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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:56 am
Posts: 133
Im about to pull the trigger on this amp as i always wanted one but went with a mark v as they were so hard to find and now they are discontinued.Now one has come up, im considering selling the V and going for the royal.I have no way of trying before buying so need as much info as possible beforehand.How does this amp sound through the oversized recto 4x12 with v30's?It the slant version.Also i picked up an open back 1x12 widebody for cleans with the V.Anyone tried this with the royal?Also is there anyone major issues with this amp.Like common complaints.For example a lot of people dont get along with the gain channel on the lonestar.Has the royal any similar complaints?Ive searched through this forum a lot and noisey reverb seems to be one and it can be overly bright.From any audio comparisons with the V it seems to be much smoother and fuller, so just wondering if the overly bright complaint has any truth.Anyway if people can just give opinions on these 2 cabs and their love/hates of this amp it would be much appreciated.Cheers


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2087
Location: North Carolina
I love my RA100 with the oversized recto 412, slant front with V30's. I bought the RA100 used but did not have a cab for it at the time. Bought an Egnator cab and installed my old V30's I pulled from a 16 year old Recto cab that I was using my Mark V with (loaded it with EV). I thought the V30's sounded great so I ordered a new Recto 412 cab with the matching salt and pepper grill cloth though sweetwater. The new cab just blew me away. Yes, the amp can be bright on the Hi/Lo channel but that is easy to fix with drop in treble and use the mid to dial in as this also seems to act as a presence control. I would recommend the V30 with the head especially in a 412 closed back cabinet. However, if you opted for the RA100 Combo I would recommend change of the speakers to the Celestion G12H75 as these sound best in the partially open combo as I have one of these too. As for noise on the reverb.... I do not have much of an issue in that regard. I did have one issue with my head that happed today. It may be a tube related issue so I would not panic on the amp. The head with 412 cab is a beast in comparison to the combo. Since I bought both of my RA100's used, one has a notable mod which does not bother me as it was a patch to the rear of the chassis for the input. The head on the other hand may have also been modified, one of the owners chipped out the ceramic sockets probably to use other types of tubes. I had to mark where the pin guide is on each tube socket so I do not install a power tube out of index. I wish I had bought the head new. The combo was mint other than the extra input on the back of the chassis.

I would not use the RA100 with a 1x12 90W speaker unless you plan on keeping it at the 50W power. Not that the amp sound bad or anything as the 50W mode is really great but I prefer the punch in the face of the 100W out of the V30 loaded 412. I also have loaded up my old recto cab with the G12H75, not bad with the RA100, the V30 is the way to go with this amp with the exception of the combo (if it was a closed back combo that would be different).

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JP-2C HD
MARK V C
ROADSTER HD
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:22 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:56 am
Posts: 133
Ah excellent.Cheers for the reply.Just need to get this deal sorted with the seller online and I should have one soon hopefully


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:17 am 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2087
Location: North Carolina
I would as if there have been any modifications to the amplifier if they were the original owner. This would be a general question I would ask about any tube amp before buying.

When I bought a Stiletto Deuce online though GC, I have not been able to play it first. For starters, it was not exactly in the condition I expected it to be in. Also sounded terrible or shrill. I opened it up and noticed a few components that looked out of place and confirmed it was a mod after seeing an image of the internals of one that was in its original form. Took the amp chassis into work and removed the mod as it did not replace any components but it did bypass a few components near a tube circuit. The amp sounded great after the removal of the mod. However, I was after something different so I returned the amp and traded it in for the RA100 Combo that was at a local GC. I called into the store where I saw it, asked to hold if for me so I could pick it up the next day. What?, no casters? When the amp was sold to GC the last owner installed the Mesa 6L6 STR440 tubes, first tip off was the EL34 light was off, the second was the amp sounded terrible, but I knew why. Got it home, changed the tubes and was blown away buy its sound. I could tell the V30's had been removed at one point as the solder joints did not look proper. Must have used cheap lead free solder. At that point I decided to change the speakers with the G12H75 and again was blown away with how it sounded. Had to compare it to my head thought the 412 and it sounded identical. Despite the weight of the amp, I love it in combo form. However it is a monster though a 412 cab with V30.

The character of the clean channel seems to have more low end to it. that can be dialed down with the bass control and compensated with the treble and mid control of channel one. What I love about the clean channel, you can push the gain and get a vintage like distortion with lots of overhead. It has about the same gain range as the Roadster CH1 set to tweed. When you get it, definitely experiment with the clean channel as there is more there than you would think.

The Hi/lo channel in lo is amazing. It can be bright if you use the common mesa thinking in setting up your tone controls. Do not fear the bass control. I usually set it aroung 2oclock. The treble can be dropped and use mid control to bleed in the treble. Same would apply to the Hi setting. The Hi setting is the monser crunch and packs a punch. It fallw in between the Mark IV mode of the Mark V and the Modern voice of CH3 on the Roadster.

To take it up a notch, add some overdrive or compressor to the front end and an EQ in the loop. The RA100 has got to be one of my favoirite Mesa amps to date. Unfortunately I am having an issue with the RA100 head at the moment. It is unclear what had happened, but this issue is not common either so I would not worry about it.

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MARK V C
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:45 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:56 am
Posts: 133
Cheers for the replies bandit.You seem to know this amp well as Ive seen you regularly post on it.Yes, thats one risk we have to take buying used without being able to try.Looks like this shop rents backline,so it would be unlikely the amp was modded.It has been on one tour apparently and theres a few scuff marks on the tolex.Seems to be in good nick though,but ya never know til you get it.Ill be swapping power tubes as soon as i get it.Particularly this amp due to the attenuator.Its such a difficult amp to find the royal, that when one popped up i felt i had to go for it.It means selling my mark v but tbh as much as the amp does,and theres no denying its quality,ive never truly been bowled over by the tone.I much prefer a british style gain thats on the loose side.I find the mark can lack a bit of character on the gain side.Also before i got the mark it was the royal i was after.Just couldnt be found.Im weary of losing the cleans though.It seems the royal has good reviews regarding cleans but i wont know til i get it.While i do like the mark v cleans i feel its missing some weight in the lower mids and can seem a tad thinny sometimes.Although with the sale of the mark v i should have enough cash to pick up a dedicated clean amp if need be.Hopefully i wont need to though.One question for you though,how does the clean channel feel to play compared to the mark v(i notice you have one also)?Theres plenty of give in the strings on the mark compared to say the lonestar classic.I tried a mates lonestar recently and found it very stiff compared to the mark which had a more spongy feel.I found the mark to be far more enjoyable to play.Would the royals cleans feel like the marks or are they stiff also?I found a thread from a few years back where the poster complained of the cleans being very stiff and unforgiving.Its the only post i have found that made me have 2nd thoughts.Cheers


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2087
Location: North Carolina
The amp is not a Fender blackface by any means. The mark series amps on the other hand are somewhat derived from Fender circuits where as the Royal Atlantic, Electra dyne and perhaps the Stiletto were sort of modeled after the Mars lander from Brittan (I was going to type the word Marshall but some are offended by such language).

I may have written past my limit here. Sorry for long post. Note: I got my RA100 head working again. Must have been some dust causing an impedance issue on one of the relay terminals. Cleaned the amp with compressed air and seems to be in working order again.

It is obvious the cleans will not be clear an pristine as the Mark V or the Roadster on that regard but after comparison, the clean channel of the RA100 is very similar to the Roadster CH set to fat, channel power at 100W and tube rectifier tracking. The RA100 is in your face type of amp and will respond with pick attack as it is more forward in character. The clean is very versatile. I would call the character smooth and bold as it does seem to emphasis the low end similar to the Roadster. It is not dark like Roadster but similar. Hard to say how much sag is there, you can hear it when you decide to blow out your ear drums, more so present on the Hi/lo channel than on the clean as it has huge headroom. It is something you need to get used too with the RA100 and once you do the rest seem like they are missing something. The Roadster in comparison has a bit more sag to it especially with the spongy power setting which is similar to the Mark V variac mode. The RA100 does not have a variac control or extra tap on the input transformer. The output transformer of the RA100 is also different and much larger than that of the Roadster or Mark V. When you consider the RA100, think vintage tone except for the Hi voice of the second channel which is more of a modern push on the vintage character. The Mark V ch1 tweed setting is far more forward than the RA100 Clean channel. For blues style as well as vintage rock I prefer to use either of the RA100's which is the reason why I bought the first one. However, since I have loaded my RA100 combo up with Mullard CV4004 and Mullard EL34 (V3 is the only odd ball which is a 12AT7 for the effects loop buffer) the amp sounds incredible like a hyper Marshal JC something or another but only better as it still has a Mesa character to it. The Mullard EL34 are definitely hot tubes, Tung Sol EL34b are a bit milder and almost close to the SED EL34 (probably the best I have used in the RA100). I found the Mesa EL34 to be a little harsh sounding, not exactly brittle or sterile like you get with the Mark V, but probably a reason why some may not like the RA100. The amp sound way better with Mullard (re-issue), SED, or if you so desire to pay the extra coil get the Mesa EL34 STR 450 Siemens NOS. I would rate the Mullards second to the SED (which are now NOS and out of production). Mullards on the other hand have not done the typical EL34 tube rattle yet. It will put a little hair into the clean channel though. As for other preamp tubes, the Mullard reissue 12AX7A long plate is nice but some can be noisy and make a ping noise with channel changes. At least there are no Cathode follower circuits used by any of the 12AX7A tubes (V1, V2, V4, V5, V6 and V7) so you can use just about any 12AX7 tube. Tubes can be expensive, I would probably start with the Mesa EL34 tubes and move on from there. More than likely the amp will have stock tubes in it if it was used as a rental. Stock Mesa tubes will be marked as STR 447. One tube to avoid would be the Mesa 6L6 STR 440, I thought those made the amp sound like poo. A better alternative that rings out as a great 6L6 that I have used in the head was the SED 6L6GC, the amp still sounded like it had EL34 but cleaner so the basic tone is not lost. The Mesa 6L6 tube has a different characteristic that seems better for the Rectifier amp or the Mark V.
As for the Mark V, I did not bond with that amp until I figured out how to reduce the bias on the center pair of power tubes so I can keep from red plating Mesa branded tubes, I did that after I converted the head to combo, then installed the Celestion 90W Crème Alnico Speaker. That is sweet combination. it is still a bright amp but now it seems to be less brittle. The speaker helps a great deal though.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:47 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:56 am
Posts: 133
Thanks so much for going into such deal bandit.Much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:15 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2087
Location: North Carolina
I thought I posted something else but not there.....

I will try to repost it but without preamp tube suggestions.

Since I got the head working again, I decided to use the Mesa EL34 instead of the SED EL34.
They actually sound great once they heat up after playing. So never mind the earlier comment about them.

A revisit on the clean channel, it is more of an American circuit so it does sound like a Fender 65 twin reverb but in a Mesa sort of way. The Mark V ch1 fat does have a really great sound to it depending on what type of guitar you are using. If you have a Combo the airy dryness of the bass and the chime of the treble, it is easy to approximate an acoustic tone with an electric guitar. I think that was one character of the amp that I would find hard to part with. I did try running the RA100 thought the Jensen blackbird when I had it installed in the Mark V combo. Wow, the RA100 does have some good qualities to it. Clean on the RA100 is great for blues, and if you want it dirty just bump up the gain. Yet with single coil guitar or even a SSS guitar with the mini humbuckers it sounds really nice. As I said, it is similar to the Roadster Fat voice on CH1, when you boost the gain it behaves more like the tweed on the Roadster. Mark V tweed is not a very good circuit, at least to me it is not but it all boils down to control settings.

Since the RA100 is simple in terms of controls it is hard to get a terrible sound from it unless you are exploring the gain limits and volume to get an endless feedback. With the RA100, you will find you will be using your volume control on your guitar much more than you ever did. It is quite dynamic and touch sensitivity is reactive to your playing, reason for it being more forward than lagging and slumping. I will Sag at higher volume levels so it does take on a spongy feel, but yet remains tight and not quite loose or muddy as you may find with the Roadster or Mark V if you dial in too much bass. Not quite so with the RA100 on the Hi./lo channel. I have heard similar comments on the JP-2C which is what I am thinking for my next amp.

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RA100 HD
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:03 am 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2087
Location: North Carolina
I did not notice your other post on clean channel. Great that someone recorded it for you.

I did the same, for the setup; NT1-A condenser mic to capture the room characteristic, SM-57 mic on the lower left speaker of the 412, and the third signal was from the Rock Crusher Recording attenuator. Amp was set at 100W. In addition but did not think about it until after was the digital reverb in the effects loop. Strymon BigSky. I also had the reverb turned on the amp. I did not use the foot switch so the clicks you hear are me changing the pickup selector as the condenser mic gain setting may have been too high.

First up, Clean channel but the gain was boosted twice. Sorry for the sloppy playing.
https://soundcloud.com/user-353100000/ra100hscleanwav

Now for something completely different. Vintage Hi. mix of something. Not rehearsed either. But this should give you a good idea of the sag of the amp or sponginess when you hammer a power cord.
https://soundcloud.com/user-353100000/r ... tage-hiwav

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MARK V C
ROADSTER HD
RA100 HD
RA100 C


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:42 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:56 am
Posts: 133
Ah cheers for doing some recordings bandit.You have been very helpful man.I do enjoy reading your long posts.Very informative.What guitar ar e you using on the clean by the way?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:30 pm 
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Dual Recto

Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Posts: 2087
Location: North Carolina
I am using a Carvin/Kiesel CT624C. Similar to a PRS, but not. I have played a few of those but prefer Carvin now Kiesel but same company.

Floyd Rose equipped 24 fret, royal ebony fretboard, quilted maple top wood over mahogany body and neck. Neck has dual action truss rod and carbon fiber reinforcement rods. Carvin S22 metal covered pickups (more of a vintage sounding pickup), actually they are my preference on most of my Carvin guitars.
Most of my recordings were made with the Bolt C guitar (similar to a strat but with Floyd Rose bridge, black limba body, 1/4" thick flamed maple top, maple walnut neck with birds eye maple fretboard.) in bottom picture it is on the left. Both guitars are priceless to me as I fear they would be hard to replace. I think there was one song I did called Denial that I used one of my DC400 (3 piece walnut body with maple walnut neck though and active tone controls) as for background. Most of the lead work done with the Bolt C. If you have not listened to my other stuff, click on the user name to see the tracks. Not all the same style as I vary what I play. Most just ideas. Sounds better with the bass and drums, though about adding it but left it out for emphasis on the amp and speaker cab. I sort of play drums and bass too but for only a little over a year now. Check them out if you want to. I will not hold you to it. Also note on some of my older work I used a Boss GT-100 for the recording as I found some difficulty mic-ing the amp without some loss in tone. I figured it out though and an attenuator helps too. Few tricks to learn. Also in the recordings I did, I had too much attenuation since you can hear the string and pick from the condenser mic I placed outside of the room to capture ambience. I did not use the power soak on the amp but I could have come to think of it.


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Another picture, guitar on the right.

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