Dual Recs, versatile enough?



Thinking about buying a Mesa Dual Rec. Does everyone think that these are versatile enough to use for different types of rock besides low heavy stuff?
Would it be better to buy a 5:50 or 5:25 or Stiletto Ace?

What is everyone's experiences?



If you can find yourself a good early to mid 90's Dual rec, you'd be set. I've got one, and I can play almost anything on it. The best descriptive word I can give you is open. Not nearly as compressed as new ones. The 5:50 is a real sweet amp though. Same deal, nice and open, but great distortion and good cleans


they catch alot of flack but that is because most of the well known users of dual recs set them up like crap.
they are more versatile than they get credit for.
i prefer the sound of them when running EL34s. thightens up the bottom and sweetens the mids.

the express 5:50 is probably more versatile over all, if you dont mind 50 watts and two channels compared to the (new) duals with 100w and 3 channels.

go play em both and see what floats your boat.


Yup, recto's do a lot more than you think. They do some awesome crunch sounds with a telecaster or something :)


Dual Rec's, especially with a guitar with single coils, will cover a lot more ground than you think. The biggest problem i have with how recto's sound is the way that a lot of users set them up.

It takes a LOT of tweaking to get the EQ set just right, because it doesnt work at all like the EQ on 99% of amps. When you turn the bass up, it puts up the low mids, and shaves some off the treble - when you turn up the treble the upper mids go up, and the bass comes down. Small adjustments in the EQ make a BIG difference to the overall sound, so it will take a lot of experimenting and a bit of patience to dial in a perfect sound - but once you've got it nailed, you'll be very happy.


Senior Member
I have a triple rectifier and it's surprising versatile, it can get just about any tone you'd need for almost any genre IMO. With the three channels and multiple voicings per channel it's very flexible. As mentioned above it just takes some time to learn how the EQ and gain controls interact with each other and every time you switch the voicing then the EQs and gains will act differently so it does take a lot of playing around with them to uncover all the different tones but they are there. The manual is very helpful in getting a grasp on it IMO.


i used to use a dual in a covers band in the 90's..i played every thing from Tool to lenny kravitz and smash mouth......it will do ya job


Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
If you can find yourself a good early to mid 90's Dual rec, you'd be set. I've got one, and I can play almost anything on it.
A good Dual Rec is much more versitile than they get credit for and yes you "can play almost anything on it", but I felt the clean tones left something to be desired and that's even more true of the reverb, at least to my ears.

If certain tones are your Holy Grail it's likely that you won't find Nirvana with a Dual Rec. Clean Super Reverb tones, Dumble tones, AC 30 tones, and even JCM 800 tones are all conspicuously absent, and those tones are the cornerstones of much of the music we hear.

It does have more tonal variety than you'd think given how they are frequently used, but they are far from what I'd consider truly versitile.

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