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Music Man RD-112 One Hundred
Overall Rating
Submitted: October 20th, 2001
by V Pitman
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Sound Quality
I generally play 24 3/4" scale guitars with a humbucker, two single-coil setup. I have a quilted maple neck-through body PRS copy and a flamed-maple bolt-on. They both sound warm and ballsy through this amp. The bolt-on is really light and has a very bright sound. It sounds neutered through some amps, but it really comes alive with this one. I use a pair of rack-mount effects units (a Roland and an ART) for the really hard and tripped-out sounds, but this amp is great for clean and raunchy moderate overdrive sounds. It really cranks out the classic Fender 'spank' tone, when the gain is down and the Master's up. You can crank the amp all the way up, and it just begins to break up when you put the master on 10. It also develops a nice growly/raunchy overdrive, similar to early ZZ Top, early Boogie amps. When I need some serious gain, and I don't want to drag the whole rackmount setup along, I run through an Ibanez Tube Screamer. It sounds absolutely stunning with this amp! All the grind and harmonics you could ask for, coupled with the amp's gain, a more laid-back, high-gain overdrive, when you switch to the amp's clean channel, kick the pedal off, and you've still got a spankin' clean channel and a soft overdrive for rhythm. This amp was re-tubed fairly recently with Sovtek EL34s. For a basically standard amp from this era, it sounds damn good. What would you expect from Leo Fender, when he started a new company?
Reliability/Durability
The cabinet is not very beefy, by today's standards. If you've looked in an old Fender or Gibson amp, you've got the idea. The cabinet is 5/8-3/4", but the cross pieces in back are about 3/8" thick, just like old Fenders. It's an open-back cab, and the bracing looks solid, but it's typical of the era. The reverb was out when I got it. It has a pan that stretches most of the cabinet's width, but I dunno what it sounds like... I use my rack stuff for those sounds, anyway, but it would be nice to have, when I just want to do the guitar, amp, and OD pedal thing. Other than that, no problem. It had some scratchy pots, when I got it, but I cleaned them, and they're very smooth, now. I know several people that have or had Music Man amps, and they always raved about the reliability.
Price/Value
General Comments
I've been playing about 17 years. I've had several large amps, and I've played for a number of years with gigging bands. I also spent some time recording in small and mid-size commercial studios. I have a moderate project studio, now, and I let most of my big stuff go a while back. I didn't have a burning need for another amp, I was just keeping my eye out for something interesting. It's a fairly small amp (22.5 Wx8 Dx17 H), but it weighs a lot! 58 lbs., and half that's probably the speaker and reverb. I looked at a lot of small to mid-sized tube amps, especially older Fenders. I was willing to pay at least twice as much as I did, but I just wasn't finding anything that really did it for me, including some really clean Marshall and Boogie amps. Neither of those brands had a great clean channel. I can get all the distortion, overdrive, megadrive, piledrive, etc. I need from the rack units I have. I got a great clean channel and a nice brown tone. I've heard a dozen great OD pedals, but not one that can fix a crappy clean channel. I've played hybrid amps before, and one of my rack units has tubes in it. This is the first I've played that had tubes in the output instead of preamp stage, and it makes a huge difference in the feel of the amp.
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