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Randall RM20B Review

The Randall RM20B combo amp would be a great tour bus practice amp or a convenient addition to a small home studio.

I will have to admit, before I had a chance to actually play on any of the Randall Master Tube Series amplifiers, I was highly skeptical about the modular amp concept and whether or not the modules held their own against their original amp models. Needless to say, all skepticism has been cast away.

(For demonstration purposes, I did these tone tests at 2 o’clock in the morning by using the amp’s “Mic Eliminator” XLR output, connecting it right into my audio interface.)

When I plugged this bad boy in, the first thing I did was crank up the XTC module and enjoy some sweet, overdriven soloing that was just dripping with tone. Being somewhat of an amp connoisseur, I was very pleased that this module’s tone controls responded much like the original Bogner Ecstasy. That is, the combo’s presence control (NOT on the module itself) acted more like a mid-range sweep and that the “zero” setting for the module’s tone controls were all around one-o-clock.

Next up was the Plexi module; modeled after a Marshall Plexi. A large grin manifested itself as I noticed how well this module responded to picking dynamics. Without changing any dials on the module, I could go from a slightly overdriven clean sound, to a hard rock grind. This module would have to be my favorite out of the three I tested.

The Blackface module, modeled after a Fender Blackface Twin, was the last one I had the chance to dial in. Once again, I was pleased with its “chimey,” lush tone. By engaging the combo’s built in gain boost, I could attain a very crunchy overdriven blues sound.

The Randall RM20B combo amp would be a great tour bus practice amp or a convenient addition to a small home studio. To me, it is invaluable to be able to get the tone, and more importantly: THE FEEL, of playing on classic and boutique amplifiers for just a fraction of the cost.

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