The Ruby Riot is Framus’s flagship combo. This German made all-valve 2 x 12 owes a significant debt to that paragon of British amp design, the Vox AC30. And it may look and feel like a Voxy lady, but her lead channel adds a modern sonic dimension.
The combination of a quartet of EL84 tubes in a Class A configuration with Celestion speakers, a tremolo circuit and chicken head knobs paints a very ‘vintage British’ picture. While these are more than superficial similarities, Framus is actually offering a contemporary update of the AC30 vibe, aiming to add players who may not have otherwise considered this type of amp.
The Ruby Riot II combines Vox and Matchless DC-30 (the benchmark in terms of boutique takes on the AC30) characteristics while offering the versatility – or firepower – of more modern 30-watt 2×12 combos such as Blackstar’s Artisan 30 or Orange’s AD30TC.
It does this via two channels – Clean, with Bass, Middle, Treble and Volume; and a Lead channel with Gain, the same three-band EQ and a Master Volume control. The channels are footswitchable, but due to a sole instrument input, not ‘jumpable’ as they are on some other amps.
Controls are completed by a dial for the spring reverb, which is switched in and out of the circuit with a small button next to it; an Effect Mix control for the amp’s parallel loop; and Tremolo Depth and Speed controls, with no on/off button. Both effects can be controlled via a footswitch, but this isn’t included in the sale.
The mix-and-match speakers – a Celestion Vintage 30 and a G-25 Greenback – are a nod to the venerated Matchless DC-30, the first combo to mix Celestions. The principal advantage of course is that this gives you two subtly different voices for live or studio miking.
- 30 watts Class A all tube combo
- Valves: 1x GZ 34, 5x ECC 83 by JJ, 1x ECC 81 by JJ, 4x EL 84
- 1 x 12 Celestion Vintage 30 speaker (60W, 16 ohms, 100dB, frequency range 70-5000Hz, resonant frequency 75Hz)
- 1 x 12 Celestion G12M Greenback 25 speaker (25W, 16 ohms, 98dB, frequency range 75-5000Hz, resonant frequency 75Hz)
- Speakers parallel connected
- 4/8 ohms switch
- Clean channel with Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble controls
- Lead channel with Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble and Master controls
- Integrated Accutronics spring reverb
- Parallel FX loop
- Ruby Red Tolex
- Weight: 30 kg
- Dimensions (W/H/D): 76 x 54 x 28 cm
- Made in Germany
The Ruby Riot’s Clean channel is suitably sparkly with the quintessential clean chime of a Vox AC30, but is thicker, more middy, and less brittle than the ‘classic’ Vox tone of lore.
The EQ on both channels is useable throughout the range of each control, particularly in terms of bass, offering tonal versatility that’s augmented by the presence of a parallel valve-driven effects loop. There’s plenty of clean headroom as you’d expect. Break-up on this 30-watt combo is impractical if you’re playing anything less than medium to large-sized venues.
Which is where the master-volume Lead channel comes in ….. the Lead channel is the Ruby Riot’s calling card, and when you audition it, it’ll most likely be the factor that swings it for you.
This Ruby Riot is clothed in stunning Ruby coloured tolex – much more impressive than its black counterpart. It has been used and there are a few marks here and there, but nothing substantial. No holes or tears, and it is as structurally sound as the day it was built. In the grille or tolex.
The Ruby Riot is an ideal gigging amp. Eye-catching, sturdily constructed and tonally versatile. If your repertoire spans a range of blues, blues-rock or classic rock and even some modern rock styles, the mix of classic AC30 chime and crunch, with the smooth, dynamic response of the Lead channel makes it well worth an audition.