1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Can a Mesa Dual Rec sound like a Soldano SLO?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by kramerxxx, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. kramerxxx

    kramerxxx Member

    Messages:
    748
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    I have been Jonesing for a Soldano SLO and wonder if there is anything that can be done to achieve this before I spend $3.5K.

    I already have a Mercury Magnetics OT installed, would replacing the PT and adding a MM choke get me closer?

    thanks,
     
  2. Zootallures

    Zootallures Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, Mass.
    Nothing and I mean Nothing
    sounds like a SLO accept a SLO!!!
    Worth every penny, the price tag is justified
    through the shear Tonal Nirvana.
    One of the Greatest Rock amps ever created.
     
  3. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,978
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Location:
    The Gates of Hell
    From what I've heard to change a Recto into a SLO...

    Red Channel:
    Put a 68k series grid resistor on the very first gain tube right after the opto on pin 7 (put it at the socket). Change the gain pot to 500ka from 250kA put the existing .001 cap back on the new gain pot. Change the treble cap to 470pf from the 680pf. Change the feedback resistor to 39k. Run it in Vintage mode and turn the presence to 10.

    DeYoung OT & PT will help as well... but good luck finding them.

    YMMV.
     
  4. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    Boss Equalizer.
     
    vintagefox likes this.
  5. Joe_Steeler

    Joe_Steeler Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    No.
    Not even close.
     
  6. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,255
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York/San Diego
    I just don't think that the dual rec has the midrange to do SLO.


    there are a few pretty decent alternatives though:


    $1500 - Soldano Avenger. A 1-channel, no fx-loop, no reverb version of the SLO.

    $700 - Peavey 5150 w/ el34s. close, but no cigar. the 5150 was a clone of the slo originally, wasn't it?



    in the middle: Hot rodded marshall. this is wear the SLO draws its roots anyway.
     
  7. JackButler

    JackButler Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,651
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    Not at all.
    SLO's use DeYoung trannies, they use MM's in their lower priced heads.
    Snag a Hot Rod and you'll be in the ballpark!
     
  8. Joe_Steeler

    Joe_Steeler Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    You would have to be VERY careful dialing a 5150 to get SLO tones. Not to mention noise gates, etc. The 5150 is too damn noisy.

    I find that the hardest hurdle is the mids, yes. But even more the incredible note definition and loudness of a Soldano are just outstanding.
    Not to mention the clean channel of the 5150 does not hold a jockstrap to the SLO.

    The Avenger IS as close as you will get, or a modified L13 head.
     
  9. guitarvc

    guitarvc Member

    Messages:
    1,407
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Location:
    Austin TX
    If you want the SLO tone you gotta get an SLO. I have had 3 of them, along with many other great amps and there is nothing like it. Even the Avenger or Hot Rod series are close, but because of the DeYoung trannies the SLO have harmonic overtones that the others just don't have.

    I read that the early Dual Rectifiers...pre 1994, 2 channel... have a similar tone, but I suspect they would sound like the less expensive Hot Rod or Avenger series since they all use MM trannies.

    You can get a pretty clean used SLO for 2500 is money is an issue. People who buy those amps usually take pretty good carte of them. If you are looking at a used one, check the serial number and call Soldano for a history. They keep excellent records.

    Good luck!
     
  10. JerryP

    JerryP Member

    Messages:
    442
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Changing the power transformer and choke aren't going to do it, big waste of money. The Rectifier and 5150 share a fair amount in common wiht the SLO, but they have a lot that's different too giving them each their own voice. The Mesa can be changed to put it more in that direction, but it's never going to nail the SLO tone.
    Jerry
     
  11. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,505
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Fe New Mexico/Kittery Maine
    Check out a Soldano Avenger, Hot Rod, or an original 5150 PV
     
  12. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    Technically... no. You might be able to dial in something that sounds close, but the two amps are actually more different than is sometimes claimed.

    While it's true that the early preamp section (the first three gain stages) of the Dual Rectifier is an almost direct copy of the SLO, after that it gets quite different. Next, the SLO has two DC-coupled cathode-follower sections, in series. The first one drives the FX loop - which FWIW is a bad place to put the loop, since it's too early in the circuit, at too high a signal level and before a significant part of the distortion, which comes from the second one - but is in circuit all the time. The second is like the Mesa and drives the tone stack. The Mesa then has its (switchable) FX loop after this instead, which is a much better place for it - but where the cathode-follower is not DC-coupled and doesn't distort in normal settings.

    IMO it's the cascaded cathode-follower stages which give the SLO a lot of its harmonic 'aliveness' and distortion-on-distortion but still with definition sound. The Hot Rod and Avenger do use them as well.

    The only other non-Soldano amp I can think of right now which has cascaded cathode followers is the Marshall 6100 30th Anniversary, which has three on the third channel - but it's not voiced the same as the SLO.

    The 5150 isn't even close, circuit-wise (or tone-wise IMO). It also only has one cathode-follower - non-DC-coupled, after the tone stack and driving the FX loop - which is surprising considering that the DC-coupled cathode-follower tone stack is a major part of the 'Marshall-type' tone, where you would think the amp evolved from... but no, it's totally different, it's like the engineers never even looked at a Marshall/Soldano/Mesa schematic and started again from scratch.
     
  13. Jack Luminous

    Jack Luminous Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    I don't agree. I had my SLO modified. Now the loop is after the tone stack and vastly different from what it was before in order to handle pedals etc. Fortunately, the head still sounds the same as before the mod but now the loop is usable. Secondly, a well-known SLO mod is to remove the loop alltogether and it makes it sound even better right away. So the tone doesn't come from the cascade cathode-follower/original loop arrangement.

    Also, I have an older 2-channel dual rec and there is no way to make it sound like a SLO. Not even close. Not even in the same ballpark at all.
     
  14. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    I agree that's a great thing to do, but was the whole loop section (including the tube) moved to after the tone stack, or just the loop jacks? IMO the best way to do it - and I can't understand why the amp was not designed like this in the first place - is just to move the loop jacks, leaving the two cathode-followers in their original arrangement... which of course doesn't affect the sound. The tone stack driver will handle driving the loop as well.

    Removing the loop does not involve removing the cathode-follower section, it just means removing the connections to the jacks and probably wouldn't change the tone very much (though maybe a little).

    I agree, which is why it's the cathode-follower section which is likely to be the biggest reason - it's the major difference between the two circuits. The Dual Rectifier is not a copy of the SLO - as is sometimes claimed - even though the early sections of the preamp are very closely so.


    (The schematics for both amps are at www.schematicheaven.com, if you don't have them.)
     
  15. Guitar James

    Guitar James Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Lost in the mix......
    To answer the OP, nothing sounds like the SLO apart from the SLO, cliche but true.

    To Jack Luminous and John Phillips.
    If you get the SLO loop mod done or order ir without the loop will it defo sound the same? I always heard that the crappy loop was part of the tone:p
     
  16. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

    Messages:
    45,074
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Location:
    Gamma Ray detection station on Mt. Kwakkleberry
    I think the HR series are a decent sounding amp for the money and probably as close to a SLO as you're going to get without actually going out and buying one. They claim it's the same OD circuit, but as you look inside, the HR is definately a budget amp compared to the SLO. Still, the sound is 90% there. I wouldn't waste time trying to get a SLO tone with a Mesa amp or especially with a 5150 :messedup

    I bought a HR50 was so pleased with it that I had that I had to by a SLO to see what I was missing. The SLO is definitely more 'ballsy'. The only thing I didn't like about the SLO was the shared EQ between the channels. On an amp that expensive, you'd think you would get an EQ for each voice .... I was always having to tweek every time I changed channels.

    You can find good deals on used SLOs. I picked up a mint red tolex 2004 head for $1750 on ebay on Christmas day !! :)

    :Devil
     
  17. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    It's the loop driver that's part of the tone (that's the cathode-follower stage I was talking about). If you don't have the loop, the only difference will be that the signal path doesn't go through a small amount of cabling and the contacts in the jacks. It is possible that this will change the tone, but the only thing it's likely to do is make it a tiny bit brighter.

    (I should say this is in theory, since I've never modded an SLO to remove - or move - the loop, but that is definitely how the circuit works.)

    I actually think the best solution is to do what Jack had done, and keep the loop but move it to after the tone stack.
     
  18. kramerxxx

    kramerxxx Member

    Messages:
    748
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Great information all, thanks everyone for the contribution.

    I have liked and own Mesa stuff for many years, including Marks, Rectos and a Triaxis but recently I'm finding I really prefer the Marshall style lead tones, with the Soldano SLO being at the top of the list.

    I've tried several ways around buying one including buying cheaper amps and having them modified without getting me there. Guess it's time to find one to buy.

    Amps I've tried and/or bought on my Tone Quest in the last couple of years.

    Peavey XXX - had it modified, good amp, not quite - sold it
    Peavey 5150/6505 - tried them, not bad amp(s), not it
    Mesa Dual Rec - had it modified, good amp, not quite - still own it
    VHT Deliverance 120 - great amp, very musical, not quite
    Cornford Mk50h - great amp, not quite - still own it (bought used)
    Splawn (older) Pro Mod - great amp, not quite - still own it (bought used)
    Mesa Stiletto Ace - tried it, nice amp, not it
    New Marshalls - No
    Fender EVH 5150III - great amp, not quite
     
  19. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

    Messages:
    45,074
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Location:
    Gamma Ray detection station on Mt. Kwakkleberry
    My favorite tone on the SLO was the clean channel with a little dirt dialed in. It could sound quite like a NMV amp and was very sensitive to your picking attack. ..... then you could always kick the overdrive on to set your hair on fire ! I'll probably pick one up again sometime in the future.
     
  20. joolzriff

    joolzriff Member

    Messages:
    2,168
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio & U.K
    can a ford mustang perform like a Lotus? no
     

Share This Page