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A Plexi tribute act that takes the tone to another level.
The SmallBox 50W guitar head features two footswitchable channels with separate gain and volume controls. The amp has a shared EQ and FX loop. The first channel is voiced like the classic Plexi amps of British fame. It cleans up very nicely with the guitar volume, going from clean-ish to crunch to that famous Plexi-like growl. The second channel has that famous Friedman higher-gain distortion and crunch that we all love. This is a lot of amp in a 50-watt package.
The SmallBox takes pedals very well and loves boosts, overdrives, phasers, flangers, tremolos, wahs, etc. It also has ultra transparent series FX loop that takes time-based FX pedals and rack units equally well.
Handwired in the USA.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Friedman Small Box 50W 2-Channel Tube Guitar Amp Head:
This amp isn't cheap, but think of all the money you waste buying and selling amps looking for the perfect tone. For me, it stops here.
I used pedals into lean boutique amps for years, and got what I thought was killer tone. That was until I tried the Small Box. It made everything else sound dull and lifeless by comparison.
Besides stellar tone, this amp just FEELS right. It is by far the most dynamic amp I've ever used. You can go from dirty to clean just by picking softer--without even touching the guitar volume knob! But of course that works too. So even though it's two channels, it's like getting four, because you really can get two completely different tones on each channel just by adjusting the way you play.
As I said, this amp is expensive, but it does what other cheaper amps can't. It feels like an extension of you. It makes a Strat sound like a Strat, an LP like an LP, etc. Other amps and pedals I've used get overly compressed in high gain settings. They sound good on their own, but get lost in the mix. The Small Box feels ALIVE.
Both channels kick major butt. Channel 1 can be absolutely pristine, or total AC/DC crunch. Run the gain halfway and have a great crunchy rhythm tone, and back off your volume for clean. Channel 2 is a fire breather. I don't really need as much gain as it has, but it's nice knowing it's there, and it's certainly fun to play. Chords JUMP out of this channel.
The best part is Friedman service. I originally ordered a combo. It was DOA--no sound at all. I called Dave Friedman who was very pleasant. He thought it might be the preamp tubes so he immediately FedExed a whole new set. It turns out the amp was fine, but the speaker had a short. He even offered to replace it too. In the end I swapped it out for a head instead, but his service was amazing. Lifetime warranty too.
Not all boutique amps are worth the money. Believe me, I've owned too many. This one is an exception. BTW I love the Pink Taco too, but wanted two channels. Same with the Dirty Shirley. Brown Eye is obviously amazing but a little too steep for my budget. Bottom line, you really can't go wrong with a Friedman IMO.