Purchased from: Guitart Center
Features — 9
This is the Mesa Single Rectifier Series 2 Rect-O-Verb 50. It is a 2 channel amp with a dedicated clean and dirty channel. Within each channel are modes which are accessed via dip switches as shown below. On the Clean channel there is Clean/Pushed. On the Dirty channel there is Raw/Vintage/Modern. Some research tells me that this amp was made in 2000 and is a "Series 2" amp in that it has three modes for the dirty channel instead of just two. There is a global output (master) volume control as well as a global solo boost volume control. Each channel from right to left has Gain-Treble-Middle-Bass-Presence-Reverb-Master Volume. On the back you have a Slave out, 4 and 8 ohm speaker outs, a bias switch for 6L6 or EL34s, FX Mix control, FX in and out, and Channel 1 and 2 switch. I wish this switch was on the front. It amp channels are footswitchable though and luckily GC had one from an F-30 and they gave me that. I can't think of too many more features I would want on here.
Sound — 8
Tone wise, this is pretty much what I've been looking for. It is kind of everything the Splawn is lacking. The Splawn is super articulate and well built for sure but is also fairly dry and mid heavy. The Single Rec is more saturated and modern - which is pretty much what I was looking for. I can get those things out of my Peavey Vypyr Tube 60 as well and the Recto and Diezel channels on that amp are pretty good imo, but nothing beats the real deal. Also, the cleans on the Mesa are really really nice to my ears. They have chime, pop and bloom which the Splawn clean channel lacks. So the Mesa has a "decent" mid gain tone but not as smooth as the Splawn. To get what I want out of the Splawn I have to use an OD pedal up front and an EQ pedal in the loop. What I like about the Mesa the most is the unadulterated grind. As Munky from Korn calls it - "The Tractor." This amp has the Tractor.
The only downside that I can find is that there is not that much headroom on the Clean Channel. It gets overdrive pretty easily. Also - the reverb is broken in mine so I can't comment on that. Very happy overall with the sound, and actually a bit surprised at how good the cleans are. There is a certain level of one dimensionalism but the modes on the channel all work as advertised and do provide flexibility there. It is also a bit boomy in the low end. Therefore, I am giving this amp an 8/10 on tone.
Reliability & Durability — 8
As you can imagine, the Build Quality is on par with the Mesa heritage of making sturdy well built amps. The wiring is real clean and there are no loose parts or anything that looks shaky. You can tell the amp was not slopped together. I feel like I could drop it from shoulder height onto concrete and it would still work. The pots all have a nice even control (resistance) to them and have a quality feel. The jacks are all very solid as well. I will post some gut shots later. My only complaint is that the tubes are PCB mounted but the PCB is reinforced under the sockets so I never got a bad feeling even when pushing down real hard on the tubes. Mine came with a pair Fender branded Groove Tube 6L6Bs and mostly JJ preamp tubes minus one Mesa branded Russian 12AX7-A phase inverter. I tried a few other preamp tubes including a JAN 5751 and some Groove Tube 12AX7s and it seems to sound best just the way I received it. My next test is to put my JJ 6L6s in there to see if I can hear a difference.
The Transformers have a fair amount of rust or something on them but I guess that can be expected considering the amp is 13 years old. There were a few scratches on the tolex but luckily they are on the underside of the headshell. The hand strap is ripped a bit in one place as if it has been lifted up and down a lot. Luckily I won't be moving it around too much. The chassis itself and faceplate are all in great shape which was somewhat surprising. So cosmetically I give it an 8/10. The leather handle is somewhat ripped due to what appears to be a lot of lifting. The amp overall is just in really good condition for its age and the quality shines through in all aspects. I could do without the cheap plastic connectors for the power transformer leads though.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I am very impressed. To be honest, I was a little uncertain at first due comments I've heard about a loose low end and not having a lot of articulation. Once I got it dialed in at home most of those concerns have faded - although it is a bit boomy. My clip will give you a sense of this. Some parts are very articulate and some are boomy. I would recommend this amp to others. Here is a link to my NAD thread which also contains pictures and gut shots along with a link to some clips of the amp.