The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
MESA: Triaxis vs. Rectifier recording preamp Direct Injection & Re-amp Boxes
Old 4th January 2005
Lives for gear
blackcom's Avatar

MESA: Triaxis vs. Rectifier recording preamp


I allready have a Mesa Rectifier 2:100 poweramp and I'm planning to get either the Triaxis or the Rectro Recording Preamp.

I was wondering if anyone have tried both of these and how the
-Rectifier-sound of these two compare.

I know the Rectifier Recording Preamp has six 12AX7 tubes in while the Triaxis only have 5. What does this do for the sound, does more tubes give a better sound?

Also, how does the recording out on these two babies compare, or are they identical?
Old 4th January 2005
Gear Maniac
joelgtrnut's Avatar

I own a Triaxis / mesa 20:20 rig. My buddy has the same only a 2:90 power amp.

I LOVE my traixis. It is absoultely the shyt for heavy tones & clean.

The triaxis is more versitile. The recto pre is just like having a recto head in a rack. The triaxis has 5 different modes. Each tube in the triaxis has a differnt function (example one controls the Dynamic Voice section.. I recomment a lower gain tube for that like a 12AT7 Another tube controls the LD 1 Red Channel for the recto sound. Ect.... I'm not sure how the Recto pre allocates its tubes. I don't really know if more tubes has an advantage or not. I'm not a tech guy... I just know how to make things sound good.

I suggest going to a guitar store and plugging both in. See what suits your needs.

Both are totally bad ass... but I'd recommend Triaxis. I love being able to recal presets too. Knobs have always sucked... I hate it when they get bumped in a session or by a roadie on stage.
Old 4th January 2005
Lives for gear
GYang's Avatar
I have both in studio, as well as Marshall and Tech 21 preamps. They are all different flavors, depending on what you need.
For heavy metal, distorted sound of all kind, but still softer and warm I prefer Tech 21 and Marshall.
For brutal distortion both Modern and Raw voicing of Recto Pre are very usable direct to console. Here Recto Pre excels over Triaxis definitely. You can use it's record out, but still I found that before line input in console a bit of analogue processing (expanding or compression. EQ etc.) can help alot. In this way is possible to record distorted sounds without amps, mics and good room. Results are excellent, but not immediately. Recto Pre, as well as, Triaxis requires a lot of tweaking and experimenting. What is important is sound in the mix and very often the best sound in the mix is not the best when you listen it alone.
Triaxis is more on the clean and crunchy side (although can produce quite distorted sounds, too). It is programmable and easier to keep hard to found perfect sounds. It is more preamp than guitar recording channel.
So, do not count tubes, just listen what you like and need. If heavier sounds are what you need Recto is probably better choice (it is good on clean channels, too), yeah and it costs considerably less.
My dream is Recto Pre with Triaxis programmability, I would think about it as perfect recording preamp for wide sound palette.
Further imporvements in both is achievable by changing tubes from stock ones. I got interesting results indeed.

Old 4th January 2005
Gear Nut

I've never tried the Recto pre, so I can't make a valid judgement for or against it. But I do own a Triaxis, and am VERY happy with it. For Mesa-flavored tones, there is little that it doesn't cover. It can't quite do the Marshall or Fender thing, though.

Also, just a small correction to the post above, the Triaxis has EIGHT different modes, not 5.
Old 4th January 2005
Lives for gear
blackcom's Avatar

Yeah, I noticed that the "recular" recto tops have 6 x 12AX7 in them too as oposed to the Triaxis with "ony" 5 wich kinda got me worried wether the Triaxis could yeld a "true" recto-sound.

So GYand, if I understand you right:

-The recording outs on the Recording Preamp sound better to you then the recording outs on the Triaxis?

-The Recording Preamp has a better Rectifier sound then the triaxis when using a poweramp, cabinett and mic too?
Old 5th January 2005
More cowbell!
natpub's Avatar
I have the triaxis /2:90 setup, and love it for most things. If I want a more classic deep crunch, I may go with a small marshall. The triaxis/2:90 wont really do the plexi thing, it does the historical Mesa (Mark II, Mark IV, Dual Rect, etc.) sounds though, and a fair to good imitation of Fender sounds (Twin kinda sounds).

As said above, you really have to be willing to sit down and work with the Triaxis, and it is made even more complex with the 2:90 rigged in. The triaxis is not really a stand-alone recording box, if that is what you're seeking. It can be useful that way for scratch tracks, but it really needs to be live into a cabinet to show its real value.

All that said, I've used this rig live and studio now for about 8 years, and most the time it accomplishes anything I need. It has helped me to swap out the tubes on some of the channels and set the bias differently for some of the presets. It has taken some time to fine tune the rig, but now, I wouldnt dream of selling it.

I am, however, looking to pick up some other amps, namely a Fender bassman and a Vox AC30, something the Triaxis can't quite do.

Old 5th January 2005
Gear Maniac

i own the rec pre and feed it into a 2:100 into a 4x12. in blind testing with an dual rectifier half stack, with similar eq programm, there is no audible difference between the rack components and the full tophead, due to the 2:100 distinctive designed pre input. in combination (rec pre and 2:100) they react, feel and sound as if playing a head. i heard this much of interlocking between seperate pre and power amp never before on any combination. really great thing.

for recording, the pre is a killer, especially if you want to track down heavy rhythms in the middle of the night without your neighbours ever noticing. great.
if you have good converters, you can connect the da outs to your 2:100 and mic the full crank out of it, and i assume no one will ever notice, that it was "just" a midnight headphones - tracking- session in the first place.

the rec pre is good for where it comes from. it has a defined character, but lacks the versality of the triaxis. it comes down to what you need. 100% character (rec pre) , or 100% versality (triaxis). however, both units are great and as far as i know the later triaxis revisions (version 2) are a little bit modded towards rectifier sounds.
Old 5th January 2005
Lives for gear
GYang's Avatar
Originally posted by blackcom

So GYand, if I understand you right:

-The recording outs on the Recording Preamp sound better to you then the recording outs on the Triaxis?

-The Recording Preamp has a better Rectifier sound then the triaxis when using a poweramp, cabinett and mic too?
Recto Pre has specially designed recording outs, definitely worth their claim that it is recording preamp. It is quite silent, dynamic and high-end in comparison to many others.
Triaxis and Recto Pre are different, no better or worse one, if you need newer Mesa distortion and wish to record directly, Recto is way to go.
I know many people who just put Recto Pre to console, dialed the sound they liked and recorded. On single track it was fine, but later thay criticized inadequate sound in the mix and blamed Recto Pre for it.
Specially when you are not deeply familiar with character of this pre amp, the most common mistake is an attempt to reach via studio monitors sounds of amplified Mesa stack and to record it.
The point is that you should really TRY to make several recording takes with various Recto Pre sounds and listen to them together with drums and bass tracks. Very soon you'll realize that proper sound can be reached in such way easily.
Indeed Recto Pre has an excellent overall design of rec outs and it can suit needs for Rectifier sounds to very high extent.
From our experience, it is much easier to record all kinds of Rectifier Sounds (incl. Triple Recto) directly from Recto Pre, than in any combination of Triaxis with power amps, mics, rooms etc.
Moreover, it is not rare that hardcore fans of Mesa stacks prefer recorded sounds of Recto Pre to tracks of real stack.
Recto Pre is not universal preamp, but for Rectifier sounds (as well as, some clean) assuming readiness to spend some time with it, will reward user with excellent solution to effectively record medium to brutal Mesa distortion with all typical flavors.

Happy recording.

Old 5th January 2005
Lives for gear
blackcom's Avatar

Originally posted by MarkS
, both units are great and as far as i know the later triaxis revisions (version 2) are a little bit modded towards rectifier sounds.
Yeah, that's getting me a bit concerned. "Modded towards" Rectifier. According to Mesa the Rectifier sound of the Triaxis is a modified Mark IV searing lead, but that's quite not Recto is it...?

I called the vendor about this, seemed like he wasen't quite shure himself....

I WOULD love to borrow them home and test then side by side, but that's not possible here in Norway, due to some vendor policy...
Old 5th January 2005
Lives for gear
preben's Avatar

Would anyone care to post an mp3 of the recto pre recorded directly..?
Old 18th March 2010
Lives for gear

i'd also like to hear any mp3's of either of these...
Old 18th March 2010
Lives for gear
in the red's Avatar

i once had a triaxis 2.0 with a 50/50 poweramp. although it was great for live use with all its programable presets and the midistuff, it could never touch the feel of the real top (compared to my dual recto). totally different story! i eventually sold it and didn´t look back.
anyway, i also tried the 2:90 amp, which i thought was a better combo for the triaxis.
never tried the recto-preamp.
Old 18th March 2010
Gear Head

I've had the Dual Rec Recording pre for a few years now.

I really don't dig it direct - unless we're talking about clean sounds or lead work. Not a big fan of the direct distorted sounds for rhythm. Just not believeable to me. A little thin and fizzy...ymmv
Old 18th March 2010
Lives for gear
DarkSky Media's Avatar
I've done quite a bit of work with the Triaxis (paired with a 2:90 and/or a Strategy 500 power amp). I agree it is more versatile than the recto pre - and capable of a fair bit more subtlety.

However the Triaxis I mostly use is the v2.0 one without the "phat mod' and it has a gentler more vibey sound, whereas the v2.0 mod version is more raw (in the recto-style settings) and sounds closer to the recto, if that's what you want.

I agree with others that the Triaxis and 2:90 combo covers a lot of ground and sounds very classy. Makes the heart of a very capable and polished setup for recording. thumbsup
Old 18th March 2010
Here for the gear

i have both and like both. TriAxis for bright clean, or big mid-scoop power crunch, or really high gain solo lines with clarity.
Recto Pre for the unique thing it does. With the right power (your 2*100 would be "right") and good cab, it gets real close.
Not a big fan of the DI outs, but there the Recto Pre is better. Clean channel is actually really nice DI.
Old 18th March 2010
Gear Addict
huarez's Avatar

I´ve got the triaxis with the 2:90 and compared it to first series dual and triple rectos as well as to the newer and newest ones.
If you like the recto, buy the head.
The only good hair I leave on rack soloutions is the versatality. Soundwise always a compromisse.
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
Lindell / So Much Gear, So Little Time
dean / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
dean / So Much Gear, So Little Time
LumenStudio / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
Jules / So Much Gear, So Little Time

Forum Jump
Forum Jump