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Randall Guitar Amplifiers

Randall Amplifiers manufactures a large line of tube and solid state amplifier heads, combo amplifiers, speaker cabinets, effects and preamp pedals, and footswitches. The company was founded in 1970 by a long-time employee and executive of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

What are the different types of guitar amplifiers?

All basic amplification systems, including those from Randall, consist of a tube or solid-state preamp, power amp, and speakers. The signal from the guitar first enters the preamp where controls manipulate the sound characteristics of the signal. It then moves to a tube or solid-state power amp where it gains energy before it is converted to sound through the speakers. Electric guitarists will also complement their amplification systems with an array of pedals that further manipulate their guitar’s sound prior to entering the power amp stage. The chain is typically run through the effects input and output connectors located on the front or back of the amplifier.

  • Combo amp: This type of amplification system contains the preamp, power amp, and speakers in a single unit. Combo amps are designed to be portable and come in various sizes. Most contain multiple channels that enable multiple sound settings.
  • Amplifier head: Many high-powered tube and solid-state systems include just the preamp and power amp in one unit that connects to a separate speaker cabinet. They may also contain multiple channels and sound effects. Since a larger power amp is required to achieve the increased sound levels, it can weigh a considerable amount and might make it impractical to combine with a speaker system in one cabinet. Tube powered amplifiers are typically the heaviest.
  • Speaker cabinet: These separate units may contain a single speaker or more. Speakers for guitar cabinets have various diameters, but 10- and 12-inch sizes are most common. Bass guitar cabinets also include these sizes, but 15-inch speakers are also common.
What are smaller 'boutique' style head and speaker cabinet pairs?

These exist for guitarists who don’t necessarily want the extra tube power, but still want high-quality tube tone, multiple channels, and lighter weight with the flexibility to switch out different speaker cabinets. This ultimately leads to a wider variety of guitar tones. Most large amplifier manufacturers do cater to this market.

What amplification systems are there for clubs and concert halls?

Most medium- and large-size combo amps or head and speaker cabinet pairs will have enough power and tone clarity in these environments. During concerts, sound engineers may also place a microphone in front of the amp’s speakers and run the sound through the band’s PA system. This is more effective at balancing the guitar’s volume and tone with other instruments and vocals. This also helps keep stage volume at reasonable levels.

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