It was 20 years ago that Kendrick introduced
the model 2410, which was essentially a
clone of the classic Fender tweed Bassman.
At the time, the 2410 was also the first handwired
all-tube combo to hit the scene in many
years—a feature that quickly earned it the
“boutique” label that’s so widely applied to
small-production tube amps now. To celebrate
this 20th anniversary, Kendrick
recently released the Bad Ass Man combo,
which follows the 2410 format in some
aspects, but has been significantly updated
to reflect what the Texas-based company
has done over the decades to evolve the classic
The Bad Ass Man mirrors the original
2410 with its four 10" speakers, however,
the new amp’s Blackframe 10s have NOS
cones that were originally made for Jensen
by a Chicago company (no longer in business)
called Donal Kapi. The cabinet is
made from solid pine that’s 175 years old,
and the lacquered “nico tweed” covering
is beautifully applied. The complement of
controls (two Volumes and a set of Bass,
Middle, Treble, and Presence knobs) is right
out of the Bassman/2410 playbook, as is
the pair of 6L6 power tubes with a 5AR4
tube providing the DC rectification.
From here, the Bad Ass Man goes its
own way, first by having a spring reverb,
and then by virtue of its three input jacks,
which allow you to plug into the Clean or
Lead channels, or both channels combined.
Our review amp was also equipped with
Kendrick’s optional power attenuator
($250), which, by manipulating two
switches, can trim the output from a manly
45 watts to more merciful 15 watts to a
miniscule three watts. A beefed-up power
supply (filter caps and power transformer)
is added to improve the dynamic response
and bottom-end focus. Reliability is also
enhanced by having diodes in series with
the rectifier tube, so that you can keep playing
even if the rectifier tube fails.
If this added flexibility over the 2410
template isn’t enough, then shift your focus
back to the three input jacks we mentioned
earlier and revel in the way they can accommodate
players who want sparkling clean
sounds, those who mainly need heavy overdrive,
and guitarists who want to be able to
blend the Clean and Lead channels to get
just the right balance of definition and grind.
And with its spacious sounding reverb, the
Bad Ass Man can layer a coating of juiciness
on anything you dial it up for. From super
vibrant clean tones to tough, grinding
rhythm textures, to high-gain tones that
sound like an early Marshall that’s being hit
with a booster pedal. I tended to favor the
blend jack, which makes it so easy to get
the perfect clean/mean ratio with singlecoils
or humbuckers. This ballsy sounding
amp is seriously loud too—a good reason
to spring for the attenuator, which makes
it possible to crank the output stage to a full
boil without killing your ears or the room.
The Bad Ass Man is the baddest sounding
4x10 combo that Kendrick has ever
made. If you’re a fan of tweed-era tones
delivered by two 6L6s and a quartet of 10s,
you’ll definitely want to hear this amp.
CONTACT Kendrick Amplifiers, (512) 932-
MODEL BAD ASS MAN
PRICE $3,495 direct; $3,745 as tested
CONTROLS Clean Volume, Lead Volume,
Treble, Bass, Middle, Reverb,
TUBES 45 watts
POWER Four JJ 12AX7s, one JJ 12AT7, two
JJ 6L6GC power tubes, JJ GZ34S
SPEAKER Four Kendrick Blackframe 10s
w/NOS Donal Kapi cones
EXTRAS Three inputs: Clean, Lead, Both.
Quick-Bias feature w/meter test
points and panel-mounted miniature
20-turn bias pot.
WEIGHT 52 lbs
KUDOS Ballsy sounding to the max.
Excellent reverb. Well made.
Attenuator is very useful.
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