Mesa Boogie Badlander? Mesa has ruled the Metal world with their Rectifier series for decades. But the future is finally here! This year Mesa ushers in a new technology for their amps, following in boutique amplifier footsteps. Today we take a look at the Badlander.
Mesa Boogie Badlander: WOW!
When I first saw this new amp, I immediately though it might be a slightly changed version of a Dual Rectifier. Maybe a smaller one? Half the wattage? Slightly Modded? Boy was I wrong!
The Mesa Boogie Badlander is none of those things!
This is a completely new design to add to the Rectifier line, made popular by so many Metal musicians over the years. Mesa Boogie has a huge reputation in the Metal Community. Bands like Korn, Metallica, and countless others have made Mesa Boogie the staple of their crushing, brutal tone. So what is the Mesa Boogie Badlander all about?
The features seem really cool:
- 3 Models: 50 watt head/100 watt head/50 watt combo
- CabClone Impulse response built in
- USB connection for updating cabs and editing
- Each channel can have a separate IR
- Silent Practice/recording
- Multi-watt power scaling: 100/50/20 watts
- Two Channels, independent
The Mesa Boogie Badlander is powered by EL34 tubes in the power stage, and it uses 12Ax7 tubes in the preamp section. This is “keeping up with tradition” for Mesa and their usual Rectifier setup. This means that the Badlander is a straight up Metal machine.
The two channels have three different modes: Clean, Crunch, and Crush. Each channel can be cloned or have independent settings. The choice is yours, to how you want to use the independent channels.
It could be easy to dismiss the Mesa Boogie Badlander as just another Rectifier-style amp that is capitalizing off the original design. Let’s be fair…Mesa does do this to us! But that definitely doesn’t seem the case, this time. In fact, it reminds me of the much more expensive REVV Generator we discussed last week!
While it may not have a Two Note Torpedo built into the output, The Mesa Boogie Badlander DOES have a CabClone IR system built in. This is Mesa’s own system that recreates 12-14 of the most popular cabinets made by Mesa over the years. Each channel is totally independent, and can have a different Cab Sim loaded on each one.
This means that you can use your Mesa Boogie Badlander without any cabinet at all. You can use the Cab IR sims to send your signal either to your recording setup, or to headphones to practice. I could definitely see this being useful in a live situation.
If you were playing a gig, and wanted to use the Mesa Boogie Badlander without a cab, you could use one of the many cabinet IR sims and send your signal to the front mixing board. This could seriously lighten your load when it comes to your live guitar rig!
Mesa Boogie Badlander: Release Date, Price and Thoughts…
Mesa Boogie has not released an actual date so far for the release of it’s new Badlander Rectifier. Currently they are just saying “late 2020” which in marketing speak means: Probably Christmas.
I’m OK with waiting a little while for the Badlander. Compared to the other amps that have come out recently with IR tech built in, the Mesa Boogie Badlander is competitively priced at $1299-$2499 depending on the model. This price point is right in line with most of their models in the Traditional Dual Rectifier series.
I can’t help but think the influx of these “hybrid” amps is a response to the all of the amp modelers that have taken over the guitar universe over the past decade. Or even to a point, Amp Sims on your computer’s DAW. Real amplifiers have been mostly replaced.
While “real” tube amps remained large and cumbersome, AxeFX, Line 6 and Kemper were small and compact. Modeling tech has come so far, that many professionals have even swapped to a modeler. Big name bands are choosing AxeFX over a traditional amplifier while touring.
This leaves the only real place for a big tube amp in the studio. Because of course you want that real, warm tube sound on your record. Right? Most studios still use real amps for lots of applications.
It is very nice to see these “crossover” amps coming out, and making it easier to use tube amps again, regardless of your setting. It looks like amp manufacturers are fighting back against the Helix, and Kemper. But is the new tech enough?
I guess we will see!
What is the Mesa Boogie Badlander release date?
Late 2020, December.
Can you load Independent IR into the Mesa Boogie Badlander?
Yes, you can use any third party IR as well as the Mesa ones that come with the amp.
How many channels does the Mesa Boogie Badlander have?
2 independent channels. Each channel has 3 different modes: Clean, Crunch, and Crush.
Is there a combo version of the Mesa Boogie Badlander?
Yes. There is a 50 watt combo amp version.