Randall RD45H

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Tetanus, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    First of all this is not really a review. I just try to tell my experiences with this amp.
    Features: you already know if you reading this. If not, than google them...

    I got this amp for a while now and the stock Ruby High Grade tubes are OK/good. I think this amp could sound much better though. On other forums people found that the factory Bias setting is way to low and after some tweak the amp sounded much better, even with the stock Ruby 6L6s. I have to experiment with this yet.
    IMG_5545.JPG

    The clean channel sounds good enough. No separate gain and volume controls, only 1 volume (which labelled as gain). And the 3 band tone controls are shared with the OD channel. These might be a drawback to some but for me this amp is barely on the clean channel anyway... The clean channel sounds crystal clear. With the boost function you can have that break-up sound, but this amp is not designed to get Fender-ish blues tones. I found that the clean channel is way too loud. I'm thinking to change the clean channels tube to 12au7 or 12at7 to get it quieter and a bit warmer.

    The OD channel is not as high gain as most of you would think, BUT(!) the structure and attack of the gain is great. You can turn the gain all the way up and still sounds good. (I heard so many amps with "high gain" labels but they were too dark and fuzzy on high-gain settings to use it for tight metal tone. For me anyway.)
    The boost is not just a simple boost function. It affects 4 different gain stages, and changes the frequency responses. So the boost channel is really a 3rd channel. It's not a lead channel! I use the boosted OD channel as my main rhythm tone for tight metal sounds (Death metal, old school and new alike).

    The master volume is great on this amp. I'm able to practice with this amp at home (paper thin walls, and loads of neighbours around) without sacrificing the tone. (Although you can feel the "assembled in China" here, since the pot quality itself isn't that great. I mean you clearly can fell and hear the taper is not a great quality in this pot for minimal/low volume settings)

    Many people stated that this amp sounds best with v30 speakers. I have to agree.
    Also It is important what type of speaker cab you using. My 1x12" H&K cab sounded much better than a 4x12" Marshall 1960 Vintage. Obviously i might have been biased... but this is how my drummer mate heard as well. :)



    Since I would like to change the tubes I made my research about he tube layout. Even sent an email to Randall and this was their answer:
    T1 is 1st stage overdrive
    T2 is clean
    T3 is 2nd stage overdrive
    Mike Fortin himself stated on another forum:
    "Facing the amp, left to right..V1 is OD stage 1 and 2, V2 is for the clean channel, V3 is OD stage 3 and 4."
    And here is a catch! Most people claimed that this is not true, from left to right:
    V1 & V2 Od channel, V3 (far right) is the clean channel. Some suggested that the tubes are not in the usual 1,2,3 order on the PCB. I haven't find any pictures of the inside/PCB of these amps so I decided to take it apart. I can confirm, on the PCB it's printed in the following order (facing the amp, from left to right)
    T1, T3, T2
    IMG_5558.JPG
    So all in all Randall and Mike were right, about the numbering but not the order. It seems (Facing the amp, left to right)
    Position V1 = T1 = OD 1st and 2nd stages
    Position V2 = T3 = OD 3rd and 4th stages
    Position V3 = T2 = Clean channel (2 stages)

    Just above the power tubes there are 2 trim pots on the top of the chassis. I bet these are for set bias.
    IMG_5584.JPG IMG_5563.JPG
    Although I don't know why, since you have to take the chassis completely out anyway...
    So these easily could have been inside as well... (And someone could enlighten me how to do a proper bias setting.)

    There are loads of solid state components (ICs) as well.
    IMG_5547.JPG IMG_5548.JPG IMG_5549.JPG
    I do not mind this at all, just wanted to point them out.


    I took many pictures but i hope the above are more then enough.
     
    Robstafarian likes this.
  2. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I will write something about biasing either later tonight or tomorrow. Suffice it to say that your hands will be much closer to potentially lethal voltages.
     
    Tetanus likes this.
  3. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Sorry mate, today was so much work that I will have to delay writing that post.
     
    Tetanus likes this.
  4. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Mate, you will need to email Randall regarding biasing: I can tell you the basics, but only they can tell you how to make the adjustments and whether the amp has test points; my research indicates that you would need a pair of octal test probes.
     
    Tetanus likes this.
  5. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    I just would like to share my latest experience with you guys.
    The built in boost in my Randall RD45 is much more than just a boost, it's changing the frequency responses as well in every gain stages. It gives me a much tighter and focused tone. I have a TS clone and made some comparison.
    The Randall's boost gives me a much organic tone. The TS gives me a much tighter/compressed bass response.
    When I dialled in my tone i was so happy with the built in boost I wanted to sell my TS.
    But during rehearsal (just a drummer and me) it wasn't as good.
    I started to experimenting with different settings and went back and forth between the built in boost and TS. At the end The TS gave me a much better tone. The best is when the TS is on, but with Drive at min. and tone & volume at noon. So basically it just compresses the bass freq. and give the usual mid hump. No signal boost or anything. PLUS turn the built-in boost on as well to give me the extra grip, focus, etc.

    Overall my tone got way too much bass, i had to turn it almost all the way down, and turn the high and presence almost all the way up... I never seen anybody using his Randall like this setting...
    I think I have to change my Pickup.
     
    Robstafarian likes this.
  6. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    What is your cab's configuration, including the speakers used?
     
  7. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    H&K 1x12" with v30, and usually i rent a Marshall 1960 Vintage 4x12" (should be v30s in there as well).
    other options (for rental) would be either a Blackstar HTV 4x12 cab with not-named Celestion speakers, or a Marshall 1960 Lead 4x12 cab.
     
  8. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I never thought someone would think that the Vintage 30 has too much bass! What pickups are you using, with what string gauges?
     
  9. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    PU: stock Ibanez INF in my S320. That is why i stated i would like to replace it. (but in all fairness it not a bad sounding PU)
    Strings: D'Addario 10.5 - 48 in D standard.

    it might be my hearing. I always hear more bass than what i would prefer, even from people who's tone/sound is awesome otherwise. And if i'm not standing in front of the cab (or near front of it), than i can't hear the mids and highs but loads of bass. I know this is the nature of the speakers as well, but annoys me a lot...
     
  10. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    If you experience that with Vintage 30s, then you may have a hearing problem: Vintage 30s are well known for their upper-midrange spike.
     
  11. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    say whaaa ??? :p
    yeah, i can hear that, but still a loads of bass underneath the whole tone... with the TS pedal it's much better...
     
  12. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I forgot to mention that Vintage 30s are not known for having loads of bass, though acoustic coupling can certainly change that in a homogeneous 4x12 cab.
     
  13. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    i will experiment with positioning the cab(s), related to the drums and me.
     
    Robstafarian likes this.
  14. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    small update:
    I pointed the 4x12" Marshall cab (w/ V30s) somewhere between the center of the room and the drummer. So he can hear the big cab.
    I used my 1x12" H&K cab (w/ V30) as my control cab, facing toward me, and tilted back a bit.
    It was f***ing good.
    And no, it is not my hearing, that Marshall 4x12" sounds shit, bass heavy and weak if you are not standing front of it...
     
  15. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    That is because lateral dispersion decreases as cone width increases.
     
    Tetanus likes this.
  16. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    :) yeah, i know that. i stated it because interestingly my 1x12 cab isn't that bad in a same situation.
     
    Robstafarian likes this.
  17. Tetanus

    Tetanus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    UK, Bristol
    i few people asked what i think of the RD series, so i though i will copy here my answer to them

    Generally, this is a great amp for the price.

    The clean channel is just simple crystal clean. no breakup, no bluesy tones. just pure clean. with the boost engaged there is some "break-up" gain tones, but since the EQ is shared, you won't get any really good bluesy tones out from this amp, on a live situation. in studio, yes, you can.

    The OD channel on it's own is a bit tricky.gain around half way is like an old-school 80's rock/metal sound. turning the gain up enhancing the bass response as well. so crank the gain and you can use it for some sludgy doom tones.
    with boost engaged the gain gets more focused, and the tone became tight. (the boost is not just an early stage boost function in this amp. It boost all gain stages separately and also changing the frequency responses of all gain stages differently. so can have a really great sound)

    the amp's EQ works great, everything at noon and it sounds great, you really need just fine tweaking it. Except the presence control. For me the amp is a bit dark sounding.
    So i usually turn the mids, highs and presence to ~2 O'clock, and dial the bass back just a tiny bit.

    for me the boost is like a 3rd channel. I used to have a TS clone as a boost, but I use a Fortin 33 now.
    I love this amp. For the money, this is a no-brainer.

    This amp is loud !!!
    but thanks to the channel volume and master volume, you can use it at home on really low volume settings. (you won't get the full blast of course, but hey)
    I installed Sovtek 5881 power tubes, which are opened up the tone even further. bit tighter response, and the slightly lower wattage rating helps using the amp at home. Meanwhile still really loud during rehearsals.

    I am using it with an old Marshall 4x12" 19060 Vintage cabinet, with V30s.
    also my guitar is a Washburn Solar, with Seymour Duncan Black winter pickups.

    if you got any question, just let me know.
     
    Chu and Robstafarian like this.
  18. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus”

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    23,884
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    5881 are particularly eager to compress, which helps control volume.
     
    Tetanus likes this.

Share This Page