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.