Mesa's are renowned as being tone machines. Roadster is second only to the flagship Road King, and in fact shares many of the same features as Road King. If you like what you've heard from a Dual Rectifier but need more versatility (i.e. spring/tube reverb, one more channel, flexible power options, etc.), then this is going to suit you well. As a gigging musician playing various styles, and a guitarist who has owned a Dual Rectifier and swears by the Mesa tone, this is the amp I chose to fill my needs. It's truly a workhorse amp, and each voice on each channel (TWELVE voices in all) are more than usable. A Hand Built Tone Monster, that's what I would call it.
Forget about all the other amps. When you make up your mind, and you're really ready to get serious about your guitar tone, beg, borrow, finance, whatever it takes, and buy this amp. Sparkling clean tones from channel one, classic Marshall tone from Channel two, Screaming tube distortion from channels three and four, and three modes per channel. The distortion from this amp is the best sounding crunch I've ever heard. Wanna get that HUGE guitar tone sound like John Sykes on Whitesnake's "In The Still Of The Night", or Brad Gillis on Ozzy's "Speak Of The Devil"? Maybe you want a Buddy Guy dirty strat tone, or an AC/DC Back in Black sound- This amp is what you need. Throw your distortion pedal away... This is the best amp I've ever heard. If you buy it, you'll keep it forever
Best amp I've ever played
I owned a 3 channel dual rec but had to get rid of it over a year ago. Recently I was looking into getting another amp, went down to a local boutique shop, and tried out various amp heads. Orange, Engl, Mesa, Rivera. I again was drawn to the boogies. I was intrigued by the roadster and did quite a bit of research. After playing it in store, I was immediately sold. 4 channels, reverb, it has everything. I was curious if it was as aggressive as the original rectifiers and I can gaurantee it is. Voiced just slightly darker, it gets plenty of chug. I play in various projects, mostly metal and melodic rock, so I utilize a lot of the features. Seriously, don't think twice. Grab this amp head, you won't be disappointed.
Current Rig: Mesa Dual Rec Roadster/ straight 4x12 recto cab
Last head you'll ever need... seriously.
This thing is amazing. I had a Triple Rec for 10 years but I disliked the clean channel a lot. I'd actually take a 2nd head to gigs just cover the clean. Lugging extra gear is no fun! I then heard the Rect-o-verb had acceptable clean (plus reverb obviously) so I tried that. It's a Single Rec, and I had to disagree about the clean... not so great. Slight better than the Triple, but nothing to write home about. It broke up way too early.
The only two Rectifier heads I hadn't tried yet were the Roadster and Road King. I didn't feel like I needed the extra bells and whistles of the Road King, so I went with the Roadster in the end. I'm so glad I did. It's the perfect head. Recto gain when I want, sparkling clean when I want, plus 2 more channels to set up with different levels of dirty or clean. I mainly use channels 1 and 4, they're my favorite. 2 and 3 are great too, but I haven't paid them enough attention to let them shine... too impressed with 1 and 4 I guess. haha. I'll have to dig a little deeper into 2 and 3 down the road.
I've had this head for about 3 weeks I'd say and I still end up randomly telling my other musician friends "Oh my god, I love this head..."
Buy it for the flexibility, Keep it for the AWESOME
I bought this amp for the 4 separate channels. It has amazed me ever since. Right after I got it, our drummer came over to my house and was stunned at how good it sounded.
Like most other folks, I use channel 1 for a sparkling clean tone. I up the gain on each channel with 4 just screaming. No matter what you are playing, there is a channel for it. The effects loop is really good. Tuner mute is really handy. Had a friend point out that I could have bought 2 amps of a different brand for what I paid for my Roadster rig. To me, it was more than worth it.
Master of All Trades
I've owned this amp for four years, and it has never ceased to deliver on any occasion. I've used it for pop, country, funk, metal, and indie rock gigs and sessions, all requiring wildly different tones. Even four years later, I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what the Roadster can really do, and regularly twiddle knobs and switches just to see what new sounds I might discover. On any given day, I can have Bassman grit, Vox chime, Plexi crunch, and Dual Rec growl just a footswitch tap away. Not to mention separate wattage, reverb, and FX loop controls per channel, a built-in Variac, and the ability to swap 6L6s with EL34s. Quite possibly the last amp you'll ever need.
Amazing tone and versatility
This amp is amazing. The 4 channels each have their own voice. Everything is customizable down to the finest detail. My previous amp was good at one thing and one thing only. This amp is good at anything I have thrown at it. I researched for months looking for the right amp and decided this Roadster would be the one, and it have not had any second thoughts. It's quality construction, comes with a cover and heavy duty foot switch. The manual alone is a gem! So detailed but easy to read. Check out what other people have said and watch video reviews online and try it for yourself. You won't regret it.
A Total Monster!
I was in the market for a Mesa HD for studio use. I've mainly been mic'ing and fighting with certain older heads that are past their prime. Once I got the beast hooked up and tubes cranked a bit, I slapped the 57 in front and was completely shocked. This has to be the easiest I've ever had it to get a great sound and hitting sweet spots. The sound was completely massive and saturated. Perfect eq curves and great piles of high gain without any post processing. Absolutely wonderful. If you're fighting a tone battle, or never getting the sound in your head, this is the amp! There's no real science to getting a great guitar tone, it's the just equipment you choose to use!!!
Like the Roadster
Over the past eight years my go to amplifier has been a Rivera. They have great a great combination of a ‘fender clean’ and a solid distortion sound. I’ve played many Mesa’s over the years and currently own a Recto-Verb. Until the Roadster my take on Mesa was they had the heavy distorted sound down but you had to decide if you wanted ‘Dream Theater’ or ‘Nickelback’ distortion, and just forget about the clean channel because it was an afterthought. Not the case with the Roadster! The clean channel blows my mind. I like playing Jazz from time to time and the clean channel can dial up some amazing rich warm tones as well as bright cutting Fender chime. Channel two lets you go from clean rhythm to ‘marshal’ and everything in between. Channels three and four are where you’ll spend your time finding today’s heavy rhythms and leads. The beauty of this amp is that all of these sounds are a foot pedal away.
You get what you pay for, GET ONE !
This is the last amp I'll ever need. It's like 4 amps in 1 and love the reverb with it too. It has all the gain you could ever need. After a 5 month "quest for tone" going out, trying other guys junk, waiting till someone is done showing off at crowded stores, buying a JCM900 SL-X and putting $300 into it and NOT liking the tone, I talked with my touring buddy who was selling his beloved Roadster to upgrade to a Mark V. WOW ! I should have listened to other reviews and just spent the extra money and got the best to start with ! Don't dilly-dally and waste time trying others out, save your coin & JUST GET ONE ! I've been doing this a while and so has my buddy. If it was good enough to go around the world, use it on their CD and live, its OK for me ! and trust me, they're famous and loved ! GET IT, Sweetwater will hook you up !
This amp is everything I had hoped for and more. I play in a cover band and we cover everything from CCR to Slipknot. I need an amp that could cover this range of music and provide inspiration when working on original material. The Dual Rectifier Roadster does not disappoint.
I use this amp with a couple of Fender American Deluxe HSS model strats. The cleans range from sparkling pristine to fat and warm. I absolutely love the brit mode in channel two. It's great for AC/DC and other classic rock tones. The amp has the Dual Rectifier sound in channel 3 but don't think that this is all the amp can do. This is the most versatile amp I have used and I have tried a lot of different amps before this one.
Aside from the awesome tone, the thing I love about this amp (and Mesa Boogie in general) is the attention to detail that has been put into it. The amp comes with a 30' footswitch cable. Never again will I have to set up right on top of the amp because the cable is too short. The amp also comes with a cover and is built like a tank.
In conclusion. The Roadster is nothing short of amazing and is great for a gigging guitar player in a cover band.
It does more than just metal
I've owned a Mesa Lonestar for a several years and although I was happy with the amp, I was using the clean channel only and using pedals to get my gritty sound. I play a variety of music, mostly blues and classic rock, but once and a while we do an old country tune or something more modern. I decided to check into the roadster and after playing one I decided, ditch the pedals and use the separate channels to give you the separate tones that you need. That's exactly what this amp does well. Channels 1 and 2 are based on the lonestar circuit and they cleans are percussive and crystal clear. I can dial in beautiful clean rhythm sounds or get a little breakup for a vintage feel. Channels 3 & 4 are pretty much the same as a dual rec. On CH3 I dial in a nice gain for some heaver stuff, or I go to CH4 to bring it over the top. I've heard some criticism that the amp has a dark sound which I agree with. I changed out the V1 preamp tube and it makes the tone more articulate. It's not cheap, but you literally get 4 amps in 1. It great and I'll have this amp for a very long time.