Price paid: € 400
Purchased from: Local shop
Features — 8
Bought this amplifier in 2009, I guess it was made earlier that year or the year before. It's the version without effects, except for the reverb. It had to replace my Marshall 30W tube head, some rare 'Artist' model which sounded good but got old and wasn't really up to the job for the band and music I was doing at that time.
It has the usual setup. Clean channel with boost, dirty channel which can switch between two different gain stages: Gain 1 goes high, gain 2 goes higher. Also there's a voicing switch. 3 band eq (bass, middle and treble) plus a presence. Another 3 band eq for the clean channel. Master volume and separate volumes for clean and dirty channel. Quite complete, but I would have preferred it if "gain 1" shared the eq with the clean channel so I could scoop the mids for rhythm and use different settings for the lead channel.
Sound — 2
I hate the sound of this amp with a passion. At least, cranked up. At low volumes at home it isn't to bad. It's got such a massive low end that you (at least I) can't control it. Although I play downtuned (D and drop-C) metal on it, I turn the bass knob all the way down. I'm running it through a Marshall JCM800 2x12" cab. I used gain 2 for lead, but at the right gain setting it's too loud. Changing to rhythm on the gain 2 with lower gain setting and using gain 1 for lead is a bit better. Still, the lead sound just sucks.
I also tried using different stomp boxes: Rocktron Rampage, DigiTech hot-head, some Boss overdrive in front of the dirty channel. Also tried it in front of the clean channel. Put a Line 6 Pod2 in front of it but that also wasn't it. Did I mention it produces a lot of noise? I recorded once with this amp. Didn't matter which gain setting, it just keeps sounding like crap. I tried a lot of different guitars with it. My Fender HM Strat, Ibanez S470, SZ520, Schecter Omen, Epiphone Les Paul with better pickups (can't remember the brand), Ibanez with EMG's in it, Fender Stratocaster. It doesn't really matter, nothing sounds good on this amp. Only bedroom volumes, that's where this 120W amp really shines.
BTW, it's the first one I got broke down on me after a few weeks. Got another one (warranty). Sounded exactly the same as the first one and is just as noisy. Anyway, it's the worst sounding amp I ever owned. Except for the clean channel, that's ok. Too bad I hardly use it, but it's the reason I give this amp a 2 instead of 1.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The good think is that it's build like a tank. And it's almost as heavy. Solid state amps should be lighter than tube amps, but this must be the exception. At the moment it's my only amp with enough power for gigging, but I will not use it that way. My previous band quit before getting to that point, my current band started 6 months ago and in that time we had only one gig. Fortunately I could use a Marshall (tube) head that time. As I mentioned, it get good points for the reliability and durability.
Overall Impression — 2
I don't really know what we play. Some sort of metal. I'm influenced by a lot of players and bands. I've been playing for 25+ years, although not very much in the years around 2000. At the moment I own a Fender HM Strat, Ibanez RG321 and a Charvel Model 1. Also an acoustic Charvel steel string and some effects which I hardly use. Fortunately, I also have a 5W tube head which sounds more metal (with the Digitech Hot Head in front of it) than anything the Randall can deliver. Only not as loud.
My overall impression of this amp still isn't too positive. It's too heavy, sounds terrible when using the amps distortion but it has a good clean channel. If it were stolen or lost... Well, after my Randall rant what do you think? Then again, it has just about the right height to sit on it when I'm thinkering with my motorcycles, so it isn't completely worthless. I'm putting away some money to get a decent amp. Less watts, more tubes. Something like an Engl Thunder or a Laney GH50. No Randall. I just don't like them.