MESA CabClone and a Triple Rectifier Head

MESA CabClone and a Triple Rectifier Head

One of the questions regarding the CabClone’s multiple uses is, “Can it be used for silent recording with amp’s whose wattage is more than 100W?”.

It’s a great question and, as usual, there’s the quick answer, and then there’s the technical details behind the answer.

Here is the Short Answer:

Within *normal use of your amp* (avoiding extreme settings and using common sense), the CabClone can ABSOLUTELY be used safely and reliably with guitar amps up to 150W power ratings.

Let’s define *normal use of your amp*.

Simply put, the settings you use on your amp (Masters and Output especially) when you have a cab plugged in and using it for live or recording, are the same settings that will likely work best when using the internal load of the CabClone. Set the amp higher (louder) than that…? Here comes trouble!

Since the CabClone is NOT AN ATTENUATOR (allowing you to turn your amp up louder and get less volume), if you are using the CabClone’s internal load (recording silently or headphone use) and you set the amp’s Master’s or Output above where you would NORMALLY set it for live applications, this is where problems can potentially occur. For starters, it probably won’t sound good! And… this is also the point when you run the risk of damaging the CabClone’s internal load resistor AND/OR your amp’s tubes, transformers or power section circuitry.

So…The golden rule for safe CabClone use with higher wattage amps: If you wouldn’t want to be in the same room with your amp and cab at a given level of settings (TOO LOUD!), these are the settings where it’s possible to damage your CabClone’s internal load resistor and/or your amp. You can also check the temperature of your CabClone by touching your hand briefly on the top of the CabClone and monitoring the temperature of the unit as it’s being played. In normal conditions, the lid of the CabClone should be warm but not too hot to leave your hand in place for 5-10 seconds. If at any point the unit gets too hot to hold your hand on it for longer than a second or two, you are likely running the unit closer to where damage to the CabClone or your amp’s tubes, transformers and circuitry may occur.

Rest Area

Now for the technical details.

The way a load resistor works is to receive the AC voltage from your amp’s speaker output and turn that voltage into heat instead of sound. The resistor is designed to dissipate that heat with the help of an aluminum heat sink that provides added ‘cooling’ in addition to the resistors inherent dissipation.

CabClone Silent Recording Load Resistor

CabClone Silent Recording Load Resistor

Basically… the the louder you set your amp, the more voltage you release from the speaker output. This becomes more AC voltage for the resistor and heat sink to ‘soak up’ and dissipate as heat.

While the CabClone’s internal load resistor is rated at or above 100W, the engineering of the heat sink can have a dramatic effect on the overall cooling of the load resistor depending on it’s design and mass. The CabClone’s heat sink is considerably over-engineered which adds to the potential for safe and reliable use with amps rated above 100 watts, particularly when the amp is used within normal settings and using common sense.

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that while an amplifier can be rated at 100 watts, 120 watts or 150 watts etc., the ACTUAL wattage output into your speaker or load resistor in a real-world NON-STOP rock n’ roll playing application is NOT the same as the amp’s ‘store floor’ wattage rating. Let’s look at the numbers:

A standard active humbucking guitar pickup output with normal to heavy attack is usually around 1.25-1.5v. (Passive humbuckers are more likely .75- 1.0v). Drive this signal strength into a 150W amp like a Triple Rectifier on the Red Channel and Modern High Gain mode with the amp’s overall Masters/Output set around 10:00 will result in an averaged continuous RMS wattage of approximately 90 watts. With the amp’s Masters/Output set to 11:00, the averaged continuous wattage rises to about 125 watts. For those that play 120-150 watt amps, you know how unbelievably LOUD this setting is!!!

In our R & D and testing at Mesa with the CabClone, we toned and tested extensively with our Triple Rectifier (150W) and our Roadking (120W) with NO problems or failures in a wide variety of normal and even more extreme uses and testing and the formula is the same whether it’s a Mesa Triple Rectifier or any other tube amplifier.

While the 125 watts RMS exceeds the load resistor’s baseline rating, with the over-engineered heatsink and a myriad of other variables like AC line voltage to the amp, playing & attack variation and pauses (resistor cools down), ambient temperature of the room etc.,  used within moderation, the CabClone will easily perform safely under conditions of amp’s with wattage ratings up to 150 watts.

Bottom line – using the CabClone’s internal load for silent recording or headphone playing is completely safe, IF – AND ONLY IF… (This is important, that’s why it’s in all caps!! ;) – you use common sense and settings that you would use if you were in the same room with your amp and cab. Beyond NORMAL usage, Mesa cannot be liable for damage caused by extreme or improper use of the CabClone or any load resistive device.

If you have any questions, always feel free to contact Mesa Customer Service via any of the following methods:

Call – Monday – Thursday – 9am-5pm Pacific time – 707 778 6565
E-Mail: Fill out the following contact form here:
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The MESA CabClone Front Panel

The MESA CabClone Front Panel



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John Petrucci with the new Boogie Five-Band Graphic EQ pedal in the FX Loop of his Triaxis/2:90 rig

John Petrucci with the new Boogie Five-Band Graphic EQ pedal in the FX Loop of his Triaxis/2:90 rig (click to enlarge)

Well… It’s official – The Boogie® Five-Band Graphic EQ is now a permanent installation in the FX Loop of John’s Triaxis/2:90 rig for Dream Theater’s 2014 Along for the Ride tour. [click to continue…]



MESA/Boogie Factory Tour Video

by Boogie on March 28, 2014

in Company History, Video

Every little thing here at Mesa Boogie is calculated for one purpose only: To Hand-Craft A Better All-Tube Amplifier.

Each chassis is entirely hand-wired, checked out, teched-out and, as always, bashed repeatedly with a hammer while turned full up.

Then there is a play test, followed by a 24-hour burn-in, another electronic check, installation into a cabinet and a final play test given by a different musician then a last inspection before packing.

Every Mesa/Boogie®, from the most expensive to the least uses the identical top grade materials and assembly techniques. Every Mesa/Boogie, including all the cabinets, is entirely made in our one location here in Petaluma, California, where we’ve been since 1980.

Music: Andy Timmons “Resolution” – from the album Resolution.
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Mesa/Boogie® Launches Three New Guitar Pedals

The New THROTTLE BOX EQ™, FLUX-FIVE™ AND BOOGIE® FIVE-BAND GRAPHIC EQ Pedals Promise to Deliver a Powerful New Tone Shaping Experience to Guitarists of All Genres.

Petaluma, CA March 14, 2014 - Mesa/Boogie® is excited to announce the addition of the new Throttle Box EQ™, Flux-Five™ and Boogie® Five-Band Graphic EQ pedals to its line of award-winning guitar pedals.


Inspired from the possibilities discovered during development of the original Throttle Box™ gain pedal, the team at Mesa® has taken the award-winning platform to a new level of versatility with the addition of the Boogie® Five-Band Graphic Equalizer. “With limitless curve possibilities, the graphic equalizer expands the potential for sonic diversity across all playing styles as well as being able to unleash sonic Mayhem. Like the original, this new model includes two modes but here they are controlled by a HI/LO footswitch that enables you to have two gain regions to choose from during live performance,” said Doug West, Director of Marketing at Mesa/Boogie. Additionally, the Graphic Equalizer can be assigned to either or both gain modes so that it becomes active upon mode selection. The designers at Mesa also fitted a MID CUT control that allows global scooping of the “mids” in addition to whatever the player might want to do with the graphic sliders.



Mesa’s second new offering, the Flux-Five™, builds upon the success of the original Flux-Drive™ and its expressive gain that has been so popular among artists and players across all genres. Again, the new Flux-Five adds Mesa/Boogie’s classic Five-Band Graphic Equalizer and footswitchable HI/LO performance modes featuring a HI TRIM control to the already versatile Flux-Drive package. The result is increased shaping power and enhanced stylistic and performance versatility.

The third new addition to the Mesa/Boogie pedal family is the Boogie® Five-Band Graphic™ EQ. For well over four decades now, Mesa/Boogie’s on-board graphic EQ has been at the heart of chart topping guitar sounds and it’s hard to ignore the impact its now-classic “V-Curve” has had on modern guitar sounds and popular music. The new Boogie Five-Band Graphic EQ gives guitarists this powerful tool in a stand alone pedal format, packing the same tone shaping power and hand-built quality as those found in Mesa’s high-end amplifiers.



To learn more about the full line of guitar pedals from Mesa/Boogie, visit

About Mesa/Boogie, Ltd.
Mesa/Boogie, Ltd. (also known as Mesa Engineering) is a leading global innovator of guitar amplification technology whose product line includes the Mark V®, Dual and Triple Rectifier®’s, Lone Star®, TransAtlantic®, Mini Rectifier®, and most recently the new Recto®-Verb™ 25, Bass Prodigy™ Four:88, Bass Strategy™ Eight:88™, and full line of overdrive and now equalizer pedals. Founded in California in 1969 the company’s full line of amplifiers and pedals are still meticulously hand-built in the Petaluma, CA shop. For more information visit

Download the original release at PR Web



MESA/Boogie Fillmore 75 12" Guitar Speaker

MESA/Boogie Fillmore 75 12″ Guitar Speaker (click to enlarge)

The Mesa/Boogie® Fillmore™ 75 speaker is the culmination of a nine-year effort that saw more than 500 custom prototypes from the world’s leading speaker manufacturers.  We drove ‘em crazy with our fanatical demands!  Finally, our old friends at Eminence Speaker in Kentucky (USA!) captured the magic of our Golden Reference speakers that date back to the peak of the hand-built British era.

Our new Fillmore FM-75 is a vintage voiced speaker providing slightly lower lows, more punch, and a more balanced, less-scooped mid-range.  Best of all, the highs have a vocal quality with harmonics that don’t “separate” from the fundamental tones, eliminating that thin mosquito buzz of today’s offshore speakers in high-gain applications.

We’re excited to present this first offering in the coming full range of Mesa® Fillmore speakers.  We’ve stressed over this project for nearly a decade, realizing we needed to develop our own speakers to best compliment our amplifiers.  And we’re pleased and proud that, once again, Made In USA triumphs!

- Randall Smith




Customer Built Custom Lone Star Special Head and 1x12 Cabinet

Custom Hardwood Lone Star Special Head and 1×12 Cabinet built by a Mesa Customer (click to enlarge)

Mesa Enthusiast, Customer and obvious woodworker extraordinaire, Josh Skow, shared some pictures and thoughts on his personally designed custom built cabinets for his Lone Star Special Head and Cabinet. This fine piece of woodworking art was featured at the Iowa State Fair this year and won Best of Show in the woodworking division. [click to continue…]



The FIRST Mesa ~ The Bass 450 by Randall Smith

September 5, 2013

Ahh… the MESA 450, the first amp I made that wasn’t a rebuilt Fender.  And it was a Bass Amp, for a lovable thug from Oakland named Patrick “Buzz”  Burke, to whom I later gave my half interest in Prune Music.  I designed, silk-screened and etched the printed circuit board that runs the driver and […]

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MESA/Boogie Speaker Impedance Matching and Hook-up ~ Part 1

June 11, 2013

“How do I correctly connect multiple cabinets to my amp” is one of the most common questions Mesa Customer Service Reps answer. And it’s a great question because it’s extremely important to make sure that, 1) a cabinet or speaker load of some kind is connected to your tube amp at all times, and 2) […]

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VIDEO: Randall Smith ~ Tube Manufacturing, Testing and ‘Tube Town’

May 10, 2013

MESA/Boogie Founder, Designer and President Randall Smith walks us through Tube Town and explains the processes involved in Mesa’s advanced tube testing system – nicknamed ROBO-TUBE.

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Video: John Petrucci Studio Rig Tour 2013

April 5, 2013

Dream Theater’s John Petrucci sent us a rig tour of the Mesa amps he’s using in the studio for their new album. A wide assortment of vintage Boogie Mark III, Mark IV and a few prized Mark IIC+ heads from his collection make up the early Boogie usage. Current amps like the Royal Atlantic RA-100, Triaxis/2:90 and […]

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