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“The best tone.. …period!” 10 (10/10)

Rhodes Amplification Colossus H-100 : iamqman’s user review

1276939_10151769306943439_193293789_oRhodes Amplification is a small amp company based out of Lafayette, IN. They haven’t been around very long but have already been making huge waves in the amp industry. They started out as amp modification for local guitars players. Building a few one off amps here and there and then finally around late sometime 2010 they introduced the first production amplifier, the Colossus H-100.

This amp is a four channel amp that has has the most versatility that one can ever experience in a modern high gain amplifier. You have the option of a multi-functioning foot switch to control all your channel switching and mode functions on the amp. It also has midi capabilities and biasing controls on the rear back panel. This is the kind of amp that many players wish they had access to back in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90,s.

Channels 4 – Clean, Crunch, Lead 1 and 2 (lead channels are voiced identically and completely independent)

EQ 3 band EQ per channel
Distortion Mode Switch Channel 2 (Crunch), Channel 3 (Lead 1), and Channel 4 (Lead 2)
Fat Mode Switch Channel 3 (Lead 1) and Channel 4 (Lead 2)
Channel 1 (Clean) Controls Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, and Level knobs; Bright and Channel Select switches
Channel 2 (Crunch) Controls Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, and Level knobs; Bright, Channel Select, and Mode switches
Channel 3 (Lead 1) Controls Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, and Level knobs; Bright, Channel Select, Mode, and Tight switches
Channel 3 (Lead 2) Controls Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, and Level knobs; Bright, Channel Select, Mode, and Tight switches
Foot Switch Custom 7 button with multi-colored indicator LEDs, RCI™ (Rhodes Custom Interface)
Remote Controllable Functions Channel select, all distortion modes, tight modes, master volume select, and loop bypass
Control Options Front Panel (all except loop bypass), RCI™ (Rhodes Custom Interface), MIDI, and external contact closure input
External Contact Closure Input 6 inputs assignable to any control function
MIDI MIDI Input and Output / Thru
MIDI Channel Omni or Selectable, only for CC control
MIDI Control PC patch learning and direct CC control of individual functions
MIDI Programming Automatic patch learning — setup for desired patch, press the Learn button, and transmit a MIDI PC to associate with that patch
Bias Test Points Measure with any DMM capable of DC millivolts, 1 mV = 1 mA of plate current, assume 460 plate volts
Bias Adjustment Pot Location On top of amp chassis, near left most power tube. Guaranteed to bias properly with EL34, 6L6, or KT66.
Output Power 100W with quartet, 50W with duet
Output Impedance Switchable between 4, 8, or 16 ohms
Cabinet Dimensions 26.25″ L x 10″ W x 10.75″ H
Weight 45 lbs
Shipping Dimensions 30.25″ L x 14″ W x 15.75″ H
Shipping Weight 52 lbs

Sounds

Let me begin with how well this thing is built! This is the kind of amp that would give a military tank a run for its money. The construction is one of the most prized accomplishments and one of the very reasons why Kyle Rhodes the builder decided to even get into the amp construction industry. Taking pride in the build process and perfecting a product for the consumer that can be taken out on the road and last the rigorous touring scheduled and abuse that music gear can sometimes suffer. The construction uses the very best in materials that is available.The first channel has some of the very best cleans tones that you will ever experience outside of a Roland JC120. The first channel clean has a BRIGHT switch to take you from a nice bolder rounder clean to a higher frequency focus brilliant clean. It can generate a tonal experience that clean players and even blues players can be excited about.The second channel is the crunch channel that is more towards classic rock tones all the way up to 80’s hair metal tones. This channel has a MODE switch that changes the gain and adds in a little bit more bass frequencies to the signal. There is also a BRIGHT switch to add some highs and sharpen the tone a little more.The third channel is called Lead 1 and is more of a rounder scooped lead tone that is great for rhythm playing as well. This is a tone that has the all of the features that the Crunch channel has, but takes it to a sonic new level. Within this channel you get a MODE, FAT, and BRIGHT switch. The MODE adds gain to the signal and the FAT beefs up the tone for brighter guitars and just beefier thicker tones. This is a channel that many amps would stop at but not the Colossus.The fourth channel is called Lead 2 and is absolutely glorious in operation, tone, and features. It is almost an identical channel to the Lead 1 but has higher mid range frequencies and sounds a little more angrier in its approach. This is a good rhythm and lead channel, and with the focused higher mids it takes on a whole new range of tonal possibilities. This amps simply just gets better and better as you go up the channels.

Overall Opinion

This is the kind of amp that will appeal to blues players all the way up to the modern drop tuning brutal players. The feel of the amp is very tight but forgiving as well. This is good for the drop tuning guys who need an amp that can stay tight and not muddy up when you drive the gain. Each channel has it’s own volume level which enables the user to dial in the volume to match the other channels. Along with that you get an absolutely transparent effects loop with separate send and return volume levels, which can be added to your signal or be turned off via the foot switch.This amp is overbuilt to the most demanding standards. You won’t find a better constructed amp on the market and the tone from every channel of this amp is simply amazing! You can purchase this amp from the website which is linked above for $3050 and if you want the foot switch you can add an extra $200.Probably the best thing of all is that this amp is totally cosmetically customizable. You can work with the builder to design your favorite color scheme of chassis and tolex covering. The great thing is that you can change or add tolex customization and chassis colors with no up charge in price. For those who want the most versatile and customizable guitar amplifier in the wold, look no further than the Rhodes Colossus H-100.
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The Colossus is a beast of an amp

Rhodes Colossus H-100

The Colossus is a great sounding 4-ch beast of an amp that can do cleans, classic rock, and full-on metal, all really well might I add, all in one amp. The number of switching options makes it super versatile, from MIDI or their custom footswitch, and it’s easy to use. Like with any boutique gear builder, you’re also getting the customer service right from the guy who designed and built the amp should you need help or further customizing. Kyle’s a really cool guy to deal with as well. And if you’ve seen the price of the Diezel VH-4, their flagship amp, the H-100 is priced accordingly as it (and their Artemis rack mount) are their flagship products.

The upcoming Rhodes Gemini 2-ch amp has even more switching options than even the Colossus, will definitely cost less.

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Though I’d share my thoughts….

Been ruining my Rhodes Colossus H-100 for the past month and though I’d share my thoughts:

Not really looking for an amp, but never totally happy with what I had. I’ve bought and sold many tube heads (list is embarrasing long, but have/had the Mesa MK x’s, Recto, Egnater, Bogner, Diezel, Engl, blah blah…) – all great amps in their own right, but none did everything great (clean, light, krunch, heavy, leads…). So one day I heard the H-100 and really liked the clips – kinda unique and unlike other amps. So I emailed Kyle at his shop and ended up talking for hours about amps, tone, BS, etc… In the end I bought one – Kyle offered a killer deal and zero risk on my part. If I didn’t like it – send it back.

So I got it a month ago and here’s the deal:

– Clean: I like hi gain, but this channel really made me spend some serious time faking my way thru all sorts of clean stuff. Just a damn good clean – not sterile, so active and really sound slike the clean people always describe. Really diggin’ this channel. To me it sounds like there is a light chorus going on! So inviting. And this is gain at 9:00 o’clock. Turn it up and get this warm overdrive – fun to strum. OK….done drooling…

– Crunch: I am not often looking for a crunch sound, but this really nails the open and dynamic sound. Can go from clean to AC DC. I like half gain, then use guitar for level of OD. THIS is what tubes sound like!!! Picking the notes out of an open chord – nice. Again, makes you venture off and play something you normally wouldn’t. Works well as an alternate clean too.

– Lead 1 and Lead 2: Similar but slightly different in the mids. One is hi-mid, the other low-mid. They both offer tones for rhythm or leads. These channels have straight up great distortion – plenty of gain and easily dynamic with guitar volume or technique. You can tighten or phatten up the signal. All the knobs work – NEED to adjust with ears not eyes!! Hell, I ran zero treble and bass and all mids – super slick. Can be nice and spongy, scooped or dripping with singing mids. Kyle got the MIDS right!!! NO piercing highs. On higher notes, the pick attack is wondereful – a new standard. I never knew what “blooming” was, but now I get it. Notes open up and sing as your technique allows. Smooth describes the lead tone you get – dial in highs to taste. Plenty of bass – I run low and add in global bottom as needed. Also, the mode switch lets you add/subtract gain. This allows even more expressive dynamic sounds without sacrificing sustain. You can ratchet the gain levels so nicely.

There are just so many tones. I use my simple MIDI foot thingy and have control over just about anything.

I play 6-strings so haven’t even got into the low stuff (which is what drew me in!!!).

I experimented with different preamp tubes and found another level of frequencies lurking. Some fun sh*t.

Not sure if it is the unique overdrive or plain gooey tubey-ness, but this amp really sounds fantastic!!! :rock:

Please contact me with any questions (just my thoughts…).

I hope to post some clips in some form soon.

Sorry for the scattered thoughts…

Thanks for listening,

Diplodomare

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