Ok, here's the general specs swiped from another site:

•Two channel, footswitchable 20W head
•Preamp three 12AX7 tubes, power section two Sovtek 5881 tubes
•Krank channel: sweep control, 3 band eq, gain, master, Kleen channel: volume, 2 band eq
•Active effects loop, 8 and 16 Ohm selector, worldwide voltage use, footswitch included

Alright, now to discuss this little bad boy. The first thing I have to say is that this is the loudest 20w amp I have ever heard. Part of the reason for buying the 20w version is that I have a 40w Traynor that is a bit too loud for my home use and I figured a 20w Krank would give me the distortion I'm looking for without as much volume. What a mistake that was. I can at least turn the Traynor up to around 3 (level 3, not 3 o'clock position) before I get the law called on me; the krank hits that volume about the time you hit the first notch on the knob. DO NOT let the low wattage fool you.

As you probably know the Krank Krankenstein amps are really geared toward high gain punch you in the face metal. In that regards it hits the spot right on. With the sweep control you can take it from muddy doom / sludge metal type sounds to screaching ear bleeding thrash and the middle range sounds just about right for things like Amon Amarth. If you want serious gain then this is an easy recommendation.

The clean channel is also better than I expected. The reason for this purchase was just for a really heavy metal amp with no regard for the cleans but they would suffice for a short clean melody line / riff. I wouldn't want to try to play a full gig of country or blues on it though; the voicing just isn't right IMO for that. I also wouldn't recommend this thing for your daddy's rock and roll or jazz. Basically if you buy this thing for anything other than pure out balls to the wall metal you probably make the wrong choice.

I know Kranks kind of have a love / hate relationship and now that I own one I don't know why. Obviously everyone has their own opinion of what good sound is (I'm not a big fan of Marshall for instance) but it seems like Kranks get more hate than others. Personally I'm thrilled with the purchase and feel it was money well spent and was just what I was looking for. But again, it is a metal amp and I would go so far to say that it is ONLY a metal amp.

Now for a comparsion with my other amps in the pic (and sorry for the quality, I don't have a real cam). In terms of cleans the Fender Blues JR blows my Traynor YCV40 and the Krank out of the water. In terms of rock and roll and some minor metal sounds the Traynor is a good fit followed by the Fender and then the Krank. In terms of metal there is no discussion: it starts and ends with the Krank. The Traynor can get you to the doorway of metal but wont get you to the right spot IMO. And the Fender, well, it's a fender. You should be playing blues on it!

Feel free to ask any questions or make comments if you wish.

edit: added another pic of the front panel of the amp to try to show it a little. Again, sorry for the quality.
Last edited by furin121 at Jul 15, 2010,
HNAD dude! I'd love to hear that beast in action. Have fun with it!
Quote by Dunning~Kruger
Yes I was rude, and I was aggressive and I was offending a large group of people. But I was civlized about it.

Taylor 414CE
I wish I could record it for you guys but I don't have a mic other than a cheapo webcam and it's worthless for guitar. But it is some serious gainy goodness.

And anyone know why my pics show as an attachement instead of showing the pic in the message like I normally see? It showed the pic when it was just one pic but when I added the second it went into a list instead of showing the pics.
Last edited by furin121 at Jul 15, 2010,
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.

Ooo there's an idea. Give me some time and I'll set up and account and try to get some better high(er) res images.
Awesome, HNAD from a fellow Krank owner. An you're right, these little amps can get really loud. I have no problem playing over a drummer with mine and just a 1X12 cab.

One thing I would recommend is looking into swapping the tubes. I ran my Rev Jr. out of the shell with some JJ 6l6GCs and JJ and GT 12AX7s and it sounded miles better than it did with the Sovteks. It really help in taming the shrillness of the highs, I don't know if the Krankenstein suffers from that same problem though.
HNAD brah.
I've actually been looking at this amp over the past few days. Is the clean channel really that bad? even if you through on a little reverb, maybe some chorus?
Quote by dark__echoes
HNAD brah.
I've actually been looking at this amp over the past few days. Is the clean channel really that bad? even if you through on a little reverb, maybe some chorus?

I think it's really a matter of personal taste. To me a good clean is what my Blues Jr has. It sparkles and speaks to you. Just something about it. The Krank isn't as bad as I probably make it out to be but ya know. I also just tried it with my Strat instead of my 'metal' guitars and it did clean up a bit more and sounded better. It's just, a little dry and tight to my ears. And since it only has a bass and treble for the clean you can't EQ it too much. I don't have any pedals so I couldn't tell you if they would make a difference but I would *think* that a good 10 band EQ, a little reverb, maybe a touch of delay and possibly a little chorus to keep everything in check and you could probably get something that would work. Just trying to imagine it in my head and I think that would work. That's a lot of trouble though to get a good clean sound.

If you don't like the Fender type of clean then the Krank may be closer to what you like. If I were talking to someone who wanted to buy the amp I would tell them to expect a metal amp and then if they enjoyed the cleans it's just an added bonus. I would say go out and play one but I don't know of any stores that just have them sitting around in stock. Maybe you could find a used one somewhere that you could mess with a bit.

Check out this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc4BwXPVUWc
It's a rev jr so the gain sounds a bit different (the krankenstein has a bit more bite IMO) but the clean sound demo starting around 2:20 is pretty close to what the krankenstein has. It seems to me that the Krankenstein has a bit better gain but the rev has just a bit better cleans.

Also keep in mind that I just got this and probably have less than 10 hours of play time on it so there may be a sweet spot with the settings that would dial in a better clean sound. The fact that I tend to stay on the dirty channel doesn't help much with finding a good clean tone.
The krank jr is a great amp. Thetubes have an amazing sound to them and are made for metal. They scream when used with an emg setup, I currently play a les paul with regular gibson pickups and it sounds awesome like that too. You can achieve a nice clean sound as long as you take the time to play around with your guitars tone and volume knobs.

Gilchrist custom
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