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My initial experience with the RP was of shock, amazement and distress as I understood that the 6 year pedal quest was all sought for nothing: quite simply, this amp needed no pedals. Now that three weeks have passed, I can reflect with a sober mind and share my thoughts.
The RP was my first amp built this side of 2000, and my first 'boutique' amp. My experience with amps other than a reissue ampeg and a reissue bassman were all pre-1975. I started out with a '72 fender twin silverface 27 years back, stopped playing music and returned with an interest in gear these last 6 years. While my current sound of choice was indeed more Marshall (superbass/lead, artiste, etc), my favourite sounds sat somewhere between a marshall and a fender (hence mixing alnico and ceramic cabs; and favouring different artiste amps, the Marshall fender twin). I finally settled on a kelly sound master, built by an ex-selmer employee, based on the treble and bass amps. It has one sound that, depending on the channel, is either open or bold. It handles pedals well and will always be my amp of choice. I play custom made 50s/60s stratocasters, each with a unique voice. My guitar interest is mainly Hendrix and SRV, supported by the american and UK blues players.
So why buy a Redplate?
The features on modern amps interested me (the kelly amp doesn't even have a standby switch) and the potential for a different sound for a multiple amp setup pushed me to inquire about D-type amps. After looking at ceriatone, I read posts on the forum about Redplate, mainly from @Wazmeister. I had the good fortune to inquire about his RP at the right moment when he had decided a lighter combo was more suitable. He made the purchase a delightful one and I'm grateful for all his help and more.
Simply put: everything he said is true.
My vintage snobbery, my disdain for 1x12 when only a 4x12 will do, was all put to the test and crushed and humiliated by the RP. I quickly sold on a couple of amps to help cover the cost without a shred of regret. That's it; I've found it. I don't need anything else. No more forum for me or scouring gumtree. The usual new gear ecstasy.
However, after three weeks of playing the Redplate, I understood its place in my setup. The RP is different than the kelly, although it sounds just as great. All the pedals that work so well on the Kelly are unnecessary on the RP: Cali76 compressor, Ryra Klone, Hamstead Odyssey, Chase Tone boost, EQ, TS9, Spring reverb. It does what I was trying to make the Kelly do with the help of pedals; and as much as I tried, the Kelly has its own voice and is not a Fender type amp. I have a limited experience of Fender amps, especially vintage tweed and blackface, to offer a reliable impression of the Redplate's interpretation of vintage tones. Rather, I can testify to the strength of every setting, whichever sound option is selected. Please allow me to explain the amp's tones/sounds to give an idea of its potential.
The RP's tone/sound options:
Tone options, an effect and power settings to begin with:
1. A rear switch selects between single coil, humbucker, and fat (selects bass gain amount in the clean input stage).
2. A front switch selects between normal, bright 1 (new strings twang) and bright 2 (normal bright)
3. A rear pot turns on and adjust the amount of Reverb
4. The blackface channel has a 6 selector pot passing through progressively fatter positions of the midtone frequency
5. A rear switch to select between 50 watts fixed bias or 40 watt cathode bias. The cathode bias permits using 6V6 to run at 18 watts
Channel options (bear in mind that this does not include the myriad of tones produced by moving the volume for a clearer or punchier or gainier sound and the tone controls which produce more spit, added bass, scooped mids):
Brownface (reduced girth)
Tweed (brownface + Mid)
Blackface + Mid
Blackface + Drive
Blackface + Mid + Drive
Brownface + Drive
Tweed + Drive
Brownface + Boost (full tone stack control lift)
Brownface + Drive + Boost (full tone stack control lift)
Tweed + Boost (full tone stack control lift)
Tweed + Drive + Boost (full tone stack control lift)
Blackface + Boost (partial tone stack control lift)
Blackface + Mid + Boost (partial tone stack control lift)
Blackface + Mid + Drive + Boost (partial tone stack control lift)
That's 15 channel options where I am hard pushed to decide which is my favourite. I have followed a tradional route and chosen the clean Blackface as my foundation, and matched the other channel's volume accordingly. It's important to note that there is no 'pop' or click in the amp when changing channels. I still haven't decided whether to match the brownface's or tweed's volume to the blackface. I currently play at bedroom volume level so the girth difference between the brownface and tweed may show its advantage at higher volume; it currently sounds like a weaker tweed. The tweed is technically a brownface + Mid (hence no tweed + Mid option).
15 options all controllable via the simple and convenient foot pedal.