New Recto Day! (also questions)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by mnemonic, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    This arrived much quicker than I was expecting! Well packed also.

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    She Lives

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    And my somewhat messy setup at the moment

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    3 channel non-multiwatt Dual Rectifier. I've always wanted a recto, my favorite tones pretty much all come from rectos, and this one popped up for a price I couldn't sleep on, so here it is.

    It arrived yesterday afternoon and I've been playing around with it ever since. Very loud amp, that volume control jumps up pretty quick. Luckily my normal home volume is just about where the volume jumps up when the loop is bypassed. This is making me appreciate the smooth taper of my 2/50/2's volume even more.

    As you can see from the pics above of the tubes, it has an odd pair of JJ's in there with the STR420's. I did some googling and it looks like the STR420's are discontinued now, so I assume they're the originals, and the JJ's got put in presumably when one died. That makes me think the preamp tubes are also probably original (not taken off the covers on them to check yet). Judging by the serial number I guess it was made at some point in the mid-2000's so the tubes are probably over a decade old.

    As far as sound, its very similar to my 3 channel recto patch in the axe fx, which isn't that surprising, really. Pretty heavy sounding, tons of bottom end. As I've only had an evening to mess with it so far, I haven't experimented a ton yet, and I haven't run my axe fx through its loop to compare preamps. I did do a quick comparison of Recto vs Axe FX II into 2/50/2, and the Axe FX is a lot more polished sounding, maybe more mushy on the bottom end. This was like 5 minute comparison though, I'll do more in-depth comparisons to decide which I want to keep (as much as I'd like to keep it all, I don't want to get into a position where I've got a room full of amps).

    The presence control on the Red Modern channel doesn't bite my head off like I read it should do, I can get it to half way and it isn't super fizzy so that may be a case of needing new tubes.

    Now some questions for you guys

    On my axe fx I tend to dip 400hz a few dB with an EQ, I tried that on the Recto and it works well, however enabling the loop adds a lot of fizz, is that normal? Or is the FX Loop tube on its way out? Would a darker tube or lower gain tube in V4 address that?

    I've been reading a lot about tubes the last week or so, and I've learned that I know very little about tubes. What are you guys using in your Rectos and other amps? I want to stick to 6L6 in the poweramp, but I'm open to suggestions on brand, type, etc.

    I have a vague idea of what I want to put in the preamp. I see a lot of people recommending Tung Sol reissue 12AX7 for V1, so I'll try that, as well as some JJ's and chinese 12AX7's and roll them around to see what works. I'm also open to suggestions here.
     
  2. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I popped out the chassis to see if I could find a date on the board but no luck. If they dated them, it’s not where I can see.

    Checked the preamp tubes, and they’re not all stock. Preamp is as follows:

    V1 Tung Sol 12AX7
    V2, V3 TAD 12AX7c
    V4, V5 Mesa Russian 12AX7

    I have a new Ruby 12AX7ac5 HG spare that I briefly put in my valvestate (but the difference from whatever the stock tube is was minimal so I took it out). I put it in V4 (fx loop tube) and after messing with levels a bit I was able to get it much more transparent than before. Not sure if it’s the different tube or different levels. There is still a slight difference, bypassed effects loop has slightly thicker/chunkier mids, and FX loop on is slightly fizzier, but to a much lower extent, to the point where I find it acceptable.

    I think I prefer the Orange channel to Red, it’s chunkier, slightly less aggressive, but also easier to avoid fizz in general.
     
  3. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    Congratulations and these are awesome amps regardless of the fact that people always praise the two channel or reborn series. I had a Triple recto that I reluctantly sold when I was moving from France to the UK, along with a Mesa OS Recto 4x12 cab. Monstrous set up but a bit too much for bedroom use and I needed the money more than the amp.
    Mine had relatively new tubes and I did see that too much presence gave quite a fizzy result on the red channel. However a wonderful it had a really nice clean channel.
    I can't give tube recommendations as I never changed the tubes or experimented with then but on the Peavey 5150II I tried some chinese 12XA7 on the main gain stages, V1 and V2, I wasn't really happy with the result. Too gainy and thin sounding.

    Edit: What you said about the Red channel vs the Orange is true but the Red with the correct settings can get really tight and cut through great.
     
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  4. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yup.... time for what I said... the Recto will have better depth punch, but the Axe-FX will have more clarity. :lol:

    The loops are always weird on these amps. I have considered modding mine to serial for years. It is a common mod that is super easy. Mine is a 2-Channel though, so the mod is a little different than the 3-Channel.

    As far as tubes, the most recent change I made was I used Doug's Tubes Triple Recto Metal Retube Kit.
    http://www.dougstubes.com/guitar-amp-tube-kits/mesa/mesa-boogie-triple-rectifier-tubes.html
    It seemed to sound better than the old tubes that were in it, which were TAD powetubes, and a mix of Chinese preamp tubes. I am not sure how old those were, but they were at least 6-7 years old.

    I also tend to scoop 400hz-500hz on the Axe-FX, on just about every sound. It always gives it more clarity, and makes it sound better with my 212 cabs. However, I also like to do similar with the Real Recto using a Boss GE-7 pedal. I think I just hate 400hz these days, lol.

    I typically prefer the red channel. The high end can get harsh with some settings (I keep the presence at like 9 o'clock), but I think the low end thumps more. It is more controlled on the orange channel.
     
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  5. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    ^cool, I’ve been doing some googling and it seems like those Ruby’s are fairly well regarded tubes, I may try to pick up a few more.
     
  6. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    I always put Mesa tubes in my Mesas, they just sound "right" compared to everything else I put in there. They are just rebranded JJs usually, but they seem hand picked for Mesa amps. Try to match the color code of the STRs. The SP12AX7s are killer in all amps.
     
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  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I think I may go with the Mesa STR440’s. The Ruby 6L6GCMSTR seem to be highly recommended and Doug from dougstubes says they’re the same on his website. Visually they also look identical. I guess that’s sorted since those ruby’s in Mesa spec don’t seem to be available anywhere, but the Mesa STR440’s are available.
     
  8. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    I got my pre multi watt 3 channel new in 2009 about 3 months before they announced the multi watt .so I was a little pissed when I found out but have lived with it .

    I fussed around with the parallel loop for years . running it different ways . I have tried too many things to even list but end of the day I found running it on full mix and having an eq pedal in the loop to balance out the levels and tones between bypassed and turned on works by far the best for me . yeah there is still a little dry signal at full mix but I think the problem with this is over stated as long as your pedals have analog dry . if they digitize the dry signal they will phase . for me the dry signal is so low its not heard over the wet .

    The loop mod has mixed reports. some say its a miracle, others say its the same as just turning your mix knob all the way up .so I haven't bothered

    tubes - have messed around a bit

    power have used

    mesa stock 6l6- sound good . and I have a new set in there now

    JJ 6l6- sounded good . but went bad pretty quick .lasted about 12 months .but I was gigging and rehearsing loud allot in that year

    winged C 6l6- only used these about 20 hours . made the amp muddy to my ear .

    JJ el 34- like the gain sound but I use my clean allot and don't like what they do to it


    pre. have tried a bunch . in fact i'm not positive on what I currently ended up with . I kind of got sick of messing with it so just left it one day and got on with playing

    I don't really dig the tung sol in v1. used it a long while but it makes the amp a little stiff and a bit harsh to me.

    I think I have a 12AX7ac5 HG in v1 right now.
    a JJ in v2 .
    a couple cheaper rubys in 4 and 5
    and the Sovtek 12AX7 LPS in v5

    FWIW I also like tube rectifiers over the silicon . yeah its a little tighter with silicon but the low mids sound a little off to me with silicon . the amp responds allot better with tube
     
  9. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Cool, thanks for the info. I ended up ordering the Mesa 6L6 STR440’s, they should be here tomorrow.

    I may try yanking the JJ’s or the Mesa 420’s and run at 50 Watts just to see what it sounds like. Mesa has on their website that it’s fine to do, and to run an impedance mismatch if I do this (which is easy since my cab is 16 ohms). I guess in that way I should be able to see how much of a difference the power tube brand makes.

    I’m still trying to decide which preamp tubes to order. It can be easy to spend a ton. I did order some Shuguang 12AX7b’s drop-shipped from Hong Kong. I keep seeing recommendations for 9th gen Chinese tubes but nobody sells tubes called ‘9th gen chinese’. I think that’s what the 12AX7b’s are though I guess we’ll see. They were cheap enough.
     
  10. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    Actually you jogged my memory. I have the shuguangs in v3 and v4
     
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  11. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Got my new 6L6gc str440’s in, sound great. Clearer and punchier, much more fun to play. The other tubes must have been pretty beat.

    I only got to jam around on it for like half an hour before heading out, unfortunately.

    I’ll do preamp tubes next month, I’ve already spent too much this month on more than just the amp. (My tv, toilet, and fridge all broke over Christmas).

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  12. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    I'd have to take a look to see exactly how I configured my Tremoverb. I had fun rolling from an assortment of relatively cheap current production tubes (Tung Sol RI, JJ83, JJ803 "long plate", Jan 5751, Sovtek 12ax7 LPS, EH 12ax7, various Ruby 12ax7s, and some old stock) and was looking for both a really nice clean sound and high gain sound. For power I have tried Mesa 6L6, JJ 6L6, Winged 6L6, JJ EL34L, and Tung Sol 6550. You can't really go wrong.
     
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  13. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Hard to go wrong with the Mesa power tubes :yesway:

    I went through a ton of preamp tubes and knob settings when I had my Triple Rectifier years ago. I liked a Tung Sol in V1, though it was more beneficial for the heavy sounds than cleans. Otherwise I was pretty happy with Mesa, JJ, or EHX tubes in the rest of the preamp section. I always used silicon diodes, so I never changed out the stock rectifier tubes. The amp had EL-34's loaded when I got it, which gave it a bit more pronounced crunch and presence and less extreme low low end. It was a cool sound, but that's not the point of a Rectifier, you know? Gotta have that 6l6 beef :D

    I enjoyed the orange channel in modern mode and red channel in vintage mode, gain around 1:00, treble almost off, mids around 1:00-2:00, bass at noon, presence to taste, and master around 11:00, boosted with an OD808. Because of the way the active EQ and tonestack work, cutting the treble gives you a bit of mid boost and still lets you fine tune the high end with the presence knob.
     
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  14. cardinal

    cardinal Strat 7 Guy

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    The FX loops on these are not good IMHO. The amp always sounded best with it hard bypassed.
     
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  15. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I wasn’t really a fan of what the effects loop did to the sound, until I started messing around more with my 7 band eq. Lowering the highest band (6.4k I think) and then raising the second highest two bands a bit to compensate for the lack of brightness, then turning the presence slightly higher to compensate seemed to keep it just as clear and chunky as FX Loop bypassed, but with even less fizz.

    I imagine this probably happens naturally as the volume is turned up really loud. I’m still at wall-rattling volumes at home, but I guess that is still fairly low volume for a recto.

    At the moment my eq I think is around 11:00 for bass, treble and presence, 10:00 for mids, 2:00 for gain (3rd channel in modern). For the 2nd channel in modern the settings are pretty similar except with treble at noon, presence might also be a bit higher.

    With a boost, it’s really tight and cutting on the 3rd channel, whereas the 2nd channel is chunkier, fatter, and less ‘hard edged’. I really like both.

    Cleans are pretty good too, my strat sounds great through it.
     
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  16. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I think I use close to the "Korn" settings of bass and treble about 1 oclock, and mids at 11 oclock. I use the "Nevermore" setting of the presence on 8-9 oclock, on the red channel, of my 2-channel. My gain is usually 2-3 oclock, depending on which boost I am using with it.
     
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