Thanks man. I guess I just need to keep playing with it. I only had the master on about 10-11, so that might be why the sustain wasn't quite there that I wanted. Might try to up the gain and roll off the volume instead to see what I come up with there. I know the Rectos aren't singing machines but Im sure going to try haha.
Volume definitely helps a Rectifier. The Roadster isn't as bad as my old Rect-o-verb, but using a Hot Plate to knock off another 4-8 db definitely makes a difference.
That said... That clip really doesn't sound all that bad at all, even considering how Soundcloud eats audio alive. There's a bit of high end sizzle but not necessarily in a bad way, and while the lower mids are a little tubby that's about the worst I could say - maybe try using a band cut somewhere around 250-400hz, fairly broad, to take off 1-2 dB and see if that clears things up any.
As far as settings go, I think you and I are after similar sounds, and I've had a lot of luck starting somewhere around here:
Ch 3 - Vintage, 100w, solid state (I go back and forth here, but this will give you the most dynamically responsive poweramp with the clearest low end, while 50w/tube is on the other end of the spectrum where it sags a lot more and doesn't have quite the low-end clarity)
Channel Volume - 12-1 o'clock (all settings o'clock)
Presence - to taste, start around 10
Bass - below 8/all the way off
Mid - 1-2
Treble - noon
Gain - 2
Output as high as you can get away with, I'll generally run it at 10-11 o'clock with a hotplate for bedroom jamming.
The Channel volume actually has a HUGE impact on shaping the gain structure of Rectos (and, really, most Mesas) in my experience. Again, this was more pronounced on the Rectoverb I used to own than the Roadster, but I found that as the channel volume went up it got crunchier and more saturated, and as it went back it was more liquid and smoother. The midway point was a good compromise between still being quite smooth but also sending a hot enough signal to the FX loop and being a good point at which to balance all four channels.
Worth a shot. :yesway:
Also, pay attention to your tracking levels - in digital, there's so much headroom that there's really no reason at all to come anywhere near -db. I rarely peak above -12dB while recording - much higher than that and you're just turning all your tracks down anyway in the mix, and most "prosumer" gear isn't terribly linear at the very top of its available headroom.