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The 4x12 Rectifier Cab -­ There is no bigger tone!

The 4x12 Rectifier Cab -­ There is no bigger tone!
John Petrucci with Custom Rectifier® Traditional 4x12 Cabinets on Black Clouds and Silver Linings Tour

Let’s face it… Nothing sounds as huge, bold and punchy as great amp plugged into a MESA® 4x12 Rectifier® cabinet. That’s not to take anything away from their smaller siblings but unless you’ve experienced the majesty of a 4x12 Rectifier cab you’ve yet to truly understand what fuels the fire of Rock Legends and inspires those incredible riffs that elevates them to stadium filling icons. The tone, the feel, the sensation of power as the nuance behind every note, pick attack or palm mute is articulately translated into a massive mountain of dynamic glory. Too over the top? Have you played a Dual Rec or Mark V through a 4x12 Rectifier? If not, there is no time like the present to truly appreciate this sensation yourself.

When it comes to 4x12 Rectifier cabinets, there are two distinct and different sounding/sized quad boxes: the legendary oversized Rectifier® Standard and Traditional Cabinets.

The Standard Rectifier® 4x12 is THE “over-sized” 4x12 by which other quad-box cabinets are judged. It was designed to be the perfect companion to the high gain revolution created by the Dual and Triple Rectifiers®, providing thundering low-end punch and resonance which is perfectly tuned with the smooth, tailored midrange and articulate, clear high-end. This is our most popular 4x12 cabinet and an icon in heavy music, used on more hit recordings than can be listed here. 

Rectifier® Traditional 4x12 Cabinets are three inches shorter than the over-sized Standard Rectifier 4x12 (width and depth dimensions are the same). This slight size difference produces a tighter and more focused low-end response, though still delivering massive 4x12 punch and authority. Compared to Standard Recto® 4x12s, the Traditional 4x12 provides more balance between lows, mids and highs and a greater emphasis on attack. The mid-range is more pronounced and this cabinet is often preferred for styles that require tight tracking and articulate response. Players who tune down or have 7 string guitars may gravitate to this cabinet because of its balanced nature as it may alleviate the need to cut low end resonance in live or studio environments with high pass filters. 

Some players prefer the Straight-style cabinets with all speakers attached to a one-piece baffle and all facing the same direction, effectively ‘coupled’ for maximum punch and frontal projection. Straight cabinet designs also provide for a small increase of interior cabinet space, which yields slightly more bass and low-end resonance compared to Slants. Other players prefer Slant-style Recto 4x12 Cabinets, which offers a ‘monitor’ effect due to the top speakers sloping up toward your ears. This can be a benefit when playing live. Regardless of Slant or Straight, if you are playing a Recto 4x12, your tone has authority, clarity and detail that only MESA® Traditional or Standard 4x12 Rectifier Cabinets deliver.

All MESA® Guitar Enclosures are made using the finest Void-free, Marine Grade Baltic Birch. Super strong rabbet corners are glued and nailed. Speaker baffles are fitted with superior dado joint construction and braced. Grilles are wrapped around a separate grille board, not the baffle board. Grille material is made of strong twisted jute dipped in a special coating that filters top end for a sweeter response. These materials alone make a huge difference to your tone. You don’t even have to plug in to hear the difference. At your next opportunity try knocking on the side of your MESA cab - as you would a door - and then do the same thing to a buddy’s cheaper cab to see which cabinet sounds more resonant. The difference will likely be astonishing.

Last but certainly not least… For decades a key ingredient to the sonic nature of Rectifier cabinets has been the Celestion Vintage 30 that is custom made to MESA’s specifications by Celestion’s crew in Ipswich, England. We’re obsessed with tone and know that materials, little things like grams of glue and even the adhesion process make a huge difference in the performance of a speaker. Keep in mind when choosing a speaker, we require one that’ll provide pristine clean tones, great gain tones and everything in between - without compromise - and our Custom U.K. made Celestion Vintage 30s deliver the goods.

Is bigger better? If left to your ears to decide, that answer will undoubtedly be YES!!! The splendor of a 4x12 Rectifier is an experience every guitarist should have.

For more about these incredible cabs please visit:

4x12 Rectifier Standard Slant       4x12 Rectifier Standard Straight

4x12 Rectifier Traditional Slant   4x12 Rectifier Traditional Straight

Should you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

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