Is Friedman for me?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Progman, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Progman

    Progman Member

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    I know what you're gonna say. "Go to the store and try them yourself." Trust me, I will. But I want the inside scoop first, maybe some owner experiences/input.

    I've been using a Hot Rod Deluxe III for a few years now. Have a bunch of mods installed, even a WGS speaker. The cleans are great, but even with great pedals I'm not getting the dirt sound I need. The bottom end is still small sounding, and I've realized that maybe it's time to get back into the halfstack realm. I've been trying to get a nice hot rodded Marshall sound out of this thing forever, and I come close but it's still a little fender combo. Enter my GAS for a Friedman.

    Man oh man. Rave reviews, killer demos, right up my alley type tone. But there's a question. The BE100 is a $3699 head. There are fantastic amps in that price range, and I'm sure the BE is apart of it, probably sky high in the ranks. But there are amps like the Ecstasy, Helios, 2203's, and so on. For a versatile hot rodded Marshall type amp, is the Friedman going to be my best bet? The Helios sure has caught my attention...
     
  2. MangoMango

    MangoMango Supporting Member

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    The eternal question.

    If you have the coin buy used at prices you can then move them for if they don't work out OR you absolutely love it and sell it anyway just to try something new that is anticipated to be just as fabulous.

    There's rarely a finish line in this game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  3. grego7

    grego7 has left the building Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know if it's for you, but I just bought a used mini dirty shirley and the thing has the best Marshall- y sound I've ever owned. Not sure how "hot rodded" it is, that may be more in the pt-20 realm. One recommendation though before you get spendy on a whole new amp - if you haven't tried a Bogner Burnley through your HRD, I would give that a shot. It turns every combo I've played it through into a convincing fire breather.
     
  4. Sjguckin

    Sjguckin Member

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    I own a newer be100 and smallbox. I have since sold all of my other amps. Not because i didnt like them its because the friedmans sound so awesome at ANY volume. I am a marshall guy at heart but honestly they just have to be too damn loud to give up the goods. My 2203 sounded great at even 1 on the master until i played it side by side with my be100. That night i started taking pictures of the jcm800 to sell and i thought i would keep that amp for life. Yes there pricey but i had like seven amps before and now have two friedmans and if i had too i could be happy with just the be100 for everything i play. Trust me there worth it. I spent three years hardcore gear testing. These are at the top for me. Hope this helps alittle.
     
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  5. idnotbe

    idnotbe Member

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    the first thing you should decide is "voicing".
    Friedman, Bogner, Marshall, Germino... each has different voicing that the other amps cannot sound.
    Friedman has modern, low end focused voicing.

    i still think Friedman is one of the best among many M style amps, though i was disappointed by a few models.
     
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  6. Progman

    Progman Member

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    Alright guys, alright. I got the coin to drop on one, so I guess I'll be heading over to The Music Zoo this weekend to try some out.
     
  7. BrokenRomeo

    BrokenRomeo Supporting Member

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    Try it out, if you like it buy it...if not, there are plenty of other choices. Personally I prefer my Landry G3, but I like the Friedman stuff too. I can easily get the job done with my DSL100H too...and they are only $899...decisions, decisions :)
     
  8. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    Never tried a Friedman but I can totally recommend a 2203. I prefer my 79, 80 and 82 to any modern interpretation I've played.
     
  9. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    FWIW I made the move from a hotrod to a Friedman and it was the best purchase ever. Had similar reasons to you too. Got sick of fighting the amp. Now the amp is my best friend, and gives me more tone than I could have asked for. I get excited about playing it every time. That value adds up quick, and it occurs to you that the money was worth it in spades.

    There are lots of models other than the BE100. I have a Dirty Shirley, which is significantly cheaper, while still sounding big. Worth every penny. My personal favorite Friedman, regardless of price.

    If you want a great modded Marshall sound, a Friedman is as good as it gets, IMO. Other brands are great too, though. So research it, and go by your own personal standards.

    You can't really go wrong with the top boutique brands, such as Friedman, Germino, and Metro.

    It's all about the features, and feel, you and your music most need to blossom.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  10. jdel77

    jdel77 Silver Supporting Member

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    There's no doubt that Friedman are great amps. I've been told by a few dealers that even though Dave outsources the building of them elsewhere, he does test each amp.
    I've played a bunch of these Marshall-esque amps.

    Friedman amps are voiced to sound like a nicely modern mastered Marshall, refined and polished and sitting well in the mix. The upper midrange push which gives classic 2203 and 2204's their cut and rip in a mix is reduced a lot. The low end is restored. You're basically hearing out of the amp/speakers what a Marshall should sound like in a modern mix.

    Bogners to me straddle that modern refined sound, with some of the classic Marshall top end aggression. They also began offering those modern perks we all want in a Marshall with loops, switching options, etc... Bogners have a lot of compression and to me sound quite pushed back in the sense that Marshalls are very forward and punchy sounding. I'm not saying Bogners aren't punchy, they're powerful amps, but they are the polar opposite of an amp like a Hiwatt which are extremely raw and uncompressed, which reveals every single skerrick of your technique of your playing.

    Marshalls (and I mean the classic 2203/04's as Friedman's are basically re EQ'd and reworked versions of these circuits) are more open and less compressed, voiced for a mix usually (lean in the low end, pushed in the midrange and upper mids) with a distinct cut and rip to the sound. The louder these are the better and more effective the EQ sounds. The master volumes on these work well to keep the volume down to sane levels while keeping the feel and response intact.

    If you want an amp that is a Marshall with a modern twist, with it's frequencies refined go for a Friedman. They're awesome.
     
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  11. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus Silver Supporting Member

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    I read about them forever and I was dying to try one. A BE 100.

    I know the difference between Sh-t and Shinloa, ;) so I went and spent about 30 minutes in a place I could turn it up and see what all the fuss was about...

    I didn't buy it, and I have the money.

    Some reasons were: Too Easy... Too many people have them now, Too compressed, Not dangerous, Too dialed in. It didn't feel like I had a tiger by the tail.

    It sounded a little too slick and didn't feel raw. It was dialed in with a lot of low end and the treble frequencies were super tweaked, especially on single note stuff. For the record: It is a great amp.

    If I'm going to drop four grand on a Modded Marshall style amp there are a lot of other options, starting with a Metroplex. I guess I really enjoy the quest and buying one off the shelf is a little too easy. Anyone with four grand can own one. I would play every one of the amps you like and don't rush into it because then that part of the fun is over, and checking them out and researching is half of the fun.

    I played my friends DSL the other day through an old Marshall cab with greenbacks and my thought was "this sounds a lot like the Friedman" in general I mean.

    I like the whole modded tube PA heads from the 70's by Henric Hermansson.
    Not sure what they cost, probably a lot. You don't see that kind of thing everyday.

    The good thing is the resale value on a Friedman is pretty high and if you like it I think it would be a great choice.

    Have fun finding the right amp.
     
  12. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    I found the Friedmans i've tried to be too refined. The Bogner Helios is killer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  13. Gallery

    Gallery Supporting Member

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    I love my JJ100. I describe the Friedman sound as the recorded tone of a Marshall. In person there is a very noticeable difference in tone between the JJ and my 2204. With the compression of recording, that difference becomes much less prominent. The Friedman sounds is as if all the noise and artifacts (which some people love) of a Marshall is gone and you are left with the very basic Marshall tone that a microphone picks up. It's tighter and more compressed, but with the same basic character. The JJ100 took everything I loved about the 2203/2204 and took none of what always bothered me. That said, it's not for everyone. Some people love those nuances of the Marshall sound.

    As mentioned in the post above, they are "refined" Marshall tone. If you like a tighter more compressed Marshall sound that can go beyond JCM level gain and you need an incredible master volume and loop, I don't think you could find a better amp. If you love the sag and looser crunchy gain of early Marshall tone driven to power tube clipping, I don't think you'll be fully satisfied.
     
  14. flimz

    flimz Supporting Member

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    Dont overlook the Bogner Helios! I recently traded my Friedman Smallbox for the Helios, and Im happy I did. The Helios has more of that marshall rawness than the smallbox did. It does have that signature Bogner compression in 80s mode, but in 70s mode it is open and raw with lots of kerrang.
     
  15. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    All sound like great amps. With a few eq adjusts, seems any of those could do what the other is doing. Then the last amp was a good bit louder, and sometimes people tend to go louder=better. It'd be interesting, comparing mid gain tones, or how well each can clean up from high gain, dynamics, or use a boost pedal and show which amps reacts to pedals better, or put all amps/knobs at noon and see what differences are there and how much more each amp has...

    But piling on so much preamp distortion and chugging, tends to make 'em all get fuzzy, compressed and similar.
     
  16. DonaldDemon

    DonaldDemon Member

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    So what are the Marshall clones that aren't refined & polished? More raw and similar to voicing of the real deals?
     
  17. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    You have options. Splawn has a few options that could fit and save you at least $1G.

    You have PWE as well. Very high quality and a serious chunk less expensive.

    There are other Marshall styled amps as well.

    Buy the one that fits you best.
     
  18. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    To me, the amps had progressively more low end from the first to the last. Could have been how they were dialed in but I'm guessing it has a lot/more to do with how they're inherently voiced.

    As mentioned several times in this thread, the Bogner Helios.
     
  19. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I'd love to own a Friedman but to be honest with you, I really love what I have. The Friedman's that I have heard are amazing amps in every way. I would totally be all over one of those JJ amps. Who knows....maybe someday.
     
  20. clcwarlock

    clcwarlock Member

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    I own a Friedman BE-100 and it is great. Great master volume, great loop. Sounds great at lower volumes. Simply the best amp I ever owned. Here it on Track 2, "The Turning" on my new album.
     

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