Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 7
I was playing an Ibanez RG270DX with a DiMarzio Exolution in the bridge through an Engl 2x12 cab with V30s. The clean channel is really bad. It always breaks up, even at single note playing. Complex chords are impossible, except with turning the guitar volume down to 3/10 and compensating the loss in volume with the solo boost (power amp volume). This is acceptable, but sterile sounding. The pushed mode is pretty good. It has a nice creamy sound for lead playing, I like this one. Too bad that you can't Switch between this one and the clean setting without setting the EQ. Ch1 and Ch2 have a different voicing, so you can't get this sound there. Raw. This is nothing special. It's just a low gain mode for classic rock without any "wow"-effects. It does not have this Class A "thump". Vintage. This is probably my 2nd favoite mode. It has lots of liquid high-gain which is quite good for a certain type of leads. Heavy rhythm sounds are also possible. The problem is, that it sounds rather buzzy and sterile. I've tried to fix this by putting JJ EL34Ls into the power amp, which made it better, but not good enough. Modern. This channel is suited for shredding and easy rhythm playing. This is the tightest channel in the Recto, but it's not tight enough for Necrophagist, because the bottom end is too flubby. It is really great for power chords, though. It has much gain, but after 2:00, the amp sounds very compressed and worse than a solid state amp, so don't use that much gain here.
Overall Impression — 7
There is a myth that Rectos are awesome the metal amps. I'd rather call them awesome hard-rock amps, because they don't do metal that good. It's very important to forget these titles and try the amps yourself. There are so many amps which are better than the recto, so don't be a fanboy and don't buy an amp because there is a "Mesa Engeneering" sign on it. I've sold my recto some weeks ago.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I can't say much about that, because I had no problems with it. I just don't like the price politics of Mesa. In the USA, the prices are 100% ok, but in other countries, they are way too high. People are just buying them because there is this Mesa-hype, which is similar to that Marshall-fanatism. This is a rip-off.
Features — 6
Well, I guess that most of them know the features. Two channels with seperate EQs, parallel fx-loop, solo boost. Ch1 has two modes (clean and pushed), while ch2 has three (raw, vintage and modern). Unfortunatly, they are not footswitchable and have a very different approach to volume and EQ, so that you can't just switch them without tweaking. The solo boost and the channel Switch are footswitchable.