A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Triaxis, Quad Preamp, Stereo Power series, Recto Preamp

Moderators: Grandor, ned, Guitarzan

Post Reply
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:21 am

A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Post by invertedtremolo » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:46 am


I'm new here, and glad I stumbled across this forum - where else to come for advice about Boogies but than a Boogie Board full of Boogie users?

I've recently picked up a Recto Pre because I want to build a rack setup. Always been a fan of Rectifiers, always lived in apartments. The 2 of them don't go together so well. I had a 3 channel Dual a couple years ago and really liked it, but couldn't use it at home. So I picked up the Pre to see if I could use the direct record outs, or use a 2:100 into a HotPlate and a cab sim into a mixer to see if I could get Rectifier sounds without making noise others could hear.

After a week and a half of testing, I'm finding a lot of difficulty getting it to sound anything like a Rectifier. I've read a lot of the posts here where people say it is a finicky beast and needs a lot of tweaking. I'd like some advice to know if it's possible to get what I want from it.

The sound I'm looking for is kind of the opposite of what a lot of people want. Lots of people want a dynamic amp that responds to rolling down the volume or cleans up when you pick softer, doesn't compress, and has great cleans. None of those really apply to me. I rarely use clean, like a lot of grind in my sound, don't care for dynamicity (it's a word!) or rolling down volume, don't mind lots of compression (although I won't use any kind of compression effect) and am pretty much gained out tight alternate pick shred all the time. My current home practice setup is a Boss Metal Core, an EQ, a delay, and a cube 30 being used only as a power amp with the recording out going into the mixer. It's worked for a couple years, but it can be pretty digital sounding, and when it's not right next to your ears in headphones, the mids are non-existent. I liked the Metal Core because it had a TON of gain, and because it had a lot of treble, too. The tone I'm after with the Recto is definitely something like John Petrucci's Road King on Train of Thought or Live at Budokan with a little more cut. Some of the reviews I've read seem to draw similarities between the Rec Pre and the Road King, and that's a big factor of why I picked it up.

Comparing this to the Dual, it seems really behind in the gain department. With the gain maxed out, it's got about as much juice as a Boss Super Overdrive at 2/3. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong in the rack setup, or if this is just the nature of the Pre. If I'm not picking as hard as I can with every stroke, it sounds like a mild overdrive at best with no trademark Recto grind. Although I can't A/B it against the Dual, that doesn't seem right! The volume is also really difficult to control. With the direct recording outs, I've gotta crank the channel and master volumes all the way to even get it to register on the mixer, and ditto with the live outs and the 2:100. I'm also finding it to have a ridiculous amount of bass, but yet have no bottom end at all like a digital overdrive, and no thunk.

On the good side though, the clean is really close. That was a welcome surprise.

The chain I'm running is this: Recto Pre > G Major 2 > dbx 15 band EQ > board, or Recto Pre > G Major 2 > dbx > 2:100 > HotPlate > Palmer PDI-09 cab sim > board

That's about it for now. It's a long post, but I wanted to be as complete and objective as possible, and not complain. I just know there's a good Recto tone in there somewhere - Mesa wouldn't write Rectifier on it if it wasn't one!

Any advice ya'll have on this is welcome and greatly appreciated. Unless you're going to tell me to stop the shred. It's just not gonna happen...


again with this
Mark II
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:09 pm

Re: A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Post by again with this » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:01 pm

I can't get mine to sound good direct either :? . In front of my 2:100, brutal :shock: . The one guy I saw who posted positive results going direct, did not share secrets. :x

Mark II
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:59 pm

Re: A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Post by snave » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:50 pm

Did you pick it up used? I recommend taking a look at what tubes are in there, because those preamps are in the neighborhood of every other Recto I've played gainwise. If new preamp tubes in the gain stage positions don't help, probably take it to a tech.

Mark II
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:38 pm

Re: A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Post by okgb » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:40 pm

Use a tube channel strip / micpre that has input & output transformers ,
be prepared to eq some more and add compression to smooth it out
[ as well as add sustain ] it can get useable & playable
not likely anyone would rave about it though

The expensive millenia stt-1 works well and the urei 6176 is also good
probably any A.R.T. or behringer product would quite do it .
[ PDI-9 also helps ]

User avatar
Mark II
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:12 pm
Location: Finland

Re: A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Post by vipmetal » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:28 pm

I use booster for more gain on Recto Pre. EH nano boost works fine. But maybe RC booster could be better. For solos BB Preamp or OCD is a must. I use these with live outs to power amp and cabinet. Enough ToT tone for me! :D
Mesa Roadking (2002)&Mesa TriAxis (2015), Recto 4x12
Single Recto (2010), 2x12 Vertical
- past -
Triaxis 2.0 Recto-board
Recto Pre
Mark V

User avatar
Donating Member
Posts: 4508
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:57 pm
Location: South of Heaven

Re: A request for your sagely advice on the Recto Preamp

Post by screamingdaisy » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:13 pm

The gain on my Recto Pre/2:100 setup was equal to any Recto I've used.
Ignore the hype and trust your ears. Play more, buy less = better tone.

Post Reply