#1
ok, I've read a lot of reviews on it, and I don't think any them do the amp justice -- they either state its too good or too terrible. I've owned and used it as my primary amp for a variety of styles, from blues and classic rock to metal and beyond.

Overdriving the clean channel

first off, I'll say the thing is pretty versatile, it can get a classic marshall-ish crunch (low-ish gain) with the clean channel with the level High. You can get a more middish marshallish tone with the clean boost the same way, and if you do this and add in an overdrive pedal to boost it and thicken up the tone a bit, you can get a delicious classic high gain tone.

on its own the clean channel distorts pretty nicely and is easily good for songs like sweet emotion and such, stick an OD in front and get out a strat and you can do hendrix or similar. If you can crank the master a bit, you might not need the OD to thicken it up, but its a very thin overdrive -- dont get me wrong, I like it a lot -- it breaks up NICELY when you want it to, at whatever volume necessary. this is something I cant get from my C30 -- it wont break up on the clean channel at acceptable volumes for me, this is partly because of the speaker (the peavey speaker doesnt break up easily), and partly because its not a master volume amp.

Cleans

now for the clean tones -- most people who are after clean tube tones probably wont like it for one reason -- its PERFECTLY clean (okay not fender clean but it is clean), even at decently high volumes (keep the master high and the level low -- level distorts it at about 5 depending on your pickups, but master wont distort it easily, and you get good headroom) like I said, keep the level below halfway, and use the master to raise the volume -- a lot of people think theres no headroom when theres really plenty, they just dont know how to use the master volume correctly.

in all honesty, the cleans are almost solid stateish, which for most clean players should be a good thing. Tube amps like the C30 sound great on the clean channel (better IMO), but in all honesty theyre not a pure clean sound, they're riddled with slight distortion (depending on volume, I dont crank mine enough), and harmonics as well as odd frequencies. I like the randall's however, because it, well, works well, stays clean when I want it to, and is sterile and clean -- I want that tone sometimes, idk about you guys.

Overdrive channels

You can get a few different sounds on the dirty channels, but not too many. by a few, I mean maybe 2 to 4 depending on how you EQ it. You can take away a lot of the bass (back it off to halfway or less, its a bassy amp) and add in a ton of mids, scoop the mids, max the bass+treble and keep the mids at like 3-5 o'clock for some decent tones. Its no Mesa Boogie, but it costs a lot less too. And the Overdrive does sound good. I think more of the tone, however, comes from the EQ and the amps voicing -- if you stick an EQ pedal in front, it might come alive as an entirely different amp. It kind of does if you stick an OD on the clean channel with the boost (I really liked the tone I got that way, almost perfect boosted plexi to JCM800 sounds like Randy Rhodes and such, depending on eq and settings on the pedal/amp)

the two channels really arent all that different, but they are a little, you have to listen for it though -- what I do is leave one with a lot lower gain then the other, and use the higher gain channel for a bit thicker tone when needed -- people off stage wont be able to hear much difference in the tone between the two channels if they both use a lot of gain. the best way I can describe it is that the second gain channel is a bit thicker than the other. Again, I cant crank it up much, so it may sound different if you use less preamp distortion and more power amp volume -- I know when I've done this, it gives it a far more powerful tone when turned louder, but I havent been able to experiment.

you can get a liquidy lead out of it, but not with stock reverb -- the reverb actually works OK on the clean channel, not good, but definitely tolerable/usable. You can hear it when its not dimed, on the clean channel (even when that channel distorts). However the gain channels make it sound almost non-existent. If you stick a reverb pedal or delay in the effects loop, it can smooth out the tone a lot, and you can get a good shreddy tone. An EQ pedal might also help. and the amp here, in this case, isnt going to do the work for you. I find that any low priced tube amp isnt going to hand good tone to you like really expensive ones (its easier to plug in and sound great on a JCM800 or Fender Twin Reverb, or Dual Recto/Mark V), but they do give you the opportunity for good/great tone -- more relies on your playing skill than anything else. If you dont have good technique, your sound better through processors and SS amps. You can get good liquidy lead tone out of it if your a good player STRAIGHT FROM THE AMP. if your not, it'll show your mistakes more (as will most other tube amps)

listen to chatreeo play it on youtube, he gets great tone from a les paul and rg50tc straight up (no effects), and its probably not his main amp, but he did a demo of it.

what you might want with the amp

probably an Overdrive pedal for the clean channel, it just sounds good ton top of it, and opens up different tones for the amp (while retaining it's high gain goodness, or even to get good low to mid gain rock tones)

if you like reverb for leads, get a reverb pedal, the amps reverb is almost worthless, especially if you use reverb with overdrive. I like sticking a delay in the effects loop, as it thickens up leads nicely, but a reverb pedal is in my future for sure.

If you need more versatility, I'd say a good EQ pedal could really push the limits of this amp. Most of the amp's tone comes from its voicing. Its strongly american voiced, and the EQing on the amp itself is limited. The gain is there for any style of music, but the voicing is there for only a few. The clean channel however, is versatile on its own, and distorting it with the level/clean boost keeps it versatile, as does sticking a OD pedal in front.

My pickups are all stock (except for my strat, it has a chandler custom shop pickup that was made in the US as bridge and some pretty good noname pickups for middle and neck), however I think some good high output passive humbuckers would sound great with it and keep it versatile, and that actives would also be great, but probably make it distorted all the time. Good pickups would definitely bring out more of the amps potential, but they're NOT NEARLY AN ESSENTIAL.

Overall

Out of the box, it can do most things people want decently. with the correct pedals, I think it can be one hell of an amp. An EQ, Reverb, and OD pedal would make it FAR more versatile than it is out of the box, and allow you to shape its tone a lot LOT more, and probably make it ten times the amp it is on its own - for example I think the OD channel needs more punchiness and to be a bit tighter, and Im pretty sure an EQ pedal could handle it.

on its own, its still a good amp, I like mine a lot, and yeah, I'd rather have a JCM800 and TS808 or Mesa Mark V, but thats not realistic, for the price, its definitely good, and it provides me tones the Classic 30 just wasnt built to make.

the celestion 70/80s are the first "real" celestions I've played through, and I like the voicing and the way they break up. Im sure theres better models out there (like the vintage 30), but its still not a terrible speaker IMO.

I have the old silver faceplate model, and it seems to be built solid. It is made in china, and I cant vouch for everybody, but I've had no problems with construction, and the tubes are still fine.

if anybody has any questions feel free to ask and I can try to answer. And no, I lack any recording gear, so I probably wont be able to post samples, I can try to though, and if I can I'll upload some.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
Last edited by spiroth10 at Dec 13, 2008,
#3
Damn, you pretty much covered all I thought about this amp, and more. I've been playing with it for a while and can agree with just about all your points.

Excellent job!
Amps
Randall RG50TC, Roland Cube 15x

Guitar
LTD MH-100QM, Washburn X12

Effects and Etc.
Ibanez Weeping Demon, Boss FV-500H, Ibanez TS7, Ibanez PH7, dbx 31-band EQ, ISP Decimator
#4
Quote by WinterSteel
Damn, you pretty much covered all I thought about this amp, and more. I've been playing with it for a while and can agree with just about all your points.

Excellent job!


thanks, we really need more accurate reviews of the amp not made by n00bs or elitists -- good accurate ones. One or both of us should post a review to this site's actual review section. I probably will, but not tonight, its 2 AM for me and I need to sleep :p.

it just kinda makes me mad when I see reviews stating its either amazing or complete crap. I know I had a hard time deciding on ordering mine because of that, and I think a lot of people feel the same way about deciding on it.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
#5
I'll have to get some sleep as well, as it's 4am here right now. I'll get around to writing a review soon.
Amps
Randall RG50TC, Roland Cube 15x

Guitar
LTD MH-100QM, Washburn X12

Effects and Etc.
Ibanez Weeping Demon, Boss FV-500H, Ibanez TS7, Ibanez PH7, dbx 31-band EQ, ISP Decimator
#6
Quote by spiroth10
thanks, we really need more accurate reviews of the amp not made by n00bs or elitists -- good accurate ones. One or both of us should post a review to this site's actual review section. I probably will, but not tonight, its 2 AM for me and I need to sleep :p.

it just kinda makes me mad when I see reviews stating its either amazing or complete crap. I know I had a hard time deciding on ordering mine because of that, and I think a lot of people feel the same way about deciding on it.

Agreed. It pisses me off massively when people say it's made for Br00t4lZ. It's so much more versatile than that.
#7
Quote by Rock Pig
Agreed. It pisses me off massively when people say it's made for Br00t4lZ. It's so much more versatile than that.


You are very right that it is a very versatile amp, but Randall is marketing their amps for "t3h br00talz!!!111oneoneone...."

It's their target market
#8
Quote by NJNoise
You are very right that it is a very versatile amp, but Randall is marketing their amps for "t3h br00talz!!!111oneoneone...."

It's their target market

Yeah. They're not really marketing the RG50TC for heavy metal or anything, people just presume it's metal because of the Randall name.
#9
Quote by Randall Amplifiers


Introducing the new all tube line that breaks a barrier for price and performance. Continuing to offer the most flexible features, the new Tube Series incorporates 4 modes of operation in 2 fully independent channels. Channel 1 or “Overdrive” channel includes dual Gain stages for hi-gain rhythm and lead. Gain-1 is a tight feeling classic to hi-gain tone with great note definition while Gain 2 is a bit softer with more gain for lead tones with liquid sustain.

Channel 2 or “Clean” channel is a traditional clean tone with sparkly highs and cutting mid-range. The footswitchable boost function adds some grit and volume for a nice semi-distorted country to blues lead tone.

So whether you looking for a great sounding tube amp to jam at home with friends or flexible high performance road amp, the new Tube Series has your back.


Umm..... you sure??

I know that it IS advertising versatility...but there is a much larger section dedicated to the "high gain" features of the od channels....