Randall V2 Archetype Brighton MA

The V2 Archetype isn’t the most flexible amp around—its clean sounds are sterile, and it’s also very noisy when you really crank up the gain and volume—butRandall knows a thing or two about metal amps, and, if that’s your sound, you’ll definitely wantto give this monster a try.

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Randall V2 Archetype

GJ7T0350.jpg The V2 Archetype is a hybrid design that couples a solid-state or tube preamp (the latter is activated in Tube Overdrive modeonly) to a MOSFET output section (with a tube driver stage) that can pump a blistering 480 watts into2Ω or 400 watts into 4Ω. The V2’s three channels are selected via front-panel switches or with theincluded 5-button footcontroller that plugs into the MIDI In jack on the rear panel. Channel switchingand activation of the effects loop and graphic EQ can also be controlled by external MIDI commands.Designed to deliver a broad range of clean to furiously overdriven tones, the V2 does so without theduplication of knobs and switches you find on some multi-channel heads. The Clean and S.S. (solidstate)Overdrive channels share a set of tone controls, and there is a volume boost function when youpull the Treble pot, which only works in S.S. mode. The Tube Overdrive channel has its own EQ controlsalong with Attack and Bright switches. Completing the knob count are global Master, Density, andPresence controls, as well as a 6-band graphic EQ that can be assigned to any of the channels.

Appearance-wise, the Archetype looks cool with its metal faceplate, blue indicator lights, and thickmetal grille. Tech geeks will appreciate the giant power transformer and the large heat sink in the centerof the chassis, which has a fan atop it to pull cooling air though the silicon transistors. Recessedhandles on the 49 lb head make it easy to carry.

The V2 is all about gain and headroom. The fun begins with the S.S. Overdrive channel, where wefind the distortion coming on strong with the Gain up about halfway. This is where you get your heavycrunch tones, which can sound positively sinister when you click on the graphic EQ with the slidersset in “V” formation with a scoop in the middle frequencies and boosted highs and lows. The chunkfactor of these tones is ridiculous, especially when you crank the Level and Master controls to one halfor higher and start feeling the sheer horsepower that lies under the V2’s hood. Drop down to D or C,and the rumble shakes your insides. Switching into Tube Overdrive mode brings the V2’s highest gainpreamp on line. Its dynamic sensitivity and great blend of tightness and tube compression allows youto dial in scathing lead tones with as much sustain as you want. The Attack switch tailors the responsefor a looser or tighter feel to best accommodate your picking style, and the Bright switch adds a cuttingedge that allows solos to slice through a mix. The V2 Archetype isn’t the most flexible amp around—its clean sounds are sterile, and it’s also very noisy when you really crank up the gain and volume—butRandall knows a thing or two about metal amps, and, if that’s your sound, you’ll definitely wantto give this monster a try. —Art Thompson

SPECS

Randall Amplification
MODEL V2 Archetype
PRICE $1,649 retai...

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