Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 10
All of my guitars produce amazing tone on any channel. Clean channel breaks up a but even when not using the pushed mode (add a little gain) but this is a good thing in my book! lower gain setting are sparkly clean, Fender esque. Channel two: vintage mode (classic rosk to hard htting rock sounds (think Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, Kenny Wayn Shepherd, lead tones such as Tremonti, to Haynes, to Yngwie style tones with a stcked single coil). Channel three: mainly modern mode sometime Vintage. Much much darker, more volume, more gain,, loads of sustain, great for metal and drop tunings, great mid range response. On Vintage mode is good for lightr sounding grind metal, and lower gain ballads, as is channel 2 good for ballady stuff.
Overall Impression — 10
Rock/metal/hard rock/alternative/punk/'80s rock-metal amp does it all, could do other styles as well, country clean, chicken pickin, to jazz, to classic rock, to death metal to ska? I paired this up to a Marshall JCM2000 DSL-50, Marshall JCM2000 TSL-100, Framus Cobra, Engle Power Ball, and a Peavy 6505. In all aspects it outperformed, and out toned (is that a word) all of the amps had too much compression where the Mesa had just enough. The framus wasn't saturated enough, the engle was perfect minus the fact it had a flimsy mid contour, marshalls were very very bright and middy, no low end (not enough for me at least) and the Peavy had no cleans to speak of, plus a much buzzier sounding gain structure. The triple Recto beat them all hands down.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Tank. No back up. Maybe fuses, but no backup amp. Tubes go fast when you crank her, think of replacing them every six months to a year. I bought mine used, late '90s model, right around the addition of the "raw" setting. Great addition but I don't use it. Loads of great customer support via website. Love Mesa engineering they have the nicest people. Also, stick with ither Mesa tubes, or Ruby tubes.
Features — 10
FX loop enables a total out put controll and solo boost option available via foot switch. Also has the option to be run on silicon Diodes for rectification, and has a "old" Spongy" setting for pwer out out. Can be biased for EL-34's. Think that covers it? Very versitle. Loads of tonal variables.