Improve The Tone Of A Recto While The Loop Is On

Posted: November 9, 2015 in Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
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Edit: Since writing this post, I’ve found increasing the Send to be more effective when the bias is colder.  Tubes in the lower range will make the amp run warmer and improves the sound without adjusting the Send.

In the manual, Mesa recommends bypassing the loop to get the best tone for recording or other situations where the fidelity is needed (isn’t that always?).  The loop works by cutting down the signal to send it out (like a volume control) and then re-amplifying it when it comes back in through the Return.  This is great for inserting effects, but people often struggle with the tone, because it’s always going through those amplification stages when engaged.  I found an effective way to get a better sound with the FX loop engaged.

To begin, bypass the loop and dial in the sounds you want to hear.  Play for awhile if you need to to get a feel for what is going on.  Next, turn the loop back on.  The sound level should drop dramatically.  There are three controls to use to return it to the bypassed level: Send, Solo, and Output.

I began by turning the Send up to about 1:30.  Then I turned the Output to Noon.  Next, I turned on Solo and set it at about 8 or 8:30.  The volume was still a little lower, so I turned the channel volume up by a very slight amount.  The alternative would have been more Solo or more Send (I like using the Solo).

There are some caveats to doing this:

  • The loop will now have to be set to always on, unless your processor can balance the sound.
  • The Output begins to introduce noise if it’s turned up too much past 1:00 or 2:00, depending on the mode being used.
  • The Send should not be turned all the way up.  It will sound very full with some increase from “Normal”, but turning it up too much will overdrive the processor, which could damage it, or the Return will clip, which is part of the problem being addressed.

It isn’t a perfect match, but keeping the channel volume down and increasing the other settings will keep the tone in the same ballpark.  I think it sounds really good.  I’m certain that too great a channel volume overdrives the loop, which contributes to the difference in sound.

Enjoy, good luck, and I hope this helps.

  1. […] have a great sound again by following my own instructions.  It’s back in 6L6 mode, with the tube rectifier.  My old channels settings are […]


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