NAD: Friedman Smallbox - Pretty impressive!

napalmdeath

Well-known member
So, the Plexi channel really isn't my thing, (great for cleanish/a little break-up).. It really needs some volume, very much like an SLP..

But, holy shit-balls, the BE Channel is spot on for my tastes. Its everything I wanted the Runt to be, and then some. Gain-wise, it's maybe a touch more than the Runt, but you hear that extra $1000 more, for sure. WAY more dynamic, WAY more beef, and lead tones are just plain sick. I run an Exotic EP into my MXR M-77 into the front end, and with the Fishman Fluence Moderns in my Schecter, it's pretty sick. Harmonics galore, sustains for days. I had to sort through a bad preamp tube when I got it, but fixed that and biased in a pair of JJ 6CA7's, I was lost for hours. So inspiring, raw, and beautiful tones. I just kept smiling, and telling myself, "goddamn that sounds good". Next thing I know, 4 hours went by.

I wish Dave would make a single channel head with that gain channel. It's perfection.
 
Last edited:

DanTravis62

Well-known member
I'm more of a songwriter/rhythm player, so my personal tastes kind of lie elsewhere

But holy crap does Dave get that m-style lead sound right - the small box and BE just have a gorgeous sound for lead guitar. Ballsy, compressed but not overcompressed, and I imagine those 6CA7s don't hurt either 🤔

I don't know what type of boosts you prefer @napalmdeath , but in my experience with the smallbox, i had great results with the suhr Koko boost, higher end klones, and especially the mxr/cae line driver boost.

You can get good results with TS style circuits too, but imo stuff like your EP boost is the best sort of thing to put in front of it.
 

marshallmel

Well-known member
I’m using a Suhr Shiba Drive Reloaded with mine and it’s soooo damn good. Roland SDE1000 in the loop too. Can’t wait for out outdoor schedule to kick off in a couple weeks.
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I'm more of a songwriter/rhythm player, so my personal tastes kind of lie elsewhere

But holy crap does Dave get that m-style lead sound right - the small box and BE just have a gorgeous sound for lead guitar. Ballsy, compressed but not overcompressed, and I imagine those 6CA7s don't hurt either 🤔

I don't know what type of boosts you prefer @napalmdeath , but in my experience with the smallbox, i had great results with the suhr Koko boost, higher end klones, and especially the mxr/cae line driver boost.

You can get good results with TS style circuits too, but imo stuff like your EP boost is the best sort of thing to put in front of it.

I tend to prefer a little grit with a somewhat smoother circuit. I don't hear as much smooth in the BE Channel of this, that I did with the Runt 50. Oddly enough, many have said that the Runt has the more raw tone of the bunch, but I found it quite smooth and polished. Sure, it COULD get aggressive with the right boost/boosts, but I had to run an MXR 10-Band in the loop and raise the lows/low mids quite a bit to get any substantial thump. And that's through a ported UK-Greenback loaded 4x12! I could get the tones I wanted, but felt like it was labor intensive! In fact, I used 2 EQ's.

We all hear differently, and this Smallbox BE channel is considerably more raw sounding, and punches pretty hard. It needs a boost too, but, no EQ in the loop necessary, which I love! As stated above, I'm running an EP booster into an MXR Custom Badass OD. It's a great combo, (and the EP is barely past 1). It adds a nice fat chunk, and compliments the hair of the MXR. I'm in 80's thrash territory pretty easily, and quite beautifully, I might add. And, because it's so dynamic, rolling back the volume, you're in nice dirty blues territory on the neck pickups. These Fluence Moderns have really grown on me.

Now I'm gassing for another LP.. Sykes tones are in there, Gary Moore tones are in there. One could get ALOT of milage out of that single channel. And from what I've read, its a more "vintage" voiced BE channel, and different than that of the BE heads themselves.
 
Last edited:

Meanjoegreene

New member
Anyone tried the Buxom boost ? I’m thinking about adding one to hit the X amp a little harder. Friedman amps feel so awesome so I’m trying to find a boost or OD that keeps that right where it is.
 

Meanjoegreene

New member
It’s hard to describe but every Friedman amp I’ve played or owned has that great combo of grease and bounce. Tough to find a pedal that boosts and keeps the dynamics.

I agree...if someone has a guitar that cleans up well they would never have to leave the BE channel.
 

DanTravis62

Well-known member
And from what I've read, its a more "vintage" voiced BE channel, and different than that of the BE heads themselves.
Yes, thats true. it IS in the same sort of ballpark, though.

The BE heads get a little bit more gain and compression, certainly, but I think the small box gets most of the REALLY good lead tones of the BE.

The things that the BE does, and the smallbox doesnt, are (as mentioned) not really in my wheelhouse, and not really something I use in recordings, either.
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I would love a smallbox, not sure I can justify it but it does sound fkn awesome, congrats!
The BE Channel is worth the price of admission, (on the used market). I'm not sure I'd spring for a new one, (atleast in my case, as the Plexi channel isn't necessary for my needs). Wish the gain channel on the Runt 50 was this good. The SB absolutely smokes it. No contest.
 
Glad to hear this thing rips! I wanna get back into a Friedman, had the JJ Jr and didn't mesh with it. Sold it off before I had more time to fuss with it. Might have to try this! I like that you stated the differences between the Runt and the Small Box. I would have for sure thought about snagging a Runt too haha. Congrats on the amp!
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
The Friedman BE channel is freakin awesome. I would love to get a chance to check out the BE50 Dlx.
I know it just kills on this Smallbox. I can't stop gushing about how awesome it is. Needs a boost to get where I want it, but it's glorious. I boost everything anyway.

I dime the gain on it, and unlike most amps, it just fills out and punches more, vs getting fizzy or farty.
 

Will Onyx

Member
I know it just kills on this Smallbox. I can't stop gushing about how awesome it is. Needs a boost to get where I want it, but it's glorious. I boost everything anyway.

I dime the gain on it, and unlike most amps, it just fills out and punches more, vs getting fizzy or farty.
Absolutely!!! I only have the little jj jr, but it loves the boost. Doesn’t matter if it is the be or jbe channel, it just smokes.
 

Beandust

Member
Congrats, one I wish I had kept or owned when the Buxxom boost became available. Love the smaller headshell vs the BE100. Always dug the BE100 thicker sound. After hitting it with buxxom always wondered if the SB was THE one. All that hiss gets you to red5153 gain with the Buxxom. Just not diode clipped beyond noisegate levels or over compressed
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I think the Smallbox, JJ100 and the JEL are some of Friedmans great creations. Congrats...

I can honestly say, those who have
Congrats, one I wish I had kept or owned when the Buxxom boost became available. Love the smaller headshell vs the BE100. Always dug the BE100 thicker sound. After hitting it with buxxom always wondered if the SB was THE one. All that hiss gets you to red5153 gain with the Buxxom. Just not diode clipped beyond noisegate levels or over compressed
The Buxom can get quite noisy. It's a great clean boost, but it still keeps a smooth amp smooth. I liked it with more aggressive amps.

I've since experimented with my VFE Dragon. Once you dial in the compression level just right, its fantastic with the Smallbox. The Dragon 🐉 can be finnicky with some settings.
 

bubucci

Active member
not a bad amp at all for primary not metal amp. I liked classic TS9 boost best, it fits the amp more than Buxom. It has lot of bass so boost is a must. Sound good alone but in band it isn’t most cutting amp. Enjoy honeymoon 😀
 
Top