Sound — 9
I am using this amp with a Gibson Les Paul Studio and I was shocked with how versatile the amp is. I was expecting it to be a great metal amp but it really - with the right settings - can nail a huge range of tones. Channel 1: Clean - I would say this is the easiest channel to get a good sound out of. I keep the presence on really high and you can get some great Metallica-esque clean sounds out of. Crank up the mids a little and you can get a fuller sound with a nicer break up at higher volumes. The headroom isn't the best but it isn't bad either. Pushed- This is the real dark horse of a channel in my opinion, people tend to focus on the higher gain channels but some of the best sounds to be had from this amp are on this channel. Lots of presence and treble and you can get past this amps dark tendancies to get some nice bright crunchy sounds. Channel 2: Raw- I tend not to use this as it is probably the hardest setting to get a good sound out of. It has less gain than the other two settings and looses volume aswell. Vintage - This channel is optimised for this mode and you can tell. I leave the gain just under half and with full mids I get tones not a million miles away from that of josh homme on a few qotsa songs and other medium gain rock. Modern - I don't use this very often as a like the Vintage mode more but it is a great option if you need two high gain channels, it is similar in nature to channel 3's modern but has a less responsive presence control. Channel 3: Raw - Same as channel 2, dont use it often, lower gain, a little dark for my tastes. Vintage - A good option if you don't like such a compressed sound and are into more Vintage, classic high gain sounds. Modern - This setting is that the amp is famous for, it has more gain than you will ever need and a great chunky, fat bottom end. It should be noted that the mid control is very different when compared to other amps - to get a scooped mid sound the control has to be dailed off almost completely. I have my mids around 10/11 with a decent amount of bass and treble and it is a fantastic metal sound very reminicant of Metallica in my opinion. The bottom end can get a little flabby and if you like it tighter then the bold, solid state rectification option is deffinitly for you.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I love this amp and wish people would realise how versatile it is and that it is not just a brutal metal amp. I play virtual every style of music and it suit's nearly all of them - with the right settings. I think that the major stumbling block with people and this amp is that it is much harder to get a nice sound out of than other amps, but once you have found that sound, it's fantastic. If this amp were stolen I would deffinitly consider getting another, I might save up a bit more and get a Diezel VH4 but I certainly have no regrets in buying this amp and hope to have it for a long time to come.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp weighes a tonne and feels very, very sturdy. It seems well built and I have had no problems yet. I would use it at a gig without a backup but I would always have a spare set of tubes just encase of an accident. A great feature about the amp is the fixed bias which means that there is no fiddling arround with bias and it can never need rebiasing.
Features — 9
This is the newer, 3 channel Dual Rectifier from Mesa/Boogie. The amp has 100 watts and the aformentioned 3 channels which are changed through the use of the included 'Big Foot' footswitch. The footswitch has 5 buttons, one for each channel, one for the effects loop and a 'solo' button which switches the master volume control used enabling you to engage a volume boost for solos. Each Channel has the standard Treble - Middle - Bass EQ, a presence control, gain control and a volume. The first channel has a Clean/Pushed Switch and the other two channels have a Raw/Vintage/Modern. Some other features of the amp are: -Power amp output -Effects Loop -5 outputs for speaker cabs -extenal switching inputs for channels 1, 2 & 3, solo and effects loop -Spongy/Bold Switch which switches from tube to solid state rectification -Fixed Bias with a 6L6/EL-34 selector I do wish it had a Reverb but I can Live without untill I buy a reverb pedal. It could also do with four channels due to the huge array of sounds that can be accessed on each channel (I think the Road King has four channels). I probably ought to mention that the amp is obviously tube, there are 11 in total, 4 6L6's, 2 5U4's, and 5 12AX7's.