buying a head...need your opinion

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dpgreek, Jan 3, 2018.


  1. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    So I'm about to pull trigger on a two channel head. My eye is set on Friedman Runt 20. Mainly for tones, but because of the direct out /silent recording capability. Then I saw the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister Deluxe 40. Same concept. Never tried the HK though. The price point of the HK is much more enticing, because I can get a cab or some new tubes... anyone have experiences with either of these two or compared them? Anyone else making a head like these with line out capability for under 1400? I use humbuckers and do mainly classic rock covers, etc.. use pedals too, but want the amp to do the work now. also want EL84 for British feeling gain. Not a fender or Vox guy either.
     
  2. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Egnater Rebel 30
     
  3. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    those are 2 very different amps so its almost entirely a matter of personal preference.

    id like to steer you away from the idea of looking for an amp w a particular power tube. el84s are used in so many different type of amps, its ludicrous. theyre used in a lot of small wattage tube amps- all different types, marshalls, etc. and then theyre also used in vox ac30s...
     
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  4. mysticaxe

    mysticaxe Supporting Member

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    Just got the Runt 20 recently and really like it. Have run the xlr output through a headphone tap and (just last night) through a PA without a cab attached. It sounds REALLY good and is stupid simple to use. Even though the Runt 20 has EL84's, it feels like a "Marshall" and can get reasonably loud through a cab (running a 412, I'm on about 3 on the Master to keep up with my drummer and want a 212 so I can turn up higher). Can't speak to Egnater/HK. I think I may have briefly played a HK a long time ago (don't remember which one) and the tone wasn't what I was looking for, so I haven't looked closely at them since.
     
  5. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    What kind of guitar are you using on your Friedman. I just spent about 45 minutes with the runt 20 one more time. I’m very close to buying it but a few things are holding me back. I feel like it’s voiced a little bright. I use humbuckers with medium Ouput Fralin pick ups. I was using an LP off the wall at Gc. When I have it on the clean channel, I put the toggle switch to the right. When I do that it sounds pretty good however, the bass is ok but I feel like I have to roll the presence knob way back in order for it to sound not piercing to the ear. So when I switched channels, I feel like the gain channel loses a little bit and I have to turn the treble up there. It’s kind of a weird balancing act. I like the boost and I fee like that adds a little sizzle too. I dont know.
     
  6. mysticaxe

    mysticaxe Supporting Member

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    I have used a stock Les Paul Standard, a partscaster with Suhr Aldrich and SSV pickups, and a Jackson Kelly with a Duncan Custom/Jazz combo. The cab I’m using is a Marshall slant 412 with greenbacks. It is bright, but in a Marshall way. Was the cab that you tried it on new? Could the harsh top end be due to unbroken-in speakers? I would describe the tone I’m getting as having a lot of cut and bite, but not harsh or sizzle. I think I run the clean on the left setting (brightest).
     
  7. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    I played the HK in the store going through a newer HK cab
     
  8. ledzep618

    ledzep618 Supporting Member

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    Runt 20 build quality is vastly superior to the H&K. The Runts are bright, but so are most lead spec Marshalls. Listen to any isolated guitar track from any 70's rock album - they're all bright as sh!t because thats where guitar sounds best in a band setting. Don't get too caught up with the numbers on the dial for your EQ settings, who cares if they're not 'traditional' if they work. JCM800 amps often get run with the treble basically on zero.

    The Runt mellows out on the top end a lot through a 4x12 of Greenbacks, or even better G12-65s if you can afford them (WGS ET-65 works well too for a lot cheaper). But, if you're never going to do anything other than playing at home with it then you could also consider something where you can get more bass on tap like a Mesa MkV:25 or 35 where you have the graphic EQ, though I find the Runt to have plenty of thump when dialed in for it. The Mesa has silent DI out too, but the tone of the DI really sucks compared to the Runts. Mesa is a different tone as well, a lot more modern but they do sound very good.
     
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  9. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    I tried mesa too and it sounded good after a lot of dialing in, but cab clone sound isnt that great and thats one of the main reasons I want to buy the amp. I hear what you’re saying about the brighter Marshall style. Not baggin on amps like that because they work in various scenarios, but for me its hard to dial in with my guitar and yes Id be playing more at home. I dont see the point in spending that much money where I have to settle for something that isnt to my liking or I have to run presence at 1 and treble at 2. Im paying a lot for those knobs lol. They need to serve a good purpose. Im going to give it one more whirl Friday vs Tubemeister 40 and see which one works out. Tubemeister was pretty damn good and could do great cleans as well but with controls.

    To be fair, cabs I tried were all 2x12 w V30s. One was a friedman, one was an orange and the other was the HK. Maybe a more balanced speaker without so much of a midrange push would be better. Like a wgs veteran 30 or a reaper.
     
  10. manimal

    manimal Member

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    If you really like EL84’s and want a couple channels, DI, etc....you might as well try a Peavey Classic 20MH. About $700 less than the Runt and honestly for playing at home it sounds as good, especially for the money. Way less romance involved in buying a Peavey lol...I get it. Certainly not my first choice either, or what excites me initially. But with EL84’s, low watts, gain etc...EL84 amps like these either suck or can sound pretty good. You better LOVE that Runt $700 more to pull the trigger! And maybe you will! It is a Friedman after all...very nice amp!
     
  11. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Good concept!
     
  12. WWW

    WWW Member

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    I’d also recommend looking more into the Mesa 25 and 35. The cab clone on my 35 sounds great but I run it into a mixer and adjust the EQ from there.

    I also have a H&K Tubemeister 18. Can’t speak to the 40. The 18 is a really nice little amp, but I can’t dial out the “hi-fi” if that makes any sense. I prefer my MkV:35 to the H&K, and I prefer the cab clone over the redbox, at least how I use it through the mixer.

    Also on the H&K, the boost is quite boosted and made trouble when leveling volume between channels when using the boost. Might not be an issue with the 40 though.
     
  13. mysticaxe

    mysticaxe Supporting Member

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    I know this is an amp forum, but have you thought about a Helix? The smaller one of those is under $1k and can be almost anything you want it to be well (if not great to incredible).
     
  14. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    I looked at helix but I love my analog pedal choices. Spent a lot of time finding what works. I assume you can you use the cab clone out to go into an interface. My question is can you add IRs to the signal or is it already colored w cab clone dials. I think on HK youncan disable the red box and use your cab IRs with its sound. I know what you mean by hifintoo. The gain structure/feel on HK is more open and you get pretty good note definition. Im so used to marshally sounds too that its gonna take transition time if I snag that one. Im considering some others too. Ill look at the peavey. If its a great teo channel amp and affordable, I can always put some money into a suhr reactive load or a fruette power station and run IRs.
     
  15. Metalflange

    Metalflange Member

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  16. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    holy crap that's pretty sweet.
     
  17. IM4Tone

    IM4Tone Member

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    You may want to check out the Blackstar HT series. Heads available in 20, 50, and 100 watt versions. 'Marshally' tones and recording features you're looking for (at least in the 20 and 50...IDK about the 100). Doesn't hurt to check out all bases.
     
  18. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    tried one before. It was ok. I wasn't too fond of the ISF thing...Felt like that wasn't as effective as they advertise. I'll give it another look. Thanks for the tip
     
  19. Mayhem13

    Mayhem13 Member

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    Runt 20 is really nice........but not enough clean headroom for me in a band situation. The 40 gets it done though

    Another AWESOME amp and falls within your criteria is the Orange TH30 which IMO has the best clean channel I've ever experienced and takes drive pedals like nobody's business.
     
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  20. JoshFerrera

    JoshFerrera Member

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    I’ve had a Runt 20 Combo for about 6 months now. I’ve run into the prescence/treble issue at home as well. In a band mix, it sounds killer. It cuts really well. Alone in your guitar room...suuuuper bright when using a humbucker equipped guitar. Single coils sound great though. Coiled cable helps a bit. I’m going to swap out the preamp tubes with JJ’s to try to tame some of the brightness.
     

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