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Embarassement of Mesa Boogie Riches - What does "Rectifier" mean WRT guitar amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Ronetele, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Ronetele

    Ronetele TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Hey all,

    An embarrassment of riches as girlfriend's son left behind his MB Mini-Rectifier 25 head (with an Orange 1x12 cab), while I already have a coveted MB Studio Caliber. Find myself thinking "do I really 'need' to have both around?" And, tell the truth, the Studio Caliber is a bit heavy to lug around (heavy = solid !!).

    The Mini-Rectifier is fun for sure. The sound is, at first listen, is quite a bit harsher that Studio Caliber. But I'm not sure if that's just my expectations. & I only tried the Tele & my funky National, so have yet to try the Les Paul. Lot's of range in that amp tho! For sure, I will take more time with it to play with it.

    Interested in your feedback regarding which to keep. But here's my question - what makes a 'rectifier' amp different from other amps? I googled around only to find (duh) that all amps have rectifier circuits! Some rectifier circuits include tubes, some are fully solid state. So what's in this attribute of a guitar amp? How is a rectifier amp different?

    Best,

    RW
     
  2. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    There are many folks around here that are more knowledgeable, but I’ll have a go at this.

    A rectifier is the component in the amp power supply circuit that transforms the AC current coming from the wall socket into the DC current that powers various elements in the amp, primarily the tubes. All tube amps have a rectifier (I haven’t “studied” SS amps so I would not know). The type of rectifier you have has an influence on the attack of the note. Some tube rectifiers are inefficient at doing their job and are easily overloaded when the amp is pushed hard. In which case, when you hit they note, they “sag”. In other, more efficient tubes, this effect is less pronounced. Solid state rectifiers are very efficient at doing their job and tend not to “sag”.

    So where does this leave us with your amp? I confess to being a Mesa-Boogie ignorant. I’ve tried to make sense of their blurb, but there is no reference to the kind of rectifier the amp carries. What I understand:
    - Mesa-Boogie made a famous amp called a “Dual rectifier”, letting you switch between a solid-state and a tube rectifier so as to achieve (or not) the “sag” I referred to above (BTW: I tried it, but being at the time blissfully unaware of everything concerning rectifiers, I did not push the amp hard and accordingly felt no change when switching from tube to SS……)
    - “Rectifier” thus became a sort of brand name, indicating a certain MB sound, and the “Mini-Rectifier” was called like this to say “hey, this is the cool smaller brother to others in the Rectifier series”.

    Might be wrong though!

    And: it’s irrelevant… if you like the amp, that’s all you need to know!
     
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  3. MGibson

    MGibson Tele-Meister

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    Cliff notes version: solid state rectifiers tend to be "harder", cleaner and louder but not as responsive.

    Tube rectifiers are softer, as they get hot they sag and provide a bit of natural compression. This gets more pronounced as you turn up the amp, and they also respond to guitar input and even the way you attack the strings.

    If you become familiar with a tube rectifier amp it becomes more a part of your instruments voice instead of just a way to make it louder.
     
  4. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    What embarrasses me these days would be seen with an amp with a plethora of knobs, each sucking tone.
    I mean, it was cool once. Once.
    I would go with the simplest circuit.
     
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  5. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The mini rectifier name refers to Mesa bigger brothers of the iconic (double & triple) RECTIFIER SERIES of amps.

    THose are famous amps in the heavy metal genre, their name coming from using rectifier tubes (the tube that converts AC to DC)

    Many other amps use rectifier tubes, while other tube amps can rely on SS (silicon) diode rectification.

    Mesa makes a big deal out of it, honestly I don't think it has any major impact. Many tube purists prefer an SS rectifier in their amps (SRV for example).

    You have to know that the "famous" Mesa rectifier tone , while very successful in metal, is often derided by all sort of guitarists as one of the worst/uggliest tones ever (victim of its niche success, if you want)

    THis doesn't mean that this little mesa cannot be cute & versatile. Try it & if you dig its weight/tone/versatility - why not?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nothing wrong with having lots of tone-shaping control.
     
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  7. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nothing wrong with simple honest circuits.
     
  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Actually, the big Mesa Rectos offer you the choice of either diode or tube rectification with the flip of a switch. That's where the name originally came from.
     
  9. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ok, but if "dual rectifier" once made sense using a technical term for marketing purposes, the series jumped the shark when they went to "triple rectifier" and "mini-rectifier."
     
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  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Complex circuits aren't "honest"? Give it up, dude.
     
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  11. seekir

    seekir Tele-Holic

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    Though I know that amps can have SS or tube rectifiers, I confess that I'm not precisely sure what tube "sag" is, though I know that some like it, at least for certain kinds of sounds/characteristics, and may alternately prefer solid-state rectifiers for other sounds/genres. Pretty sure that nearly all household appliances use rectifiers to convert AC to DC. Aren't wall-warts rectifiers/transformers? Our stomp boxes use either batteries (DC) or wall-warts. I use "di-rectifier" as a memory device to help me remember that they convert alternating current to direct current.
     
  12. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    No, I've a point. Back before they started putting plastic tube sockets in them, these amps were simpler affairs. It would be more honest to say we can afford all these knobs because we cut cost somewhere else.
    Ceramic tube sockets.
    An amp with twenty knobs is an amp that doesn't know what it wants to be, for someone like you, who doesn't know what they want.
    Honestly.
    (Drops mike)
     
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  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's perfectly fine to say "Hey, that's not for me." However, it's not cool at all to assert that somebody else is somehow deficient simply because they like something that isn't in your personal wheelhouse.
     
  14. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    I mean.....there's a whole lot of nice sounds you can't get without some knobs......

    I'm all for "simple" when possible. Believe me! I just think a "volume knob class A amp" is a royal pain in the ass because if I want more bright, too bad etc.

    Its great for plugging in, turning it all the way up and doing a sweet lead. I don't find them that useful beyond that.

    No pretty sparkles in those little "simple amps" because, there's other amps for that and lots of people who should feel plenty badass about themselves enjoy those other amps.
     
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  15. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

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    And if you can throw 3 "simple" circuits in one box and make them switchable in order to have an arsenal of sounds, why wouldn't you?
     
  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    People should use what works best for them, and be happy for others who have what works best for them. I do a lot of home recording, and as a result I prefer to have the versatility to produce whichever guitar sounds would work best for whichever song I'm working on. A room full of amps isn't beyond my means, but it's a lot more work (and upkeep) than I really want to commit to. So I chose to go with a few versatile amps and call it good.

    IMG_1274.jpg
     
  17. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    They all share the same preamp and overall sound, and the Recto name has become something of a standard.
     
  18. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    I hear the guy in the monster truck show commercials, or Randy Macho Man Savage's voice whenever I hear "Triple Rectifier" or "Double Rectified". It all sounds like marketing hype and BS to me. All tube amps are rectified. SS or tube. I don't reacall Leo claiming his tweed Bassman in the late 50's was double rectified. 'Cause it was.

    Triple Rectified is really cool sounding to someone who has no idea. It's gotta be worth a couple more hundred on the sell price. It's 3X better than a boring old regular rectified amp...Maybe more like Triple Rectum Fried?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  19. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    John Wayne drank some double rectified bust head, in True Grit, does that count?
     
  20. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Call them what you want. If you want THAT sound, though...ohmygoodness! And the cleans are way better than one would probably think (okay, not for jazz, but, still).
     
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