Mesa- Single Rectifier Rect-o-verb 50 Head - Opinons? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2003, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Mesa- Single Rectifier Rect-o-verb 50 Head - Opinons?

Hi,

I am quite keen on putting a bid for one of these on ebay. Is the only difference between this and the regular single rectifier, is the added reverb? I am after nice hi-gain sounds and will eventually get a 4x12, will it be up to the job? Does anyone own one?

The only problem is I have never heard or tired one of these.

Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2003, 03:17 PM
 
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Obviously, play it first... But yeah, it's a great head. i'm only familiar with the Rectifier Solo 50 version- same head with no reverb- and it's a very impressive, heavy-sounding but flexible head. I was really blown away with the "vintage" lead mode- great for soloing, much better than it's "nu-metal" reputation would have you believe, and the clean's great- the "clean" mode is grat for jazzy chording, and the "pushed" mode takes you right into SRV territory. I spent a decent amount of time playing one of these and eventually opted for a Masharll TSL, but if i was to buy a second head right now, this would be it- it's a suprisingly flexible, badass-looking, great sounding head.

and 50 watts from a Rectifier is enough for just about anything, IMO. No need to go for the Dual, unless you really need the three channels.

also, I'd say the Rectifier 2x12 or 4x12 is worth the difference in price over a comparable Marshall cab, if you're looking for heavy sounds... Heavy as all hell, but great-sounding cabinets...

-Drew
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2003, 07:16 PM
 
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I spent a couple of hours test-driving Mesas today. I tried the Rect-o-Verb combo, and both a Dual Recto head and a Rect-o-Verb head through a Mesa Recto 2x12 cab.

Wow.

The Rect-o-Verb combo is ridiculously loud for a 1x12 50W combo. Heavy and very bell-like, but not quite what i was looking for, so i plugged into the Dual Recto head and 2x12 cab. Absolutely awesome. I spent a fair bit of time with it, but since i don't really want or need a 100W 3-channel amp, i pulled down the Rect-o-Verb head and plugged it into the 2x12, which is closer to the rig i'm now seriously considering. (Like you, i'm looking at getting a Solo 50 head, but i'm only looking at pushing a 2x12 cab for now... i don't think a 4x12 would fit in the back of my Golf. If i need to move more air onstage, i can always add another 2x12 or rent a 4x12.)

I spent a lot of time tweaking and playing with the two channels and five voicing settings. Got a really amazing clean sound with the Clean voice in channel 1. Really deep and lush, with a nice bit of spank to it. The Pushed voicing was really awesome as well... it made the harmonics just jump off the fretboard. It was a bit more edgy, with more cut and more upper mids, but still authoritative and balanced.

In channel 2, you have Raw, Vintage and Modern voicings. There's a fair amount of overlap between each of these. Raw will go from grit to a pretty good grind. Vintage will go from mild grind to pretty wild. Modern is nuts. I found that after tweaking the gain to get approximately the same sound, each of the voices was progressively "tighter" sounding.

I found that in Raw mode, with the gain all the way up, you can actually get a pretty decent amount of punch, and really nice distortion, with a slightly loose feel. Switch to Vintage and roll back the gain to about 2/3, and you get a similar amount of distortion and punch, but with a much tighter feel. Pushing the gain a bit more gets you back up in to serious grind territory. When i switched into Modern mode, anything in the store that wasn't screwed down tight started to rattle. Above 2/3 gain, the saturation just got too harsh and buzzy for me. Backing it off to about 40% or so again gave similar amounts of gain to the sweet spot i found on the other two voicings, but it was tighter and louder than both the Raw and Vintage modes. Being primarily a rhythm player, i found the Modern voicing to be a little too harsh for my ears, but for some, it may be just the ticket.

One thing that totally blew me away with the Rect-o-Verb head was how sensitive it was to pick nuances and the differences between pickups. I took my Duncan-equipped Dean 7-string with me to audition the amps. The Mesa really let all the character of the neck '59 and bridge JB shine through. And the amp preserved all the sparkle and twang when i switched the pickups into parallel mode. The Rivera S160 i tried earlier in the day didn't accomplish this in its gain channel... no matter what i did, it sounded the same. It had a spectacular clean channel, but the gain channel just didn't do it for me.

I was very impressed with the Rect-o-Verb head, and the Recto 2x12 cabinet just kicks. The Dual Recto is nice with its additional tube rectifier section and bold/spongy variac control, but was really more amp (and more $) than i need.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2003, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Darren!

Thanks that was really helpfull. You seem to be in the same position as me, the Dual seems a bit too much for home/small gigs. Looks like I might get one. My only concern is some of the opinions that have been stated on harmony central. Many people say there is a small 'gap' or silence when changing channels.

Would a Mesa 1x12 do the job with the rectoverb head? I will need to get a 2x12 later for gigs/rehersals but I don't have ever ending money.

I feel really stupid for not trying these out, as I can't travel to anywhere that has one in my area at the moment. All my local stores sell Marshalls etc, no Mesas.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 01:29 AM
 
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Darren, have you heard Egnater TOL100? Fine piece of machinery, one head above Mesa IMO. And if you don't need 100W, you can always pull two tubes and use the remaining two. It also exists in combo variant. Heads sometimes sell for less than $1K on ebay. All four channels are masterpieces and cover the entire spectrum of guitar tones.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 02:37 AM
 
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Actually, the Mesa manual says if you pull the center two tubes, the Dual Rectifier heads will run at the equivalent of approximately 50 watts...

-drew
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 03:21 AM
 
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Be careful with this. When you remove two tubes the voltage on the remaining two rises. Mesa is notorious for running output tubes at extreme voltages (they use 400+ V on EL84 for chrissakes!) and this extra voltage can cause tube failures with low quality (or worn out) tubes, or arcing in the socket if humidity is high or socket had arcing problems before. At least make sure your tubes aren't very old.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 07:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microdmitry
Darren, have you heard Egnater TOL100? Fine piece of machinery, one head above Mesa IMO.
No, i've never seen an Egnater up here. I don't think they have any Canadian dealers. If they "sometimes" sell for less than $1k on eBay, then that means that "someday" i'd be able to afford one. In my experience with eBay purchases from the USA, the final price ends up being doubled in Canadian dollars once shipping, customs brokerage, taxes and the exchange rate are factored in.

I definitely don't need 4 channels or 100W, no matter how good it is. But thanks for the recommendation!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Features listed in other reviews. I can't believe how many people have accepted the "delay in switching is an inherent design tradeoff" line.For the money, it's not acceptable at all.For a start, the delay isn't minimal, it's a GAP in sound, with your sound almost completely cutting out before "violinning" back in again
About the Single Rectoverb head- Can anyone comment on the above comments? Darren, did you notice this. Is this common in all rectifiers or am I missing something?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 12:52 PM
 
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I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's just one of the prices you have to pay with a high-gain all-tube head; the tubes taking a moment to "warm up" to the currents going through them when you switch to a new channel.

the Recto 50 head I was screwing around with did it, and every TSL i plugged into did as well. It kinda bothered me at first, and if there's an easy way to get it modded so this doesn't happen, then sure, I'll go for it, but it's not a "GAP" by any means, and while it takes almost a second to get up to full gain, the volume gets loud enough almost isntantaneously, so it's actually not that noticeable when you're playing with a band, and hell, just do a pick scrape before breaking into that E5 chord, and no one will even hear the slight "swell."

Then again, i played a few lower-wattage tube combos before I made the jump to a high-powered head, and I didn't notice this in any of them, so who knows... any thoughts?

-Drew
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 05:11 PM
 
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That's not correct. Tubes do not need any time to "warm up" after the channel is switched. It's the switching elements that are causing slight delays here. Mesa uses really ancient switching elements - Vactec VTL5C1 optocouplers which have some delay when turning on and even more delay when closing. Having said that I doubt that this can cause considerable gaps in sound because those delays are in 10s of milliseconds range. You can hear it, but it's by no means a show stopper. Other manufacturers (like Egnater for example) use FETs (field effect transistors - the most tube-like of all solid-state devices) for switching and these switch instantaneously. FET switching requires a lot better engineering because instantaneous switching can cause transients or hum if implemented improperly. Not all Mesa amps use VTL5C1s though. As far as I know they used FETs in Nomad line of amps (and I know of at least one case of them burning out ).
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2003, 05:42 PM
 
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eh, it was just a guess... looks like it was wrong.

Are there any reasonably simple mods that would provide that sort of a setup faster switching, to eliminate that slight "fade in" effect? thanks,

-Drew
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 04:37 PM
 
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Well, I haven't played a Solo 50, but I'll give you a brief review of my Dual Rec:

First of all, channel 1. I like this channel. The Mesa clean sound really appeals to me. It's not quite as sparkly as a Fender or anything like that, but I think it's tons better than an Line 6 or a Marshall. It's a really full sound. I mostly use the clean mode, but pushed sounds unbelievable for low-gain applications.

Channel 2 on Vintage is what I use as my lead tone. It sounds great in combination with a Metal Zone pedal. It has great definition, and notes are cutting and present without being sharp or harsh. Also, there's zero noise even with the pedal. The solo feature on this amp is great, allowing you to stand out a bit from the rest of the band during your spot.

Channel 3. This is what everyone talks about, and is really the main feature of the amp. You probably already know whether or not you like the sound of this channel, because everyone is familiar with the focused, saturated "Mesa sound." I won't say too much about it, except that with the Metal Zone, and my RG 520, this channel screams.
Vicious, man-eating distortion you can kill people with. Harmonics out the yin-yang. I love pulling them way up with the bar. Of course, it also sounds cool to push 'em way down.This channel just sounds good. Notice that, though I said I wouldn't say much about this channel, this paragraph ended up being longer than either of the others. You can probably tell which channel is my favorite.

Good luck on your search. By the way, used Mesas are great deals. You can't hurt the things. I got mine used, and it's like new. Bulletproof.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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I have made my mind up, and hoping to win a bid for a Rectoverb (The reserve price is either 800 or 850) but need to find a used mesa 1x12 or 2x12. I am unsure which would provide the better tone for low volumes in my house practicing. What are the general opinions?
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dual rectifier , dual recto , egnater tol , mesa amps , mesa recto , tube combo , tube combos , tube head

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