Developed for the guitarist who likes multiple tone shaping options, the highly complex V2 can basically produce any tone you want utilizing a full tube preamp, as well as a classic Randall solid-state preamp.
static86, on november 09, 2006 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 970
Purchased from: Marshall Music
Features: This amp head was made in 2006 and has Randall's Valve Dynamic power section which uses 1-12AX7 tube. It has 3 channels: clean, overdrive and tube overdrive. The clean channel is solid state and is clean. It has a level and gain control and shares the EQ with the overdrive channel. The overdrive channel is classic Randall solid state distortion with gain, level, EQ with sustain boost when you pull out the treble knob, and a presence control. The last channel and my favorite is the Tube overdrive. It uses 3-12AX7 tubes and is just a monster channel. It has an attack switch for loose or tight sound, gain, EQ, level and a bright switch. This amp also has a built in 6 band graphic EQ and a master level, master density, master presence, on switch and standby switch. On the back it has 2 speaker outputs (200w at 8 ohm, 400w an 4 ohm and it says it can go as low at 2 ohm but it's not recommended), MIDI inputs for the included footswitch, a slave output for additional poweramps or rack units, a direct recording output for plugging straight into a mixer, and an effects loop. // 10
Sound: The distortion on this head is amazing. I play a Schecter C-1 Plus with EMG 81/85 and they work really well with this head. I was used to playing out of a Crate combo amp with a Boss Metal Zone and I liked that sound but as soon as I pluggd into this, I was completly blown away by the sound comming from this, It's just in your face, mean distortion. With the BBE in the effects loop and some tweaking to the graphic EQ, I couldn't stop playing it. It makes the walls shake, and it is very loud. The full tube preamp with the valve dynamic power amp makes it just as good as any all-tube head in my opinion. I play mainly metal (Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage) and this amp is perfect for that. The only thing is that you will definately need a noise gate/suppressor for it. It likes to hiss when you crank up the gain/volume. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This head is tough, I haven't gone gigging with it yet(the drummer in my band is lazy), but I wouldn't worry about bringing a backup. It is very solid in construction, easy to carry with either the top handle or the 2 top corner metal handles. I'm sure this will last me a very long time. // 9
Impression: I had been looking for a new amp head for a while. I was looking at the Marshall Mode 4, Peavey XXX, or B-52 AT-100 but none of those amps had the type of distortion sound I was looking for. I had been searching online and ran across this amp and I had to check it out. When I pluged in and turned it on I knew this was the amp for me. // 10
unregistered, on june 02, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Purchased from: Avenue Guitars (Edmonton)
Features: First things first. How many amps can you buy with a GOOD graphic EQ for under $2000? Not many, this is the first I've come across that works this well, and that alone should sell tons of these things. There's also a well integrated FX loop with rear controls to tone up or down your effects, as well as a midi footswitch with 5 stomp-buttons (Clean, Overdrive, Tube OD, FX Loop and Graphic EQ controls). It also has three output settings 8 ohms, 4 ohms, and 2 ohms. Regardless of which you choose, this thing sounds like a monster through all of them. It has more than enough power for almost ANY venue (including small Jam spaces) and the only thing I can put down as a disappointment is that the solid state channel seems extremely quiet in comparisson (which could very well be a problem with the amp itself, I haven't had anybody look at it because I only ever use the tube OD). The solid state channel does have a nice gain/sustain boost option which could be useful to someone looking for a soloing channel. // 10
Sound: I currently run one of four guitars through this amp. I have an ESP LTD F-401FM (active EMG 81's), an ESP LTD Eclipse EC-400 (active EMG 81 and 85), an '82 Fender Squier Strat with active EMG single-coils and a 2004 BC Rich Beast (cheap model). Both of my ESP guitars (my main guitars) SCREAM through this behemoth, and it most definitely suits the heavy metal style of music. I don't have the gain any higher than maybe a 3 or 4 and it still has more than enough grit. I must say, however, that without a noisegate this thing hisses like mad. Because of the graphic EQ, you can get most any tone you need from this amp with a little playing around and the possiblities are ENDLESS for someone who loves to toy with settings. I give this a nine, ONLY because you will most definitely need a noisegate. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I would most definitely gig without a backup if need be (which any gigging musician would tell you is foolhardy), but of course I have my old Randall RX120D combo amp to fall back on. Because of the lack of power tubes, you should never have to worry about the frailty and Randall already builds bullet-proof amps to begin with. Durability is not even a factor. // 10
Impression: I had searched for YEARS to find an amp head I wanted to buy. I've been playing in modern heavy metal bands since 2004, gigging and whatnot with combo amps (my rock has always been my Randall RX120D solidstate 2X12 combo, which for the record is a WICKED combo amp) until I finally got the nerve to upgrade to a half-stack. After being loyal to Randall for years, I decided to see what my options were and looked at EVERYTHING, Randall or not. I tried everything from Marshall JCM series (too whiny, too grainy) to Fender's MH half-stack (again, too grainy) to Peavey's XXX and 6505(not sure what, but something was missing) to Mesa Trident and Roadking and Rectos to Krank's Krankenstein (too dam expensive!). I loved the sound of the Framus Dragon, but with the price tag I would have had to sell my car to get one. When I finally came across the Randall V2head, the looks alone had me sold. Once I plugged into this bad boy... I was hooked. There was no other amp that could do what this amp can do for this price. Loud, obnoxious, in-your-face wall of pure heavy metal insanity that would have satan himself quivering in a corner in the fetal position. Don't be naive, this amp is NOT designed for it's clean channel (it's mediocre). It's meant to bleed ears with distortion, and believe me, it does the trick. My current band has 3 guitar players, a bassist, a drummer, and a vocalist, and I've never had my amp over 1.5-2.0 volume without being asked to turn down (keeping in mind that the other two guitarists use a Peavey 6505 with a mesa cab, and a Peavey XXX with a Line 6 cab). If you need power, you got it. If you need tone options and gain delivery, you've got it. If you need an awesome amp for modern heavy music, whether metal or rock, you need the Randall V2. Period. // 10
unregistered, on december 09, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Purchased from: Gearhounds.com
Features: I own 2 of the Archetype V2 heads that Christian Olde Wolbers from Fear Factory designed. One was was made in 2008, the second in 2009.This amp does NOT sound like a regular V2 or Ninja V2. I tried out all of them side by side at my friends store with the same exact cab configuration and EQ settings. The Archetype was modded by Wolbers to have more low mids, more sensitive pots, more gain and a tighter bass response.He speaks of it in the Metal detector article when the amps came out. The NINJA 2 was modded by Amott and has a great sound also but it is more thinner/treble sounding. Not as much gerth as the Archetype.I play in a thrash metal band. We play all diferent size venues in Southern Cali. This amp in my opinion is the end all be all of hard rock/metal amps. This amp has a 6 band graphic EQ and 3 channels. Its a hybrid amp, meaning it has a full tube pre- amp and half tube/solid state power section.The clean channel is a good solid state sound, it just needs an FX pedal like any other amp without built in FX would.The second channel is a solid state overdrive. This channel has a treble push/pull knob for an extra gain stage. It is a great channel for rock or thrash metal. The 3rd channel is the main reason you buy this thing. All tube preamp section with RUBY 12AX7 pre-amp tubes. Has a bright Switch and attack Switch for a more aggressive picking attack. The amp comes with a fully programmable midi foot controller and FX loop. The amp is 280 watts at 8 ohms, 400 watts at 4 ohms and 480 watts at 2 ohms. This amps sweet spot is at 4 ohms. It has enough headroom for Madison Square Garden and the LA Coliseum. It will blow your drummer away its so loud. I use the Randall Kirk Hammett XL cabs with the cross pattern Celestion speakers, V30s and 75 watters. // 9
Sound: I use an old ESP James Hetfield Explorer from the early 90s and 3 ESP Michael Amott Ninja V guitars W/ the Kerry King EMG pick up set, 81 and 85s with the PA 2 booster Switch in all of them. I have the gain at about 6 and its more than plenty. Its also not too noisy on the tube channel for being a high gain amp but I still use a MXR SMART GATE pedal and the amp loves it. Its dead silent. Its a gain monster that can get any tone you want out of it. You just need to tweak the graphic EQ, watch the gain knob because its got so much of it. And Dont Dip Out The Mids In The Graphic Eq. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have never had one concern with my amp and I have had it and gigged with it for over a yr now. I haven't even changed a tube. I contacted the Randall staff with questions about the amp after I purchased it and got replys back the same day. So I would say Customer Service is impeccable. // 9
Impression: I have been playing in metal/thrash bands since 1992 so I have used quite a few amps in my day, this one is a keeper. I was a MESA/BOOGIE user for 13 yrs. For me to stop using a Mesa says alot of this amp.I had the Triple Rec and A Dual Rec. I also had the coveted Mark II C+. I also used Marshall amps before the Mesa amps (JCM 800 and 900). I sold my MESA amps because they were not too reliable after awhile, and everytime something goes wrong its $250.00 to fix. So I went looking for a new amp. I tried everything you can imagine, I am a tone freak and I try anything I can get my hands on. I tried the Diezel VH4, Splawn NITRO(which would have been my 2nd choice, Great amp), Marshall JVM, 5150 III, Peavey 6505, Framus Cobra, the Bogner designed Line 6, Bogner amps, VHT Pitbull, Diamond amps, and Egnater. This amp was the best one on the market with the features and cosmetics to match. Find me an amp that looks this cool, with the blue V2 Logo lights and LEDs besides a H&K amp.You wont! One of the coolest looking amps as well. If it were stolen? I loved the head so much I bought the second one as a back up just incase it WAS stolen. This is a full on METAL amp but it can deliver various tones. I've seen country players use this amp. No kidding! // 9
RX120D, on may 13, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 950
Purchased from: eBay
Features: The amp was basically Brand New when I bought it. The guy had it for 2 weeks and returned it because it wasn't what he was looking for. This amp is very versatile when it comes to dialing in your tone. Very easy to use. It has 3 Channels. 1 Clean (Gain/level), 1 SolidState 'Overdrive'(Gain/Level/Bass-Mid-Treble/Presence) and the famous 'Ninja O.D' channel. (Attack switch/Gain/Bright switch/Bass-Mid-Treble/level). It has a 6-Band graphic EQ and 3 Master controls.(Master volume/Density/Presence)Comes with a 5-Button footswitch connected with a 7-Pin DIN cable.
Power Consumption: 840W
Footswitch/Midi: In, Thru
Speaker Outputs x2: 400w at 2ohms, 220 at 4ohms. Minimum 2ohm load.
Slave: Output jack, Level.
Direct Recording/Mix Output: XLR connection.
Effects loop: Return jack + level knob. Send jack + level knob.
Loop Type selector: Series(out), Parallel(in).
This amplifier is classified as 'Hybrid' type. Meaning it is half tube, half solid state. The pre-amp has 4 tubes and the power section is completely solid state. The only thing it is lacking is some kind of reverb. This amp runs dry, meaning that there are no effects built in at all. I usually run it at its 220w setting when playing in my room so I can push the tubes and have it's great tone without killing anyone's ears. But when it comes to full band jams or Live performances, I Switch it to it's 400w, 4ohm setting for that extra couple watts. // 9
Sound: My guitar is nothing special. Just a Jackson JS30RR with an EMG 81 in the bridge. It gets the job done. Sounds great nevertheless. I play many different styles of metal and it always performs the way I want it to. I've never had a problem with finding the right tone. This amplifier is quite noisy at loud volumes, even with a newly wired building, much worse when there are stage lights and bad/old wiring in the venue or house but easily tameable with a noise suppressor. It's quite versatile when it comes to tone, but keep in mind that this is an amplifier built for playing Metal or Hard rock. You won't be getting the best jazzy or blues tones out of this. Clean channel leaves a bit to be desired but EQ and effects fix that problem.
Clean channel breaks up at higher volumes. The distortion is what makes this amp. I have yet to find the same thick punishing tone in anything else. Truly surprised by the wall of sound this thing pushes. Thick bottom end, warm mids and searing treble. Truly a high-gain monster. Keep in mind I am reviewing this with no pedals or fancy-dancy stuff. Guitar to amplifier out to cab. Nothing else. No tube screamer or boosts or anything. She stands up on her own. Trust me.
Rated 10 just because the distortion makes up for what is lacking 10 times over. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Seeing as this amplifier is a hybrid, there is much less work needed to be done to maintain this thing. I would easily gig without a backup if I had to but no matter what, I will always have a backup. Even the best stuff can malfunction. Keep that in mind.
It has never broken down. When I turn it on, it's always ready to go. The only problem I've had so far is the standby Switch. The contact is not working properly which means I have to Switch it a few times to get it into standby. It always comes out of standby on the first Switch though. Easy/cheap fix. Not a problem at all. // 9
Impression: Overall, I have been blown away by this amp. Before I bought it, I heard some sound clips from someone's website and I almost bought a different amp becuase the sound clips were terrible. The tone was horrible. But I went out on a limb and bought it anyways thinking it's gotta be good if it's a signature head.
Well, I underestimated this thing. It's lived up to it's expectations 10 times over. I have been playing for almost 7 years and never have I come across something this awesome. The only thing I wish I would have asked for from the seller was the cable for the footswitch. There are no stores around my area that carry that certain type of cable. I'm stuck without a footswitch 'til I get one.
If it were stolen, I would be truly devastated and begin the long haul of saving up money to get it again. I compared it to many other products. Mesas, Marshalls, Other Randalls, a Rivera, Peaveys and a Diezel. It beat everything except for the Diezel but that thing is so damn expensive I wonder how they sell any. I'm more than happy with what I have though. Doesn't get much better than this. I wish it had reverb. That's all. // 10