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Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording Preamp

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User Reviews

Great at what it wasn't built for

By SonicPulverizer, 09/10/2012
Mesa Boogie sought to answer the trend of digital emulations of their rectifier series amps with an analog alternative, the rectifier recording preamp. Featuring 2 distinct channels and 6 user modes (clean/ fat/ brit for channel 1 and raw/ vintage/ modern for channel 2), the preamp is modelled closely to the typical rectifier amp with some notable additions. A bright and -3db pad are added to channel and a preamp voice toggle on channel 2 allows you to choose between "live bright" and "warm record" modes. The preamp is tube based running 6 12ax7's and an effects loop is present as well. The focus of the preamp was the recording output, however, mesa have included several I/O options to make the unit gig friendly as well. The construction is top notch and the preamp looks very sharp in a rack.


The preamp is very simple to use and connects directly to an interface to record to your DAW. The inclusion of a footswitch makes sessions easy to navigate. I used the preamp with an external power amp and cabinet with wonderful results. With this configuration, the unit sounds splendid at both bedroom and gigging volumes. Construction is solid and gives you the same sense of confidence as any other Mesa product.


The cleans are voiced differently from a normal rectifier head, offering note separation and brilliance typically not found in the series. The bright switch worked very well livening up my dark sounding Gibson's and sounded at home stock with my brighter, maple fretboard equipped guitars. The gain sounds are excellent and being able to control your output with a poweramp can deliver some very saturated sounds. As impressed as I was with the live application of this product, I felt that the direct recording function was a little underwhelming. The preamp direct sounded lifeless and lacked the excitement of capturing the same setup in the room with a e609 microphone.


If you are looking for a preamp to match with a poweramp and cab, this is an excellent tube offering that can be had for as little as $650 used. If you were excited about the direct recording application of the rectifier preamp, you will more than likely be dissapointed with the results.


By iamqman, 06/04/2011
When I think of Mesa Boogie I think of pro built high quality amps and cabinets. Mesa has built a solid reputation for building solid road worthy and abuse taking equipment. Many professionals have played and toured with Mesa over the years.

The biggest and one of the first major bands was Metallica. They used Mark llC+ quite extensively throughout the years. Now I think they have moved toward Diezels, but anyway they still record with them to this day.

Another favorite band of mine that used them was Stryper when they first stared out. They used Mark lll Coliseums which are almost impossible to come by anymore.

Finally, a band that just released a new album is Foo Fighters which uses the Rectifiers to get there touring and recording sound. You generally won't see anything else on stage with them that isn't a Mesa. So there are some great bands who use this top notch brand.

Rectifier Recording® PreAmpFEATURES:

Handbuilt in Petaluma, California

Pure Analog “Recto Direct” Recording Circuitry (no digital modeling) / 6x12AX7

2 Fully Independent Channels with 6 Modes (Channel 1 = Clean, Fat or Brit; Channel 2 = Raw, Vintage High Gain or Modern High Gain)

Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence & Master Controls per Channel • Bright Switch and Pad Switch (Channel 1)

Live Bright/Warm Record Voice Switch (Channel 2)

Record Output Level Control

“Live” Output Control (over all channels) • Solo Level Control

Parallel FX Loop w/Stereo Returns & Mix Control

1 Smart Power Function Trigger (Controls Smart Power Modes on Select MESA Power Amps – “Deep, Half Drive or Modern”)

Independent Stereo Main & Recording Outputs

External Switching Inputs

2 Button Footswitch (Channel 1/2 & Solo)
Rectifier Recording® PreAmpAvailable As:

Rectifier Recording® Pre-Amp — 2 Rack Spaces


This unit was really designed to be used in the studio format. You can definitely use it in a live situation with a Mesa power amp but I think the whole point is using in the studio directly into a mixing console. Because basically at the same price you can buy a Dual Rectifier head that comes with a power amp.

Mesa are just as basic as eating pie to figure out...unless its a Mark series. However, we are talking about the Rectos and they are simple. This preamp comes with two channels and six modes that take you from three for the clean and three for the high gain channel. No need for a manual since the controls are pretty self explanatory.


If you have ever played a Dual Rectifier then this is exactly the same. You have a solid sounding clean channel and massive high gain channel. Me... I think both channels are fantastic but that isn't why we buy Mesa Boogies. Crank up the gain on the Modern switch and man does your chest hurt from the low end thump. These tones are so massive and beefy that nothing really compares to a Recto sound. Slap a humbucker style guitar in front of it and you will get a huge wall of sound slamming the rest of your band.


Mesa Boogie is a fine amp company that still finds ways in new products to capture a whole new crowd of followers. I would recommend this mp to anyone who needs Recto amp and needs it for studio use. At new they come in at a round $1400. Great bang for the buck and a little less then the Triaxis and many other preamps.

jmabate's review

By jmabate, 16/12/2008
2-channel preamp Mesa all lamps, 6 12AX7A (preamp Dual Rectifier head).
3 modes per channel
gain, bass, mid, treble, presence, volume per channel
a master for direct output (recording to mixing desk)
a master outputs for live (power amp for the stage)
a master for live solo (lead and chorus)
an effects loop (send, and retrun L & R mix)
2 channel selectors on the rear (channel 1 & 2 and Solo) a switch at the front entrance to the pedals Mesa,
1 guitar input on the front and rear.

Would a midi interface was top!


Easy to use, everything is in front, you branch scratches and sounds!
the manual and friendly, a lot of text but nice.


I love the sound Mesa (saturated channel), but it's hard to play since it renders to perfection how to play, whether its light or saturated, which cuts both ways! but great nonetheless.


Super preamp (the blow your hand and too much new)
tastes and colors change from person to person, but it is undeniable that it has assets of sacred in his pocket, power, and precision!

MikePetrucci's review

By MikePetrucci, 07/01/2008
Tube preamp, designed for use stereo.
Designed a priori to register but still great live.
Basic adjustments, simple and effective.
However, 3 modes per channel (or 6 modes in total) to expand the sonic palette.


Pretty simple setup.
On his final may take time to be found, however, gives good sound quickly.
The manual is accurate and complete.


Then it sends the heavy! I bought it for a big sound to Metallica or Dream Theater ... Eben I served! It is ideal for this type of sound (in the clear as saturated). I use a Jackson Custom fitted with Seymour SH4 and SH2 or an Ibanez RG Prestige. Nothing to say, we're going to the small overdrive blusy (Raw Mode) to saturation more than unreasonable to James Hetfield.


I use it recently and I do not really regret this investment.
It is perfect and suitable for all styles (although the Rectifier is not for the Star Academy)

Quite expensive (it's Mesa ...) but it is well worth the effort.

This choice I would do without hesitation.
I put 9 / 10 because nothing is perfect!
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Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording Preamp tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Mesa Boogie
  • Model:Rectifier Recording Preamp
  • Category:Tube Guitar Preamps
  • Added in our database on: 09/07/2003

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Other names: rectifierrecordingpreamp