NAD RA100

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kevman13
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NAD RA100

Post by kevman13 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:42 am

Long time lurker here - I don't post much. I became a member of this outstanding forum when I acquired a Stiletto a few years back. I was underwhelmed by that amp and sold it (too bright...I cant play like Timmon's lol etc) Well I traded a plexi reissue for an RA100 as I needed flexibility (effects loop, master volume, power soak, etc). I figured I would take a chance with the RA100 that someone offered to trade and I wasn't expecting a whole lot. What I believe to have found is the answer to a 10 year long tone search. WTF??! Where has this thing been? Fender-ish cleans? Check. Marshall roar? Check. Mesa flavour? Check. I cant even put into words how happy I am. My bandmates and buddies are all Marshall nuts and even they are green with envy as to the tone I can crank out of this beauty. I know its blasphemy but it sounds deadly through a Marshall TV cab with greenbacks - and the head and cab match to boot!
Guitars: '03 R7 Goldtop, '06 R8
Amps: RA100, Marshall TV cab, '69 Fender Super Reverb

bandit2013
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Location: North Carolina

Re: NAD RA100

Post by bandit2013 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:39 pm

Sounds like you have discovered the secret tone monster too. I got mine used about a year after I bought my Mark V head. Had to get a cab and lucked out with a standard sized Egnator 412. Remvoved the speakers and threw in the old V30's I had removed from the Larger Recto cab in favor of EV. I am really impressed with the tone of the RA100 through a V30 412. It is not bad with other speakers either. To be honest, I did not like the V30 with the Mark V in the Standard 412 cabinet. However, the Mark V sounds good with the V30 in a smaller cab.

Clean channel is really good, where it shines is with a little gain, -3db power soak and strat type guitar. When I consider a clean channel I want to hear that dry acoustic tone, so far only the Mark IV or the Mark V can generate that dry tone (mark IV is better in that arena with the right speakers). I have to consider the clean channel is much more than an acoustic simulator. Actually my Carvin CS6 (Les Paul style) sounds the best in the RA100, followed closely by my Bolt (similar to Fender Strat but only better). I can spend hours just in the clean channel alone. It may be only a 2 channel amp with Hi/Lo setting on CH2 but it has its own unique tone to it that sets itself apart from other amps I have.

I had a few issues with reverb noise, actually issue was not related to the reverb at all, nor the power tubes either. I replaced the stock V3 tube (Mesa Chinese 12AT7) with a NOS RFT 12AT7 and the amp never sounded better. I did not think that would fix the issue but it was the only tube I have not changed until recently. I have experimented with other preamp tubes and found that the Mesa tubes work the best in this amp. However, other than V3 being different, the PI tube I have is Sovtek 12ax7LPS (matched), probably does not matter but figured since this amp is not simul-class (it is all Class AB) best to have PI triode matched (usually a $5.00 snake oil fee).

Enjoy the amp.

kevman13
Bottle Rocket
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:31 am

Re: NAD RA100

Post by kevman13 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:54 pm

Thanks Bandit! Here is a quick pic of the rig:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54830892@N03/13013131495/
Guitars: '03 R7 Goldtop, '06 R8
Amps: RA100, Marshall TV cab, '69 Fender Super Reverb

bandit2013
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: NAD RA100

Post by bandit2013 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:58 am

Looks great. Nice collection of LPs.

Not sure if the link below will work but here is my collection of Mesas. Scroll down for the pictures. Sorry it is on Carvin forums. I can't seem to get pictures on this site.

http://carvinbbs.com/viewtopic.php?t=40190&highlight=

kevman13
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:31 am

Re: NAD RA100

Post by kevman13 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:08 pm

Wow! Outstanding collection...curious what your favourite is? If the house was on fire and you could only grab one? Mark V?
Guitars: '03 R7 Goldtop, '06 R8
Amps: RA100, Marshall TV cab, '69 Fender Super Reverb

bandit2013
Triple Recto
Posts: 3128
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: NAD RA100

Post by bandit2013 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:24 pm

I would probably burn with the house. I have too many guitars to carry out with the amps. (they are all Carvins, reason why my pictures are there) A Favorite?, hard to say. The RA100 with the original V30's from the Mesa cab sounds awesome. The EV in the Mesa cab and the Mark V has its own awesomeness. Not to leave out the Mark IV. Fane Studio speaker, and the extension cab just adds so much depth (just two speakers and it nearly puts to shame both the MKV and RA100). Not pictured is the Carvin V3MC, that comes close to the Mark IV in sound, and kick with the extension cab in parallel. That is not a bad little amp, for $600 bucks, it was worth it.

I like all of my amps the same, also they are like my guitars, some may look similar but they sound completely different. There is no one amp that does it all and sounds good doing it. The Mark V comes close but does not get the classic tones that the RA100 can dish out. The Mark IV is quite different too, sounds nothing like the V or RA, just different. Also it is the only amp in my collection that can run an integrated quad (EL34 + 6L6GC at the same time). Can't do that with RA100 or the Mark V (original manual had some errors and said it was possible, that was changed shortly thereafter).

I like the CH2 Hi of the RA, but the clean channel with some edge dialed in, -3db power soak and single coil bolt neck guitar and WOW. I spend a few hours with the amps and a few guitars. I got lost with the Carvin Bolt (similar to Fender Strat) which has a Floyd Rose. I never really cared much for bolt neck guitars, but this one just sounds amazing and plays silky smooth. I never like Floyd Rose tremolos either, but that guitar would not be so great without it. I prefer my Kahler bridge guitars, but why do I like that bolt guitar so much is beyond me. Sometimes I can't believe it is me that is playing when I play with that guitar.

bandit2013
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: NAD RA100

Post by bandit2013 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:10 am

Some RA100 owners have used overdrive or distortion pedals and seem to like that. I will have to try it myself. I do not exactly have an overdrive pedal but may try my boss ME-70 that I have on reserve for use when the power goes out. It is okay with headphones and will work like a practice amp and batteries. I am not overly impressed with it but it serves a purpose when I take my small amp to my friends house to jam (can't use the high gain channels since it is too loud, he has young children so sound levels have to be kept very low). At home, I am running my amps at near concert level since I like to feel my music as well as hear it.

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