Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: GC Dallas
Sound — 9
I use Ibanez, Strats and Les Pauls. This amp in my view is great for the humbuckers and less great for the strat. But you knew that already, right? For rock this amp is great. The channel two set to Vintage with diode rectification is an awesome lead channel. I can't get the same out of ch 3 no matter how I try. Ch 1 is also versatile, but ch 2 is it for a really great lead sound. Ch 3 will cut off your head for modern very heavy and drop tuned guitar. No reverb IS a shortcoming no matter what - if you have to spend more for such a universal effect they are taking the mickey a little - this is NOT cheap new. You CAN dial in many sounds from this amp but like I said, it can be REALLY hard to get there. Trust me, you will spend a lot of time finding your sounds.
Overall Impression — 10
This amp can be reccommended to anyone who plays rock really. But you will spend time with getting those sounds - to the extent that 1/8 turn on a pot can make it all work for that channel. Write down everything when you find it! I would buy another if it was stolen sure (This is my second one)so its a cool amp. Its heavy and I'm getting older. No reverb does matter and I have to use external effects for that - just another thing to buy and carry. Remember if you try it out you will like channel 3 on modern mode and probably buy the amp, but then it will get hard once you get home with it. Coaxing that tone from channel 2 was quite hard to achieve, but worth the effort. I have been playing since 68 and use lots of kit - checkout www.tonymckenzie.com my website where I review kit sometimes. Given a choice today I would opt for the Road King II or the new Triple Recto 100 so that the volume could be more flexibly used.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The mesa stuff from my experience has never let me down in over 20 years of using them. From Mark 3, Mark IV, Triaxis, Road King Mk1 and Triple Recto I have never had a single fault - not even a tube. Bu that's nearly true of the other kit I have I.e. Engl, Marshall, Splawn and others, only one problem and that was on a 72 plexi because some fool messed inside who did not have a clue.
Features — 10
This one SN R-034076 was made in 2004. I called mesa and they confirmed it. Its a three channel affair with each channel offering quite different flavours of tone. I play rock so this amp fits what I tend to do, but so does Marshall (TSL100 and JVM410. The channels pop a little when switching and always have on this one. I had a Road King Mk1 once and actually did not like that - the sounds were hard to get. This is a monster when it comes to power - 150 watts and no way to shut it down, so if you play at low volumes then you can't get that sound. The TRecto is VERY picky with its settings - and I really mean that. This is the SECOND one I have. I bought the first one new and it was not good to my ears, but this second hand one is far superior sound wise. Why? I never fathomed that out, maybe the other one was a monday amp or maybe I just could not set it up right - but this one I can, so I reckon it was the amp. Try yours before you buy it.