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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys -

It seems there are a lot of Mesa heads/combos, etc., out there and everyone has their favorite flavor but I'm curious about the practical differences between some of these amps.

For instance, what's the real difference between a rectifier and a Lonestar or Express? Many people say the dual rectifier is one of the most versatile amps ever made - why not say that about the triple rec?

And how are the Marks different? The F-series heads?

I've only owned two Mesas - the Rocket 44 and the Rectoverb 50 that I have now. And in terms of versatility and the tones I can get from it, the Recto seems to surpass the Rocket but that's my ears.

What about yours?
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Whole bunch of questions to unpack here. :lol:

First, I think the reason people say the Dual is one of the most versatile amps ever but you don't hear that as much about the Triple has less to do with the differences in versatility - both are similar in that regard - and more that the Dual is sort of the "standard" model of that line- two switchable rectifier modes, 100 watts. The Triple is either essentially or exactly the same pre but with an extra 50 watts in the power section, the Single is 50 watts and no switchable rectification. The Single is a little less versatile than the dual or triple, but I'd say the only way the Triple is less versatile is it's a little harder to overdrive the power section. :lol:

Rectifiers are voiced completely differently than a Lone Star - even a Recto set to produce as smooth a tone as possible won't get as smooth and liquid as a Lone Star. Totally different presence/high end response, the Rectifier is naturally edsgier, crunchier, and drier, while the Lone Star is smooth, midrangey, and liquid. The Lone Star borrows a bit in feel from the Mark, but is more of a warm vintage midrangey sound closer to the classic Mark I tone, while the Mark definitely gets heavier, more modern, etc. It's still very smooth (though some of the high gain modes can produce some hair in the high end, especially when you bring in the EQ) but less so than the Lone Star (which is more of a blues/rock voiced amp, and has an INCREDIBLE clean channel).

The Rocket-44 (I used to own own) is very reminiscent of a stripped-down Mark, to my ears. The Rectoverb 50 I used to own is pure Recto, but quite a bit brighter than the Roadster I now own (and I believe the Duals I've played, though it's been a while), and tends to darken up as it gets turned up. Meanwhile, a lot of the smoother Mesas I've played get crunchier as they begin to drive the power amp. It's interesting.

Basically, go out and play a few. Mesa makes stuff that almost across the board is pretty awesome (the Express you mentioned was one of their few misses IMO, but they've evidently revoiced it and I might like it more now, and even then it was less that it was BAD, it was for every application, I could think of a different Mesa I'd rather have), but a lot of it has its own unique character. Go out and play a whole bunch, you'll hear the differences.
 
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Also important to note that not all Dual Rect's are the same.

People generally like the older dual channel amps like the Rev G and Rev F and the reborn 3-channel Dual Rect's that have multi-watt capabilities.

The 3 channel Dual Rects without the multi-watt are the least liked, generally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whole bunch of questions to unpack here. :lol:

First, I think the reason people say the Dual is one of the most versatile amps ever but you don't hear that as much about the Triple has less to do with the differences in versatility - both are similar in that regard - and more that the Dual is sort of the "standard" model of that line- two switchable rectifier modes, 100 watts. The Triple is either essentially or exactly the same pre but with an extra 50 watts in the power section, the Single is 50 watts and no switchable rectification. The Single is a little less versatile than the dual or triple, but I'd say the only way the Triple is less versatile is it's a little harder to overdrive the power section. :lol:

Rectifiers are voiced completely differently than a Lone Star - even a Recto set to produce as smooth a tone as possible won't get as smooth and liquid as a Lone Star. Totally different presence/high end response, the Rectifier is naturally edsgier, crunchier, and drier, while the Lone Star is smooth, midrangey, and liquid. The Lone Star borrows a bit in feel from the Mark, but is more of a warm vintage midrangey sound closer to the classic Mark I tone, while the Mark definitely gets heavier, more modern, etc. It's still very smooth (though some of the high gain modes can produce some hair in the high end, especially when you bring in the EQ) but less so than the Lone Star (which is more of a blues/rock voiced amp, and has an INCREDIBLE clean channel).

The Rocket-44 (I used to own own) is very reminiscent of a stripped-down Mark, to my ears. The Rectoverb 50 I used to own is pure Recto, but quite a bit brighter than the Roadster I now own (and I believe the Duals I've played, though it's been a while), and tends to darken up as it gets turned up. Meanwhile, a lot of the smoother Mesas I've played get crunchier as they begin to drive the power amp. It's interesting.

Basically, go out and play a few. Mesa makes stuff that almost across the board is pretty awesome (the Express you mentioned was one of their few misses IMO, but they've evidently revoiced it and I might like it more now, and even then it was less that it was BAD, it was for every application, I could think of a different Mesa I'd rather have), but a lot of it has its own unique character. Go out and play a whole bunch, you'll hear the differences.
Excellent info. Thanks for taking the time to explain that.

Also important to note that not all Dual Rect's are the same.

People generally like the older dual channel amps like the Rev G and Rev F and the reborn 3-channel Dual Rect's that have multi-watt capabilities.

The 3 channel Dual Rects without the multi-watt are the least liked, generally.
Thank you as well.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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The Triple is the best Recto ever made.

Don't listen to any other advice.

The Triple is one of maybe 5-6 heads on the market that will just flat out destroy your other guitarist. It eats other amps alive in terms of power.

A triple is the only Mesa I would personally spend $1k+ on.

I would just grab a Mark IV if I were you though. Or better yet, a Triaxis + power amp. The Triple is going to beat it for extreme metal rhythms, but if you need one amp to cover a lot of ground that is going to be a better bet.

A lot of it also depends on what cab you are planning on running TBH.

Personally, the best Mesa setups I have owned have been other companies pre-amps into Mesa power amps, which are uniformly excellent.

Once again though, a lot of this is going to depend on what cab you are running. Assuming 4x12, OS vs. Non OS and what speakers. I've had quite a few amps that were not best served by a Recto OS 4x12, which is the widely accepted "top of the line" metal cab.
 

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Arch Mage of Metal
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Triple Recto Multi-Watt ... this is all you need to know.

And don't let the 150W scare you... it sounds better at low volumes than a Dual, as there is more headroom/less compression and the overall sound is tighter and more defined. Volume pot taper is a little wider on the multi-watt models too.

Also... when comparing 100W+ tube amps... volume is a moot point.
 

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Triple Recto Multi-Watt ... this is all you need to know.

And don't let the 150W scare you... it sounds better at low volumes than a Dual, as there is more headroom/less compression and the overall sound is tighter and more defined. Volume pot taper is a little wider on the multi-watt models too.

Also... when comparing 100W+ tube amps... volume is a moot point.
Boosted multiwatt/reborn triple is actually one of the tightest sounds I've heard.

Reborn triples are my favourite. I don't claim to have exhaustive knowledge, though. A guitarist in a band I recorded had one, I really liked it, so I bought one. I don't know what all the differences are between the models, but as far as I can gather, the reborn triple is the brightest and tightest recto.
 

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I have been researching this also and thought about starting the exact same thread.

I'm looking for a good deal on a used Mesa rectifier head but have not been able to decide for sure which one I should buy. My only experience as an owner is from the late 90's when I had a 50w single and at the time I was extremely happy with it. There are even more choices to be had now and I'm not sure I will find a store where I can actually demo all of these together, so I am trying to figure out from reviews and opinions, etc.

I skipped on buying a used 100w Tremoverb head that popped up on GC - was a great deal at ~$700. I have no doubt that I probably would have loved it but something held me back and it was gone from the website in less than a day.

A lot of people seem to really favor the Road King and Roadster head over the dual and triple, I'm leaning toward one of those just based on the positive opinions but will also keep an eye out for the triple that is being mentioned. I gather the multiwatt/reborn triple is a relatively new model?
 

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Roadster is a beast of an amp and has the lone star clean channel if I remember correctly. My friend had one and it was a fair bit darker than a normal dual received sound
 

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Could be Hitler
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:zerodc: :(
 

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Arch Mage of Metal
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A lot of people seem to really favor the Road King and Roadster head over the dual and triple, I'm leaning toward one of those just based on the positive opinions but will also keep an eye out for the triple that is being mentioned. I gather the multiwatt/reborn triple is a relatively new model?
Make sure you play the RK or Roadster before buying one. The 4th lead channel (red on Dual & Triple) is markedly darker, and slightly different on the RK & Roadster. I've owned the Roadster and didn't like it. I bought it brand-new, but had not tried it in-person extensively. It wasn't for me. I've owned around 8 or so Duals (everything from 1st year sub 100 serial #Duals, Revs C, F, G to the 3 channel, and the new multi-watt). The newest multi-watt Triple sounds far and away the best to me. It sounds live like how most Duals and Triples sounds on the famous records we all know and love. Tighter, brighter, defined, but definitely still sounds like a Rectifier. And they still take a boost od pedal up front like a champ.

Caveat emptor.
 

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Roadster is a beast of an amp and has the lone star clean channel if I remember correctly. My friend had one and it was a fair bit darker than a normal dual received sound
IMO, it's not QUITE as good as the Lone Star - the Lone Star is creamier and "chewier" somehow, while Ch 1 Tweed is maybe a little more glassy, and doesn't break up as smoothly - but it's still a great soundin mode.

Make sure you play the RK or Roadster before buying one. The 4th lead channel (red on Dual & Triple) is markedly darker, and slightly different on the RK & Roadster. I've owned the Roadster and didn't like it. I bought it brand-new, but had not tried it in-person extensively. It wasn't for me. I've owned around 8 or so Duals (everything from 1st year sub 100 serial #Duals, Revs C, F, G to the 3 channel, and the new multi-watt). The newest multi-watt Triple sounds far and away the best to me. It sounds live like how most Duals and Triples sounds on the famous records we all know and love. Tighter, brighter, defined, but definitely still sounds like a Rectifier. And they still take a boost od pedal up front like a champ.

Caveat emptor.
I'll second that, that the Roadster at least definitely defaults to a slightly darker tone than a Dual or Triple. For me, that was a selling point, though - I vastly prefer the Roadster Ch 4 Modern to the Dual red channel. It's not so different that it sounds like an entirely different amp, but it's - to my ears - more balanced, and has a more usable gain range. Definitely a "try before you buy" thing here, but for me I found a Roadster a better all around amp that could do metal just fine but probably leaned more towards hard rock, whereas the Dual/Triple is definitely a little more metal. Both amps rule, but they're slightly different shades of the same color.
 

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Are the triples considered better than the duals now?:scratch:

I always thought the duals were better? :shrug:
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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Are the triples considered better than the duals now?:scratch:

I always thought the duals were better? :shrug:
They are for corksniffers splitting hairs :lol: Get a dual or triple, its gonna sound good reguardless. The differences people are saying makes one "blow the others away" are so minute its not worth worring over.
 

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Really appreciate the opinions, thanks. If I see a good deal on a dual or triple I'll definitely be checking now to see if it's a newer multi watt. The biggest draw on the RK or Roadster seems to be the cleans which aren't a major concern for me anyway, going with a DR or TR should save me some $$.
 
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