This amp is probably a more "well rounded" amp than the Mesa, able to cover MANY gain amounts and styles a little better. It can hang in the heavy metal tones just as well, but can pull off the "dirty blues".
unregistered, on april 20, 2012 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: online
Features: This is my 4th Laney, and definitely as good as the AOR Pro, the TT50, or the VC30 were for their intended use. 3 channels, rhythm & clean share EQ, lead has its own. 6L6 power section. Preboost control can add a "tubescreamer like" boost to the front end. Watts control can vary from 1-60 with no loss of tone. Density controls low end, especially at low volumes. Tone control can add or subtract high end from the 'post EQ sound'. An included reverb is a nice touch. Big "tough a-s" metal grab handles on the top sides. Decent weight and the grab handles make it easy to take to a Jam session. Would get a 10 with 3 individual eq sections. // 9
Sound: I run this through a stereo cab and often mix it with my 3 channel dual rectifier. Similar gain, but different tones. I use 3 HB equipped "shredder type" guitars, 2 with EMGs and a 3rd with coil tap passives. I play everything from dirty blues to pretty extreme metal type riffs. This is where it shines. The clean is pretty good, mix some reverb and it is nice, "jazz" not sure, but it handles an acoustic simulator much better than the Mesa.
Gain is very high. I'd say the Mesa and Laney have SIMILAR amounts of gain, but deliver it differently. The Laney is MCH smoother and a little more articulate (less the pre-boost) where the Mesa has the more 'fizzy' heavy presence tone, making it sound a little more aggressive. Adding the pre-boost to the gain channels requires some experience with front end gain, too much and it gets muddy, just right and you get a nice smooth compressed sustain, very tasty.
This amp is probably a more "well rounded" amp than the Mesa, able to cover MANY gain amounts and styles a little better. It can hang in the heavy metal tones just as well, but can pull off the "dirty blues" - classic rock tones better, IMO. Together, they are a total terror... If it only had a presence control. // 9
Reliability & Durability: My experience with Laney goes back 25 years, I've never had a single problem with them. They are some of the best constructed amps on the market (their tube stuff, not comparing SS). Their tough, durable, and sound great, all 10's in my book. I've had and had to sell 3 Marshalls, in the same time frame, due to 'problems' with them. // 10
Overall Impression: I have a used Mesa and a new IronHeart, new vs new, the Laney is $800-$900 and the Mesa is $2100+, so the Laney wins this one. You'd have to get a deal on a used Mesa in the low $1k range to be competitive. That said, if they both got lost, I'd have to grab the Laney again. The watts control gives it the edge vs having to use an attenuator on the Mesa. I only wish it had the 3rd EQ section. // 9
unregistered, on november 25, 2011 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 900
Features: Don't know when it was made but recently. The amp is extremely versatile. Geared mostly for metal but can handle classic rock and has enough headroom to even do jazz. It's an impressive piece of equipment. Has 3 channels: clean, rhythm and lead, the latter two with enough gain that you'll ever need. It also has several novelty knobs like a dynamic one, a tone know and my favorite, a WATT knob that lets you go from 1W to 60W depending on how loud and saturated you want to sound. It has other stuff too. Best check the catalogue. But it's packed with features. By the way, it's loaded with 60W total watts from 4 ECC83 preamp tubes and two power tubes that can either be EL34s or 6L6s. // 10
Sound: I've used three guitars with this: a Strat with two humbuckers, a PRS with two buckers and an Ibanez Jazz Box, also with two HBs. IT sounds amazing with all three. The first two obviously can achieve basically cany metal sound you want and can also cover mellow blues, and any rock or fusion sound you could get out of a Marshall or Mesa Boogie. I mention these two cause it can either take EL34s or GLGs. And on the clean channel with the Jazzbox I get a very lively and pleasing, and completely clean at high vol., lo-fi sound. Impressive is all I have to say. I have yet to find an electric guitar sound this baby doesn't do better than any other amp I've owned.
Now on to the brutes: it's designed with metal in mind and oh man does it produce. It can get insanely high-gain sounds with the lead channel or rhythm, which are basically the same and have independent EQs. Using the WATT knob, you can tweek to get higher or lower gain but if you crank this SOB you can get death metal easily, not that I play that hard. But it's there if you want it. Do away with all your stomp boxes unless you like modulating or delay. I still keep a noise suppressor around just in case, cause this thing runs really hot. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Can't say, I've only owned it a week. I have another Laney, made in China, that isn't that reliable, but this is supposedly made in the UK. In any case, it's a tube amp so it can't be THAT reliable. // 5
Overall Impression: My overall impression is this is the best amp I've ever owned. I've been playing for more than 15 years and have owned Fender tube amps, Marshalls, other more classic Laneys, Randalls, etc. Like I said before, this thing can top any of those in basically any genre. I know some people will criticize for me raving about this thing but go to a store and try it out for yourself. It's the perfect amp for a person who plays metal and can do rock and other more mellow styles superbly too. Perhaps it's not for those who want something simple, because this thing has three channels, dozens of knobs and features. It's not that cheap, but compared to a Marshall, Boogie or Bogner it IS and is worth every penny. // 10
unregistered, on september 27, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 535
Purchased from: www.thomann.de
Features: Made in China, quality controlled in GB. This amp is absolutely versatile, but it's a heavy metal beast, have no doubt. For what I play, which is Black Sabbath and all alike, this is it. 3 channels, effects loop, no headphone jack (I don't need any). I wish it had a presence knob, but not a big deal. I don't use that dynamics knob a lot, it's sort of useless. The pre-boost option is not bad, but I prefer my Rangemaster-type Germania 44 treble booster by HBE (together with the pre-boost at certain setting you get an excellent psychedelic fuzz). I use the amp at home hooked to a 60Wt 1X12 Celestion Vintage 30 Orange cab. Power more than enough. // 10
Sound: Using it with a Gibson Les Paul Studio for the time being (gonna have a SG Standard soon), with stock PUs replaced with Seymour Duncan hotrodded set (SH-JB). The amp absolutely suites my style which is sabbath-style heavy metal, doom metal, stoner. You can easily get a hellish early day death metal sound, very brutal. The amp is not very noisy (at least with the stock valves and with Tung-Sol preamp valves that I have as a reserve). The clean channel is good, and yes, it becomes distorted with the amp's pre-boost, but with the latter turned off, you get pretty decent cleans. // 10
Reliability & Durability: It looks and feels quite solid. What happened was one of the push-pull knobs just fell off (maybe was not glued well enough) after a few days of very careful use. But I fixed it easily with a deadly Chinese glue (always had my fingertips glued to the knob's surface :-)))).
I need to note that this is my first valve amp, one of only few valve heads in Armenia, and surely the only Laney amp around. So this is kind of a discovery for me, and maybe some of my comments may sound naive in the technical sense, but I've been into heavy metal for 25 years, and I surely know what the metal sound is.
One other thing that popped up after one or two days of use was some crackling noise starting as the amp warmed up after about 2 hours of playing. I checked the preamp valves, and it appeared to be the input TAD hi-grade valve that went wrong as soon as it got hot. But it was in those HOT summer days with 40 Celsius, now it doesn't get HOT like that, but I have reserve tung-sols and sockets, as well as a couple of hi-grade 1st stage TAD valves, so no worries, can flap them any time. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall impression from this amp is fully positive. This is exactly what I needed in terms of the sound I wanted. I compared it to my friend's Mesa Double Rectifier and another friend's Marshall JCM 800, both are much pricier than the IronHeart (those guys are band guitarists, unlike me, I'm an amateur, and in my band back in mid 90-ies I was doing the vocals and never really played a guitar), and my Laney can easily stand in the same line with those. As a replacement I might think of another Laney, or smaller Orange hi-gain amp. // 10