Nineteen80 Jr. 20W Head review by Krank

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (1 vote)
Krank: Nineteen80 Jr. 20W Head

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from:

Sound — 9
I use a variety of guitars and pickups with this amp and they all sound good through it. I use a PRS CE22 with Dragon II's, a Epiphone G-400 with an Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB, a Sanox LP clone with a GFS Fat PAT and a Squire Telecaster with a modified Seymour Duncan JB jr. I bought this be cause I really like my Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 but I wanted to cut down on the wear and tear of using it all the time. I play a little of everything, but mostly Punk, Hardcore, Metal, Prog-Metal. It is not that noisy, unless you use the FX Loop boost, but that may just be the 12ax7 (the amp was bought used and still has the tubes it came with). There is a good amount of head-room on the Kleen channel, but not the amount I would want for giging. The Krank channel has plenty of head-room though, I normally have the volume on 1 o'clock for a full band practice (we are louder at practice than most band I see out in clubs/bars). The gain is where this amp shines. It has a very hotrod Marshall tone similar to a Splawn Quickrod. I use a DigiTech Bad Monkey and a GFS Greenie Classic as boosts in the front of the amp (they are both on "stacked").

Overall Impression — 9
I play Punk, Hardcore, Metal, Prog-Metal and this amp can handle it with no problems. If you want a super hi-gain tone this may not be what your after, but if you like that raw hotrod Marshall type tone the 1980Jr has got you covered. I have been playing since 1994 and this is one of the best deals I have ever got on an amp of this quality/sound. I researched this amp for over a year before I bought one. There were very few Krank dealers I could find and not 1 had ever had a 1980 let a lone a 1980Jr in stock. When I found this for $300 I jumped on the deal and ordered it sight unseen. I'm really glad that I did. Besides the tone I love the light weight (20ish lbs) and it is 1/2 the size of my Marshall JCM2000 head. I wish it could use KT66 tubes, but there is not enough room for them I don't think. Video from YouTube:

YouTube preview picture

Reliability & Durability — 8
Well so far I can not see any problems with this amp. It seems to be made from high quality components and it was also made in the USA which is amazing for a $300 used amp. I don't think I would worry about bringing a back-up amp to a gig, the Krank is a solid amp. Because I purchased the amp used, I have no way of knowing if it had been repaired/serviced before I bought it, but the amp did look brand new, so it was definitely taken care of by the previous owner. Krank amps (whether or not you like them) are made with very high quality parts, so I would like to think this amp will last me for years to come with no issues.

Features — 8
I don't know the year of manufacture. This amp is quite versatile and can easily handle classic rock to modern heavy metal. The clean channel is also pretty nice. This is a 2 channel 20watt amp. It has an FX loop that can also double as an onboard boost function (I do not use it like this though). The only thing I wish it had is a mid control for the clean ch, but it is surprisingly good with out it. I bought this amp for easy transportation for practice and it is very easy to transport. For a 20watt amp this is loud and it can keep up with a Mesa Dual Rectifier 1/2 stack, Ampeg SVT-3 Pro/8x10 and a drummer just fine. Krank lists this amp as having 3 12ax7 pre-amp tubes, but it really has 5 12ax7's 3 for the pre-amp, 1 for the phase inverter and 1 for the FX loop. The power section is 2 6L6 tubes. There is no master volume. There is a Hi, Mid, Low, and sweep knob for the Krank channel as well as a Gain and volume knob. The Kleen channel has a Volume, Hi, Low knobs. There is a global presence control but it is located on the rear panel. The FX loop also has a level adjustment knob on the rear panel.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date