Mesa Boogie Recto Recording PreAmp


New member
There is not much to say here, it’s actually pretty simple: if they took the word “Recording” out of the title of this unit I would probably rate it pretty high. The quality of direct recorded sound was horrible, like preamp out processed with an EQ & processed not really well I have to tell you. Other than that, it sounded like dual rectifier’s preamp section, which I believe it is a copy of. If you like the Rectifier preamp sound then chained with a good power amp it sounds really nice. I ran it with a few different power sections loaded with EL34s & they all sounded good & very close to a dual rectifier head.

Cleans were really nice. OK, this is a really difficult subject to touch, but I really like the fact that the channel is voiced very different from all the traditional Fender or Vox cleans, which, I’ll be honest with you, I like miles better than Mesa Rectifier cleans. That said, this is a new, modern & unique sound, which can be used in modern music styles with a great success.
The red channel had tons of gain, voiced towards heavy styles of music. Big surprise! :LOL: :LOL:
There were like 3 modes on each channel.

To sum it up:
Great preamp when used in the right place.
Horrible direct recording unit.


New member
ok, well i have to disagree completely with my fellow musician here that has written this review.. Sry that i am a bit late but i just discovered this forum.
First of all i want to say some thing for myself in order for everyone to understand what i am going to say for the recto preamp.
I currently own a mesa recording preamp, a road king 2, a brunetti miles, a brunetti miles 2, and another couple of power amps form brunetti.
Last year, i spend about 6 months recording and testing various amps with direct recording. I have to say that when i started working with the recto I was deeply disappointed and thought about the same, meaning that it was a great preamp with nice cleans and would be very nice as a preamp connected with a power amp.
After 6 months of recording stubbornly , i could not accept that the small fortune (3000$ in europe at that time) i have bought from mesa, is not simply doing the job that it says, which is recording directly to your console or your sound card. Well after these 6 months -here i want to say that there is no mesa boogie amp that is plug and play, all need a serious amount of tweeking and messing around- i managed to record fantastic sounds both for cleans and hight gain. The recordings were made with a RME fireface 400 and nothing else. I used no effects, very light eq from nuendo, no compressors no nothing. I must say that now, a year after i obtained the mesa road king, i find no reason to use anything else except my recto preamp in order to record the ''mesa'' sound.
There are other critics and people thinking exactly the same if you search in other forums. The recto preamp, has the BEST cleans i have ever recorded -keep in mind that mesa road king 2 has the clean channel taken form the lone-star the ''star'' of cleans. well the recto owns it. The distortion recorded with the recto preamp is more of a modern sound, close to the sound that you can listen in Fates warning or better in OSI. The distortion is not that flexible, but you can surely record high gain, rock and hard rock properly without anyone knowing that the amp you are using is a direct recording amp.
The recto preamp will go fantastic with EMG picups and a clean good booster pedal. Anyone that wants to listen to all these, can symply email me to in order to send him clips.
Mesa boogie recording preamp is a FANTASTIC preamp for a studio operation as a standalone and a fantastic preamp accompanied with its power amp that is that 100/100 mesa boogie power amp.
PS: dont get ourself fooled :doh: , this is a very difficult piece of equipment that needs practice, but eventually gives every penny back
All luck to all,
constantine :thumbsup:


New member
I'd be very interested in hearing the great tones you have recorded using it. You can use soundclick or for sharing your mp3s with us.


New member
Well, that didn't change my initial opinion a little bit. Very similar to what I used to get out of it, sounds more like a synthesizer than a guitar amp. I did enjoy the clean tone, but it was due to your guitar, it would probably sound amazing through an amp miked. Very cool! I'd love to try that guitar!


Active member
nbarts":11plbnef said:
I'd be very interested in hearing the great tones you have recorded using it. You can use soundclick or for sharing your mp3s with us.

There is also , which is an extremely handy resource for also checking out fellow members' tone clips. It is free and easy to use. It was set up by a member of the (formerly great, now shite) Harmony Central.


New member
This is all good info. I was considering this unit as a possible upgrade or even an odd pairing with my Vtwin rack, which CAN give some good DI and live tones through a power amp, if exhaustively tweaked. But, here again, I have heard from many guitarists, techs and engineers that whereas a Marshall, for instance, is almost plug in, turn on, play, and sound great, Mesa and Boogie gear needs "finessing" (which, depending on your level of patience, urgency, and intoxication, may involve either a lot of knob-twisting, kicking the cabinet, or both) to get the best tones for a given application.