Gear talk for the GAS-afflicted.

Krank Amplification Kicks the Bucket?

This statement (without much substantiation at the moment, I’ll admit) has been floating around the net:

On March 22nd, Krank Amplification closed its doors. Ownership decided to not fulfill existing contracts and basically exit the amp business.
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Kinetico Quality Water Systems
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Could this truly be the death knell for Krank? Are they really closing down? Signs point to yes – their Facebook page seems to have disappeared, though their website is still up and running. Founder Tony Krank already has a new project called Stiff Amps (yeah okay, at least Krank sounded pretty mean).

Krank has had a very troubled history in the public eye – when they first came on the scene, they began endorsing everyone and anyone they could pay to be in an ad with their amps. Their first coup, of course, was the late, great Dimebag Darrell and his first tube amp, the Krankenstein:

dime_krankenstein_ad

 

 

However, it soon turned sour, as it came to light that Krank employees had been posting dozens of falsified, glowing 10/10 reviews on Harmony Central (remember, back when Harmony Central was actually a useful resource?). Public sentiment in the eyes of the internet quickly turned on them, and Krank faded into the background and has since struggled to gain any further traction.

It didn’t help when one of their last quasi-high profile endorsees, Michael Amott left for Randall, and they issued this statement claiming that they “never paid a single artist to use their amps”, and they were just that good. Right.

We here at Krank just wanted to clear up a few things that we’ve been hearing about and seeing on other forums. There has been some talk about Michael Amott from Arch Enemy leaving Krank for Randall Amps. We wish Mike the best and are sure the new Arch Enemy music will kick ass. However what really needs to be addressed is all the talk of why Michael left and the situation surrounding it.

In December we fired our artist relations person Jody Dankberg, who was then and still is a minority owner in Krank Amplification LLC, for unethical business practices amongst other issues that were detrimental to the company. Jody has apparently since been hired by Randall Amps as a artist relations rep there as he is now listed on their website as such, and judging from postings we’ve seen on various internet forums that seem to be from a Randall representative, they are apparently trying to gather as many Krank artists as they can now that Jody is a Randall employee. Michael Amott has a relationship with Jody that started with Krank, and as we can only assume at this point right along side with the rest of you that his relationship coupled with the thought of a signature model, as well as financial benefit, came into play. We’ve never heard his direct reasons other than he “decided to move on”, but now there’s the Michael Amott signature Randall Ninja V2 head and truthfully Michael is a great guy and good for him if that’s what he wants now. Whether it will sound as good remains to be seen and is purely a subjective thing. However we’re aware of other Krank artists being contacted by Randall as well as nasty rumors being spread to not only artists but dealers as well about Krank apparently being in some sort financial trouble, which a blatant lie. These rumors appear to be originating from Chicago as we’ve heard from industry sources, coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, the home of US Music, both Randall and Washburn Guitars’ parent company. All we can say is that things are very well in Krankland as the company is doing great and we have some great new products arriving this year. Normally we wouldn’t even address such rubbish but too often in this business vicious rumors left unchecked become problematic and we feel that our name is being drug through the mud a bit here.

Just to clarify Krank has never in the existence of the company paid for an artist to play our gear (including Michael Amott), and a very, very small percentage of our artists have ever received free gear from us. Every endorsee we’ve earned by simply making a cool amp with great tone that they want to play, and obviously we must be doing something right as we have some of the best in the biz playing our amps and playing them based solely on the fact they like the gear. Not to mention we are approached on a daily basis by artists, both big and small, simply because they feel that we make a great product. We’ve been told by many of the top industry professionals we deal with that they’ve never seen an amp company become so successful so quickly and we’re poised to grow a lot more in the near future. At the end of the day you either have killer tone or you don’t and that’s all that really matters, and that’s where Krank Amplification is happy to let things stand and be decided.

Krank Amps

 

Personally, I’ve never played a Krank. However, with the reputation, both from a tonal and business ethics point of view, I was never in any rush to. Looks like no one else was either, and maybe that’ll be the last we’ll hear of them. Who knows? Time will tell. That was your cool story for today, bros.

Comments

  1. Jon says:

    I played a Krank once A/B’d with a Mesa Triple Rec and the Krank (revolution?) sounded way better to my ears. Sounds like there is a bit of marketing bullshit going on though. Wouldn’t he surprised if they went out of business they’ve hardly been in favour with guitarists for a while now. Also the whole giving away gear to artists just to get them on your website is a shitty business practice that happens all to often!

    1. thesamurai says:

      Hey Jon! Interesting! Cool that you have actual first hand experience, it seems to be something that most people lack when discussing Krank gear. Yeah, their business practices sound like they weren’t really first class, to say the least. And they definitely went hard with the endorsement whoring when they first came out – I remember seeing pretty much everyone in the metal scene suddenly “playing” Kranks when they first came out.

      I always really wanted to try a Krankenstein, just out sheer curiosity and Dimebag Darrell fanboyism.

  2. Jon commented on Six-String Samurai:

    I played a Krank once A/B’d with a Mesa Triple Rec and the Krank (revolution?) sounded way better to my ears. Sounds like there is a bit of marketing bullshit going on though. Wouldn’t he surprised if they went out of business they’ve hardly been in favour with guitarists for a while now. Also the whole giving away gear to artists just to get them on your website is a shitty business practice that happens all to often!

  3. Hey Jon! Interesting! Cool that you have actual first hand experience, it seems to be something that most people lack when discussing Krank gear. Yeah, their business practices sound like they weren’t really first class, to say the least. And they definitely went hard with the endorsement whoring when they first came out – I remember seeing pretty much everyone in the metal scene suddenly “playing” Kranks when they first came out.

    I always really wanted to try a Krankenstein, just out sheer curiosity and Dimebag Darrell fanboyism.

  4. hamo says:

    Guess they weren’t as good as Dean at milking a Dime’s legacy.

    1. thesamurai says:

      Haha yeah, well at least Dime had a genuine legacy with Dean, whereas he played solid state amps all his life, and we were supposed to buy that he suddenly had a revelation moving to all-tube Kranks that no one had ever heard before…? I think he may have used them on the one Damageplan album, but we can’t even be sure of that.

      1. godgrinder says:

        Dimebag still used Randall on that Damageplan album. He supposed to use Krank on the 2nd Damageplan album but he got killed before getting around doing it.

  5. hamo commented on Six-String Samurai:

    Guess they weren’t as good as Dean at milking a Dime’s legacy.

  6. Haha yeah, well at least Dime had a genuine legacy with Dean, whereas he played solid state amps all his life, and we were supposed to buy that he suddenly had a revelation moving to all-tube Kranks that no one had ever heard before…? I think he may have used them on the one Damageplan album, but we can’t even be sure of that.


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