The Krankenstein 100watt Tube Head By Krank Amplification (Discontinued)
What is the Krankenstein you say? It’s a unique 100watt head with simplistic features conjured up by Tony Krank and Darrell Lance-Abbott (Dimebag Darrel) of Pantera and Damage Plan (RIP Dimebag) The Krankenstein was released circa 2006 and is made right here in the good ole U.S.A.
The Krankenstein, dare I say is built like a tank. It’s compact in size and is fairly light weight compared to a lot of other tube heads. This head was purchased used and did notice some rust forming around the transformer. The master volume’s potentiometer on the far left in front of the head was a bit scratchy, but given that it’s been played out for about a decade is pretty impressive. Overall everything feels solid with the Krankenstein. The top carrier handle is extremely beefy in size and is very comfortable to grasp for transport. The front vent grill is made out of pressed steel I believe, and is extremely rigid. It also fashioned a metal support bar across the back of the head for extra support. The potentiometers used throughout the head felt nice & smooth when dialing in with a bit of tension for a solid / precise feel overall. The knobs used were machined aluminum and felt very durable indeed.
Feature & Tonal Qualities:
The Krankenstein has a separate EQ section for the clean channel and a shared EQ for the DIME “distorted” channel. The clean channel has its own volume section which is pretty normal for the most part, but the “DIME” channel has two Master Volume knobs that's foot switchable. It’s actually a pretty clever idea. Instead of having OD1 (crunch) and OD2 (distortion) like most amps. Dimebag just wanted a fully distorted channel with the option to boost the volume while adding a hotter signal / mid hump for leads. This head feels extremely powerful overall on stage especially with the low-end spectrum. I have a hunch that it could be coming from the massive transformer it’s fitted with, but that’s only by observation and speculation of course. (Laughs) Tonal ranges can vary from honkin mids, Marshall esque tones without the spongy factor. To downright guttural death metal. You can thank the “Mid Sweep” knob for that. Personally I like to dial in the “Mid Sweep” at around 9 o clock to scoop out the honk but still have a prominent mid section in the mix but settings may vary with different cab & speaker combinations. The Krankenstein can be a bit fizzy overall with V30s, but dialing back the “Master Presence” at about 7 o clock to tame it is plenty good. The low end section is a bit ridiculous to say the least. When dialing the “bass” past 9 o clock. It almost feels a bit overwhelming at first, but it feels good weirdly enough. It’s hard to explain really. It’s almost as if you’re getting enveloped within a bubble of “feel good” vibes. Every chug you do or every string you bend. You just get chills down your spin when the Krankenstein is cranked. (Laughs) You might say I had a hippy moment with this amp because theoretically, certain Hz freq can actually stimulate bone growth and heal the bones in your body, but I digress. You’ll get nothing but good vibes out of this head as I did.
I love the Krankenstein overall and will most likely keep it in my arsenal for a while when playing out. It has a simplistic touch to get you through a gig effectively, takes well to pedals, it’s built like a tank, and sounds phenomenal live. I do wish it had a foot switchable FX Loop, and It is a pain to dial out that low-end for a balanced mix but that may vary from cab to cab, but like any amp. Once you learn the quirks of the Krankenstein you can achieve many great tones.
8 Out Of 10