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RedSeven Leviathan review

If you're looking to level a city block with a powerchord, this boutique high-gain head has the KT88-powered ordnance

RedSeven Leviathan
(Image: © RedSeven)

Our Verdict

Providing a wide range of distinctive new sounds that are perfectly dialed in for studio and live performance, the RedSeven Leviathan delivers a new level of excellence for modern high-gain tones.

For

  • Premium-grade low-end chug in abundance.
  • Fire-breathing gain.
  • Plenty of scope for finding your own tone.
  • Solid build.

Against

  • Not best suited to playing Shadows covers.

With the plethora of guitar amps developed over the last seven decades, as well as the emergence of digital modeling technology that makes most of those amps’ tones available for pennies on the dollar, the best strategy for any company designing a new amp is to offer significant improvements or new tones unlike any product ever offered before. 

RedSeven has accomplished both of these feats with their formidable Leviathan amp head, a 120-watt two-channel beast that produces some of the most aggressive high-gain tones known to mankind. 

The RedSeven Leviathan boasts a truly original circuit that defies many of the inherent characteristics of high-gain amps to deliver sophisticated sounds with impressive clarity, responsive dynamics and a wider tonal range. For players who want to explore new sounds or develop unique signature tones, the Leviathan may be the solution they seek.  

Features

Featuring custom-built proprietary transformers and carefully selected TAD tubes (KT88s for power amp section, ECC83WA for preamp, tone stacks and phase inverter), the RedSeven Leviathan is built with attention to detail and the highest quality.

Channel 1 features the standard array of gain, volume, bass, middle and treble controls, along with a bright switch and footswitch-controllable “Hot” (gain boost) switch. Channel 2 is the high-gain channel, providing gain, volume, bass, middle and treble controls and a bright switch. Global controls for both channels consist of two master volume controls, plus presence and depth controls on the rear panel.

Also on the back are a buffered instrument-level effects loop, MIDI In and Thru jacks, a footswitch jack for the included L120F controller (with channel, master volume and Hot on/off switches), 4-ohm X 2, 8-ohm X 2 and 16-ohm speaker outputs and ¼-inch line output with level control. A separate MIDI controller can also access channel, master volume and Hot switching and save and recall presets that contain all of the amp’s control settings.

Performance

The unique tonal character of the Leviathan is unapologetically modern, delivering massive tones right out of the box that sound like they were meticulously crafted and constructed by a recording engineer. The bass is deep but sculpted and tight so it stays out of the way of other low-register instruments. 

The range of both channels’ individually voiced midrange controls is impressive, hitting all the crucial sweet spots that enable a guitar to maintain a bold presence in even the densest mixes. The treble has brilliance that emphasizes pick attack and allows each individual string to ring out with impressive clarity.

RedSeven Leviathan

(Image credit: RedSeven Amplification)

Even at the most extreme gain settings, the tone never sounds compressed, dark or flabby, and – most impressive of all – white noise and hum is completely non-existent. This is the studio-quality high-gain performance that guitarists have always dreamed of, with rich, complex layers that previously required multiple amp setups to achieve.

Channel 1 is more of an overdrive channel than the usual “clean” channel. While it can certainly produce pristine clean tones with useful headroom, it quickly goes into overdrive territory and even further with the Hot switch engaged. This channel is ideal for modern blues (think Gary Moore) and classic hard rock/metal tones, albeit with a very distinct character.

Channel 2 is brutal from the get-go, with richly saturated high-gain distortion that becomes more robust and complex when the gain is increased.

This channel works equally well with standard six-string and extended-range guitars (drop tuning, baritone, seven- and eight-string, etc.) with extraordinary clarity. Channel 2’s tone stack provides an impressive range of tones that sound good no matter where the tone controls are set, without the sludge, mush, woof or shrillness of many modern high-gain EQ controls.

Specs

  • PRICE: $2,889
  • TYPE: 120-watt high-gain tube head
  • CHANNELS: 2
  • CONTROLS: Individual master volume and Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume per channel, channel switch; Presence, Depth, Line Out Level; Bright switch, Hot switch (channel 1), Bright switch (channel 2)
  • TUBES: 4x KT88, ECC83WA for preamp, tone stacks and phase inverter
  • FEATURES: Buffered instrument-level effects loop, MIDI In and Thru jacks, a footswitch jack for the included L120F controller (with channel, master volume and Hot on/off switches)
  • CONTACT: RedSeven Amplification