Mesa Badlander: what do Recto aficionados think?

protest

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The volume has to be above 9:00, otherwise it's thin. That volume is pretty loud though, so if you played it at a store you probably weren't getting it to where it needed to be.

The clean channel is great. The gain channels are very tight. Easily as tight as a Mark. There's enough gain and bass you just need to turn them up to places you wouldn't on a Recto, I think I ran them at 3:00 when I borrowed my buddies, and you need to have the volume up.
 

DeathByButterslax

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The volume has to be above 9:00, otherwise it's thin. That volume is pretty loud though, so if you played it at a store you probably weren't getting it to where it needed to be.

The clean channel is great. The gain channels are very tight. Easily as tight as a Mark. There's enough gain and bass you just need to turn them up to places you wouldn't on a Recto, I think I ran them at 3:00 when I borrowed my buddies, and you need to have the volume up.

I did get the open the amp up a bit, but I don’t think I tried the bass at 3:00. Seems weird you’d need it so high
 

BadSeed

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So, the amp definitely will not sound anywhere near as full or bass heavy as a traditional Rectifier. It has a much tighter, more immediate reaction, and a lot of that is due to the low mid and sub bass frequencies that have been cut.

As far as saturation, the Crush channel has plenty of gain on tap, even without a boost. I'm not sure how much gain you guys are trying to push, but the crush gain around 3 oclock and even mid output pickups gets me where I need to be, sometimes even more with hotter pickups.

The Crush channel is where. I like the amp the most, personally. The amp is open and really mid forward. This channel, however, does lack gain and needs the gain dimed with a boost out front to reach optimal saturation for most modern tones.

The power tubes don't make much of a difference in this amp, btw. I've had countless comments on my Badlander videos saying that 6L6 tubes would turn it into a Multiwatt Rectifier. Lol, no. I even made a video to prove this. Power tubes make very little difference in the grand scheme of things.

Like any amp, you can get the best out of it by building your rig around it. Want more lows? Fatter/darker sounding guitar with a bass heavy pickup, a boost that doesn't cut out the low end (there are plenty), A speaker cab and speakers that emphasize the low end (Swamp Thang, DV77, Redback) and if you feel inclined, an EQ in the loop.

But, not everyone has the luxury of picking and choosing each part of their signal chain to benefit 1 particular amp. If you're looking for the wall of sund Rectifier thing, just get a Rectifier. If you want a more modern sounding amp that's super tight and you don't need overkill levels of saturation, go wit the Badlander.

For people who like the Rectifier, but just wish you could tighten it up (myself) try a Pepers Dirty Tree, Electric Eye Mud Killer, or BB Preamp to boost it. You can fine tune the bass response on all 3 pedals and they go a long way in focusing the low end,
 

protest

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So, the amp definitely will not sound anywhere near as full or bass heavy as a traditional Rectifier. It has a much tighter, more immediate reaction, and a lot of that is due to the low mid and sub bass frequencies that have been cut.

As far as saturation, the Crush channel has plenty of gain on tap, even without a boost. I'm not sure how much gain you guys are trying to push, but the crush gain around 3 oclock and even mid output pickups gets me where I need to be, sometimes even more with hotter pickups.

The Crush channel is where. I like the amp the most, personally. The amp is open and really mid forward. This channel, however, does lack gain and needs the gain dimed with a boost out front to reach optimal saturation for most modern tones.

The power tubes don't make much of a difference in this amp, btw. I've had countless comments on my Badlander videos saying that 6L6 tubes would turn it into a Multiwatt Rectifier. Lol, no. I even made a video to prove this. Power tubes make very little difference in the grand scheme of things.

Like any amp, you can get the best out of it by building your rig around it. Want more lows? Fatter/darker sounding guitar with a bass heavy pickup, a boost that doesn't cut out the low end (there are plenty), A speaker cab and speakers that emphasize the low end (Swamp Thang, DV77, Redback) and if you feel inclined, an EQ in the loop.

But, not everyone has the luxury of picking and choosing each part of their signal chain to benefit 1 particular amp. If you're looking for the wall of sund Rectifier thing, just get a Rectifier. If you want a more modern sounding amp that's super tight and you don't need overkill levels of saturation, go wit the Badlander.

For people who like the Rectifier, but just wish you could tighten it up (myself) try a Pepers Dirty Tree, Electric Eye Mud Killer, or BB Preamp to boost it. You can fine tune the bass response on all 3 pedals and they go a long way in focusing the low end,

Yep the Crunch channel with the gain dimed and an EP boost out front was a killer lead sound.

I think the general advice is really:

Want the recto metal tone? Get a 2 Channel

Want the recto tone, but need more than that? Get a Multiwatt

Always wanted to like Rectos, but never could? Try a Badlander
 

sakeido

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It ain't a Recto and it sucks. I got roasted for it when I said so at the time but it's way more in the line of their British amps than the traditional Recto sound.. Stiletto Fluid Drive/heavily boosted RA/Triple Crown with somewhat different EQ on it. It's incapable of doing the giant, baggy ass Recto sound no matter how you set it. I had it cranked and the amp refused to lose its shit and get wild.

It does have good tones in it, the Crunch tone is excellent, but the layout is dumb. Two cloned channels is a big step back for Rectos that have had 3 usable, varied channels for 20 something years now. You pay more, to get less. At the very least they should have included a -15 or -30dB attenuator circuit in it... that's the one "advanced" feature the Recto line badly needs.

The Dual Rec and Triple Crown cost the same and are going to be better choices for 99% of people
 

cmpxchg

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Yep the Crunch channel with the gain dimed and an EP boost out front was a killer lead sound.

I think the general advice is really:

Want the recto metal tone? Get a 2 Channel

Want the recto tone, but need more than that? Get a Multiwatt

Always wanted to like Rectos, but never could? Try a Badlander
I've had the Badlander 100 for almost a year, and I think this is accurate. I have a TC100, I really like it, but I wanted something slightly darker, more "modern," something like that. I like hearing other people play Rectos, but when I've tried them (with the caveat that I've never owned one, just played other people's), I could never get something I liked out of it--too much flubby bass, too much fizz, not enough definition, didn't feel like I could get very different sounds with pick dynamics. (I would totally believe that this is due to me not spending enough time with Rectos, but that's a different topic.)

Badlander just worked for me with almost zero effort. The sound/EQ curve is different enough to the TC that I don't mind having both. TC has more saturation, Badlander has more grunt? force? something? I switch back and forth between them, they're different animals.

Cons of the Badlander: yes, Crunch is great, but it'd be nice if it had slightly more gain (it doesn't always need a boost, it responds well to picking harder, but a boost definitely makes it easier to play at the cost of some of those pick dynamics). The control layout has some advantages, but I prefer the three-channel layout of the TC. Never tried the IR loader since I use a Suhr RL + DAW, not a fan of amps including those. Lack of a footswitch for the FX loop (or MIDI) is blah. (the Invective, with its enormous footswitch, is still the best amp I've tried in that regard)

I don't know that the Badlander is that Recto-like, it's definitely not the successor to the Dual Rectifier MW, but for someone like me who wanted to like Rectos but didn't, it's been good.
 

cardinal

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Thanks all. I guess the OP was an inartful way of asking whether the Badlander (marketed I think as a tighter, brighter Recto) was something like a Rev C Recto that had been repackaged, but from the descriptions here that answer is a definitive "no."
 

MetalHead40

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The volume has to be above 9:00, otherwise it's thin. That volume is pretty loud though, so if you played it at a store you probably weren't getting it to where it needed to be.

The clean channel is great. The gain channels are very tight. Easily as tight as a Mark. There's enough gain and bass you just need to turn them up to places you wouldn't on a Recto, I think I ran them at 3:00 when I borrowed my buddies, and you need to have the volume up.

Never played a Badlander, but owned a MW Dual and same applied. EQ and set with the ears, not the eyes. I think too many folks don't jive with amps because of this. So many condemn the "fizz" on Rectos, I ran treble near 0 and mids/treble/presence to taste and it had zero fizz.
 

Emperoff

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Never played a Badlander, but owned a MW Dual and same applied. EQ and set with the ears, not the eyes. I think too many folks don't jive with amps because of this. So many condemn the "fizz" on Rectos, I ran treble near 0 and mids/treble/presence to taste and it had zero fizz.

Metalheads evolved from B10 M0 T10 tones to start sweating when turning knobs past 6 or below 4. :lol:
 

sakeido

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Never played a Badlander, but owned a MW Dual and same applied. EQ and set with the ears, not the eyes. I think too many folks don't jive with amps because of this. So many condemn the "fizz" on Rectos, I ran treble near 0 and mids/treble/presence to taste and it had zero fizz.
that's one of the fundamental parts of amp design... how it sound with the knobs around 5. So many supposedly unique voicings can be gotten out of other amps with somewhat more extreme settings... everything's a SLO underneath after all
 

starbelly

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I've had the Badlander 100 for almost a year, and I think this is accurate. I have a TC100, I really like it, but I wanted something slightly darker, more "modern," something like that. I like hearing other people play Rectos, but when I've tried them (with the caveat that I've never owned one, just played other people's), I could never get something I liked out of it--too much flubby bass, too much fizz, not enough definition, didn't feel like I could get very different sounds with pick dynamics. (I would totally believe that this is due to me not spending enough time with Rectos, but that's a different topic.)

Badlander just worked for me with almost zero effort. The sound/EQ curve is different enough to the TC that I don't mind having both. TC has more saturation, Badlander has more grunt? force? something? I switch back and forth between them, they're different animals.

Cons of the Badlander: yes, Crunch is great, but it'd be nice if it had slightly more gain (it doesn't always need a boost, it responds well to picking harder, but a boost definitely makes it easier to play at the cost of some of those pick dynamics). The control layout has some advantages, but I prefer the three-channel layout of the TC. Never tried the IR loader since I use a Suhr RL + DAW, not a fan of amps including those. Lack of a footswitch for the FX loop (or MIDI) is blah. (the Invective, with its enormous footswitch, is still the best amp I've tried in that regard)

I don't know that the Badlander is that Recto-like, it's definitely not the successor to the Dual Rectifier MW, but for someone like me who wanted to like Rectos but didn't, it's been good.
Do you have a preference between the Badlander and the TC-100? If so, why?
 

eaeolian

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So, I'll confess I have no firsthand experience with a Badlander.

But, I DO have firsthand experience with running EL34s and E34Ls in a couple different Rectos, and evberything people tell me about this amp, and what I can pick up from demo recordings, does make me think it sounds a lot like a Rectifier with EL34s or E34Ls in the poweramp rather than 6L6s.

So, I kind of struggle to understand where this fits in the Mesa lineup, much less the "hot new thing" buzz where it was like every Mesa afficionado thought it was the best Mesa ever when it came out.
My experience is limited to playing a couple in stores, but I think they made a very minor change to the preamp, too, which moved the low EQ point. Honestly, it sounds like a lot of the modelers doing a Recto to me - not quite enough "thump", even accounting for the EL34s. I mean, it definitely has the Stiletto transformer and runs the EL34s hotter than a regular Recto, but I thought the Stiletto Stage II was a better amp.
 


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