Krank Chadwick

As its name implies, the Chadwick ($2,199 retail/$1,499 street; cabinet $1,299 retail/$999 street) is designed to cop the tonal characteristics of vintage British tube amps, but with more gain and low-end muscle. The independent channels provide a wide spectrum of clean to highly overdriven tones, and the Chadwick has an interesting Envelope knob on its Dirty channel that controls the gain in the last stage of the preamp. Also appearing on this channel are a Drive button that increases the front-end gain, and a Shift switch that emphasizes the low and midrange frequencies.
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You can cover a lot of ground with the Chadwick’s Clean channel, which delivers good clean tones at lower settings of the Gain control and thicker and more grinding textures as the knob is nudged past the halfway mark. Classic Fender and Marshall sounds are well within this channel’s capability, and the dynamic response is such that you can loiter here for all your non-heavy stuff (blues, country, roots rock, etc.) and simply using your guitar’s volume knob to morph between rhythm and lead. Clicking over to the Dirty channel changes the Chadwick’s demeanor to that of a sizzling rock machine with gobs of distortion. I like the fatness of the tones with the Shift function active, and the Envelope control set to around two o’clock does a nice job of increasing saturation and mass without compromising the clarity of what you’re playing. Higher Envelope settings tended to make the sound somewhat murky, however, while settings below ten o’ clock thinned the tones and diminished the vibe. (Worth noting is that the Envelope knob works like a secondary gain control in the sense that no sound is heard when it is set to zero.) Punching the Drive button pours on the distortion, allowing you to use the Gain control to ratchet up the grind to whatever level you need for furious hard rock or metal soloing. The Chadwick is fun to play in both its clean and high-gain realms, but the

RevSeries 1 speaker cabinet (which is significantly larger than a Marshall 4x12) has some honky midrange characteristics that color the high-gain sounds in particular. Overall, I preferred the smoother and more open tones that this amp produced through the Heritage-equipped Marshall cabinet. Big surprise, the Chadwick also sounds best though hand-made British speakers that cost an arm and a leg!

Kudos Independent channels. Excellent range of clean to highly distorted tones

Concerns Drive (boost) function is not footswitchable. Drive switch pops when activated.

Contact Krank Amplification, (480) 967-5803;