Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording Preamp
Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording Preamp

Rectifier Recording Preamp, Tube Guitar Preamp from Mesa Boogie.

SonicPulverizer 10/09/2012

Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording Preamp : SonicPulverizer's user review

« Great at what it wasn't built for »

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Mesa Boogie sought to answer the trend of digital emulations of their rectifier series amps with an analog alternative, the rectifier recording preamp. Featuring 2 distinct channels and 6 user modes (clean/ fat/ brit for channel 1 and raw/ vintage/ modern for channel 2), the preamp is modelled closely to the typical rectifier amp with some notable additions. A bright and -3db pad are added to channel and a preamp voice toggle on channel 2 allows you to choose between "live bright" and "warm record" modes. The preamp is tube based running 6 12ax7's and an effects loop is present as well. The focus of the preamp was the recording output, however, mesa have included several I/O options to make the unit gig friendly as well. The construction is top notch and the preamp looks very sharp in a rack.


The preamp is very simple to use and connects directly to an interface to record to your DAW. The inclusion of a footswitch makes sessions easy to navigate. I used the preamp with an external power amp and cabinet with wonderful results. With this configuration, the unit sounds splendid at both bedroom and gigging volumes. Construction is solid and gives you the same sense of confidence as any other Mesa product.


The cleans are voiced differently from a normal rectifier head, offering note separation and brilliance typically not found in the series. The bright switch worked very well livening up my dark sounding Gibson's and sounded at home stock with my brighter, maple fretboard equipped guitars. The gain sounds are excellent and being able to control your output with a poweramp can deliver some very saturated sounds. As impressed as I was with the live application of this product, I felt that the direct recording function was a little underwhelming. The preamp direct sounded lifeless and lacked the excitement of capturing the same setup in the room with a e609 microphone.


If you are looking for a preamp to match with a poweramp and cab, this is an excellent tube offering that can be had for as little as $650 used. If you were excited about the direct recording application of the rectifier preamp, you will more than likely be dissapointed with the results.