at all mentioned in the notice is the presence of a snap when changing channels. After returning to the dealer several requests for support by including a letter directly to the importer, and countless spats, provides the only answer is: "it conforms to the specifications of the manufacturer"

    I put the score of 7 because I think at this level and above price range this kind of problem is unacceptable.

    SOUNDS

    I find the amp relatively versatile although his favorite is of course the rock in all its forms. Personally, I use it primarily in this style even if I use regularly in totally different styles and varied.

    Power level, there are more than reason, but it at least has the advantage of being calm under all circumstances.

    His side, the clean channel as I said before is not a particular problem and the resulting sounds are good.

    on the other hand, on the other two channels and despite hours and hours playing it and trying to solve them, the sound quality is not achieved at the height of what I wanted from an amp in this range prices. Not that the sound is not good or lack of fishing but it is most difficult to avoid the impression of either boiled serious you jump to the face or those screaming highs that you pluck the ears. The sound is too mushy for me and in dire need of clarification.

    I disagree with some opinions, which specified that it could come from the cabinet, guitar and / or microphones "for being low-end" in my case, I use the mesa 4x12 cabinet with V30 in an ESP Lag Arkane horizon and a custom shop master both in emg 81 and 89 and an Ibanez prestige and Lag Metal master both equipped with Seymour and Di Marzio, so the material can not be incriminated.

    To solve this defect because to me it is really a fault of the amp and after making the rounds on the net and possible changes made by some users of a correction, I went NOS (Name of sound) in Ales for editing: editing of the preamp section with changing lights, and editing bass and treble. There remains the possibility of changing the power tubes and replace the original ones by Sovtek (much better than Mesa) by including a new bias adjustment, but for reasons of economy they will be changed when these origins are tired.

    The changes, which quotes do not cost more than a good effects pedal (thank you NOS) are worth visiting, my mesa finally sounds like it would have sounded: its precise and more dynamic than before.

    Having been able to try my amp on a modified baffle NOS (V30 4x12 in), I can tell you he has a big difference in sound quality for this speaker compared to my Mesa cabinet.

    I put a score of 7, not only in absolute terms the sound is bad, but it is not normal to have to do touch up after such an investment starting point for almost € 4 000 list price.

    OVERALL OPINION

    So it's a year since I use between 1 and 2 hours per day which must be added in group rehearsals, I waited before putting a review to make it as objective as possible and it appears from no euphoria of purchase.

    I love this amp, its look is really beautiful and after the changes made, I find its really up to it.

    Yet I would not advise buying this amp nine because I think the price is no justification: components not so upscale that it aside and "hand made" so touted by the mark, I still looking (presence PCB ...), the VAS is not up either (two months to get the amp).

    Now that I know by heart the mesa, I think its price is prohibitive given that the material provided and it is not up to other brands like Brunetti, NOS and company.

    Is what I would do this new purchase without hesitation I say no. I will turn instead to an undeniably NOS has many advantages: it can be done to map the components are the most finely crafted there is no presence of components "cheap" on the inside, it rings of god of fire, you will save money and in addition he is French.

    on the other hand, if you have the opportunity to acquire a dual corrected at a good price do not hesitate, you will be more than satisfied.

    So I would put an overall score of 7.
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  • thorgenthorgen

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 09/15/10 at 15:54
    (This content has been automatically translated from French)
    I think it is not necessary to revisit the characteristics, those who read these lines know the craft.
    Note the effects loop rather peculiar, if not capricious. I put only 8 because of it, because otherwise the connection is complete, the settings effective, ample power (for group play, because in your room is really too much).
    The finish is impeccable. The covers are supplied with good practices

    UTILIZATION


    * The configuration is simple?
    * Gets it easy to sound good?
    * The manual is clear and sufficient? ...

    the manual is very clear and gives specific examples of settings, what is surprising is indicated ranges not to exceed for the potentiometer settings, and use, we…
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    I think it is not necessary to revisit the characteristics, those who read these lines know the craft.
    Note the effects loop rather peculiar, if not capricious. I put only 8 because of it, because otherwise the connection is complete, the settings effective, ample power (for group play, because in your room is really too much).
    The finish is impeccable. The covers are supplied with good practices

    UTILIZATION


    * The configuration is simple?
    * Gets it easy to sound good?
    * The manual is clear and sufficient? ...

    the manual is very clear and gives specific examples of settings, what is surprising is indicated ranges not to exceed for the potentiometer settings, and use, we realize that Indeed, it is best to stay around half of the race, both the gain for low mids or treble.
    I read everywhere that this amp was difficult to resolve, but if it goes smoothly and if you take the time to listen, no particular problem.

    I think it deserves a 7.

    SOUNDS


    * Will it fit your style of music?
    * With what (s) guitar (s) / low (s) or effect (s) do you play?
    * What kind of sound you get and with what settings ("crystalline", "fat ",....)?
    * What are the sounds you prefer, you hate?

    The clear sound surprised me: with a single coil in the neck position, it is more than correct.
    A good point: no excessive wind, no noise except the first channel change: the famous "plop" (that too, it's disappointing, but we know when we bought it).
    The main problem is, in my case, both channels saturated: Can not use the "Modern" or Silicon positions and Bold, as I twist the treble and bass eardrums were "muddy" as they say Anglo-Saxon)?
    I am therefore satisfied at the beginning of the vintage fashion front, and position "vacuum" and "spongy" on the back. There, no worries, but a slight lack of dynamics.
    (I use it primarily with a U.S. Hamer Californian, a Jackson Soloist, and my guitar "homemade").

    Being also a user CA 100 NOS, I decided to entrust the craft workshops Gerard Cortier NOS, so that the changes a little.
    The amendment did not touch the clear sound. However, bass, treble and the gain of both channels were saturated changed: since the controls can be used over a much wider range, treble themselves civilized, bass gained in precision, and I can ride gain without the sound deteriorates. I grabbed the momentum can safely use the method "modern" and positions "bold" and "silicon". Mesa grain was perfectly preserved, even exacerbated, as if the sound had been treated in the studio.
    In short, the amp has become even more versatility.
    At the last rehearsal, the bassist who was unaware of the changes asked me: "you've changed something in your Mesa? It looks like it sounds better than before".
    In conclusion, I will put that 4 to this chapter: insufficient, mainly because of the reputation that we made this amp, which is not up to my expectations.
    However, after the mod, I think he deserves a good 8 (very good): clear clear, well saturated fat but sufficiently accurate, low present but not invasive, acute manageable, versatile.

    OVERALL OPINION


    * For how long have you been using it?
    * What thing do you like most/least about it?
    * Did you try many other models before getting this one?
    * What is your opinion about the value for the price?
    * Knowing what you know now, would you make the same choice? ...

    So I use this amp since June, but only since August version "modified NOS."
    Before, I had a bunch of amps and preamps, tube and transistor: MAC (I'm sure nobody knows: lol:), Music Industry, Rockman, Peavey (Reknown)-in the year 70, it dates me;) - Rocktron Voodo Valve tube Peavey FX Marsalla (JMP, TSL 2000), Hughes & Kettner TriAmp, Triaxis Mesa, Carvin V3, Diezel Einstein and now OUR CA100 and Dual Recto; the Rectifier is a very good amp, but too expensive for what it is. After the change (the cost is very low), it is much more usable and I think the store.
    As to make the election again, yes, but only occasionally, and especially by making him do a short stay in Alès, in workshops NOS. But ultimately, for me, in the original, it is below the Diezel Einstein, and far behind the NOS CA100.
    Again, I will put that 5 (average), mainly because of the value that is frankly not very good, especially if you buy it new; in time, no problem, it becomes affordable, and in this cases can be traced note;).
    Afterwards, if we can afford to have it changed, it becomes an excellent amp.
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  • HatsubaiHatsubai

    Probably Mesa's most popular amp

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 03/30/11 at 10:44
    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.

    UTILIZATION

    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 issu…
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    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.

    UTILIZATION

    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.

    SOUNDS

    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.

    OVERALL OPINION

    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.
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  • PurposeToMelodyPurposeToMelody

    Great amp! just not for what it costs.

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 03/19/11 at 10:17
    100 Watts, Class A/B Power / 4x6L6, 5x12AX7, 2x5U4

    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 - Patent 6,724,897 (over all channels, when activated)

    Selectable Dual Rectifier Switch (Tube/Diode - Patent 5,168,438))

    Bold/Spongy “Variac” Switch (Patent 5,091,700)

    Assignable Parallel FX Loop w/Send & M…
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    100 Watts, Class A/B Power / 4x6L6, 5x12AX7, 2x5U4

    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 - Patent 6,724,897 (over all channels, when activated)

    Selectable Dual Rectifier Switch (Tube/Diode - Patent 5,168,438))

    Bold/Spongy “Variac” Switch (Patent 5,091,700)

    Assignable Parallel FX Loop w/Send & Mix Level Controls

    Slave Out with Level Control

    External Switching Jacks for Channels 1, 2, 3, Solo & FX Loop

    5 Button Footswitch (Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, Solo & FX loop)

    Slip Cover

    UTILIZATION

    While the Mesa manual is VERY clear and easy to read, it doesn't matter how good you are, the active EQ and the ridiculous amounts of buttons, knobs, switches and other things makes this a hard amp to dial in no matter who you are. Especially if you're like me and come from a background of british amps. don't expect to EQ this like a marshall (treble roll off higher mids higher bass) and you'll be ok.

    SOUNDS

    Really only used this with my Les Paul and it sounds great. It does take a LOT of time to make sound great, and it is picky about speakers (its a V30 fan). I'm not gonna lie, this thing is just a pain in the rear to dial in. BUT once its there it sounds great. You want AIC? you got it. you want Blink182? you get that too. it sounds great, and it really accels at heavier stuff. Give it a guitar with EMGs in Drop C and it'll love you forever. The cleans are great also, very shimmery if you want, but once again it takes tweaking. I can't cover all the channels or modes, there is really just too much to cover with this amp and I really suggest you try it yourself if you can.

    I do have complaints though. I feel like its really pales in comparison to the 2 channel recs from the 90s and early 2k. it sounds like a blanket is over it in comparison and honestly just isn't as raw or clear as the dual recs and it will cost you more new than a good used car.

    OVERALL OPINION

    I really do love the gain channel....with tweaking, its a great amp, but its not plug and play, and never will be. Overall I'd recommend it if you must go new, but I'd recommend a older dual channel recto over this. Especially for the money

    I know my rating is low, and its not that its a bad amp its just that I feel I'd rather have others for the price.
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  • iamqmaniamqman

    Modern Metal Classic

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 03/18/11 at 10:50
    We had one of these in my band and so I got to spend some good time with it. I go back and forth sometimes between Marshall grind and a Mesa grind. I love the way the amp responds and feels when pushing some air through one of their recto cabs. These amps are built like a tank and sound so sweet when cranking that gain up. One thing that always gets me is the headroom in the gain knob. I never really need to turn it up past 6 since they saturate so easily.

    I have used El34's and 6L6 's in Dual Rectos, Mark lll, Mark V, and the Coli I used to own. Depending on the day I will give you a different answer but I probably lean towards the 6L6's in the Mesa amps. They have so much gain on tap tha…
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    We had one of these in my band and so I got to spend some good time with it. I go back and forth sometimes between Marshall grind and a Mesa grind. I love the way the amp responds and feels when pushing some air through one of their recto cabs. These amps are built like a tank and sound so sweet when cranking that gain up. One thing that always gets me is the headroom in the gain knob. I never really need to turn it up past 6 since they saturate so easily.

    I have used El34's and 6L6 's in Dual Rectos, Mark lll, Mark V, and the Coli I used to own. Depending on the day I will give you a different answer but I probably lean towards the 6L6's in the Mesa amps. They have so much gain on tap that I feel like I need to get the power section a little more headroom and glassy sound to which El34 will probably give more distortion since they break up early. However, you will get more midrange than the 6L6's if that's your thing. Again it probably depends on what music I'm listening to will determine which tube I prefer. Such a great feature being able to switch power tubes in and out without even biasing the amp. Which is another great feature not having to shell out money for a bias rite or taking it to a amp tech to bias the amp.

    UTILIZATION

    I really don't understand the problem people have with not being able to dial these amps in correctly. So I have heard others say. I see how the Mark series amps can through you for a loop if you are used to Fenders or Marshalls. The rectos are very easy to dial in. They are very versatile with the option of Raw, Modern, and Vintage and Diode and Tube Tracking on the back. There are so many options to tailor your tone in the way you feel comfortable with. Then or course your have the option to cut the power down to 50 watts which is nice as well.

    SOUNDS

    I love the sound of a Recto. One is a staple tone in modern rock music. Nothing really sounds like a recto and a recto has that saturation that is immediately noticeable when compared to an JCM800. My personal favorite setting is the high gain channel on the modern mode. To me that is where this amp come alive and does what it was built to do. Don't get me wrong the clean are fantastic but this thing was made to get up and gallop like a American muscle car.

    It is a very forgiving amp as well when switched to the spongy mode. It gives a very forgiving sag that makes you want to play fast. Switch it to the bold mode and the amp becomes tighter and more focused. Good for dropped tunings and more modern music that need the speed while remaining tight.

    I used this with a Les Paul exclusively and a Recto 4x12 cab with V30's in it. The cab was slant cab and i ran some delays and such in the loop. matching this amp up with a recto cab is essential. I don't fell it can do what it was created to do with a Marshall 4x12. The speakers to me make a difference as well. For me you really need the V30's with this amp.

    OVERALL OPINION

    The recto is an amp any guitar player would own. So many records and professionals have used this amp for their main tone. Much like the Mark series and the Roadster and Road King this is a heavy modern rock amp. It can do some bluesy stuff too so it does not hold anything back. Given the chance to pick one up on the used market I definitely would pull the trigger. I think this is a great buy with the options and features that exist with it.
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  • glassjaw7glassjaw7

    A tried-and-true modern classic

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channels HeadPublished on 03/15/11 at 20:42
    1 photo
    The Mesa Boogie 3-channel Dual Rectifier is a 100 watt tube amplifier. This revision of Mesa's popular 2-channel Dual Rectifier that debuted in the early 1990's adds another channel, giving this already versatile tone machine an even bigger arsenal of tonal and sonic options. (This is the early 2000's model, not to be confused with the newer "Reborn" revision)

    Each channel has its own eq section, consisting of bass, mid and high controls, as well as separate gain, presence and volume controls. Also included on the front panel are toggle switches for each channel that can select a dedicated voicing for that channel. These voicings cover everything from spanky cleans to blistering …
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    The Mesa Boogie 3-channel Dual Rectifier is a 100 watt tube amplifier. This revision of Mesa's popular 2-channel Dual Rectifier that debuted in the early 1990's adds another channel, giving this already versatile tone machine an even bigger arsenal of tonal and sonic options. (This is the early 2000's model, not to be confused with the newer "Reborn" revision)

    Each channel has its own eq section, consisting of bass, mid and high controls, as well as separate gain, presence and volume controls. Also included on the front panel are toggle switches for each channel that can select a dedicated voicing for that channel. These voicings cover everything from spanky cleans to blistering high gain and everything in between, which I will describe in detail later in the review.

    Rear Panel:

    The rear panel is home to many useful controls and connections such as a "slave-out" jack and level control, which allows you to run the Dual Rec's pre and power collectively out to another power amp and line-level effects unit. This is a popular method for wet/dry or stereo setups, or for the player who doesn't like the impurities of using an effects loop. Speaking of effects loops, the Dual Rectifier has a parallel loop with controls for send level and overall mix of the wet sound. The loop can be assigned to all channels, a specific channel only, or hard-bypassed from the signal. I personally don't care for the amp's loop and don't use it due to the fact that no matter the setting, the dry signal is always present and can cause phasing issues between the dry and wet sounds.

    1/4" jacks for external switching and selection of channels, solo boost function, and fx loop on/off are included for those who like switching with a device other than the included footswitch, such as a Voodoo Lab GCX or RJM unit and a midi controller. The amp in its stock form does not have midi capability.

    A bias selection switch is located on the rear. Stock, the amp ships with 6L6 power tubes, but EL34s can be installed also. The switch must be set to match the type of tube in use.
    (other tubes such as KT77s can also be used in "EL34" bias mode due to the amp's fixed bias level. Just be sure tubes are properly matched by the supplier)

    You can select the type of rectifiers you want to use with the power section of this amp. A toggle switch on the rear lets you choose between Vacuum Tube rectifiers (the amp ships with 5U4 tubes), or Silicon Diodes which tighten up the response of the amp giving it more immediacy in the attack. Finally, a switch on the rear lets you select Bold or Spongy mode, which sound and respond exactly as described. Bold is tight and punchy, while Spongy cuts the power a bit giving the amp more sag and a "browner" sound.


    EDIT:

    I recently had my Dual Rectifier modified by amp guru Dave Friedman. This review is based on the stock version of this amp, but I will eventually do another review based on the modifications he made.
    Read on for the review of the STOCK Dual Rectifier.




    UTILIZATION

    Most Mesa Boogies have a reputation for being difficult to dial in, and this amp is no different. The controls of most Boogies are very sensitive. A minute tweak on the presence control for example, can change the tone drastically and will also affect the way the other controls respond. There are sweet spots to be found in the Dual Rec's eq section, and only time spent with your own rig will warrant optimum results.

    One thing I can say about Boogie; they can write a manual! They are extremely thorough, describing every function of the product in-depth. While reading the manual upon purchase, I was pleasantly surprised with a very descriptive walk-through of each of my amp's features, examples of settings and starting points for finding my own signature tone, and even a bit of humor! After reading it front to back, I had a better understanding of what the amp was capable of and a sense of pride in my purchase By far, the best product manual I've ever read. (I gave this point a rating of 7, due to the difficulty in dialing in the amp, which may be intimidating or discouraging to some players. Otherwise, this would've been rated an 8 or 9).

    SOUNDS

    Given the sensitivity of the Dual Rec's controls and the extreme results they produce, not to mention the many tonal options this amp provides, it would be nearly impossible to cover everything in this review, short of writing a novel! I'll try to cover the most significant sounds and features:

    With the clean channel's toggle set to "Clean" and the gain set low to moderate, the amp displays a very round and full sounding clean tone, which can be very spanky and tight, or lush and pristine depending on where the mid, treble and presence are set. This is one of the best clean sounds I've ever experienced on a channel switcher! The tone begins to clip and break up when the gain is cranked up past 1:00. This can be very desirable for blues or for modern alt-rock cleans.

    Setting the toggle to "Push" takes this channel firmly into the gritty blues or classic rock realm, and has a very dynamic and bouncy, addicting feel. It is a joy to bash out AC/DC riffs or classic double-stop type riffs and lead lines. This voicing spews out a bubbly thick grit. This is truly a great clean channel on its own merits when so many companies tack on a mediocre or dull sounding clean channel as an afterthought. Well done!

    Shifting over to channels 2 and 3, which house the Dual Rectifier's classic and trademark aggressive tones, we have three voicing options; Raw, Vintage and Modern. These channels are almost identical to each other, save for the presence control which is set much brighter on channel 3 giving this channel a more modern sound.

    Let's back up to channel 2; set the toggle to Vintage and you've got the definitive "Recto" sound that found its way to hundreds of recordings. This is creamy and crunchy gain with a bit of rectifier sag in the low end response. Playing this channel is a joy, as harmonics jump out of the speakers and just the right amount of compression and "give" make the amp forgiving, yet crushing and always present in a band mix.

    Select Raw mode and you have a gritty blues or classic rock tone which is still very responsive. This mode is similar to Pushed mode on channel 1, but is more open and clear with more complexity in the high end.
    Move on to Modern mode, and set the Rectifier toggle switch to Silicon Diodes, and you've got yourself a searing high gain tone that remains clear and defined and has an aggressive edge that will cut through any mix! This is one of the most recognizable and definitive modern tones around!


    Channel 3 can be set up to sound almost identical to channel 2, but as mentioned above, the presence taper is much different on this channel. In my opinion, this channel was designed as the Modern channel while channel 2 suits the Vintage mode perfectly. Feel free to experiment however, as any mode can be used with either channel! Personally, I prefer using both gain channels in Raw or Vintage mode when playing at lower volumes, as Modern mode can sound very shrill and harsh until the amp is turned up quite loud. This mode isn't practical for home use in my experience, and is made for playing at band volume levels.



    OVERALL OPINION

    The one thing I don't like about the Dual Rectifier is the effects loop. (which Boogie claims to have improved in the latest revision) The parallel design doesn't allow the dry signal to be completely taken out, therefore I can never attain a completely wet mix with my time-based effects. This makes the amp slightly difficult to use for lead players who prefer to use reverb and/or delay. I have been using a BB+ preamp and a Lovepedal Eternity along with an MXR Carbon Copy analog delay pedal into channel 1 set clean for my lead sounds, and it's working just fine!

    It should also be noted that for the player to get the most out of this amplifier, switching to a hotter brand/type of power tubes should be considered. Mesa Boogie amplifiers have fixed bias levels, and the stock tubes they ship with are not graded hot, meaning the bias level is actually a bit lower than it could safely be. With a change of tubes (I prefer JJ or Tung-Sol) my amp's tone improved dramatically! This is to be done at the user's risk however as Mesa recommends using only their brand of tubes with their amps.

    The Dual Rectifier can be challenging to set up and dial in, and isn't for everyone. If you are a "plug and play" kind of guy/gal, you may want to look elsewhere. If you are willing to put the time in and enjoy tweaking and want an instrument that will grow with you as a player, then I highly recommend this amp!
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