This Mesa Boogie Private Reserve Royal Atlantic RA-100 2x12 Combo features a stunning Quilt Maple Hardwood cabinet done in a custom Crimson stain.
The Mesa Boogie ROYAL ATLANTIC wears an undeniable crown in the TransAtlantic fleet for delivering all this Tone with a big power gut-punch and three amazing Modes of footswitchable performance. Packing 100 watts of EL34 Brit-voiced attitude, this Atlantic takes everything you love about Fullerton and Liverpool and brings it all together with rich, chest-thumping high gain in a way only a MESA can.
The RA 100 also features their revolutionary new Channel Assignable Power Soaks that will redefine for you the concept of Power Expression and put you in total command of playing volume independent of power clip. At last… dial up a preamp sound in each of the Modes and crank in the perfect amount of power saturation at the right volume - and footswitch between them seamlessly! In the RA-100, each mode is dedicated to a region of musically useful gain and capable of iconic sounds. These are comprised of CLEAN, LO and HI and they cover the continents with inspiring soulfulness, conviction and authority… you need but plot the course and she'll take you there.
Channel 1 offers CLEAN, a decidedly American circuit, that chimes with bell-like clarity on the top and is filled out with bouncy, tight low-end that's warm and rich, but doesn't get tubby. CLEAN produces angelic cleans, but because of its tucked bass frequencies, also clips beautifully when used with its dedicated Soak for either pushed bluesy rhythm or old-school overdriven solo sounds.
Channel 2 pays tribute to both classic and modified British sounds, and though the two Modes in this Channel share Tone controls, they are adept at delivering amazing, no-compromise footswitchable performance. LO focuses on that touch-sensitive region of gain produced by classic Brit circuits and will have you knee-deep in hit-making sounds instantly.
The undeniable beauty of this gain region lies in the ability to dictate the sound based upon your picking technique, now further enhanced by the addition of Mutli-Soak™. Pick softly and she'll purr through stormy seas of Blue or, lay into it and deliver the classic Brit gut-punch… tight and thumping - with enough gain to crunch – yet with dynamic attack and not too saturated. HI covers the widest spectrum of gain in the RA100 and though its moniker suggests "over-the-top", some of its best attributes are to be found at settings in the middle of the evening watch. HI transforms from a sweet sea of lower-gain, English-Blues bliss at the shallow end of the GAIN control - to an angry, raging tempest with fathoms of harmonics riding just below the surface as you taunt its furthest reaches. And don't worry, if your style takes you right up the middle – where you need enough gain to saturate, but you need your attack intact and not mush – some of the Royal Atlantic's best sounds reside in the heat of the noonday sun. Around 12:00 on Channel 2's GAIN control, the Royal rocks like a classic, but sings like a modified. Tight and percussive with harmonics that leap to the surface as if chased by a predator. These two Modes in Channel 2 interact with the one set of Tone controls virtually seamlessly and deliver their respective characters with surprising accuracy and detail. This enables you to switch across styles with a minimum of tweaking and a level of compromise that is well worth the trade in simplicity.
And now back to the news you've been waiting for…MULTI-SOAK™ Channel Assignable Power Soaks. Your ship has come in!
While almost everyone loves the raw power, headroom and bold authority of a 100- watt power section pumping away beneath the deck, most of us have trouble finding a venue for all that muscle. For many of us (regardless of age) few and far between are the gigs of yesteryear - where we fondly remember cranking away on a big-bore head – punishing both the engineers and patrons of our favorite haunts to hit that place where we could ride the wave of high volume "inspiration" and go off. These days if you need to rely on that most likely you will find yourself unemployed, or at least strongly reprimanded. And while you can use the Front Panel 100/50 watt Half Power switch to berth two of the 4 power tubes for some cool applications, it's not the ultimate solution.
At last you can have whatever amount of power amp drive you need to deliver your personal form of magic – in every Mode - at any volume level you desire. Let's say that again; now your Tone doesn't have to be directly tied to your volume. And one last time; you can dial-in the perfect amount of power-clip for every footswitchable sound in your amp. Okay, yeah the intro might be a little over the top… but damn! How long have we all struggled with that. And though Power Soaks of many persuasions are nothing new… ones that don't rob your Tone are much harder to find. And definitely - the ability to have a Soak that gives you a separate one for each sound and individual control over their different volumes in one built-in package… well you've just sailed off the edge of the map… and into a New World of Power Expression.
On the Rear Panel Panel, Multi-Soak™ appears as a row of 3 rotary controls – each assigned to one of the footswitchable Modes – that give you a choice of Bypass (no power reduction) and four popular levels of power soak volume attenuation. A master BYPASS/Engage Soaks switch resides on the Front Panel allowing you to remove the Multi-Soak Attenuators from the signal path completely should you decide to unleash the full fury of the beast. Whether you end up relying on the Multi-Soak feature for all your sounds or you only use it for specific Modes and applications, the versatility it creates is extremely powerful in both recording and live environments and makes the RA100 unique in the world of big-displacement heads. NOTE: ! High Master Volume settings (on any tube amplifier) will cause the power tubes to wear at an accelerated rate. Like the tires on a car driven at the limit much of the time, continual excessive use of the Multi-Soak Attenuators to reduce a MASTER setting that is too high to use without the Soak engaged will cause decreased tube life. This will not cause damage to the amplifier, but it will increase your maintenance costs. NOTE: ! We recommend using the HIGH FAN setting when using Multi-Soak to attenuate the power.
The Royal's got Reverb. Lush all-tube Reverb drenches the RA100's three Modes with a beautiful 3-D halo and assignable choices on where to use it for the best footswitchable results. A 3-position Reverb MODE DEFEAT mini toggle in the REVERB section of the Rear Panel lets you have the Reverb active in all Modes "ON" (toggle center), Defeated in HI (on in CLEAN and LO) or Defeated in LO and HI (on in CLEAN). The RA100 also provides a master REVERB BYPASS switch that enables you to remove the REVERB and all associated tubes and circuitry from the signal path for a more true-to-(at least Brit)vintage response. And if you still need more control than this sophisticated approach to applying REVERB offers… we've provided a "hidden Reverb kill" jack on the tube side of the chassis giving those who "don't mind the dance" total control.
An old favorite, Mesa has included their handy BIAS SWITCH that allows you to swap the stock compliment of EL34 with the fatter, rounder sounding 6L6… for those who want to lean heavily on American citizenship when it comes to crunch time (and even more so in CLEAN). NOTE:! Make Sure Bias Switch Setting Matches The Tubes In Use !
Keeping a cool head is always a good idea, but for those times when passion gets the better of you (or you just have to play real quiet) they've fitted the Royal with a 2-speed fan switch. We recommend keeping it set to HIGH for the longest tube life and trouble-free operation, but the LOW (quieter) setting is there for recording sessions (and late-night serenades on the deck). NOTE: ! The Multi-Soak™ Attenuation Feature Generates Additional Heat. This heat increases as the amplifiers MASTER Volume Controls are increased while the Multi-Soak Attenuator's are dialed to reduce volume output to the Speaker. We highly recommend using the FAN on the HIGH setting anytime the Multi-Soak Attenuators are used to reduce an otherwise extreme output signal.
A transparent Series EFFECTS LOOP handles outboard signal processing aboard the RA100 and provides a seamless interface for units that don't want to be "in front of the preamp" such as Delay, Chorus, Flange and Pitch Shifting based effects. The Loop Send is derived from a source at the end of the preamp and the RETURN is inserted back into the signal path near the input to the power section. The Loop is basically a patch point at the junction of preamp and power amp and this delivers the best signal to noise ratio and the least degradation of signal for most outboard devices. Overdrive pedals or Gain Boosting devices will usually want to see the guitar's output signal as a "Send" and the front end (Front Panel Input) of the RA100 as the "Return". Using gain pedals in the EFFECTS LOOP may cause noise problems, a "mushy" attack or even feedback. Wah pedals also tend to work best in front of the amp for they are really afoot sweepable guitar Tone control. The RA100 EFFECTS LOOP incorporates switching-type jacks and when there are no patch cords and/or devices connected, the LOOP is HARD BYPASSED and all associated circuitry is removed from the signal path.
Speaker impedance is an important part of not only power and headroom, but Tone and response (feel) as well. The Royal Atlantic Speaker Output jacks are switchable and handle most speaker impedances well however, they are optimized for either 4 or 8 Ohm loads – which we feel deliver the best overall performance. We prefer the sound of an 8 Ohm cabinet loading the 8 ohm Output Impedance Setting whenever possible citing a more authoritative and responsive attack and tighter-tracking bass frequencies. The majority of MESA Speaker cabinets come wired to 8 Ohms as the standard configuration. Options are available but must be special ordered.
A duplicate Footswitch Input is located on the Rear Panel to accommodate racking of the RA100 into large format rack systems where all switching is handled by a master(usually midi) switcher. The jacks (Front and Rear) respond to simple "tip to ground" logic and this is commonplace on most all master switching devices. It is usually preferable to have all wiring originate from the rear of these bigger rack systems and the Rear Panel Footswitch jack supports this "pro" wiring scheme.
And finally, a MESA time honored tradition… the SLAVE OUTPUT and LEVEL control. This handy output enables capture of the entire sound of the RA100 – both preamp and power – to be captured and fed to an external power source (another RA100 perhaps) for big venue reinforcement. Another common application is to feed a rack of external processing for the purist who doesn't trust Effects Loops or prefers a "dry (center), wet (left), wet (right) Stereo rig. The Multi-Soak feature broadens the spectrum of applications for the SLAVE OUTPUT and makes it a little easier to handle "volume-wise" in a live environment.
Well that's about it for the features of the Royal Atlantic™… now it's about taking her out for a cruise and seeing what she'll do in the wide open sea of your creativity. Thanks so much for your interest and support… all of us here at MESA/Boogie value it above all. We know we work for you… and as we focus each day to hand-build the very best instruments possible and earn your respect, the most precious reward for us is the trust you put in us to be your voice and your amplifier company. Cheers and Enjoy!