Randall EOD88 Tube Amp Head Review – Heavy Metal in a Red Box!

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sometimes, you look at an amp and wonder what style of playing it’s going to suit most. This is not one of those times. The Randall EOD88 is a tube amp head inspired by none other than Ozzy Osbourne. The amp’s initials stand for ‘Element of Doom’ – if that’s not enough, there’s a skull on the front panel. Make no mistake, this amp is all about heavy metal! It’s old school, it’s unapologetic, and it costs a little under $1000. So, let’s see if that’s money well spent…

Features

The EOD88 is eye-catching to say the least. As we mentioned, it features a skull motif on the front panel, almost engulfing the Randall logo, while it comes in a limited-edition bright red casing. Subtle this ain’t!

In a nutshell, it’s a single-channel tube amp head, with 88 watts of power coming from two KT88 tubes. There’s a built-in switchable fuzz circuit that absolutely embodies the spirit of heavy metal. The fuzz circuit can be switched using the footswitch, which is included for the price.

Three switchable gain modes are available, each one a little angrier than the last and can also be controlled via the footswitch. Overall, the EOD88 weighs around 35lbs, which isn’t too heavy, although it’s a considerable weight for a small amp head.

Controls

This is a no-nonsense amp. Everything is laid out in a simple configuration. First you have your fuzz and gain controls on the front panel, working in conjunction with the footswitch. Then you have a simple EQ section with bass, middle, and treble knobs, leading to the depth and presence controls. These two allow you to make your tone a bit more spacious where needed.

Finally, there’s the master volume knob – the biggest on the panel encouraging you to really crank it up!

Performance

If you are looking for an amp with a nice clean tone then keep walking – there’s nothing for you to see here. The three stages of gain on the EOD88 are basically dirty, dirtier and filthy. Add the fuzz circuit to that and all hell breaks loose. But we wouldn’t expect anything less from an amp called ‘Element of Doom’.

One hundred percent – if this amp was around in the early Black Sabbath days, you’d have seen it on stage with them!

Of course, you can get a cleaner sound if you dial the gain down and crank up the master. In fairness, this clean tone is actually lovely, but it’s just not what this amp is about. The same goes for the depth and presence controls, which allow you to finesse your tone a little. Again, this amp really isn’t about finesse.

Finally, being able to control the fuzz and gain switches by foot provides much more fluidity in your playing. It’s a nice touch to have the footswitch included, but when paying such a high price you can feel entitled to it.

Conclusion

As you can probably tell, this amp isn’t for everyone – but if it is for you, then it REALLY is for you. It’s modern in design, but loyal to the roots of heavy metal and does it in a way that feels genuine, not a gimmick. The EOD88 is an expensive bit of gear, so it’s aimed at serious metalheads.

Although you can use it at home if you choose to, this is far from a shy little practice amp. This is the kind of amp you buy when you do want to upset the neighbors – even those five blocks over!

For more info about the Blackstar FLY 3, click here.
For more guitar amplifiers under $1000, click here.


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