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This thing is loud. I've never played it without it being in the "master volume" mode. Its older, wish I knew what year, so its in need of new tubes. If you aren't looking to spend a pretty penny on having this thing serviced, then this is not the amp for you.
edited 6 months ago
Workhorse of an amp
I got this one used at Guitar Center. I have to say that this is the most powerful amp I have played to date. It is capable of crushing metal tones but also of clear cutting leads and cleans that cut through the mix. After several previous amps I definitely think that Mesas overall fit my tone and playing style the most.
Okay, the triple rec is based heavily on Soldano's SLO100 preamp topology only with a gob of voicing switches added to each channel and an individual tone stack for each channel that is also a Soldano Tweed Bassman type of 3 band cathode follower thing. The tone controls have a wide sweep, the voicing switches do quite a bit and each channel already ahs its own unique voicing and gain structure. The power amp relies on a pile of 6L6es and you can change the rectification around between solid state for punch, dual 5U4s for some sag and 1 5U4 for ridiculous plate-starvin' compression when you dig in. There's an effects loop and a ton of other features that can be baffling to weed through.
Here's my review though... the clean tone on this amp is worthless. Its your typically weak channel switching clean. No matter how you voice it, how you set the power amp and rectification, the clean sound will be weak. The crunch channel has a bit too much gain in every voicing mode and the tone controls are hard to dial in. Its an overcompressed sound no matter what you try to do with it. Its good for certain types of rhythm playing. The Red channel, the 3rd super gainy one? It takes the SLO100 thing way over the top. In the 90s post-grunge world guys were using this crazy gain channel for rhythm all the time and it was a time of awful, sludgey guitars. Its so gainy you might as well just get a 1 channel fender head and play through a big muff.
Okay, I am being harsh. The red channel does this modern lead sound that is fairly unique. But its played out and still not cool enough to garner 'classic' status like a dimed out Marshall super lead. If you are thinking of a triple rec, skip all the features and get something that was voiced right the 1st time and make that voice your own. Think Soldano or maybe Bogner.
It is what it is, a monster of an amp with tons and tons of gain on tap. Plug in, crank it up, it's fantastic. I would like a better clean sound and I hear the newer ones deliver that somewhat but my old one from the late 90's doesn't.
Otherwise, it's heavy as hell, very quiet when you're not playing and very very reliable. I'm glad I bought one when I was a kid and was smart enough to hold onto it in the following decade and a half.