When boutique amp designer Mike Fortin was hired by Randall it resulted in a huge uptick of interest for the company. I don’t want to knock Randall’s older designs because they were fine for the price, but there was never a Randall that really blew me away.
Yet the new amps that Fortin has designed, the Satan and 667, are really making waves. Personally I was impressed when I heard them at NAMM back in January (the 667 seems more well-rounded, while the Satan is voiced specifically for metal: very hi-fi), and both seem to be based on known and revered quantities: the Fortin Amplification Natas and Meathead. Notice how the Satan even shares the Natas’ “Girth” and “Grind” knobs?
This isn’t the first time that Randall has snatched up a talented engineer and co-opted his boutique designs for mass production: they did the same thing with Bruce Egnator and his modular preamps and amplifiers when Randall intruduced the MTS series (discontinued in 2012, although you can still find some models for sale).
Being aware that Mike Fortin designed these amps is a big deal, because here’s the thing: I can’t really judge the quality of an amp just from a NAMM demo. It’s not a great listening environment, and you can’t crank an amp there. But with the foreknowledge that the 667 and Satan are variations on already existing killer amplifiers, I’m pretty eager to check them out when they’re released.
The next best thing to hearing them in person is a demo by Ola Englund. The Satan is his signature amplifier, and he’s already demonstrated the tones of that particular head. But now he’s giving the 667 a test drive for your benefit. What do you think?
The 667 is a best of an amplifier: 6 channels (in pairs of two that share EQ), midi control, two series/parallel effects loops, multiple master volumes. It’s Randall’s flagship, kitchen sink model. Here’s what Ola had to say about it:
Unlike the Satan it doesn’t have the Girth or Grind knob, but it’s definitely still a versatile/killer amp. Definitely made it to my top 3 best sounding amplifiers ever. Using my Washburn Parallaxe Guitars Solar 170 prototype. The song is “Your God” from the latest Feared album Vinter.