RG100 review by Raven

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 5.6 (36 votes)
Raven: RG100

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I am using this with a Gibson Les Paul Studio with a Bill Lawrence L-900XL in the bridge and a Bill Lawrence L-900R in the Neck. Both are Blusa pickups, not from Bill And Becky (don't get me started on that topic). The clean channel is stunning. The gain channel is not very brutal, but pretty rockin. Plug a distortion pedal in the clean for supreme evil.

Overall Impression — 8
For those of you Who have been wondering about Raven amps, I thought I would post my thoughts, since there is not a lot of information about them. First off, about the company: (as told to me by a manager at Guitar Center). Raven Amps is owned by Guitar Center (Who also owns Musician's Friend, Music123, and tons of other brands). The amps are made specifically for Guitar Center and it's other branded companies. Apparently they are manufactured in a Crate amp processing facility. Guitar Center hired a few people with amp design experience to create a line of entry-level solid states at a very low price point. That's pretty much all I was told. About the amp: I find the RG100 to be an exceptional amp for it's price. I tried many, many amps in the 300-450 dollar range, and I honestly believe the Raven is the best I came across. It is a straight-up, old school solid state amp. There are no amp models, not effects, no useless "transtube," "valvetronix" or any other single-tube preamp. Now, the reason I detested the other amps in the price range was their lack of potential. That is, if you buy a Spider III, you're absolutely stuck with the tones inside the amp. Every effects pedal or modification I tried with it sounded terrible, and there is no effects loop. The Marshall is also too emulated to positively change the tone- even a basic Boss MT-2 on the clean channel sounds fat and squishy. The Vox Valvetronix have the same problems. In my opinion, if you're looking to buy a cheap solid state amp, you're also looking to play with some versatility in pedals and effects. If you're buying an amp that is trying to be something it's not, it has a much lower likelihood of sounding good with any external modification. The RG100 reminds me of the basic Fender solid state I had as a kid, nice, dependable clean, some reverb, a Drive channel, and that's pretty much it. It's 100 watts, so it's decently loud, but it does start to lose definition and clarity as you crank the volume. The "lead," or gain channel, is pretty weak, but good for a middy old school fuzz sound. The clean is a perfect blank state, and really does remind me of that old Fender. Anyway, I suggest you check these out if you're in the market for a new amp. Try them, and try not to be seduced (brainwashed) by the huge brand names. Believe me, I have returned enough amps in the past month to be more or less banned from Guitar Center, and I have settled on the RG100. I gave it an 8 for an overall practice/small venue amp under 500 bucks. For an amp under 300, it definitely gets a 10.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Reliability and Durability? Seems pretty durable, nothing special, but not overly shabby. I haven't broken it yet. The built-in tuner becomes useless in a matter of seconds after opening the box, but whatever.

Features — 5
Any Raven you come across will have been made in or after 2007. It's not a verstile amp in and of itself, but accepts pedals and effects wonderfully. It has two channels and a reverb, both of which are footswitchable, but no footswitch is provided. It has a great effects loop, and an external speaker jack. I do wish it had a line out/headphone out. Oh, and there's a built in tuner, which is terrible.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Thanks for the review I have been looking for a slightly larger amp between 100-200 watts but I have plenty of pedals(I been borowing my friend's halve stack any time I needed power). You make it sound like this is just what I am looking for a fair amount of power low price and good/great sound.Thanks for spending your time
    reddeltasev wrote: What would be a good distortion pedal to run into this? Preferably something under 100 dollars?
    i have the 20 watt version and i just use a good old Boss DS-1 (~$40) if you run it through the clean chanel, you can get some pretty awesome distortion! if you wanted you could buy a cheap metal pedal for more distortion. i use the Boss DS-1 because I mostly play at church and metal pedals don't fit my genere's. the DS-1 is a pretty versatile pedal if you know how to use it, especially with this amp
    I have the RG60, and the thing can definitely pump out some volume. I find it hard to agree with most reviews: the lead channel is pretty bad, but the clean channel is excellent. Plus, it was like $100, so you can't beat the price. I'm thinking of getting the half-stack version as a trade-in upgrade.
    Rocks ur Life
    I got the Half-Stack version of this. it's very good with pedals, but i am not really sure how it will last me in the long run. i do, however, like how it runs with pedals, especially my Multi. its a good first.
    I have the half-stack version of this amp, and its great, the only problems I've had is that it gets pretty hot after an hour or so of jamming, but thats expected. I run a Boss ML-2 Metalcore pedal and it brings all the distortion tone out of it and displays it really well, and I was surprisd at a cheap amp having such good clean tone. The effects are pretty much a sampler or preview so if your a beginner you can figure out what they all are, in my mind. It would have been really cool if it came with a footswitch, or if Raven at least made one. But overall, its a great solid state, and takes pedals really well, its been a great first half-stack for me.
    What would be a good distortion pedal to run into this? Preferably something under 100 dollars?
    I just took my guitar into a Guitar Center in search of a simple amp with a decent sound and an effects loop. I'm a rack system kind of guy but I'd like to be able to have a simple "AMP" for simplicity now and then. I tried a Fender, a Line6 Flextone, and thought the clean channels were boomy and not very musical. THEN I plugged into the Raven 60, thinking I was going to hate it and was blown away! The tone controls were a little strange - as someone pointed out, turning the treble almost "off" still was bright - but honestly is was bright and clear in the best sense of what "clean" should sound like. I'm going to go back there this week with a BOSS GT-8 in the effects loop and see what it can do. I just may need that amp.. I also tried the "100" but found it noisey and not as focused as the 60. Yes, if you crank it up and hit the input really, it can distort in a way that's like digital clipping. But there's a whole lot of head room there before it gets to that point. Can't wait to hear it what the FX loop can do for me!
    thanks for the extra info this exactly what im lookin for cheap price big sound and works great w ith pedals.
    I'm looking at either the RG100 or the RG100H & RG412 at being my second and latest amp. I almost have the money to order one, but I'm still looking over as many reviews as I can, and keeping an eye out for any cheaper 100+Watt combo or half-stack amps. I'll be playing my first gig on March 13th, and would love to have my own amp to bring, rather than using the community stock.
    I have the twenty watt version, and its way louder than I thought it would be! It also sounds fantastic with pedals! I've got to get the 60 watter too!
    i just bought this amp. im probably gonna return it, but for the amp it is at the price you get it, its pretty damn good. no bullshit effects like line 6s, just a straight up amp. so if you have pedals and effects and what not, and you dont need any on an amp, this is your amp.
    Just bought the raven 100wt head & 412 cab. So far I'm stoked! I've heard some negative reviews but have to disagree. Lotta bang for the buck. As anyone who knows, Its not the name on the amp or the headstock that makes an amp/instrument. I've heard Marshalls that sound like crap - an Encore that(surprisingly) played like a dream. Depending on what you have under foot, I think the raven stands a chance. I give it a heavy 8.
    I have this amp, and i like it. The pedals do sound amazing with it. The peson who wrote this review must have had a bad tuner, because i"ve had mine for about a month and it still works fine on mine.
    Jus tgot home from buying this! I'll post later after I get some 1 on 1 time with it...
    I got the 20 watt version and am happy with it. I have used fender fm line 6 roland before
    i have this amp. and for my equipment it sounds great. just not at a really low volume level. its a great amp for its price.
    thanks for this man, ive been thinkin about getting one since i saw it on Guitar Center. deff gettin it now, for the that price.
    Kane Pharr
    Nice...Gotta get one of these with my new Axe!!! oh and by the way...thanks for the background info...much appreciated...