Randall RM22

Head/Combo: 
Head
Price Paid: 
$1100
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
China
Tube Type: 
EL84
Features: 

This is from the Randall site

  • 2 bays come stock with Deluxe and XTC modules
  • Black cloth front
  • 18 Watts RMS into 8/16 Ohms
  • EL84 tube
  • Front panel channel switch
  • Tube boost function w/Gain and Level controls
  • Master density & presence
  • Series effects loop
  • Rear panel bias test points
  • Direct recording out w/"Mic Eliminator" circuit
  • Includes boost footswitch

The XTC module, based on the red channel of the Bogner Ecstacy, and the Deluxe module, based on the Fender Deluxe, both have a master gain, bass, mid, treble, level (volume) controls, and bright switches. Some modules have different controls, but this seems to be the standard layout on most of the standard modules.

The amp itself has 2 channel boost gain and boost level controls, a power amp density control, which controls the power tube saturation, a presence control, power switch and standby/play switch, all on the front panel, with the series loop and channel/boost switch jack on the back.

Pros: 

Where to begin. The XTC and Deluxe modules really do sound remarkably like the Fender and Bogner amps they're based on. From the demos I've heard of the other modules, most do sound like the amps they're based on... Some of these amps cost in excess of $2000 each, you can have remarkably dead on imitations of their sound for $199 each, and Randall makes this amp in 50 watts, 100 watts w/3 channel bays, and a 12 channel bay 50 watt rack. The versatility is awesome.

The amp is not much bigger than the lunchbox amps, but the sound of it blows them away, this amp is an 18 watt gain monster, it has the balls of a 50 or 100 watter, at least with the boost on, does not sound the least bit boxey. The best part is that it maintains the balls at bedroom levels, and does well at higher volumes as well.

The XTC module has some great overdriven tone, not muddy, sounds great scooped or with nice lush mids for that 80's sound, I personally love it. The Deluxe module is simply awesome sounding, beautiful chimey cleans, definitely captures the Fender Deluxe sound faithfully.

The presence and density controls are nice features, rarely seen on any of these smaller amps, and they work well. And the effects loop works well.

It's a great amp to record with... According to other members of this website. One has a cd that features this amp on a few songs... Sounds great.

Cons: 

There is a loud click sound when switching from the boosted XTC channel to the non boosted Deluxe channel. Not sure if this is something with my amp, the modules, or just one of the flaws with the amp design itself... But for that reason, and only reason I would not try gigging with it, not sure you'd wanna gig with an 18 watter anyway.

Now this is really nitpicking, but in a head I prefer the tubes to be standing, instead of hanging, the chance for one to fall off and break is there... I know, 2 EL84's aren't the most expensive things in the world, but hey I don't like having to travel to the store, since I always end up walking out with more than I intended.

The amp may seem a bit pricey to some... I personally don't mind the price seeing how many different sounds can come from it potentially, and it doesn't sound like the lower priced lunchbox amps.

Sound Quality: 
5 (excellent)
Reliability: 

Haven't really had it very long, been 4 months I think... It is solidly built though.

Customer Support: 

Haven't had to deal with Randall

Summary: 

If you record, or just play in the bedroom or living room, this amp is the best thing I've ever heard. If you plan to gig, I'd get the 50 or 100 watt versions. I highly recommend this amp to anyone looking for a low watt amp that doesn't want low watt sound.

Checkout the demo from one of the forum members... It sounds THAT good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BynGs7dNdlo

Overall Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)