Presence and Voicing of the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 3 Channel Amplifier

Posted: February 7, 2015 in Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Tube Amps
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Convention, hype, and a confused amp tech’s handwriting have mucked up the exact nature of the Presence control settings on the Dual Rectifier 3 Channel amp.  For the non-geeks, I will say what the real nature is and then dive into detail afterward.

For Raw Mode and Modern Mode in Channels 2 and 3, the presence control is a treble attenuation circuit.  Modern has no negative feedback.  Raw has all possible negative feedback; as if someone turned the Presence all the way down and then also added the treble attenuation control to further reduce the high frequencies.  Turning the Presence all the way up in Raw is about the same as turning it all the way down in Vintage.

Vintage is designed in a more conventional fashion.  The Presence control adjusts the amount of negative feedback going to the phase inverter.

The switching is all shown on the Voicing page of the schematic, as shown:

Voicing Circuit MBDR

When a dirt channel is selected, either X (CH3) or Y (CH2) becomes a ground.  The pole of the switch at that ground point is connected to a “Mode” pole and the relays on that path are closed.

Relays 8 and 9 are to switch the “Presence” pot between its functions.  Relay 7 is for the connection of the feedback at the P.I..  When relay 6 closes, it opens relay 6a after V1. This is discussed below.

Using just channel 3, I’ll illustrate the way it works:

  • Modern: Relays 9 and 7 close.  The Presence pot is an attenuator and the feedback is shorted.
  • Vintage: Open circuit.  All relays are open.  Presence pot controls feedback.
  • Raw: Relays 9 and 6 close.  The feedback is activated at the P.I., but the pot is not in that circuit. It’s moved to the post-EQ position.

Due to value and placement of filter capacitors in the P.I. and power amp, the shifting between modes of feedback do not cause instability.

Further Reading

Mesa Rectifier Presence Controls is a closely related article about the way the Presence pot changes for each mode.

Here is a copy of the schematic for educational purposes: boogie_dualrectifier_3ch_solo_head

  1. Alejandro says:

    this is great, i’ve been busting my brain trying to unveil the truth behind that circuit


  2. […] looked at the input and Clean, the Mode voicing and Gain control, V2 and V3, EQ and modes and Presence.  I am going to bring it all together and take a less detailed, wider, view of the […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s