#1
So I have been keeping an eye out for an affordable (for me) good metal amp and got a line on a used Peavey XXX 2 for about $500 (I'm in Canada btw) and was pretty stoked to pull the trigger, then I got word of a used Mesa Single Rectifier Rectoverb for basically the same price. Now I'm a bit torn deciding which amp to pursue, as they are used and a couple hours away from me I can't sit down and A/B them so I was hoping anyone who has experience with these amps could give me some thoughts.

Metal bands that have tones I like are The Haunted, and LoG. I like tight distortion and bottom end, I have heard that Mesas can be a little loose in this regard.

My use is going to be for home/recording and jamming with friends as metal is my hobby and I have another amp that covers my main playing.
#2
Grab the Mesa! That is a great price for a rectoverb, provided nothing is wrong with it.
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#5
Xxx ii everytime over a rectifier except rev f or earlier. Rev g recs are a muddy mess.
#6
Those are both good prices. The XXX II is the JSX rebadged.

Can you buy both and flip the one you like least?

For versatility the XXX should win here.
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#7
If the xxx2 is literally the jsx with different aesthetics (although, i actually prefered the look of the jsx), i would go with the xxx2. Super versatile, sounds great, and takes pedals such as boosts really well. I find they are easier to make sound great right out of the box.

Try them both and see what you like
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#8
If you can try them out before you pull the trigger on any of them.
I had a similar situation a few months back but it was between a Rectoverb and a 6505. I didn’t like the Mesa (just not my thing I guess), was almost set on the 6505 but then I found Peavey Ultra Plus (which is a precursor to both versions of the XXX) and fell in love the moment I heard it.
#9
For the bands you listed the XXX 2 would get you closer without much fuss. But the Mesa could probably get there with a little coaxing.

Lamb of God, as you're probably aware has always based its tone around the Mesa Mark series. Namely, Mark IVs and Mark Vs. That is a much different tone and feel than that of the Rectifier series. Recs have a slower, saggier response that blooms into a huge wall of CHUG when you palm-mute. For some stuff, they're amazing -- but they can kind of fight against you if you're playing fast/intricate riffs, unless you really trim the low-end with an OD pedal and EQing techniques.

The XXX 2, as stated above is the same thing as a JSX. I've played a JSX, and without any pedals at all I already found it excellent for tight rhythm playing. It also had a sweet, singing lead tone and phenomenal cleans for a high-gain amp. I'm going to buy one someday...
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#10
I appreciate all the comments and feedback.

Unfortunately since these are private sale items I have to go to the sellers house to try them out, so going just to try it out and then decide later isn't really an option - I know I wouldn't appreciate someone coming by my place only to try something I was selling.

I was aware that the xxx ii is a rebadged JSX, i played a JSX several years ago and absolutely loved it, I don't have any hands on experience with a Mesa, but your comments seem to fall in line with what info I had gathered, they are a little saggier and muddier than what I am looking for I think.

Part of me wants the MESA just to satisfy that MESA gas but the XXX is probably the better fit for my needs.
#11
I've owned a JSX and it was a nice amp. I would take the Rectoverb though unless you want 3 channels
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#12
Quote by Robbgnarly
I've owned a JSX and it was a nice amp. I would take the Rectoverb though unless you want 3 channels


Care to elaborate on that at all?
#13
That's a tough call, because both are pretty awesome amps, but I honestly think that you'd like the high gain sounds better on the XXX II. Now, as for everything else, its a bit of a crapshoot. I had a Rectoverb combo AFTER I owned an Ultra + (predecessor to the XXX/JSX) and all I will say is there is a reason I moved from the Ultra + to the Mesa.

Everything except for very tight, percussive metal sounded better on the Rec. The Ultra + was easier to set up, I spent a lot of time getting the Mesa to sound just how I wanted it (honestly I spent more time with that amp than I did with my current Mark IV....).

FWIW, I liked the Rec better than the Ultra +. It's hard to explain, but the Mesa just felt.... alive. Even though I tweaked it all the time, when I played through that amp I always had warm fuzzies, and I just didn't get that with the Peavey.
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#14
Well it's probably not a good comparison but I had the first generation XXX and for me, that thing sat really well in hair metal and that kind of boosted Marshall kind of sound. Lots of midrange, kind of a mushy bass and lots of honk. But for modern metal, I wanted something a little more direct and rougher sounding. The Rectoverb I have now can get similar tones to my XXX but they're much tighter and more clear on the Rectoverb. Bigger bass but not as loose sounding. You also have the voicing switch on the Mesa if you want to dial in something a bit more specific.


I have no experience with the new XXX II though so my opinion probably doesn't really hold much. That being said, if you are able to try the amps out personally, I would do that. Nothing beats first hand experience.
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#15
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Well it's probably not a good comparison but I had the first generation XXX and for me, that thing sat really well in hair metal and that kind of boosted Marshall kind of sound. Lots of midrange, kind of a mushy bass and lots of honk. But for modern metal, I wanted something a little more direct and rougher sounding. The Rectoverb I have now can get similar tones to my XXX but they're much tighter and more clear on the Rectoverb. Bigger bass but not as loose sounding. You also have the voicing switch on the Mesa if you want to dial in something a bit more specific.


I have no experience with the new XXX II though so my opinion probably doesn't really hold much. That being said, if you are able to try the amps out personally, I would do that. Nothing beats first hand experience.


I think that the XXX II is a good bit tighter than the XXX. So far as I can tell the XXX was the least favored among the Ultra line (I've never played one so I have no first-hand experience), mostly because the Ultra channel just wasn't what people wanted.

I do agree though, firsthand experience trumps all.
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#16
Quote by dementiacaptain at #33948124
I think that the XXX II is a good bit tighter than the XXX. So far as I can tell the XXX was the least favored among the Ultra line (I've never played one so I have no first-hand experience), mostly because the Ultra channel just wasn't what people wanted.

I do agree though, firsthand experience trumps all.


That would make sense. I never really was fussy about the ultra channel. I mostly used the crunch channel, even for modern metal style tones. I felt like it sounded the best really. I only used the ultra channel for really high gain style lead shit and even then, it was used sparingly.
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#17
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
That would make sense. I never really was fussy about the ultra channel. I mostly used the crunch channel, even for modern metal style tones. I felt like it sounded the best really. I only used the ultra channel for really high gain style lead shit and even then, it was used sparingly.


It was honestly the same with my Ultra +. The 2nd channel was the tits.

Out of all those amps though, I actually thought the OG, the Triumph, sounded the best. It was also the smallest footprint, yet I'm fairly certain it was heavier than any of the others
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#18
Quote by dementiacaptain
It was honestly the same with my Ultra +. The 2nd channel was the tits.

Out of all those amps though, I actually thought the OG, the Triumph, sounded the best. It was also the smallest footprint, yet I'm fairly certain it was heavier than any of the others


I love my Triumph but you're right, it's no shit heavy!
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#19
Quote by Arby911
I love my Triumph but you're right, it's no shit heavy!


I always thought mine sounded kind of like the Mark III I had, though obviously more "Peavey," if that makes sense. If I can find a decent on one with a footswitch included, I'm going to buy another. I love those old ugly Peaveys, there is a charm to their funkiness!
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#20
Quote by dementiacaptain
I always thought mine sounded kind of like the Mark III I had, though obviously more "Peavey," if that makes sense. If I can find a decent on one with a footswitch included, I'm going to buy another. I love those old ugly Peaveys, there is a charm to their funkiness!


They were pretty much marketed as Peavey's Mesa, and I think they do a pretty credible job. Not exactly the same but close enough to work.

And like the Mesa's, you need to understand how the eq works or it can really piss you off!
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#21
back when I had the opportunity to play a JSX it was side by side with a XXX. I didn't like the XXX but really dug the JSX so there is definitely a difference. I think the 2nd channel on the JSX/XXX ii is the same as the crunch channel on the original XXX and the clean and ultra channels are tweaked to sound better than the original XXX.
#22
Quote by guitarsngear
back when I had the opportunity to play a JSX it was side by side with a XXX. I didn't like the XXX but really dug the JSX so there is definitely a difference. I think the 2nd channel on the JSX/XXX ii is the same as the crunch channel on the original XXX and the clean and ultra channels are tweaked to sound better than the original XXX.


This is what I have read, and most people's experiences seem to verify this.
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#23
Jsx/Xxx ii's crunch channel is modeled from the Classic line. Lead is copy of the xxx lead. The xxx with the right tubes and cab is a monster. Xxx ii is tamer and can do more classic hard rocky stuff. Xxx is perfect for thrash. Both do well with a 10 band mxr in the loop. Rectifier is much different sounding but a great amp. Its all preference. I sold my rev g cause it just didnt suit me for what i play.
#24
Quote by jgebhardt
Jsx/Xxx ii's crunch channel is modeled from the Classic line. Lead is copy of the xxx lead. The xxx with the right tubes and cab is a monster. Xxx ii is tamer and can do more classic hard rocky stuff. Xxx is perfect for thrash. Both do well with a 10 band mxr in the loop. Rectifier is much different sounding but a great amp. Its all preference. I sold my rev g cause it just didnt suit me for what i play.


I am not saying that you are wrong, but I have a JSX and have owned a clasic 50,and plaayed some classic 30s frequently, and the crunch on them is nothing like the JSX' crunch channel.
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#25
Quote by guitarsngear
Care to elaborate on that at all?

The JSX is a great amp, but I prefer the sound of the Mesa Rectoverb for most of what I'd do. Don't get me wrong the JSX sounds great and is more versatile on the fly because of the 3 channels. The JSX is also very refined in sound which some people love and some don't.

The XXX and the JSX share ch2 but the clean on the JSX is from the classic series and the lead ch (ch3) is tweaked from the XXX also. it should be worth noting the XXX was Peavey's attempt at making a Triple Recto type amp even though is doesn't really sound like a mesa (that is why it was named the XXX (triple X)and had a aluminum plate style grill). The JSX also has mid-shift buttons the XXX does not.

The Mesa will also have a better resale value if you get rid of the amp.

If you can try both, because both are good sounding amps. I'd still take the Mesa though
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Apr 29, 2016,
#26
Quote by Robbgnarly
The JSX is a great amp, but I prefer the sound of the Mesa Rectoverb for most of what I'd do. Don't get me wrong the JSX sounds great and is more versatile on the fly because of the 3 channels. The JSX is also very refined in sound which some people love and some don't.

The XXX and the JSX share ch2 but the clean on the JSX is from the classic series and the lead ch (ch3) is tweaked from the XXX also. it should be worth noting the XXX was Peavey's attempt at making a Triple Recto type amp even though is doesn't really sound like a mesa (that is why it was named the XXX (triple X)and had a aluminum plate style grill). The JSX also has mid-shift buttons the XXX does not.

The Mesa will also have a better resale value if you get rid of the amp.

If you can try both, because both are good sounding amps. I'd still take the Mesa though


Clean from the classic sounds right. Sure as fuck not the gain of the classic for channel two. LOL.

It may be worth noting that the jsx is el34 and the xxx 6l6.
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#28
You are right, I guess. Still doesn't remind me much of the classic 50 but the rest of the amp is so different that to my ears i don't think it sounds much like it.
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#30
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Rectoverb



Very informative

I wish the ROV had black knobs like some of the other Recs. Man, those look awesome.
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#31
I recorded several JSX amps and had a friend in a band that I played with one.
My sentiments:
- built in noise gate - fantastic especially for high gain use!
- clean channel - pristine even though maybe a little too glassy for my taste. Great for fuzz boxes, distortion, etc, i.e. pedal friendly
- crunch - this channel pretty much sounded to me like the XXX (mk I) channel 2, maybe a touch tamer and less buzzier, it could get to AC/DC crunch when pushed and could deliver some great thrash tones with overdrive in front of it. If it was just a touch hotter it could be a great metal rhythm channel in and of itself. Preferred it to the lead channel.
- lead channel - very versatile even though a little buzzy when pushed too hard.

Overall I felt the JSX to be a fantastic amp, whereas the XXX mkI had one good channel (crunch) and everything else was a buzzy nasty mess.

Exodus did 2 albums apparently with these things (XXX mkI) so they must know something that I didn't. Well...listening to these (Exhibit A and Exhibit B) maybe they were overcooked there as well, especially on the first album, even Andy Sneap couldn't tame that thing
#32
Quote by jgebhardt
Start at the 2:40 minute mark ....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS4X3fYiLzA

Clean was built from ground up. Crunch was built from the Classic 50.

No that video is very misleading. and Im sure you believe VH got his sound from just adding a variax to the amp which has been proven wrong. I got the info I have from the FL Peavey rep. Because the JSX is a re worked Ultra+ with 3 fully independent channels just like the XXX is a re worked Ultra. and if CH2 really is the Classic ch lead it was there way before Satriani got his sig amp. I have never heard a Peavey classic that sounds any where near that aggressive even with 2 OD's stacked. And FYI the Ultra+ was around long before Satriani was in the Peavey stable. Not saying there isn't some influences in there, but the main crunch tones were there before he was

Or are my old ears and memory not working right any more?
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Apr 30, 2016,
#33
Nah, your ears and memory are fine. Ultra Plus was made in mid to late 90's and it was based on a few amps that date back to the 80's, so way before Satriani started working with Peavey.
#34
I would go with the Mesa in this scenario - just due to the fact that in a few years you'll be able to buy a JSX for even less than it is now. The Peavey prices seem to dip down gradually until they rest around the 300-400 mark. The Mesa will hold it's value.

I can't speak for the whole JSX sounding like a Classic series amp on its "crunch" channel as I have no real experience with a JSX that I would consider to be meaningful. I would imagine/speculate that the Classic series amplifier probably sounds a bit bigger and more aggressive though if run through a 4x12 with a set of proper speakers. I've never hooked mine up to a 4x12 to see/hear. As an open back combo, no... it won't have the same character. Through an oversized Mesa 4x12... well, maybe it would come close. I bet a Classic 50 head through an oversized Mesa 4x12 can get pretty brutal. I won't open my wallet to find out though haha.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#35
^^This is probably going off on a tangent, but I play my Classic 30 head through a 412 (not a Mesa, but it's loaded with nice Eminence Governors and Swamp Thangs). It's definitely a different beast compared to the Classic 30 combos I've played. It sounds much bigger and ballsier with grindy upper mids for days. And of course, it will tear the walls down with volume if need be. I use it more for hard rock and classic styles of playing -- but if my 6505 ever broke down I could use the C 30 for metal in a pinch.

Anyway, the JSX is one awesome amp -- definitely suitable for any kind of metal really.
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