Rect-O-Verb Review

manufacturer: Mesa Boogie date: 04/01/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Mesa Boogie: Rect-O-Verb
It has 2 channels with 5 modes total. The first channel has "Clean" and "Pushed" modes. The second channel has "Raw", "Vintage", and "Modern".
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 10 
reviews (3) pictures (2) 7 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
Rect-O-Verb Reviewed by: Samdunhamss, on march 12, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: eBay

Features: I believe my amp is a 2004 model. The Mesa Boogie Rect-o-verb is a very impressive amp from what I can tell. It has 2 channels with 5 modes total. The first channel has "Clean" and "Pushed" modes. The second channel has "Raw", "Vintage", and "Modern". There is a "Solo" foot switchable option which cranks out extra volume for, well, solos. Each Channel has a gain knob, 3-band EQs, a Presence knob to add or subtract higher frequencies to tighten or loosen sound up. There is also a Reverb knob which is a nice addition from the Rectifier solo head. There is a Master volume on each channel also. The nice feature is you can crank a channel but control the volume with an "Output" control know. Great for working at lower volumes. This is a very impressive amp overall including 12AX7's (5), and 6L6's (2) stock. It has a switchable bias for EL-34's if you want a brighter tone. I believe this amps also comes with a cover, at least mine did. It has a Black Shadow speaker and a very large cavity compared to other 50 watt combos. The back is 3/4 closed providing a nice heavy tone. // 10

Sound: I play through this amp with an Ibanez RG1570 prestige series guitar. The Cleans on this amp are amazing in the shared neck and middle pickup position. The Reverb is a very nice touch. The styles I play range from a soft blues( mostly clean) to a brutal metal kind of tone. The clean channel hands most of your needs very well, it is not a Fender, but it gets the job done, and quite well at that. This amp can get very loud very quickly, which is to be expected from a tube amplifier. This amp is a jack of all trades though when it comes to sound. It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of work dialing in your tones to get the best you can, but it worth it. It can get pretty loud without the clean distorting, and the distortion can get loud very very quick an has more than enough distortion. I have 6L6's in mine so the distortion is very dark and bass heavy, but I've heard EL-34's get a much brighter and tighter tone. All in all I still love the sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I cannot describe the reliability very well, but in home practice and studio use it has not let me down yet. I would use it in a gig without a back up, but I'd definitely bring spare tubes, just in case or course. This amp seems to be built like a rock though. Everything is very tight fitting which is a definite plus // 10

Overall Impression: I play Rock, Alternative, and Metal for my musical projects and this amp suit's every last one of them very well. I have been playing for nearly 7 years now and this amp is absolutely amazing, the tone might not be what some look for, mesa rectifiers are very subjective, but I love it. If I ever lost it or someone stole it I would have to pick up another one if insurance would help pay. I love this thing, I really do. I compared this item with my Crate (a solid state) and a valveking, and I much prefer it to either of them, if you have the cash, this is a must buy. I wish that this amp had tube rectification rather than just solid state, but that is standard on all singles, I would five the overall a lower rating because although I love these aspects individually, it makes for a very difficult amp to tweak. This is the only reason overall gets an 8. // 8

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overall: 9.3
Rect-O-Verb Reviewed by: son of anarchy, on november 04, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I believe my rectoverb is around a 2004 model. I play modern hard rock and alot of soft rock and ballads, this suits that great. It has 2 channels with spring reverb (which is excellent and alot of people will tell you its too quite, but I think it's plenty loud). HAHAHA, headphone jack...yeah right. I have the series one which has 4 modes, all of which sound great in their own way, but I rarely use the pushed option. // 9

Sound: I play it with a Gibson les paul and as previously mentioned play hard rock and alot of soft rock and ballad type stuff, and it suits my musical needs very well. The clean on this amp is surprisingly good, not fendry good, but pretty close. Its can get noisy, but it aint that bad. This amp is very versatile, the only amp you could get with more versatility would be one of the mark series. Clean channel doesn't distort for a while. The distortion is good, but honestly, you REALLY need an OD for this amp, the low end is EXTREMLY flubby. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank, just like everything else mesa makes. // 10

Overall Impression: Great amp but if I had my money back, I would probably just wait for a really good deal to come along and try to snatch a dual rec, the dual has more gain, which I really need...but overall great amp. Though make sure you have a good cab to go along with it if you have the head, because I made the mistake of using it with a really cheap cab and rest assured if you do that, it WILL sound like crap. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Rect-O-Verb Reviewed by: Domdabomb123, on april 01, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: This amp has all the typical features you'd expect from a high end amp. Effects loop, reverb, switchable voicing, and useful eq, gain, and volume controls. There is a huge range of sounds you can dial in. I pretty much can get anything tone I want out of the amp but I'm not overly impressed with the tone for a more vintage British style amp. Of course the rectifier is about as American as an amp can get so I wasn't expecting spectacular British tones. I also would have really liked multiple, or switchable effects loops. I like to use a lot of effects on my clean tone (delay, chorus, compressor) and I feel like I have to tap dance every time I switch to the drive channel. Again this isn't really the big of a problem and I'm sure there are ways around it. Overall there are way more features than most amps. // 9

Sound: I'll preface this by saying this amp takes some time to dial in, but once you do oh man does it sound great. It has one of the best clean tones I've ever heard and there are many usable clean tone one can dial in. I have a hard time finding a sweet spot on the clean channel because it almost always sounds good, but I usually end up running the mids and gain fairly low, the master around 2, and everything else around noon. The drive channel takes some time to understand at first. Initially it sounds great, but after a while you will notice harsh nuances of it that you'll want to dial out. The vintage mode is alright but really just doesn't cut like the modern channel does. The only thing about that modern channel is that it can get out of control at extreme settings.

Rolling back the presence can really help to smooth out the potential harsh tones here. After playing around with the amp for years I found and stuck with an amazing setup. It will sound different with your guitar and hands but I like Master:9:30, Presence:9:30, Bass:10, Mids:11, Treble:1, Gain:1:30. With these settings I can get a great deep low end growl without being flubby, enough mids to cut, and a nice pick attack for rhythm work. It works great for metal and hard rock. It can get a bit ice picky on the higher strings for lead work so I kick on an eq pedal in the effects loop that cuts 5db of 6. 4k and 100, and boost 400 6db and the rest slightly to compensate for the volume loss. This works as a mid boost that smooths out the sharp highs and boomy lows and really makes a singing lead tone. This almost adds 2 other channels to the amp and is definitely worth experimenting with if you think the drive is too harsh. My only complaint is that there really is not the much gain in proportion to saturation on this amp. You get a very saturated tone long before that sustained gain is there. So a little gain box is nice to boost for solos. Vintage 30 speakers are really what make this amp sound great. I used to have a Marshall 1960a cab and it sounded alright, but not nearly as good as it does since I got my 2x12 Mesa cab with Vintage 30s. If you're spending the money on this kind of amp then buy a decent cab to go with it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is a tank. Built solid as a rock. Besides the occasional tube change I've never had any problems. I believe this amp is an early 2000s version but I'm not really sure. Anyway, I've had it for nearly 6 years and took it everywhere with me. It always served me well when I played in a band, and has kept me company through college. I put JJ tubes in when I first got it and they really bring the amp to life. One of the power tubes did die after about a year but I was playing a lot and in a band at the time so it didn't surprise me. I replaced the tube and have had no problem since. That was 4 years ago and all the tubes still glow a healthy orange. Though I am thinking of replacing them soon because I know they are near death. But this amp is super durable and the tubes can almost be used indefinitely at bedroom volume levels. // 10

Overall Impression: For the style of music I play this amp is a great match. From metal, to rock, to jazz, to blues, the amp covers all essential American guitar tones. The only thing is I can't get that lower saturation vintage British tone I enjoy on occasion. I'm thinking I'll have to pick up an Orange or Budda at some point to cover that tonal range better. I never plan on getting rid of this amp though. It's cleans are perfect, and it's distortion is the best modern rock/metal tone. If you see one of these on eBay buy it, you will not be disappointed. // 10

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