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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:17 pm 
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AUTHOR: Silverwulf (Jack Beard)
VERSION: 1.5
LAST UPDATED: 3/2/2017

Welcome to the 3 CHANNEL DUAL & TRIPLE RECTIFIER GUIDE! This guide is intended to provide information based on the original 3 channel Rectifier series that was manufactured from 2000-2010. It currently does not provide information on the Multi-Watt series, although those particular models may be addressed in a future update. It also does not provide any detail on the Series II Single Rectifier/Rectoverb at this time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am a long time Mesa Boogie user and Rectifier enthusiast. As most folks here have seen over the years, I've owned quite a few Rectifiers in the past. In the course of researching the 2 channel models, I owned 150+ and played many more. I've demoed, tube rolled, gigged, and dissected Rectifiers since I purchased my first one back in the 90's (a 1997 Mesa Dual Rectifier, Rev G). I eventually sold that amp a few years later to fund a (then new) 3 channel Mesa Triple Rectifier with the only Mesa dealer in my state at that time (WV). I purchased the first one they received, a very early first production run, right off the truck, box unopened. To buy it, I placed an order in advance and drove a 3 hour round trip to pick it up! I got it home, plugged in, and it was everything I hoped it would be.

As we do, I sold that amp (along with my original Mesa 4X12 oversized cab) and moved on to other amps - the IIC+ (which I bought for $400 in a local newspaper ad in 2000!), a few Triaxis rigs, and eventually ended up with an army of 2 channel Dual Rectifiers which suited me (along with my Mesa Traditional Straight 4X12 that I picked up in 2002-2003 that's still my primary cab to this day almost 15 years later). Over the years I tried many more 3 channel models, but none were like the tone I remembered in my head. Was it nothing more than nostalgia playing Jedi Mind Tricks on my tonal memory, or could the 3 channel models possibly have went through revisions just like the 2 channel models? That prompted me to start my research on those (a decade and half later), and this is my story...

DISCLAIMER:

Did the 3 channel Rectifiers go through changes and have revisions just like the 2 channel models? YES! The 3 channel model went through a revision process just like it's 2 channel predecessor did throughout the early 1990's. That is a fact and an objective takeaway from this guide, and those differences will be detailed throughout. However, tone is a very subjective matter that truly is in the ear of the beholder. I am a veteran Rectifier user with a couple decades of experience and more reference points than most will ever have, but I'm also just a single user with a single opinion. It's a very informed opinion, but it is still an opinion nonetheless. I encourage you to use the guide for reference and to help you navigate through the changes, but the only way to know how well a particular model will work for you is to try it for yourself.

SERIAL NUMBERS:

Currently, I am basing the projected serial number ranges only on what I have confirmed. I could likely give an educated guess to help narrow down the ranges, but I want to stick to what is confirmed as fact when possible. The numbers and ranges will be narrowed down in future updates as information becomes available.

The serial number system from the 2 channel model was kept for the 3 channel Dual and Triple Rectifier models as well, using an "R" followed by it's production number on the silver sticker/plate (on the far right) on the back of the chassis by the rectifier tubes (e.g., "R-027934"). The numbers continued in sequence as well, with the first of the 3 channel models picking up where the 2 channel models left off. The first production run of the 3 channel models started in the R-016100 to R-016200 range in late 2000 and continued through roughly the R-050000 mark in 2010 with the introduction of the Multi-Watt. The cutoff is currently an estimate based on the latest original 3 channel model seen and the earliest of the Multi-Watt's identified.

CIRCUIT REVISIONS:

At this time, there are currently 4 confirmed circuit revisions to the 3 channel models. Those revisions (noted as "Rev") are:

Rev C
Rev C+
Rev D
Rev E

It is currently believed that these are the only 4 revisions to the original 3 channel Rectifier series. This belief is based on the earliest Rev C model being identified as being made within the first 600 or so units (and the 3 channel models being manufactured at a rate of more than 2:1 versus the 2 channel models), and the latest Rev E identified as being produced less than 2000 units away from the end of the series. That being said, there is the possibility - however unlikely - that a Rev B or Rev F exists until there is confirmation of the revision models closer to the start and end of the range. If additional information is uncovered, this guide will be updated accordingly.

SPECIAL THANKS to the following Boogie Board members for yanking out their chassis and helping to narrow down some specifics and serial number ranges while I was conducting research: 3124+, LouE, timv, afu, deeman, and Kaisereign.

Now, on to specifics regarding the revisions...

_________________
Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


Last edited by Silverwulf on Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: REVISION C
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:19 pm 
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REVISION C:

After such a long and successful run with the 2 channel Mesa Rectifier, the folks at Mesa Boogie debated long and hard about how to create a new model in the series. Players loving the brutal, crushing rhythms of Channel 2 Modern Red and the liquid, singing lead tones of Channel 1 Vintage High Gain had been requesting a third, dedicated clean channel. In fact, it was the most common request they had received. As much as Boogie wanted to give the players what they desired, they were also terrified of unintentionally altering any aspect the Rectifier tone, as the Dual and Triple Rectifier had become a modern rock and metal icon in the 1990's. If you turned on any rock radio station circa 1994 to 2000, you would inevitably be assaulted by the Rectifier tone on every other song. It was the "IT" amp of the time, and careful consideration had to be taken while designing to maintain the sonic integrity of the original.

After extensive design at the end of the 1990's, Boogie underwent rigorous testing to ensure they had met their goal - maintaining the tonal character and integrity of the original 2 channel model while adding a 3rd, independent and dedicated clean channel. When R&D concluded, Boogie went on a series of blind "tone tests" with long time Rectifier users. When they had revised the circuit to the point that they were confusing long time users on which was the original 2 channel models and which was the new 3 channel model in a blind test, the design was concluded and Rev C went into production! These new models also featured the "PUSHED" mode on Channel 1 and the "SOLO" feature (both of which were first introduced in 1998 on the Series I Single Rectifier), as well as a new "RAW" mode found on Channels 2 and 3.

SERIAL NUMBERS:

Rev C appears to have originated in the R-016100 to R-016200 serial number range, with the first models being produced in late 2000, around the October to November time frame. The earliest confirmed Rev C+ is now R-017882, leaving the range of Rev C to approximately:

Production Range: R-016100 to R-017881

Again, this is not definitive. This is speculative based only on confirmed data that is available. As additional serial numbers are confirmed, the range will be narrowed accordingly.

TRANSFORMERS:

The Rev C is an anomaly as far as transformers go, as it launched using the Mesa Mark IV/2 Channel Rectifier (Rev F/Rev G) 561140 power transformer! Here are the transformers as used on Rev C:

PT: 561140
OT: 562105 (Dual)/562181 (Triple)

Image

TUBES:

By late 1999 to early 2000, Mesa had transitioned away from the original tubes used in the Rectifier series (the Chinese made Mesa STR 420 and 8th Generation Chinese 12AX7 made in Beijing) to the newer Mesa STR 430 (Sovtek 6L6 WXT+) and an assortment of preamp valves. The Rev C was shipped stock with the same tubes:

PREAMP: Mesa 12AX7-A (Russian 1 & 2, Chinese 1 & 2 - Russian 1 and Chinese 2 seem most commonly used)
POWER: Mesa STR 430 6L6
RECTIFIER: Mesa 5U4G (Chinese with brown or silver bases, Russian/Sovtek with black bases)

KNOB/POT VALUES:

Below are the part numbers for the knobs/pots used in the Rev C. Please note the overall numbers may see some variation over the years, so the last 3 digits are what you should pay attention to...

Treble: 595148 (Ch 1), 595738 (Ch 2), 595738 (Ch 3)
Mids: 595736 (Ch 1), 592737 (Ch 2), 593737 (Ch 3)
Bass: 595148 (Ch 1), 592739 (Ch 2), 593739 (Ch 3)
Gain: 595792 (Ch 1), 592794 (Ch 2), 592794 (Ch 3)
Master: 595792 (Ch 1), 595792 (Ch 2), 595792 (Ch 3)
Presence: 595738 (Ch 1), 592737 (Ch 2), 595151 (Ch 3)
Output: 595148
Solo: 595148

COSMETICS:

The Rev C features a few cosmetic differences versus the later 3 channel models. Below are a few notable examples of cosmetic differences you will find...

The "Loop Active" script and brackets above the OUTPUT and SOLO knobs are missing on Rev C:

Image

Under the RECTIFIER logo, the "TM" trademark sign is present instead of the later "R" registered trademark:

Image

The "Loop Bypass" script on the FX Loop is on the left of the SEND LEVEL control as opposed to being between the SEND/RETURN jacks as on later models:

Image

CIRCUIT PICS:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Notice the different - and larger - filter caps on Rev C (pictured on top) compared to the others:

Image

THE TONE:

The Rev C was designed around the Mesa STR 430 6L6 tubes and the 561140 PT (as found on the Mark IV and 2 Channel Rev F and Rev G Rectifiers). This particular PT is the classic Rectifier tone of the 1990's, and it helps impart that tone on the early 3 channel models. In comparison to the 561160 PT that the Rectifier quickly transitioned to, the 561140 PT also has more sag WHEN USED IN SPONGY MODE, so flipping over to SPONGY allows you get a little more traditional sag as found on the 2 channel Rectifiers for the variac feel and slinky lead playing, especially when used with 5U4G rectifier tubes.

Tonally, this model (along with the very early Rev C+, covered in the next section) has been the closest to achieving a "2 channel Rectifier with a 3rd channel added" sound. The Rev C is close in sound to the 2 channel's Channel 1 Vintage High Gain while on Channel 2 Vintage, and to the 2 channel's Channel 2 Modern Red while on Channel 3 Modern. Whereas later 3 channel models tend to get overly bright, scooped, and a little fizzy sounding at times (as in, that extra buzz and high pitched fuzz/hair that sits on top of notes), the Rev C features none of it. In fact, I would venture to say that the Rev C has NO FIZZ in the high end!

The presence control on channel 3 is very usable and simply adds cut, attack, and bite. At no point on the dial does it start to introduce fizz or harsh frequencies unless in it's extreme regions. This is one of the more inherently dark Rectifiers I've ever played. In fact, the top end tends to be darker than that of a 2 channel Revision G! This may come as a surprise to those that characterize the 3 channel models as exceptionally bright or fizzy amps. I originally wondered if this was an anomaly and isolated to my first test model I acquired. However, I've now owned 3, and this has consistently held true for all of them.

Compared to the later versions, the Rev C feels a little more focused, with an urgent attack that helps notes stay tighter. The overall darker nature of the revision may be a contributor to that, as the lack of high end fizz/fuzz likely gives the perception of a tighter signal. The low end seems to thump and resonate at a slightly different frequency as well, allowing you to turn up the bass knob higher to get more of a "thump" and less of a "boom", though there's plenty of boom present if you want. The result is it makes the low end feel slightly bigger and more controllable.

For heavy rhythm, this is an amp I believe most could enjoy plugging directly into on channel 3. Boosting isn't necessary for typical rhythm work or heavy modern rock, although it would be necessary if you want that modern squishy pick attack on the notes. The amp has a nice girth plugged straight in, and almost sounds "bigger" without a boost with the bass up around 1:00 and the gain pushed to 2:00 or so to thicken up the signal.

THIS REVISION IS SUITABLE FOR...

...players that are looking for a Rectifier that has a darker voicing, with a controlled top end and minimal to no fizz/buzz, almost as if the top end is slightly low passed or "produced". Players who want bass that "punches" instead of "booms".

_________________
Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


Last edited by Silverwulf on Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Placeholder for Rev C+

UPDATE COMING SOON!

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Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


Last edited by Silverwulf on Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Placeholder for Rev D

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Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


Last edited by Silverwulf on Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:20 pm 
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Placeholder for Rev E

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Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


Last edited by Silverwulf on Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:20 pm 
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Extra Placeholder if Needed

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Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:16 pm 
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Mark II

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Great info. Silverwulf rules!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:05 am 
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This is awesome, Jack.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:53 am 
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This is awesome to see!! Thank you Silverwulf!

By the way, I have a 3 ch non-multiwatt Dual Rec with serial R-043595 if you need pics of it since its close to that end of C+ beginning of E boundary.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:43 am 
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WMHaze wrote:
This is awesome to see!! Thank you Silverwulf!

By the way, I have a 3 ch non-multiwatt Dual Rec with serial R-043595 if you need pics of it since its close to that end of C+ beginning of E boundary.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this!


Thanks! That one should unquestionably be a Rev E based in everything else I've seen. I have access to a Rev E that a buddy owns that I'm going to borrow to document, but I just haven't had time to do it yet. I'll hopefully have that done in a week or two. I have everything for the Rev C+ update, just need to take a few and do it, likely in the next couple of days.

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Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:48 pm 
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I'm way behind on updating, but have lots of stuff to add. Items of note:

Confirmed early Rev C+ also used the 561140 PT.
Narrowed down the serial number range between C -> C+.
Confirmed the existence of Rev D.

Will try to get the Rev C+ entry updated this weekend.

_________________
Boogie user of 20+ years, previous owner of 150+ Rectos, author of the previous "2 Channel Recto User Guide" and current "3 Channel Recto User Guide" (in progress).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Mark II

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Excellent, looking forward to the info!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:17 am 
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Mark III

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Thank you so much for your hard work on this great research project!

This 'revision changelog' should have been started 20 years ago by mesa instead of claiming the modern rectos still have the original voice.

From my point of view only a litte percentage of that original recto sound and feel have been 'reborn'.

Please keep on updating :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

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Hi mate,

Any update to this. I have a 2005 DR Solo head with ser no: R-043***. Would you have any idea which revision it is?

Cheers,
Jim


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:08 pm 
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APEMAN wrote:
Thank you so much for your hard work on this great research project!

This 'revision changelog' should have been started 20 years ago by mesa instead of claiming the modern rectos still have the original voice.

From my point of view only a litte percentage of that original recto sound and feel have been 'reborn'.

Please keep on updating :D


That way they could not call the amp Dual rectifier anymore ;D good mythos is always more appealing than listed facts and recorded reasoning/activities process... they still have to sell these amps as the other side projects than mark/recto haven't catched the wind (that may not be proper english way of expressing it but...) so well :P

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