Metallica's Kirk Hammett and Randall Take Their Association to the Next Level with KH103 Hammett Signature Head

Kirk Hammett has had a long relationship with Randall, which in recent years has resulted in a successful run of signature offerings, including the KH120RHS head and KH412 cab, KH75 combo, KH15 practice amp and KH3 preamp module.

But Hammett and Randall are about to take their partnership up a notch with the soon-to-be-released KH103 amplifier.

“I was using the modular amps, but I realized I needed something extra durable to take out on the road,” Hammett says. “The KH103 is what I was looking for. It’s point to point and hand soldered and made so well. It has these amazing gain stages, which really make the amp sound above and beyond.”

The KH103 is born out of three years of meticulous prototyping with famed amp designer Mike Fortin. The 120-watt three-channel all-tube amp has been road tested and refined through some serious gigs, including the Big Four Yankee Stadium concert, as well as tours through Abu Dhabi, India and Metallica’s 30th anniversary shows in 2011 at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

“When Mike first came over with this new amp design, I plugged it in and fell in love,” Hammett says. “It instantly became a part of my sound. That amp is basically the sound you hear in the movie Through the Never [Metallica’s 2013 IMAX concert film]. It’s a part of my touring sound and will be a part of my recording sound in the future. It’s a great-sounding amp. It’s given me the tone I’ve been chasing for a long time.”

The new Randall KH103 will debut this fall with a retail price point of $3,749.99.

Randall KH103 Specs

• 120 watt, three-channel all-tube (nine 12AX7 and four 6L6) amplifier.
CONTROLS Three gain and volume with three-way bright switch for each, plus presence, depth, and dual switchable master volumes.
LOOPS Dual switchable series/parallel
MIDI/SWITCHING Seven MIDI-assignable functions for each channel as follows: channel select, boost, low/medium/high gain voicing, master volume 1/2 select, loop/loop2 select, store. Individual metering and bias controls. Footswitch not included (RF8 or RF4 suggested).
CONSTRUCTION Heavy-duty metal front/rear grilles, corners, edging. Dual side handles for easy lifting.

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Brad Angle

Brad is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and video producer. He is the former content director of Revolver magazine and executive editor of Guitar World. His work has appeared in Vice, Guitar Aficionado, Inked and more. He’s also a die-hard Les Paul player who wishes he never sold his 1987 Marshall Silver Jubilee half stack.