NAD - Friedman Small Box 50

Actually got this a few weeks ago and haven't spent a whole lot of time playing on it yet, but what little I have been able to play has really impressed me.  Will definitely try to do a full review once I've taken it through its more extensive paces.   Early impressions are that it is a fabulous 2-channel amplifier:  articulate high gain (albeit with a slightly more vintage-y flavor than the BE100's more modern sound), Marshall-inspired tones while still retaining clarity and note bloom.  Still tight but has more sag than say a Splawn Quickrod.  The cleaner Plexi channel is gorgeous sounding and has that "3D" like richness.  Obviously, extremely well-built with top quality components.

This was my birthday present to myself so I decided to drop a little bit of coin on it.  As some of you know, I have used Budda Superdrive amps primarily and have the SD45, SD30, and SD18 in my amp farm arsenal.  The SD45 in particular has been my favored weapon of choice.  My only complaint with the Buddas is that the master volume goes from whisper to screaming roar at 1.  No such issue with the Friedman at all:  sounds really good at room volume and of course sounds even better as you add volume (although I have not fully opened her up yet). 

I've also not A/Bed the Friedman against my SD45.  Against the Baron Custom, obviously the Friedman is more Marshall whereas the Baron favors those Soldano tones.  The Friedman SB50 does seem to be picky with cabs and speakers though.  Driving my Budda 2x12 cab, it can be overly articulate and sharp-sounding (especially when slamming the front end with a boost or OD pedal)...but then again, those Eminence Budda Phat speakers were designed to slice through the mix. Never got ice-picky but you can hear every little nuanced "click" of your pick.  Driving the Lamar Custom pine 2x12 cab it sounds rounder, losing some of that sharpness without sacrificing any articulation or detail...just warmer than the Budda cab.  The Lamar is loaded with an Eminence Lynch Super V12 and an Eminence Private Jack (their take on Greenbacks).  I have a few other 2x12 cabs that I haven't played the Friedman through yet but will in due time (especially looking forward to trying it on my Ear Candy Buzzbomb 2x12).  Just thought I'd share.  Thanks!


  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,099
    Wow!  I never played one, but they're supposed to be mighty fine amps, and the Baron doesn't look too shabby either!  Congrats, and happy birthday! :+1:  :+1: 
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,303
    Congrats. I only have Friedman clones, but if they sound anywhere near the real thing (and I'm certain they do) your new amp is a killer.
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 8,396
    Congrats. Your Baron Custom looks exactly like mine only I have the white chicken knobs. Mine is a K88 though.
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,248
    Cool score! Congratulations.
    One of those would be a dream come true to own, really. I bet you will have a lot of fun with it :)

    Got to put a Runt through it's paces just a week ago - first time I played a Friedman, really killer. Certainly got that Marshall-y grind. As the sales man in the store I tried it told me: "they sound more like a great Marshall than Marshall does!".
  • EugenicScumEugenicScum Posts: 5,174
    Congrats! Thread needs video clips though.
    Check out my band: Bevar Sea
  • gqn_angelgqn_angel Posts: 1,298
    Can I post vids directly to this forum (without posting on youtube first the literal crap that I managed to capture with my phone of my unpracticed, crappy playing #tooashamed)?

  • yngwie666yngwie666 Posts: 6,466
    Congrats ! You can upload your clip on youtube and set the video to "unlisted" instead of "public", this way only people who have been given the link can see it.
  • gqn_angelgqn_angel Posts: 1,298
    Thanks Patrice!

    Okay, here goes.  First, the disclaimers:

    1.  This isn't a true "lab controlled" A/B test.  It's just me trying to catch the flavors between what I perceive to be my top 2 amps via my Samsung Galaxy phone raw.  Most "scientific" I get is the guitar used and the signal path and cab used.  Chubtone "Pimp Hand Purple" JEL guitar=>MajikBox DA Rocket Fuel OD=>amp (Friedman SB50 in first clip/Budda SDII 45 in 2nd clip)=>Lamar 2x12 cabinet (loaded with Eminence Red Coat speakers:  Super V12 & Private Jack) with a Mad Professor Reverb and MXR Carbon Copy Delay both in the loop.

    2.  My playing sucks.  Cliffs of Dover is a tune that I need to play regularly in order for it to sound better than it does here.  I hadn't picked up a guitar in over 2 weeks.  I was not trying to cop EJ's tone, and I'm not even sure why I chose to play this tune...maybe because there are literally so many damn notes all over the damn neck that would show how the amps sound between all 22 frets.  Yes, I know my G string was out of pitch in the Budda clip (and yes, there is an inadvertent animal photo bomb), but I started and so literally thought, "fuck it."

    In any case, I have my flame suit on.  Srikanth, my belated birthday gift to you is me being a clown playing a geetar to provide how the Friedman sounds.

    But...if it turns someone here on to either the Friedman SB50 or the Budda SDII 45 (still my #1 I think despite the Friedman costing almost 2x as much as what I paid for the Budda which is a pre-Peavey model), then it was worth embarrassing myself.

    #1 Friedman

    #2 Budda
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,248
    No sweat buddy! Can't seem to get the clips working though :( 
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