CUB Head - 212 Cab Half-Stack Review

manufacturer: Laney date: 08/24/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Laney: CUB Head - 212 Cab Half-Stack
If you are searching for a quality British-voiced 15W tube amp at a good price, look no further. Perfect for session players, studio and rehearsal and small clubs.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 7.7
 Reliability & Durability: 5.3
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (2) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
CUB Head - 212 Cab Half-Stack Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 21, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Features: The Cub head, made in China, is a very simple one-channel British-voiced 15W all tube class A/B amp. Has vol, gain, tone, bass, mid and treble controls, and reverb. It also has two inputs, one for 15W and another for 1W. I can't knock the features because it is presented as a simple one channel amp. All the controls are sensitive and work well. The Laney cab it comes with, sold separately, has two Celestion Rocket 50 12" drivers that sound very warm, punchy and clear to my ear. Both units are encased in nice, solid birch and finished well. Very classy presentation. // 10

Sound: I love this amp that I just bought, but will still review it objectively. It does basically two things well, give you classic bluesy tube crunch, very warm and smooth, or 70s hard rock high gain. But it does them very well and you can hit the gain sweet spot at bedroom vol using the 1W input. The 15W setting is more than enough to play over a drummer if you dime the gain knob and push the vol to 5-10. Plenty for playing a small club. Others feel 15W isn't enough but in my band I don't like to have ringing in my ears after every rehearsal. This size is perfect with the two inputs because it pretty much guarantees you can get a sweet high gain at tolerable volumes. I have friends with 100W heads that act like total rock stars about it and can never really achieve the right sound without making everyone else deaf. This size is perfect. In either input the high gain is very open, not compressed. I don't see a huge difference in sound between this and a class A amp, which are supposed to be more open and loose. At first I played this through my mahogany PRS with stock pups and it sounded somewhat like Zeppelin. But the same day I put a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the guitar's bridge and wow, not I can get Iron Maiden and say Metallica's "Kill Em All", with slight tweeking on a 7-band EQ I run through the effects loop. With the EQ and a distortion pedal, you can get more gain but not piling it not on top of the amp's gain. The Laney only really like distortion pedals if it's set to a clean setting, which are pretty scarce in this amp and not nearly loud enough to play in a band. If you buy this amp understand this: it is NOT for cleans. I knew and bought it anyway because I A/B it with a Fender for cleans. But it really shines for overdrive with clarity, punch, warmth and singing sustain. Using my other guitar, an Ibanez hollowbody with fairly low output pups, it gets very nice warm blues tones and enough for say CCR or the Allman Bros. Very legit sounding. I don't think it has enough clean headroom with that guitar to do jazz at ensemble volumes though. But it's not designed for that anyway. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can't say because I just got it. At the store they said they haven't had any returns and have sold plenty. I doubt a bit because it's made in China but these days what isn't? I have enough Faith to trust a Chinese factory especially since most stuff it totally automated anyway. The engineering is British so that's enough for me. // 7

Overall Impression: If you are searching for a quality British-voiced 15W tube amp at a good price, look no further. Perfect for session players, studio and rehearsal and small clubs. Pros who gig big arenas probably need something larger, although you can always mic this and play anywhere with a PA. I wish it had more clean headroom and a second channel but asking for that is asking for an entirely different amp. This is simple but the little it does it does very well. Combined with a good clean amp it makes for a great classic rock-blues-classic heavy metal rig if you have a guitar with HOT pickups. I've tried many amps by many brands and really love Laney's warmth and punch without being harsh. This is very similar to a classic-voiced Marshall but not quite as toppy, which I prefer. A total steal for what it's worth and much of this is thanks to it being made in China. Given it doesn't break down, I don't see the difference between this and a boutique amp actually made in Britain costing at least double just do to its origin. // 9

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overall: 8.8
CUB Head - 212 Cab Half-Stack Reviewed by: olschoolshred, on july 08, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Features: Don't know when it was made. It isn't particularly versatile but enough for my blues, rock, jazz, classic metal style. Only one channel class A/B tube amp with very little headroom. Preamp gain and power amp gain knobs, digital reverb that sounds really nice actually, effects loop, tone knob, treble, bass and mid knobs and two inputs: 1W for bedroom playing and 15W for louder applications. The half stack has two Celestion Rockets 50s in it, which I've heard aren't the best but they aren't bad either. I can only discount one point for features because it delivers everything it says it does and nothing extra, no frills or surprises. // 9

Sound: This amp sounds great and is true to the British style. It shines best doing classic rock and blues stuff like say Zeppelin, but has enough gain, if your guitar has HOT pickups, to handle up to say 80s metal like Metallica and Megadeth. But for metal I use a 7-band EQ pedal to fine tune the curve. But this amp with NOT give you a modern metal sound, it is classic British through and through. If that's the sound you want, get a Peavey, Krank or something similar. Some say this sounds like a Vox, but I think it has way more gain... More like a Marshall. Since it is a one channel low-watt amp, don't expect to get clean tones loud enough to play in a band. This is a strictly dirty amp and if you have another clean amp, this makes for a great A/B setup, which is what I have (with a Fender for cleans). But dirty, on the 15W setting you have enough juice to keep up with a fairly loud drummer. If your drummer is VERY loud, it might not keep up. But by then you'll have ringing in your ears. The tone controls are very sensitive and the amp in general is very dynamic and receptive to changes in picking attack, a sign of a good tube amp. You can go from moderately clean to mean with just your pick if you have good hands. I tried several comparable amps the week I bought this and none sounded better IMO. Just be clear that this thing really only does nice warm and dirty British tones. But it does those very nicely. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Don't know because I've only had it a week. It was made in China, which doesn't inspire much confidence but so far I haven't had any problems and the price was too good to pass up. The craftsmanship seems solid. I will gig with this and when I do I'll take spare tubes, as one should with any tube amp. But a backup is a bit much. I don't know anybody who takes an entire second amp to a gig. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a wide range of music but got this strictly for my dirty sounds, since I have a Fender for cleans and A/B it with this. That setup allows me to play basically anything. Although this amp is not very versatile, being only one channel, and it is low-watt it makes up for its limitations with sheer nice sound. I tried this alongside a Bugera and an Egnator, both more expensive, and this was way better IMO. I suggest getting this if you want a nice British-voiced amp that is low watt enough to play at home or in a studio, or gig small clubs. Anything louder and you'll need to mic it. If stolen, yes I'd buy it again because I think it's the best deal around in its category right now. // 9

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overall: 6
CUB Head - 212 Cab Half-Stack Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 24, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Features: The amp is Made in China. 15W all tube amp with one channel, effects loop, digital reverb and a 1W setting for playing softly. For 15W it's pretty loud but probably not enough for gigging without a mic. But you can slave another amp for more power via de FX loop. // 9

Sound: The amp sounds really nice. Somewhere in between a Vox and a classic Marshall. Good for blues and classic rock. Not much headroom. The preamp distortion is plenty for hard rock but not enough for metal, but with a boost pedal you can get it there. The sound might be too "fizzy" for a real metal sound though, but I think a lot of that depends on taste. For an inexpensive head, it is remarkably sweet sounding. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've had this amp for a little over a month and the FX loop stopped working and so did the on light. I took it back to the dealer since it's still on warranty, so they'll give me another or fix it, but it still makes me wonder. I doubt I would buy it again considering how quick it crapped out. // 1

Overall Impression: I loved everything about the amp until the FX loop stopped working after less than a month of use, only at home with no wear and tear. It's really a shame because the sound is wonderful. But I can't recommend it to anybody because it is so poorly made apparently. // 5

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