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Review: Mesa/Boogie “Throttle Box” distortion pedal

All I did was to to wear my Dream Theater shirt while visiting one of the local music stores. The guy immediately said, you gotta check this pedal out, it’s John Petrucci in a box!

I opened the box, and there was no teeny-tiny JP inside. That kinda would have creeped me out. Instead, you could say that it is more of a Dual Rectifier squeezed into a rather small and nimble, yet sturdy distortion pedal. It has four knobs and a toggle switch. Three of the knobs are your standard garden-variety controls that every dist pedal comes with: level, dist and tone. The fourth is a midrange sweep control that scoops out everything between the rumbling bass and cutting treble for a really threatening sound. Or leaves it in for a more snarling, aggressive rock tone. The little toggle switch selects low or high gain, it basically takes the pedal from standard to insane.

So, how good is it? Judging by my most recent Boogie experience, I’d say: really good. This pedal delivers an obscene amount of distortion! It also completely takes over the signal chain – there is not much left of the actual amp tone. I was able to plug a Les Paul into a small Fender combo and without much fiddling nail a solid Petrucci lead tone. I’m not necessarily a Boogie freak, but if I were into that sound, I would definitely take this pedal into serious consideration before shelling out the massive amounts of cash a Mark or a Recto commands.

 
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Posted by on 17 March, 2013 in gear, review

 

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Review: Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier Twenty-Five

The last time I played a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier was in early 2010. I absolutely loved it and since I was anyway thinking of upgrading my solid-state Marshall rig to something that used tubes, it felt like the logical next goal. Something to save up for, something to daydream about. Who knew, it might turn out to be the last amp I would ever need to buy. (Yeah, right…)

But I got sidetracked by another project in another field, and when I came around to trying out new amps, I had discovered another brand that I immediately fell for. So when the Mini Rectifier came out, it caused almost an existential crisis for me. By that time, I had realized that 100 watts was the epitome of overkill for the sort of thing I normally do. I had got used to my 20 watts, and to get the Rectifier sound in a small package with about the same wattage – it was a dream come true. For that very reason, I refused to try it out. I wanted to continue living my musical life in the bliss of ignorance. I didn’t want to get floored by the sound of it. When I finally had an amp that I was really satisfied with, I didn’t want to restart the switching procedure.

But something happened along the way. I found out that good enough is most often good enough, and perfect just a pain in the ass and not worth the hassle. I didn’t expect anything when I finally did plug into a Mini Recto. Still, it was disapppointment in a box. Sure, it has a lot of power, even at the 10-watt setting. But I can’t figure out why someone would want that over-distorted sound. It sounds like the thing is broken!

Perhaps I’m not equipped to understand the brilliance of Mesa/Boogie, just because I don’t live on the road, or whatever. But I cannot for the life of me understand what the hell it is that you spend all that extra money for except for the logo.

 
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Posted by on 17 March, 2013 in gear, review

 

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