Should Mesa Have Called it Something Else?

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rarebitusa

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Other then a Rectifier???

Doug West indicated that the Badlander sales had a good start but "sadly have fallen on it's face" in the US. Yes the lack of transformers meant they couldn't produce them for two years, which surely played into it. He did go on about this model being a "new take on the Rectifier".

So I'm not really a core Recto guy and TBH not qualified to say if an amp chugs well or not. To my ears the Badlander is more Mark like with a heavy Brit focus and a much tighter low end and I'm a major fanboy.

But should they have marketed it differently? Putting it in the Rectifier line seems to have have set certain expectations. Players who would never consider a Rect would not give it a look. Consider the sales seems Recto folks have not embraced this new Rect take, a puzzling misnomer since it's the one without a Rect Tube :eek:.

In fact it wasn't really on my radar till posts on this forum had me take a serious look at one and glad I did.

But with the Mark VII and the TC out there where could they have put it? Should they have created a "Rectiless" model line with it? hmmm
 
People have asked the same question about the Maverick and Blue Angel as well. It could just be that everyone who wanted that kind of amplifier already got one. The badlander seems to be almost a stripped down Rectifier intended for home direct recording, and one voiced so that it wouldn't "need" a booster for the super heavy tones. Maybe that's just not what people want right now.
 
People have asked the same question about the Maverick and Blue Angel as well. It could just be that everyone who wanted that kind of amplifier already got one. The badlander seems to be almost a stripped down Rectifier intended for home direct recording, and one voiced so that it wouldn't "need" a booster for the super heavy tones. Maybe that's just not what people want right now.
oh yea the Maverick... totally forgot about that one :unsure: yea my buddy has one, fun amp to play. But every time I do, it reminds me of my LSS. That's even more of a Rect misnomer then the BAD. In fact IIRC Andy Timmons was 1st using a Maverick before he went onto the LS.
 
Where does mesa do marketing? I don't think I've ever seen a digital ad anywhere from them. You can't rely on influencers to sell your gear, and guitar magazines aren't anywhere near as heavily read as they used to be.

Maybe I'm in the wrong territory (outside the USA and Europe) to not be important enough.

Plus, I don't think the Gibson buyout did them any favours in the short term. It'll settle down but Gibson isn't as well regarded these days..
 
I'm still curious on a Badlander since it's release.

However, I have a few Singles, RoVs, Dual Rev. G and two Mark IIIs, not quite sure where I would be gaining. Not to mention a few JCMs. Huge fan of all these amps.

My gut tells me I would be more apt to head for a Mark VII at this point.
 
There could be some sort of reason why Mesa has a separate channel for the Badlander on their website. Is that to prepare us for the absence of the Recto line of products? Perhaps they wanted to pull in the Recto crowd into this new product than to center attention on a different line. It does not belong in the Rectifier lineup. Not because it lacks the tube rectifier as there are a few Rectifier amps that do not have a tube rectifier. Take for instance the Stiletto series. The Deuce, Trident and the ACE, they fell into their own category but are Rectifier amps to the core, more so than the other amps in Mesa's lineup.

I do like the BAD. It is different. Is it a platform they can build on and expand if they so desire to do so. It could be yet another amp that will drop out in a few years like some of the other amps. Royal Atlantic (including the TA series), Electra Dyne were not made for very long. I would assume that in 5 years it will be a forgotten amp like the rest of them.

When was the last time anyone has seen a guitar magazine? Most of what I see is the internet full of junk amps in reviews recommending the Blackstar or some other Chinese made product. Forgot about the Wang amp. Those adds used to pop up here some time ago.
 
oh yea the Maverick... totally forgot about that one :unsure: yea my buddy has one, fun amp to play. But every time I do, it reminds me of my LSS. That's even more of a Rect misnomer then the BAD. In fact IIRC Andy Timmons was 1st using a Maverick before he went onto the LS.
Maybe, but back when it came out, it was 1994, two years after the "Solo Head" Dual Rectifier came out, and about a year after the Trem-O-Verb. It had the same switchable rectifiers, used the same foot switch as the Solo Head and Tremoverb, and was pretty much set up the same way. It was a "lower gain" type of amp that has pretty close to two fully independent channels, where each has it's own input driver tube.

So, it really was a "dual rectifier" at that point, just not one designed for high gain. The Maverick definitely shares DNA with the later Lonestar series, which would not come out until 2003. The overall topology is also a bit different, and definitely the lead channel gain character seems different to my ears.
 
I don't think sales going flat has anything to do with the amp itself or even its features. The tube amp market has gone flat since the pandemic except for vintage collectibles, and high gain even more so - there's just so many more options now from modelers to preamp pedals, everybody knows about them, everything sounds pretty good, and most of those options have huge QoL wins over a traditional >50W tube amp.

Plus, pandemic and youtube have created a glut of minty pro and prosumer gear on the used market, so buying a new amp is a purely sentimental decision.
 
We also live in a world where a 20w will sell easier than a 100w amp, and a 4x12 sells for cheaper than a 2x12 on the used market. It's the current trend for lunchbox amps and a smaller, lighter setup. Big, heavy, 'complicated' amps aren't en vogue at the minute... which is good for people that know better, but not good if you're trying to shift powerful amps. It'll come back round.

The Badlander 25w looks pretty cool though, but again, I don't think I saw any marketing whatsoever for it.
 
It's the current trend for lunchbox amps and a smaller, lighter setup.
Yea no doubt, Doug West talks that point up. However I find the BAD 50W a nice logistic compromise, compared to my others. It's compact enough and at 36lbs not too bad to lug around. The 20W switch to triode is one I tend to prefer tonally.
 
We also live in a world where a 20w will sell easier than a 100w amp, and a 4x12 sells for cheaper than a 2x12 on the used market. It's the current trend for lunchbox amps and a smaller, lighter setup. Big, heavy, 'complicated' amps aren't en vogue at the minute... which is good for people that know better, but not good if you're trying to shift powerful amps. It'll come back round.

The Badlander 25w looks pretty cool though, but again, I don't think I saw any marketing whatsoever for it.
This is definitely true. Lots of EL84 designs out there now, especially from Friedman. A JEL-20 is on my short list. Sure I'd love to have a JEL-100 but those are HUGE, and the sounds they have been able to get out of the smaller amps are really something else.
 
People have asked the same question about the Maverick and Blue Angel as well. It could just be that everyone who wanted that kind of amplifier already got one. The badlander seems to be almost a stripped down Rectifier intended for home direct recording, and one voiced so that it wouldn't "need" a booster for the super heavy tones. Maybe that's just not what people want right now.

These had the switchable Diode or Valve rectifier options though. "Dual Rectifier" didn't initially mean "sound of the 90's", it related to the switchable rectifier option. It was a line of amps that went away from their traditional "Mark" based offerings.

Then they made one aimed at 80's metal, called it the Solo head, put a diamondplate on the front, and took inspiration from the Soldano SLO100 for the preamp circuit. Somehow, somewhere, they decided to do something really unusual and added a mode that removed Negative Feedback and implemented a different kind of Presence circuit (because Presence normally relies on Negative Feedback to work). Was it to bypass Peavey's patent on Resonance controls? Maybe, I don't know, I wasn't there.

By the time they came to market, 80's metal was dead... but turns out this "Modern" take on the SLO sound was THE sound for the booming grunge genre, and later nu-metal.

The Solo Head became such a hit, that "Dual Rectifier" became synonymous with that sound (it is a cool name), and the technical reason behind the name stopped mattering. The 50W "Single Rectifier" didn't have rectifier options so that made sense. And the 150W "Triple Rectifier"... well it had 3 rectifier tubes ("Dual Rectifier" has been used by Fender in the past to mean 2 rectifier tubes, which the Dual Rectifier Solo Head also had).

But nowadays you can get a Rectoverb 25W that says "Dual Rectifier" on it even though it only has diode rectification. Should be called a Single Rectifier, or just "Rectifier Series", since it has that preamp.

Then came the Badlander. Somehow, they decided to brand it a "Rectifier" (not Dual, not Single, just Rectifier). It doesn't have valve rectification, it doesn't do the Dual Rec "Modern" sound. It comes from the factory with EL34, unlike any Rectifier series amp before.

It was sold as "a modern take on the Rectifier sound", but after some investigation it's a completely different circuit. A novel approach. Looks to be a Mark front end (with a fixed pre-gain tone stack) with Lead circuit, into a pure Marshall tone stack and power amp (even has a 33k slope resistor like a Superlead, something I've never seen on a Mesa before). It uses gobs of negative feedback.

In terms of "use case" though, it's kind of OG Dual Recto-ish I guess. Two channels with traditional controls, killer high gain tone, heck it fulfills the original purpose for the DR (80's metal) better than the actual DR. But in the mean time, "Rectifier" has become synonymous with huge low-end and a sort of sludgy wide distortion sound. Instead that one is tight as tight can be, with that barky mid thing that Marshalls are known for.

The name has caused people to compare it to the DR, it gives the impression that it's an updated DR, but it's not, it's something else.

Perhaps Triple Crown sales were a bit disappointing and they though that naming this one a Rectifier would help?

I'll say this though... the Rectifier inspired design looks killer!

I think one reason why it's struggling to catch on is a bit of a chicken or egg issue: not very common used, and people are less enticed to buy a brand new one since it hasn't "proven itself" yet. (TCs go for half their brand new cost, who would want to take that risk?)

Anyway, amazing amp! Had my first gig weekend with mine this weekend. Not traditionally Mesa music either (more like dirty country and folksy stuff, with a semi-hollow). The amp delivered! The Fillmore it replaced sounded amazing clean by itself, but it didn't cut through the mix quite as well. While I had some pedal, just going straight in was enough most of the time.
 
By the time they came to market, 80's metal was dead... but turns out this "Modern" take on the SLO sound was THE sound for the booming grunge genre, and later nu-metal.


Just to be pedantic... I agree with nu-meal, but grunge? I'm having trouble naming top bands at the forefront of the Grunge era that used Rectos. Seems like they came later as Grunge was phasing out into NuMetal.

Nirvana: Mesa Studio Pre -> DS1
Smashing Pumpkins: 2204 -> Big Muff
Alice in Chains: Bogner
Pearl Jam: Various Marshalls
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Plexi
Stone Temple Pilots: Marshall
RATM: Marshall 2205
Weezer: Mesa Mark III
Green Day: Plexi
.
.
.
Soundgarden: Finally a Rectifier
 
Just to be pedantic... I agree with nu-meal, but grunge? I'm having trouble naming top bands at the forefront of the Grunge era that used Rectos. Seems like they came later as Grunge was phasing out into NuMetal.

Nirvana: Mesa Studio Pre -> DS1
Smashing Pumpkins: 2204 -> Big Muff
Alice in Chains: Bogner
Pearl Jam: Various Marshalls
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Plexi
Stone Temple Pilots: Marshall
RATM: Marshall 2205
Weezer: Mesa Mark III
Green Day: Plexi
.
.
.
Soundgarden: Finally a Rectifier

You're right. To be fair, I said grunge cause Randall said it in a recent interview.

I guess it was more popular with the "2nd grunge wave" bands like Silverchair, Puddle of mudd, Godsmack, Incubus (the precursors to Nu metal I guess). I remember a lot of bands using them live because they looked so cool, but not necessarily using them in the studio.

Sometimes the sound gets retconned to albums that were recorded too early to feature a Recto. I remember guitarists in the 90s swearing the Dual Rectifier was the secret to the Black Album sound, then being confused that it wouldn't do it. Of course we know that was mostly the IIC+, but there was no internet back then.
 
Anyway, amazing amp! Had my first gig weekend with mine this weekend. Not traditionally Mesa music either (more like dirty country and folksy stuff, with a semi-hollow). The amp delivered! The Fillmore it replaced sounded amazing clean by itself, but it didn't cut through the mix quite as well. While I had some pedal, just going straight in was enough most of the time.
I've played the Fillmore a few times, not BAD :rolleyes: but from what I remember the cleans were more on the Fenderish side and pristine. Much more V and LSS like.

I find the BAD Clean way more gritty and gainy, not that easy to get it to sparkle in the same way. Similar to my Stiletto Ch 1 tonally. but the Stil has voicings ie: Tite Clean that can get it more lush, less breakup in comparison. Been able to work around it but wondering if/how you came close to the Fillmore Clean and how you had set it up for that.
 
don't forget bands like Nevermore, Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, Dream Theater (at lest for TOT)Testament etc; that "vein" loved duel rectos
Creed system of a Down, Cannibal Corpse, Blink 182. in the early 2000's rectos and 5150's were all over the place
 
I've played the Fillmore a few times, not BAD :rolleyes: but from what I remember the cleans were more on the Fenderish side and pristine. Much more V and LSS like.

I find the BAD Clean way more gritty and gainy, not that easy to get it to sparkle in the same way. Similar to my Stiletto Ch 1 tonally. but the Stil has voicings ie: Tite Clean that can get it more lush, less breakup in comparison. Been able to work around it but wondering if/how you came close to the Fillmore Clean and how you had set it up for that.

The Fillmore really excels at getting the "loud clean Fender" sound without having to be loud. The BAD's clean is a very different thing, it's more like a JCM800 that doesn't thin out at lower gain settings. Less compressed and really bites when you dig in.

I'm not gonna lie, traditionally speaking, the Fillmore was a better fit for that gig as it pertains to clean sounds (in fact I had started to bring two amps, the Fillmore for cleans and a modded JCM800 for dirty), but I enjoyed playing the BAD more.
 
We also live in a world where a 20w will sell easier than a 100w amp, and a 4x12 sells for cheaper than a 2x12 on the used market. It's the current trend for lunchbox amps and a smaller, lighter setup. Big, heavy, 'complicated' amps aren't en vogue at the minute... which is good for people that know better, but not good if you're trying to shift powerful amps. It'll come back round.

The Badlander 25w looks pretty cool though, but again, I don't think I saw any marketing whatsoever for it.

There's absolutely no way it's coming back round, though. The tipping point has been reached, you don't have to make meaningful tonal compromises anymore when going digital and digital QoL is just so much better. (Also, anybody on this board under 40? Anybody?)

Pandemic was the final straw, man. People who actually want to make music all discovered that digital was just better for that. Tube guitar amps are already like tube hifi amps or project cars, this niche money pit thing for men that's more about the object itself than the use of it. I'm in a sunk cost situation with the tube amps I own, I've built a physical space and digital workflow around them that I like but that's because I already had the amps. If my space burned down I wouldn't buy new tube amps with the insurance money.
 
Good points to all of this. Like the age reference too. I am over the hill so older than 40 for sure. I grew up in that era when tube amps were it, solid state amps were just junk. Modeling stuff is ok, I do not find it all that satisfying. I have tried a few here or there over the years. The technology is not quite there yet. I would assume there will be a time when tubes are no longer available and then there would be no other alternative than a modeling amp of sorts.
 

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