NAD: Really old Recto

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by narad, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Yo, calling all the recto experts, could use a little help on this one!

    So I've been scanning Japanese auctions for a chrome chassis black face recto, Rev G presumably, for about half a year now. Saw this pop up last week with an interesting story - supposedly this is the first Recto imported to Japan, single owner, worked on by Randall "Samurai" Smith (Yes, the ad said that, in Japanese). But the pictures were shit, and I couldn't see anything besides small logo and what looked like a serial loop (it was a photo shot from the side, but could make out the tops of the knobs in like 8bit res). He updated the last day to say that this was "The first version". So Rev C! -- I decided to go for it and wound up in a bidding war with another guy. Didn't end too high though.

    But basically didn't know what I was getting. Showed up tonight, serial number 991. WTF. As far as I know, Rev C was like < 503 or something. Obviously old, but not that old. Can anyone help me identify the rev without pulling the chassis? And anyone know if it's the Mark transformers?

    Here are some pics:

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    Also packed super shitty and the metal retention bar on the back detached in shipping and was banging around on the tubes:

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    But yea, actually, it sounds amazing. My only amp in my teen years was a triple rec, 3 channel, and so I know pretty well what they sound like. This is way different. Honestly hear a lot of the SLO DNA, but when doing chugs and chords just sounds way better than the SLO (can't put my finger on why - the SLO doesn't get mean in the same way, and pushes everything towards 80s sound). It's late so I can't get into it, but was really impressed. Anything I should test?

    But yea, pretty old. Anyone have any advice? I guess the caps could be pretty old at this point and maybe due for a change. I guess before I accept the deal I should probably test the tube rectifiers? Any other suggestions? I don't know any decent amp techs in Japan, but I guess I should find one and give it a once over, clean and polish it up.

    And like everything I buy in Japan, here's some undisclosed crud I have to figure out how to get rid of:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Actually I guess Rev C was somewhere around first 200, so the guy is way off on that "first kind" claim. I guess this is a Rev F? I'm not sure if I should send it back... It sounds good, but I was more willing to have a amp requiring some additional TLC, and to bid up higher, given that it was a Rev C :-/

    Can anyone comment on the transformers? @cardinal you have all the rectos, right? Or is that @Wizard of Ozz ?
     
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  3. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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  4. Thaeon

    Thaeon Cosmic Question Asker

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    Yeah, sounds like a Rev F. Sick amp.
     
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  5. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    It should say the revision letter on the pcb if you pop the chassis out.

    Nice looking amp, I’d love to find an old chrome chassis Recto without being robbed.
     
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  6. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Somehow I think older amps always look better than newer amps, especially if they're a bit beat up.

    That gunk is probably special mojo paste from somebody's eargasm!
     
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  7. viifox

    viifox SS.org Regular

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  8. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    If it sounds good, I would keep it! Take it apart for a deep cleaning, and check the PCB while you have it apart. I have had an old Rev G Blackface/Chrome Chassis Triple Recto for years.

    I did this recently with a Peavey Triple XXX I got. Took it apart, soap and water the tolex and headshell, and alcohol and paper towel the chassis, knobs, jacks, tube sockets, etc.... I would try alcohol first, and lighter fluid second on the gunk spot.
     
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  9. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    5u4g tubes? "Wired for 100 volts"?

    That's....unusual? Right?
     
  10. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Japan uses 100 volts mains.

    5U4G is the Rectifier tubes, same as the current rectos use (or 5U4GB)
     
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  11. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Yeah, like the others are saying, there's no way that's a Rev. C unless it was a special job by Mesa.

    I had a Rev. E that was something like #569. By #900, that should squarely be a Rev. F.

    I've heard that Mesa can and has converted some Rectos to the Rev C circuit, but it's not easy (the Rev. C and D used a different circuit board). I called to ask about it but had to leave a message that was never returned. It's at least conceivable that if a prior owner can some inside connection, it could have been converted to C, but it seems unlikely.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  12. DiezelMonster

    DiezelMonster Complainasaurus Rex

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    It is for sure a Rev F based on all the early dual Recs that I've owned.

    I had two Rev Fs that were #812 and #833
     
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  13. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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  14. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    - That's an awesome amp. I think it was George Lynch who talked about using Rectos with the old transformers. He got some good tones on those late 90's/early 2000's Dokken albums with it.
    - I would use just warm/hot water on it at first to clean it before trying anything else. Alcohol usually works really good without issue, but on some things it can take off the silk screen writing, especially when it's old. So you always get some undisclosed crud on stuff you buy there? That's funny. I always get a random screw or plastic piece rattling around inside when I buy gear, and when I take it out, it's not even part of the actual gear.
     
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  15. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Old coke bottle 420s in there too, I wonder if they are original. If you intend to put some serious miles on her, I would look into a recap.
     
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  16. DiezelMonster

    DiezelMonster Complainasaurus Rex

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    By the way, the STR420 is my favourite tube for the old rectos! I still have 2 "new in box" Quads for my amps.

    I found the Winged C tubes to sound okay but be looser in the bottom end. and for all around use the newer STR430's work just fine. You really don't need to do anything crazy with the power tubes. I had an old set of 1960's RCA rectifier tubes and at the same time had some black plate 1966 RCA 6L6's and those sounded good but took out the power tubes and left the rectifiers in, with the old STR420 power tubes the thing was an absolute monster.

    I also like newer chinese preamp tubes in the preamp in all spots. Seemed to work the best for me.

    Hope you dig it! I'd love to get another Chrome chassis some day soon, but this time a Rackmount one.
     
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  17. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I guess I'll pop it out tonight to see what the state of the inside is like before I confirm the auction and leave feedback. Just wanted to ask - is there a smart way to take the chassis out of the headshell?

    Anytime I do this I have the amp sitting normally, undo the bottom screws with one end hanging off a counter, then slide the chassis out. But I always feel that the weight of it is dragging against the inside of the headshell and this might be suboptimal. Is this what everyone does?
     
  18. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Hello boys... :deathm:

    Cool amp. Love the chrome chassis and black grill. That’s a Revision F. Not a Rev C. The first 250 built (up to serial #250) were all Rev C. Rev D went from serial # 250-500 and Rev E from 500-600... Serial #602 and up are Rev F. There are also a few Triple prototypes mixed in to the first 250 built, where the rectifier tubes were replaced with 2 power tubes (to equal 6 powers tubes for 150W output). These are rare and there are a few that were modified after leaving the factory.

    As mentioned above, the Revision version C, D, F etc is labeled is on the edge of the main pcb under the 4 30uf/500V large blue filter caps. Between the caps and power tube sockets when looking down. Shown as “RF1X” where X = revision version letter. RF1G would be a revision G for example.

    I’ve got a Rev C Dual, Rev C Triple, and a Rev F Triple... and a current MW Triple. The Rev C is really a different sounding amp. It is like a Mark 3 + Recto hybrid. Way tighter sounding and more focused and upfront than a Rev G (Classic Recto sound). Almost sounds like a different amp.

    409 cleaner and a microfiber cloth works well at taking off the crud and grime from the chrome chassis. Be careful with the knob and jack screened labels... they can get rubbed off if not careful. I’d advise pulling off all the knobs first (small Allen/hex wrench to remove the set screw) and giving the front and back panels a good wipe down.

    I personally even like the Rev F over the SLO. Just my preference.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  19. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Pretty much. You can grab each transformer as a pseudo handle and pull a bit upward while sliding out the chassis. Some of the older amps can get jammed in the headshell if not removed and serviced in a while.

    Post some gut pics of inside the chassis if you can. I always like seeing the innards.

    :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  20. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Whelp, have it out...

    Pretty rusty and dusty:

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    I heard you're not supposed to remove much rust from transformers since the rust itself forms a bit of a seal, as the original dip would have. I guess I can leave those as is, but I'm trying to remove the rest of the dust and polish up the chrome. So far just trying a little soap and water and microfiber. Seems there's a little bit of pit/rust under that dust layer. Anyone know what product to use to bring it up to a smooth polish? Can't seem to find 409 cleaner here. What about ethanol?

    [​IMG]
     
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