Friedman The Runt – Boutique Marshall tones at a cut down price?
A Brown Eye on a budget?
Friedman Amplification have announced their new series of ‘budget’ boutique Marshall-esque amps. The Runt series is designed by Dave Friedman and based upon his very popular BE100 amp head series. The series was recently officially leaked over at Rig Talk and has got a lot of players very excited.
Famous for amps and their interesting names like the Brown Eye, Pink Taco, Dirty Shirley and Hairy Brown Eye to name a few choice ones, Dave Friedman also makes signature amp models for the likes of Steve Stevens, Jerry Cantrell and Bill Kelliher.
Brown Eye tones
Dave Friedman’s Brown Eye amp heads have been one of the most popular Marshall Plexi-style boutique amp heads in many years. The only problem for many was that they were very expensive. Hand-built boutique amps just aren’t cheap to produce, so the company has come up with The Runt to remedy this issue.
By using a custom PCB they have managed to recreate the tone of the hand wired ranges, but keep the costs right down. So you retain the sound quality and reduce the cost considerably.
One for all
The Runt Series are available in 50-Watt and 20-Watt heads and also combos. So Friedman are aiming at a wide market with this product range. Each amp is based on the Friedman BE100 and are all dual channel and have that fantastically transparent FX loop that the amps are famous for (I myself own a Friedman Pink Taco and have to say the effects loop is one of the best around). Each amp is still built by hand in the USA, just the range uses a PCB and not point-to-point wiring, pushing down labour costs considerably.
The great thing about Friedman amps from my own experience is their fantastic Master Volume circuit and that great effects loop. Oh, and the really phenomenal Plexi tones that they produce. I really rate my Pink Taco as a great little 20-Watt Plexi clone and so I’m really hoping that The Runt series has the same character as my amp does.
It looks like they all have a balanced XLR emulated output as well, which would make for a really flexible amp for players that gig and record.
The new series is due late summer so expect to see them sometime in September/October. There are no audio or video demos at the moment, so we will all have to wait till they get to stores to hear them.
The Runt 20 head is USD $1299
The Runt 50 head is USD $1799
The Runt 20w combo USD $1499 and 50w combos USD $1999
Friedman Amplification: site
- The Runt 50 watt front panel: http://www.rig-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=179152
- The Runt 50 watt rear panel with emulated speaker out.: http://www.rig-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=179152
- The Runt Combo: http://www.rig-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=179152
I bought the runt 20 about a year ago.I dig this amp! Great effects loop, creamy Marshall Plexi tone.I unplugged my 72 Marhall 50 head.Hooked up to my 1960 av cab,this amp is rocking !I hooked up a Wampler euphoria pedal,and damn,I love it.I highly recommend it to be checked out.I think you will like what you hear. Oh by the way,I’m playing with a gibson L.P. standard. I haven’t tried it with a fender,prs,etc.
Yeah, I hear nothing but good stuff about these amps. I own a Pink Taco myself and love it, but if The Runt had been available when I was looking for a Plexi-style low wattage amp, I would probably have jumped on it instead. Just at the time they only did the PT20.
I bought the 50 watt Runt. I had wanted a DS mini originally. But when this 50 watt Runt became available used at the same prices as the used DS I had liked, I plugged in and checked it out. I was immediately struck at how clean and bright the clean channel could be with plenty of punch and jump. The high gain channel was all that, but I’m still not really big into higher gain, just like it for soloing blues and jazz. They’re really great amps, whichever you get. You feel like you brought something well home made and have pride of ownership.