Purchased from: private seller
Features — 8
Built in the USA in the mid '90s, just prior to company changing ownership. Research reveals variations of the model with different features and tolex color (the one being reviewed is black). This one has one input with two switchable channels, one for normal (clean) and the other for overdrive (distortion). It has reverb, an EQ setup and 4 10" Jaguar speakers (also reported to have models with optional Celestions). Most notable to tube enthusiasts, the self biasing amp can take two 6L6, EL34's or even 6550 power tubes. The preamp consists of 4 12ax7's and one 12at7 tubes. One has the option of experimenting with the different power tube schemes.
Sound — 9
This amp sounds very "bluesy" and lives up to its name. It can range from a Fender style clean and warm to a harmonically distorted sounding diva. One may wish to play around with the overdrive settings and other levels to get the preferred tone. It is capable of having the rich sound of a 4x10 pre CBS Bassman, only with reverb. It is able to get very loud with its 50 watts of power. I suspect having new tubes is helpful, and as mentioned before you can experiment with different tubes if you have them available. It can be heard easily above a loud playing drummer and other musicians.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Tolex trimmed particle board cabinet is heavy, which can be a plus or a minus. I had to replace a piece of particle board but was able to replace the original tolex and shielding with only minor effort. Attaching wheels to the bottom is recommended. Metal grill with printed logo holds up well. As mentioned earlier, since research indicates variations of this model, suggest one carefully examine and play prior to purchase. The one being reviewed is quite likable! The Randall company will only provide a schematic for the preamp and not the entire amp. Appears easily figured out if repairs are needed.
Overall Impression — 8
I have been playing for over 30 years in both professional and informal capacities. I am able to play rock and blues with good results using a Fender Strat and other guitars. The amp produces great sounds with single or double coiled guitar pickups. If stolen or lost I would try to find one that is the same, but since there aren't many that I've seen around I wouldn't plan on it. The heavy cab is probably the worst feature, the beautiful tonal possibilities the best feature. I wish that it had an additional input and that it were a few pounds lighter.