Hey all, The short version: I purchased a Mesa Recto cab at the beginning of 2008, and it sounded great. However, it had a slight tear in the grill cloth that would buzz & rattle. Then, to add insult to injury, I blew the best speaker in the cab while showing off how great it sounded to a client.... not so smart on my part, I can admit it... Anyway, the cab was still under warranty, so I had it replaced with a new one... only problem was, it didn't sound anywhere nearly as good. I tried everything with this cab: Bias adjustments on the amp, different overdrive pedals, mic configurations, mic different spots on the best speakers, you name it... I've literally got pages & pages of notes. Still, it didn't sound as good as the first one. So I bought another 4X12 from a different manufacturer, and the Mesa has been sitting there for the last 5 months, unused. I was seriously considering selling it, or trading it for something else... maybe even a new Mesa cab that sounded good. Then, this morning, I had an idea. My best ideas always come in the morning while my head is clear. ...and that idea was so simple, it was downright stupid not to try it ages ago: Check the back of the cabinet to see if the screws are tight. After all, it's a closed back cabinet & needs that rigid back for the thing to work correctly. Well, wouldn't you know, I could go 1-2 revolutions on every single screw. So, I plugged in my 5150, cranked it up, and wouldn't you know.. it sounds better. A bigger bottom end, and a smoother, more extended top end. ...Like a Mesa cab SHOULD sound like. Fuck. I've included several samples of the step by step evaluation process. Please excuse the horrible AC/DC ripoff riff, I was playing Rock Band 2 with the wife & couldn't get the damn riff out of my head! All the single 57 clips have the mic in the same position. Before - SINGLE 57 NO EQ, LOOSE SCREWS After - SINGLE 57 NO EQ, screws tightened Single 57 with some EQ, after tightening 57 with 421 off axis, eq and compression in mud zone So, the lesson here: If your tone sucks, you might have a screw loose. Don't forget to check.