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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I ended up with my old Roadster Combo back through a trade. Dang, I'd forgotten just how good this amp is!

I have it set up with EL34's. Every channel is superb and each mode is useful. I wish I still had my Electradyne so I could compare them. The ED could nail a cranked Twin, whereas the Roadster has a more HiWatt clean thing going on. The high gain channels are just addictive with their chewy-yet-liquid tones and the true sense of Power!

I haven't cranked it yet, but so far I'm really liking the 2 x V30 sound even in that relatively small, closed-backed cab. It didn't pair that well with my open-backed 4 x 10" cab - at least not during the three minutes I tried it that way.

It loves my main guitar, too, a McInturff FLE with Zhangbucker pickups. It also sounds better with single-coils than I would have guessed.

It's been a long time since I've had an amp over 35 Watts. My poor neighbours!
 

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Try KT77's if you get a chance.

Making me want to try an amp i cant buy btw (ED)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just found out the Roadsters stopped being made back in May!
I'm glad I got one - and an early one at that (it has the non-recessed handles.)

This thing is Earth Moving through my Fryette 4x12!
I've never really learned how, but I've been playing doomy, sludgy stuff all night. (With apologies to all Doom and Sludge players!)
Channels 3 and 4 are so harmonically rich and enveloping - I don't think I've ever had this much fun with just power-chords!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been having fun with only power chords for over 20 years!
I literally laughed out loud! (Not that I could hear it over the ringing in my ears right now.)
 

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I literally laughed out loud! (Not that I could hear it over the ringing in my ears right now.)
Right on! I am not a progressive player by any means. Strapping my axe on and ripping some sweet power chords is what I am all about. I learned some barre chords and open chords a few years back when jamming with some guys. I love the open chords and will play a whole bunch of blues/ACDC type riffs but that's about it.

Right now I have been loving this guys guitar tone on my big Kenwoods. I am not a tone guru but I am pretty sure he uses a dual recto.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
100 Pounds!
32 Knobs!
20 toggle switches!
14 Jacks!
8 Button Foot Switch.
5 Preamp Tubes.
4 Power Tubes.
2 Rectifier Tubes.
1 Phase Inverter Tube.

... and a happy camper in a pine tree! :)


I'm still blown away with how big this combo sounds even with it's tiny-volumed, closed-back cab.
The more I play it the better it gets. The FX Loop works quite well - I was dubious about it since I'm used to separate Send and Return controls (a la Rivera) but the Roadster's single knob works just fine.

Channel Four is addictive. I'm not a High-Gain player but the sheer size of the tone that comes out even at living room conditions makes me pretend to be one!

I know I'm a bit late to the Rectifier party - but, Whoo-Hoo! It's still a rockin' party!
 

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100 Pounds!
32 Knobs!
20 toggle switches!
14 Jacks!
8 Button Foot Switch.
5 Preamp Tubes.
4 Power Tubes.
2 Rectifier Tubes.
1 Phase Inverter Tube.

... and a happy camper in a pine tree! :)


I'm still blown away with how big this combo sounds even with it's tiny-volumed, closed-back cab.
The more I play it the better it gets. The FX Loop works quite well - I was dubious about it since I'm used to separate Send and Return controls (a la Rivera) but the Roadster's single knob works just fine.

Channel Four is addictive. I'm not a High-Gain player but the sheer size of the tone that comes out even at living room conditions makes me pretend to be one!

I know I'm a bit late to the Rectifier party - but, Whoo-Hoo! It's still a rockin' party!
I had one and it was only that first stat that ruined it for me. I reached a point where I could barely dead-lift it into my hatchback at the end of the night. Most of the moving around I did was with the side handles (and help). I don't know what I would have done without those.

But for a 212 combo, it kind of set the standard for me. One of my issues was that there was too many great sounds in channel 1 and 2. I liked both clean settings and I used the Brit and Tweed settings a lot, too. Not being a metal player (except a bit of home wanking), I would have been happier with 3 clean channels and and 1 heavy channel, instead of 2 and 2. I may have compensated for the crazy weight if it was configured like that. As it is, I'm very happy with my 50-ish poung LSS, which is relatively light for a Mesa.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What a PITA this amp is to swap tubes! I have to pull the 55lb chassis entirely just to get to the Preamp tubes. Ugh.

Anyway, I did pull it and swap Preamp tubes. Although not part of the Preamp the first tube I swapped was the Phase Inverter, which I replaced with an awesome, old RFT 12ax7. Wow! Big change! It really smoothed out the highest frequencies - I can open all the Presense knobs without making the top end harsh or piercing.

Next, V1 got a new Northern Electric reissue 12ax7. Now the Clean Channel can cop the Electradyne's cleans! Big, bold, and big!

V2 - another RFT. Channel 2 went from a "meh" Marshall tone to Bluesbreaker. Great early Rock tones.

V3 took the most tries. RFT was too dark, Northern Electric was too bright, Tung Sol made it nasally, Groove Tubes too grainy. But a Peferred Series 7025 sounded best. I still think I could find a better tube for this position.

V4 and V5 - JJ Gold pin 12ax7. Good, solid tones. Reverb sounds nice, FX Loop is very transparent.

Cleans are big and rich, Crunch is crunchy, and Distortion is Massive but with just the right amount of "angry bees," (which, to me, is 4%. Down from 20%) so we know it's a Recto!

I'm using Preferred Series EL34's. They have all the midrange and top of regular EL34's, but more Bottom. I found 6L6's sounded better for the Clean channel but EL34's work best for me on channels 2,3, and 4.

Next I want to try different speakers. WGS Retro 30's are the ones my ears were drawn to, so they're likely the ones I'll try to find.

Fun, fun, fun!
 

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I also went the EL34 route when I retubed mine. Since I had the head, doing the swap wasn't difficult.

Between WGS and Eminence you're probably going to find great speakers without too much hassle.
 

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Dang, you guys are making me wish I'd tried EL-34's in mine. Never did.

I did replace the V35's with Eminence Soldano-voiced Legends (not a fan of v35s). It was an improvement to me and the way I played and the tones I was after. I always leaned towards better cleans/light breakup at the expense of high-gain tones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There's a cooling fan on the Roadster combo. It's loud. It wouldn't be a problem on stage, but at home I'll be listening to note decay and it always turns into the sound of that damn fan.

So I unsoldered it from the board and added a defeat switch!

Oh my goodness, what an improvement! I hadn't realized how annoying it was. Now that it's gone I'm enjoying the amp even more.

(I have a large (quiet) fan circulating the air behind my amps, so there's always some convection occurring. I'm not pulling more than 50 Watts so I'm not worried about overheating.)
 

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There's a cooling fan on the Roadster combo. It's loud. It wouldn't be a problem on stage, but at home I'll be listening to note decay and it always turns into the sound of that damn fan.

So I unsoldered it from the board and added a defeat switch!

Oh my goodness, what an improvement! I hadn't realized how annoying it was. Now that it's gone I'm enjoying the amp even more.

(I have a large (quiet) fan circulating the air behind my amps, so there's always some convection occurring. I'm not pulling more than 50 Watts so I'm not worried about overheating.)
Good mod! I actually don't remember the fan in mine, which is probably a combination of my crappy hearing and memory. LOL

My LSS has a switchable fan. They recommend turning if off for recording sessions, where the extraneous noise may be an issue, but leave it on for gigging, where the extra noise won't be. You and Randall think alike. That's a compliment.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
So I switched from this:

Gauge Measuring instrument Electronic instrument


To this:
Electronics Technology Electronic instrument


The samples sounded good and they get good reviews. Like a lot of folks I find the V30's a bit shrill at times so I felt I'd give the WGS Retro 30's a shot.

After emailing with Stephen Fryette a long time ago about a different matter I'm now convinced it's better to run an amp at 4 Ohms if possible . So I bought two 8 Ohms to run in parallel.

(Turns out the next two sentences are wrong! I'm just dumb half the time. The Roadster does, indeed, have a 4 Ohm Jack. Moot.)
It turns out that the output jacks don't have a 4 Ohm out! Dang.

The Roadster has one 16 Ohm jack, and basically two 8 Ohm jacks, one set up as 2 "4 Ohm" jacks; using just one renders it an 8 Ohm out.

This is likely common knowledge, but I wasn't aware of it. I'm not a big fan of running speakers in Series (I honestly don't know why - just an untested gut feeling) but that's what I'm going to do and get a nice 16 Ohm load.

Oh, well, eh? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've only managed to put 8 hours at moderate volume through these new WGS Retro 30's, but already I consider these a pleasant upgrade over the stock V30's.

Let me state up front that I really like V30's - four of them in a good cab is magic. The Roadster, which I've played through a standard 4x12 Mesa cab, sounds glorious through V30's.

But the teeny closed-back cab of the 2x12 combo strongly accentuates the wrong (to my ears, of course) frequencies. Right where those Recto bees live!

The samples I could find online of the Veteran 30's all seemed a bit too muted in the high end, but these Retro 30's sound nearly identical to the V30's, but notched in just the right place to tame the screech.

The Retro 30's still sound like they need to break in a bit more, (they don't yet have the nice low-end of well broken-in, 10-year-old V30's) but I'm pretty impressed, and happy, with the upgrade. My Roadster still sounds like a Roadster, but smoother and a lot closer to Classic High-Gain Rock.

This is the only amp I've played since getting it back. I pick a channel other than the one I used yesterday, pick a mode I didn't choose last time, and I spend the night just on that channel/setting. I'm consistently amazed at what I can get out of this thing.
 

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Enjoy!

Ch2 in just about any mode is an awfully good time, I found. Mess with bold/spongey and the wattage and it's like a bunch of amps haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Big upgrade day!

One: installed the 220k resistor missing from the first 699 Roadsters. (It just mitigates a tiny ripple current, afaik.)
Two: finished installing the switch for the fan
Three: Replaced 30 knobs! Those chrome, round-domed knobs looked awesome, but as soon as the stage lights came I couldn't read them anymore. These work perfectly, and I think they look great, too.


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