The dreadful “must use provided backline” or “just use the mysterious amp at the drummer’s house” are circumstances where we hope for the best, yet fear the worst.
I mean, drummers somehow acquire freakishly weird amps; like, who ever heard of a Wolf brand amp? Backline gear is usually decent, but your biggest setback is time. The band before you swore, the crowd wanted more, and now the stage director is just swearing at everyone for going overtime.
So now you have two minutes to unpack, plug in, tune up and dial in a good tone.
The RG13 by Randall is clutch in these situations. It’s a three-channel, 1-watt amp that’s integrated into a floorboard and a DI. I know you’re thinking, “1 watt, what’s that gonna do?” I was able to hang with the Randall at a jam session through a 2x12, and it kept up just fine, drums and all.
The amp doesn’t need to have a speaker load on it to work. So it doubles and triples as an amplifier head, a headphone amp or a DI recording interface. The XLR out features a built-in 4x12 cabinet simulator. Great for giving your direct sound a little bit of warmth. If none of those ideas grab you, you can run the Randall in front of your amp like you would an overdrive pedal and gain thre extra channels.
Let’s look at the controls. Each channel has its own independent Gain and Volume knobs. There is one master EQ shared by all, which includes; Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence knobs. For added EQ tweaks, you’ll notice three on/off switches for Bright, Mid Scoop and Bass Boost options. Lastly, there is a Loop Boost knob and a Master Volume that controls the level of the entire pedal.
All channels have their own on/off footswitch. The Loop/Boost channel offers a switchable effects loop, tuner mute or boost option. Besides 1/4-inch input and an unbalanced output jack, there’s an 1/8-inch stereo input great for an mp3 player, an XLR out with switchable ground lift and 1/4-inch send/return jacks for your effects loop or tuner.
Clip 1 is a Les Paul into the Randall with a flat EQ and the mid scoop engaged. I used the XLR out to demo the 4x12 cabinet emulation as I ran the same chord progression through all three channels.
Clip 2 is a P-Bass with some old, dead flatwound strings with the gain set to where your dynamics determine if the signal will break up or not. Although the Randall isn’t marketed as a bass amp, it was fun to experiment.
Street Price: $249.99
You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.