Sunday, April 22, 2018

Review: Randall RX15M Practice Guitar Amplifier


There is no shortage of modern practice amplifiers on the market for around $100, and pretty much all of them sound good and have a ton of features for the price. Randall has entered this market with what they call the RX15MBC, or the RX15M, as it says on the front of the amp. I had the chance to examine and try one out at this year’s Winter NAMM show, and it will pretty much get the job done. You know, this is the first time I have ever reviewed any Randall product on my blog…

The RX15M is a nice-looking piece of equipment, with black Tolex covering and macho black-chrome steel grille. It is super-portable, measuring around 13x13x8 inches, and weighing in at around 14 pounds; there is a beefy handle on top for toting it around. I have no idea what the cabinet is made of, but at this price I would assume MDF (and if it was solid wood Randall surely would include that in their literature).

Looking at the controls on the front, there is nothing for this segment except for it being equipped with dual channels. The clean channel gets a level control and the overdrive channel gets a gain control, a level control, and a boost switch. The two channels are switched by a button on the front (but no footswitch). The rest of the control include a 3-band EQ and a master volume control. There is not much to report other than a ¼-inch headphone jack and the illuminated power switch.

The back side of the RX15M is fairly barren, with the exception of Tape/CD RCA input jacks. Really – Tape and CD? “1985 called and they want to know why this amp has such an anachronistic label.” Jesus.

Performance-wise, this Randall puts out 15 watts into a 6.5-inch 8-Ohm“Jaguar-voiced” speaker. This combo does not get super loud, nor should it, and it is pretty much limited to bedroom use. That being said, it does sound really good, with a warm clean channel and an especially crunchy distortion channel. This is a metalhead teenaged kid’s dream, and it would be awesome for jamming out to Metallica while watching your brother play Call of Duty.

Randall describes the RX15M as “delightful,” which might be a tad ambitious. It is nice and seems well-built, and it sounds great which are all pluses in my book. Downsides are that there is no footswitch (or even a jack for one), RCA jacks are ridiculous choice for an auxiliary input, and there is no onboard signal processing. There is a lot of competition in the market at this price range, so if you are in the market you will need to compare features and decide if it is worth the $99.99 street price to pick one up. Maybe they will be on sale for Christmas like everything else at Guitar Center.


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