How many versions of Mesa dual rectifier head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MetalDude, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. MetalDude

    MetalDude Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Id like to make a list of Mesa Dual Rectifiers as I can't seem to find one. Any year info would also be great.

    These are the ones I know of (I'm sure i'll be corrected if i'm wrong:jo)

    Tremoverb
    Solo
    Roadster
    Road King
    Road King 2
    100w (2010 Multi-watt version)

    I think some of these came in 2 channel and 3 channel variations? i'm not sure at this point heh. Every time I called somewhere in the past to ask about the dual rectifier the person never seems to know the difference and just keeps telling me its a 100w dual rectifier. (good job...)
     
  2. Mesa

    Mesa Member

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    ontario, canada
    I am not sure of the exact years but as for the dual/triple rec as far as I know.

    1992 the 2 channel heads were released.
    2000 the 3 channel heads were released.
    2012 the 3 channel heads came with the multi-watt switch.

    Again I am not sure of the years, please excuse me if I am off.

    In addition to the list you started there is,

    Mini rectifier
    Rect-o-verb (series II)
    Recto-verb 25
     
  3. themightyjay

    themightyjay Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Also there was the two channel revisions over the years, C, D, E, F, G.

    Revision G is the "standard" two channel Recto most are familiar with.
     
  4. SolidGuitar

    SolidGuitar Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    I hope I'm not hijacking this thread:

    Does anyone know what revision of the Dual Rec the Trem-o-verb based on?

    My rough estimate is that the Trem-o-verb was produced from '93 to '02. Is this correct?
     
  5. themightyjay

    themightyjay Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    It's based on the revision G, though it has an *ever so slightly* different tone overdriven, plus the clean and blues mode are different.
     
    amper likes this.
  6. logdrum

    logdrum Member

    Messages:
    2,078
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico/San Diego CA
    Although not associated as much

    Maverick
    Blue Angel
    Heartbreaker

    are all dual rectifier and the Blue Angel is the most confusing one. I also have the Tremoverb and the 3 amps above
     
    amper and stephen sawall like this.
  7. Tread

    Tread Member

    Messages:
    2,008
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Viginia
    Bought one of the 1st run dual rec when they came out in 1992. Sold soon after. I stopped buying hype from then on.
     
  8. LesPaul70

    LesPaul70 Member

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Lots of good, accurate info here. If I might elaborate a bit, from the history perspective:

    Yes, originally the name "Dual Rectifier" was indeed a whole family of amps, and what we now think of when we hear the phrase "Dual Rectifier" was just one of them, the "Solo Head". You also had several other amps in the family, logdrum listed them already, no point in repeating the list. What they had in common was that you could choose between diode and tube rectification, hence the name. Weirdly, however, the Blue Angel didn't offer you the rectification choice, despite the name (which is what I believe logdrum was referring to). Instead, it introduced Progressive Linkage.

    The Dual Rectifier Solo Head went through several revisions before it became the 3-channel "100W Head" we have today. The milestones were:

    Revisions C, D, E: The first production models. A little over 500 were made, which is why some people call these the "pre 500 Rectifiers". These were originally targeted to "big hair" shredders of the 1980s, hence the official name ("Solo Head"). Unfortunately, Mesa missed the trend by roughly 5 years. Nirvana and grunge were in, shredders were out.
    The sound and feel of these amps is unique. They are markedly tighter and brighter than anything later in the Dual Rec Solo Head product line. The first revision, C, is sonically closer to a Soldano SLO (from which its circuit was apparently plagiarized) than to a Revision G or a 3-channel Recto. The other two (D and E) got progressively darker and less harsh/brittle.
    The cleans of these early revisions are not cold, dull and sterile, only marginally improved in the D and E.

    Revision F: A notable step towards the more familiar Mesa Recto sound. The distortion structure is markedly looser than in the early Rectos. These still have Mark III transformers (like the "pre 500" Rectos did), and their sound is brighter and more biting than the Revision G, which followed. Their clean sound is very much improved from the early Revisions.
    I believe that roughly 2000 Revision F Solo Heads were made.

    Revision G: The most common and most iconic 2-channel Solo Head. This is the sound most people normally associate with the 1990s Mesa Recto sound: huge, bassy, loose wall of distortion. Actually far more versatile than often given credit for, they have lots of great low and medium gain tones in them. The overall sound is warm; the cleans are definitely usable, if a bit dark-ish and not necessarily 100% clean.
    At least 10000 of these were made.

    Next came the 3-channel Solo Heads:

    3-channel Solo Head: Brighter (and fizzier) than the 2-channel Revision G, with an aggressive lower-mid growl that makes this model eminently more suited for metal than the more general-purpose G. There is an added 3rd channel and new low/medium gain modes between Clean and Vintage High-Gain, but these new modes can be approximated on a 2-channel Recto (inasmuch as a 2-channel Recto can approximate the sound of a 3-channel one). The cleans of this model are not terribly good.

    3-channel "Reborn" (Multiwatt) 100W Head: The current incarnation of Dual Rectifier Solo Head, thankfully no longer labeled "Solo Head". That name made little sense after the initial C, D, and E revisions anyway - "Rhythm Head" would have been more descriptive.
    The main sonic differences include much better cleans than in the early 3-channel models, and brighter sound in general. You could also appreciate 100W/50W per-channel power selection and the serial loop (instead of the parallel one that was stock in Rev G and early 3-channel Recs).



    Other variations

    Triple Rectifier: Doesn't add a third rectification option, it just adds a third pair of power tubes for 150 watts of total power. Far too much for a bedroom player, although the new 3-channel (Multiwatt) models do include 150W/50W power selection.
    Triples have been around since 2-channel Solo Heads.
    Most people don't buy these for the volume but for the sound - the increased headroom gives you tighter bass, more thump and beefier sound in general. Some Recto afficiandos swear by their 2-channel Triples and consider that the definitive Recto sound.

    Single Rectifier: Basically, a 50W version of the 3-channel Recto, with only 2 channels instead of 3, and (logically enough) one rectification method only, diode.
    The Rect-o-Verb 50W is the combo version of this amp.

    Road King II: The current flagship model of the Recto line (and the whole company). In addition to the usual Recto high gain, the 4-channel RK II gives you clean sounds borrowed from the Lonestar Classic, in-between crunch sounds (Tweed, Brit), the choice between 1 or 2 pairs of 6L6s and/or one EL34 pair in any combination on a per-channel basis, cabinet switching, two effects loops, yada, yada, basically everything except the kitchen sink. The Road King is voiced slightly less aggressively than the current 3-channel Recs, appealing to a larger userbase than just metalheads.
    The earlier Road King I had inferior cleans, basically similar to the original 3-channel Recs. It also had a serial and a parallel loop (instead of two serial loops on the II), a triode/pentode switch (since removed), and an even more confusing back panel, if possible.
    The RK II head alone is forbiddingly heavy (roughly as heavy as a Mark V combo). Don't even think about Road King 2x12 combos if you are a gigging musician!

    Roadster: "Road King Lite", basically the Road King channels and modes without all the silly options and features. Instead of power tube selection (you can have only 6L6s or EL34s but not both at the same time), you have the 100W/50W power selection. Only one effects loop, no cabinet switching. Otherwise similar to a Road King II.
    Again, the 2x12 combo is a pain to lug around.

    Mini Rectifier: The midget dragon. Distinguished by its increased midrange presence and crunch. A bit more 'rock' sounding than the regular Rectos. Also available as a combo (the current Rect-O-Verb).

    Trem-O-Verb: The flagship of the Recto line in the 2-channel era. The sound has a little more uppermid content, making this the 2-channel Recto of choice for many rock musicians. This model also had the unique 'Blues' mode, reverb and tremolo. Very desirable as a head, the more common 2x12 combo is just too cumbersome.

    Recording preamp: Preamp only, with the modes apparently lifted off from a Road King I.

    Racktifier: A Recto in a rackmount format. The earliest I have seen was a Revision F.
     
  9. SolidGuitar

    SolidGuitar Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Wow, thanks LesPaul70!
     
  10. logdrum

    logdrum Member

    Messages:
    2,078
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico/San Diego CA
    Wow. Mesa Engineering (@MESA/Boogie ) should put this little article in their website. He rightfully omitted the Blue Angel, Maverick and Heartbreaker because even though they are "Dual Rectifier" and some of them have dual rectification modes, they do not sound like Rectos, more like a related to the Lone Star Classics and possibly the RA.

     
    Luke Gibson likes this.

Share This Page