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Yeah, we know: valves rule. But a solid-state Randall amp was good enough for Dimebag Darrell, and now it’s good enough for Kirk Hammett’s signature series, with the tube-free, wallet-friendly KH75 promising us all the blood and thunder of Death Magnetic.
The only sticking point is that Kirk doesn’t actually play one himself, preferring to luxuriate with the all-tube RM100KH stack. Hmm.
At £373, you can’t expect the finery of Kirk’s head (no plug-in preamp modules here). Instead, we’ve got a loud, tough and straightforward combo that’s a little dull until you fire it up. Clean has never been Randall’s strong suit, and while it’s decent, this channel is where you’ll miss the valves most; it just doesn’t respond like the others.
All is good when you switch to the dark side, though, with dual gain stages giving you: a) the thrashy crunch of Kirk’s rhythm parts; and b) the brittle menace of his lead, bringing authenticity to your versions of Metallica’s riffs.