Price paid: $ 970
Purchased from: Marshall Music
Sound — 9
The distortion on this head is amazing. I play a Schecter C-1 Plus with EMG 81/85 and they work really well with this head. I was used to playing out of a Crate combo amp with a Boss Metal Zone and I liked that sound but as soon as I pluggd into this, I was completly blown away by the sound comming from this, It's just in your face, mean distortion. With the BBE in the effects loop and some tweaking to the graphic EQ, I couldn't stop playing it. It makes the walls shake, and it is very loud. The full tube preamp with the valve dynamic power amp makes it just as good as any all-tube head in my opinion. I play mainly metal (Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage) and this amp is perfect for that. The only thing is that you will definately need a noise gate/suppressor for it. It likes to hiss when you crank up the gain/volume.
Overall Impression — 10
I had been looking for a new amp head for a while. I was looking at the Marshall Mode 4, Peavey XXX, or B-52 AT-100 but none of those amps had the type of distortion sound I was looking for. I had been searching online and ran across this amp and I had to check it out. When I pluged in and turned it on I knew this was the amp for me.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This head is tough, I haven't gone gigging with it yet(the drummer in my band is lazy), but I wouldn't worry about bringing a backup. It is very solid in construction, easy to carry with either the top handle or the 2 top corner metal handles. I'm sure this will last me a very long time.
Features — 10
This amp head was made in 2006 and has Randall's Valve Dynamic power section which uses 1-12AX7 tube. It has 3 channels: clean, overdrive and tube overdrive. The clean channel is solid state and is clean. It has a level and gain control and shares the EQ with the overdrive channel. The overdrive channel is classic Randall solid state distortion with gain, level, EQ with sustain boost when you pull out the treble knob, and a presence control. The last channel and my favorite is the Tube overdrive. It uses 3-12AX7 tubes and is just a monster channel. It has an attack switch for loose or tight sound, gain, EQ, level and a bright switch. This amp also has a built in 6 band graphic EQ and a master level, master density, master presence, on switch and standby switch. On the back it has 2 speaker outputs (200w at 8 ohm, 400w an 4 ohm and it says it can go as low at 2 ohm but it's not recommended), MIDI inputs for the included footswitch, a slave output for additional poweramps or rack units, a direct recording output for plugging straight into a mixer, and an effects loop.