Friedman unleashes two 20-watt tube amps and they sound spectacular

We already know Dave Friedman's modded take on Marshall tones results in some incredible rock toneage so bringing it to more people with the latest Pink Taco Mk II and Little Sister 20-watt tube amps is great news. 

Just listen to Pete Thorn's demo of the Pink Taco 20-watt head – "no pedal required" indeed! 

Both USA-made models offer head and and combo options. So what's the difference between these amps.

The Pink Taco is the sibling to Friedman's first production amp – the BE-100. A British-flavoured vintage take on high-gain, the Pink Taco takes that concept forward in a compact and light format. 

Friedman Amplification

(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

The MkII is the latest version of that single-channel rock machine with a single gain and added switches to flexibility. This aims to redefine what an EL84-powered amp can deliver. 

Dave designed the Pink Taco Mk II to sound like a 100 watt EL-34 guitar amp, with signature tight bottom end, using custom transformers and 'the clearest possible signal path.' This is also an amp that should clean up well with your guitar's volume control. 

Friedman Amplification

(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

It's available as an all-tube head or 1x12 combo and features a pair of x EL84 power tubes, a trio of 12AX7 preamp tubes, master volume and gain controls plus a three-band EQ. 

An S-Switch alters the gain structure between clean, mid-gain and high-gain settings with a Saturation Switch and Fat Switch further bolstering the versatility. From the Pete Thorn video above it's clearly great for harmonically rich Eddie Van Halen tones. The Saturation circuit allows for more of an aggressive metal tone.

Friedman Amplification

(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

An 'ultra-transparent series FX loop' welcomes your time-based effects pedals to the party and there's 4, 8 and 16 ohm jacks

The combo option features Celestion 16 Ohm 12” G12M-65 Creamback speaker (Combo) with the weight for that coming in at 45lbs and 22lbs for the head.

Little Sister

Friedman Amplification

(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

Another 20-watt all-tube head, the Little Sister is the, um, little sister of Friedman's 40-watt Twin Sister. It's all about vintage classic rock tones, with less of the high-gain action of the Taco. 

Like the Pink Taco Mk II it's an EL84 powered, single-channel head or 1x12” combo based on it’s 40-watt predecessor with an S-Switch for the gain structure and this time a B Switch to switch between Bright and Tight modes that will take you into harder rock territory.

The USA-built cab features tongue and groove Baltic Birch construction, and the combo houses a 16 ohm, 12” Celestion Creamback G12M-65 speaker. 

Mr Thorn has helpfully demoed this one too, and proves again why he's one of the very best demo players in the business, pointing out how the Little Sister is pretty much a replacement for the previous mini Dirty Shirley with the added Bright switch of the two-channel Twin Sister.

Friedman Little Sister Head $1,499.99
Friedman Little Sister Combo $1,799.99

Friedman Pink Taco V2 Head $1,499.99
Friedman Pink Taco V2 Combo $1,799.99

More info at Friedman Amplification

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.