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#1
Okay, the thread title sounds ridiculous, I know, but...

I've owned a spider II 210 amp for about 2 years now, I was always really happy with it, but all through that time I always heard how much it sucked, and how tube amps are so much better blah blah blah. So a few months ago, I had been really good for like 2 years and never asked for anything for my birthday, my Mom told me she would buy me something great for my guitar or something. Naturally, I thought since I love my guitar and my amp is apparently "crappy," in the words of almost everyone, I figured I would go for a Mesa/boogie or other tube amp.

So I ended up getting a Double/recto and a cab, for a little over 2000 bucks total, after it being praised as the end all of amps by the store dude.

Anyway I've fooled with it enough to know how far it can go it terms of distortion etc, and I'm honestly not pleased.

First off, the frequency is a lot slower. Like I can play 16th notes on my spider at about 120 BPM fairly easily, while on my mesa that's about 5-10 BPM out of my range at my best.

Also, when I play on my spider, there's a lot less extra string ringing, but on the mesa it seems like no matter what I do those strings make some kind of noise.

And lastly, the spider's distortion is simply, smoother, higher-gain, and has better sustain. Plus I love the chorus effect, which I always leave on.

So what do you guys think I should do? Keep the mesa in case one day I want it for a show or something? (I've never been able to REALLY crank it cept like once, and I still wasn't very impressed.) Or should I sell it while it's still only a few months old?

And please don't say something like "You don't deserve it." That won't help me and I've really tried to appreciate this amp for all it's worth, but I still feel uncomfortable with it.

Any help is great. Thanks a TON.
Dead soldier! Go now to Valhalla!
#2
Here's my explanation:


First off, the frequency is a lot slower. Like I can play 16th notes on my spider at about 120 BPM fairly easily, while on my mesa that's about 5-10 BPM out of my range at my best.

Also, when I play on my spider, there's a lot less extra string ringing, but on the mesa it seems like no matter what I do those strings make some kind of noise.


Unlike solidstate amps, tube amps DONT hide your sloppy playing. Just practice more with the dual recto and you will get much better.

And lastly, the spider's distortion is simply, smoother, higher-gain, and has better sustain.


Crank that baby, then tell us which is better.



Plus I love the chorus effect, which I always leave on.


Chorus sounds 80s with distortion. Maybe you miss the 80s sound your spider had because the recto has no chorus. Buy a chorus pedal and put it in the loop. It'll sound better than the spider's chorus.
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#4
He just compared them. He is asking why he doesn't think it sounds better. Solid states can sound better than tube amps at low volumes.
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#6
He just hasnt expierienced the "Tube Expierience" My boy go into a shed, crank that bitch up to 8-9 with ear protection and it will ****ing roar! If you were to not keep that recto I'd shoot you. Spider doesnt even compare to the look of a recto.
#7
never, in my life has anyone ever compared a recto to a spider II and chose the spider.
wow.
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#8
at bedroom volumes the Spider II sounds fine, I think the Mesa/Boogie was a bit of an overkill personally... Why not sell and buy a lower wattage valve amp? The Vox AC15 might be worth a shot.
#9
Quote by kurdtkobaign
Im not even goin to comment on anything here.


Then why did you even post

And as someone said, it's your playing not the amp. It's not gonna hide your mistakes, unless you find a tone that will mask everything.
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#10
^ i know. (to danzig) It took me a focking long time, and a lot of hard work to come up with the money for my Recto. Not only that but I traveled long and far to try out all the different amps I could before I settled on it. This kid just goes out on a whim and mom buys it for him...then he spends half an hour on it and decides he like his Spider more.



Sorry man, Im not trying to be mean...it just aggrivates the hell outa me.
#11
This threadstarter is REALLY spoiled...

woman voice: "here's your present son."
whiny voice: "NO! I WANTED THAT OTHER AMP!"
woman voice: "but son..."
whiny voice: "I DONT WANNA HEAR ABOUT IT MOM!"
*the kid goes to a corner and slits his wrist*



EDIT: if you're that spoiled, get an attenuator.
RIP Jasmine You.

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Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
Last edited by aznrockerdude at Sep 1, 2006,
#12
Quote by jcwear
at bedroom volumes the Spider II sounds fine, I think the Mesa/Boogie was a bit of an overkill personally... Why not sell and buy a lower wattage valve amp? The Vox AC15 might be worth a shot.

I don't really think the Vox AC15 is exactly what he's looking for in terms of his desired sound.

And I agree with kurt, that's pretty lame... But what can ya do. Firstly, regarding the fact that the Spider II hides your bad playing, thats because it sounds like a can of bees and note definition is slim to begin with. The recto will show your mistakes and let you know if you suck.

Next, try out some different settings. Try the gain at about 1:00, treble 1:00, mids 3:00, bass 11:00, presence 10:00-12:00. Go from there. Some people perfer the mids at around 11:00 though, but a lot of recto users go by the rule of back off the bass and gain and crank the mids.

Lastly, I don't know if you're doing it or not, but give it some volume. It needs volume, or at low levels it can even sound worse than an SS amp, since it will be so loose and note tracking will be slow (what you're experiancing)

PS: Use the SS rectifier mode if you want less sag.
Last edited by electrik at Sep 1, 2006,
#13
Quote by electrik

And I agree with kurt, that's pretty lame... But what can ya do.

I know...Im sowwy. lol
#14
damn, i was expecting flammage in this thread.

he should listen to dream theater, then say what sounds better, mesa or spyder.
Recognised by the Official Who To Listen To List 2012


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#16
Quote by Gman400
Also, when I play on my spider, there's a lot less extra string ringing, but on the mesa it seems like no matter what I do those strings make some kind of noise.

And lastly, the spider's distortion is simply, smoother, higher-gain, and has better sustain. Plus I love the chorus effect, which I always leave on.

Any help is great. Thanks a TON.


I'm curious... Exactly what kinda guitar are you playing through the amp. And name some band that you think you most sound like, because if you dont like a mesa.... you gotta be playing pop-punk or glam rock or something. I gotta agree with the other guys I'm astonished! I've never heard of someone hating Mesa's. Even people who dont play metal love these things.(I.e. Santana). Since you asked for some help... I'll give it to ya. I'll buy you a Line 6 half or full-stack and I'll take that mean ole' mesa boogie off your hands so your satisfied.
#17
^Hell, even pop-pukers use Recto's.

EDIT: not pukers, punkers lol.
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#18
Quote by electrik
For what? lol

I dont know actually...

What cab are you using with the Mesa TS? What guitar?
#19
Quote by ready4thebreak
I'm curious... Exactly what kinda guitar are you playing through the amp. And name some band that you think you most sound like, because if you dont like a mesa.... you gotta be playing pop-punk or glam rock or something. I gotta agree with the other guys I'm astonished! I've never heard of someone hating Mesa's. Even people who dont play metal love these things.(I.e. Santana). Since you asked for some help... I'll give it to ya. I'll buy you a Line 6 half or full-stack and I'll take that mean ole' mesa boogie off your hands so your satisfied.


I use an ESP viper 400 (EMG 81 active pickups.) I listen to mostly metal including Iron Maiden, Sonata Arctica, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Stratovarius along with heavier bands like Carcass and Opeth. The spider sounds more like these bands than the mesa at this point. I'm still going to test the mesa more, especially at higher volumes and possibly with a hot plate or attentuator to get a better idea of it's potential.
I know Petrucci uses Mesas, but even live (at least at Budokan and live scene from new york) his distortion seems to be lacking punch in many places. On the albums it sounds great though.

Oh and I'm sorry if you had to dig a ****ing trench to get your mesa boohoo. I bought all my gear up to this point by myself and it was a birthday present. I really don't care how much you complain about how hard it was to get yours, or if you think I'm a spoiled brat.

Anyway, like I said I'll probably try a hot plate or attentuator, along with just cranking it whenever possible, but honestly, if I need to ruin my ears to get a good sound then this amp isn't for me. Thanks for the help from those who actually did...other people need to shut the **** up about preferance in tone. My mesa right now sounds like a "buzzing of bees" with a weak distortion. I wish it didn't but I'm trying to fix it.
Dead soldier! Go now to Valhalla!
#20
How loud do you have it? Do you have a band? It's really not an ideal bedroom amp if you're afraid of volume/will never have a chance to turn it up.
#22
First off the guy isn't an idiot, he's just inexperienced maybe. Your problem is trying to get a good bedroom tone out of a serious gigging rig, not gonna happen but you're on the right track looking into an attenuator. When you get that keep in mind that amp is still gonna be a monster compared to your spider which is a set it and forget it amp, not so much with the dual recto.

EQ is going to be your friend with that amp, make sure you keep the mids up and the gain down, I know it sounds weird but a guitar is a mid ranged instrument and for it to sound right it needs the mids to be able to get the full potential out of it, ie. the wood, the pups and so on. Also what kind of cab are you playing through, a dual recto is not going to sound very good through a behringer 4x12 made out of MDF board, that might be the culprit, now if it's an oversized recto 4x12 chances are the bedroom volume you're playing at is the culprit. Whatever you do KEEP the recto, you'll want it if you ever start to play live or swap it for a single recto which will help give you the better bedroom volume and tone you're wanting due to it's half the wattage of the dual and you'll still be able to gig with it. Also look into swapping the tubes, do you know how much life is on them, some people like different tubes for different tones but that's a whole different subject. Keep us updated on how things go and congrats on the killer amp!!
Gear:
ESPMH-400NT
Silvertone Fastback
Line6 2x12
Line6 AxSyS self made head unit
POD XT

"The devil made me do it"
#23
^Ok thanks a lot for the help. It's a mesa cab, just 2 speakers, and the tubes were brand new when I got them (they were preinstalled though, I guess it came right out of the box.) They're about 3-4 months old now.

It sounds like I should have gotten the single recto. The damn hippy that sold it to me didn't really tell em **** about it except that it was worse and didn't have "the power" or something...either way, I'll try those EQs you gave me, and thanks.
Dead soldier! Go now to Valhalla!
#24
To be honest the single recto wouldn't be that much different in terms of volume... Neither is going to sound amazing at bedroom volumes.
#25
Ill just copy and paste all the tips Ive said about Rectos lol

"I truely think you just have your Recto EQed bad...tbh. Before you buy a new cab try messing with your amp more. Turn the gain down, turn up the Treble a little bit...and CRANK the presence. If that still doesnt work for you...take your amp head to a shop and try out some different cabs with it...

[edit] also...turn off your effects loop...set it to ByPass and just use each channels individual Master Volumes. Plug your guitar straight into the amp, no pedals or effects. The problem could be anywhere. And its more than likely the way you have your amp set up. Dont scoop the mids, try keeping them at about 4.5-5. The Recto is a VERY tricky amp man...like Im really good with amps and it took me a solid 2-3 weeks to get a feel for it."

"^ try the sample settings from the manual...they sound actually pretty good and sound pretty much like all the big bands that use it. Then try going from there."

Once you change the gain the whole board changes with it. For a brighter more balanced tone keep the Gain in the 11-2 o'clock range. Everything above that is a lot warmer and highly saturated.

ALSO make SURE you mess around with the presence knob. Its set apart from the active EQ and acts on its own and plays a HUGE roll in finding the tone you want."

"K here goes lol:

First off turn off the effects loop (effects bypass). Now the all the volume is controlled by the Master knob on each channel.

Really the only two things you need to know on the back are the Rectifier switch and the variac switch.
The Rectifier switch activates either Tube Rectification (warmer, smoother sounds) or Silicon Diodes (tighter low end, more powerful sounding).
The Bold/Spongy switch lets you choose a more defined, tighter sound (bold) or a looser, crunchier, more vintage sound (spongy).

On the front: remember that the EQ is 'active'. Basically each control is in a line, starting with the Gain controll. Everything you turn will effect everything else on the board. For instance if you turn the highs up a lot then the Mid and the Low controlls arent as present in the overall sound. *hard to explain* Then High, middle, and bass. The presence control is apart from this active EQ. Its really its own tone controll.

On the clean channel I find that the cleans shimmer more if the mids are down, the bass is somewhere around halfway, and the highs and pesence is cranked. keep the gain down a bunch as well. I dont really use the "pushed" setting that much.

This all goes for both channel 2 and 3:
Keep in mind that the gain knob, the high knob, and the presence knob are the most powerful on the board.

Turning the gain up a lot gives you a warmer, more saturated sound. Keeping the gain halfway will give you a brighter more balanced tone.

DONT SCOOP THE MIDS! lol seriously the amp is dark enough. Mess around a lot with the presence knob too.

Heres my settings: BOLD and Tube Rectification.

CLEAN;
GAIN: noon
HIGH: 2 o'clock
MID: 10 o'clock
LOW: 11 o'clock
PRES: 3 o'clock

CHANNEL 2: set the VINTAGE
GAIN: 3 o'clock
HIGH: 1 o'clock
MID: 11 o'clock
LOW: 1 o'clock
PRES: 3 o'clock

channel 3: set to MODERN
GAIN: 3 o'clock
HIGH: 12:30 o'clock
MID: noon
LOW: 11:30 o'clock
PRES: 3:30 o'clock

Anyways, Ill edit this with more detail later. hope it helped.

Oh yeah. Keep Stand-By on when you turn the master power on. Let the tubes warm up for at least 30 seconds.

Ok about the Effects Loop. The reason you should turn it off is because if its ON it WILL effect your tone. even if theres nothing in the loop. Once youve got your sound with it off, go head and turn it on. Throw maybe just one effect like chorus in there for starters. Make sure that in the front the Solo knob and the Output knob are down. Once the Loop is on the Master knobs in each channel are now the Pre-Amp volume. The Output knob is the overall Volume.

Which reminds me, Vintage mode on Channels 2 and 3 is A LOT more quiet than Modern mode. So make sure the volume isnt cranked when you swith from Vintage to Mordern.

Anyways, the Master knobs on each channel sound their best when theyre between 10 o'clock and noon.

The Solo knob is simple. Just turn it all the way down, then on the footswitch turn it on. Then raise the Solo volume untill the level is right for you.

K on the effects loop, keep both the little knobs about halfway. If you turn the effects loop on witht he footswitch, and the volume drops, turn the knobs up a bit untill the volume is equall on or off.

Long story short: go to mesa's website, and download the Manual. I had to read through that thing like 3 or 4 times before I made sense of it all. The amp is really hard to get used to, took me 2 or 3 weeks to get it all down perfect."

Theres a lot more where that come from too lol. Any other questions just ask!
#26
a mesa having THIN gain? thats unheard of...
I R tr00 Member of UG's Gain \/\/hores - don't pm gpderek09 to join unless you are truly worthy
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#27
make sure you dont have your gain all the way up..many people make that mistake. do the EQ then work on the gain...

and read what kurdtkobaign said, im not going to but im sure it's helpful
#28
Quote by pacoasterrider
and read what kurdtkobaign said, im not going to but im sure it's helpful

youre darn tootin!
#29
Heres my million doller question

Why exactly did you spend $2000 on an amp you never tried?
TEEP!!! Oiiiiiiieeeeeeeyyy!!!!!!
#32
Quote by Neon Knight
Heres my million doller question

Why exactly did you spend $2000 on an amp you never tried?


I R tr00 Member of UG's Gain \/\/hores - don't pm gpderek09 to join unless you are truly worthy
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#33
Sounds like the guy wanted to make a comission off of you or didn't know anything about the rectos. The volume really wouldn't be different from the single vs the dual it's the headroom you're dealing with. You don't have to push the power amp in the single as much as the dual to get the same sound therefore more control at a lower volume "bedroom" playing.

Just take the time to tweak it and don't give up and remember keep the mids up and the gain down and use that presence knob, it'll be your friend!
Gear:
ESPMH-400NT
Silvertone Fastback
Line6 2x12
Line6 AxSyS self made head unit
POD XT

"The devil made me do it"
#34
I inquired as to play it but the hippy dude just kinda blew me off and said I didn't need to...Still my fault, but either way I'm going to make it work.
Dead soldier! Go now to Valhalla!
#35
Quote by Gman400
I inquired as to play it but the hippy dude just kinda blew me off and said I didn't need to...Still my fault, but either way I'm going to make it work.


thats when ya say something like **** you im not buying anything without trying it first and go talk to somebody else who isnt a stiff
#36
Quote by ESPMH-400NT
First off the guy isn't an idiot, he's just inexperienced maybe. Your problem is trying to get a good bedroom tone out of a serious gigging rig, not gonna happen...


Yeah, I kinda have to agree here. Buying a dual (even single) recto solely for bedroom practice is like buying a an 18-wheeler to haul your amp and guitar to your band's jam spot. It's some serious overkill. And also, Mesa amps in general aren't "plug and play" like your Spider. It takes some serious tweaking of the EQs and different voicings to find your tone. These aren't simple beginner amps. They're serious pro gear.

The bottom line is a good tube amp geared for gigging will never reach even an iota of its potential tone in a bedroom situation. With a solid state amp, your entire driven tone comes from the preamp. With a tube amp, a good portion comes from the preamp, but you also get added drive from the power tubes that 'fills out' the overdriven tone produced by the preamp. At bedroom levels, you're unfortunately only getting the preamp drive, and you're missing a really crucial part of the equation to get that real brutal Recto tone that everyone wants.

An attentuator will help with the tone. But like people say, they 'suck tone'. When used at low atetntuation levels like 4- to -8 dB, they're actually not bad at all. That's rather true when using the highest settings. The thing is, even an 8 dB attentuation is not really that much when playing in a bedroom. You only get serious attentuation of louder volumes when using the high -12 and -16 dB settings. And unfortunately, at those levels, it does such a lot of the life out of the tone.

Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. When I had my Hotplate, I got some damn good tones even with -16 attenuation. A cranked tube amp is one hell of an awesome tone. The thing is that you really need to work with your EQs and find that good tone with the attenuator. My settings at home with my Hotplate and the settings I used when playing with my band were compeltely different.

But in the end, that amp is way too much for your bedroom. The Single Recto would have been a better choice, but it's still overkill for what you need. The single recto is not really perceivably less loud, but you would get tube breakup a little quicker than the dual. But I'm sure if you give it time and work with it, you'll find a useable tone.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#37
Mu experience with atts especially the Marshall Hot BRake are totally unpleasent ones......

I've tried a Carvin Legacy cranked through a Hot Brake (the amp itself isnt all that good IMHO) and it sounded like playing through a wall of .................. Digitech Stomp Boxes !!

And if you think that a L6 SPider II is better than a Mesa Dual Recto, you seriously need some professional psychiatric help, mon !!!

Long live the Recto tone !!
Tone is all ...... well probably 75%, in your fingers.
The rest depends on your wallet's thickness !!

Keep the faith, baby!!
#38
1. The recto is not for bedroom players....

2. The recto is not for musicians that want a quick perfect tone...it took me 6 months to find my tone in the amp

3. For your situation, it seems like the spider might actually be the better idea......even though I can get amazing low volume tones out of my recto, it's seems like you're not really up for the challenge.

There are many things that you can do here. Your entire rig effects the tone.

With some work, you can do it.
#39
Quote by bluespunkmetal
Mu experience with atts especially the Marshall Hot BRake are totally unpleasent ones......

I've tried a Carvin Legacy cranked through a Hot Brake (the amp itself isnt all that good IMHO) and it sounded like playing through a wall of .................. Digitech Stomp Boxes !!

And if you think that a L6 SPider II is better than a Mesa Dual Recto, you seriously need some professional psychiatric help, mon !!!

Long live the Recto tone !!

I think you mean the Marshall Power Break.
#40
This is what you do...
You get a few pair of these for the family, pets, neighbors, etc. and you crank that SoB.

Anyway I have a similar experience. I wasn't getting the heavy distortion out of my JSX(120 watt tube 212,not really in anyway a practice amp) so I got a MXR 10 band eq. It sounded pretty F'in metal but this week after getting back from Berklee where I attended some of the jam sessions I experienced some new tones from places I didn't expect. All the amps at Berklee are either Fender Devilles 60watt and Vox valvetronix. At the jams(usually 4 guitars+bassist+drummer) all the amps were Fenders and I was getting a decent hard rock tone with my DK1 out of them when they were cranked. So when I came back to my rig I was going to spend time and re-EQ my amp without the MXR at a higher volume and turn the switch on the back of the amp down from 120 watts to 60 watts. I spent probably an hour getting the EQs on all 3 channnels down but I got my lead tone, heavy rythm tone, and clean tone down. I left the MXR in the effects loop and it only comes on when I hit the footswitch then it makes my rythm and lead channel so heavy I have to re-EQ another time that to get an extra couple tones.


So just play around with the settings at a higher volume taking some of the settings advised before. You'll get that tone you want when you have the tubes cranked.
Current Rig
Guitar: Jackson DK-1
Amp: Peavey JSX 212
Effects: Morley Bad Horsie 2 Wah, ISP Decimator,
MXR 10 Band EQ
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