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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. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've found amps that appeared complex at first glace, actually give up great sounds quite easily.
    And I've found well loved high quality amps with vol treble and bass that sounded like crap to me no matter how I set them.

    I'm guessing that maybe players who find modern high gain amps unattractive because of all the knobs would deal with all the knobs if they liked the sound of modern high gain amps.

    As was already noted, plenty of vintage lower gain amps have as many knobs (per channel), but get their sound in a different way.

    While I may take longer than some players to suss out the controls on a new complex amp, given time I can generally figure out what kinds of sounds it is capable of.

    If I don't like the sounds, it really doesn't matter how many knobs it has.

    One way or another, high gain preamp distortion sounds are generally not to my taste, and are usually featured on the most complex amps. But the type of sound and complexity of the amp are not really related.
    I have one of the early Soldano tube distortion pedals, which Mike claims is the SLO preamp minus the tone stack. Three knobs gets the basic Soldano high gain distortion sound.

    Maybe some players assume that modern amps they don't like would sound better with less knobs?
    Well in fairness, the Plexi and metal panel Marshalls are a whole lot more valuable than the first and second MV Marshalls, and get sounds you don't really find in later MV architecture. Certainly Marshall and others claim you get a Plexi sound from later designs, but it's more of a pedal into a Plexi sound.
    Whole nother argument.

    Or maybe players who find all the gain they need on the clean channel, consider three more channels to be a waste?
    True that some players use an amp as a pedal platform, but it's not really fair to suggest that there's something wrong with that.
    I prefer amp distortion over pedal distortion, but I also don't find I want the same basic high gain architecture year after year, while I do want to keep the same amp(s) year after year.

    I do want to check out one of the Mesa MkV Mini heads; guess I'm getting used to higher gain sounds, and there are a lot more of them to choose from now...
     
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  2. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

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    On a MkV, you should be able to make five different clean sounds of you really want to. Or five different nasty sounds. And I'd be happy with just two channels of Mesa goodness.
     
  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There's more than that in there. ;)
     
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  4. Staggerlee666

    Staggerlee666 Tele-Meister

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    You do know that there is nothing pure about the sound of an electric guitar going through an amp. Virtually all of the signal path is heavily colored. Amp gain and distortion is the ultimate antithesis of signal purity. Quite literally it "distorts" your signal in order to achieve a sound that is universally regarded as the electric guitar sound, except for some weirdos who prefer to always play clean :).
     
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  5. seekir

    seekir Tele-Holic

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    Who mentioned "purity?" Not me. I am a weirdo, but I don't always play clean—I love filthy dirty guitar sounds and squeaky clean bell-like tones.
     
  6. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    '
    As for the "Rectifier" thing... it's both a real feature and a marketing gimmick.

    On the one hand, it does serve a practical purpose. After all, they design their amps to attain a certain "feel" that people appreciate.

    But! On the other hand, that so-called Rectifier "image" also manages to type-cast Mesa Boogie, which can turn people off to them (since they may think M/B amps are only for Metalheads for instance).

    As for the "circuit complexity" thing...

    I own both the Mesa Boogie TA-15 & TA-30 and, although each has several "modes" available, the setups on them are very simple (there isn't even a midrange control).

    And the fact that the tone is so wonderfully pristine is a testament to how well designed these amps are.

    But what impresses me the most is how well voiced their amps are for guitar and how subtle changes in the controls and power structures have profound effects on your final tone!

    Anyway, I love that I can get excellent cleans, soulful overdrives and impressive distortions all out of the same amp...

    '
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  7. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mostly agree. People don't realize the progress Mesa has made in the clean and reverb, this side of some of their amps totally slays.
     
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  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is great if you trust the skills of the sound guy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  9. seekir

    seekir Tele-Holic

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    And his preferences/tastes.
     
  10. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

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    What do people think of Mesa stomp boxes? An earlier poster mentioned he used a Throttle Box and I do as well when playing gigs where you have to use whatever backline is provided. This seems to be occurring more often.
     
  11. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

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  12. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Tele-Meister

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    I like Boogies. Never cared for the Rectifiers
     
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  13. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have both a TA30 (had a TA15) and a Mk V 25. I like both - give the edge to the TA. Transatlantic has a glorious Vox which isn't because you'd need the Blues. But it's a wonderful jangly tone. The other side does Tweed Bassman not quite (wrong speakers) but it's a wonderful gruff tone. Same with the Marshall.

    The Mk V is a little bundle of wonderful tones. Not BF, but big clean. MK 1 and Mk IIish and Mk4, and Mk V. It's not the same as owning all those amps, but you'd need a small van and team of roadies plus earmuffs to enjoy them. The Mk V 25 weighs 16lb. A Boogie cab is light. The Mini Rec is the same. Awesome tones and giggable volume from something slightly bigger than a housebrick.

    It's all those amps. It's the ability to footswitch the eq and channels. To switch the speaker off and use headphones and/or lineout XLR. It's a flexible little tool that obviates the need for a practice amp and as you are hearing the power section too it is even nicer. If you want, DI it into FOH and foldback, you don't even need a speaker cab. It sounds pretty awesome nonetheless.

    I also built some 5E3s and own a modded Excelsior I love doodling on. Liking one or the other isn't mutually exclusive.

    I think even though other Mesas had tubes the Rectifier was specifically a reference to the ability to switch from tube to solid state. The reason for 5U4s vs GZ34 was the best GZ34s weren't flash when it came about. Bit higher rating IIRC. The Mini Rec is called that because it captures those tones. And yes it does great cleans, as do the single Rec.
     
  14. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Friend of Leo's

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    I've got good collection of amps in my studio.

    Some are just good no frills set and go amps.

    I also have 4 Boogie amps. 2 are MKIIC+, and 1 is a MKIIC.

    The last is one is the Roadster Dual Rectifier Combo with the ton of knobs and 4 channels.

    I'd have never even considered buying this amp EVER, but when I saw the price I could buy it for, it was a no brainer.

    It would seem like this amp would be super complex and hard to use, but it's very easy.

    I look at is like having 4 individual amps and set each one up for the tone I'm after.

    This amp is really a tone monster. The only downside to this amp is it weighs over 100lbs.

    Here's my budget Boogie amp I picked up for $433 out the door at a pawnshop:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    Funny thread -- especially all the "too many knobs" hate. Knobs are just variable resistors -- so called simple amps just use fixed values on the board instead. It's a total self-delusion to equate less options with some sort of rear-view mirror 1950s recreationism purity. Mesas just give the end user more options and once you find your sound it's basically set and forget, and when it comes to overdriven lead sounds nothing can touch them. Also not all Mesa are knob laden. I have one of these:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    You are right sir, on all accounts.
     
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