Rocket 440 Review

manufacturer: Mesa Boogie date: 10/22/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Mesa Boogie: Rocket 440
This amp is by far the greatest I've had the pleasure of using. The only amplifier I've ever had to come close is my 1968 Fender Bandmaster Vibrato.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) pictures (1) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
Rocket 440 Reviewed by: Guild King, on october 22, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 750

Features: I believe this amp is from the late 90's. It's extremely versatile, going from extremely clean tones to ridiculous distortion, and everything in between. I play blues, alternative, classic rock, hard rock, punk, and even some metal. This amp can cover all those, and more. It's technically one channel, but acts more like three. It has rhythm (clean), lead (distortion), and lead + contour (heavy distortion). There are separate master and gain levels for both Rhythm and Lead, but it should be noted that when contour is switched on, there's a significant volume increase. The amp also includes a spring reverb, and analogue tremolo. The reverb is great, although turned up to high creates a slight ringing feedback. The tremolo has speed and intensity controls, and is wonderful, for everything from a slight bluesy wave, to a fast, intense metal sound. There is an effects loop (with dry/wet control), headphone jack/record out, and speaker outputs (for the combo's 4x10 cabinet, and/or two more speakers). It also includes a silent record switch, which turns off all power to the speakers, running sound only from the record out- it should be noted that the resistance must be maintained, or you can damage the amplifier. I use this for full band rehearsals (2 guitars/bass/drums/keyboards/vocals, all powered). The amp is more than loud enough for any small/medium shows, and unless you're playing an arena, probably will not need to be mic'd. The amp is 45 watts, tube, running through a 4x10 cabinet. // 9

Sound: Through this amp, I've used a modified Fender Telecaster (with active pickups- single coil neck, humbucker bridge), a Tele Standard, a Strat Standard, two different Gibson Les Pauls, a Gibson SG, a 1968 Guild s-100, and a Squier Fat Strat. All of the guitars sound fantastic through this amp, and even my acoustics (a Fender, an ovation, and a taylor) sound great through this amp, albeit dirty. Perfect for blues. The amp isn't noisy at all, although fluorescent lights screw with single coil pickups in general. You can make everything from sparkling cleans to distortion that'll blow your face off. The clean channel will distort at high volumes, as will all tube amps, but it still has a wonderful sound. This can be controlled by dialing up and down the gain setting on the rhythm channel. The distortion can be from a slight crunch, to a creamy saturated sound, to heavy, heavy metal distortion. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I will definitely use this amp without a backup. make sure the tubes are healthy, and give it a solid 5 minute warm up, and you'll have no worries. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp is by far the greatest I've had the pleasure of using. The only amplifier I've ever had to come close is my 1968 Fender Bandmaster Vibrato. If this was stolen/lost, I would replace it without hesitation. I've played it against a number of Vintage Marshalls, a Sunn, and a Mesa/Boogie dual rectifier. It comes out on top every time. I love the range of sounds and styles this amp is good for. An all around workhorse, you'll never need another amp. // 10

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