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Krank Amps: EVERYTHING You Should Know (Review, Pros & Cons)

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Amps are one of the most important accessories you will ever purchase as an electric guitar player. Regardless of how amazing your guitar sounds on its own, you will still need the help of an amp to hear the amazing and powerful tone your guitar is producing. 

The amplifier is what makes an electric guitar sound like an “electric guitar.” What your amp does is that it takes your clean guitar signal and turns it into the trebly, compressed, and saturated guitar sound that we have all come to associate with electric guitars.

Apart from amplifying your performances and recordings, guitar amps also help you build proper electric guitar technique and tone. By hearing yourself through the amp, you can easily spot playing nuances and tonal intricacies that you normally wouldn’t have spotted without an amp. 

It is on that note that we decide to talk about one of the most talked about and significant guitar amps in the genre and sub-genres of modern rock music. Although it started as far back as 1996 in Tempe, Arizona by Tony Krank, Krank Amplification had its first investor partner in 2003. 

Founded by two brothers Tony and Kent Krank, this company has been famous and highly significant in the modern rock scene. Almost everybody talks about Krank Amps—some love it and some hate it with passion. 

However, when it comes to how each individual perceives and sees a musical gear like the guitar amp (especially in the aspect of tone), it can get quite subjective. That being said, it is only normal that not everybody will love it. 

However, one thing is certain about Krank Amps, they are popular and widely talked about and that explains why you are reading this post right now. That being said, in this article, we will tell you everything you should know about the famous Krank Amps. 

History of Krank Amps

Krank Amps was the brainchild of brothers Kent and Tony Krank. Back in the 1980s, Tony Krank worked as a guitar tech in the music industry for popular brands such as Slayer and Metallica

At the time it was his job to manage the instrument inventory and also carry out technical repairs on guitars, amps, pedals and various guitar-related equipment the musicians used. 

He always had a passion for electric instruments and during his time as a guitar tech, he gained hands-on experience in working with the kind of equipment professional musicians used and also got an insider’s scoop on the kind of sound that they preferred. 

During this time, rock and metal were evolving as genres. On one end, there was the evolution of musical styles while on the other end, there was growth and development happening in the hardware, instrument construction and component design. 

This gave Tony a unique knowledge base and after more than two decades in the industry, in 2003, he decided to pair up with his brother Kent and start his own music equipment business by the name of Krank Amplification. 

The focus of the business was to create a kind of amplifier that would be ideal for rock and metal applications. Starting in the early 2000s, the metal and rock genres started gravitating towards a more aggressive sound with thicker distortion and higher gain. 

There weren’t many amps, if any, that could meet these sonic requirements accurately. In 2004, Krank Amps released the Krankenstein amp which quickly became a hit in the rock and metal fraternity. 

These amps were exactly what guitarists were looking for and it was not long before musicians and listeners alike were flocking to get their own Frankenstein amp. 

Krank Amps and High Gain – What Makes Them So Special?

If you look at online reviews of Krank amps, or even talk to people in the industry, you will find that opinions are quite divided. On one hand are people who are die-hard fans and on the other hand are people who wouldn’t get a Krank Amp even if it was offered to them for free. 

The reality is that sound and music are very objective things. As the saying goes ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ The same can be said for Krank Amps. 

However, there are a few features of this amp that set it apart from the competition. This includes the components used in these amps and how they are physically built as electrical devices. 

Whether you like the sound or not, you cannot deny that Krank amps are actually built differently from the ground up to create the kind of sound they are known for. 

High Gain 

If you are looking for an amp that will push out thick and heavy sound at the highest levels of gain, then you can’t go wrong with a Krank amp. 

These amps are specifically designed and built to be able to produce immense levels of gain which is ideal for highly saturated levels of distortion. This is perfect for heavy metal and for rock music where you need a guitar sound that can easily cut through the mix.

Speaker Design 

Some of the amps from Krank amps are able to put out more than 100 watts of power per speaker. That power combined with the high levels of gains can easily burn through any regular speaker. 

This is why you will find Krank amps fitted with speakers from Texas Heat, Eminence and other high-quality speaker manufacturers. You will also notice that most of their speakers use Kevlar for their cone material. 

Kevlar is well-known for its strength and durability and helps a great deal in providing the kind of resonance needed to not only handle high power loads but also deliver good sound quality at higher levels. 

Modulated Power

Krank amps also use specialized electronics to provide modulated power delivery. Through this technology, you get a more consistent sound output at all levels. 

This is particularly helpful when you are using an amp that is designed for very high output as you won’t get clipping or distortion even when you turn it all the way up. 

Customization Options

Krank Amps also caters to custom client requirements. If you want a particular feature of an amp modified or changed to better suit your playing needs and musical requirements, Krank Amps can take care of that for you. 

You can choose everything from the size and style of the cabinet to the kinds of effect loops and even preamp and amp power configurations. This gives players a level of versatility that would otherwise only be available through a custom-made amp. 


Krank Amp uses a variety of very high-end tubes for the production of its amps. Typically, you will find Sovtek Tubes or Electro-Harmonix tubes in their amps. 

Today, most amps are solid state so you can easily hear a distinct difference between a Krank amp, with its warm tubes as compared to a modern amp with a rather flat and slightly harsher sound. 

Moreover, the manual compression and distortion in the tube amps is something that works incredibly well with both classic and modern music genres.


There are two things to note when it comes to the power of Krank Amps. The first is the switchable speaker impedance. You can adjust the amp speakers to output at 16 ohms, 8 ohms, or 4 ohms. 

This gives you a lot of flexibility in amplification and also makes these amps versatile enough to work with nearly any kind of hardware. 

The other thing to note is the brute power output of these amps. With standard models comfortably pushing 50-60 watts of output and larger, more powerful models going up to as much as 120 watts of power. 

Again, for high-power applications, there are few amps that come close to Krank products. 


With all amps, you get a clean channel and a drive channel. Krank amps take this a step further by giving you 3 gain stages on the drive channel as well as an envelope circuit that helps to drive more power to the tubes at lower volume levels. 

When playing with distortion, this helps to give you that thick, grunty low end that adds a nice flavour to the sound. 

Krank Amp Models/Product Line

When looking at the diversity in the model lineup, Krank Amps certainly doesn’t offer a portfolio as big or diverse as larger amplifier manufacturers. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find something to suit your needs. 

Krank offers a few different models and each of them is designed to offer a unique experience. Whether you need something for fast-paced and loud music or something a bit more mellow and better suited to a classical playing style, Krank has you covered. Here is an overview of the different Krank Amp products you can look into. 



This is one of the earliest amps produced by Krank Amps and arguably the most popular of all their products. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it was designed in collaboration with Dimebag Darrell

This amp is the hallmark of Krank amp technology providing plenty of aggressive high-end gain with powerful low-end sound as well. 

It features two channels, various boost options and a built-in noise gate. These are rather large amplifiers and work great for a studio recording situation or as live performance gear. 



This is another popular offering from Krank Amps but it has a smaller, more niche audience. The Chadwick series is designed to produce that classic warm sound associated with rock, hard rock and blues from the 1950s to the 1970s era. 

In line with that kind of music, the gain output on this guitar is significantly lower as compared to the Krankenstein but it works great for that classic style of music. This is a great choice for the enthusiast and professional musician alike. 



The Revolution amps are designed to be somewhat of a multipurpose amp. You can also consider them to be a hybrid between the Chadwick and the Krankenstein but a few added tricks up their sleeve. 

The Revolution has high-gain capabilities but is also fitted with a larger number of channels, and multiple EQ options and is available with various power options. 

This makes them great for a huge variety of music. If a musician has the budget to get just one amp and they want to be able to cover a diverse range of music, this is the amp to get. 

Krank Rev Jr

Krank Rev Jr

This is a smaller variant of the Revolution model designed to be more portable. It is just the amp head without the cabinet but it still delivers a great amount of sound and it has most of the features of its older brother. 

Similarly, you can also get the Krankenstein Jr which is a miniature version of the regular Krankenstein. The entire Junior line-up is aimed at travelling musicians or people who don’t have enough room/budget for a full-size model. You get plenty of sound for a fraction of the size and price. 

Krank Rev 1

Krank Rev 1

The Krank Rev 1 was one of the earliest offerings by Krank amp. This amp was also aimed at heavy metal and hard rock fans with plenty of distortion and a heavy low end but without the enormity and massive sound output of the Krankenstein. 

Plus Models 

Nearly all of Krank’s most popular amps are also available in ‘Plus’ models such as the Krankenstein Plus and the Revolution Plus. You could say that these are the second-gen of the initial models and feature a few improvements and refinements that make them a bit more capable than the originals. 

Some people are of the opinion that the Plus models have a completely different sound as compared to the original models while some feel that the sound is more refined thanks to the added controls that allow you to tweak the sound to your requirements. 

Review of Krank Amps

If there was one amp that suited all players in all situations that would be the only amp that sells. However, that is not the case since every player is different, each playing style is different and we need a big variety of amps to meet everyone’s needs. 

Krank amps are by no means the answer to all amp-related problems. For some people, they are worth gold while for others they are a no-go option. If you are on the fence about getting a Krank amp here are a few things you should know about them. 


  1. High Gain – If you are a hardcore metal fan and all you want is distortion blaring through your amp, then Krank amps will be a great option to consider. This is a catch-21 though as many people will write off a Krank amp since all it’s good for is the distortion. Some players are of the opinion that even the less distortion-oriented models such as the Chadwick are still too distortion heavy to be part of a regular musician’s arsenal. 
  2. Low-End Response – The low-end response is something that many amps struggle with especially when you are playing at higher volumes with high levels of gains. Luckily, this is something that Krank Amps are able to push through quite easily. This is in part thanks to the tubular design and also in part to the high-power components used in the construction. If you want clarity and precision at the low end, Kranks amps will be a good choice 
  3. Unique Models – Over the years, Krank has had the opportunity to work with a number of prominent guitarists and create unique amp models that are geared towards that particular guitarist’s needs. For people who follow those guitarists or want to replicate that particular style of sound, getting a Krank amp will be the best option. The Krankenstein for instance was developed in collaboration with Dimebag Darrel so if you are looking for that specific type of sound, just get yourself a Krankenstein amp. 
  4. Tubular Design – Today, it’s rather difficult to find a guitar amp that uses tubes rather than solid-state electronics as the latter have become the norm. If you have ever heard a tubular amp or played through one, you will understand that there is a major difference in sound quality. If you enjoy that warmer, fuller sound, then a tubular amp like the Krank products will be an excellent choice. 


  1. Price – Krank amps are great but they aren’t exactly value for money. Even if you look at the Junior models, they are quite expensive in their category. If you are looking for a full-sized model complete with a cabinet, you are going to be paying well over $1000 for it. For musicians on a budget, Krank Amps may not be the best place to look. However, you may be able to pick a slightly used Krank amp on the secondhand market for a good price. 
  2. Availability – Kranks amps are becoming harder to come by both online and in physical stores. Finding one used is quite a tough job let alone finding one that is brand new. Whenever they come on sale through online retailers, they tend to go out of stock very quickly and the same happens with brick-and-mortar stores. Depending on where you are and how well-stocked local music stores are in your area it could be anywhere from difficult to near impossible to get a Krank amp. 
  3. Versatility – If you are looking for a do-it-all kind of amp then Krank amps will not be right for you. Again, this does depend on your personal preferences and what you need from the amp. Generally, Krank amps are more inclined and better suited to those that want a distortion-heavy sound. Even the clean channels on Krank amps are not quite as clean as other modern amps you may have tried. In any case, it is recommended that you try it out or at least watch some videos of the same model before forming your purchase decision. 

Where are Krank Amps Made?

Krank amps were originally made in Tempe (Arizona) but later the headquarters and the production facility moved to Chandler (Arizona). 

Famous Players Who Use Krank Amps

Krank Amps have been very popular in the metal space. Here are a few prominent musicians that used Krank amps. 

What Happened to Krank Amps – Is Krank Amps Still in Business?

Krank Amps had a rough time staying afloat. From the get-go, the business was on shaky ground. 

Tony was excellent at the technical side of the business but the partners that joined and the investors that joined after that had very little experience in business let alone the music gear production business. 

The company was founded in 2003 but had to close its doors in 2013 due to poor management. Later, Tony was able to get the brand name back and he restarted production. However, again it was tough to keep things going. 

There was a slightly better period for the business during 2015 and 2017 but after that, things started going downhill again. Once again, in 2020, the business closed its doors to customers. 

Currently, Krank Amps is still not in business which is why it is getting quite hard to get new products and those on the secondhand market are also selling for above-average prices. 

What Should You Look For in An Amp?

Buying a good amp is a decision that could cost you a few hundred, or even a few thousand dollars. However, regardless of how much money you spend, you certainly want to put it to the best use possible. Here are a few things you want to pay attention to when investing in an amp. 

Technology – Today most amps are solid-state amps but you can also get tubular amps as well as digital modeling amps. The kind of technology that the amp uses has an impact on the sound, the performance and the technical requirements of the amp. 

If you don’t know which one will be right for you, it can be a good idea to check out your guitar specifications to see what it performs best with and also the requirements of any other gear that you will be using. 

Talking to a guitar tech at a local store, or asking online will also yield valuable information. 

Power and Wattage – Bigger is not always better when it comes to guitar amps. For instance, if you are looking for a portable amp that will be easy to power then you might want something with a lower wattage output but the option to power it with batteries. 

For larger rooms, like large halls or performance arenas, you want something with more power that can give a higher dB output. 

Also, if you are looking for a clean signal no matter what kind of music you play, you want your amp to always be running at less than 100% of its maximum capacity. 

So getting something slightly larger than your needs will be great for quality sound output but you don’t need to get something significantly larger than what you need. 

Sound Quality – This is a personal, subjective choice and it will take trying out a few amps to see what resonates best with your style and taste. Even if you are a metal fan and want a distortion-heavy amp, different amps deliver distortion differently. 

Ideally, you want to visit a local store to actually hear the equipment live, and preferably take your guitar along so you get the most realistic representation of sound possible. Once you are happy with the quality of the sound you can narrow down what you want to buy. 

Build Quality – Build quality is especially important if you are going to be using a very large amp or you need something that is going to be moved around a lot. 

Generally, if you stick to a good brand name, you don’t have to worry about build quality as you will get a well-made reliable product. When going off off-name brands it can be hard to tell how well-built the amp really is. 

Remember, it’s not just the outer looks that matter, the internal components also need to be built well to withstand heavy use and to stand the test of time. 

Features – One of the main things you want to keep an eye on in terms of features is connectivity. There is no point in getting a great amp if it can’t be connected to your guitar or the rest of your gear. 

Make sure it has the right kinds of ports on it. Secondly, you want to check for features like reverb and modulation settings, the right amount of channels, the right kinds of channels, effects loops, and other variables. 

Having the right features in-built into the amp will reduce the need for additional gear and will make life that much easier. 

Price – Prices for amps can vary significantly and just because you are spending more doesn’t always mean you are getting a better amp. 

Buying a branded amp will cost more in most cases but it’s more important to get the right mix of features, the right sound, the right style and the right overall package. 

Choosing based solely on price can be quite misleading as amps at lower price points may have the wattage you want but will lack the features you need. 

After-Sales Services – Whether you use your gear extensively or not, whether you take good care of it or not, it’s always nice to have solid after-sales services. Again, getting a branded product will ensure you are covered in this regard. 

Also, you want to buy from a reputable retailer whether that is in-person or online so you know you will get great service later down the line as well. 

Taste – Look at what you personally enjoy in your gear. After all, this is something that you are going to be using for yourself and will likely have in your possession for years to come. 

Give yourself some room to choose something that you really like and it’s in line with the things you want in an amp. 

How Do Krank Amps Measure Up?

Overall, Krank amps have great build quality and they are really good at what they do. Also, you can get them in a lot of different configurations so it is possible to find something that suits your needs. 

If you enjoy the sound from these amps and the price is right for you then have no second thoughts about getting a Krank amp. 

Krank Amps Serial Numbers

Serial numbers are a bit tricky with Krank amps. For most amps, you will need to look on the underside of the amp or the inner side of the chassis to find any serial numbers. Usually, there is a sticker on there for the date or it is stamped onto the equipment. 

On speaker cabinets, there are no serial numbers altogether. On amps, you will find the initial date of the build, a timestamp of the testing and burn-in process and a final QC test date. 

The serial number itself is not a good way to tell when the amp was manufactured since it is not in chronological order. Your best bet is to look at the dates individually to see when your amp was made. 


Krank amps have been extremely popular in the past and still enjoy a cult-like following. However, this doesn’t make them the best amps for every kind of player out there. They certainly have their advantages but they are not without their limitations. 

If you are looking for an amp that is great with high gain, offers a ton of flexibility in terms of configurations and connectivity and also delivers some premium quality. If these are the things you need then a Krank amp may be a good investment. 

In any case, it is always a good idea to listen to an amp before you buy it. Also, practice extra caution when buying secondhand goods. You want to make sure it is in good working condition.