WH40 review by Randall

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 3.7 (3 votes)
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Price paid: $ 274.5

Sound — 10
I play a Dean ML 79 with the original Dean humbuckers. I play mostly metal (Pantera, Metallica etc.) and it is perfectly suited to this style, as this is the style for which it was designed. It is generally "buzz-free" but does make a slight hiss when cranked up loud. Pinch harmonics sound extremely well through this amp, especially when treble is set high. Depending on how you set up this amp, it sounds a lot like either Pantera or Metallica (as a generalisation Metallica with more mids, Pantera with less). The distortion is brutal on this amp, as with most Randall amplifiers if not all, especially as it is marketed as a dimebag signature amp (its almost like a mini warhead notice the "WH" in the name).

Overall Impression — 9
I play metal and any Randall is perfect for this as this is clearly what their amps are aimed at. I also own a Dean ML 79 as I mentioned earlier, a strat copy and some effects. When I was in the shop buying this product, I wish I had asked about the footswitch as I think it would make the playing experience with this amp just that much better. If it were stolen or lost I wouldn't buy the same again but I would certainly buu another Randall as they have proven to me that for metal, their amplifiers do the job perfectly. I love the crushing distortion but I hate not having a footswitch to turn it on and off (as I have mentioned). I also tried Roland's "Cube" series of amplifiers and Line 6's "Spider II" series of amplifiers in the run up to buying this product. These amps were admittedly more versatile but I was looking for an amp to play metal so versatility was not an essential feature, and this amp played better metal than either of the other two mentioned. I cannot stress how much I wish had the footswitch to go with this amp as it would help me enormously for recording.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I could depend on this amp for most occasions. I obviously wouldn't gig with a 40 watt combo but it is pretty durable and strongly made. The metal cage rather than a fabric front is also an advantage as it cannot be ripped/torn. It has never broken down and I do not expect it to any time soon as a solid state amp generally doesn't.

Features — 8
To start, this amp is not versatile. But that can be forgiven as it was never manufactured with versatility in mind. This amp was built for metal. 2 channels, clean and overdrive, both with level controls (you would hope so wouldn't you). The overdrive channel features an "overdrive boost" button which I feel is slightly like the famous "my amp goes up to 11" scenario as this could have been integrated into the knob. It has one effect which is reverb. As I do not gig, as my band has only formed recently, and when we rehearse we hire a room at a studio, the 40 watts is plenty enough power for bedroom practice. I am pretty sure this amp usually comes with a fotswitch, although I didn't get one with mine and I am disappointed, this is the only real feature I could say that I really miss with this amp. Also both channels work on one EQ and it would be nice to have an EQ per channel. This amp is fully solid state with a 12 inch speaker. A great feature is also the camoflage finish.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    serbusfish
    dude, I had this amp and it sucked, there was basically no distortion at all, it was a very weak overdrive if anything. i had to run a boss metal zone through it to get enough gain for metal. i sold it soon afterwards and got the real warhead
    g1asseye
    Weak?... compare it to a vox or something similar. I agree it may be weak compared to your warhead but it isn't weak as amps go.
    Weybl Himself
    It's not intended to be a great amp, more of a scaled up practcie amp than anything. I played with one of these when I was trying out a guitar a while back and it didn't make much of an impression, cleans weren't clean anough and the overdrive didn't have enough overdrive, I don't even play metal and it didn't cut the mustard, For my home practice I use a Fender FM65R that has ballsier distortion than this. Don't really know why Randall put their name on this one, they usually make such awesome amps.
    Scarface88
    g1asseye, your review is almost exactly what I would have put, except for the footswitch thing; I have one, and am grateful for it. Indeed, I too have had a Spider II (a 112), but I got rid of it for this. It's far from versatile but it's got a great sound to it. I'd recommend it for practicing at home.
    Scarface88
    Hmm... over two years on from my previous post, and I'd still say I'd recommend the amp for practice at home. That is, of course, if you play metal. It's still as solid as ever. Not a great amp, but not particularly poor either.
    BlackSabbathFTW
    Could you put sound clip I just wanna get a idea of the sound from what the post say its not the same as the warhead. Possibly weaker sounding? I don't know I would by one but I need a sound I can withstand.