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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Posts: 8
Hi,

I need a bit of help. So, I have played emulations of various amps using Guitar Rig5 through my PA. The PA is fine but I like playing through an amp better. I have an old Peavey Backstage 110 (SS 65W) with a Timmy and OCD, but have been itching to get a tube amp. Anyway, I'd tried the Fender, Marshall, Orange, Hiwatt, Vox - all cool in their own way but none really sang. Then, I tried the emulation of an MB Dual Rect and almost had a stroke. The tone is huge, thrilling and deeply satisfying. I play Rush, ACDC, LZ, Yes, basic classic/prog rock. I'm not a gigging musician - just bedroom. Anyway, I was looking at the 100W Roadster combo - it seems like it's a match for the emulation (wikipedia just says it's an MB Dual Rect). Is it just too damn loud to use? (Attenuator?) Since I probably won't really be able to try it out ahead of time (they only have two small MB's at my GC) I figured I'd ask the experts (you) what you think would be a good choice. I'm new to MB amps and looking to learn. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:53 am 
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Mark III
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Posts: 382
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A bit more info on how you play; you like soloing? I'll get back to that.

I have the Roadster head so I'll throw in my 2 cents. First, the Roadster combo is a H-E-A-V-Y amp. Check the specs. The Head is reasonably heavy on it's own at around 22kg. A 2x12 Cab is around 27.5kg and 'reasonably' compact. So maybe consider the benefits of a separate head/cab for weight reasons. Best to save your back if you're moving and lifting amps around.

Wattage: Roadster is 100W.... also has 50W setting. If it's what you need, then great.

Sounds: Great sound and tone but needs work and understanding how to dial it in. Best advice I've read on this site: close your eyes and dial it in.... seems to be the 'norm' for Mesa amps. If you look at the dials and dial it in as say, a Marshall, you'll probably be disappointed. The tone controls B,M,T are 'interactive' with each other and moving one affects the other. Increasing gain and volume also affects the tone.

With these amps, low volume can sound fizzy/buzzy and may annoy you trying to dial this out. High volume makes recto amps sing, so if you're after low volume and expect 'something great' best to consider other options such as the mini-Rec or mini-Mark. Software emulations sound great at any volume because they have to.... you're not expected to crank volume on your headset damaging your ears so they have to sound good at most volume levels. Real amps vs emulations can be (and are) very different beasts. ANother thing is emulations don't really have that fizziness and buzziness.... they are always emulated to sound 'the best' as per a real amp sounding it's 'best'.... so consider that, too.

I'll get back to my first statement: I've always said recto amps are great rhythm machines.... they really pump and sound huge. For soloing, I find they lack fluidity and sustain... don't expect 'Santana-violin-type' lead sounds. The amp can sound and play a bit 'stiff'. For example, hammer-ons / pull-offs / legato playing could be a bit troublesome; the notes can sound 'staccato-ish', so to speak, because the amps is dynamic and very unforgiving. The amp needs help in this department and a good overdrive pedal can help here. Many use TS-type pedals to tighten up the tone and depending how it's set can compress the signal a little bit for 'lead' sounds. I use a combination of pedals, sometimes cascading one into another. One pedal is to push the amp so it still sounds 'natural' but makes it a bit easier to play and the other I kick in for lead playing so I don't feel like I'm fighting the amp. I find a very small amount of compression helps, too, just to even out the dynamics a bit when having the gain low. All my gear is controlled by midi-foot contoller and midi-patchbay. It's just easier foe me but a simple setup is possible, too.

Just another bit of info that can maybe help: an EQ in front and in the loop can do wonders if you're having trouble with the tone. Both EQ's do different things; the front end EQ can be shaped to push certain frequencies to drive earlier (or drive more) for example. One in the loop can be used to control the overall tone or act as a volume boost or cut.

Now, the bands you've listed aren't 'recto' playing bands (in my head I *think* Alex of Rush used one at one stage but I could be wrong). Marshall is pretty much the norm here so *don't* expect to get a recto to sound like a Marshall. You can 'kind-of' get there but you'll never get there. I've got close with pedals, experimenting using the Clean-Pushed channel on the Rectoverb amp I had; I can get close on the Roadster for sure but I haven't tried yet. Most likely the Ch1 or 2 Tweed or Brit mode would do it, I'm sure. I've got heaps of pedals to experiment with so I'm definitely not short of anything. Unfortunately I can't tell you what pedal or combination of pedals gets very close for an ACDC type sound, for example.

If at all possible and make a serious attempt because it's money your spending, test drive a real amp rather than listen to software based simulations, they are very different and each have their use and purposes.

You've also stated that it'll be a 'bedroom' amp...... TBH, a Roadster isn't a bedroom amp. It's a great amp for sure and commands it's own space and volume, as most powerful amps do. The cool factor is there, no doubt, but the cool factor can quickly become a disappointment, too.

Consider the above points and anything else others write. Don't just buy the amp because it's a Mesa and it's the coolest amp in the street. Buy an amp that will do what you want it to do. Emotional versus practical are very different things and they don't often meet.

Anyway, hope you get more responses and advice.

-B

_________________
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If you're interested in the chicken head knob replacement on my Roadster amp, go here:
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:05 pm
Posts: 14
Also maybe check out the Mark V 35, I had one for over a year and it's often overlooked but the crunch mode on channel one with some mid boost will give you great classic rock tones up to some early thrash metal with the right pickups, can be had in combo or head and very compact either way. I prefer the seperate head cabinet version myself as combos with open backs don't have the same punch in my opinion. The cleans are awesome as well and with the GEQ you can get tons of tones from this little guy and sound great at low volumes. Either way maybe order from Sweetwater the guys there are great and a very good return policy. Best of luck!!!

Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:09 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Posts: 8
Blaklynx wrote:
A bit more info on how you play; you like soloing? I'll get back to that.

I have the Roadster head so I'll throw in my 2 cents. First, the Roadster combo is a H-E-A-V-Y amp. Check the specs. The Head is reasonably heavy on it's own at around 22kg. A 2x12 Cab is around 27.5kg and 'reasonably' compact. So maybe consider the benefits of a separate head/cab for weight reasons. Best to save your back if you're moving and lifting amps around.

Wattage: Roadster is 100W.... also has 50W setting. If it's what you need, then great.

Sounds: Great sound and tone but needs work and understanding how to dial it in. Best advice I've read on this site: close your eyes and dial it in.... seems to be the 'norm' for Mesa amps. If you look at the dials and dial it in as say, a Marshall, you'll probably be disappointed. The tone controls B,M,T are 'interactive' with each other and moving one affects the other. Increasing gain and volume also affects the tone.

With these amps, low volume can sound fizzy/buzzy and may annoy you trying to dial this out. High volume makes recto amps sing, so if you're after low volume and expect 'something great' best to consider other options such as the mini-Rec or mini-Mark. Software emulations sound great at any volume because they have to.... you're not expected to crank volume on your headset damaging your ears so they have to sound good at most volume levels. Real amps vs emulations can be (and are) very different beasts. ANother thing is emulations don't really have that fizziness and buzziness.... they are always emulated to sound 'the best' as per a real amp sounding it's 'best'.... so consider that, too.

I'll get back to my first statement: I've always said recto amps are great rhythm machines.... they really pump and sound huge. For soloing, I find they lack fluidity and sustain... don't expect 'Santana-violin-type' lead sounds. The amp can sound and play a bit 'stiff'. For example, hammer-ons / pull-offs / legato playing could be a bit troublesome; the notes can sound 'staccato-ish', so to speak, because the amps is dynamic and very unforgiving. The amp needs help in this department and a good overdrive pedal can help here. Many use TS-type pedals to tighten up the tone and depending how it's set can compress the signal a little bit for 'lead' sounds. I use a combination of pedals, sometimes cascading one into another. One pedal is to push the amp so it still sounds 'natural' but makes it a bit easier to play and the other I kick in for lead playing so I don't feel like I'm fighting the amp. I find a very small amount of compression helps, too, just to even out the dynamics a bit when having the gain low. All my gear is controlled by midi-foot contoller and midi-patchbay. It's just easier foe me but a simple setup is possible, too.

Just another bit of info that can maybe help: an EQ in front and in the loop can do wonders if you're having trouble with the tone. Both EQ's do different things; the front end EQ can be shaped to push certain frequencies to drive earlier (or drive more) for example. One in the loop can be used to control the overall tone or act as a volume boost or cut.

Now, the bands you've listed aren't 'recto' playing bands (in my head I *think* Alex of Rush used one at one stage but I could be wrong). Marshall is pretty much the norm here so *don't* expect to get a recto to sound like a Marshall. You can 'kind-of' get there but you'll never get there. I've got close with pedals, experimenting using the Clean-Pushed channel on the Rectoverb amp I had; I can get close on the Roadster for sure but I haven't tried yet. Most likely the Ch1 or 2 Tweed or Brit mode would do it, I'm sure. I've got heaps of pedals to experiment with so I'm definitely not short of anything. Unfortunately I can't tell you what pedal or combination of pedals gets very close for an ACDC type sound, for example.

If at all possible and make a serious attempt because it's money your spending, test drive a real amp rather than listen to software based simulations, they are very different and each have their use and purposes.

You've also stated that it'll be a 'bedroom' amp...... TBH, a Roadster isn't a bedroom amp. It's a great amp for sure and commands it's own space and volume, as most powerful amps do. The cool factor is there, no doubt, but the cool factor can quickly become a disappointment, too.

Consider the above points and anything else others write. Don't just buy the amp because it's a Mesa and it's the coolest amp in the street. Buy an amp that will do what you want it to do. Emotional versus practical are very different things and they don't often meet.

Anyway, hope you get more responses and advice.

-B


Thank you so much for that staggeringly helpful response. Sounds like, as with most things in life, reality is quite different than the emulation. I'll take a look at some others. Their is an f50 nearby - sounded pretty good on youtube ;-)

Have a great day!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:11 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Posts: 8
UpNorthMark wrote:
Also maybe check out the Mark V 35, I had one for over a year and it's often overlooked but the crunch mode on channel one with some mid boost will give you great classic rock tones up to some early thrash metal with the right pickups, can be had in combo or head and very compact either way. I prefer the seperate head cabinet version myself as combos with open backs don't have the same punch in my opinion. The cleans are awesome as well and with the GEQ you can get tons of tones from this little guy and sound great at low volumes. Either way maybe order from Sweetwater the guys there are great and a very good return policy. Best of luck!!!

Mark


Awesome thought Mark, thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:57 pm
Posts: 4483
Location: South of Heaven
4piece wrote:
I play Rush, ACDC, LZ, Yes, basic classic/prog rock.


If possible, I suggest going to a store and trying out some Marshalls. On the Mesa side, try out the TC-50 or the Mark V.

Classic examples of a Rectifier sound is Soundgarden's Superunknown, Limp Bizkit, Blink 182, etc. They have a very percussive response with a grinding top end that is great for rhythm since with a bit of volume they pound like a sledgehammer. They're designed to produce a lot of distortion with not a lot of compression, which helps retain dynamics when playing rhythm but can make playing lead more difficult on them.

Marks are more common for prog since they have a lot of compression/sustain, are super articulate and cut like a knife. The Mark V is a swiss army knife of an amp with a lot of different sounds in it. I think it excels at really high gain and clean/pushed clean and it's weak point is that mid-gain Marshall kind of territory. It can do mid-gain fine, but it's such a tight/articulate amp that it doesn't have that forgiving feel that Marshalls have.

The TC-50 is a new amp for Mesa. I think it's a good choice here because it does a really good job with mid-gain. It has a couple of mid boost switches on it that can tighten it up for higher gain applications, or loosen it up for lower gain applications. It's lead channel has Mark levels of sustain and compression with a more natural, easier to dial in voice while it's crunch channel can sweep through Plexi/JCM800 era sounds depending upon where you set it. I think it's Mesa's best take on the Fender clean/Marshall crunch/Boogie lead thus far.

I originally picked up the TC-50 because I'm playing lead in a classic rock band, but I'm pleased with how versatile it is since I can use it for both classic and modern material.

_________________
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

|| McCarty | Les Paul | Custom 24 ||
|| Cantrell Wah | Rotovibe | Phase 90 | Grid Slammer ||
|| Triple Crown 50 | Recto 2x12/4x12 ||

|| Jazz Bass | Bass Strategy | PH410 ||


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:18 pm
Posts: 78
The F50 that you mentioned is a good amp (i had one for a while) but i found it not that versatile really compared to other Mesa's. The overdrive is kind of a cross between a Rectifier and a Mk series. Very cool if its your thing but i personally enjoy the Mini Rectifier i have now more.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:37 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:51 am
Posts: 129
What I find with the Dual Rectoverb (the little 25 W model, switchable to 10W) is that it sounds by far the best when it is turned up loud, beyond bedroom volumes. At bedroom volumes it sounds a bit muffled and lacks some bite. Some would call it smooth and dark.

I think there are two things at play with cranking tube amps... 1) the tubes work and operate at optimal power, producing a better tone and 2) human ear perceived loudness and tone changes with volume level. Google the “equal-loudness contour”. This means what sounds “dark” or “muffled” at 60-80 dB (bedroom level) will sound more “normal” with more “sparkle” at 100 dB. It isn’t just the amp, it is also the human ear responding differently.

Bottom line: I find the TC-50 or Mark V a much better bedroom amp than the Recto. They can be dialed to sound better at lower volumes than the recto, IMHO.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:10 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Posts: 8
mace wrote:
What I find with the Dual Rectoverb (the little 25 W model, switchable to 10W) is that it sounds by far the best when it is turned up loud, beyond bedroom volumes. At bedroom volumes it sounds a bit muffled and lacks some bite. Some would call it smooth and dark.

I think there are two things at play with cranking tube amps... 1) the tubes work and operate at optimal power, producing a better tone and 2) human ear perceived loudness and tone changes with volume level. Google the “equal-loudness contour”. This means what sounds “dark” or “muffled” at 60-80 dB (bedroom level) will sound more “normal” with more “sparkle” at 100 dB. It isn’t just the amp, it is also the human ear responding differently.

Bottom line: I find the TC-50 or Mark V a much better bedroom amp than the Recto. They can be dialed to sound better at lower volumes than the recto, IMHO.


Very cool. Thanks for the leads - I'll check them out. Saw a vid for a studio .22 last night that sounded pretty good. There is one for sale near me. Biggest challenge I have is there isn't anyplace to go and demo these amps. Even when they have a few at GC, it's always too noisy with some 'pay attention to me' dickhead showing his high gain sweeping skills. I'm sure I'll figure it out - everyone else does. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:57 pm
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Location: South of Heaven
mace wrote:
I think there are two things at play with cranking tube amps... 1) the tubes work and operate at optimal power, producing a better tone and 2) human ear perceived loudness and tone changes with volume level. Google the “equal-loudness contour”. This means what sounds “dark” or “muffled” at 60-80 dB (bedroom level) will sound more “normal” with more “sparkle” at 100 dB. It isn’t just the amp, it is also the human ear responding differently.


The third thing is the speakers. Guitar speakers are designed to distort, and the louder they go the hotter the voice coil gets, which adds some speaker compression.

_________________
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

|| McCarty | Les Paul | Custom 24 ||
|| Cantrell Wah | Rotovibe | Phase 90 | Grid Slammer ||
|| Triple Crown 50 | Recto 2x12/4x12 ||

|| Jazz Bass | Bass Strategy | PH410 ||


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