Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
I think in terms of features, the Nomad and new Recs are similar... both are 3 channel w/ solo boost, parallel FX loop, several modes per channel, lots of tubes. One real pro of the Nomad is that is has reverb--I believe none of the Recs have reverb built in. Also, the Nomad is available in both head and combo formats, while I believe Recs (at least dual & triple) are only available as heads.
So far, I've had the following Mesas:
-Rec recording preamp
I've also played somewhat extensively:
-Dual Rec (old 2-channel)
While the Mark is the most versatile, I think the Nomad is a close second. Personally, I think the tones in the Nomad are much more usable than the tones in the Rec. It can crank out some very smooth tones (I always thought the Rec to be a little harsh). Cleans are very crisp (which is what I need for funk). Channel 2 (vintage) is awesome--it's got this mammoth bass response that will knock you on your a$$. Channel 3 delivers serious crunch --> super sustain for solos. With lots of gain, it's still remarkably quiet. It just seems that the channels/modes are much more usable and versatile than the tones in the Rec. It's hard to describe, but I test drove a lot of Mesas and in the end I was most impressed by the Marks and Nomads. I use the Mark IV for my main rig and Nomad 45 for my backup/practice rig.
You may want to look at the Nomad 55--I've played the 45, 55, and 100, and I think the 55 has the sweetest tone of all of them (just happened to get a really sweet deal on a 45 that I couldn't pass up). Also, if you're in the market for a 3-channel amp, you may want to consider the Mark IV--3 channels, switchable graphic EQ (works great as a solo boost), reverb, simul-class/class A selectable, pentode/triode selectable, and switches with lots of 1/4" jacks. Probably at the opposite end of the tonal spectrum from the Rec (think: Mark <> Nomad <> Rec) but has the best lead sounds I've EVER found.