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Runt 20 owners, are you still loving it?

ledvedder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
747
I got my Runt 20 and matching cab about 2 weeks ago now. At first, I thought I was completely going to love it. But after playing it for the past 2 weeks, I'm not so sure. Now, I haven't played it at band rehearsal yet, only at home. Just trying to dial it in to where I like it. The first downer was when I hooked up my HX Effects to it. Horrible hum and popping when I use it to change channels. Lifting the ground from the amp switching cable reduced the hum significantly, but it's still slightly there, along with the pop.

Something that I always look for in an amp is that great 'ch-chunk' sound when you mute the strings and quickly run the pick up and down on the strings. It's so hard to explain in words. But it seems to lack that. I also feel like it's a very dry, anemic overdrive tone, if that makes sense. Maybe I'm not dialing it in correctly? At this price point, I guess I was expecting more. I don't know. Maybe I need to give it more time. I just want to make the right decision within the return window.

I'm wondering how other owners or past owners feel about there Runt. Why do you love it, or why did you move on from it?
 

thawn5150

Member
Messages
335
I had a Runt 20 for awhile. It is a good amp but not enough tone wise for me. I needed something with bigger iron and tubes (EL34). I agree after awhile I wanted to move on to something else tone wise. I dont think I would pick up one again. I expected a bit more.
 

ledvedder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
747
I had a Runt 20 for awhile. It is a good amp but not enough tone wise for me. I needed something with bigger iron and tubes (EL34). I agree after awhile I wanted to move on to something else tone wise. I dont think I would pick up one again. I expected a bit more.
What amp did you go with after the Runt?
 

thawn5150

Member
Messages
335
I used a kemper for awhile but eventually made my way back to tube amps..lol I presently use a marshall
JVM 410H and marshall 4 12 cab,which covers lots of ground tone wise. I had a JVM in the past and swear you have to try a few since my last one did not sound as good as the one I use now, I also had a loan of a JCM 900 dual reverb that sounded great although only two channels but it was awesome. At heart I guess im just a Marshall guy,for me they just have a tone that cuts through in a band mix,I find its an amp I don't have to fight with to play well if that makes sense. I have also owned EVH, H and K,Wizard, I happiest with the Marshall..
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,490
Dave Friedman’s amps to my ears all have a similar DNA in their sound... you either love em or you don’t.
 
Messages
166
I got my Runt 20 and matching cab about 2 weeks ago now. At first, I thought I was completely going to love it. But after playing it for the past 2 weeks, I'm not so sure. Now, I haven't played it at band rehearsal yet, only at home. Just trying to dial it in to where I like it. The first downer was when I hooked up my HX Effects to it. Horrible hum and popping when I use it to change channels. Lifting the ground from the amp switching cable reduced the hum significantly, but it's still slightly there, along with the pop.

Something that I always look for in an amp is that great 'ch-chunk' sound when you mute the strings and quickly run the pick up and down on the strings. It's so hard to explain in words. But it seems to lack that. I also feel like it's a very dry, anemic overdrive tone, if that makes sense. Maybe I'm not dialing it in correctly? At this price point, I guess I was expecting more. I don't know. Maybe I need to give it more time. I just want to make the right decision within the return window.

I'm wondering how other owners or past owners feel about there Runt. Why do you love it, or why did you move on from it?
runts are the least loved friedman amps, they have their fans though.

If I were you I would return the runt, if you're not even loving it in the "honeymoon phase" you're not gonna bond with it.

maybe try a marshall SV20 or SC20 next, i'm curious what you will end up with!
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,273
When I was looking for a low watt "Marshall"style amp I I tried a Runt 20 at GC. I didn't care for it. Was actually a bit surprised at how much I didn't like it but then again I've never heard a demo video of one that made me want to go out and buy on.

I ended up getting a Marshall DSL 20HR which loved immediately. Added bonus was that it cost about a third of what the Runt cost.

After that I ended up getting an EVH 5150 III 50 watt 6L6. Monster amp. Sounds amazing and cost less than the Runt. It's so much more amp for less money.
 

ledvedder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
747
One main reason I got the Runt is that Dave said he can mod it to Smallbox specs, which I completely love in the demos I've seen. But I was hoping that I'd just love the Runt. Especially after those first few hours with it. Now I'm considering exchanging it for a JJ Jr.
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,512
When I was looking for a low watt "Marshall"style amp I I tried a Runt 20 at GC. I didn't care for it. Was actually a bit surprised at how much I didn't like it but then again I've never heard a demo video of one that made me want to go out and buy on.

I ended up getting a Marshall DSL 20HR which loved immediately. Added bonus was that it cost about a third of what the Runt cost.

After that I ended up getting an EVH 5150 III 50 watt 6L6. Monster amp. Sounds amazing and cost less than the Runt. It's so much more amp for less money.
Agree with this. Runt cleans especially were underwhelming.. and the distortion sound was painfully 'generic' to me. I much prefer the Dirty Shirley or JJ Jr amps for the small 20W Friedmans. EVH 5150 is hard to go wrong as well, totally agree.
 

ledvedder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
747
Agree with this. Runt cleans especially were underwhelming.. and the distortion sound was painfully 'generic' to me. I much prefer the Dirty Shirley or JJ Jr amps for the small 20W Friedmans. EVH 5150 is hard to go wrong as well, totally agree.
I already have an EVH 5150, so I'm set with the brutal gain stuff. Love that amp! I wanted something with a somewhat smoother gain tone. Dave kept recommending the JJ Jr, but I thought that would be more of the 5150 metal tone. Maybe I'm wrong thinking that?
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,512
I already have an EVH 5150, so I'm set with the brutal gain stuff. Love that amp! I wanted something with a somewhat smoother gain tone. Dave kept recommending the JJ Jr, but I thought that would be more of the 5150 metal tone. Maybe I'm wrong thinking that?
If you want smoother gain, the Dirty Shirley is the way to go IMO. Its probably the smoothest Friedman overall but it can still be crunchy. The JJ Jr is a solid option too.. it can get into high gain but sort of its own thing compared to the 5150. When you roll the gain back its definitely versatile. All of his amps are great really.

I'd say if you want a more vintage 'high gain' with smoothness though, definitely consider the DS:

 

ledvedder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
747
If you want smoother gain, the Dirty Shirley is the way to go IMO. Its probably the smoothest Friedman overall but it can still be crunchy. The JJ Jr is a solid option too.. it can get into high gain but sort of its own thing compared to the 5150. When you roll the gain back its definitely versatile. All of his amps are great really.

I'd say if you want a more vintage 'high gain' with smoothness though, definitely consider the DS:

That seems a bit too wooly for me. I kinda wanted to stick with the Runt or JJ Jr platform, since Dave can modify either of the to a Smallbox, if I decide to go that route.
 

CATSCANMAN

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
164
I tried the Runt and wasn’t crazy about it . Tried a lot of different amps and finally settled on a Friedman Small Box 50. More amp than I need but it sounds so good.
 

Anje

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,414
I still enjoy mine; I guess it depends a lot on what your expectations are from it?

I've been using mine as a good grab & go compact solution when I don't want / can't bring the bigger old amps out. I gave it a try when I was looking for a small not too expensive light solution to get some flavor of old boosted Marshall, bumped into a used deal with the matched 1x12 I couldn't pass on and have been really happy with it for that application ever since.
I wasn't expecting it to sound & feel exactly like an old full size Marshall and it doesn't, but still sounds and especially feels great (I was looking for a great dynamic touch & guitar controls sensitivity like the old amps), and fully meets the small/light requirements.
That being said:
- the above is only applicable to the main drive channel for me; I never use the clean channel, tried it for few minutes and thought it was very underwhelming, nothing special in the sound, quite "neutral" sounding to me, and nowhere near as touch dynamic / explosive under the fingers as the main channel; I wasn't interested in it anyway so that's no issue for me. I much prefer using the guitar controls on the main drive channel to get my "clean" tones.
- I always use some kind of pedals in front to boost/EQ it in some way and prefer to keep the gain around the 6-7 mark max; sounds much better in the mix with the band to me, to get back some of that mid cut / "kerang" and great clean-up / light crunch tones I'm used to with old Marshall when rolling down the guitar volume & playing with lighter touch; the amps sounds "flatter" and almost "too smooth" / compressed to me alone.
- and one of the main applications I got it for was to be used as the higher gain side of a 2 amp rig, paired with an old Marshall 2204 combo. Really sounds great in that situation and blends well with the Marshall; the smoother fatter higher gain from the Friedman, and the cut / mids + top end from the lower gain Marshall open back combo.

About the comparison to the JJ Jr: quite different characters to me, I've had both at the same time. Depends on the feel / style you're looking for.
I ended up selling the JJ Jr and keeping the Runt.
I posted my thoughts about the 2 some time ago in an older thread:
 

M@tt C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,062
Try some Tung-Sols in V1 and V2. I feel they have a little more "character" than the stock tubes- not to get all cork sniffy, but notes have more depth to them from a 3D standpoint.

Speakers can make a big difference to- as can EQ settings. Don't be afraid to twist knobs!
 
Last edited:

ledvedder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
747
Try some Tung-Sols in V1 and V2. I feel they have a little more "character" than the stock tubes- not to get all cork sniffy, but notes and more depth to them from a 3D standpoint.

Speakers can make a big difference to- as can EQ settings. Don't be afraid to twist knobs!
I've thought about trying different preamp tubes. But honestly, I've found they never make that much of a difference. An amp's character is what it is, and tubes really won't change that much. I've tried different speakers. The Creamback in the Friedman cab, a Heritage in an EVH cab, and a GB/G12H30 combination in a custom 212 cab.

I've been speaking to Dave, and he's going to mod it for me to be what I'm looking for. He's a awesome guy! I think he's the best reason for staying with Friedman when it comes to amps.
 
Messages
166
I've thought about trying different preamp tubes. But honestly, I've found they never make that much of a difference. An amp's character is what it is, and tubes really won't change that much. I've tried different speakers. The Creamback in the Friedman cab, a Heritage in an EVH cab, and a GB/G12H30 combination in a custom 212 cab.

I've been speaking to Dave, and he's going to mod it for me to be what I'm looking for. He's a awesome guy! I think he's the best reason for staying with Friedman when it comes to amps.
hope you will like the smallbox 20, and if you don't, friedman amps hold their value on the used market!
 




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