There’s something to be said about just getting real f’ing loud—and
sounding real f’ing good while doing it. These amps and cabs are single-
handedly responsible for hundreds of police calls across the country. They
fly in the face of the boutique crowd’s ever-shrinking war of wattages
and proclaim, “I’m here, and I rock.” For amplifying our guitars to the
moon, we bestow the Premier Gear Loud as Hell Award.
LOUD AS HELL
Industrial Amps Rock 120
Industrial Amps’ products live up to their
name, with no-nonsense, heavy-duty casing.
The amp really impressed, however, with gain
to spare and an expressive, authentic tone.
The Rock 120’s 120 watts poured out a sufficiently saturated tone without getting muddy,
and really shined through a Strat, drawing
comparisons to a Fender Deluxe through
its Classic channel and to a Mark II/Soldano
hybrid through its Heavy channel.
A cabinet winning an award?
Hell yeah. A beastly cab, the
Afterburner 4x12 weighs 116
pounds and is loaded with
Celestion V30s. Attention to detail
and thoughtful innovations like the
ported, virtually voidless plywood
baffle were impressive, but it was
what came out of the cab that
reviewer Brett Petrusek described
as, “huge bottom-end, clear and
articulate mids and highs and a
Don’t let the Reason’s 50 watts fool you into thinking it doesn’t
deserve this award. We gave a double take upon first listen,
thinking it had to be a 100-watter. Wrong. The SM50 delivered
a variety of tones, thanks to it’s three-way Normal/Stack/Bright
switch that takes a Strat from JTM45 territory to near-plexi
sounds to a modified JCM800. Simply put, this is a good-old-fashioned rock n’ roll amp that delivers both vintage and volume
in equal parts.
“While the price may be equivalent to other
boutique amp models out there, the Rock 120
definitely gives you a lot more, in terms of sound
and power.” – February ‘08
“If you like vintage tones, and would like to use
them as a jumping off point to make some too-
loud rock n’ roll, give the SM50 an audition.”
– October ‘08
The Carvin X-100B is a special recipient of the Loud as Hell award, because it allows you to
go from an ear-splitting 100 watts down to 50 or 25 if your ears need to take a sonic break.
The overdrive channel was the highlight, giving pure, musical overtones and fat distortion.
Of course, the requisite gain was there; said reviewer Kenny Rardin [November ‘08], “[The
Gain toggle] switch will produce any amount of over-the-top sustain and gain anyone would
ever need.” Top it off with sexy white tolex, and we’re hooked.