One of the most popular rock amps on the planet, the Dual Rectifier is in many ways the industry standard. This 100-watt behemoth has so many options that it would be difficult to encapsulate them all in a review ten times this size, but here’s what you really need to know: You get three channels, each with voicing options, and a footswitchable effects loop that can be assigned to any or all of them. Channel 1 gives you the choice of Clean or Pushed modes, with the Clean setting sporting the most headroom. Even with the Gain knob cranked, you only get mildly overdriven sounds in this mode. The Pushed mode provides more bark and dirt but is still very dynamic. The EQ on this channel has lots of range—enough to accommodate the skinniest or the woolliest timbres. Although this may not be the warmest or most complex sound, it’s still a good, stout clean tone.
Switching to Channel 2 gets you squarely into the ballpark of what this amp is famous for. The three modes—Raw, Vintage, and Modern—not only affect the overall gain structure, but they also dictate how certain controls (such as Presence) respond. This amazingly versatile channel can go from classic AC/DC rhythm in Raw to brutal distortion in Vintage to full saturation in Modern. It serves up punishing metal tones—especially with the EMG-X-loaded Schecter—in both Vintage and Modern modes, while staying tight, focused, and dead quiet.
Channel 3 has so much gain it’s almost unfair, with gloriously thick distortion, infinite sustain, and lethal definition. The overall response of the Recto can be modified in a couple of ways: by selecting tube or solid-state rectifier (with solid-state offering a tighter feel and more headroom) and switching between Spongy and Bold power options. Boogie has also thrown in a presettable Solo boost; jacks for external control of all channel, Solo, and loop functions; a Bias switch for running 6L6 (stock) or EL34 power tubes; a Slave out for driving additional power amps (although this amp is so damn loud I can’t imagine ever needing it for that) or sending a signal to a processor in order to run an effected signal to a different amp. To sum it up, Mesa/Boogie has pretty much thought of everything with this amp. It is a modern classic, a benchmark of tone, and just plain heavy as hell. Bravo! —Matt Blackett
(707) 778-6565; mesaboogie.com
MODEL Three Channel Dual Rectifier
PRICE $1,799 street
CONTROLS Front panel: Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, and Master (per channel); Clean/Pushed mode switch (Ch.1), Vintage/ Raw/Modern mode switch (Ch. 2 and 3), Global Solo and Output. Rear panel: Slave Level; FX Loop Assign, Send, and Mix; Footswitch Assign; Rectifier Select switch; Spongy/Bold Power switch; 6L6/EL34 Bias switch
POWER 100 watts
TUBES Five Mesa/Boogie labeled 12AX7A preamp tubes, four Mesa/Boogie labeled 6L6GC STR 440 power tubes, two Mesa/Boogie labeled 5U4GB rectifier tubes
EXTRAS Five-button footswitch, parallel effects loop, external jacks for switching functions, five speaker jacks (1x16Ω, 2x8Ω, 2x4Ω), slave out jack
SPEAKER 4x12 Rectifier cab w/Mesa Black Shadow Vintage 30 by Celestion; $949 street
MAXIMUM MEASURED VOLUME 126dB
WEIGHT 41.3 lbs (head)
KUDOS Amazing flexibility. Huge rock and metal tones. Dead quiet.