Randall Diavlo RD100H
I bought this amplifier used and I must say that it’s built well but not "tank" status and I'll explain way. The UPS man was walking towards my apartment. Delivered the package to me and as soon as it was placed in my hands I noticed a concerning rattle. My initial thought was “ (shrugs) it’s probably nothin. Just the cord hitting the chassis or something”. As soon as I finished taking it out of the box I noticed the front face plate was dislodged from the mounting screws. The chassis itself was to say the least, a bit crooked? The transformers mounting plates shifted a bit to the left and the rear panel support stud was very loose. I came to a conclusion that the Diavlo fell pretty freaking hard from the looks of it, but luckily enough none of the tubes were damaged and the tone/volume knobs were all intact and fully functional. I went ahead and cleaned out each socket. Blew out any dust with a can of compressed air, re-installed the tubes and fired her up. Low and behold everything worked perfectly (Thank goodness). I tested all of the knobs to see if there were any scratchy pots (There were none). I tested all of the channel/boost switches, and everything worked normally. I then said “screw it" I got this amp for a steal and It just needed some good ole “TLC” haha. So Build Quality?? A++ of course! Mike Fortin would be proud to know that he literally designed one hell of an amp that could withstand UPS's abuse! \m/
The distorted channel is very aggressive yet smooth, with a transparent boost which gave the RD100 a tight punchy response. The low-end reminds me of a Mesa Dual Rec/Krankenstein. It has a decent clean channel that can achieve a nice warm jazz tone when the boost is activated. The RD100H is very usable in the studio, and cuts through on stage without being ice picky. The amp really opens up when turning up past 12 o clock. It feels sensitive to the touch while adding a bit of compression. Right out of the box it’s ready to go. I still prefer using OD pedals in front instead of the built in boost but it does the job to give it more push. The fact that you can gig with just the RD100H Head and achieve great tones on tap on a budget is a huge bonus for any musician.
I enjoyed playing out with the RD100H and will probably continue to do so. It’s a very simple design that can easily be dialed in for any genre that requires heavy/articulate tones. The midi cable was nice and long for easy placement on stage, and the switches on the footswitch were nicely laid out. I really wished the Diavlo's FX-loop was remote switchable. It's a must have for lead tones. The channel switching itself was extremely silent, and having the XLR direct out came in handy for silent recording/going direct into the FOH. I did struggle a bit adjusting my lead volume on the fly during the rush on stage, and found the text a bit difficult to read which made it harder to make out on what I was doing on a dark stage. The shared EQ isn’t horrible, but it would've been nice to have each channel with separate EQs. Overall I give the Randall RD100H.
7.5 out of 10
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