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Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Road King Amplifier

Improved Channel 1 & 2 now features CLEAN and FAT from our acclaimed LoneStar? - our best clean ever - along with incredible new TWEED and BRIT modes. These two channels alone make a mighty amplifier. - - - - All New, All-Tube Reverb also from the LoneStar? is deeper, more lush and ambient and sticks tighter to the notes. Reverb control now rides in each Channel Strip. - Improved Effects Loops are both Series for seamless interfacing of processing. -

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Extremely versatile, well made, great sounding amp

Sound Well, you can just about get any sound you can dream up out of this beast. You've got 4 fully independent channels, each with a 3-way mode switch. On top of that it features progressive linkage technology so you've got a variety of power tube and rectifier settings that you can assign to each channel. As if that weren't enough, it's got two effects loops (one series and one parallel) that you can assign per channel... in addition to built-in spring reverb and solo boost. Just when you thought I was done... you can also run two different speaker cabinets (and "A" and a "B" cab) and assign those per channel. The flexibility is bordering on the ridiculous so be prepared to refer to the manual a few times as you're learning this exceptionally versatile amp.

I just got mine about a month ago so I'm still learning what it can do, but having tried a variety of sounds on various channels I can say I'm very pleased with this amp. Mine is the original Road King (if you buy a new one you'll be getting a "Road King II", of which they released two versions... Road King II v1 and Road King II v2). I've never played either of those so I can't comment on the differences vs. the original Road King, but they're highlighted on the Mesa/Boogie web site.

In the back you've got 2 EL34s, 4 6L6s and 2 rectifier tubes. You can use any two tubes, any four tubes, or even all 6 power tubes at the same time. The progressive linkage feature is smart enough to know how many rectifier tubes to use based on how many power tubes you've selected. I run mine pretty close to some of the factory settings (found in the manual on For Channel 1 I use settings pretty close to "versa clean". On Channel 2 I'm very close to "brit grind". My Channel 3 settings are roughly at "liquid solo" and I run Channel 4 near the "recto modern" setting.

There are 4 factory sample settings per channel in the manual which is very helpful. You can pretty easily find something that gets you in the ballpark of great tone and adjust to taste.

Reliability I haven't gigged with this amp yet... just took it in trade about a month ago. So far, so good. Based on the other Mesa/Boogie products I've had over the years I don't expect any reliability or durability problems.

Customer Support I had Mesa customer support walk me through replacement of a spring reverb tank on a different amp. They were extremely helpful. Great products, great customer support.

Liked about it 1) Versatility - this amp can do almost anything you can dream up... all tube and all analog. It's truly an engineering marvel.
2) Tone - this thing does the traditional dual recto sound and so much more. When I was first starting out I used to long for a dual recto... I finally got a rackmount dual recto about 5 years later and wasn't that happy with it (lack of versatility). This thing delivers that sound I always wanted in a package that gives me the other sounds I need too.
3) Documentation - believe it or not I really appreciate the thorough manual provided with this beast. I've always enjoyed Mesa manuals because they put so much more effort in to them than most manufacturers, but in this case it's essential to have the documentation to make sure you really know how to use all the features.

Didn't like 1) Footswitch - the King Kontroller is overkill in my opinion. I really wish Mesa would've made this amp midi controllable so I could use a different footswitch, or offer a simpler 5 button switch (1 button for each channel and a 5th for the solo boost). The 24" long controller is too much for me to navigate in a power trio where I'm focused on singing too.
2) Loop logic - unfortunately (I'm sure due to a very real engineering limitation) you have to have the effects loops switched in on the back of the amp in order to use the solo boost feature. This means that the signal is passing through because the loop level controls actually impact the amp's overall output. I could've done with less effects loop flexibility (easy for me to say because I'm a pedal guy anyway) and would've preferred that limitation to be eliminated.

Don't let those gripes turn you off from this incredible amplifier. I really enjoy it.

Overall satisfaction:

By djrjems
Jul 08, 2012
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