Single Rectifier Solo 50 Head review by Mesa Boogie

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (29 votes)
Mesa Boogie: Single Rectifier Solo 50 Head

Price paid: € 1250

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 9
I'm using an Ibanez RGR321EX with a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck and an air zone in the bridge. This combo can get you almost anything you want but it has its limitations. You know that tone the active EMGs produce? Well you can't get that but then again if I wanted that I would've bought EMGs. When I bought the amp I wanted to see how it sounds without any pedals in front of it. The first thing I tried was the modern mode on channel 2 *surprise surprise*. I turned everything to 12 o'clock and started dailing. This thing is versatile. Immediately I was hooked, I couldn't stop playing while my other band members were like "Dude this thing sounds HUGE!". What I noticed was that this amp has a flubby low end. This is not very good when you are a metal player but it's kind of perfect for punk. However I knew the cure to this well before I bought the amp and the cure is called OD808. Set the lil bastard with overdrive to 0, tone to 12 o'clock and balance to the max. After several power chords I came a little in my pants. The pedal adds definition to the low end and makes the amp sound closer to the dual rectifier, the sound becomes brutal and perfect for metal. If you are planning on buying this amp and play metal on it, don't forget to buy the OD808. Also don't forget to try the EL34 tubes for extra brutality. I know I didn't say anything about the Vintage and the raw settings on channel 2. That is because I don't plan to use them often and because I really doubt it anyone will buy this amp because of these. That is not to say that they sound bad but there are way cheaper amps out there that will provide similar results in this department. Now for the shitty part - the cleans. The clean channel on the single is bad. It's harsh and brittle sounding. Playing with the guitar tone knobs can make it sound decent but how the hell am I supposed to do this when I have to switch from cleans to distortion on stage? Anyway I can live with that. I'm sure with another week of tweaking I'll get better cleans out of that beast. An EQ pedal might also help here.

Overall Impression — 10
As I said earlier I play punk and metal and the amp is a perfect match for that (You didn't forget the OD808 did you?). I've been playing for 10 years and I've played on quite a few decent amps. This one however beats the crap out of them. I didn't really understand what the fuss with mesa is all about. Now I know and I'm never letting go. I'm pleased with this amp although I paid a fairly high price for it. The reason I chose it before the dual is not the price tag but the sound. Punk on dual sucks, I'm sure there will be many who disagree but I stand behind what I said. My only wish is that the cleans were as good as the ones in the dual. If someone has the balls to steal my beautiful beast I will hunt the bastard down, strap his head to my rig and CRANK it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
So far I didn't have any problems. I hope it remains that way. The shop I bought it from provides 2 years warranty and I hope I will never need it. Would I gig with it without backup? Hell yes I will, I'll just keep an extra set of matched tubes in my backpack.

Features — 10
The amp was made around 2007. I'm running it through a friends Marshall JCM900 4x12 cab and occasionally through my crappy Crate 4x12. It's a 2 channel tube amplifier with a clean and a distorted channel. It's a series 2 single rectifier which has an additional 'vintage' setting on channel 2. I play mainly metal and pop-punk and the amp is just perfect for these styles. This monster is really powerful and it could be used for gigs without any problems. To tell you the truth I was thinking of buying the Dual Rectifier and for the price I paid I could've bought a used dual but in the end I'm glad I chose the single. You can get that meaty distortion at lower volumes with the single and that comes handy when we are rehearsing. Our drummer hits like a wuss and he was always complaining that my previous Bugera 333 amp was too loud. Now we are both happy.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have had a bunch of amps and guitars in the past. Reasons for that..I may not have always had amps, but I've always had some kind of six string around. So it was always about me, my fingers and guitar. I started playing at 13 yrs old cause my parents thought my motocross and endurocross riding was not going to have a happy outcome. Cool, I just added another hobby. Still play guitar and ride dirt bikes to this day S now, I have Gibson LP Trad and a Gibson LP re-issue with P90s and the Mesa Single Rect 50W head and a Mesa cab. Okay, here is the deal. Not a pro by any stretch. I own the Single 50 W head with a Mesa 2x12 cabinet. If you are a player that DOES NOT like to work a bit to find your sound, this amp MAY NOT be for you. I am not real picky about gear, but any gear I get I start with what people find least appealing about their gear and I work from there. Honestly, I am find a better tone with the P90 Les Paul and believe it or not, finding myself getting way cool tones and feel from the P90. The humbucker Trad Paul has good tones too, just different. Single Rect guys don't normally talk about Celans. Cleans? How Clean? Joe Pass flat clean? Maybe. But you'll be rolling down your guitar volume knob. I can get a chimey clean woith the P90 LP. I may good for this thread because I don't play metal and I even though I push to harder rock, I still don't chug the metal stuff like my buddies. One friend in partricular can chug the metal like the best of them and has this amp too. But I like to take amps that aren't meant to do what they are adverstised to do and get them to other things. Just the way it is. A challenge, plus I get them to sound different. I can get a nice Blues Clean. Blues Clean? What is Blues Clean? Like BB King? I am not sure what Blues Clean is. I am originally from Memphis and there is always a bit of dirt in the blues. Jazz Clean? Al Dimeola Fusion Clean, like on Kiss My Axe? Well there are hints of sustain and some kind of drive as well going on, but sure he can play clean as glass becuase, well he's Al. But, think about the attack. The Mesa Single Rect is ALL about you and the guitar. So it fits me well. I grew up kearning to play well articulated chord and single line work. The amp, tt's not going to be forgiving so I make sire I know that whenf I play. I will eventually get a Fender clean amp again, but it won't be a Blues Junior. If your play like crap, and most of us have all sounded like crap one time or another, then this amp will frustrate you like a bad golf game, throwing your club across the lake. BUT, if you spend some time, get your pick attack finessed, like to push tubes, it is a versatile amp. I think one amp for everyhthing is hard to find and tastes vary wide. More than two amps unless you are endorsed is a waste, you probably will only really play one at a time anyway unless you're Joe Bonomassa or some spelling, that always has is Marshall on. Which I had a DSL 50 kinda liked it, but it was fizzy comnpared to my Mesa. So in essence, think about really what you are after. I only play original music, mostly fusion, blues, and rock and so therefore I listen to a lot of artists and how they get their sound and what they say is important to then, but I am not looking to duplicate their sound. The music is in the heart, then the mind, then the fingers. The Mesa will do a lot. I can get it to do a lot. It took time. You will have to spend time like finding the right woman, otherwise you'll be tradin' gear just like runnin' women. Is it really worth the effort? It's up to you....