Honest opinions on the Friedman Runt 20 watt 1x12 combo

Denny

Member
Messages
1,812
Hi - I'm at a point in my life/career where I need to thin the herd, and compromise on a couple of guitars and amps. I've got vintage Fenders, Marshalls, and Boogies. I love the Marshall JMP MK II 50-watt 2x12 combos, but finding one is nearly impossible. I'm considering getting a Friedman Runt 20 combo, but living in the outlands of Vermont, coming across one to try is about as accessible as finding a hot springs here - LOL.

I play most rock, blues, country, country rock, etc.... AND - is the clean/dirty chanels foot-switchable??? Thanks

Denny
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,925
My opinion is that Friedmans in general are the best amps on the market right now and the Runt series is no exception. I personally wouldn't get a combo though because Marshall type amps almost always sound better with a separate head/cab and the tubes will last for longer.
 

panther_king

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,824
If I were going to impulse buy a Friedman right now, it would likely be a Runt. It's a great amp, and for the sound I like I've liked videos of the Runts better than demos of some of their other amps. They sound great, and if the volume is enough for you, I wouldn't try to talk you out of it.

As far as a combo v head is concerned, that's more of a personal preference thing. They both have their benefits.

The ONLY thing that would concern me would be that the clean channel is literally just a volume knob, and the a 3 way presence switch. If you are a type of player who really needs a strong, versatile clean channel, this amp may not be for you. From what I've heard, it still sounds great, but if you have a guitar that just doesn't EQ well, there isn't much tailoring you can do to the EQ section on the amp.

Personally, I would probably get the 50, but it's not really because it sounds different, I would just want the bass/treble controls on the clean channel.

If I had to drop my Victory V30 and pick something else though, I would take a good hard look at a Runt myself, and if somebody offered me a straight up trade today, I might just do it. I love the Friedman videos for the Runt too; both the compositions in the demos are in my sonic wheelhouse.



 

JoshFerrera

Member
Messages
80
The clean and dirty channels are footswitchable. It does the classic rock thing pretty well. The lack of EQ on the clean channels does leave something to be desired.

If you’re going to drop that kind of money I would spend a little more and get a hand wired Friedman.

My runt broke down after 6 months of light use. Sent it to Friedman to get repaired and it came back with the same issue. So now I’m waiting for a new replacement. Reliability is big for me and my Runt has me sketched out now.

The warranty is only for 5 years and after spending almost 2k Canadian on mine to have it break down within a year and Friedmans inability to fix it leaves me wanting to sell it and look elsewhere.

The redeeming factor is that Dave and the guys at Friedman are really nice and easy to work with.
 

markstullkc

Member
Messages
687
The amp you seek is the Dirty Shirley 1x12. Sounds light years better. No channel switch though, hi/low inputs, but cleans up so well with the guitar volume knob.
 

panther_king

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,824
The amp you seek is the Dirty Shirley 1x12. Sounds light years better. No channel switch though, hi/low inputs, but cleans up so well with the guitar volume knob.

I would say the opposite - the Dirty Shirley has a very fuzzy, woolly quality that is the whole character of the gain. It's not for everyone, or every application, and I feel like you could put a fuzz in front of a Runt to get that sound, but you can't turn it off in the DS. If that's the sort of thing you're looking for in an amp, it's got it in spades, and sounds great doing it, but most people aren't.

In my opinion, from that series (PCB Friedmans), the Runt is the standout, most versatile model. The DS and PT are great, but they really have a vibe that kind of genre-fies them.

Beyond that, and into the hand wired stuff (in case you were indeed referencing the handwired Shirley), I still like the Runt more, though my pick would probably be a Small Box 50 if I could pick any Friedman.
 
Messages
12,568
The Runt would be economical and do what you want, but your tastes sound more like a Shirley. I have the 40 watter snd disagree with the description here. Not fizzy or limited. You have lots of control over the gain structure via a three position switch. There is also a mini version at 20 watts. Many Guitar Centers carry one or more of the models. Small Boxes are great if you like what they do.

But I would familiarize yourself with various demos.
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,337
Combos can sound good. I have a Marshall one and it sounds great. The only drawback is it's heavy.
 

Denny

Member
Messages
1,812
Thanks for all this info - Maybe I should just get a JTM 50-watt MKII 2x12 combo?
 

recto-robbie

Member
Messages
2,322
I played the combo and while it is nice I found it a bit boxy sounding. Its just the nature of the beast here with any small combo. I wound up buying the head and matched with my Mesa and Avatar open back 1x12's, that runt 20 sounded stellar with a good speaker and a larger quality cab.
 

buddy7168

Member
Messages
1,142
I had the combo and now have the head/cab. It’s a great amp, I actually preferred it to the PT20 I tried. The combo sounded good too but I’ve never got on well with open back cabs.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom