Submitted April 17, 2014 by Heu T in Sacramento, CA
"WOW!! Amazing amp here!!"
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First of all, just wanted to say, thanks to Zzounds for such a quick shipment. Ordered it Friday morning and was delivered to my house Saturday. GREAT service and great price!! Thanks for letting me own, yet again, another great toy with your flexible payment plan.
In summary, the amp sounds really bassy, full, and very round in the highs (no high fizzes like you'd hear in the Marshalls). The amp does not sound as aggressive as many reviewers have claimed or even demo'd on YouTube. IMO, the RD100 emulates more of the classic rock and some 80s stuff (not all). The amp tends to sound really smooth with lots of mids and bass. There's not a hint of "thinnest" to it. All FAT. If the bands you like to play uses Marshall amps with those searing highs and fizzes, you may not like the RD100. However, I do find that it emulates Dream Theater and Rush quite well in addition to all the classic rock stuff. I believe if I want to continue doing the Ozzy, Van Halen, and G&R stuff, I may either have to switch out the 6L6 tubes for the EL34's or just stick with my Marshall TSL100.
The clean channel is super nice and very clean indeed. It's kinda like my JC120 meets Fender Twins (well, not as clean as the Fender but it's certainly clean enough to do great clean tunes).
OD1: is super nice and it's not too heavy and can get lots of chunky rhythms. Lots of bass and mids for sure. You can even activate the "boost" switch and you'll have this channel operating like a lead channel on its own. OR by turning OD1 gain all the way up, you can do a nice lead or solid metal rhythm on its own (with slightly less gain and saturation than OD2, of course). My one and only complaint with this amp is that there isn't any REVERB function. The clean (especially the clean) and OD channels tend to sound quite dry. If you do a lot of soloing, you'll really miss the reverb option. Dang it Randall, why didn't you guys just put it in? Well, I suppose I can always buy a reverb pedal as that can be an easy fix.
Well, I'd have to say, this amp sounds a lot more Classic Rock'ish to me than a super aggressive, raw, and beastly metal machine that some folks have demo'd on YouTube. The fact that Randall ships these amps with 6L6 tubes does really make this thing sound smooth, dark, bassy, midsy, and very rounded in the highs - not fizzy, buzzy, and trebly like Marshall. If you want something that won't hurt your hears like those searing Marshall highs and you desire the big booming bottoms and warm mids, then you will LOVE the RD100. Some people may feel that since all three channels share the same EQs, it may not work very well as the CLEAN may require a different setting that the Overdrive channel. Well, I can certainly say, I'm the type of guitarist, who would normally like the Clean and Overdrive to compliment each other...so if I have a Clean sound that has a scooped out mid then I'd want to have the same type of setting on the overdrive and visa versa. I have never ever done totally different settings between the Clean and Overdrive channels in my TSL100 so the RD100's shared EQ's fine with me.
The most useful feature of the amp are the 3 separate control switches: Clean, OD1 and OD2. As a single guitar player in my band, the separate overdrives are great as they allow me to switch to solo and/or rhythm when need. Or in some instances, when my singer doubles up on the guitar, it's nice to be able to switch to OD2 at a louder volume for the leads to shine and cut through.
What I like the lease is the fact that there is no REVERB!!! Dang, my sound sure is dry without it.
The RD100 comes shipped with 6L6's and I love them due to their deep bass and warm sound. I think Randall made a good decision to stick with these tubes, although I think they should do another version of the RD100 with EL34's and call it "RD100EL" or something like that. This will give consumers more options.
Ease of Use
Simple eq section: Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence. I do wish the RD comes with a sound-shaping switch/knob though, because the eq's doesn't seem to shift the sound very much. It's like, here's the "one" sound and that's all you get. But luckily I really like the sound so I'm ok with it.
Amp appears well made and sturdy. Beautiful in appearance.... but not sure about the quality as I've only had it for less than a week. Randall have always made quality amps so I'm certain that this amp will last.
Absolutely worth the money. This amp offers the highest quality sound you can find only in higher priced items. And for under $800, you can't go wrong. The RD100 is priced perfectly compared to other brands within its class.
The Wow Factor
I like the lighting in tube section and the grills that matches my cab and the knobs that makes the RD looking "vintage." Overall, just simply beautiful in appearance. Looks better in person than the pix.
I only gave the Overall and Features 4 stars because the amp doesn't have a reverb function, which is needed in most of my applications. Otherwise, it would easily make 5 stars.
29 years experience as a guitarist. Played professionally in Las Vegas, and have recorded 3 CDs.
Rock, Metal, Blues, Classic Rock, Country...but MOSTLY, rock & Metal.
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