Is boosting a Recto overrated?

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Nomad100
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Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by Nomad100 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:45 pm

Had a gig last Sat night at a local club. Two sets, mixing covers with hard rock/metal originals.

My live rig consists of a Multi-Watt Dual Rectifier pushing a 4-12 loaded with Eminence v-12's (They are the 16 ohm Krank versions), using only a delay in the loop for solos. No other effects.
Decided to leave the boost pedal at home (I usually switch between a Boss SD-1, Bad Monkey, and an old DOD Juice Box... which is killer).

Have to say, I think my rhythm tone on channel 2 modern was better without the boost. Nice sustain and compression, but also seemed to sound more open. For lack of a better term, the sound was wider.
Low end was not flubby... something I was afraid of without the boost.
Channel three vintage is my lead channel. I think I missed a little sustain the boost would give, but it still sounded killer. Jacked the preamp gain a touch and it was perfect.

Any of my fellow Recto users go without boosting? I'm not sure if I'll go back to using one.

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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by tbonesullivan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:01 pm

IMHO, boosting a high gain amplifier is kinda redundant. Originally you boosted your Non Master Volume Marshall to get the input stage cooking, which then went down the line and put everything into overdrive right into the power tubes. With modern amp designs, it really isn't necessary. You may gain more from a Post Gain EQ in the loop, which can help further refine the sound.
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by Mattayus » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:08 pm

I go on and off with mine, depending on the song. I use a Maxon OD808 with gain at 0, tone at 12 o'clock and balance all the way up. So, when I kick it off, there's quite a bit of a drop in gain, since the boost is doing about 50% of the work, but it's absolutely perfect for the not-so-heavy stuff.

I'm in a covers/originals band, and I guess you could say my main heavy rhythm tone is channel 3 modern with the 808 on. I have channel 2 on modern too but dialled in much smoother. Same volume as channel 3 though. I flick between 2 and 3 depending on the song, and the boost also goes on and off depending on the song.

So for example, Iron Maiden, Alice in Chains, King's X numbers are all channel 2 with the boost on, with a round, more mid-rich tone dialled in. RATM, Soundgarden, Sabbath, all channel 2 with the boost off. Pantera, Metallica, Lamb of God, Machine Head etc (and all our originals) is all channel 3 with boost on. Then I just stomp on the solo boost + my delay in the loop for a lead sound for whichever channel I'm on.

I'm actually contemplating changing channel 2's mode to Vintage, so there's even MORE of a contrast between the two channels (otherwise what's the point, right?) so I get more of that Marshall cream factor for those sorts of bands, and then channel 3 remains the real tight modern metal thing.

So to answer your question - It's subjective. For the kind of rock/metal tones I personally enjoy (and am trying to emulate) a boost is absolutely necessary and I simply couldn't get that response/feel any other way with the Rectifier. However, that's not to say that I don't absolutely ADORE the tone of the rectifier without a boost, and for certain tones there simply isn't anything quite like it, it's just not conducive to producing the tone and feel for my own riffing.
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3124+
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by 3124+ » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:09 pm

I never boost.

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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by screamingdaisy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:59 pm

Rectos have never needed a boost.

But, for some reason around 7 years ago the internet decided that Rectos needed a boost. It roughly coincided with guitarists deciding that lower output alnico pickups were better than high output ceramic.

If people did a better job choosing their pickups maybe they wouldn't need a boost to tighten things up.

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IMO/YMMV
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by Mattayus » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:41 am

I think those of you who don't (won't?) boost are looking at it the wrong way. It's not about necessity. At least it shouldn't be. It's about flavour and feel. A clean boost isn't about adding gain, it's about changing the character of your signal, and the subsequent response from the amp. Boosting a rectifier doesn't mean "this is an amp that needs a boost". The fact that you CAN boost a recto and it sounds amazing either way is a testament to its versatility.

I'd much rather have an amp like my rectifier where you can boost it, it is certainly an option (not a necessity) and it sounds great with both, just depends how you want to use it. My Engl Savage 120 on the other hand... it already sounds like it's got about 7 daisy-chained tubesceamers just by going straight in. That makes it an incredibly one-trick pony. The distortion structure and the low end bloom on a rectifier make it so that you can have a very loose, massive, saturated thick wall of tone. Or, you can dial that out for tighter tones. OR you can also enhance the tight, percussive, modern kind of tones like the Savage out of it too by kicking on a boost. But if you don't want that, that's an option.

There aren't many amps where you can get great tones with both... it's usually one or the other.
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by deeman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:15 am

Never boost. Use the love 'em or hate 'em 490r/498t pups.

I will add reverb and or delay to my cleans and I like to mix in chorus and a phaser at times, but no boost.

I use the solo switch if I need a volume boost.
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by tbonesullivan » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:37 pm

deeman wrote:Never boost. Use the love 'em or hate 'em 490r/498t pups.

I will add reverb and or delay to my cleans and I like to mix in chorus and a phaser at times, but no boost.

I use the solo switch if I need a volume boost.
And, the 490R and 498T ARE Alnico pickups, and honestly not that hot. Even with a set of SD Alnico PRo IIs or 59s you should still be able to get insane levels of gain from a Rectifier.

But if you want Chugga Chugga, you really should be using higher output A5 or Ceramic pickups, like the Gibson 496R/500T, Duncan Custom, etc etc. Dimarzio makes a very wide selection of high output passive humbuckers that still have nice articulation.
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by Eevil » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:34 pm

It is overrated :) playing the leads or solos without boost makes you a better player in long run. For getting the certain feel the boost may be okay... Also in live situation the more effortless feel may be fun at a times. I've got huge amount of gain even with single coils (let's be fair and say 'enough gain') but the amount of low end may be too much for people coming from Marshall world...

Except the Roadster ch 2/Brit with boost is great ;)
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by stephen sawall » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:15 pm

Guitar
Rockett IQ Compressor
Event Horizon Precision Drive
Amp

I find the Precision Drive takes away too much bass for my taste. The gate works flawless and feels natural. With the Attack control you can get the bass super tight. Using the IQ EQ you can bring back the bass lost with the Precision Drive. You can very much thicken the sound with the IQ Compressor. Using a very small amount of Mix to control the feel and dynamics with the compression. I did not try other EQ pedals but would expect similar results.

I tried this with several guitars in various tunnings with a Mesa Tremoverb Dual Rectifier and Mark IV, Diezel VH4 and Einstein. Have not tried it with the Deliverance 120 yet.

I don't think you can get a more modern focused sound for rhythm playing. It made the Tremoverb as tight as a Fryette. The combination of the gate and compression is really key to controlling this type of sound.
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by tbonesullivan » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:43 am

I guess I should come back to add that a strat is the only thing I would consider boosting into a recto, or maybe a pre-EQ to get more oomph in the signal for lead passages. But with the noise, that can also be an issue. I just don't like how strat single coils sound with high gain.

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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by Shemham » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:32 pm

This is highly subjective matter as any "is item X necessary"-question and depends on combination of various factors:

- What style of music do you play? (Jazz, blues, rock, extreme metal - you name it)
- How do you play your guitar? (soft touch, very legato <-> heavy handed, percussive)
- How is guitar your guitar setup? (light strings, low action <-> moderate to heavy strings and action, etc.)
- What type of sound you try to get out of the amp? Does your setup and approach match to your own ideals - or reality to that extent?

I don't think Rectos NEED boost to perform well. Regardless, boosting can add to your tonal palette as it allows different response and tone than you would get without. However, if you can achieve everything you want without a boost pedal, then there obviously redundant. As scremingdaisy said, if you're doing something by assuming it's necessary 'because the Internet said so,' you are not really making any effort to study the amp itself. Similarly, if one assume that Rectos perform most optimally as such without any shaping because 'because they're Rectos goddammit, and Mesa has optimized them so the fault is in me if something doesn't work as I'd like,' then that person is as much guilty of ignorance IMO.

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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by silentbob » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:12 pm

I put channel one of my Road King on the tweed setting and boost that for more saturation, or when I use a single coil on the other channels, but that's the only time I do it.

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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by domct203 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:39 am

Are delay pedals overrated? What about modulation pedals?

I look at the boost the same way, just more flavors in my 'awesome sauce' LOL.
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Re: Is boosting a Recto overrated?

Post by Nomad100 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:40 am

Update to my first post.

The original band I'm in had an opening slot last week for a somewhat popular early 90's metal band. We played our C tuning set, as it's our heaviest material (Think Maiden, Priest, Queensryche, NWOBHM, but in C tuning).

During soundcheck, I was turning on and off a Boss SD-1. The results were dramatic. With the boost on, the sound was noticeably tighter and more harmonically rich.
Playing cover songs in standard tuning was fine with or without a boost, but playing detuned heavier music requires it. Just to flubby and undefined when it was turned off.

I played our entire set with the SD-1 on and couldn't be happier.

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