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Rating and Reviews: Randall RD100H Guitar Amp

This devilish amp offers three channels, a switchable gain boost, and speaker-emulated XLR output so you can deliver your most demonic riffs without a cab.

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"Great Rock/Metal Amp!!" submitted October 27, 2015

By Xylor X in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: 28 years of playing guitar and 20 years recording
Music Style: Rock, Metal, and Progressive
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Overall: When I first got this amp, I did noticed a few things. ONE, it definitely is a darker sounding amp and a lot more rounder in the highs than what I'm used to. I got this amp to support my addiction to Metal (lol)...but the darker tone does require me to boost my presence and treble knobs a lot harder than usual. I play this amp thru my 2X12 (V30s) and of course, my V30s seemed to help push the MIDs and Mid-treble a lot more than I'd care for. Just when I was getting ready to buy another amp, I decided to try a new pair of speakers (Celestion G12H-75 Creamback) for one last attempt. hahaha...and when I got the speakers and plugged this amp into it, I immediately noticed a huge difference in the amp's sound. The Mid was reduced by at least 6 on a scale of 10, and the highs got much brighter, which allowed me to back off the high settings to noon. Now, everything is set to NOON and my amp sounds rock'n. One thing I learned from this experience is, the RD 100 is quite sensitive/responsive to the type of speakers you use. While my Marshall's natural fizzy, thin, and trebly sounding circuit embraced the V30s, my RD100 didn't. But my RD definitely works well with my new Creambacks. YES, from this experience, it appears you have to be careful what kind of speakers you use with the RD. I almost gave up on my RD until now. SOUND: OD1 and OD2 - In my opinion, this is where the magic is at. This amp's overdrive is build with a metal guitarist in mind. OD1 is the mid/high gain/crunch channel, but has enough gain to do all rhythm and lead. I don't even use OD2, which is the hottest of both. There's a lot of gain in OD2, that I don't even go past 1 o'clock. IMO, anything past 1 will start to sound muddy. that's because there's too much gain. CLEAN channel - Well, I think this is where the RD looses out in the competition. If you are looking for a nice Mesa, Marshall, or Fender clean, it ain't happening here. But if you use this channel for strumming chords in the alternative rock genre, then it'll do just fine, but it's definitely not a "clean as a whistle" kind of clean. So, if you buy this amp for its clean, you're looking at the wrong amp. But for Rock and Metal, this beast rocks. Here's what I like about my CLEAN channel now (with these new creambacks). The clean, now sounds a lot more like an acoustic clean...kinda makes my clean sound as if I'm using an acoustic pedal. - kinda scooped in the mid with a bit spark in the highs.Lol. This actually works well in my favor because I generally use the clean for acoustic style strumming anyway. DIRECT LINE OUT - Yes, this direct out is much better than my Marshall (IMO). I've been recording a lot using its direct out feature and it just sounds awesome. So not needing to mic it at all is great. Couldn't do it with my Marshall, cuz it'll just sound thin and fizzy. Now I can record into the late evening without disturbing the family and still get a quality recording that sounds like it was mic'd. It is a feature I really like. I didn't give this amp the full 5 stars because of the flaw in the clean. But the OD1 and OD2 itself deserves 5 stars on its own. Great for palm muting (but be careful what kind of speakers you use as this can really change your sound). A great investment for the Metal guys.
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"Killer tone!" submitted September 3, 2018

By Timmy D in Las Vegas, NV
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Musical Background: Been in playing music for about 30 years. Play guitar bass and drums. No longer professionally. Just in the studio lately.
Music Style: Death Metal, Hard Core, Metal
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Overall: This thing is a beast! I'm running it into my Mesa/Boogie 4x12. It's one of the old 4yb cabs with the expanded metal grill. It's loaded w/ 2-Evm12L's and 2-Celestion Vintage 30's. Devastating tone! You've got to run 2 noise gates though. As is the case for all tube amps in a high gain situation. One before the amp input and one in the effects loop. Again, nothing new here. I've been playing for 28 years. This is only the second tube amp I've played that the tone immediately grabbed my ears. The other was the Mesa/Boogie Mark IV. I know there plenty of amazing sounding tube amps out there. But this one's got the sound I like. After I listened to the amp demo on YouTube I placed my order within days. Check it out. ExesForEyesMusic RD100H Metal tone test. Dave Sheldon's guitar sound will rip your face off!
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"WOW!! Amazing amp here!!" submitted April 17, 2014

By Heu T in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: 29 years experience as a guitarist. Played professionally in Las Vegas, and have recorded 3 CDs.
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Blues, Classic Rock, Country...but MOSTLY, rock & Metal.
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Sound: 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. Feature: 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. Quality: 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. Value: 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. Manufacturer Support: N/A. 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. Overall: 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.
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"Wanted to try this head for a long time, turns out it is junk, stay away." submitted May 28, 2018

By Zach H in johnson city, TN
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Musical Background: Guitarist and amp enthusiast going on 10 years
Music Style: On electric guitars, I play specifically rock and metal music.
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Sound: So it is three channels, clean, gain 1 and gain 2. -Clean is very clean, but also very dry and in my opinion really requires some effects, reverb/delay/chorus, whatever you like, but with those I would say it's very usable. -Gain 1 is okay, feels good to play, decent amount of gain but it is a more percussive type of gain, it saturates but not excessively. -Gain 2 I liked more, engage the boost, max the gain but keep the channel volume around 12 to 3 o'clock, I liked it... until I could turn the amp up. I found the louder the amp gets, the cheaper it sounds. Depending on how you have the channel volumes, which imo seems like the biggest factor in this particular amps sound- this amp goes from sounding very hollow or very thin, I could not find a middle ground. I wanted to love this amp, as I had been scoping it out for months and their is a huge lack of reviews and clips, but after spending several hours with it I cant help but feeling like it just sounds cheap. I found that this amp needs the boost, and it does not take a maxon boost very well at all. Also you will NEED a noise gate, it makes some strange high pitch noises and a fair amount of hissing, its the high pitch stuff that is annoying. Overall: So I first purchased the Blemished version, it arrives on time, not mark on it, plug it in and immediately loud scratching and thumps come from the speaker and I see electricity emitting from the power tubes in the amp, which freaked me right out but luckily nothing caught on fire. I sent it back to zZounds who promptly sent me a brand new one at a discount. After playing it for about 2 days, I have experienced 2 power failures in the amp where it just loses volume and fades in and out for a few seconds before going back to normal, no idea what that is, but clearly these amps are just not reliable. I first thought it was the tubes being loose, they were not loose however the sockets the tubes sit in are VERY loose in the head, not sure if it's a problem as I'm no tech, but no other amp of mine has sockets that loose. *I would like to stress that I have many amp heads and play them regularly, good reliable mogami gold cables and always have amp heads hooked up to matching impedance and have more than enough watts to handle.* As far as the sound, after spending several hours with it and REALLY wanting to like it as I have been wanting to pull the trigger for months and give Randall another chance- I found that this amp can only either sound hollow and muffled or dark, or it sounds way too thin and cheap, it depends on where you keep the channel volumes which IMO were the biggest tone changer in the amp. The higher the channel volume the thinner it sounds, and the same for the master volume. So in short, the amp seems okay on the surface, but upon closer inspection is built cheap, sounds cheap, and is completely unreliable. I'll be returning it, and I would suggest you not buy it. zZounds however has been helpful, so at least there is that
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"Update Review on RD100!!" submitted May 28, 2014

By Hugh T in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: 20+ years
Music Style: All types but mostly rock and metal.
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Sound: Cheap sounding!! Feature: There's no feature on the amp that I really like at all. The choice of using the Mid mica or resistor-type is horrible. The 6L6 does NOT make the amp sound any better but worst (IMO). Ease of Use: NOT easy at all. In fact, you can't even dial in your sound unless you use a separate EQ in the loop. Quality: I still agree with this part. Amp still appears to be quite nicely built. Value: This time, I'd have to say "NO." I'd rather buy a Bugera or something. Due to me having more experience with this thing now, my ratings are much lower than my original posting. People who have demo'd this thing far exaggerated the sound quality. Manufacturer Support: Took Randall 3 days to respond to me... I guess that's ok. The Wow Factor: Well, I still like the lighting in the amp...still makes it look nice. Overall: Ok, so now I've been playing this thing for more than a month now and I want to give it a more accurate feeling about the RD100. The amp is "ok" but isn't the greatest. I can only get a nice overdrive sound when using my EQ pedal thru the FX loop, but doesn't sound that great without the additional EQ. Even by dropping the Mid all the way down to "0" it still sounds very midsy. There seems to be this annoying mid-high frequency that's just there and you can't seem to get rid of it (at least not without an EQ pedal). When playing palm muting it lacks the heavy mute you typically hear in metal. The clean is not as great as I initially thought. In fact, it's NOT clean at all. The amp sounds more muddy than clean. I've never had a sound quality problem plugging my GT-10 thru my TSL100 or any PA or cheap solid state amps; but thru the RD100, my god, the GT-10 sounded awful. The amp makes everything on GT-10 sound super cheap. I can't even dial in a decent sound from my pedal playing thru the RD100. The amp is basically a stand alone unit... The FX Loop isn't that great. Has NO way to assign FX loop to any specific channels...it just loops thru all 3 channels, whether or not you like it. The clean will generally have more Bass sounding than the Overdrive channels....so if you turn down the Bass when playing on the clean...your OD1 and OD2 basses will reduce significantly. Most importantly, I couldn't find anything online about whether or not you can change out the 6L6 tubes for EL34's..well, no wonder when putting in my EL34 tubes, I'd lose like 95% volume and then the amp just plays like crap - kinda like the amp's blown or something. Contacted Randall and "YES" they told me you CANNOT change out the 6L6 tubes for any others...so you are stuck with the 6L6's. Too much MIDs!!! Well, not only that, it's too much of that annoying Mid frequency that makes you wish there's a Shaping knob on the amp so you can tune out that crappy mid. Sorry Youtube demonstrators. The amp DOES NOT sound anything like the way people demo on the web, man. Camcorders does not capture the true sound. And guys who recorded it had to have mixed it thoroughly before posting on YouTube. Everybody claims that there's no "POST" eq done on it...but I find that hard to believe as the amp does not sound even close to that. Now I can't use my GT-10 because the amp just kills it. And no, it's not my guitars or speakers as I have always used my Gibson LP double cut, Gibson Axcess, Ibanez S670 and my JEM guitar. I use a dual 12" Vintage 30's cab. So I know it's not my equipment.
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