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Old 01-21-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
Thermon
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Talking NAD, Laney Content

I picked this up around Christmas, so I guess it isn't really 'new' but I wanted a bit of time to play with it before I posted a review. First off, I will say that I had to send the first one back that I ordered, and get another. When FedEx delivered it, the box was beaten up pretty bad, and all the lights and LED's on the amp flickered off and on. AMS was super cool about it though, and sent me another one (this time through UPS) that showed up in good condition. It seems like a pretty durable amp, other than it not liking to have a forklift stab it or being dropped on concrete by FedEx.

Anyways, I introduce to you..



The Laney Ironheart!

I have the 60 watt version myself. Just to give a quick run down of the features...

-It's Class AB
-3 Channels: Clean, Rhythm, and Lead (Clean and Rhythm have a shared EQ besides volume)
-Each channel has Push-Pull Bass, Middle, Treble EQ settings, gain, and a volume.
-Master Tone and Dynamic Settings
-Digital reverb (it's decent, nothing extraordinary but good enough.)
-4 ECC83 Preamp Tubes
-2 6L6 Output Tubes
-Wattage control, which works really nicely for turning down low enough to play at home.
-A footswitch (I'll talk more about that shortly)
-Automatic Biasing for El34 and 6L6's
-An FX loop (can't be turned off and on via footswitch or anything) that takes pedals really well.
-4ohm, 8ohm , and 16 ohm outputs for speaker cabinets.
-A built in 'Boost' pedal.

And a quick look at what the front and back look like.





I guess I'll go through it channel by channel.

LEAD:

The lead channel sounds excellent with my Mesa cab (a 2x12 vertical rectifier slant cab with V30's). It has a somewhat modern sound, but enough of a vintage vibe that it doesn't sound compressed. It has a very open, lively but still tight sound versus a lot of the compressed metal amps coming out nowadays. There is tons of gain to be had that is actually usable and sounds good all the way turned up, unlike a lot of high gain amps. It has a very Marshally midrange sound, and a good deal of treble. I kind of hate to compare it to a Mesa because it doesn't really sound like a Mesa, but has the same darker sounding flavor to it. So I guess the best way to describe this channel is if a Mesa and Marshall had a lovechild, and this popped out. It reacts very well to what guitars are being run through it, and volume and tone adjustments on the guitars.

RHYTHM:

To be honest, I don't really use this channel at all besides setting an EQ for the clean channel. I would use it, but I don't care much for how it sounds myself. It sounds really similar to the lead channel, but has less gain to it and sounds a lot thinner. It sounds like a really thin metal amp, not the mid level gain rock channel I was hoping for. Perhaps others have had better luck with this channel than I have, but I don't use it really. I just turn down my volume on my guitars while on the lead channel if I want to get what I think the channel SHOULD sound like.

EDIT: Well, I felt that way about it at low volumes. I decided after writing this originally that I would give her one more go. I completely redid my EQ and CRANNKKKEEED it up. After literally scaring the piss out of my dogs, I managed to find a setting I was happy with. It still sounds very similar to the lead channel, minus the gain and some of the harshness once I got it set up to where I was happy with it. It just requires pushing the tubes to get it to sound good.

CLEAN:

I couldn't be happier with how the clean channel sounds. It has an almost Fendery chime to it, but it doesn't have quite as much high end. The dynamics with this channel are excellent; it really picks up on your playing dynamics tremendously. It takes a second to get dialed in to where it doesn't sound really bland, but once you get it, it sounds fantastic.

BOOST:

Just to be blunt, in my opinion, it's useless. It sounds harsh and just simply bad. Not much more to say about it besides that.

FOOTSWITCH:

The footswitch included, the model is the FS4-IRT, is kinda funky. I can't say I've ever used a footswitch quite like it. Is it bad? No. Just different.



The way it works is that there are buttons to turn off/on the boost and reverb, a button to turn the lead channel off and on, and a button to switch between the clean and rhythm channel. The boost and reverb work like you would expect a normal footswitch to work. The way the three channels operate with the footswitch is where it gets a bit funky. If the LED is on for the 'Clean' channel, the clean channel is selected. If it isn't lit up, the rhythm channel is selected. If the 'Lead' channel is selected, it will override whatever is selected for the 'Clean' on the footswitch (if the 'Clean' is on and the 'Lead' is on too, the lead channel will be active. When you turn off the 'Lead', the 'Clean' will be active. This is also true if the rhythm channel is selected instead of the clean). It is easy to adjust to though, and really isn't a problem. The foot switch is really durable though, it's a nice big hunk of metal that looks like it could take quite a bit of damage and still hold up.

Overall, I'm really happy with the amp. It has it's couple of weak points, sure, but what it does well, it nails. Fortunately, it's weak points are easy for me to work around and don't bother me really. It sounds killer for high-gain metal, and has beautiful cleans.

Last edited by Thermon : 01-21-2013 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #2
UnmagicMushroom
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Couldn't you use a boost or EQ or something in front the Rhythm channel to fatten it up (or even use the push-pull EQ)?
And what do you think of the reverb and the push-pull EQ in general?
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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I haven't tried an EQ in front of it but if I get the chance, I'll try it The reverb is decent, it doesn't sound as good relative to a pedal whenever it's turned up past about 2 o'clock, but for just a nice subtle echo in the background, it is good. That's more what I prefer anyways, so that's just fine with me. The Push-Pull knobs create very subtle differences, certainly nothing that really sticks out to your ear a ton. If you want to just subtly change your tone, they'd be useful I suppose. I personally keep them pushed in though, I prefer how they sound pushed in personally but I'm sure there are those out there that would use them.

Edit: Actually, when I do have it cranked up past the 1 watt setting (highest I've had it is around 30 watts, the channels volume at about 5), I pull the 'Bass' knob on the lead channel out to make it sound a bit fuller. The rhythm channel, it just makes sound muddier or thinner, depending on the knob. It doesn't help much.

Edit #2: Alrighty, I went back and toyed with the rhythm channel some more, and I did find something I was happy with. I did end pulling the Bass knob on it too.

Last edited by Thermon : 01-21-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:10 PM   #4
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wow man, great to see such a good review for once.
HNGD!
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #5
Thermon
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Thanks I went back and toyed with the EQ on the rhythm channel a bit more, I edited my review to be more fitting with my discoveries after doing so.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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Stick it on full power and turn it up a bit and the thinness goes away, very fat sounding amps.

Great buy!
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
Thermon
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Thank ya Tom! I actually just did that right before you posted ( I edited my review) and I got it to where I like it. Now to go clean up the dog pee, they didn't like it quite as much.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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awesome amp! sucks that you had to get a new one shipped, but AMS is always cool about stuff like that and returns and such. Fedex is just careless with everything unless you buy their super-duper ultimate protection plan.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:06 PM   #9
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I ordered one of these on Friday, but won't get it until mid-feb

Really struggling to decide on a speaker combo to run with it. How is it with the V30s?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:30 PM   #10
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I really like it with the V30's! I've not played it through anything besides them, but they sound great with it in my opinion. They're tight and focused, but not compressed or muffled sounding, with just the right amount of brightness.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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Sounds good to me pal. A nice focused sound is what I'm after.

How's the dynic control?
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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Sweet!

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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very nice
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:04 PM   #14
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I didn't realise that those things had a toroidal power transformer. Very classy.

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:15 PM   #15
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Sounds good to me pal. A nice focused sound is what I'm after.

How's the dynic control?


Sorry about the late reply, I've been busy! It basically works as a second tone knob, all the guitars I own are loaded with passive humbuckers so I can't say as far as how it affects switching between guitars because they all sound similar enough I don't need to use it, but it seems like it'd be useful.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:17 PM   #16
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well your late reply. gave me the chancve to see this and say HNAD!!

been seeing alot on these. id like to get my hands on the big brother someday but I have too many high gain piles as it is :/
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #17
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Thanks They sound killer, if you ever wanna go through with getting one^
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:29 AM   #18
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Nice!

I've wanted to try one of these since release, but no places around here carry Laney
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:23 AM   #19
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It seems like a pretty epic amp! That transformer looks freaking sweet.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:34 AM   #20
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Welcome to the club man! Owned an Ironheart since last August. If you ever get the chance, try some EL34's in it. The crunch channel rips!

A note about the Pre-boost, anything past 5 is pretty much useless.
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